Monday, 30 January 2017

Tiny Muppets of Twilight

Some more little critters from the World of Twilight ranges. I love these, I really do. There is something about their very concept that makes me think of... bliss, I don't know. It's difficult to explain. Tiny furry monsters in the best Jim Henson style. So the 'muppet' word on the title is used with true love and respect.

It's pointless to digress more when you can see what I mean by yourselves:

That's it. Groaaaarrrr
Yeah, I got fired from that Labyrinth movie
Well, cousin, I never got a role in that movie in the first place
Added bonus:

Yabba Dabba Doo!
Seriously, these designs are pure genius. What's not to love about them. With these I've finished the little critters batch, now I can move on bigger minis. Still a lot to come!

Friday, 27 January 2017

Ballads of War 1 x 06

A new page, where the purpose of the mission is revealed:

Right, you can see this is just a RPG taken to a comic :P
I think the Rogue Trader atmosphere is embedded in my mind, so a story set in this universe needed a strong adventure-like taste, not a mere pew-pew.
That's why I didn't see an issue in having Eldar and Tau interacting with lowlife humans within my narrative. This was one of the major feedback concerns I got from some people; they simply didn't conceive that members of these three species would even talk to each other without a proper mutual shooting. I tried to argue that the Xenos were on a ship that was taken down and they were trying to get out of the planet using local human outlaws, as that was the only option they faced, being isolated survivors on the surface of an Imperial planet. They were contacting the kind of people who wouldn't care that much who the employer was as long as the pay was good. For me that made sense in my RT way of understanding WH40K, but apparently it wasn't a popular point of view back in the day within the 'orthodoxy'. Well, of course some years later GW came with the allied rules again (kind as they already existed in 2nd Ed, ahem) and then the problem suddenly seemed to fade away for these people. The gurus had spoken.


Let's focus on the page. There is a lot of information here. What could make two Eldar Harlequins and a Tau settle such a strange company? Why were all of them on board of a Tau ship? What's that misterious piece of tech they want to get so bad? Wait... that gold ingot-stuff... has Necron iconography on it? (don't worry, it's unlikely that a common Imperial citizen gets to recognise that)

Hmmm, those are a lot of questions. Maybe (only maybe) you can get some answers in future pages. You will have to keep on reading to discover it...
For now you can read the previous pages HERE.

I'd love to hear your ideas on the 'controversy' and anything else you fancy. Not that we're on time to make them influence future pages, I'm afraid, but all feedback is highly appreciated.

PS: I promise I'll have some minis painted soon! :D

Monday, 23 January 2017

Ballads of War 1x05

I've scanned and prepared a new page:

Now we are getting acquainted with the character and his misterious background, and we are moving onto some even more misterious people wandering through the belly of the underhive. 'At least a Xeno', I hear? What was that on the news about a defeated Tau fleet? Maybe a survivor looking for shelter or for a way of fleeing out? We'll have to wait for the next page to know!

You have the first four pages HERE (but honestly, not that anything had happened yet! We're just getting started!)

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Gaudí and the lizards

Titles for this project are becoming increasingly delirious. But it's all for a reason, believe me.
For this new batch of creatures from the World of Twilight setting I tried something new. Don't ask me why, but a recurring image was coming to mind when fiddling with the minis. If you have ever been in Barcelona you may have visited the Park Güell (don't worry, just pronounce it Park Well, sounds remarkably close enough). Designed by Antoni Gaudí (the modernist architect of those curvy buildings in the postcards), it contains, among others, this salamander:

Colourful lizard. Couldn't take it out of my mind.

The association of ideas was immediate. Of course we all agree that the pattern on the ceramic would be a little too much for these 28mm minis, but hey, inspiration comes frome the less expected sources!
So I tried a blue pattern with some yellow/orange stains, and then something similar but in red for the other guy. Here's the result.

