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Primary Color Escapism – Head First Into Marvel Crisis Protocol

Primary Color Escapism – Head First Into Marvel Crisis Protocol

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Project Blog by taochi Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

My deep dive into Atomic Mass Games Marvel Crisis Protocol. An attempt to paint my world in primary colors.

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But First, Let us Build The City

Tutoring 3
Skill 3
Idea 3
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Both as an act of vanity to offer a nicer background for upcoming miniature photographs and as an enhancement to the overall gaming experience, a city begs to be built that will host the game’s chaotic actions. In my desire to embrace Marvel Crisis Protocol, I am considering the hobby side of things, which is probably at least as important to me as the game aspect. Indeed, painting miniatures and building a nice table for them to romp on is often my primary pleasure in this hobby and MCP would be no exception. Also, having a nice terrain to photograph the miniatures around is a major perk as it places the miniatures in their environment, thus highlighting both decors and actors.

As often, it all started with a core box …

It is not often that one can purchase a game starter box and be able to play for hour on end without the need to further acquire material. Atomic Mass Games offers this rare gem in the form of the MCP core box. But most importantly not only does it provide the miniatures but also the terrain; and much terrain is needed for MCP to attain its full flavor. One may argue that the box offerings are rather low to the ground, but they offer a good start for an environmental mayhem playground.

While the MCP corre box offers a nice selection of terrain, I wanted to give some altitude to my table, mostly to accommodate the initial miniatures shots by providing background to them. My online search pointed me to Corvus Games Terrain which urban range is offer plethora of models fit to build my NYCish environment. If you play MCP, ensure that the models have not been pre-sized for the game ‘O Scale’ so as ou can resize them appropriately. My decision to do so was based upon the fact that I could always use oversize terrain for other games (Last Days, Walking Deads, Mad Dog with Guns, Fistful of KungFu) without much of a scale issue but that the primary role of the terrain would perfectly fit the MCP miniatures. Also, if Knight Models batman game is in my future, they would also be scale appropriate.

Primary Color Escapism

Tutoring 4
Skill 4
Idea 4
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As the world descends further into chaos, I found myself pining for simpler times, most probably rose colored by childhood memories yet so appealing in a universe where shades of gray replace the primary colors of old. In essence, I want the good guys to prevail over evil doers in the end, making the world right and shining a beacon of hopes for all to follow. Wishful thinking? Escapism? Absolutely, yet, on some days, these are some of the few things that shield me against growing anxiety and depression, so I embrace them wholeheartedly.

With this mindset, I found myself wandering back to the comic books of my childhood within the pages of which Spiderman fought the Green Goblin, the Fantastic 4 fought the Sphinx and Iron Fist defeated the Mandarin (the original one, not the buffon version of the MCU). From a young age, reading theses comics published in France by LUG Editions, I always loved these stories as they presented heroic yet relatable characters and let my imagination fly. As adult life took over, I left MArvel and DC behind for decades, till my late forties where a rekindling interest with tabletop gaming brought, as a guest, a venture into comics.

Fast forward to January 2022, where I was deciding upon a tabletop game focus for the new year. Choices were a plenty but that comes at a cost for such people as I, growing anxiety on the framework of a first world problem. My attention wandered back to a game that I had considered before but shelved to the ‘potential’ area of my hobby mind: Marvel Crisis Protocol. I started researching reviews, batreps and paint videos, trying to decide if this would become my year tabletop game focus. It passed the test and this post if the first of many Marvel Crisis Protocol (MCP) posts as I delve head first into this gem of a game. “ever upward!”

Restoring Order -The Police Station

Tutoring 3
Skill 3
Idea 3
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My first pick was the Corvus Terrain police Station as it combines a good backdrop photographic opportunity with several terrain levels for the game ( I ayy decide to select Size 4 for the side buildings and 5 for the main building, although this may cause issues with the future prints I have in mind). I googled NYC police precinct photos for inspiration.

