Following on from one big bear with a second big bear – this time it’s Ursa Major from Marvel Crisis Protocol – a game I’ve wanted to, you know, actually play for a long time (and I keep seeing great looking MCP models from Eric, The Solo Meeple and Argentbadger) but I haven’t actually put in the work to get any models finished since February 2022 – until now!
Ursa Major is/was a member of the Soviet Super Soldiers in the comics who are apparently now called the Winter Guard because of that whole Soviet Union collapse thing that happened a little while ago. They appear to be sometimes-heroes, sometimes villains – basically the Soviet/Russian version of The Avengers, but with a bit more “official government oversight and direction” – which is a bit extra yikes in 2022-23.
I admit I’d never heard of this character until I got the model pack for MCP – that’s largely because my main comics reading years were in the mid-late 1980’s through to somewhere in the 1990’s – even then my main books were the Spidey titles, The Punisher and the Various X-Men books along with a smattering of other Marvel titles here and there along with Dredd, Donald Duck, and Vertigo titles. Eventually I lost interest in the Marvel comics particularly amongst the multiple title cancellations with new Issue 0’s with seven alternate gold foil leaf, black and white, holographic, and prismatic covers. Even when I got interested in coming back every few years I saw things like Mephisto retconned Peter Parker’s marriage to MJ out of existence, the Peter Parker that I’d read for years was apparently a clone, and other bullshit on an equally WTF level across different titles – so I just noped right out every time I tried to take a step back in.
Anyway – Ursa Major. This was not a good model to paint. Unfortunately the fur is not really sculpted onto the model in a useful way for painters. It’s more softly implied across the different parts of the bear. The problem I believe is that Atomic Mass Games has little experience making miniatures, and so they have hired talented 3D model designers who lilkely have no experience in the miniatures hobby – so when you look at the renders blown up on a monitor they look great – but when downscaled you end up with soft or disappeared details. This lack of experience can also be seen pretty evidently in the number of parts and where the parts are separated on so many of their models. I think they’d do well by hiring an experienced designer from GW to manage/supervise their team – keep the scale and proportions, but create the models with a bit more of the end-user in mind rather than how they look as renders. Luckily AMG have talented painters on staff who are able to hide their models’ flaws.
Artwork of old Ursa shows him as a rather bright, yellowy-brown bear, so I used the same overall palette as the Zombicide Abominabear shared in the last post. Since the model really lacked that sharp definition, I really leaned into trying to use shadows and different browns to emphasise his musculature. So anyway, despite a less-than-enjoyable process that had me painting so many of the highlight-hairs across the model with a 000 brush, I’m pretty happy with the end result.