Thursday 29 November 2012

Chaide Pelicanne, Mirror Master and Caretaker Tobias, with a cool link!

PIP - I've been stealing small moments of time to paint these characters and having hell of a time. There will be delicious little sub themes and pairings in the Retinue. Chaide will hunt with Valencia. Valencia actually has two of his feathers on her hair for you keen eyed followers.

Mirror Master will have two minders, first whom I tried to be as "normal" as one can be in this retinue. Sense of normality, in scale and equipment is very important when everyone else is so unique and a tad over the top. Both the master and minder have very wicked faces and a success with the eyes in particular.

I should have all three of these finished in a week or so.

One of the secrets of my late surge in production is the now fully functioning, desk of my dreams. I have everything there, ready to go for a 10 minute session if need be, and need no cleaning, other than closing a drawer or two :)

The fact that the whole table and setup oozes what the hobby is all about for me makes getting in the right mood very easy. I'm surrounded by hand picked objects that are all about good design, and great craftsmanship or a nostalgic form of industrial production.

The Fact that my current projects grow on the top is a great motivator, and I can pull them down for reference in seconds. I highly recommend you make the effort to create the right desk setup for yourself. And if you are serious about producing beautiful models, art, work... then it would be plain wrong if beauty isn't a key driver for the desk.


Sometimes I find something so damn cool and gothic, that it just makes me want to raise the quality of my own work and produce. I've known Cedric's work for what must be close to a decade now. We've both grown from enthusiastic converters to "artists" with a very distinct approach and ambition.

This thing right here is so damn cool... fits what I had in mind for the "good" continent of the trilogy very well. (In spirit, not in object)

Ministorum Walker

Sunday 25 November 2012

+ Pariah + (WARNING, spoilers!)

Oh my Emperor.

What a book, what a tease, what a finish, and how perfectly can something fit the storyline I have had brewing for my XX Legion project.

I had such huge expectations for this one, and despite the great buildup, bunch of amazing character concepts and hints of all the things you'd expect, I was somewhat worried up to the point when they meet Teke, of the Children. Unbelievable depiction of the traitor marine.

And everything rises to new levels. The build up comes together to a massively juicy dilemma for Alizabeth, and stakes beyond any previous Blacklibrary storyline (bar Horus Heresy). And the old favorites are introduced in a finish for ages.

Oh wow!

There's so much history for me and the old fella...

And to now have the absolutely mouthwatering story line of one of Eisenhorn's specialists, Deathrow, revealed...

"I am Alpharius."

Fething amazing. OBVIOUSLY I need to do a fresh version of Gregor (already started) and a version of Deathrow (ordering bitz)... and how could I not do the rest of his small team. Stay tuned.

Wednesday 21 November 2012

+ Alban Silas, Sister Valencia & Borus a.k.a. Meatloaf +

All three finished, and the solution & background for showcase pictures was staring me all along...

Here goes - feedback most appreciated!

Monday 19 November 2012

Pelicanne / Chaide / Horificus (WIP)

Pelicanne / Chaide / Horificus

Hunt, hunt, 

Run, run,

Fly, fly,

The Girl with the machine eyes and the Pelicanne.

Feathered pan, wide like a Russ. Oh it can. Kill them no fuss.

Tall and thin, she carries his every whim. Together they say, none can get away.

Mirror, mirror, where is the pray. Mirror, mirror Reveal the way.

Photography plan.

Been hard at work and quite productive of late and the matter of photography keeps coming up.

I've settled on a simple plan.

1. Everything is about the lighting! That's where I can make a big contribution.

2. All WIP photography will be black and white and some what stylized.

3. For the showcase I need a perfect background. Perfect shade/lightness to help the camera auto exposure to get the models right.

Saturday 17 November 2012

Bad in progress.

The legion project I've pretty much painted without a single highlighting step. So taking those learnings and adding to it the new freedom of not being under the Rhisienne twin moons. These pics show how I need to drive the warp and the red on the whole gang. A challenge I would not have had I not gone so crazy with the Inquisitor.

I am actually very close to finished at the time of writing this, but pics will have to wait until daylight tomorrow. These two I took earlier.

The dynamic of the Gang is taking shape too. Notice the hint in posing of Silas puppeteering his two priced toys. Yet to figure out where exactly I will go with the group dynamic. So many interesting things in flight just now.

after this photo, 75% of the work has been getting the red in to the scheme. Hat, armor, axe...

Group, final team size to be decided

Glory Glory Glory - Pariah

Eisenhorn trilogy is what started to elevate this madness for me. My all time favorite book. I whole heartedly enjoyed Ravenor.

And I'm going to devour and hopefully love this:

Wednesday 14 November 2012

Chaide, The Mirror-Master and a "Solar Cultist"-concept

Riding the tide of reincarnation.