Bricks were painted on a sand primer using a red brick town from a craft paint brand (Heritage Brick from Americana). Mortar was obtained by applying  an off-white thin out layer of paint over the dry brick color and promptly wiping it off with a paper towel. Not perfect, but good enough from a table perspective. The stone was painted using light beige paint which was them washed with a home made wash of brown/black craft paint mixed with a few drops of dishwashing liquid and water. Again, there are better recipes online but this one works for  my terrain.Bricks were painted on a sand primer using a red brick town from a craft paint brand (Heritage Brick from Americana). Mortar was obtained by applying an off-white thin out layer of paint over the dry brick color and promptly wiping it off with a paper towel. Not perfect, but good enough from a table perspective. The stone was painted using light beige paint which was them washed with a home made wash of brown/black craft paint mixed with a few drops of dishwashing liquid and water. Again, there are better recipes online but this one works for my terrain.
I then added a little black to the brick color and picked a few bricks on each wall to add variety. I also dry brushed some wall area lightly with black. I then added a little black to the brick color and picked a few bricks on each wall to add variety. I also dry brushed some wall area lightly with black.
Windows and frames were painted black (add a little black on the inside also) and drybrushed with craft paint medium gray.Windows and frames were painted black (add a little black on the inside also) and drybrushed with craft paint medium gray.
The station insignia was the original file one but I glued it lightly incase I change my mind and wish to replace it in the future. It was painted black and drybrushed with several, increasingly lighter, shades of brass and gold.The station insignia was the original file one but I glued it lightly incase I change my mind and wish to replace it in the future. It was painted black and drybrushed with several, increasingly lighter, shades of brass and gold.
Side doors and metal barred windows were painted black and drybrushed medium gray and gunmetal color. Side doors and metal barred windows were painted black and drybrushed medium gray and gunmetal color.
The top of the central building was painted medium green, washed with the aforementioned home made wash and highlighted with a lighter shades of green.The top of the central building was painted medium green, washed with the aforementioned home made wash and highlighted with a lighter shades of green.
Restoring Order  -The Police Station
Restoring Order  -The Police Station

MCP Core Box - Starter City

Tutoring 4
Skill 4
Idea 4
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I am aware I jumped ahead by featuring the police station ahead of the core box terrain, yet it felt only logical to have a larger piece anchoring the scatter-like offerings of the game starter set. I feel I now have the beginning of a table…

A solid start for a board (Future buildings in the background).A solid start for a board (Future buildings in the background).
Lamp posts were an easy combination of medium gray and metallic paint, washed with Nuln oil and dry brushed over with the original color. Glass was obtained with yellow paint, washed with Agrax ES and dabbed with original yellow; far from a  masterpiece but good enough for table display.Lamp posts were an easy combination of medium gray and metallic paint, washed with Nuln oil and dry brushed over with the original color. Glass was obtained with yellow paint, washed with Agrax ES and dabbed with original yellow; far from a masterpiece but good enough for table display.
I had a bit of fun with the crossing lights (using same paint as for the street light above) but adding some printed cut outs obtained from the MSC Facebook group files). I chose a cross and do-not-cross symbol for the two signals along with an itinerary (not shown) to add a bit of realism.I had a bit of fun with the crossing lights (using same paint as for the street light above) but adding some printed cut outs obtained from the MSC Facebook group files). I chose a cross and do-not-cross symbol for the two signals along with an itinerary (not shown) to add a bit of realism.
Both cars were spray painted in their final color with Army Painter primers and details were added with a fine brush for lights/signals. A wash of the appropriate color was applied to the recesses and windows were painted black, washed dark blue then dry brushed medium gray. Wheels were painted black and dry brushed metallic on the rims and medium gray on the exposed tires.Both cars were spray painted in their final color with Army Painter primers and details were added with a fine brush for lights/signals. A wash of the appropriate color was applied to the recesses and windows were painted black, washed dark blue then dry brushed medium gray. Wheels were painted black and dry brushed metallic on the rims and medium gray on the exposed tires.
MCP Core Box - Starter City
I chose yellow and green for the dumpsters, with metallic parts in GW Leadbelcher and top in flat black, to simulate heavy plastic.  I also had fun with tags/placards. my advice is to use actual street arts/photos as inspiration. A solid GW Agrax wash followed by topical weathering with Agrax and Typhus Corrosion using a small brush finished the job.I chose yellow and green for the dumpsters, with metallic parts in GW Leadbelcher and top in flat black, to simulate heavy plastic. I also had fun with tags/placards. my advice is to use actual street arts/photos as inspiration. A solid GW Agrax wash followed by topical weathering with Agrax and Typhus Corrosion using a small brush finished the job.
MCP Core Box - Starter City
Daily Bugle was painted as per box art, with weathering made of Agrax/Nul Oil washes and Typhus Corrosion dry brushes. Windows were painted black, washed dark blue and dry brushed medium gray (similar to cars above).Daily Bugle was painted as per box art, with weathering made of Agrax/Nul Oil washes and Typhus Corrosion dry brushes. Windows were painted black, washed dark blue and dry brushed medium gray (similar to cars above).
I had a bit of fun printing small rendering of comic books, cutting them and gluing them to the stand. The cash register also got some detail love.I had a bit of fun printing small rendering of comic books, cutting them and gluing them to the stand. The cash register also got some detail love.
As usual, have fun with placards and graffitis.As usual, have fun with placards and graffitis.
MCP Core Box - Starter City

