Saturday, 30 January 2016

Rogue Trader - Heavy Daddy

Barring the Cabin Boy (who was made as an afterthought really), this guy was the last of my Rogue Trader INQ28 crew made in 2013. With converting the Nurgle Lord being something of a right of passage for any modeller in INQ28, I felt it made sense to have a go myself. Obviously he is based upon a certain denizen from an underwater computer game setting with a little individual twist.

The Heavy Daddy is a biotechnological relic from a bygone era, found wandering the deep bowels of The Coelacanth, he was brought to the surface levels of the ship and is now deployed whenever some brutal muscle is needed on missions.

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Thursday, 28 January 2016

Media Break - Books (part 1)

It took me a while to decide upon which order I wanted to do the next Media Break in and eventually settled upon books. Now books are a tricky one for me really because I am a bit of a bibliophile so it is difficult to nail down on particular favourites without rattling off a list that would take me hours to type. So instead I will focus on my favourite genres and my personal recommendations within.

First off is a relatively unknown genre that is something of a newcomer with very old roots, and that is; urban fantasy. This particular genre is characterised by the idea of a fantastical (or terrible) demimonde hiding beneath the layers of mundane reality. Now, I say this genre has old roots because the works of one of my very favourite authors, H.P. Lovecraft, can easily be considered an urban fantasy (fantastical yet harrowing). More contemporary authors that I would highly recommend are Sergei Lukyanenko and his Watch series, Kate Griffin and her Urban Magic series and also Ben Aaronovitch and his Rivers of London series.

Second on my top list of genres is that of the cyberpunk, characterised by 'low life and high technology'. Now the considered king of the cyberpunk genre is William Gibson, yet there are many more authors to choose from today. Top of my personal list in this genre is the Petrovitch series by Simon Morden, closely followed by often hilarious Avery Cates series by Jeff Somers. Another author worth of note here, despite not strictly fitting into the cyberpunk genre, is the extraordinary Hungry Earth/Mortal Engines series by Phillip Reeves.

I guess that's enough for part one. Hopefully I've named some authors you've not yet read and inspired you to check them out.

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Rogue Trader - Magos Isambard Rho.

Magos Isambard Rho was one of the last miniatures I converted/sculpted in 2013 and at that time I considered him to be an incredibly ambitious endeavour. Looking back on him now though, I would have liked to have done some things differently (like the feet and left arm).

Magos Isambard Rho has served on board The Coelacanth for at least two centuries, longer than any other living member, so no one is sure of his exact age. Why he chose a relatively quiet and reclusive life on the heavy trading vessel is unknown, but rumours abound that he has a criminal past linked to forbidden xenos technology.

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Thursday, 21 January 2016

Grime Lights - Exemplar Tsuki Shōgatsu Part 2

Okay, so it's been about a fortnight and she is finally finished (well, painting not withstanding). I cannot say that she hasn't been a pain at times; her hair for example took me a couple of tries (and lots of squinting at the John Blanche sketch she is based off) before I was satisfied I got it right.

Sadly she won't be painted before January ends because I need her in her nude form for something afterwards, but I will get around to painting her up during February.


Tsuki Shōgatsu has served as Exemplar under her mistress, Lady-Inquisitrix Mejila Osu, for half a decade now, having operated for another three previously as a capable agent. Exemplar Tsuki Shōgatsu epitomises the notion as 'first amongst equals' in holding her unusual title, as an Exemplar is not a rank of Inquisition acolyte, but rather is considered to be utterly trusted to lead a cell without direct supervision. Typically, Exemplars maintain a coterie of Inquisition agents as something akin to a head of household, ensuring their readiness for when their master or mistress may need them. Occasionally this can also mean leading them into the field directly to ensure the cell operates with flawless synchronicity.

Recently Tsuki Shōgatsu and her team has been sent on a mysterious investigation into the assassinations of an entire cabal of Inquisitors....


