Monday 26 September 2011

Close to go - quick update

Everything is packed and shipped. I will be divorced from my paints for 7-10 weeks, and only have my small bitzbox, some gs, a knife and cutters and plenty of enthusiasm until then. So there will be a dip in productivity, but come Xmas, I hope I can make up for that.

Borsus is primed. I talked with PDH about the models. He's done an awesome conversion too, which I hope I can share when both of our models are finished. We both feel genuinely giddy about these conversions and characters we've created. It is simply such a great model to work on.

With the primer on, the whole conversion just becomes a model of it's own already. Not just an assortment of bits.

Lets see if I can finish building Lord Inquisitor Coster or Rhisienne this week and share some pics.

Sunday 25 September 2011

Game time!

Years ago I was a fairly decent 40k player, finishing in the top 10 of the UK GT final (so first through the heats). I love gaming, but the scene here in Finland got so math-hammery and non inspirational in minis that I stopped going to tournaments. I am very soon moving to SFO and have heard so much good about Bay Area gaming, that I want to get back into playing. I really miss it too. Besides, the Army deserves some action. 

What I've always admired is armies that are a little different, are not copy pasted from others, have a lot of personality and variation, and do well in large part because of the player. I also really like forces that have combat modifiers, abilities and tactics that stem from certain heroes making others around them better and more efficient or units that need to be used together. I see this more realistic, more fun and more inspirational than her hammer. I've only managed a dozen games of 5th edition when it came out though, so I would really appreciate if those of you who do play regularly would help me fine tune this lot into match shape and offer some tactical tips. (how would you set up, what lists will be most trouble, least trouble, etc) 

The Grey Knights look like an awesome mid-range army, and a lot of 5th seem to reward that type of forces. They are active on each of the game play phases, another "must" for me when choosing what to play with. I don't have so many Grey Knights though, and won't make more than ten, as my process of creating a marine miniature is just so time consuming. Additionally I want them to look like and rock like Marines should. So God Warriors amongst men. The Grey Knight codex is a fantastic premise for that. 

I intend to use this blog to also report about the gaming journey as I build, fine tune and then possible go to a big tournament again sometime in the future.

Our tiny little =I=munda / 40k group is tiny, 4 members, one of whom has been MIA for years, and very international. I was in London for 2 years, Northen is now in Kioto for 2 years, and next week I am moving to the USA for who knows how many years. That leaves Hammer, who needs to do some traveling I think ;)

And despite all of this recent converting action, the gaming and narrative fix with a bunch of good guys is really missing. Like I said, The Grey Knight Codex has been a welcome instrument and lately I've been playing with a list to build towards. I get to use pretty much everything I've built thus far and once a suitable group is built, some relaxed house rules might follow.

With the move ahead, I organized my miniature stuff, model, tools, paints etc. ready... and an accident occurred. I am mid way another  Inquisitor... Gotta put the creative urge somewhere with the day job missing for a few more weeks... This will be my count as Coteaz for Legion project, so not part of the trilogy.

This one is the most converted of all of the =I=s I've done. I am at 32 parts at the moment, with the lower half entirely missing. I attached a pic of some of the parts. There will be GS on them and a very striking two tone paint job. Again I seem to have a clear image in my head, lets see what comes out of it.

But first the Army list!