MCP Core Box Heroes

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 5
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The MCP core box offers a solid line up of heroes and villains (depending upon which side you are one, the roles may be reversed 😉 ). I had a great time time painting thee heroes once I got over the hurdle of assembling and prepping them for priming, which quite frankly would place them, in my humble opinion, beyond the reach of strict beginners. A good set of tools (clippers, mold removers, hobby knife) and green stuff are your friends. Also, while it may be tempting to crate masterpieces of comic book art for each heroes, keep in mind people will see them from a distance and that the goal is (at least for me) to play the game sooner than later.

Cap was quite easy to assemble (no pun intended) but required a bit of filling at the shoulders and rear end level.

Painting  was pretty straight forward as, with mainly primary colors. The shield is the only tricky part and I will let the several great videos teach you how to address it (for example Sorastro's).Painting was pretty straight forward as, with mainly primary colors. The shield is the only tricky part and I will let the several great videos teach you how to address it (for example Sorastro's).
MCP Core Box Heroes

The Black Widow is very straight forward but needs a little greenstuff to provide a smooth suit aspect.

I suggest going with traditional Black Widow sporting a black suit, highlighted with medium gray (use a makeup brush for smooth finish) followed by a wash of dark blue.I suggest going with traditional Black Widow sporting a black suit, highlighted with medium gray (use a makeup brush for smooth finish) followed by a wash of dark blue.
MCP Core Box Heroes

Captain Marvel has one of my favorite pauses and requires little greenstuff adjustment thanks to a well placed sash.

Primary colors here, complemented with energy-filled fists and glowing eyes. I had fun with the fists and made an attempt at reflecting the energy on the suit.Primary colors here, complemented with energy-filled fists and glowing eyes. I had fun with the fists and made an attempt at reflecting the energy on the suit.

MCP Core Box Heroes (cont)

Tutoring 6
Skill 6
Idea 6
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Another side of Captain Marvel ...Another side of Captain Marvel ...
 Iron man was a simple build and paint. I went for a silver dry-brush over my traditional zenithal highlight and used contrast paints for the armor. Reactor and hand beams were achieved with blue and white paint. Iron man was a simple build and paint. I went for a silver dry-brush over my traditional zenithal highlight and used contrast paints for the armor. Reactor and hand beams were achieved with blue and white paint.
MCP Core Box Heroes (cont)

Spiderman was given a very iconic pause and mandated greenstuff intervention to hide assembly seams.

