Friday 31 May 2013

Artistic endeavors and musings

Artistic endeavors and musings it says in ABOUT this blog - so here's one to respond to a kind post at Dakkadakka (the best Warhammer 40000 forum in the inter webs)

To understand Blanche is to understand a difference between a creator artist and a sublime illustrator. It's a fairly evolved thing to grasp for most gaming obsessed minds. Both have a great importance for successful sic-fi/fantasy world, but obviously you need a Blanche to create the world that a Dainton can paint in stunning detail. This is my personal opinion anyway. Abnett has then gone and written about what others have ignored, in brilliantly imaginative detail and without any remorse on his loved heroes. 

In life as in the hobby I've been interested in defying the norm and creating and making stuff. 

I have somewhat successfully ignored the labels we like to stamp on hobbyists (gamer vs. painter vs. cheesy this or that vs. GD winner vs. fluff head vs....) From the past I have several third place tournament finishes and 7th place from the UK GT finals in circa 2003, when it was the cheesiest circuit on the planet that involved a few 150 heats of which a 150player final was put togther. I enjoy the fact I went in with a beautifully modeled and very different list and gave those who've dedicated their hobby to the dice gods a good run for their money. I've also been to the Golden Demons once and it went all right. 

BUT, Neither one is for me.

What I love is a good group of friends who want to create beautiful miniatures, great stories and memorable games. Those three can well combine for a tournament, but they are rare gems and I can only recall two out of a dozen or so. More often it's a gaming group getting together. That I miss dearly after moving away from mine a few years ago - so the blog and dakka are place holders for when I hopefully find a few folks who share the motivation. 

I'm some what troubled by the word "like minded" when talking about friends. I have had the utmost fortune to have friends who are not likeminded and create great moments together. I find like minded collectives often quite restrictive and sometimes really elitist. As an example, the +I+munda movement that in large part was kicked off by few of my friends and me getting together to play a campaign followed up and aligned with John Blanche sharing his Inquisitor themed models in the White Dwarf. It has grown into a select and connected group who've done fantastic work and gaming without any of my involvement. Though I am happy to call them my friends. 

But somehow it got framed as the "golden age" of the hobby. When pretty much everyone in the group is missing out on playing army scale for example. Truth is that this is the golden age of the hobby because Games Workshop has created such a brilliant canvas and improved it's offering so dramatically and all different scenes and pockets of the hobby have benefitted tremendously. 

Wednesday 29 May 2013

Progress smells like plastic fumes!

I've kept going. No pics yet, but a quick heads up that I've now finished a Chimera. This one is the most simple of the two, partly because there's now crew visible, but also to allow some of the other vehicles be more "loud".

First of the three marines is also finished. The other two are up to 80%. I'm working hard to give each of them a distinct personality, battlefield role, and story. The first one might be a fallen angel. Battle brother sharing the Legion mission, if not gene-seed.

I have also been reading the forums a little bit. Trying to get my head around 6th ed and tweaks needed to my build plan.

AND the new White Dwarf was delivered yesterday. Well done Mikko for the nice Blanchitsu article. Looking forward to when the WD guys have the time to shoot and interview my long and often travelled gang ;) And who knows, maybe Legion ends up being the first Army scale project fitting for a Blanchitsu. A joint army of the month and Blanchitsu perhaps.

I am getting ahead of myself, but that is the best way to keep things moving at pace!

Sunday 26 May 2013

Leman Russ - The Executioner of Gryphonne

It was 1995 I believe. Almost twenty very long years ago. I had been in the hobby for a year or so. And White Dwarf 187 came out. With the biggest and baddest Tank Battle report the hobby had ever seen. Leman Russ Demolisher was released in this issue. It was simply the most badd-ass beast out there, but since I had just invested in to some Death Wing terminators I could not afford one.

The world has changed a lot since. The Hobby has grown into unimaginable heights. Games Workshop is a real company with capability to release stunning and endless stream of great miniatures. Games of 187 size are commonplace. I've grown up and realized many of my own dreams. Big and small.

This nostalgic prelude reminds me that I should write a listing of my top 10Hobby moments someday sooner than later. Epic White Dwarfs, most memorable tournaments, painting contests, or grand ideas. But today I wanted to briefly talk about the magic of those early days, the core crazyness of Warhammer 40000 that has not changed through the years and end with a picture of a Leman Russ.

A Leman Russ is still fundamentally the same design and even kit than twenty impossibly long years ago. It still doesn't look like it would work, the proportions are off, the tracks too weedy and the turret too small and the updated areas only make the original surfaces look even more original. Apart from the Eldar jetbikes perhaps, not much has survived unchanged from those days.

Deep within the streams of creativity and impulse to build and paint this particular Army is a very distinct 2nd edition flavor and dream to push the project to that magical place of childhood wonder and Blanchian purity of intent. So far it's been working. I have not had so much fun creating miniatures for an Army before. Nor have I ever been pleased with anything I've built and painted on such a lasting level. This is painfully emphasized by the utter lack of free time in my life these days. The investment into this little pocket of time and imagination is to say I don't do two or three other things I also really like.

So within this context. What does it mean to build units of Armor? Machines made of steel and ancient technologies. Forged in forgotten times in distant lands.

  • each one is a "character" be it heroic or humble and ubiquitous 
  • apart from how materials wear, realistic isn't the goal
  • bright and graphic insignia
  • lit by the twin moons of Rhisienne
  • the guard tanks are a "squad" and the marine vehicles another one. 
Meet Colonel Vicer, and the Executioner. One of only three functional Executioner pattern Russes in the Rhisienne sector. The pride of Dead Sun division. Rhisienne PDF.


Post Scriptum:
I fumbled into an area of the blogger interface that keeps track of traffic and amount of followers. Guys, Thank you! I had no idea there were so many of you have not given up on this, despite having produced shit all 2013. Your support is a big inspiration.

Post Scriptum 2:
I found this very thorough and loving review of the said White Dwarf 187 from Dakkadakka! Youngster, check it out for how lucky you are with today's White Dwarfs and the terrific work Jes Bickham is doing. Oldsters, enjoy!

Wednesday 22 May 2013


The long grind with zero free time and too many things competing for my attention got a breather last week when I had some time off. This was nicely timed with the Eldar rumors and pictures of gorgeous new models. And finally I have a plan that is an assembled Leman Russ towards execution.

This July I have the house for myself for three weeks as the family takes a jump start to our summer holiday before I get to join. And given how this kinda of periods will be my biggest chance for army level production in the coming years, I will make the most out of it.

Plan is to build the following and then paint all of it during those three weeks to at least 90% state, where I can later add more loving detail and wear and tear.

Legion Fighting Vehicles

  • Leman Russ Executioner (like the looks of it the most, 90% assembled)
  • 2 Chimeras
  • Forge World old school Rhino 
  • Land Raider Executioner
The marine and guard vehicles will have different schemes, but very close in the palette, and tied further together with the same blue detail and yellow warning chevrons, plenty of those!

But what about pics? Well, the picture output until July might be totally boring, but I just have to make up for the utterly pathetic first half of hobby year 2013 with one seriously impressive armada that doubles the size of my force and allows me to enter tournaments.

And the rest of 2013 is looking very exciting. I will obviously add some Kabal allies, ie. the new Eldar models I like the most.

I am also 75% done with 3 new Marines who are turning out very nicely. Pics of those sooner than later. And I have two Arco flagellants converted from cryot ghouls in the works that I think people will like and copy.

And finally as a reminder of what to expect, iPhone shots of previous Legion vehicles that give a good taste of style and detail (if not necessarily hue) to expect.