I do intend to write some more fiction-bites as things progress, focussing on Tsuki Shōgatsu, her team and their investigation.
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Saturday, 16 January 2016

Rogue Trader - Ormond Sacker, Ship's Surgeon.

Ormond Sacker was actually created for a little bit of fun for a Sherlock Holmes themed warband back in 2013 (a project I never completed), but eventually Sacker was seconded to the Coelacanth crew as the ship's surgeon.

Ormond Sacker was one of the few surviving veterans from the ill-fated campaign on Malwand V, having served as an experienced field medic with the 415th Imperial Yeomanry until the regiment was entirely disbanded due to excessive casualties. Having been forcibly retired from service, Sacker took the first position he could find; as ship's surgeon on board The Coelacanth

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Media Break - Music (part 1)

I know that I've titled this post the same as those little news snippets featured in Robocop, but I wanted to write a little on the different media mediums that inspire my sculpting, writing and general creativity, so in future posts I will be looking at; art, novels, movies, television, theatre, games and so on. But first focussing on music.

Music plays a big part of my life; I listen to it whilst strolling about the city, on the train, at home, whilst writing and even when working on sculpts. Music helps me to find the rhythm in everything and work with it. My own personal tastes tend to fit a specific spectrum of genres, from industrial to synthpop.

Lately I've been listening to a lot of the albums produced by Russian distributor Skyqode, who are relatively new but are quickly becoming the main name for synthpop, futurepop, electro and aggrotech in Eastern Europe, The Ukraine, Russia and The Baltics.

One particular artist I would like to share with you is Cold in May, who have recently released their third album titled Холодный Мир (or, The Cold World), a review of which can be found here (apologies for those who cannot read Cyrillic, but I'm sure most browsers can offer to translate the page for you).

I do thoroughly recommend you listen to some Cold in May, and other bands advertised through Skyqode. I hope they give you as much inspiration as they do me.

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Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Rogue Trader - Navigator Theophrastus Trepkos

Again, another member of the Coelacanth crew made back in 2013. I remember having a real hard time constructing the navigator because I couldn't find the right parts that meshed properly and it took me three or four attempts using different variations on parts before I was satisfied with the end result.

Navigator Theophrastus Trepkos has dutifully served aboard The Coelacanth for several decades now, surviving much longer than most serving navigators. Whilst he accounts his longevity to his iron will and sheer tenacity to resist the perils of the warp, he secretly fears that he has attracted the gaze of an unwanted patron dwelling in the sea of souls.

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Monday, 11 January 2016

Photos from Pripyat

A few years ago, my sister took a trip to the Ukraine and was granted permission to enter the exclusion zone to visit the dead city of Pripyat. The photos she took are not only wonderfully evocative, but also hauntingly harrowing. I'm posting them here because I feel they are a wonderful source of inspiration for both miniatures and table-top scenery alike.

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Rogue Trader - Pater Konstantin Zheleznaya

Pater Konstantin was my third INQ28 model for the Coelacanth crew in 2013 and very loosely based on another John Blanche piece of artwork that was very reminiscent of a Russian orthodox priest. Indeed he was built with a very 'Soviet' image in mind; I even scoured my bits box for an old plastic Amber Wizard from the third edition of Talisman for the arm with the sickle.

Pater Konstantin Zheleznaya, the Red Confessor of Raspadagrad, is a man of curious duality. When he's not actively persecuting the enemies of the Emperor with fiery rhetoric and frenzied abandon, he is a man of quiet serenity, offering calming wisdom to the faithful and spending much of his time in silent contemplation over theological matters. How he came to be aboard The Coelacanth, is something of an ecumenical matter known only between Pater Konstantin and the shipmaster Everett.

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Friday, 8 January 2016

Rogue Trader - Lady Margarite de la Croix

I think Lady Margarite de la Croix was the second character I made back in 2013, but I think she was more kit-bashed than Earl Everett but I tried to work with more intricate detailing for the first time.