 I went for a classic Spiderman look as thee are several future opportunities to paint Spidey alternative suits. The newspaper was gathered from the MCP Facebook group file section, which is an excellent game and hobby resource. I went for a classic Spiderman look as thee are several future opportunities to paint Spidey alternative suits. The newspaper was gathered from the MCP Facebook group file section, which is an excellent game and hobby resource.
MCP Core Box Heroes (cont)

MCP Core Box Villains

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 5
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The core box villains are quite varied and offer a solid base on starting a Cabal affiliation, with Red Skull, Zemo and Crossbones.

I already showed Crossbones fighting three Black Widow in an earlier post and he is by far one of the easiest miniatures of the set to assemble and paint. I used two different kinds of washes (blue and black on his pants and vest so as to create a slight variety in black shades.I already showed Crossbones fighting three Black Widow in an earlier post and he is by far one of the easiest miniatures of the set to assemble and paint. I used two different kinds of washes (blue and black on his pants and vest so as to create a slight variety in black shades.

Red Skull, Cabal leader, was rather easy to assemble but required greenstuff work on his coat to hide the assembly seam.

Painting was very straightforward for his garb, the only challenge being the cube and its coat/facial reflection, which I feel quite good about.Painting was very straightforward for his garb, the only challenge being the cube and its coat/facial reflection, which I feel quite good about.
MCP Core Box Villains

Baron Zemo only true assembly challenge was his right wrist, as it required some resculpting of the bracer.

I went with a classic Zemo look, complete with the spotted snow leopard fur. Contract paints were use for the jacket, pants and top/headgear.I went with a classic Zemo look, complete with the spotted snow leopard fur. Contract paints were use for the jacket, pants and top/headgear.
MCP Core Box Villains
Doc Octopus offered a solid assembly challenge, requiring some greenstuff work on his body assembly seams and a series of dry assemblies to ensure tentacles were indeed in the right place.Doc Octopus offered a solid assembly challenge, requiring some greenstuff work on his body assembly seams and a series of dry assemblies to ensure tentacles were indeed in the right place.
Again, contrast paints and layers of highlights were used for the body, with all metallic parts painted using Leadbelcher, Nuln Oil Gloss and highlighted with Vallejo ChromeAgain, contrast paints and layers of highlights were used for the body, with all metallic parts painted using Leadbelcher, Nuln Oil Gloss and highlighted with Vallejo Chrome

MCP Core Box Villains (cont) and Measuring Tools

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 5
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Another angle of Doc OcAnother angle of Doc Oc
Last but no least, Ultron was a challenge of small fiddly bits to assemble but has a very dynamic pause and proves to be one of the best sculpts of the set. I went for a straightforward GW Leadbelcher base, washed with GW Nuln Oil Glass and worked back up with GW Leadbelcher and Vallejo Chrome. For the glowing components, I applied red contract paint, followed by orange and white highlights.Last but no least, Ultron was a challenge of small fiddly bits to assemble but has a very dynamic pause and proves to be one of the best sculpts of the set. I went for a straightforward GW Leadbelcher base, washed with GW Nuln Oil Glass and worked back up with GW Leadbelcher and Vallejo Chrome. For the glowing components, I applied red contract paint, followed by orange and white highlights.
Debris are (clean) cat litter.Debris are (clean) cat litter.
The games measuring tools offer another opportunity for painting experimentation...The games measuring tools offer another opportunity for painting experimentation...
MCP Core Box Villains (cont) and Measuring Tools

Cabal, my First Roster - First Came MODOK

Tutoring 6
Skill 6
Idea 6
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Based upon a few miniatures from the core box, I decided to expand the Cabal and build a proper roster that will be able to face the Avengers (spoiler, this will be my second roster 😉 ). I gathered a list of Cabal members and assembled them with various levels of ease, greenstuff at the ready as i was with the core box miniatures.

Cabal, my First Roster - First Came MODOK
Cabal, my First Roster - First Came MODOK

I chose to paint MODOK fist as it seemed a rather easy and cartoonish miniature, which it turned out to be.

