Dante’s Inferno

Earlier this year I backed my first Kickstarter, supporting Aradia Minatures produce a series of models based on Dante’s Inferno, and my reward came a few days ago.

These models are strictly for display, and I’m in no rush to paint them up, but at the same time, I really can’t wait to get started. Here’s a brief run down what I have.

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Gorgon

This was the model that drew me to the kickstarter, the Gorgon, also known as medusa, lies relaxed, her tail wrapped around her victim, whose already turned to stone. One of my favourite myths from the Greek world was Medusa and I think they’ve captured her perfectly.

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Charon

The boatman who ferries souls across the river Styx. Again there is so much character in this model from the frail looking old man, to the lost souls and demons tearing at the boat.

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Paolo and Francesca

The smallest of the models I got, Paolo and Francesca were two lovers whose affair confined them to hell, where they are constantly blown by a whirlwind, that mimics how they let their passions sweep them away. This was a kickstarter exclusive, and I think where I’ll start painting.

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As display pieces I plan to make each model a proper display socket to best show them off. In the meantime, I have some other projects in the work, more on that soon.

The Lost Heretic

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Dante’s Inferno

Some time in the not so distant past I stumbled upon Hasselfree Miniatures, an awesome selection of models in different styles, full of character and decently priced. I decided to buy an awesome 40mm Chaos Warrioress, which I decided to paint with no modifications, which is quite unusual for me. I got quite far in painting her before I moved, but since then she’s had no further attention. I’m going through a bit of a brush shortage at the moment, one of my own making due to my lack brush care, but really, she is not high on my painting list. When I ordered her I could not resist purchasing another model, who is on the site named as Chipster.

The paragraph of background on the Hasselfree site, has Chipster as the result of a experiment, in fact he is one of several humanoid animals they do. What I really liked about this model is that I could get him ‘space clad’ or in normal terms, naked. Hasselfree release a lot of their models naked, before releasing them clothed. I think this is great, it really gives you the chance to modify and make your own characters. So, I grabbed a very naked man dog.

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One naked dog man

The thing is, I didn’t really know what to do with him, so he sat in my bits box for a while. Due to my above stated brush problem I decided to do something with him. Going off the basis that dogs are good trackers, I decided a bounty hunter would be a good fit, but as a he’s an escaped experiment, I want him to have a rough scavenger look. I initially sculpted a loincloth, but I felt this was to primitive, so changed it up for torn shorts. The belt, which still requires detail, can hold pouches, grenades, and the little extra details. On his right arm I’ve made a vambrace and placed two blades on it, but I’m not convinced it works. I’ve also added a scar over his right eye, to try and give a more grizzled look.

Early progress 

I’m also thinking of sculpting some details to the flesh to look like cybernetics, or scars from the experiment that made him. Lastly, I want to give him a large robe, I’m thinking something like a rough Jedi robe, or something as worn by the mercenary Agent Kruger in the movie Elysium. Something to help him move around with out drawing to much attention to him, for the purpose of the model though, I will keep the hood down.

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Sharlto Copley as Agent Kruger in Elysium, I love the overlaying robe that compleatly hides the dangerous man underneath.

Chip will hopefully just be the start, I quite like working on some models who don’t really have a pre-existing universe to fit into, allowing me to create my own back story, characters, and motivies. I have no idea where this is going but that’s all part of the fun.

If you have any thoughts or criticisms on Chip, ideas for where to go with him, or anything else, please comment.

Thank you for reading.

 

Still alive

Ok, little life update. I’ve recently moved to a new place, well about a month ago. I’ve done some hobbying but it’s taken time to get a decent set up. The useful thing about the move is being able to asses and prioritise my projects. Now I have a table I’m hoping to paint (or finish painting), what’s here, so updates soon on that!

So still alive, and aiming to get more active over the next few weeks. Fingers crossed.IMG_4595

Still alive

Hic Sunt Dracones

My hobby hibernation continued a little longer then planned, but now spring is here, nights are longer, and mood is lifted. Time to get working.

Dragons. Ever since I was a kid I’ve been fascinated by them. The ultimate mythical beast. Almost every mythology features dragons in some form. There just so awesome. So, let’s paint one.

There are a lot of good dragon miniatures out there, of varying styles and cost. In the end I went with Forge Worlds carmine dragon, who have a number of high quality monster models at a decent price for their size.

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I love the model, but recently a friend pointed out to me biological problem with the dragon.

Now I will say, the dragon is a fantastical beast, any living creature of its size would have serious difficulties flying, and breathing fire would be another issue, so worrying about anything else is probably over thinking it, but still it’s ea point worth exploring.

The dragon picture above has 6 limbs – 4 legs, 2 wings. This sort of animal doesn’t occur naturally in real life (well, insects do are not vertebrates so we’re ignoring them). Look at birds and flying mammals, and even winged dinosaurs, their wings evolved replacing their forelimbs.

Of course there are Wyverns, dragon like creatures who have 2 legs and a pair of wings, a barbed tail, and a venomous bite. In fact in medieval sources the words dragon and wyvern were used for the same thing, it wasn’t until the 16 century that a distinction was made, and this is for heladric purposes. For me, a dragon is not a wyvern, but I don’t think the amount of limbs it has is the defining point.

Hollywood appears to have picked up on the same issue. Dragons appearing in movies such as the Harry Potter series, and also on TVs Game of Thrones have only 4 limbs. Perhaps the most important is the evolution of the first dragon to captivate me, the great Smaug. The Hobbit was one of the first real books I remember reading, and Smaug is at the centre of the entire novel. Tolkien shaped the fantasy genre, and his version of the dragon is the standard template. In the novel he is described as having 6 limbs, but interesting Peter Jacksons movie trilogy went on a different direction (not that I loved the aHobbit movies but that’s a different issue). The Smaug that appeared on us bif screen had just the four, and if anything he was even more menacing for it. And there is no way I would class Smaug as a wyvern.

