Saturday, 23 February 2019

Spaceport Crew

After last couple of weeks making statues (and building scenery and vehicles before that) I needed a change. I just wanted to paint something; something easy, a few minis, preferably living people!
Fortunately, the lead mountain provides anything you may need in such a case. I had the Deck Department from Statuesque Miniatures waiting for a looong time. Wow, what a bunch of minis. They are gorgeous. They have a quality in their design that makes them useful both for a kind of pulp-ish ambientation as well for a sci-fi setting. So I knew I wanted them to configure a Spaceport crew.

Enough chat, here you have them:


I can't praise the sculpts enough, they are certainly sweet. These are my first minis from Statuesque and I'm delighted. It's a shame the pic's are awful as usual, most of the tones and highlights are lost; my bad. They don't wear extremely high boots, promise, it's the kneepad on the jumpsuits, and it's supposed to look in a different black than the boots. Sigh.

Here you have the four of them:


A size comparison shot, which I always find interesting:

Those in between are Colony 87, Hasslefree and Colony 87 again. They match perfectly, so I'm most definitely happy with the purchase :)

Speed repairings are common practice on far outposts
Not only the minis are great, but it was the right time for me, if you know what I mean. A small, closed project, easy to take on and some fresh air after my latest stuff. I think I'll be delving into the lead mountain for some more stuff of the like :)

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Set in stone

Second Shadespire post in a row. Just finished the Stonecast :P

You will see it's all pretty much the same as shown in the previous post, so I can save you the tedious details and aim for the mere pics.

First to come, the Farstriders. My pal and I had an issue about the eagle one of the guys is handling. We didn't fancy the idea of a stone eagle (yeah, it's magical, it can fly, it can whatever. But neither of us envisioned it). A mechanical bird (kind of Clash of the Titans) would have been out of place, and we didn't want a 'real' bird. So that left me just a single chioce:

Don't worry. That eagle will be eventually used somewhere. Now I need a new project for it
You can see I took the crest out and I only used the Stormcast upgrade bits. The most obvious change, however, is about the crossbow/bolt thrower/ugly thing they bear as a long ranged weapon.

It's damn awful
I really didn't know what to do about them. Replacing them with real-shaped crossbows would have meant repositioning the whole arm or more extensive conversions. And it would have left me with the crossbow rope conundrum. So I tried to do something with their strange gun.

Still ugly, but bearable
I cut and placed it horizontally and also cut out a little part from below. At least I can look at it and don't feel my eyes aching now.

Painting wise I did the same than the previous batch and added the same kind of ivy, so no surprises:


Lurking through the ruins:


But that's not all! I've also finished the Cursebreakers -Stonecast edition:

Only muscles of stone can wield that hammer
You may remember that other hammer too
That's a 40K Grey Knights hand
Some colour and texture later...


Another family pic:


This is all I've done, the three warbands as one:

There's an intruder in that pic!
The good thing is that the monochrome palette has allowed me to make such a quick brushwork. Given that, I'm satisfied with the results. I don't know what I will do next, but I guess it will be regular living creatures for a change!

Monday, 11 February 2019

Stonecast for Shadespire

Yeah, I know, Shadespire is so last year, now it's all Nightvault. Who cares. I don't think I'll be changing the label now. This blog is oldschool and I'll take the consequences. Shadespire it is.

Another commission for this game. The sigmarites of the core box!

It's like the third kit I convert. I'm starting to run out of ideas
However, some things can still be done
Spears, spears everywhere
Right. You may remember I used a WH40K Grey Knights halberd for my own band. The idea got stuck in my mind, and I thought that a band with halberds/spears would look nice. Come on, the pose of the first guy is asking for it!

My pal asked for something totally different than the previous stuff I had made before. He wanted living statues, in the fashion of D&D animated armours. There are some references of other people out there on the internet, but I chose not to look for them and make my own way. I asked my pal what kind of stone would he like to have and just looked for stone references. Seriously, my browser historial is now something worth seeing. Ahem.

Not a geologist, but it looks like stone to me
Oh, yeah, these rocks rock!
A bold boulder. Ba Dum Tss
Bases were an issue. I didn't want them to look exactly like the statues, to avoid confusion. They needed to be chromatically different, even if they were (necessarily) similar.

I made them slightly lighter and with some more colours embedded
The final steps involved some ivy. Not only it reenforced the old statue idea, but it also fit into the own bases theme. Autumn, decay, life struggling over death, among these strange rocks.



That idea is reflected in the colours. The stone itself, the leafs. I tried to show quietness and ease, but some strenght and menace at the same time.