I painted MODOK mainly with a quad set of colors: gold – Metallic – Flesh and Light Brown, which I then washed with Reikland Flesh Shade Gloss, Nuln Oil Gloss – Reikland Flesh Shade and Agrax Earthshade respectively. Once the washes were dry, I dry brush the gold (mainly the Chair of Doom) with lighter gold then edge of chrome.

Cabal, my First Roster - First Came MODOK
Cabal, my First Roster - First Came MODOK

The suit was highlighted with a drybrush of chrome then copiously covered with Magos Purple contrast paint (GW) to give it the proper shiny purple color.

The face was by far the most challenging as several layers were necessary to emphasize the cartoonish look. Teeth were achieved with an ivory white, an 'Agrax' wash followed by the original ivory highlights.The face was by far the most challenging as several layers were necessary to emphasize the cartoonish look. Teeth were achieved with an ivory white, an 'Agrax' wash followed by the original ivory highlights.
The propulsion jet and smoke were quite more difficult than anticipated. I used white paint along with washes of fluorescent red/orange/yellow paints. Edges were painted grey over the red/orange layers.The propulsion jet and smoke were quite more difficult than anticipated. I used white paint along with washes of fluorescent red/orange/yellow paints. Edges were painted grey over the red/orange layers.

Cabal - Sin and Viper

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 5
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Sin and Viper are next and I encourage you to paint them together as they have similar styles that will allow you to harmoniously complete them as a group.

As usual, start by blocking all the colors on the miniaturesAs usual, start by blocking all the colors on the miniatures
 Sin and Venom embrace respectively a red and green scheme that makes it quite simple to play with various shades of a color to crate a well contrasted miniature. Sin and Venom embrace respectively a red and green scheme that makes it quite simple to play with various shades of a color to crate a well contrasted miniature.
Skin tones are next and I realized that one are of improvement for this year will be to learn how to better paint female faces and makeup.  Viper lipstick is a little 'contrasty' but i still like it.Skin tones are next and I realized that one are of improvement for this year will be to learn how to better paint female faces and makeup. Viper lipstick is a little 'contrasty' but i still like it.
Cabal - Sin and Viper
SIn's black leather clothes were highlighted using medium and light grey, then glazed with a red color to unify them with the rest of the outfit. Straps and knives sheaths were likely painted. The skull on her chest was painted black, then lightly painted with a dark gold to make it stand out. Finally, all metallic parts were painted black then brushed with GW Leadbelcher with accents of chrome for the knife blade.SIn's black leather clothes were highlighted using medium and light grey, then glazed with a red color to unify them with the rest of the outfit. Straps and knives sheaths were likely painted. The skull on her chest was painted black, then lightly painted with a dark gold to make it stand out. Finally, all metallic parts were painted black then brushed with GW Leadbelcher with accents of chrome for the knife blade.
Cabal - Sin and Viper
For Viper's base, I decided to paint the panel in a different pattern to create some diversity and yellow/black offered a good contrast with the suit.For Viper's base, I decided to paint the panel in a different pattern to create some diversity and yellow/black offered a good contrast with the suit.
For her hair, I highlighted in medium gray and washed in green to unify with the suit.For her hair, I highlighted in medium gray and washed in green to unify with the suit.
Viper's suit was highlighted with adding some yellow (from the base) to the lighter green and then using each lighter green to highlight the next darker one. That offered a quick and easy way to proceed with the whole suit. I painted the katana handle red to offer some interesting contrast with the rest of the model.Viper's suit was highlighted with adding some yellow (from the base) to the lighter green and then using each lighter green to highlight the next darker one. That offered a quick and easy way to proceed with the whole suit. I painted the katana handle red to offer some interesting contrast with the rest of the model.
Metallic parts were painted as per Sin's model.Metallic parts were painted as per Sin's model.

Next, The Hood …

The Hood

Tutoring 4
Skill 4
Idea 4
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The hood is composed of two miniatures which are similarly clothed. I decided to paint them together to save time.

