The Mind and The Macron, Archive Miniatures from 1978/1979 for the Board Game Cosmic Encounter

Back in 1978 and 1979, Archive Miniatures produced a line of figures for the board game Cosmic EncountersAccording to the Lost Minis Wiki, at some point Archive Miniatures produced a line of figures for the board game.    These included four catalog items: “Wrack” (#2101), “Oracle” (#2102), “The Mind and the Macron” (two figures for #2103) and “The Healer, Zombie, and Sorcerer” (three figures for #2104).  I am not sure if that was a limited release as the research I could find on the 1977 version of Cosmic Encounter seemed to suggest that there were many alien races available for the game – many more than this page from the Lost Minis Wiki suggests were made.  Cosmic Encounter continues to be sold and is available in its current configuration here.

In any case, I stumbled on the Macron three years ago, and managed at some point since to acquire a complete set including The Mind since then.  My goal back then in acquiring the Macron figures was to have basically a squad of giant cosmonaut zombies for retro sci-fi games of Buck Surdu’s Combat Patrol™.  Having The Mind as the unit leader controlling the giant zombie cosmonauts seemed to be a nice concept for a unit.  I wanted a unit of ten, and I previously posted here how I made a mold and recast many more.  I had since shared these with Buck and IRO as shown here and here respectively.   I also wanted to complete these in September as part of Azazel’s “Scenic and Squaddie September ’19 Community Painting Challenge” that I try to share in when I can. Amazingly, it has been three+ years since I recast these figures, and I thought I’d better do something other than tanks for a bit!  As an aside, this last month has been a bit crazy, as I had my 35th West Point reunion, job interviews, BARRAGE in Maryland, etc.  I am hoping to catch up on reading others’ blogs and posting on the events of September soon!  It’s been a while since I managed to complete a blog entry too.

Ironically, the Macron figures were sculpted by Nevile Stocken in 1979 – and the current president of France, Emmanuel Macron was born in 1977!  So of any of you thought I was making that up, I have provided the links.

Back to the project – I found my recasts to be satisfactory, but I needed to do a good amount of filing and green stuff repairs to bring the recasts up to a good standard.  The figures are large – about 2¼” (about 57mm for you metric types).  The Mind is about half as high, but bulky.  However, as these will be used as aliens, I can get away with them as giant cosmonaut zombies!  I also have been looking at many posts from folks trying the new Contrast paints from Games Workshop.  I thought this project would afford a nice opportunity to try them and learn about how best to employ them in the future.

1 Cleaned and ready for filing
The original figures (the darker ones) and the original package – along with my recasts before any filing or washing.  I decided not to change their poses as that would have been more work than I wanted to take on for this project – besides, the contrast paints would make them different enough in my opinion.
2 2103 or 2107
The bottoms of all of the original Macrons say Archive, #2107, and date from 1979.
3 2103 or 2107
Interestingly, The Mind says it was #2103, the same number as the package.  It also says Archive Miniatures, NS (Nevile Stocken), and dates to 1978.
4 The Mind with green stuff repairs
The front of The Mind.  The figure is supposed to be a floating brain with a hideous single eye in front.  I needed to repair the old figure as you see here.
5 mounted for painting
Now I have a squad!  The figures are all mounted on 1.25″ steel washers for painting – and the bases are mounted to the specimen jars with poster tack.  One new feature was that I added water to my specimen jars to prevent unwanted tumbling during the project – and that worked well.

6 Contrast Paint Palette

I made this color palette for my Contrast Paints – and it was helpful.

7 Brain in Volupus pink
My first try with the contrast paints was “Apothecary White” on the Macron figures.  That worked but “Volupus Pink” on The Mind was an instant reject (I kept hearing the dad in “A Christmas Story” saying it looked like a pink nightmare)  I redid it as you will see below.
8 The Mind painted
Redone – and all the paints I used are listed at the end of the post.  There were a LOT of paints used here – nearly 50.
8a The Mind painted
Definitely styled in the ’70’s!  I wanted the eye and the brain to be menacing and bloody – and the final product (not this shot) was acceptable.
9 Macron with Apothecary White
Early on I decided to give each Macron its own contrast paint color.  I wanted to see how that worked, and I wanted to make it easier for game play identification.
10 Macron with Blood Angels Red
The contrast paint “Plaguebearer Flesh” was effective as a base coat on the faces.  Clearly, there was need for more washes and highlights.
11 With respective contrast paints
Each of the Macron with the contrast paint used on their space suits.  My thought was they might have worn different colors in life to denote their roles before they died and The Mind seized and reanimated their bodies.

11a With respective contrast paints

12 Macron in Shyish Purple
This is “Shyish Purple” after a wash – I ended up washing and highlighting these a lot.
13 Macron in Aethermatic Blue
Mid-project – “Aethermatic Blue”.
13 Macron in Iyanden Yellow
Later after using “Nuln Oil” and other washes – this one was “Iyanden Yellow”.
14 Macron in Volupus pink
Later after using “Nuln Oil” and other washes – this guy was done with “Volupus Pink”.
15 group painted first base step
After highlighting, I used “Astrogranite Debris” on the bases and washed them with “Druchi Violet”.
16 Close up of Macron in BA Red
This one was done in “Blood Angels Red”.  You can see that I dry brushed the bases.  I used 4 different paints in that process.  This is before varnishing.
17 Close up of Mind
The Mind before varnishing.

So after varnishing – The Mind and The Macron – and their base colors – for your enjoyment:

And a couple of group shots:

18 Group shot front19 Group shot front

My take on the contrast paints is quite similar to that of Azazel on his blog – he has a lot of experiments (he’s up to 12 at last look) and I did lean somewhat on his experiences a bit.  I will use them as base coats when the figures need some pop – but I really think they are not a be all and end all line of products.  Like every other paint/wash/glaze/ink etc., the user can find a niche – or a broad use – depending on the desire you have for the final product.  I like what the contrast paints did here – but I don’t want to use them on a Tiger II!  So, another tool in the kit bag – but I really think I’d want to continue to wash, shade, highlight, etc. on future projects.

