Friday 19 December 2014

Vlka Fenryka - The Sixth Legion at six models

Put this on:

VLKA FENRYKA composed by Martin Boris, aka Dreambient

Then look at the pictures.

5th and 6th model 99% finished. I am still working on the gun nozzles and testing a metallic knot work pattern for the gun casings.

I eventually owe you more pictures, there are lot of tasty details to discover, like bionic, wolf claw leg , or the banner poles detail. 

This time I started painting these listening to the "soundscape" from Dreambient that had been inspired by models. It in turn really established the mood for the faces in particular. Which also deserve more pictures sooner than later.

Right now the priority is to keep pushing the project along. With the holiday shutdown ahead of me, I should have one of the most productive weeks in the hobby calendar ahead of me. 

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Vlka Fenryka - almost there with two more, and plans.

Thought I must say something. I'm 99% there with the two new Sky Warriors. A tricky banner proving more time consuming than thought. The balance of having enough resolution, but to really show wear and tear and gore and sweat has taken a lot of fine tuning.

These will bring it to grand total of 6 models, a 5 man wolf guard unit and a wolf lord with a thunder wolf.

I got my box of assembled Drop pods and Storm Wolves from Frontline gaming too, but have been too anxious to open it, after the preview shots showed a few gaps between parts. Regarding my hopes of attending the Las Vegas Open, one of their events, this will be a make or brake thing. To have a playable army in February is already crazy ambitious, but if I have the mother of all gap filling work outs ahead of me, it's game over.

Pictures hopefully coming soon and hoping Curze is here soon to kick start the next full squad of five.


Friday 5 December 2014

Vlka Fenryka - Curze

Just ordered this to turn into my Void Claw pack Leader.

Thank you Forge World. We will have so much fun together these coming years!

Monday 1 December 2014

Vlka Fenryka - Recharged and the Emperor's Gift

Apologies for missing one monday update. It was time for a holiday, some sun, swimming and sleep. The batteries are fully charged now and there is a lot to discuss.

Firstly, I read the Emperor's Gift by Debmski-Bowden. Thanks for the recommendation Kampfrogt. It's a sort of must read for anyone serious about the subject matter of Grey Knights, Inquisition and the Wolves. I would assume most of the readers of this blog. Not his best book, but immensely bold, entertaining and ambitious. It renders the differences in the three organizations in a very Gothic fashion.

I would love to talk about the book after more of you have read it.

Secondly I've made progress and have two new Sky Warriors built and in primary colors together with the bone surgeons. I've attached a quick picture of them after Airbrush work. The whole affair still feels like a glorious form of cheating - so fast and such amazing effect that after all the bush work is completely hidden, yet lends an aura of light and shadow and speed I absolutely adore.

With one of the two Wolf Guard, I did the first genuine mistake in the project, and didn't realize he is based on the smallest (of the massive) Vorbak models, and unlike of of his friends thus far, is the only model on a completely flat base, which calls the difference out more than anything else. I will have to  live with this minor thing and hope it blends in the army as he is still a giant compared to the humans to come and regular Citadel Marines.

On the conversion front, things are taking a turn for crazy. I didn't exactly think I'd be going this bonkers with the new models. Getting serious on a few Iron Priests and their Thralls, and will be hard to finish painting models first. I've got a cool idea for Long Fangs, a very characterful Ship Captain with silly gothic retinue to fly the Company Strike Cruiser and am overloading the bit box with different model concepts. Are Adeptus Astartes ships flown by Imperial Navy captains like the Grey Knight ships?) If not, that Captain will turn for rogue trading and the Solar Auxilia will be his very fitting personal militia.

Finally I am really getting into Christmas mood, listening to Bing Crosby as I write this, and waiting for Santa's Forge World delivery. The Christmas holiday will hopefully provide a few extra hours of model making.

Monday 17 November 2014

Vlka Fenryka - The Fournival

This is where it gets controversial. Where I will be publishing fragments of whole. I decided to do it anyway, because I will be painting one or two models at a time and I think people will enjoy seeing steady updates. It won't be until Christmas when I would have had the first full squad of models to share and be able to share the full vision as intended.