I think we haven't been introduced yet
Are our houses made of flesh then? Hmm, that's quite a debate
You may have noticed the back banner on the boss belongs to another set of Sigmarites. That's because I'm also converting other kits in the same fashion for the same purpose, so I'm sharing all their bits at the same time! You can expect more statues coming soon!

Monday, 4 February 2019

Smash the Patriarchy!

I'm back to the Genestealer Cult mine. This part of the project was something I had on my workbench for quite a while. Some months ago, Paul (the mastermind behind Blind Beggar Miniatures) was so incredibly generous to give away some MDF corridors (by Sally 4th) for my underground dungeon. Thank you, sir!!

Trust me, you cannot storage them as easily once assembled
These will look nice alongside my previous ones
It took me some time to start with this, and once I begun, it's taken me some more time to achieve any results!

They'll have to look like a mine corridor
I added some bits for flavour
Then it was DAS putty time!
If you remember my first batch of corridors, I added some graffiti on the walls. This time I wasn't able to do that. The sheer amount of walls to assemble overwhelmed me, so I chose to glue everything first and then paint all in a row instead of painting them separately. It's a decision I had to make, or else I would still be half way with these. Sometimes this kind of compromise is necessary.

But worry not, I didn't forget about detailing
This will have to do:

Straight sections
And corner sections
Hmmm, looks decent...
So, well, corridors, a mine, bits and bobs... what the hell is the title about then? I'll need some philosophy to explain that...

What's the very core element in a Genestealer Cult? Xenos infecting worlds, slowly undermining society and making preparations for the upcoming Tyranid invasion... What makes the difference? That they are a Cult. Religion being a very important concept in Warhammer 40,000, even the Genestealers are into it. The way this Xeno invasion is presented is through religion. Not union strikes, not political dissent, but a cult. The infected members of society are joined under the worship to the Patriarch, channeled through the Magus and so on. The idea of political subversion through religion is something that fits in pretty well in 40K, if you think about it. It all starts with some mockery of the Emperor and the Ecclesiarchy, until it slowly turns into major deviations from the Imperial Creed. So we agree, religion is a centerpiece in all this Genestealer stuff.

OK then. But another very important part of the Genestealer Cult is the idea of breeding, the way the Cult expands and how new hybrids are incorporated to the ranks. Not only infecting like vampires, but this expansion model takes whole generations. Literally. So the twisted visions of parenting, family and community are of utter importance in the Genestealer Cult culture.

Next step in my digression. Having such a growth model, in which birth has a central role, we can see there's little (if any) attention in official sources to... well, birth itself. We only see the Patriarch and the Magus, but the whole sustainability of the Cult is obscured. It is my firm belief that motherhood needs more visibility. Way more visibility.
So, following that train of thought, I think that we are lacking a female perspective in this whole thing. In the Cult part of it. Let me elaborate. This abhorrent society, made of outcasts and mutants, dwelling underground and far from the light develops a worship towards a mockery of the official religion they once knew. But as their beliefs turn apart from the orthodoxy, so does the way of representing that. As birth and the whole natality issue have more specific weight within the families and the Cult, I think it is quite normal that we begin to see different representations of deity. We'll begin to see fertility icons, representations of motherhood incorporated to the cult.

I think of fertility goddesses, kind of the Venus of Willendorf...
...or this Tanith/Astarte

SO. If you read through this you may see where I'm heading. Combining all the above I finally sculpted this tiny abomination:

A pregnant Genestealer mother goddess primitive icon. Deal with it
And I gave her an improvised altar in a corner. A place not particularly visible nor 'official' (within the unofficiality of the Cult), but a spontaneous place of meeting, in which expecting mothers pray for a good pregnancy and a healthy new generation of hybrids; a place where you can lit up a candle and place pics of your missing or lost relatives, victims of the Imperial scum on the surface, and where you leave farewell letters or improvised poems. That kind of thing:

Always in our memory. Do not forget. Praise the four arms mother, wife of the Patriarch
All this fuss was only about this diminute sculpt in a corner. Let's go back to the whole corridors stuff. A comparison shot:

Not exactly the same, but they work together
 This is everything I have so far:

This begins to look like a dungeon, but still needs a lot of work
I don't know where the fertility icon idea came from, but I think it makes at least a little sense, giving motherhood a more relevant presence in the Cult. In fact I have been thinking that the whole 'subversion through religion' idea opens a lot of doors.  I think I may be breaking the Eurocentric vision of religious idols for future stages of this project. Instead of mere mockery of medieval European worship (as I have done so far), I might open the scope to other representations of deity.
Hmmm, that's food for thought and needs more elaboration. I have work for a future post then...