Yes we Kanren

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A midfield meddler par excellence, the Kanren was an unexpected and welcome boost to the Imperial Service’s chronically understaffed selection of things that can enter play outside your deployment zone and things that can impose a negative mod during a face to face roll.

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The base profile has a fairly unique ability to clog the midfield with 5 models; 3 holoechoes and two Madtraps. He’s a competent  fighter thanks to surprise shot/surprise attack, but this profile lives for the day that he gets to finish off something juicy with his monofilament CCW after it has been frozen in place with his Madtraps. Opponents who choose to delay AROs against him for fear of copping a full burst of combi/BSG to the face on a normal roll will quickly find themselves in the threat range of the Madtraps.  On the other hand, the Madtrap profile gets little mileage out of holoprojector level 1 however, as he would have to sacrifice his forward deployment level 2 (8 inches, an orders worth of distance) just to convincingly portray a handful of niche Madtrap profiles that no one really takes on their own. For other Kanren profiles without Madtraps who can impersonate a wider selection of Yu Jing profiles convincingly, I still don’t think it’s worth giving up 8 inches to occasionally trick new or casual players. That said, on these profiles holoprojector level 1 absolutely must be used! If you have a KHD or AHD, hide it by pretending to be a forward observer. If you have a forward observer, disguise it as an AHD to scare off heavy infantry and bait KHDs into wasting orders. Then, when your regular opponents start to suspect the ruse, you can mix it up a bit by “disguising” your KHD as a KHD. I believe this kind of profile level trickery is a lot harder to spot and manage than some of the grand ruses you see suggested elsewhere.

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The minelayer profile is interesting but extremely niche. It pretty much allows the Kanren to safely reveal enemy troops from Camo, TO or HD state in two orders so long as you have a Weibing or certain Zhanyings/Cranes in your list. Minelayer itself is pretty useless unless you know a hidden enemy has deployed on the center line when you deploy the Kanren, or you know the location of his inferior/superior infiltration (Niche use against daylami and Shinobu/Oniwaban if you are psychic). Given the Kanren can already intuitive attack with his chain-colt, it’s probably not worth taking this profile over one of the specialist profiles. Whether to go with the Madtraps or specialist profiles is a tougher choice. Hopefully there will be another Kanren model down the line that is visibly a hacker so I can take two without doubling up, although with the current model lacking any visible equipment that is not common to all profiles, I would not hold my breath for this. Thanks Corvus Belli, you guys are the best!

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Painting the Kanren was fairly straight forward because he is a chunky guy with an open pose, with one arm extending far away from his body. I say this often but it is just so much easier to paint models in one piece. Orange was the orange. Greys were a spectrum of GW Abbadon Black, Dawnstone and Ceramite White. LEDS were done with Scorpion Green. Tunic is Dark Angels Green Mixed with Regal Blue and then Bleached Bone for the highlights. Skin is Vallejo Bronze Fleshtone washed with Cavalry Brown, my go to recipe.

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As I’ve gradually picked up nearly all of the Yu Jing catalog, it’s not very often these days I get to write about a Yu Jing unit with a Chinese name for the first time anymore.
Kan ren.pngPronunciation is pretty straight forward, “Kan” sounds like the can in “can of coke” and “ren” is just like “rent eats up more than half of what I earn  and the rest is Infinity”. The unit bio tells us the characters 侃/kan and 刃/ren, proudly displayed on the unit’s insignia, respectively mean “Bold Edge” which is a fair call. 刃/ren is definitely the sharp part of a sword and 侃/kan means bold in the outspoken/cocky sense. 侃刃 is not really an existing term so I do wonder where CB got the idea to name their new unit. Perhaps it is a literal translation of a Spanish concept but that’s just speculation. Untitled.png

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Assume the Crane Stance (for the second time)

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The Imperial Agent Crane Rank brandishing a spitfire is a model I never expected to release when it did and never knew I wanted until I took it for a spin.