XX Legion / Rhisienne, M42 
(total models #  total points: 1983)  
Alpha Strike Group
Lord Coster, Cabal Emissary  (count as Inquisitor Coteaz #1 pts:100) 
  • Articifier armour, bolt pistol, master-crafted nemesis annihilator mace, frag / krak / psyk - grenades, aether spirit (owl)
  • Independent character, I’ve been expecting you, Psyker (level 2), spy-network, stubborn.
  • dark excommunication, hammerhand, sanctuary, “Ambassador of Rhisienne”
Leonard Delel, Rogue Trader  (count as Ordo Xenos Inquisitor #1 pts: 53) 
  • bolt pistol, power sword, RAD / frag / krak / psyk - grenades, cherub (servo skull)
  • Independent character, stubborn.
Legionnaires, Squad Ventorn (count as purifier squad #10 pts: 295)
  • power armour, storm bolter, frag / krak / psyk - grenades
  • 5 Falxes (Nemesis Halberds)
  • 1 Nemesis Thunder Hammer
  • 4 Psycannons
  • hammerhand, breath of the hydra
  • the aegis, brotherhood of the cabal, combat squads, fearless, preferred enemy (daemons)
Rhino IFV (#1 pts:40)
  • storm bolter, smoke launchers
  • fortitude
Master Diyon, Hero of the Chapter  (#1 venerable dreadnought pts:200)
  • Assault cannon with flux-core ammo, Heavy flamer
  • Venerable, the aegis, preffered enemy, psychic pilot, reinforced aegis, fortitude
Fabricator Captain Siimon (count as techmarine #1 pts: 109pts)
  • Artificier armour, servo-harness boltgun, power weapon, RAD / frag / krak / psyk - grenades, 3 servoskulls
  • The aegis, atsknf, blessing of the Omnissiah, Bolster defences, independent character, preferred enemy daemons, psyker (level 1), hammerhand, reconstruction
“The Spades” of Raging Bulldons (count as henchmen warband #10 pts:70)
  • 10 warrior acolytes including Grenadier Sgt. “Rudger”
  • 3 meltaguns
Rh PDF Chimera APC (#1 pts:56)
  • multi laser & heavy flamer, smoke
  • searchlight
  • amphibious, command vehicle
XX desert operations & Dune Twists (count as henchmen warband #10 pts:70pts)
  • 3 warrior acolytes w. Plasma guns
  • 7 warrior acolytes 
Rh PDF Chimera APC (#1 pts:56)
  • multi laser & heavy flamer, smoke
  • searchlight
  • amphibious, command vehicle
Imperial Minerals combat team & Fabricator Captain Siimon (count as henchmen warband #12 pts: 112pts)
  • 11 Skitari with storm bolters 
  • Technomage (jokaero trained)
Rh PDF Chimera APC (#1 pts:56)
  • multi laser & heavy flamer, smoke
  • searchlight
  • amphibious, command vehicle
Formicarius (count as henchmen warband #6 pts: 90)
  • 5 Death cult assassins
  • Banisher, Aura of faith, preferred enemy Daemons
Semmoth Heth, Kroot pack (count as henchmen warband #10 pts: 75)
  • 5 Death cult assassins
Storm Viper Gunship  (#1 storm raven pts:205)
  • twin lascannons and multi-meltas, four mindstrike missiles, ceramite plating
  • the aegis, deep strike, psychic pilot, power of the machine spirit, assault vehicle, shadow skies, fortitude
Imperial Minerals Skitari Cyclops, Mars Pattern (#1 rifleman dreadnought pts:136)
  • Dual twinspeed autolaunchers, with flux-core rockets
  • smoke, searchlight
  • the aegis, preffered enemy, psychic pilot, reinforced aegis, fortitude
The Bade of Laerna Land Raider  (#1 Land Raider Redeemer pts:260)
  • two flamestorm cannons, twin-linked assault cannon with flux-core ammo, multi-melta, frag assault launchers, smoke
  • the aegis, psychic pilot, power of the machine spirit, assault vehicle, fortitude

And a quick look into my bits box, one of the dozens compartments with assorted stuff for future 40k personalities. 

Wednesday 21 September 2011

Process & Photography - musings

What a start it's been for the blog. Great commentary and great questions, one of which I intend to address today. I find the blogger format and the smaller, but more interactive following a great motivator. Thank's for the amazing start.

What is my (miniature-hobby) Process?

It's a good question. One I haven't really paid that much consideration. 

With my models, I always start with identity: individual, group, army. I look for strong overall character (individual model), then create dozens of small ideas to support that. Army level ideas have a lot to do with feel. For example, the Legion fights in the moon light. Partly for curiosity of how to represent the eerie shade of lighting in the models, partly because that's what special forces do. The darkness inspires.

Between the army level and individual I have units, and they are to me the most enjoyable ground. One such example is the desert Alpharius, and his entourage. Starting from an individual, weather beaten super soldier on a guerrilla mission (Snake Eyes from G-I-Joe met 40k). Blowing up train tracks (basing), accompanied by XX agent (hooded guy with crusader connotations), leading a pack of dune twists (special forces operating with local forces)... then the theme goes into gear and detail. But ALL of this started from a strong focused idea to create a very different, climate specific Alpharius model. 

I am not afraid of a huge variety of different identities as long as they work with the sub themes or themes of larger projects. 