Finished now are Iron Priest in Terminator Armor, carrying a massive rotator cannon, and the first Wulfen, with a thunder hammer and storm shield. They are first two of in total 10 wolf guard terminator rules using models that form the bulk of the army and study and push the boundaries between a Sky Warrior and the Canis Helix gone rogue and millennia in the Eye of Terror.

Friday 7 November 2014

Vlka Fenryka and the Las Vegas Open?

How does completely crazy turn to clinical insanity?

I just bought a ticket to the Las Vegas Open. I have always wanted to go. Now I hear subconscious  whispers about the impossible. Would it be possible to have a playable Army by February 2015? Maybe by bringing the Knight I already have? Maybe. ?

Not sure what exactly triggered this impulse, maybe the Solar Auxilia models I got in the mail yesterday. They are really really excellent. Forge World has really done an amazing job creating a fantastic Void Combat suited guard in 20 unique poses - and this is just the opening salvo. I am looking forward to building an Allied Guard continent of these guys.

Or the fact I finished the 3rd and 4th Space Wolf model. What ridiculous parody it is to feel such a sense of achievement after finishing all of four infantry models. (and a wolf)

Next step is to convince my crazy friends Spikey Rat Pack's Kari and Mikko to fly to Vegas with me.

Who else is in?

Tuesday 4 November 2014

Vlka Fenryka - Visions of War through a mist of paint, and sting of super glue.

I'm tired.

But energized.

Clearing out glass domes for new.

With every single army or squad project I've ever done, I've taken a new step - usually for the better. Some of the biggest failures have led to the biggest successes. Like the utterly plain and lifeless first take on Inquisitor Silas, and the explosion of bravery that turned him into such a visceral piece that immediately spun a retinue of grim darkness. I have purposefully tried to learn or achieve something with each project. Tried to combat mannerism, the plague of even the greatest of artists. I see an incredible amount of extremely talented painters who've completely stagnated to repeating what works for them (and at times very well I should add). I am too curious to stop experimenting and searching. With the Rout it is the same, yet different. I worked on Legion for so long, and learned so much, while staying at a fairly constant level in terms of quality that this reset has been fantastic.

Going from a water painterly work on white undercoat, to zenith oomph, understated realism, with very intense and deep metallics and plenty of flat bone and deep red in the mix. It's a fundamental new style, yet recognizably mine I think. The first 4 models I've been painting have each though me something important.

The fact that this time it's going to be a very curated collection, a very clear vision and not a collection of sub themes that span years, makes it quite interesting. I want to put the entire lot together in a year. I feel almost like a movie director might, or so I'd imagine ;). The kind who writes his own stuff and shoots it too. Different pieces are coming together. Ideas need to be evaluated on a whole new level. Not just that a good idea is great, it needs to be the RIGHT idea. Something that enhances everything else in the army. One key challenge is to do this without the backdrop. With every unit a centerpiece in its own way.

I'm guessing that a beautiful collection of calm Solar Auxilia could be the follow on to create the calm.

I'm enjoying building, painting, narrating the storyline and working out the army mechanics. All at the same time. I'm hand picking key drivers from Abnett's Prospero Burns, and each and every edition of the Space Wolves codex. There are some real gems in there. The way the current one describes the things that hunt the vast labyrinth of the Fang, or how the previous talks about the 13th.

It's becoming clear my Company is returning from the Eye of Terror changed. And with a direct link to the lost. The Taboo of all taboos for the Sky Warriors. Yet also what they have been searching for. The premise for the next great hunt, and a study of good and evil, of those deepest grey areas of loyalty. It's clear there is something in the subject matter that deeply attracts me. Like Alpha Legion, like the Inquisition, all so horribly grey to do good. I love the added twist of Space Wolves' hatred against the Inquisition, and even the Ministorum. The Vlka Fenryka history is ridden with bloodshed against the tyranny and dogma of said institutions... one of the very very few forces in the universe who can go unpunished.

The fact that these feral, savage beasts, are the most noble, honorable and humane defenders of the imperium of man. That the All Father's executioners are it's most keen defenders of the weak is a fantastic storyline.

Hold that thought.