Thanks for looking and hopefully you enjoyed reading about and seeing these.  Let me know your thoughts, faves, (or least faves if you want!).   I appreciate the feedback as always, and will be catching up on my blogging this week (I hope)!

 

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE USED ON THESE FIGURES:

  1. Gorilla Glue gel
  2. Green stuff (kneadatite)
  3. 1¼” Everbilt steel fender washers
  4. Poster tack
  5. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  6. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  7. Vallejo “Surface Primer – White”
  8. Citadel “Contrast Paint – “Apothecary White”
  9. Citadel “Contrast Paint – “Plaguebearer Flesh”
  10. Vallejo Model Air “Steel”
  11. Polly Scale “WWII Luftwaffe Uniform Gray”
  12. Battlefront “Black”
  13. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Basilicanum Grey”
  14. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Black Templar”
  15. Battlefront “Dark Gunmetal”
  16. Vallejo Mecha Weathering “Dark Rust Wash”
  17. Vallejo Game Air “Dead White”
  18. Citadel “Bloodletter” (glaze)
  19. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Warp Lightning”
  20. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Flesh Tearers Red”
  21. P3 “Red” (ink)
  22. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Blood Angels Red”
  23. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Gryph-Hound Orange”
  24. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Shyish Purple”
  25. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Ultramarines Blue”
  26. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Talassar Blue”
  27. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Terradon Turquoise”
  28. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Aethermatic Blue”
  29. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Magos Purple”
  30. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Iyanden Yellow”
  31. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Volupus Pink”
  32. Citadel “Nuln Oil” (shade)
  33. Army Painter “Quickshade Red Tone” (wash)
  34. Army Painter “Quickshade Dark Tone” (wash)
  35. Army Painter “Quickshade Purple Tone” (wash)
  36. Army Painter “Quickshade Blue Tone” (wash)
  37. Citadel “Coelia Greenshade” (shade)
  38. Citadel “Druchi Violet” (wash)
  39. Vallejo Mecha Color “Green Fluorescent”
  40. Vallejo “Vermilion”
  41. Vallejo “Clear Orange”
  42. Vallejo Mecha Color “Purple”
  43. Vallejo “Dark Blue”
  44. Citadel “Contrast Medium”
  45. Vallejo Mecha Color “Turquoise”
  46. Vallejo Mecha Color “Magenta Fluorescent”
  47. Citadel “Astrogranite Debris”
  48. Citadel “Mechanicus Standard Grey”
  49. Citadel “Daemonette Hide”
  50. Citadel “Warpfiend Grey”
  51. Citadel “Slaneesh Grey”
  52. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish

Author: Mark A. Morin

This site is where I will discuss stuff that I find interesting and that includes family, friends, golf, gaming, and Boston sports!

18 thoughts on “The Mind and The Macron, Archive Miniatures from 1978/1979 for the Board Game Cosmic Encounter”

  1. Great write-up and photos for this Project, Mark – and I’m very much in agreement with your take on the Contrast Paints as well. These minis were a perfect use for your own experimentation, too – as useful as other people’s experiences and photos are, they’re no substitute for your own hands-on. Having said that, of course – I can now check out this post from time to time and help give me an idea of how they will turn out before using them on my own projects as I continue to experiment with them myself!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks Azazel! The palette should prove useful to you and others, plus the figures definitely give you an idea of how they would look. I only applied the contrast paints over Vallejo White Primer (that was airbrushed). Not sure if always there is significant value to painting over a colored base coat, but I did recently with some terrain (slag mounds) and there can be cases where that works. Some of your stuff validates that as well for sure.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I was thinking the same as Azazel. It’s great to see you take us through all the colours. I’m still undecided on getting contrasts (and won’t until I’ve at least depleted existing paints) but this gives me a great reference tool.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. They do work differently over different colours, and I think for me that’s where a lot of their additonal value will lie for many of the Contrasts. I’ve just done a bunch of smaller-scale buildings and emplacements using Militarium Green over a mid-grey spray over a dark grey spray, and it’s worked quite well. (photos and post soon, hopefully!)

        Like

  2. Nice post Mark and always I love the methodical way in which you work and presents the end results. Interesting to hear your take on contrast paints too as I have not yet tried them. You have certainly maximized the use of the colour pallet on these chaps that’s’ for sure. Great stuff.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Dave. The beauty of retro sci-fi is that you can let the colors fly. Between my alma mater (the United States Military Academy) and my Engineer training “methodical” has been hard-wired in me. Probably same thing happened with your Sandhurst grads too.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Nicely done Mark! I like the idea of each figure being a different basic colour to differentiate them. Your chart with all the contrast paints on is very useful. I’m unlikely to use contrast paints I think, but that comes down to me being set in my ways with my painting habits – I’ve liked all of the examples I’ve seen painted with them so far, but the painting process would involve too much stopping and starting for me! 🙂 Nice to see you getting a post in as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. , Interesting post mate ,thanks ,I’m Still trying to get my head around these contrast paints ,you can call me simple but I’m with John about the stopping and starting bit and as I’m a lot older than he is I’m certainly not going to be able to change my habits ,Ha Ha !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Pat. Just another tool that I wanted to try – won’t really change habits as I adapt project to project. They might be useful to you in doing a diorama with a lot of similarly outfitted troops. Even the flesh might save you some time, but like I wrote, they are not a substitute for what you’ve been doing for years!

      Liked by 2 people

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