For the conversion work, strength of character and great differentiation to the starting point are key drivers. I want the models to make me excited to work on them and the end result distinctly a unique model. People don't necessarily need to be able to say it's a model of mine, rather I hope they think, wow - what a nice way to represent an interesting and fitting character. It seems the ingredients do add to something many see as "mine", which is a nice bonus.

I like to be part of a group working for a joint goal or venture, so all through my projects friends working on the "nemesis" army or competing =I=munda gang have been a great source of motivation and a springboard to push into a slightly different direction.

I design everything in my head before going at it, but then let each added part alter that to unexpected directions. I can ponder details for hours. I don't want to sketch, but often use little short stories to "paint an image" in my mind. My day job is industrial design, so with the hobby I tend to just dream up characters and then convert them. I want to avoid tools and methods I use during the day (such as sketching, modeling, making notes...).
"Ghost" of =I= trilogy part one is a good example. I wanted to make a sick feth, who is in the team just for the permission to hunt and kill. Then a to of the ideas went to making him look scary: for example he has screwed bolts to his head to act as horns. as I took a Kroot as the base model, I also needed differentiation from the starting point. And to also reinforce "sick". The yellow boots were a great way to alter the Kroot volume into something different and to lend the model oddity. 

An important detail I've come to realize is that I have a photographic memory, so I remember pretty much every single part I see in WD or have in the box, so that also lessens the need for sketching and makes me quite productive when the idea is shaped.

I hope this gives you some idea on how I work and why my work currently looks like it does. Please let me know if you have more questions.


ps. Photography It is time to put more thought on the photos, inspired by John's with the beautiful box and "mapplethorpe" lighting. I will develop two distinct languages, one for wipe, one for showcaseWip pics will be with the iPhone and models over very Old book pages and finished work with a new camera (Lumix G3) and models over something a bit special ;) Stay tuned for that.

Weapon Smith Borsus - only detail work and cleaning left!

 Final decisions to make, what goes into the right arm.

1. A revolver for anyone/anything getting too close. The other weapon is like a full auto rocket launcher launcher with flux-core payload, lethal to the wielder if the guy is in the same room. I like the idea of two guns

2. A short sword from GK Termies look ace on him too - really works with his physique and "butcher look.

Otherwise, some cleaning in on the gs, a few spikes and small detail on the shoulder guard, two purity seals and that weapon choice.

I am very pleased with this model - big part is the paint job, which I can already see in my head. (Jury is still out for Valencia and Alter Daemon for example) But the base is the best I've ever done. Such a simple thing really, the end of the pipe, but with a small touch of vallejo sandy paste and the right paint job, it'll be the icing on the cake - well the rust under the fat? I've developed a great method of splintering the plastic bits I use which creates a perfect edge for the basing. Or "perfect" in terms of what I am after.

Here be pics. I've decided all the WIP pics come out of the iPhone now, and all the finished work from the Lumix G3 when I get it. Ease and strength of communication really, less photoshop work.

And one more of Alben, with the iPhone, range of red missing a bit, but more accurate hue than in previous pics!

Sunday 18 September 2011

Motley Crew!


It cost us dearly. Not all my warriors agreed, or coped. Vhystor killed the Chaplain. Saved me the work I pain to admit. Nanda and Jahrl Wurst were caught by the Grey Knights. The Ordos all together killed 47 of my staff and erased the assets they could find, The Cliffloft on Terra, safe houses on Dressen, Melior and Necromunda. Eventually the Traders were brought down by the Navy. They killed Borsus twice, yet there he stands. I believe all of the Ordos declared us Heretics, Malleus Diabolica Majoris I believe. Quite a career move.
They are wrong.
No team can match our tally. No other Inquisitor meet our ambition.
I still have a heart. 
It’s pure! and 6’2”. Sister Valencia, Repentia Illuminati, Fugitive and master pathfinder. Trained seraphim first class, before her incident. She took a wrong turn during the penitence, learned to track and hunt with the Kroot Mercs and ended up in the hive game, syndicate business. She is invaluable. I love her.
The Master can cheat death - a gift in this trade. Peculiar, ancient being. A recluse, with a way with mirrors and seeing. They all want his service, the cults, the ordos... Works for us now. I am permission to cross boundaries and means to get the best tools. 
Borsus, the weapon smith. The team always called him Meatloaf. I blame my upbringing for not sticking with the name.  Tough as they come, stitched together more times than he can care to count. 300 pounds of instinctive cunning, gangs over school, violence over words, speed beyond all that mass. Over weight, over powered. Borsus has a way with guns. They make him smile. 
“Nevvie and Chaide”, nicknamed after the classic refcast strip. Master Orsos made them before he was killed. Psychological warfare, that hollow steel can take and deal a beating. Lewis loves to drop them from the cutter.
Lewis is the pilot. Never see him around. Even with the massive cutter around him. He’s stealth, reflexes and skill keep saving us. Maybe the Master is overkill? Posh and well articulated, Lewis loves his craft and only leaves it to inspect it really.

