Wednesday, 14 December 2016

John Blanche's Pyratii of the Voodoo Forest

John Blanche has been busy working on some world building of his own devising, wholly separate from anything GW related. Some of you may have heard talks of the Voodoo Forest; on here, on personal sites such as Iron Sleet who work (and have worked) closely with Mr Blanche on numerous projects in the past, which started somewhat with this first artwork piece:

The Voodoo forest is a vast malignant woodland of twisted trees seemingly without boarder and within its darkened boughs and mangled roots dwell the most harrowing and unwholesome of creatures only conjured in the most macabre of nightmares. Only the very desperate, insane or those aligned in unnatural pacts with its denizens dare to make the perilous journey through the Voodoo Forest by foot.

Many choose to pay the, often exorbitant, fees for the relative safety of riding the aerial ley lines and trade winds on airships; baroque galleons constructed from sturdy lighter-than-air woods. This choice, however, is not entirely without danger; for trading vessels and passenger ships are not the only ones to sail the skies....

The dread pyratii often prey upon these ships, as selachii prey upon shoals of wyrdfische, the scarred and blackened hulls of their ships plunging forth without warning from cloud cover to descend upon the unwary and ill-prepared. Some are unscrupulous reavers interested only in what they can pillage, others are quirky freebooters with their own peculiar set of codes and moral, but the most feared are those that revel in the thrill of the hunt and the sport of bloodshed.....

Lately, Mr Blanche has been producing individual pieces based upon well-known naval personnel from both classical literature and historical reference transposed to his setting in the Voodoo Forest.

There has also been a lot of discussion regarding the limited release range of the Femme Militants recently, their classic Blanchesque visuals and how they might tie into the imagery of the Pyratii of the Voodoo Forest. So I was challenged (in a round about way) to build a 40mm scale pyrato of the Voodoo Forest and I made a start a day ago:

Please keep an eye on the horizon.....

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Sunday, 4 December 2016

Outgard - The Necromancer

This was the third and final piece inspired by the Outgard project, sadly my time was waylaid lately, so I only got to finish building him after the event.

Instead, another local member of the INQ28 community and I have been in talks about arranging a self-contained game in which this necromancer will fit in very nicely. I've included a little clue in the Youtube video below about what we are thinking;

I'm also running a little competition; if you're the first to guess/find out who was my inspiration for the visuals of my Necromancer, then you get a 28mm sculpt/conversion made by me. Answers below in the comments box please.

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Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Random sketches

Trying out sketching things; thought I'd start with the reclusive, rattie obsessed Inquisitrix idea I've been playing with, who I envisaged kind of like Madame Web.

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Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Citadel of Cthulhu - Chapter 2

Chapter 1 can be found here.

Chapter 2 - Sigil in the Undergrowth

If Kaliaera was ‘the city of sunshine’, the arboreal jungles that made up the remaining southlands were a balancing, verdant twilight. I was warned repeatedly that venturing beyond the city walls was an almost certain death sentence, but I would not be deterred: I was too close to securing another piece of the puzzle.
In recent years a hidden pattern had started to reveal itself in the worldwide media of Providence. Rags, tabloids and broadsheets had become unusually filled with the recent exploits of famed (and infamous) explorers and archaeologists as they proudly declaimed their latest, ancient discoveries. Indeed, it was one of my more learned associates, Professor Humbolt Copernicus, whom had proposed to me of a linked history between the archaic edifices of this world and enlisted my aid to uncover further proof to his hypothesis. That was three years ago and so far it was appearing that his assertions were become more and more conclusive with every site I searched.
Kaliaera though was proving a much more formidable region to traverse, and despite the fact I considered myself something of an inveterate traveller of exotic lands, the dank humidity of the jungle southlands was a seriously punishing endeavour. Even my canine companion, a snowy-haired hound called Sleet, who had been ever at my side as I traversed windy mountains and frigid steppes, was suffering; lying exhausted upon a nearby rock, panting and whimpering.
My guide, a haggard and unwashed rogue, from the city’s paramilitary (and the only individual lunatic enough to venture out this far, I am assuredly told) who answered to the name of ‘General’ Alcazar had, so far, dutifully escorted me to the location of the ruins in recompense for a reasonable sum of money. He was now stood nearby, rifle in arms and gazing intently at the thick canopy above. I was not certain, but I swear I could hear him muttering something about eyes on us in the trees as he ruminated upon the stub of a thick cigar, sat firm between his unshaven lips.
I wiped away another trickle of sweat with a damp cuff as it rolled down the black Bakelite skin of my cam-visor before returning to the arduous task of ripping away entrenched vines from the surface of large carved stone, embossed with unfathomable runes. I was looking for one character in particular, one with seemed to bridge the gulf of time and distance, one which had so far appeared at all the sites I had visited.
There! Almost disguised in the large body of indecipherable text was a sigil that blurred when you looked at it directly and caused a sharp migraine pain to erupt behind the eyes. Even as the flash-image of tentacles which spurred from my imagination faded, I was jubilant that I had found further evidence for the Professor.
“So, it is here too then,” affirmed a cultured voice from behind me and one that I instantly recognised. I drew the Lockyer .32 handgun that I had borrowed from the General from under the flap of my rucksack lying next to me and stood slowly, prepared to meet my nemesis….

