First Look: As the basic squad unit for the Doctrine, the Novitiates don't compare to some of the heavy hitters and named characters in the game. However, they have a nice amount of variety and detail, and assembly was straightforward. Their wands aren't really explained, but remind me of a jai alai cesta. I imagine the Novitiates gathering esper and then flinging it at their foes (hence why I painted the "ball" in the wand yellow, the color of Essence esper).
Painting: I wasn't quite sure how I wanted to paint these figures, aside from incorporating the color yellow (again to reflect the Doctrine's link to Essence esper). I opted for a somewhat muted tone of yellow for the vests and skirts (VGC Gold Yellow). The pants, leggings, and bras were painted a light brown (VGC Khaki), while I used a dark brown (MSP HD Umber Brown, MSP Ruddy Leather) on the shoes, belts, gloves, and satchel/pouches, as well as the male figure's hair. In keeping with the anime style of Relic Knights, I opted for brighter hair options for the girls - orange (VGC Hot Orange, Orange Fire) and pink (VGC Squid Pink, AP Red Tone Ink). The skin is a light-medium flesh tone (MSP HD Caucasian Flesh). The figures were glazed with a light brown wash (AP Soft Tone Ink) to bright out details on the parts listed above.
The wands were painted silver (VGC Chainmail) and gold (VGC Glorious Gold), and the sphere was painted in layers of yellow (MSP Linen White, VGC Sun Yellow, Moon Yellow) to give a bright effect. The same colors were used for the glowing runes on the bases. The stone of the bases were painted a medium gray (MSP HD Concrete Grey, MSP Black Wash) to provide a contrast to the warm tones on the figures. Finally, the fallen leaves on the one base were painted in the same orange and yellow used above, to further tie in with the color tones of the figures.
Conclusion: When I started these figures, I had two goals in mind: 1) use brighter colors than I usually do on my figures and 2) minimize shading and try to keep a "clean" appearance reminiscent of anime or manga. I think I did a fair job at both, though I will admit the colors aren't too crazy. I really like the palette that came together (yellow/orange/khaki/brown), and I think I will use it on the other Doctrine figures I have, as I get to them. This was my first attempt at painting "anime" eyes, and I think they turned out fairly well considering. I wasn't quite sure how to approach it, as they have a significantly different shape than "normal" eyes.
The MicroArts Arcane bases really do add extra flavor to the characters, and while my attempt at a "glowing rune" effect is mediocre (at best), I think the effect is reasonable. It's definitely something I will work on in the future, as I intend to use other bases in the set for the rest of my Doctrine units.