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.



  1. PLEASE keep it coming!
    This is pure awesomenes:)
    Great models, great vision!!!

  2. i said to migs that i regard these pieces as pure connoisseur models for connoisseurs but on reflection i think another chapter in modelling history is being forged - what we have are seminal pieces - bravo

    1. That's incredible feedback :) Thank you JB!!

  3. It is always wonderful to get insight into your creative process. I feel too often people do not talk about the process behind creating models. This is a shame, particularly in the inq28 community (for lack of a better term) that we are a part of, because the creative output is so great. And that more discussion of themes, concepts, and inspirations would only continue to elevate everyone's creations. Talking about the artwork and stories that 40k has been built around is always an endless source of inspiration for me, and has been a primary reason I have stayed with the hobby, even though gaming time has slowed tremendously over the years for me.

    It is exciting to see your shift from True-scale, into the much more nebulous, but more enticing, region of the essence of what makes a Space Marine. Despite the hobby being virtually drowned in Space Marines, it is interesting how the notion of Space Marines being gods among men is rarely explored (other then shallow words). I think Dan Abnett has dabbled in it in some of his books (Eisenhorn/Ravener books), where he describes their actions in unique alien ways that emphasize their disparities rather then similarities to humankind. Ultimately, this maintains and strengthens some of the mysticism and mystery that surrounds Space Marines.

    Well I may have begun to ramble here, so I will cut myself off by saying keep up the great work, and that you have gotten my creative juices flowing and I may have to try to experiment with some of these themes myself.

    1. Far from rambling, your words effectively capture Dan's brilliance and what I am after too and why this project may start a new trend, or at least have considerable influence beyond the blog. Thanks Eric.