PS. I have progress on the Wolf Priests bone crafters. A special order to tend the Wulfen perhaps. There is still a lot of detail to add. I have purposefully added detail that will force me to paint something I haven't tried before. Like glass orbs filled with blood and healing balms.

Tuesday 28 October 2014

Vlka Fenryka - Artistic musings and commentary to your questions.

I wanted to thank you guys about the comments to the previous post. Please keep them going!

To summarize some of the great conversation, I decided to edit a post about different aspects that have come up. For the (Alpha) Legion project, at times random posts about inspiration, vision and what drives decision making seemed to be of big interest.

In the new Space Wolves codex, an applicant sees their Bio Mass grow by 80% when they receive the Canis Helix, and that on top of sturdy, tall, scandinavianesque physique of what I imagine the people of Fenris possess. Astartes are described as warriors gods in all the background. This is where I start. Legion was about doing my take on what the Plastic Space Marine kits should be. This is a celebration of Forge World's vision and taking everything up a notch as pieces of art that can stand on their own. I want my Sky Warriors to feel and look like the Warrior Gods they are. "True-scale or Art-scale" can be missing the point. It's not about numbers, it's about expressing the correct feeling.

For that end, hopefully many of you get the opportunity to see these in real life, with the right reference set of other miniatures. Until then, it's time for me to work on and finish a few human sized beings to give you that reference.

I am Finnish and grew up with Scandinavian folklore, children's books and general aesthetics, in the seasons of utter cold and darkness and endless days of the summer. So indirectly or directly that is one key inspiration. I draw from the same Northern European imagery Games Workshop and their Art Direction also drinks deeply from. I've spent three years of my life in the Uk and now three years in California. Both key influences.

The eyes on the wolf and the Sky Warriors are black metallic. This wonderful dark metallic paint that makes it as if the dark pit is staring at you what ever the angle. In the fluff the wolf eyes are described as golden, while Altansar Eldar and other good forces stuck in the Eye of Terror have black eyes. Putting the two together here.

Where Shaddes off Greye had a bunch of colors, each with grey added in, here I have a lot less, but full intense skin and reds for example. Very different aesthetic! Almost night and day, without pun intended. Legion in between was so very colorful, yet avoided red all together. Avoiding one primary color has been a great successful differentiator, and this time that might be avoiding green. And introducing some blue here and there.

I also nearly felt there are too many eye catchers on Balewolf. So much detail, bone, fur, gem, metal, skin, and if it wasn't for tying many of them together in categories of color and feel, the model would be overwhelming and lack focus/impact.

Basing has always been a very critical part of my miniatures. I feel I have consistently gone beyond what most other modelers have done with every single miniature in the army. It's about setting the world, giving a glimpse of the weather and wear and feel of the place. A place I define. I have used MIG city dirt and flat earth pigments to establish the base hue, so it is very brown grey and has a clear step change from both the Sky Warrior's and the Wolf's hue. And like everything with me that is very intentional. When the wolves go war, in art, they always bring the cold and the grey with them. That's how I feel and that's what I want to keep experimenting with. I will shy away from Snow, as that overly defines the terrain, but I want to continue to study subtle frosting effects and ice.

Thanks again for all the comments. Do keep them going and if you like the models, I would appreciate passing on the link to this blog! If we can get a little more momentum, I will be able to focus and elevate the quality and cadence of content.


Friday 24 October 2014

Vlka Fenryka - the Snowball effect.

I'm having such a blast the project has fast spiraled into a focused, grand vision. Where Legion ebb and flow took years and years of work, creating the Rout may be a thunderclap of a year to get to a full warrior band at 2000 pts. My rout will be a band of ridiculously diverse beings that still share a common, strictly focused, raw and austere aesthetic.

There are major advances to report. And possibly pictures Monday to stay on the weekly cadence.

I have done all the airbrush base color work, and then hand painted the skin for three new models. Balewolf, the first Wulfen and the Assault Cannon Iron Priest terminator. Airbrushing still feels like cheating. It is such a fantastic tool to apply zenith highlight and incredibly smooth depth. I think it combines quite well with my weatherly and gritty brush work to create something that really doesn't look tool driven, has enough technical definition but also emotion. I will now switch gears to finishing Jarl Balewolf, as him and the wolf are fast becoming the core of this whole exercise. The visual heart of what imagery I am after. Finishing them may take a week of long evenings. But should be worth your wait.