"Congratulations on finding a new way ahead. The layered effect on the red(ish) robe is stunning. Weathery and almost ethereal. Woven of a mix of silk and fog!

I look forward to see more of this from you. You are slowly becoming my favourite meteorologist... "


That was such motivating and beautiful way to put things that is has really propelled this project along.

Been working on the mirror master and Chaide models on and off for a year. Both have very clear typologies, just tweaked in a gothic way. The mirror master is Woodoo, meets Farseeing, meets 40K. Chaide an Angel of Death. The Solar Cultist is a brand new start and depending on the twists and turns of the creative process might end up in the Legion project or "Good" continent of the trilogy. I've yet to meet the character properly to know which +I+ is inducting his services. I think that is a key thing to understand in how my characters evolve, how much in flux things are up to paint and sometimes beyond.

Snapped a quick iPhone pic last night. I also wanted to share a fuzzy one from earlier that shows the "WARP RED" palette compared to "Moonlight Red" and just regular "Moonlight Legion" palettes.

Sunday 11 November 2012

TERRAIN delivery - "Rhisienne" taking shape

This, Ladies and Gentlemen, makes me a happy man!

I have something to share that has always eluded me. A full set of quality terrain ready for gaming (ie. 95% finished, up to gaming quality and I can add decals, little more weathering, graffiti, and other detail over time.)

I've been working on these on and off for many many years, but for the past year they were all packed away from the move. Well this weekend I fired up big time, and the set is ready for gaming. I rewarded myself by ordering the gorgeous new Citadel bunker/trench system kit and the landing pad I've been wanting since it came out.

So some quick iPhone pics of "Rhisienne" at different stages this weekend,

buildings getting a desert dusting (some also a rusting)

Legion Venerable inspecting the new terrain (prior to ground washes)

Buildings and tiles (prior to ground washes)

Finished tiles still masked

Sample tile, masking removed, all ready to go late tonight!

Saturday 10 November 2012

"Red Storme Riseth" - PART 2.0 - The Inquisitor Trilogy

Inspiration, focus, hard work, talent, discipline, stamina, flow, joy, pain, excitement...

All words that can and do describe an artists struggles and strengths in the hobby. Focus is a wonderful thing. It is often the difference between good and great, between chance and repeat. Hits and dynasties. 

But sometimes marvelous things happen when you lose it. The very best work often stems from losing focus. When working on something manual, already imagined, when your mind can wander freely, sometimes it jumps to unexpected places. Alpharius was born that way - during Jade Vessel responsibilities and my commitment to build Shaddes offe Greye. I just brought in the giant marine to one of our sessions and everyone loved it. Legion hence became my focus and my first bigger than squad body of work I consider “great”. Actually the Shaddes off Greye being the only other decent thing I’ve done.

Greatness is obviously about context - and the context of this blog is about gothic, heavy impact miniature imagery that shows originality, clever use of plastic parts, strongly themed paintwork and repeating and relentless creativity.

Rather than making very nice renditions of Warhammer 40000 themes, I’ve wanted to push and magnify the imagery and the miniatures in to new extremes and with very strong visual themes. Like the legion - Massive Warrior Gods, Frail but stubborn humans, bizarre constructs of the Mechanicum, War relics of the Astartes - all fighting under pale, cold light of twin moons. 

So a few days ago I lost focus.

And it was brilliant.

And now it’s time to return to a dear side project. Reincarnated. Reborn. Raw, fresh, and with similar singular strength.

The Red Storm is rising.

Shaddes offe Greye was part one of my Inquisitor Trilogy - The Ugly. The work that, again from my biased context, was my first feeble but resonating move from good to great. The theme was strong - to study the greyness of Inquisition and the universe. Everything you have been told is a lie. This was a bunch of freaks, bunch of twists, mutants, fighting the god emperor’s war. Hated, despised. The conversion work exhibited a new ambition and sense of scale and physiology. I mixed grey to every single paint sans metallics. It gave them a very uniform look and feel. It made all of my old work instantly suck.   

While working on Legion, I started on part two of the trilogy. The Bad. Friends at dakka run a “Pimp my wizard contest that was a great inspiration and excuse. Conversion work came out nicely, new ideas came from nowhere - and obviously feeding from the great work others produced and I started to paint. I went for red.

The face was perhaps the best, most singularly powerful thing I’ve painted. Exactly what my new context in the hobby and art was all about.

But EVERYTHING else about the paint work sucked. The fact that the model had a hammer sucked. Most decisions I made after the face were uninspired technical exercises that lacked any real intent. And to make it worse, the red was so hard to photograph that the little technical good disappeared. By then I had produced a flow of great potential. Some of the best conversions I’ve done (Borsus and Valencia) some of the best stories... but I failed to connect the dots. The man at the centre of everything was a flop And the project stayed in the designated drawer of my beautiful desk.