Lady Margarite de la Croix is a cold-hearted sociopath who is currently marriage-bonded to Earl Everett due to an ancient concordat between the de la Croix and Widdershins noble families. Lady Margarite despises being shackled to a man she loathes and is always finding ways to 'dispose' of him and secure command of The Coelacanth.

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Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Grime Lights - Exemplar Tsuki Shōgatsu Part 1

Two post entries in one day!

Perhaps I should explain a little more. Most of the miniatures I will be posting up here have already been built and have been hidden away from the world in my case because I've been too embarrassed to show them.

This new project, titled Grime Lights, is something new and a little different. For the last few years I've been lurking on Ammobunker's INQ28 section, reading with interest how others go about constructing figures and warbands, choosing themes and paint schemes, but I've been too shy to contribute or comment.

Anyway, for 2016, they're holding a year long project competition around building a member of a retinue for each month with the first being the theme of The First Amongst Equals, representing the 'leader' archetype. Now I will be attempting to join in with this, but I doubt I will post them on the Ammobunker forum itself (mostly because I'm still nervous about coming out of my shell), but I will show the progress here.

For Grime Lights I will not only be building the miniatures for the competition, but also designing a world around them. For this 'first amongst equals' I have taken a leaf from this anime series I've been watching recently, Noragami, and making an Exemplar who will be the head of a series of other inquisition agents, serfs and servants, working under a powerful Inquisitor.

Her name came from the Japanese translations of 'January', which will be a running theme for the other members (so I will be using a language beginning with 'F' for my February entry, 'M' for March and so on). Exemplar Tsuki Shōgatsu will be base on another John Blanche sketch from The Emperor's Will artwork book.

My parts for her arrived this morning, so I will reveal her completed form when she is finished later this month.
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Rogue Trader - Earl Everett Widdershins-Barabbas

This was my first INQ28 miniature I built back in 2013 and was something of a test piece to get me back into the 28mm wargames groove. It is based on the picture in the Inquisitor Sketchbook by John Blanche.

This is Earl Everett Widdershins-Barabbas and he became the current shipmaster of The Coelacanth after the passing of his father Lord Bartholomew Barabbas and the suspicious death of his half-brother Marquis Jacques LeMarquand-Barabbas.

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'Ere We Go, 'Ere We Go, 'Ere We Go!

It's 2016 and I've been persuaded to start a blog about my miniatures sculpting and conversions. In 1995 I fell into the table top wargaming crowd at school and started collecting Warhammer 40K miniatures. My first army (and first love) was the space orks of that era, they were so wacky and incredibly unpredictable which I think is missing in their contemporary counterparts.

In an interview in White Dwarf 193 (UK edition), I read a simple quote from former GW staffer Andy Chambers that started me down the road to sculpting:

"I don't get nice miniatures to play with, I have to make my own..."
My first attempts at sculpting were made from Milliput and were absolutely terrible, but I stuck with it long after I fell out of the hobby for several years. I still used to collect all the sourcebooks (especially the old ork ones from the Rogue Trader era) because I really enjoyed immersing myself in the world, but it wasn't until the millennium turned that I got back into gaming itself, but this time with smaller skirmish games like Inquisitor and Mordheim.
Again, with life being what it is, I ended up moving further and further away from the hobby and even gave up sculpting for a few years. In 2013 I stumbled across something called INQ28 on the internet and was so utterly stunned by some of the sublime pieces that people were making that it drew me back into the universe of the forty-first millennium and inspired me to pick up my tools once again.
So the runtherd at home has been poking me to start a blog and show off some of my stuff and maybe get some feedback.
Despite my chosen avatar, I am shamefully bad at painting (or even getting around to painting) my miniatures, so expect more greenstuff nudes than anything fully completed, but I will get to them eventually. Speaking of my avatar, some older gamers may recognise it as one of Paul Bonner's gretchin, one of my favourite artists for greenskin artwork. For me Paul Bonner just expertly captures the sheer wackiness of ork culture and warfare.
But I digress, with a new year comes new projects and I'm looking forward to my future posts.
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