Dammit. That's why Gaudí got his own Wikipedia article and I don't
Anyway, once I got the Gaudí inspiration, I dared to do some more gaudy work (ouch, terrible pun) on more creatures.

Nope, not a traffic light
I also managed to paint these other three, once again leaving my prejudices back, setting my mind (and brush) free until I got some fresh, colourful animals:

With these colours, they must be poisonous as hell
Here you have some overhead shots:

Getting these painted in such vibrant colours is equally refreshing and challenging. One never knows what is going to work until you just go for it and see it in the flesh. For the moment I'm happy with this turn of events. Not that much ago I was painting dirty mutants in the dullest palette posible and now I'm going just the opposite way, to a Hindu Holi festival :D
More World of Twilight to come!

Saturday, 14 January 2017

A WH40K (old) comic. First pages

Hi there! I'm daring to bring chaos and mayhem upon you! Well, maybe not that much, but you may want to roll for sanity after this.
I briefly told you about this some time ago, let me elaborate before I show you anything. Long, long time ago (twelve years now!) I decided to begin a series of comics set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. I had been drawing, doodling and making some standalone amateur comics for a while, and I got the sting of taking it to the level of actually conducting a story told in a mini collection. Narratively that would be a challenge, planning the script for a determined number of pages per volume and a determined number of volumes. You know, art shit. Ahem.

I chose the 40K universe for a number of reasons. First -and more important- because I liked it! Nuff said. Well, some more explanation. I could have done a story of my own, but at that moment I was quite into 40K fluff, and it gave a strong point of start, with a whole universe created, in which I didn't need to take 'general background' decisions, as all the aesthetics and the main design decisions were made for me; that would make it easier, I just had to fit my story into it. It was going to be my first fanfic so, what the hell, let's go.
I wasn't doing it on a strict Rogue Trader basis. By 2005 I don't even think the Oldhammer movement was a thing, or at least I didn't know of it. I was happy to embrace the WH40K fluff as it was then (5th Edition was it?), but of course the imprint of how I conceive this universe was easy to see. Less grimdark (within its parameters) and more RPG/adventure/mixture of stuff. If I had to quote an inspiration, it would absolutely be the early Dan Abnett (not that much the current).

I took a graphic novel approach, kind of European comics take. 8 volumes 64 pages each, with some additional contents in the form of appendixes, with additional info about the whole background. I guess the Alan Moore influence was quite evident, hehe (I mean, when he still was a living genius, before quitting the comic world once and again and again, becoming a Chaos magician and that stuff, you know).

I guess I never hoped to see it finished, being such an ambitious project. In fact I only got to finish the first volume, the second one being left with roughly half of it done. The main reason, of course, was life itself, but it wasn't the only one. In fact I got several kind of harsh reviews from close people who didn't share at all my envisionment of the story. They didn't feel, for example, that xenos could play a role in the story as I was telling it, or that a human would even talk to one. I guess I hadn't noticed, but the then-current fluff had evolved quite a bit since my days, and some decisions that were natural to me in my RT set of mind (border planets without law, fugitives trading xenos tech-stuff, Eldar Craftworlds actually trading with human worlds...) seemed totally alien to people who had approached first to the grimdark nature of 40K in the later days. I believe that was the first time I realised 40K was leading towards a different direction from what I liked.
OK, long story short. When I was in the middle of the second volume, chaos, entropy and mayhem arrived to the story. Matt Ward wrote the Necron bullshit Codex. Then it all changed. The ten years of established background went all through the drain and the Necrons then had a totally different way of being understood; with them a big part of the whole 40K background. Some parts were acceptable, but some others changed the role Necrons and C'Tans were to play in my story in a way really hard to reconcile with the general direction I was heading to. I could save the obstacle, of course, but some time later, Matt Ward wrote that absurd Grey Knights Codex. And no one in GW said a word!!
 So well, I noticed that the whole background I was using for my work was out of my control, and that people like the ones I told earlier (some would call them fanboys, but that won't be me) were actually right, my story was increasingly diverting from the 'approved official background'. It all was highly disencouraging.