I really enjoy painting these. I get the same meditative kick out of it as I always do, but it doesn't feel representative or so utterly unforgiving as the water colourly flowing shading of say Alpharius and Alpharius. It's also very clear that I am doing something very new to myself. Black primer, airbrush, oils, Legion learnings, plus all the vehicle painting learnings... Very heavy use of pigments.

After a week of Army builder gymnastics, I've put together a 2000pt group that can do the Sky Warriors proud on the battle field and be fun to build. One take away during Legion was that it is actually a really fun game and I want to play more. But it's annoying to build so much random stuff that doesn't really work so well as an army. - and this happens by default if you take years to build as the game changes so much. 7th Edition Space wolves still have all the hall marks of what have always been my favorite playing force. Speed, very active in all the different game phases and best suited for ripping enemies apart in close combat. I have on purpose stayed away from Psykers though. They don't work so well with my vision for the 13th, and being able to re-learn the game and 7th edition without magic will be helpful step.

The Company of the Great Wolf supplement has proven the perfect platform to build my heroes, and again, I will use Sentinels of Mars (Terra) allied department to build some of my loved Mechanicus things. I will later ad a small guard component using the solar auxilia.

In the Wolf Codex, there is a great little passage that describes the tunnels, halls, ducts and caves of Fang being full of heavily armed thralls, servitors, wolves and the combinations of the three. Building these will be a ton of fun. And my bit box is filling up with concepts that make the Surgical Thralls look like Neighbors.

What has made me most excited though, is the idea to outsource the Drop pod and vehicle pool manual labor. I have hired the great folks of Frontline Gaming to purchase, clean, assemble and prime black 3 Drop Pods and 2 Storm Wolves, that I will then painstakingly paint to look like massive things of steel and adamantium. This is the stuff that has always been pure pain for me, and realizing I can concentrate on creating amazing models and adding value only where there is value to add on the vehicles is a real epiphany for somebody working 60 hour weeks.

As ever, excited to hear your thoughts.

Monday 20 October 2014

Vlka Fenryka - Rhuncir Gorevlkae, called Lord Balewolf, Jarl. WIP

It's getting pretty intense in California. There is so much insane stuff in the works now that I had to stop and share this before diving into painting and finishing some models. There will be a myriad of really strange seneschals and thralls, but I am also really pushing the Marines themselves to be VERY gothic.

In my excitement to returning to my first love army, I have decided to aim for a full 2000pt army within next year. Made of heroes and other expensive beings, it is not entirely unrealistic. Not with the momentum.

I love the game effect of Thunder Wolves, and the new plastic models are really brilliant, but the idea of Marines riding wolves is just silly (vs. plain stupid for Logan's sled?). So my cavalry will be made with just the wolves and their respective bionics to rep equipment, but the Wulfen Lord will just run and hunt with his wolves!

Would very much appreciate hearing your comments on Lord Balewolf.

Monday 13 October 2014

Vlka Fenryka - works in progress, a puzzle forms.

The famous flow, intriguing state of hobby bliss where ideas turn into beginnings and you feel like hiding in a bunker for a few days to just work on the models.

Ideas can be really fragile, fickle things that need to be exposed to others in the correct order. A WIP picture of a model in a project like this is like seeing a puzzle piece half finished. You can respect the craft and build intrigue, but then what.

And I hope that is part of the charm, enjoyable and a nice tease.

Last night was spent on the holiest of hobby times, sorting out a new brilliant bits box, where a dozen models was already sketched together in their respective compartment. I flirted with the idea of sharing a picture, but then felt like posting the inside of my brain on the inter web and decided to wait. I found a great quality tool box thing, that has little, medium and large yellow compartments inside that can not only be arranged to my liking, but also picked up to work on an individual model.