With no skills or equipment that helps him shoot better, I often considered him as a cost-inefficient Shang ji with a bunch of niche gear tacked on to drag the cost up. This was especially true before HSN3 when only Crane Lts could form fireteams with Celestial Guard in Imperial Service for some reason.

Now, the Crane feels like a pricey but worthwhile upgrade for the Celestial Guard spitfire, and the efficiency of getting fireteam buffs from far cheaper troopers than himself comfortably cancels out the cost of his close combat bells and whistles that he was unlikely to use when going about his core business of mowing guys down at B5 BS16.

With Celestial Guard Guifeng Xi Zhuang and his Madtraps currently  in bits on my desk, local tables should soon be seeing a durable, versatile, scoring fireteam with a very mean anchor. I would still never take this profile out of a fireteam and I am interested to hear if anyone can make a case for it.

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Assembly was fairly easy. Whilst his chunkier braid is less identifiable as the Qing Dynasty Queue/Bianzi hairstyle, it has to date never snapped off. I know of some Morat players who wish they could say the same for their Daturazi.

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Thanks to his unusual pose (I still have no idea what he is doing) he was very simple to paint in one piece. The colours have changed slightly since the old crane but it wasn’t that hard to execute. The black was done the same as my beloved hac taos and the orange is the orange that I’ve been using since day one of the blog.

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The loincloth and tails were done with a 50/50 mix of Vallejo Turquoise and Heavy Blackgreen with a black wash an highlights made by adding GW Bleached Bone to the initial mix. The “NMM” “gold” trim followed the same structureless please-god-let-this-work approach I employed on the Guijia‘s hook sword. I really should sit down with Angel’s book some time.

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And that’s all there is to it. If you want to know more about Cranes, especially the Chinese name, be sure to check out the post from when I did up my original Crane.

Rollin’ Ronin

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Gaijin see him rollin’, they hating.

And rightfully so, Yojimbo is both extremely dangerous and in-your-face Japanese. He takes some of the key strengths of the Japanese Sectorial Army line up, that is, blindingly fast bikes and close combat blenders, and jams them into one 21 point profile with Crazykoalas to boot. Throw in smoke and No Wound Incapacitation and it seems too good to be true. He is however very vulnerable to bullets.

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He was also quite comfortable to paint. I painted the mounted version fully assembled, which is always a huge plus to morale. I had to really jam the brush in here and there to get underneath the seat but other than that I found nothing inaccessible. The standing version also has a nice open pose that is very conducive to painting. I can’t say I painted him in one piece, although I tried to. In the poor light of my flat, I ended up dropping him not once but four times during the process of painting, each time taking a bit with him. Luckily he made a full recovery, thanks to a pair of ratcheted surgical forceps my brother gave me, which I used to straighten the pretzel formerly known as his scabbard.

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The colours were really very simple, yet I am very happy with the effect. I started by priming the whole models with Army Painter Uniform Grey from a painfully expensive spray can. Then I painted the metallic areas, namely the servo muscles of his sword arm, the magazine of his contender, the engine and wheel hubs of the bike and the elbow pad and bracer of his right arm with Citadel Shadow Grey. I then applied heavy washes to the whole models with dilute Abbadon Black. Then, the jacket was painted with Enchanted Blue. Once the Jacket was dry, I mixed a wash out of Regal Blue, Abbadon Black and water, and painted the whole jacket with it. After that dried, I mixed Enchanted Blue with Ceramite white and painted most areas of the jacket that did not hold any of the wash. The tan areas, namely parts of the bike, belts and straps, left arm bracer and some detail on his Yojimbo’s shirt and boots, started as Vallejo WWII German Camouflage Beige, which is a very nice colour. I then sparingly added Deck Tan. Skin was painted with Bronze Fleshtone, then washed with dilute Cavalry Brown, then highlighted with the Bronze Fleshtone again. I got brave and painted the scalera of the mounted version, but failed in all attempts to give him pupils, so now he looks like someone out of Street Fighter. Can’t remember what reds I used for the rising suns, but I am sure Citadel Blood Red featured at some point.