That’s us, re-focused and re-arming.


I am getting in the mood for this gang. Something has clicked with each of the =I=trilogy projects. My own bar for the final part, the good will be quite high - it needs to be really different and really accurate. 

So inspired by John's Guest Starring, and some of the other conversions my mates are doing, I wanted to make something different out of the Nurgle guy. To really stamp personality on him. The pose being all close combaty, I felt a shooter would be a great way to stand out from the Ork Nob two-handed closecombatweapon conversions and alike.

In both of my projects writing short stories has proved a lot of inspiration, so I penned something simple together to get in the mood and dived in.

This will be my favorite model in the gang so far. Sometimes you wait until the finished piece to know if it works or not. This guy is going to work. His physique is going to beautifully underline the differences in the gang. Borsus will be right facing, to flank Inquisitor Silas with Valencia.

Here's a WIP shot from the iPhone, the green-stuff still being worked on.

Friday 16 September 2011

Master Blanchitsu says hi!

There are blog entries and then there is this, something I will cherish for years to come. A unique opportunity to share some previously unseen work from the Art Director and Extraordinary Visionaire of the greatest wargaming and miniature company in the world. A company I grew up with and an imagery that has unleashed my imagination and given me and my friends many wonderful years of hobby fun. In many ways the hobby grew into a profession I love and cherish.

Those of you familiar with my Dakka Blogs know how big an influence John's work has had on my projects. How I make subtle references to his style and vision, sometimes in naming the projects like "Shaddes offs Greye" sometimes studying his art for ages to find fresh ground and courage to paint without technical restrictions.

Recently a good friend, Jakob Rune Nielsen (JRN), was kind enough to introduce me upon my request to John and a passionate discussion about the hobby followed. I wanted to have a chance to talk to him, before I move to US. We have exchanged dozens of emails, many many images and ideas and John has asked me to post some of his recent work in this blog. John will post some commentary in the topic replies I would think.

So without further a do, and because my writing doesn't do this justice: (click on them to marvel the detail and palette at original size!)

Thursday 15 September 2011

The "Bad" gang taking shape.

Lately due to a very special transition period between jobs, I've had only one area to exercise my creative whims, research inspiration, play with ideas and execute as accurately as possible. The hobby.

I've only had an hour or so every other day to put into it, but with so much of it happening in my head that when I sit down, it's just executing what I've come up with and I've been surprisingly productive. After a frantic session I then reflect the results for a few days while being buried with paperwork, phone calls and emails.

Today I present to you two "non-player" Characters for a future =I=munda scenario, a Rogue Trader and his Cherub. They will be painted in the Legion and Rhisienne environment and relating palette. Those who frequent dakka have seen them earlier in the summer.

In addition there's the first sighting of the Alter Daemon, which is essentially the ghoul-king from the undead Dragon kit with two minor but important conversions: 1. repositioning the feet for the new base and 2. a tail which shows badly from this angle but really adds to the "evil" feel of the model. I mentioned earlier why Alex Hedström as I see it is the most able sculptor in terms of utilizing new technology, and here he has achieved an unparalleled level of muscle detail and sublime surface texture. Paiting this model will be a joy and should really fit my watercolorly painterly style better than some other model perhaps.

And the mirror master (essentially my third "pimp my wizard" as per the dakka contest seen here: DAKKA. This is the model I am most excited to finish converting as it is a very new and different typology, and I simply want to show what I have in mind. It includes using real, but tiny mirrors. It may be also the first ever model I have to paint in parts, as the capes and hair will be blocking a lot of the inner body and the mirrors themselves should remain paint/primer free, with just few thin ink and varnish glazes. I am currently testing these.

I hope to have as many models primed as possible, before packing everything for quite sometime for the move.

Wednesday 14 September 2011

Valencia ready for primer & Silas finished!