Today I have pictures of Bone crafting aides for a wolf priest that will be based on the Salamander Primarch, Vulkan. A Kraken slaying warrior god specialized in the arts of healing and death. The surgeons are sinister beings, crafted fro their purpose, wearing different animal skull masks and to be heavily detailed with chapter lore. Also featured is an Iron Priest in terminator armor, with an assault cannon. First of many Mechanicus themed things in the Rout of Terror. It's a simple conversion that strikes a nice balance between recognizable silhouette and novelty. I've thrown a toy space marine in there to show the scale.

Thursday 9 October 2014

Friends, inspiration and the internet.

It's safe to say that as a miniature artist and a hobbyists the internet made me. That's how I originally got on a track of enjoyment, learning and drive with a few like minded individuals. Starting from the DakkaDakka forums in 2000. That is a LOOOONG time a go.

And the hobby has come a long way since. I've come a long way since. But today, a small group of friends, sharing stuff in the inter webs is as relevant as ever and ultimately a massively important part of enjoying the hobby, being inspired and keeping this blog.

To that effect, I got a box of goodies from the league of extraordinary hobbyists yesterday, that I need to put to great use and earlier this week JB shared his gorgeous version of Horus finished:

Needless to say, with this momentum, I cannot wait to share some WIP shots of what's cooking in the garage. Jarl Rödmoon is pretty kosher compared to things to come. I've always loved Space Wolves armies for feeling like war bands of heroes and the vision is to do the band of all bands in this subject matter.

Tuesday 7 October 2014

Vlka Fenryka - Hjarkor Rödmoon, called Lord Hjar, Jarl

The first moment of truth. Lord of the Wulfen. A hundred subtle shades of Grey. Eyes of burning black mercury prey from a sun-starved skin of scar tissue and a ten millennia of winter.

Very very hard to photograph the grey hues, and to get the wide range of gloss effect, from the sparkle of the metal, to the sheen of the frosted areas, to the matt of the wolf pelt and armor, to the glow of the runes (which fails the most, and show I need to go back, add oomph and apply a thin ink glade for satin reflectivity)

Saga of the Rödmoon

“The flutist made a beautiful sound in the depth of the Kaernas forest. It was snowing. Käelma the native Hakkae called it. Hakkae had 27 different words for particular types of snow fall. Käelma was the 26th, a steel rain of black crystals that froze on your skin and caused instant frostbite with the cold winds. After that came what translated only as death, and Sgt. Borros did not intend to find out why. 

27th Roslak Rovers, sheltered under the thick protective foliage of the massive Kaernas trees. Huddled around the flutist. The music was their shield, their comfort, their memory on this grey night before another battle. It was a song only a month old. A song of death and duty, of a hero and a daemon. The memory of it still left the men shaken, some weeping, but all of them focused. It was a story of the Emperor in the sun and his executioners in the night.

A month ago the Rovers were getting annihilated, outnumbered and out fought by the black crusade. Legions of the damned, supported by traitor Marines and daemons of the warp. The imperial lines were going to collapse and another planet would be consumed by the despoiler. The dark sorceries opened a rift between realms. Death visited Kaernas.  

Borros had prayed, prayed like the elders thought him. Prayed for Sun Emperor’s deliverance. 

A giant in grey armor, clad in pelts, and adorned with steel imagery and burning red runes of warding launched from the rift. Sprung on the traitor, daemon and damned alike. He cleaved them in half with massive sweeps of his frosted axe, flayed left and right with a massive claw dripping gore and sent explosive shells from his wrist cannon at the backs of all who tried and failed to escape the carnage. The lord of Grey flowed through the front line, propelled by a jet of blood.  Even the enemy Defiler was left in pieces, it’s daemon hart ripped from it’s carcass. 

It was over so shockingly fast. Defied comprehension. A dozen battered Rovers stood frozen like statues and stared in the black mercury eyes of the wolf.” 

Sunday 28 September 2014

Vlka Fenryka - inspiration and another tease

I had a good few nights and the 1st model is more than half way done. These days the most painting I get done at the time is one or 2 hours, and the only way to get anything finished is to be disciplined and do something every almost every night.

I applied an oil wash and an enamel filter last night. Since some folks asked about the filter, it's a product, by . This particular hue is called "panzer grey blue filter"or something similar. A great way to add a little variation to the grey. I also use their Abteilung oils.