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Funny story, Yojimbo is actually one of the only models I ever proxied (not that proxying is funny). He took out infiltrator Thrasymedes, my most hated of all the Homerotics, and that was enough to make me watch the movie and buy the figure.

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Ō-Yoroi doesn’t rhyme with anything.

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The O-Yoroi was actually my first TAG, but like most JSA units, I have a hard time writing anything interesting about them due to very low comprehension of the Japanese language. I do think it’s super cool that they are named after a classic Japanese style of heavy cavalry armour worn by Samurai as TAGs are considered Armoured Cavalry by most Armies in Infinity. I also like the visual nod to Unit 01 from Neon Genesis Evangelion in the head design.

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IF YOU ARE ABOUT TO BUILD YOUR FIRST O-YOROI PLEASE ATTACH THE PILOT ARMS TO THE TORSO BEFORE ATTACHING THE LEGS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Aside from the pilot arms, assembly was pretty straight forward. It has really benefited from the solid pinning job I inflicted on it, as the pose is a bit awkward to transport. Being one of the first models I painted for JSA, the scheme was very simple, Citadel Skull White over an Army Painter Uniform Grey Primer, with a little hawk turquoise mixed with a lot of water sparingly splashed over some areas. The darker areas are just layers of dilute Abaddon Black of differing thickness depending on how dark the areas were meant to be. The reds were the same ones I used on the Keisotsu. The Crazykoalas were painted with the exact same colours as the O-Yoroi.

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In the absence of anything meaningful to contribute to language, I thought I’d share a list  I am quite fond of that uses an O-Yoroi.

logo_23.png Japanese Sectorial Army
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Group 1 sep.gifsep.giforden_regular.png 10 orden_irregular.png0 orden_impetuosa.png0
logo_8.png O-YOROI Lieutenant HMG + Heavy Flamethrower, CrazyKoalas (2) / EXP CCW. (3 | 81)
logo_2.png KEMPEI (Chain of Command) Boarding Shotgun / Pistol, CCW, Electric Pulse. (23)
logo_23.png SAITO TOGAN Combi Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, EXP CCW, Knife. (39)
logo_1.png KEISOTSU Missile Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 14)
logo_1.png KEISOTSU Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (9)
logo_1.png KEISOTSU Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (9)
logo_1.png KEISOTSU Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (9)
logo_1.png KEISOTSU (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (10)
logo_11.png TOKUSETSU KOHEI Engineer Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (14)
logo_11.png TOKUSETSU EISEI Doctor (MediKit) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (14)
logo_18.png YÁOZĂO Electric Pulse. (3)
logo_18.png YÁOZĂO Electric Pulse. (3)

Group 2 sep.gifsep.giforden_regular.png5 orden_irregular.png0 orden_impetuosa.png0
logo_14.png WÈIBĪNG Yaókòng Combi Rifle, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (16)
logo_1.png KEISOTSU Hacker (Hacking Device) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 17)
logo_1.png KEISOTSU Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (9)
logo_1.png KEISOTSU Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (9)
logo_12.png RUI SHI Spitfire / Electric Pulse. (1 | 21)

6 SWC | 300 Points

Open with Army 5

 

Asuka and friends

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One thing I love about Infinity is that the human factions are a mishmash of past, present and I guess future cultural elements from across the world. Asuka here is a great example, a weaponised Bōsōzoku gang leader in the style of a contemporary Japanese race queen, who also seems to deliberately or coincidentally blend elements from several characters from Japanese videogames and anime. Her name and outfit (minus the innermost layer of clothing) seem to be a very close match to that of Asuka Kazama from Tekken series of fighting games, and if you pick through studio painter Angel Giraldez’ facebook page long enough you can see that he’s a fan of the character. It wouldn’t surprise me if the red hair she shares with Asuka from Neon Genesis Evangelion was also no coincidence, as there are plentiful references to that famous series scattered throughout the range. The bike is straight up inspired by that used by Kaneda in Akira, I recall seeing Carlos Llauger Lorenzo AKA Bostria pointing this out in a Beasts of War interview, although everyone knew already.