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I’ve come to view dragons in two ways. The first is the mythical noble beast of high fantasy, proud, ancient, incredibly intelligent, walking around on 4 legs with 2 massive wings, a creature that can only exist due to magics. The second is a more beastal creature, 2 legged, wings instead of forarms, the cunning intelligence of an apex predator, spitting venom or acid over fire. It almost brigs to mindTerry Pratchets Diskworld, where there were two types of dragon, the naturally evolved small big dweller that explodes when scared/excited/happy, and the big beasts of myth created out of pure magic.

Even as I write this I worry that I am coming across as an insane man trying to justify the impossible, which is possibly true, but at the same time it’s part of my creative method. For me the best fantasy and science fiction has to be grounded in reality, otherwise how can we relate. So when I put a model together I try to keep it as natural as possible, otherwise it just doesn’t look right. Now there are times that making a model look unnatural, and thus shocking, is the desired result, but even then I find the best result still has to have some anchor back to our natural reality. At a base level the dragon needs to look real. I’ll apply the same process to painting, dragons are often portrayed in reds, blues and vivid greens, and if I go down that route, and while bright colours can work, I prefer to keep thing a little more natural.

Where does this leave my model. It probably wouldn’t be the hardest job to remove her fore arms and bring the wings down lower to replace them. But, it’s such a gorgeous model as is, and the extra work creates extra risk. In other words, I haven’t decided yet, but that’s ok, I’m still building up the details on the base, and making sure the main body is built gaps are filled before she becomes to fiddly. Hopefully next post I’ll have a full dragon ready to paint, either with 4 or 6 limbs.

Hic Sunt Dracones

Awakening

It started with a light, small, barley visible, it hadn’t had power in centuries. Soon it was joined by a humming, a heater waking up, its vibrations removed the layer of ice that had built up in the darkness. It was joined by fans, moving the stale, dust laden air, circulating the heat around the room. Power surged into systems that had lain dormant for years, screens flickered on, computers initiated more systems, which, in turn, woke something new, until the room was bathed in a dim yellow light. At the centre of the room, a large machine began to power up, speeding the thawing of the ice, revealing several man sized cylinders.

One opened abruptly, revealing a small individual, more machine then man. His bionic systems operating on ancient instructions, he moved around the room, making sure it was habitual, before allowing his human body to wake. The process took several hours, flesh takes longer to wake then machine, it requires a more delicate process, pumping blood and oxygen to a seemingly dead body. Finally awake, he moved to the machine, which held his master entombed, beginning the slow wake process for one who is almost wholly human.

He gasped for breath, vision blurred, for a second his body thought the waking process. Drugs were pumped into his system, dulling the pain, saving his body going into shock. He could feel blood returning to long unused muscles, the pain slowly drained, leaving behind a dull ache. His legs were weak, he almost fell from his chamber, reaching out to his servant for support. He moved to a nearby chair, resting back against it, he felt the pinch as his servant attached a cables long spike into the base of his skull. Information flowed into his mind, missed history played out, wars, deaths, victories and defeats, and finally the signs, the reason he brought out of his slumber. The process finished, the spike withdrew. He looked to his aide.

“Prepare my weapons and armour, there is much to be done.”

Ok, 4 months without an update, not good. A lot has been happening and I never seemed to find the time to write down some words and post some pictures. Its time to change that. Over the next few days I will try to catch up on what I’m working on, but its basically split over 3 areas. Firstly fantasy related, a Mordheim inspired mercenary war band, and possibly an undead one to. Then, sci-fi my ongoing Inquisitor models, and lastly, DC and Marvel miniatures.

But for now, some pictures of what I have done over the last year, a taster.

Until next time.

Awakening

Power of the Warp

I have spent the last week away from home, giving me time away from modelling and painting, and I must say, it’s been refreshing. I actually have some interesting ideas to develop when I do get back, and a return of the hunger to create.

That does mean I have nothing new this week, so I’ve decided to post a model a built a few months back. I wanted to create a psyker model for my Inquisitors routine. Psykers are dangerous individuals who can harness the power of the warp, potentially, they could destroy worlds with a single thought, but the power is not easily controlled, it can consume a person, turning them made, or worse, making them a doorway for the twisted daemons of the warp to use to break through into our reality.

My Psyker will have been found by the Imperium at a young age, trained, and sanctified to use his power for the good of mankind. His abilities are invaluable to the inquisition.

When I set out making him, I wanted him to be as small as possible, wearing just a basic jumpsuit and carrying minimal gear. After looking at some artwork I decided to scultp an overcoat over the top, which not only helps him fit in with the vibe for the rest of the group, but also gives him a slight him hump back which I think helps give him the appearance of physical frailty. He is equipped simply, a las pistol, almost to big for him to hold, and he’s certainly not skilled to use it, the heal danger is the out held hand, channelling power that could bring even the toughest to their knees.

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Power of the Warp

Joker

Painting the Joker was actually a daunting process. Firstly, he’s such an iconic character I really wanted to paint at a high standard. Secondly, he wears bright colours which do not fit my usual painting style. I had fun painting him, but I’m not entirely happy with the finished model. I repainted the jacket 3 times, trying to hit on the right shade, and couldn’t make my mind up with the face, initially going for a more messy Dark Knight style before changing to a neater style that reflect the comics. One day I’ll have another go at painting the Joker, once I’ve had some practice.

 

Joker