The thing with the oils is that they need a long time to dry and it so happens I had to leave on a business trip and the paint should be conveniently cured when I get back on Friday. Then a few more nights and I should finally be ready to show you some pictures.

Until then, John sent me this picture having been inspired by my ruthless repurposing of Horus. Such a clever conversion - the head swap on the wolf pelt is just genius!

Thursday 25 September 2014

Vlka Fenryka : The art of preparation.

It's only a week into the project that I fully realize how healthy this is and how much I needed this. Gone are the old restrictions, and I'm busy designing the new vision, new focus, and that is always a process of creation, but also elimination.

I think I will do a single model each month - part of the massive appeal of this new project. By the end of next year I will have an army of 15 warrior gods and wulfen beasts, and possibly some armor for them.

Last night I airbrushed all the base colors on the Lord and his base. Feels like cheating. Smooth as photoshop, fast as a rendering farm. I've got some new paints from spain, seen in the picture, that have simply stunning flesh tones. For somebody who has lived in the cold moonlight saturation for years and years, getting to paint a very realistic, feral, deep and vivid skin is quite a feast.

I also picked the palette last night. Seen in the picture below. And cleaned this bigger drawer that used to be for Legion paints. I will use a bunch of reds - something I almost avoided all together for Legion.

The full new back of tricks will include:

  • Airbrushing to get the overall direction of light, but the tool will not be visible at all in the finished piece. (the model air color palette is not pictured, 5 or so paints that I apply with the airbrush on Tamiya grey spray)
  • Vallejo and these new Acrylics 77 something, Tamiya acrylics applied as progressive wash like flows of highlights and shadow. 
  • Oil paints! Full on weathering techniques I learnt doing the knight. (not in the picture)
  • Enamel filters (not in the picture)
  • pihments
  • pledge and tamiya flat medium varnish to get the exact gloss (lack of where I need it)
  • combination of metallics (acrylic and enamel) left unvarnished to really get that pop.
I believe this will result to the best miniatures I've ever painted, with a style that is distinctly mine, but also a fresh combination of different influences. First results in a week or so I would estimate.

Monday 22 September 2014

Vlka Fenryka - The Wulfenkind Attack

"The Bear shall take up the mantle of
Gatekeeper, and the Lost Kin return to the
Realms of Man. Brother shall slay brother, as
at the Dawn of Time, but the Were-kin stand
aloof. Their task set in stone before them. The
Son of the Traitor shall lay waste - First the
Gate, then the Palace. The Children of Russ
shall oppose him or perish, their names
reviled for all time. Now is the time, mighty
Wolf. Your hunt is nearing its end. Your
quarry is set before you. Your saga shall be
sung for all time."

— Prophecy of Frode

"The voice of Russ was the loudest of all, [Text lost] but Guilliman and Dorn gainsaid his counsel. To enter the Occularis Terribilis would bring disorder on the surviving Legions, they said, leaving Man vulnerable to both the xenite and apostate. It is said that Russ, as was often the way, took his own counsel and sent forth the Wulfen to hunt down Abaddon and his followers. Others say that the Thirteenth Great Company pursued the heretics of their own accord, as hounds at the chase who heed not the calls of their huntsman. Others still maintain that the Wulfen had been tainted by the Dark Gods and were summoned by their call to join the Traitor Legions in the netherworld"


Imagine the bravest, the most dedicated, those who paid the heaviest price of the VI Legion, Adpetus Astartes, Vlka Fenryka,  Emperor's executioners. A Warrior band of individual heroes and hounds, in pursuit in to the warp 10 millenia ago to hunt down Magnus and the rest of the heretic Primarchs. Imagine a beautiful set of illustrations by Dainton translated to model form by an exquisite set of conversions and hyper realistic, but moody paint jobs.

XX Legion fought in moonlight, these will dwell in a warp blizzard. Things will be flowing in different directions, there will be a swirl of death and thunder around each hero and huscarl, wulfen and wolf. A dozen or so insane(ly) powerful warriors and or beasts. Empowered by the liberties in army selection that is the seventh edition Warhammer 40000.

A whole new level of scale (beyond what the insanity that was and is Legion) and new material feel with different weathering effects. 