So, my first character for the 40Kthulhu project is Remi Étain, writer and investigative journalist extraordinaire with his faithful hound Sleet. Naturally my inspiration for Remi is Hergé's internationally renown character Tintin, and the rest of my planned warband will include members inspired by the supporting cast. It was actually a single panel from the graphic novel 'Tintin in Tibet' that prompted this whole decision.

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Monday, 7 November 2016

Outgard - Red Priest of the Forge (Painted)

Actually, this is much more sloppy that the Angry Beefcake and I only finished it in an evening (I believe they call it 'GW Store Standard' or something like that). I've made some modifications from the original by adding a steam-engine servo-arm and it is now much more closer to the idea I had in my head.

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Saturday, 1 October 2016

The Angry Beefcake

As promised, finally, one of my miniatures gets a lick of paint! I can only apologise for the poor quality of photographing and of the painting in general. The Angry Beefcake is based upon the sublime John Blanche piece which I think was entitled 'The Bloodied Lords'.

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Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Painting painting painting....

Okay, so for the last few days I have been engaged with something that I haven't done in a very very very long time; painting a miniature.

My local GW has a painting competition going on for the first day of October and the subject matter is the free Slaughterpriest that came with September's edition of White Dwarf. The Runtherd insisted that I challenge myself and enter, so after three weeks of on and off converting/sculpting, this final week has been set aside for painting the (what I can only describe as) 'angry beefcake'.

I'm about three-quarters of the way done and on Saturday you'll get to see the first example of my terrible painting skills on this blog....

What this space.

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Monday, 26 September 2016

Chopin for the soul

Something I've been listening to whilst sculpting.


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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Elven Exiles - Leader

Way back when Mordheim was released during its prototype phase in White Dwarf and the various warband types were introduced to the waiting public, I did wonder whether the elves would feature in the game at all. I figured that the Dark Elves at least would be really interested in the acquisition of wyrdstone and imagined a corsair led party sneaking around the twisted broken streets, with screaming witch elves leaping from the rafters of ruined buildings and even an assassin lurking dangerously in the shadows.

Imagine my bitter disappointment when they plumped for a squad of shadow warriors, that were seemingly pulled together without any forethought or imagination. Anyway, this settled ill with me, like a stomach ulcer. It wasn't until much later, when Mordheim pretty much had long past its heyday, that the concept of elven exiles came to mind.

These were kind of inspired by Dan Abnett's Gilead books first, but mostly inspired by the hit anime series Sword Art Online. I envisaged the idea that there were any number of elves from all races (Dark, High, Wood and Sea) who, for whatever reason (be it personal or circumstantial), had become displaced from their native homelands. Some of whom may come together, all previous racial grudges forgotten, to form a warband.

The leader (name in progress) is inspired by SAO character Kirito and is based on a classic Eldar Harlequin model that I acquired at a very reasonable price on eBay due to its pistol being missing.

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Thursday, 15 September 2016

Grime Lights - A Catch Up 2

Okay, so it has been a while since I caught up with my RYR entries (both on here and on Ammobunker). Indeed, I haven't even started August's and September's entry, although I have a firm idea about the former one. Anyway, I have July's entry under the theme of "Dog Days" and I have already written a background for the Watchdogs of the Ordo Nemuritorus here. The second is a remake of my Iron Maidens sister from March's entry as I really wasn't satisfied by here original and firmly believed that her concept could be better executed.

On a self-criticising note regarding Blan Tơjuh's head; what was meant to be a gritted-teeth snarl, ended up more like a sneer worthy of Bruce Payne.

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Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Outgard - Red Priest of the Forge

On Outgard, the Red Priests are the descendants of those who came from Mars, a heavenly abode wherein dwells their majestic god, a Dragon, with skin of steel and blood of mercury who sits atop the mountain of intricately wrought iron and whose breath is the very furnace for the life-fires of copper and cobalt.