For me this was the point I declared myself out of the way GW was managing their own IP. I guess I was already an Oldhammerer then, though I didn't know there was a word for me! :D

OK, I quitted then. Maybe I should have done it all mine in the first place, with my own background and all, but on the whole I don't regret of what I did then. I was learning, and as a learning exercise it was a really good practice. The only thing I regret is not having drawn back again since then.

The fact is that I've decide to scan what I have and post it over here, on an irregular basis. Whenever I have a page scanned and translated (you know, I originally wrote this in my mother tongue) I'll be posting it. I'm posting the first four pages as a starter today. Please excuse the amateur style, the poor quality scan, the obvious binding, my mistakes in English and the looong etc you are about to discover...

What I present here is:
1. Cover.
2. Plain text of the inside cover.
3. Page 1.
4. Double splash, pages 2-3.
5. Page 4.

Issue #1 Cover
 The inside cover had this text:

[...] The events that have eventually given shape to what we currently call the Wars of the Hammer are still a matter of study and analysis. Though it is too early to extract any conclusions yet, the job of a good Historicus is compiling all the objective data available while the sources are still accesible. Everyone agrees to point out that the Wars of the Hammer are one of the most relevant events in the recent history of the Imperium. They were a number of events that, in a relatively short period of time, unraveled in very different places and involved extraordinary stories implicating whole planets, whole systems, whole races.
We could understand that the events that led into the Xenic Alliance are, in their own way, magnificent, exceptional, incredible. Scholars always present them that way. But the truth is that those things we afterwards call the big stories are always a sum of tiny matters that only draw the interest of a few.
Those actual stories are made of people. Specific, individual, real people. Prienne, Bajakian, Lords Calgar and Tu'Shan, General Grom, Eldar Ulthran and Ellinderelion... All of them had a larger or smaller role in the Wars, they got involved in one moment or anoher. Names. A lot of names revolving around one other single name. Beronis. Brenteus Beronis. His story is the story of these events, and without understanding the turmoil of his life, the Wars of the Hammer cannot be understood.
If we were to set a point of start, we could talk about when he was but a simple fugitive...

From 'A Study of the So Called Wars of the Hammer'
Historicus Naevius Maro.
Imperial Library. 982.M41

Well, you can see what I was talking about. For the moment it's just the introduction of the leading character and stablishing a setting. I love the concept of hive cities, it's one of the most distinctive elements of te whole 40K universe, it looked like a proper place where to start.

It's all pencils and acrylics. The double splash (an A3 size) took me about two months of sporadically dotting the tiny lights of the hive with the brush. Dot, dot, dot, dot, period. Unfortunately the dusk effect ruined the whole scene.

I believe I've written enough for a day, hehe. If you reached this point I hope to have caught part of your attention. All the comments (including, of course, harsh criticism) are most welcome :)

Friday, 6 January 2017

Tiny lizards of twilight

Happy 2017 if I haven't told you earlier!
I hope everyone out there enjoyed their season days and the new year brings all the best :)

For the moment I can bring a handful of World of Twilight dinosaurs :D

I tried quite different schemes for these two, though keeping the same basic pattern:

Grishak Jenta
Though keeping in mind the 'Avatar' orientation, I'm trying not to restrain myself to that kind of strictly cold palette, I'm open to different colours, as long as they look nice and catch the eye.

This was more or less what I thought of these swarms of tiny critters:

Squeeek squeeek
Well, I start the year with more infamous pics. Let's see if a close-up allows you to see them better.

Not that it improves, but you get an idea
I find it fun going crazy with the palette and not trying to stick to 'natural' colours. I'm not going towards a GW in the 90's style, though. However, as I'm writing this, I'm wondering how would one of these lizards look in flashy pink. Hmm. A question worth of being answered...

Well, this is it for now. Warming up the motors for 2017... Allons-Y!