I did some more work on the Inquisitor, glazed the text (it looks so crude as it's built from the red and all the range disappears) fixed the lettering a little, then added some chipping. I also resided the Hammer into darker, crimson hue. I really like how he ended up now.

... Really worth the extra 15min.

I also got great camera advice from a professional photographer friend, so Panasonic Lumix G3 is on the shopping list ASAP.

Valencia got a shoulder guard (to be riveted I think) and subtle cuts to tie her attire with the shirt and is now ready for the primer!

Saturday 10 September 2011

Pimp my wizard finished

I'm quite happy with the model but very disappointed with my camera's ability to photograph red. It's been unlike any previous hobby project+photo taking. I think those of you who've followed my work for a bit, know for a fact this tirade is very rare. Getting excited and achieving a red with so much variation (like the blue of the Legion marines really) with out it looking pink or orange anywhere, and then utter frustration trying to take photos.

I was also very happy with the face and eyes and how they visually strongly connect to his smoldering fingers. But yeah... the pic... anyway.

In fact it has been frustrating to the extent that I won't continue with the retinue until getting a proper camera, and am instead starting on the Twist Tusk, as I picked up the Thunder Tusk kit today.

Here's Lord Alben Silas, Inquisitor, Ordos Terra, Ordo Malleus.

Thursday 8 September 2011

Updated Valencia

Almost ready for priming now.

She has the weapon arms in place, both "custom builds" that will be further "specialized" with painting. I've also built tiny imperial grav engines that carry an Inquisitorial decree that bears Alben's personal chalice sigil and pronounces his nemesis Excommunicate Traitoris. Partly the composition of model benefitted from this, partly I want a lot of "cloth" in this retinue and partly I want these figures to be very detailed and have small detail that tie them together, to the Inquisitor himself.

Wednesday 7 September 2011

The Twist Thundertusk! RRRRROOAAAR!

I've been waiting for the release of the Ogre K Thunder Tusk - yet another fantastic example of just how much GW has upped the game this year - as I want to convert it into a Dune Twist ride. (Think Star Wars sand people mammoth, but more gothic and loaded with twist gear) Those of you not familiar with the model, see here: THUNDER TUSK

Part of the appeal of this Legion project has been the themes within themes, and being able to build what I will and then worry about the rules. But speaking of which, what rules would you use for such a beast in 40k setting?? Currently I am between IG and GK codexes and intend to mix and match from both for my games and the army.

So as I see the Legion project as long time (think a decade r so) hobby labor of love, eventually within the project I may have three or so differently themed armies!

Saturday is the deadline of Pimp My Wizard, and what little hobby time I haven left this month will be with the Legion project and the thunder tusk kit I am picking up.

Clothing Sister Valencia

Little bit of sculpting done. A layer of finish & detail to add, then gluing on the arms: bolt pistol and chain sword - the classics. I'm starting to get excited of this model. I plan to do the various bionic parts in dark bronze, with a hint of purple, alabaster skin, dark hair, and some red marking and weapon detail to tie in with Inquisitor Alben Silas.

I mentioned earlier she is the "good" in the group and mainly there to make others look truly bad, but having said that, I want an odd, ill setting undercurrent to her. A true sister repentia wife.

Monday 5 September 2011

Buzz of activity and excitement.

Dear All,

We are legionne!

The start of this blog has been a fantastic experience and I would like to thank everyone reading. I could not be happier of the ongoing discussions, both in terms of quantity and quality! Thanks in particular to J.B., Malika and Fulgrim. I would also like to thank for the very kind words received here and at some great hobby blogs who've shared this one to their readers.

Take this great blog for an example: Tears of Envy

It seems ilk it was a good idea to come out from the confines of dakkadakka for a change. Speaking of Dakka, this weekend is the deadline for the Pimp My Wizard invitational ran my PDH and Bai, so I will have some pics for you. I've yet to conquer taking good pics of red though, but lets see how it goes.

On personal side it's been an adventure of a life time and we are moving to San Francisco because of my work. The coming months will be extremely busy, so bare with me.


I've taken the opportunity to share a pic from my latest trip to San Francisco. Odd inspiration perhaps, but this blog is odd, and the hobby is odd - odd in a good way. This is how I want my tomatoes to look. Look at the variety and character, the colors and size. It's all organic too. Our life is becoming so dictated by standards and models forced upon you, that it's increasingly important to celebrate tomatoes!