The miniature was clean and required little green stuff, besides the delicate jaw of the demon form.The miniature was clean and required little green stuff, besides the delicate jaw of the demon form.
Both characters pants were painted green and highlighted accordingly. I chose a red brown tint for teh leather jacket, deciding as a contrast tone for the pants and a complementary one to the cape. The demon's vest was painted grey to merge with the pallor of its flesh. The capes are a focal point of the miniatures and thus required the whole gamut of Citadel redsBoth characters pants were painted green and highlighted accordingly. I chose a red brown tint for teh leather jacket, deciding as a contrast tone for the pants and a complementary one to the cape. The demon's vest was painted grey to merge with the pallor of its flesh. The capes are a focal point of the miniatures and thus required the whole gamut of Citadel reds
Onc e the cape were completed, which was a very fun and zen experience, it was then time to focus upon the energy volutes.Onc e the cape were completed, which was a very fun and zen experience, it was then time to focus upon the energy volutes.
The Hood
The Hood
The Hood
Volutes were painted using Citadel contrast red, orange and yellow and wet blending them on the spot. Some reflection was added to the clothe and skinVolutes were painted using Citadel contrast red, orange and yellow and wet blending them on the spot. Some reflection was added to the clothe and skin
The Hood

Completing the Cabal

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 5
1 Comment

The last members of my Cabal list will not be detailed as the previous ones were mostly because I painted them one after the other, momentarily omitting to take detailed step-by-step shots. Nevertheless, I will highlight my painting approach for  each of them below the photographs.

Bullseye was rather straightforward and encourages the use of contrast paints followed by highlights.Bullseye was rather straightforward and encourages the use of contrast paints followed by highlights.
The rubbles are  (clean) cat litter...The rubbles are (clean) cat litter...
Mystique was rather fun to paint as the skin offers a good opportunity to build up a subtle contrast. For teh white, I used GW contrast white and applied several layers of pure white to bring the dress back to a descent shine. Mystique was rather fun to paint as the skin offers a good opportunity to build up a subtle contrast. For teh white, I used GW contrast white and applied several layers of pure white to bring the dress back to a descent shine.
Mind handling the gun as this is by far the most fragile part of the miniature.Mind handling the gun as this is by far the most fragile part of the miniature.
Baron Mordo was the most complex miniature of this Cabal list and, while I am not totally happy with the magic discs effect, I called it 'done' so as to be able to move the project forward. Baron Mordo was the most complex miniature of this Cabal list and, while I am not totally happy with the magic discs effect, I called it 'done' so as to be able to move the project forward.
I love the dynamic pause of the miniature. One will have to handle it with care on the table.I love the dynamic pause of the miniature. One will have to handle it with care on the table.
Loki was rathe straight forward for whoever has painted a fantasy wizard... I went with different shades of gold for the armor, staff and helmet and am rather satisfied with the result.Loki was rathe straight forward for whoever has painted a fantasy wizard... I went with different shades of gold for the armor, staff and helmet and am rather satisfied with the result.
The energy wave needs some greenstuff TLC IMHO. The energy wave needs some greenstuff TLC IMHO.

Apartment Building

Tutoring 2
Skill 2
Idea 2
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Another 3D printed from Corvus Games Terrain is the apartment building, which I added to the growing city to provide yet more height diversity to the environment.

I treated the bricks similarly to that of the Police Station (se previous post) but added a transparent printed painting of the hulk, using NEATO Clear Sticker Paper - Vinyl Full Sheet Label - Weatherproof - for Inkjet and Laser Printers I treated the bricks similarly to that of the Police Station (se previous post) but added a transparent printed painting of the hulk, using NEATO Clear Sticker Paper - Vinyl Full Sheet Label - Weatherproof - for Inkjet and Laser Printers
I also added a larger wall art, based upon one I photographed in my trip out West.I also added a larger wall art, based upon one I photographed in my trip out West.
And I added for the first time windows using ZICOT Easy Cut Stencil Sheet. Pretty happy with the result.And I added for the first time windows using ZICOT Easy Cut Stencil Sheet. Pretty happy with the result.
Apartment Building
Apartment Building
Apartment Building