Until a few days ago.

When I opened it, to see if I could fit in a few Legion primed models. I picked up Silas (Alben to Alban, for Bad 2.0) and saw his face. And finally it was all clear. The face would dictate everything else about the Bad. The theme was clear, that thin red line between end justifies the means, and total, utter damnation. Only the red line is not thin, but a crimson whirl that hits with the force of cardiac arrest, until things are reborn. If Ugly was about “Shaddes offe Greye”, the Bad and Silas is about mixing the warp and blood to every stroke of paint! (no humans or other living things are harmed in this process) 

It was all so clear. All so bloody finally.

I painted in a frenzy, reworking every area of the model (except the face), with boldness gained from John’s paintings, his description of how he paints and his miniatures looking down on my efforts. I used inks over shades, over the top rather than just enough. I cut off the Hammer and attached the only suitable weapon for him. The Anathema. 

Please, meet Alban Silas 2.0 and the “Red Storme Riseth”... Or at least what red my camera has captured!

A Red Storm Rising

I traveled in the rotten carcass of a long dead elevatorum engine. All 244 floors of the derelict hab block flashing through where the doors of it once were. Glorious wave of sparks shot down after the engine like an afterburner. I like to make an entrance, that is why. Slight psy frost begun to cover the engine, a side effect of my telekinesis. 

I knew what awaited me at the top. Because I was there as I am here. I willed the murdermake, or rather directed the absolute onslaught. I tasted the blood and watched every single one of them die.

A beautiful mechanical chime announced my arrival and I walked in to the main hall. The smell of blood was quite intoxicating through two separate noses. The cohort of witches surrounded my price, tightly packed behind a wall of vortex brought alive through their dark sorcery. My Alter-Daemon paced around the warp barrier. Such brilliant tool, such a cost to acquire it. 

He cost me, it cost me. It cost me in resources and in the trust of much of the Ordos, narrow minded as they were, are, in the face of new, groundbreaking weaponry. Ignorantly labeled as a Daemon Host. They do not understand the forging of an Alter, of the genetic link and chain of control I project on the beast. It cost me much of my war-band, great warriors all of them. Oh yes, it also cost some dozens of collateral lives before I full mastered it. It cost me most of all. 

But such a daemon. A bargain. 

I burned through the feeble wall. They were powerful psykers, but not close to what power I posses, not close to the training they gave me, and I made their hearts explode. Not taking any chances, too eager to start.

I entered his mind, he and I blinked. 

And I saw through his eyes. Through his eye to be exact. Into my eyes. I felt his terror, but it was overpowered by intellectual thirst. It was sublime. Such a clear and purposeful mind. The Mirrormaster, Lord Seer, Hereticus Diabolicus, sector threat three. There was I, cowled in ethereal alien robe, a veil of blood. Cream and sanguine in color, projecting the symbols of my trade on its surface. Encased in crimson carapace, wrought by master artificers to protect from harm and to provoke dread in equal measure; and to integrate the incredible psychic hood from Titan. A compact seismic hammer in hand and the vampire blade sleeping its endless nightmares in its protective alloy scarab. That another special piece made in the forgeries of Titan when such places would still cater for me. 

I felt them before hearing them, before seeing them through his one eye.

Nevvie & Chaide set down besides me. Their huge, impossibly complex, synthetic wings a whirl that ultimately suspended them a few feet from ground. I was to make a job offer. Chaide carried the reward I would promise. Nevvie the tools for signing. 

I blinked back with an understanding.

Lets begin. 

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.

and I still have a heart. 

It’s pure and 6’3”. Sister Valencia, Repentia Illuminati, Fugitive and master pathfinder. Trained seraphim first class, before her incident. She took a wrong turn. They took her eyes. But she is resourceful and an escape artist. She learned to track and hunt with the Kroot Mercs and ended up in the hive game, syndicate business. She is invaluable. Hardcore. I love her.

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. He makes them smile.

The Master can cheat death - a gift in this trade. Peculiar, ancient being. A recluse, a seer. Mirror into the pantheon of future. They all want his service, the cults, the ordos... Works for me now. I am sanction to cross boundaries and means to cheat the immaterium. 

Lewis is the pilot. Never see him around. Even with the massive cutter around him. His way with flight keeps saving us. Maybe the Master is overkill? Ha! Posh and well articulated, Lewis loves his craft and never seems to leave it.

“Chaide”, nicknamed after the classic refcast strip. Master Orsos made two before he was killed. Nevvie was caught recently. They are psychological hardcore warfare. That hollow steel can take and deal a beating. Lewis loves to drop them from the cutter.

That’s us, the core team, re-focused and re-arming.


WIP pics of the gang coming soon...

....AND... I know exactly what to do with The Good continent when the time is ripe...