SAMSUNGAssembling her was quite difficult, as you really need her on the bike to get the positioning of her left arm (with it’s tiny point of attachment) correct. It should definitely be the last bit you align. Like the guy with the spitfire and the hacker, but unlike the woman with the combi rifle + light shotgun, I painted Asuka separate to the bike, holding her right leg in a bulldog clip until everything else was painted.

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The I painted her bike and the others exactly the same, you can see the recipe here.  Her red hair was done by first painting a 100% layer with Vallejo Orange Brown, then highlighting the raised ridges of hair with Citadel Bleached Bone, then painting it fairly heavily with Citadel Baal Red. Her extremely slutty outfit was done with successive layers of very dilute Abaddon Black,  with more layers on the darker field around the unused zipper.  Red fields were done the same colour as the bike. The vast amounts of skin were painted first with Citadel Elf Flesh, then with a dilute layer of Vallejo Broze Fleshtone. Where uh, extra layers of shading were needed, I painted dilute Cavalry Brown into the recesses directly.

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For the jacket emblem, I just kept trying until I got something that at least partially resembled what it was supposed to.

As for the rest of the gang, they were mostly the same as spitfire guy, who I recently deliberately accidentally broke to change the angle of his gun arm. Given his mimetism, decent BS and high burst, I’ve found him quite adept at shooting his way out of the situations his reckless disposition tend to land him in.

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Hacker guy didn’t pose any unique challenges save for aligning his arms, which seem to have a unique style of handlebar. The colours are the same, except he has a visor painted in the same manner as the other  light sources on the bikes (dilute Hawk Turquoise over Skull White).

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I have to admit I am very much looking forward to being able to snatch supply boxes and become a speck on the horizon at almost no order cost with this guy.

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Finally, default Aragoto girl. Whilst my first impression was that she would always get passed up in favour of Asuka or one of the more specialised guys, she creeps her way into lists frequently, especially as a low cost no SWC lieutenant option whilst I wait for the Domaru.

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In addition to my incorrect assumptions, I made several mistakes when assembling her which lead me to drag my feet painting her. First, I applied the basing sand after I assembled her, which was a huge mistake, it made it look at various angles like her bike was submerged in the asphalt or had flat tires. Also, I glued her very sturdily to the bike at several contact points and decided it was too risky to try and separate her. Whilst painting riders separately was no fun, I knew I was in for a tough time painting her the front of her chest with the way she was leaning.

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In fact, (like many things) it wasn’t as bad as I imagined, and whilst the detail suffered around her boobs, it’s hard to notice without getting in close. I really like how this model turned out.

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You are [not] a robot

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Here’s another Japanese unit I smashed out in a hurry for that competition entry a while ago, this time a Karakuri. Not much to say about her/it as I haven’t had a chance to use JSA in a game yet. I will say I love the concept though, a freaky-ass classical Japanese puppet crossed with a T-800 endo-skeleton packed to the brim with weapons. It’s easy to see that the designers really put a lot of thought into this one. Be sure to check out the detailed account of the design process here, it’s far more interesting than anything I could add and there are some cool sketches.

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Painting was piece of cake. Just have to remember to do the white last. The red and metal were done exactly the  same as on the Keisotsu butai. The only difference was that I ran some very dilute Citadel Hawk Turquoise over some of the more technical looking gizmos, like her skull and pelvis. Hope to have her two friends up and running soon.

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Peace through superior firepower.

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Took a welcome break from painting JSA to get this bruiser up and running. It’s a nice feeling owning a HRMC, I can’t wait to fire it! I have the impression that it is a weapon I’ll seldom get to use during a match though. After all, who is crazy enough to finish a turn with units exposed when five dice are headed their way? There is certainly value in making people spend orders cowering though.

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The paint job predictably didn’t differ from the previous Yànhuǒ Invincible. You can check out that article to learn more about the meaning and pronunciation of “Yànhuǒ”, plus there is some cool photos.

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