The Red Priests are the keepers of the old stories and teach their craft only to those who apprentice themselves to their order. Normally the Red Priests remain secluded in secrecy behind the walls of their Forge-Monastery, but occasionally, journeymen are seen wandering the wilds, moving from forge to forge in the villages of man, offering their services.

Such peregrinates are considered gruelling because Red Priests are forbidden to bare any flesh outside the walls of the Forge-Monastery and so are forced to travel in heavy crimson robes, their hands bound in steel and leather gauntlets, and their heads entirely enclosed in a mask of cold iron. Some of the more fervently devout take this decree to greater heights of piety by ceremonially mortifying their own flesh (notably the limbs) before encasing it in freshly forged plates of steel, which scorches and cauterises, binding to the offending meat forever. Such 'augmentations' are then reverently cared for with daily applications of unguents and holy oils to prevent infections and rust.

When venturing into the wilds, Red Priests rarely travel alone, and are often accompanied by a small coterie of servitors, former criminals who have been ritualistically purified of their wickedness using the ancient secrets of lobotomy, their faces then forever obscured behind iron helms so that none may recognise their old life. It is these servitors that bear the Red Priest's articles of craft; inscribed anvils, lesser tools and are even sometimes yoked to large mobile forges.

The Red Priest will carry the greater tools themselves, holy instruments of forging, along with the sacellum-brazier filled with blessed coal to use in foreign furnaces, and sometimes they may even bear one of the priceless sacred artefacts from the Ancient Times when the ancestors could perform miracles and crafted articles of wonder.

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Tuesday, 13 September 2016

RIP to the Watch Series

Today is a very sad day for me as I say goodbye to one of my most beloved literary series.

For our wedding anniversary, the Runtherd bought me Sergei Lukyanenko's latest Watch instalment on its day of release. I discovered the Watch series rather late on in their publication lines in 2006 and very swiftly chewed through the first three books (Night Watch, Day Watch and Twilight Watch) in a matter of days. Back then, they were still referred to as the Night Watch trilogy, so after I finished the third book (Twilight Watch), I put it down with a distinct feeling of glowing satisfaction, knowing absolutely that this had become one of my favourite literary trio.

When I found out that a fourth book (The Last Watch) had been released in 2008, I can say shamelessly that I practically wet myself with excitement. From that day on, I kept one eye on the horizon, so I knew that The New Watch and, subsequently, The Sixth Watch were being published well in advance.

I cannot express in words just how much this series has filled me with reading pleasure and the series remains close to my heart (being choc-full of Russian folklore, it's perhaps not that surprising). So when I closed The Sixth Watch, having read the epilogue with an aching sense of 'this cannot be the end', please imagine how cold my heart became when I later read (from none other than the man himself) that this was indeed Sergei Lukyanenko's final book in the Watch series, with no more to follow......ever.

So, RIP to one of my most favourite literary series, but that still won't stop me from flying your pennants and urging anyone who will listen to read you with a fiery enthusiasm.

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Sunday, 11 September 2016

INQ28 - Oldhammer style!

Sometimes, when you're searching through your lead bits box (that one that has been around for about two decades now), you find those little diamonds that you completely forgot about and aren't entirely certain when it was you acquired them.

Anyway, some of you may have noticed that I've been building the world of Glebe IV with a view for something playable in the future, so when I found this little diamond, things instantly clicked around a new (more militant) warband.

Photo courtesy of Solegends

So, I discovered that this little diamond is a rather old Aly Morrison sculpt from the Citadel Miniatures AD&D range. Obviously she has a very 'classic witch hunter' look to her, so she is destined for the Ordo Hereticus. I planned to change her 'stop in the name of love' right hand/arm so that she is hold a pistol of some sort (to properly tie her into the 41st Millennium). The only unfortunate thing is that she is at 25mm rather than 28mm, meaning she is a tad on the small side, so I will probably put her on a base elevated with some kind of scenery. Actually, her petite-ness puts me in mind of John Blanche's very own Hilgardius.

Photo courtesy of Iron Sleet

Now I must figure out what sort of weapon to give my female Solomon Kane!

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Saturday, 10 September 2016


Lately, a friend of mine suggested that I check out the conceptual artwork of the lesser known Soviet constructivist architect Yakov Chernikhov. They are simply majestic to view and it is thrilling to think how the many cities of Russia would look today if even half of these were built.

Of course, they are perfectly suited to the aesthetics of the Imperium in the 41st Millennium and I imagine that Frankylmoign is thoroughly bedecked with buildings such as these. Enjoy.

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