I've finally started a brand new project. In the planning ever since I saw the new Horus model.This is a return to my first love, the Space Wolves, but the extreme 13th Great Company. You will notice a common theme to Alpha Legion. Stealth and duty, hated but loyal to death. I needed to wait until my birthday to open my box of goodies and have been having a blast this weekend. 

I want to considerably up the ante from Legion (sure I'll add to them too) and truly go nuts with the best of FW models... Which I painstakingly avoided with Legion's plastic only goal. There's something to be said about the power of restrictions, and equally letting go once you've built the stamina and skills in a given area. I want to make Legion look crude in comparison, and Space Wolves built out of the box look like toys. 

I hope you enjoy the journey and feel free to engage in discussion and feedback.


A Lord and his hound - Wolf Lord Harkon Bloodmoon a few details from primer and very early look at first of the Wulfen.

Birthday treats and the warmth in which the frozen beasts will take shape...

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Of terrain and miniature warriors and war machines.

Annual cycle as ancient as my history with Citadel Miniatures has turned to the season of most productive character. Autumn. Or more of summer here in California.

I have stuff to share that on a personal scale of excitement is somewhere between Epic and Off the chart. I'm working on new terrain. Tons of it. So fast it feels like cheating. Spray primers to block the main colors in, Airbrush to bring it up to match basing and oils and filters to add depth and shades.

Terrain to me has always been what makes the difference. Take our game in Nottingham this summer as an example. Gorgeous models aplenty, but it was JBs terrain that pulled everything together and elevated the event. Plenty of great armies out there, insulting little quality terrain for them to fight on. Games Workshop has corrected their direction and Forgeworld has been on a tear. Last year I got to the satisfying goal of having a quality real of battle board and enough nice terrain to fill it. So now I'm pushing to turn nice to something a bit more spectacular.

That very much works in concert with the models. I've become accustomed to friends describing my goals better than I can do. And this comment at Dakka is important.

"Beautiful! It's crazy how you so seamlessly combine almost monochromatic painting techniques with such bright, rich colors." -Weirdingway 

I think he captures a significant portion of the essence of my Legion work. I've found a spot, I think, where the models look like they really live in the 40k universe, wear and tear with the horrors, and fight on gritty and fitting basing, but also really stand out from the terrain. Much of my previous armies would really disappear and lack punch in terrain.

I painted a bunker as a test piece last night. In an hour! And spent 15 minutes to prime one of three new Forgeworld tiles I am working on. And I give you crappy photos, late at night in the garage. I will how ever, aim to finish the fort and the entire trench network by the end of this week/weekend and set up for a proper army photo shoot with the new terrain the weekend after or so.

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Warrior Mystic Alpharius

XX Chapter of Adeptus Astartes does not maintain a Librarium. However, they do employ the weapons of the warp, esoteric and arcana, forbidden lore and far seeing arts.

This is the work of a legion Warrior Mystic, psychic masterminds and warrior gods as individualistic and creative as chaos. Each mystic has an apprentice if a worthy candidate is found, and millennia of lore is passed in secret, verbally, in remote planets and webs of the galaxy.

Mystic Alpharius, master of the farseer, brother of the moon, student of the old one and leader of Stealth team Argolith.

Friday 29 August 2014

Quick teaser and thoughts from the work bench

I've been getting somewhat excited about Space Wolves - and skimming through the new Grey Knight and Space Wolf codexes, gave me an idea to quite possibly move to the "count as direction" from GKs to SWs, as my army structure was seriously hosed by the changes and disappearance of Inquisition units.

The real dilemma is the two Dreadknights that I love and would like to include. One option might be to make the "Sentinels of Mars" (Imperial Fists rules Mechnaicus units in the army) the main detachment, and try an ally Grey Knights and inquisition and see how that goes. There is a new GK detachment that only requires one troop unit and gives you up to two DK.

Any ideas and opinions welcome! I've been overloaded with the amount of rules, detachments and options and can't quite possibly see the forest for the trees.

At the same time, working on the Librarian. Warpaint, alien runes, skulls, feathers, a grimoire, and hopefully the end result will be an intimidation warrior mystic. Part classic Space Marine imagery, part tribal shaman and a little bit of samurai vibe thrown in. The end result obviously need to fit in the squad.

