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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Monday, 5 September 2016

The Lychgate

Despite the, what I hope to be evocative, locations in Undercroft City and Reliquary that make up the city of Frankylmoign that I've laid out earlier, it is the Lychgate that I hope to be the centre stage of this particular setting and, unlike the two mentioned previously that could have long term campaigns set in them, would be a one time event.

Traditionally, lychgates tend to be the small archway entrances into the churchyard, but of course, for this major landmark on Glebe IV, it would have to be much bigger, more grandiose and, of course, baroquely gothic. I instead looked at triumphal arches for inspiration as they also have a connection with the dead (normally as grand tombstones marking a special grave site) and found a very detailed drawing of the Arch of Maximillian I by Albrecht Durer that is simply spectacular and very fitting for the 41st Millennium.

If you hear a citizen of Frankylmoign talk about lychgates, they are almost always referring to The Lychgate, the grand archway with stands sentry as the gates to the mausoleum of Glebe IV's patron saint; Saint Zabojca. Erected sometime in the closing years of the 31st Millennium following the devastating fires of the Great Heresy, where Saint Zabojca sacrificed her life in defence of Glebe IV against the daemonic horrors that invaded the world. But of course, many variations of her heroic tale are told elsewhere..... 

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Sunday, 4 September 2016

The Reliquary

The idea for the Reliquary came about as I was discussing the newly released version of Kill Team with a local hobbyist. I had recently finished reading the latest novel in the Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman (a little disjointed and sometimes frustratingly under-fleshed series, but well worth the read) and moving from discussing the typically gothic-industrial/underhive setting that would work really well for Kill Team (seeing as it is something of a simplified Necromunda) I proposed the idea of a continent-sized baroque library would be fun too. Indeed, I could easily imagine a protracted firefight between the likes of PDH's Ordo Scriptorum and the Reliquary archivist guards.

As for tangible imagery concerning the Reliquary, I immediately turned to graphic representations of Lord Sepulchrave's library in the Gormenghast series and Vincent Ward's concept art for the Monastery (to be used in the original Alien 3).

Almost every Shrine World has some kind of centralised reliquary, where the sacred artefacts of the subsector (and sometimes the entire sector) are housed, alongside varying copies and editions of religious texts (some rare, some not). The Reliquary on Glebe IV is the largest in the galactic cluster, easily spanning several million kilometres. It is a continent-sized edifice of crenelated spires, curved domes, gargantuan arches and intricate stained glass windows that stand miles tall.

They say that many pilgrims that enter its monolithic walls, can spend their entire lives looking for that one relic hidden amongst the twisting labyrinths of packed shelves. They say that some internecine skirmishes over the ownership of certain holy artefacts ground to a stalemate several centuries ago, with the newer generations born since unwilling to break the attrition.

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Friday, 2 September 2016

Undercroft City

A while ago, I remember reading the blog of a rather splendid author who was writing about the Carceri d'invenzione prints of Giovanni Battista Piranesi, which heavily influenced the Romanticism and Surrealism of later ages, and inspired later surrealists like Kafka and Escher. More closer to home, it is easy to just how much of the Mordheim artwork was perhaps inspired by these prints too. Indeed, the Carceri prints are exactly how I imagined Undercroft City:

Undercroft City is the very mirror of Frankylmoign, as above so below, the City itself is a twisting maze of consecrated waterways, sewers, crypts, hidden shrines, sunken cathedrals and catacombs. It is a known haven for the more darker and unsavoury cults ratified by the Ministorum; followers of flesh, blood and pain stalk its gloomy walkways, outlawed redemptionists organise their crusades and black priests offer vices beyond imagination to enable anyone to sin in the Emperor's name. The theohooligans and recusant-gangs mark out their territories with arcane symbols, grimly coloured candles and incense-markers.

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