Tuesday 6 November 2012

Red Storme Riseth - trailer


+++_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ -  _ _ _...+++

...access granted...

+++DATE M 42 - detail hidden+++

=== Recipient: _ _ _ _ _  & Lord Demo, Ordos Terran, Ordo Malleus ===
+++ Inquisitors: Lord Demo, Riekens, Von Mendell,  Rybikov (Late) +++
+++ Condensed Notes : Excommunicate Traitoris A435B_HDM +++
+++ Hereticus Diabolica Majoris: Silas Alban, Inquisitor +++

Spirit of noxious immateria, be gone from hence, for as the Emperor of Mankind, manifold be his blessings, watches over me, so I will not fear the shadow of the warp

Of Heinous heresies, thrice damned, Alban Silas, rogue Inquisitor. 

Targets “Red Kraken, Red Rat and Red Raven.”

My Lords,

Penned and attached is a detailed report of the operation as the third anniversary of our task dawns. 

Today we caught and exterminated “Red Raven”  at a cost of Brother Stermon, Chapter 666, most of Kill Team Fleshborer, Inquisitor Rybikov and Interrogator Junger . May the Emperor bless them. It appears there might be two of them, but we definitely killed this one and have the remains stasis shielded and in transit. It is a peculiar thing. Target “Meatloaf”, (see datasheet attached, and thus named), is believed to have been killed too. Apart from significant tissue and liquid collect (estimate 8% of body mass), no body was recovered however. 

Full report is being drafted, but I thought you should know of the feat and some fresh disturbing findings.

We have a reason to believe “Red Raven” was being hunted, assisted, or someway aligned by an unidentified Xenos element. It seems they left us a message. A card not entirely dissimilar to those in the Tarot Deck. Two sage’s have died processing the information. The most accurate translation we have managed to put together is: “He who walks with daemons, now masters the anathema. The Immateria incarnate, the key between realms”. See the pictograms. Be advised, the symbols cause severe nausea and risk of cardiac arrest. (according to sage 1 & 2, on scene post mortems)

We think we have a tail on “Red Rat”. Target yield probability 87%. We are tracking three prospective targets, with Kill Teams on stand by (on the scene) and the 666th element in transit.

I am asking for urgent Officio Assassinorum dispatch. Both Culeux and Callidus Temples. Your immediate support is greatly appreciated and requested.

Several new leads and alignments have been grouped under a new majoris target named “Red Seer”. Interrogators Levenson and Bache are on it, with several assets from my team and your militia.

I would bet my mansion there will be an exterminatus severe incident within months. If the sick freak really has an anathema that incident could happen anywhere. Indeed, we have drawn blank for 8 months now on his where about. Last sighting is still on Reef C779, attached for your convenience) 

When can we meet?


Riekens & Marco

Spiky Rat Pack

In 2001, Inquisitor, the game, came out. That changed everything in the hobby for me.

Four years ago I had an idea. An Epiphany.

It took sometime to connect the dots and do something that would define the ideal hobby set up for me. I always enjoyed Necromunda's game mechanics, and the decision to liberally combine those with Inquisitor background, roleplaying elements, and simple house rules set off something. Great friends, great miniatures, decent terrain and lots of good writing was involved.

I called the game =I=munda and we called the campaign Jade Vessel.

Since then the Imunda movement has taken off, people have taken what was our spirit and made it theirs and more. Nothing could have made me happier. Through this rather selfish and perhaps boring introduction, I finally arrive to my topic for the day.

This would be the headline act in section of "Best 40k stuff happening right now" in White Dwarf, should they actually realize that would be the section to add.

Well my pick is the fantastic Spiky Rat Pack Blog.

It's a stunning effort by two friends who share a spirit and passion and a lot of talent. "Okki" and "Ice" are producing some of the most original miniatures around. And what's even more important is how their work and attitude is creating international hobby webways. Their work resonates some of the interesting darkness and flavor that is an ingredient to my work too. We are all Finnish to begin with. That crazy people up north, swallowed in darkness or never setting sun depending the season, brought up with the Kalevala Mythos or the Moomin Trolls. It's a culture that breeds interesting miniature artists. Distinctly different to their more elegant southern european masters.

Their Punk Moth project is what it's all about. They are living their "Golden hobby age" and it shows.

So go and check them out! You won't be disappointed.

Sunday 4 November 2012

Armor & Lenses

The order of IG armored vehicles arrived - and so did the new lens. The latter is unbelievable.

That means my long time plan of having two very specific modes of photography and set up needs to come to fruition. A nice template that fits WIPs from the iPhone and something worthy of a Leica designed lens for the finished units.

So that's what I'm designing and thinking about at the moment. I need to find the perfect back drops for both, is what it boils down to.

In the doing front, I'm putting together three more legionnaires and just finished painting the heavy stubber dude, converted from the cultists.