I also "primed" the trench network with Tamya paints and opened my Forge World imperial stronghold tile to find it cracked. I glued it back together and will see if it holds, or if I need to try and see how FW customer service treats me.

Pictures of something finished this weekend. Until then:

Monday 25 August 2014

A point in time - Old and new ventures.

The trip to Nottingham and Denmark was inspirational to say the least. And I'm back to working on stuff in a nice state of exhaustion and excitement.

7th Edition Warhammer 40000 seems to have spiraled in to a release cadence and data-slate sanity where it is close to impossible to keep track, or even know how to build an army. Just as I had my Legion guys ready, the new Grey Knight book mixed things up again. Not complaining, mind you, just acknowledging I'm too busy and old to keep up.

I am how ever excited and focused as ever to pushing the project to new heights.So very thankful of all the new models. Having just seen a vast range of unbelievably cool models in Europe, it's exciting to see that the coolness in my own cabinet, at army scale, can stand proud! The sheer intimidation of a full squad of "art-scale" Space Marines and all the adjacent craziness keeps me going with this particular labor of love. The Knight came out quite nicely too.

So next,

I will finish painting the Librarian. He is going to a very sinister, warrior shaman direction. Every bit the super warrior a space marine is, but with clear, sinister, mark of the witch, and master of forbidden lore. Hoping to get this done soon to show you.

I also need to find the stamina to paint 4 more Mechanicus storm troopers, to finish the squad of ten and reward myself with more esoteric Mechanicus characters. Fabricator Captain Siimon, desperately needs a new model, and the old one will be demoted to his aid.

To enable new additions, I just ordered way too many models and some terrain from Forge World and Games Workshop, and am now fighting a pretty cool Space Wolf idea to not get derailed. That might include Horus model and some Gal Vorbak into Wulfen work.

...and then there is Aquila Illuminati - part 3 of the trilogy.

I'm grateful for the blog and all of your comments. Humans are social beings after all, and it doesn't help to have all of my modeling friends the wrong side of the atlantic. Lets see if I can get you pics soon.

Monday 18 August 2014

It's been a while - from nothing to Epic!

So far 2014 has been the busiest of my life and it's been hard to find time for the hobby.

To balance the quiet, I give you a pictorial of an EPIC +I+munda event that took place in Nottingham very recently, followed by a special get together in Denmark. It is incredible what amazing experiences and friendships this hobby can create.

I'm sure this game will be reported and documented properly else where too. What it really is, is a celebration of the hobby that also involved some random rolling of the dice. But the focus and genius is really on the narrative and the spectacular models and terrain.

Very soon, it's time to talk about the future, and the third installment of my Inquisitor Trilogy. Powered by this inspiring experience.

The gorgeous terrain, together with an insane host of Mechanicus things and marketplace goods built and painted by JB

More of JB's genius, with Peter's gorgeous rusted gear

JB's robot, with Kari's arco unit, "integrated".

JB's robot II

Neal's incredible Market Place quarter master. Neal brought an utterly brilliant set of weird, dystopian, war hammer gear.

Tim's Mechanicus models. Wish I had more pictures of these lovelies. Tim teamed up with JB for the game
Johan's Radical =I= and my partner in crime for the day.

Johan's models travelled in style

Peter's classic beauties. Don't have enough photos of these, but they have been well documented elsewhere.

my Alter Daemon, one of two new models I brought - which is pretty pathetic considering what all others did!

Johan's guys advance

Borsus and Curze set up

Silas and crew sneak forward

towards and inevitable clash with JB

Kari's Flagellants versus Silas

who would kill both

before cutting open the injured to unleash the Alter

who would go on a tear

one of Tim's gorgeous mechanicus horses

group shot of my guys

Flagellant Ambrosius

Peter's stunning rust work and Mechanicus guardian


our survivors from a bloody game.

And then on to Denmark... To meet with Jakob and Stefan

Stefan's vintage GD winner

Jakob's Crystal Brush best of show.

Miracles do happen, Stefan is back to painting! and I'm honored to have one of his to join a few of Jakob's and a few of JBs in my collection :)