Thursday, 3 October 2013

The final photos for the Iron Hands Legion Primarch, Ferrus Manus. This is my first Primarch project and i'm relieved to have one under my belt. I own Angron and Fulgrim but indecision has forced me to put off the projects to later dates. Still wrapped up in the enthusiasm of Games Day I broke the seal and put primer to resin before I could let doubts settle. 

It's pretty inane of me to state this is a brilliant sculpt - it is, undoubtably. It's there for all to see. The details alone render this an iconic work, echoing the character of the Primarch. However what elevates this to a masterpiece are the little details that aren't so obvious until you examine the model in person. The most obvious of which is Ferrus' facial expression. Having read stories about Ferrus I thought this model would be sculpted with a furious expression - some clumsy metaphor of a volcano exploding or some such. However I feel Simon has done something more interesting and managed to capture doubt. 

Now, in a universe of striding mega-man-gods doubt and self reflection can become the first sacrifice  to battle porn action sequences. It's very easy to loose the human element and trivialize the characters turmoil into simply reactionary actions. I found Ferrus to be quite a straight forward character, a literalist. Just look at his armour; there are no flowery embellishments (save for the hammer), no ornamentation beyond base function. He is all about hard edges, cogs within the machine and a progressive logical outlook in the universe. This is a beautiful contrast to Fulgrim, the avatar of the madness behind reality. For Ferrus to experience doubt is to see his universe shattered. 

The other detail I noticed is the dying Emperor's Children model on the scenic base. This got me thinking about the role of the witness throughout history. In this particular case the cost of seeing the gods duel is his very life. If the warrior were to survive he would have the responsibility to re-tell the tragic story of Istvaan, from which the Empire of Man, in the shadow of the Golden Throne would take shape. 

Karak Norn Clansman raises the interesting criticism that I should have added legion insignia to the dead/ dying space marines on the base. I left them devoid of detail for a reason.  I agree with you, but for this particular piece I don't think having a back story is appropriate for the auxiliary characters - it is part of the tragedy. 

Hector from the History Boys illustrates what I tried to achieve better than I can put into words. 

Hector: "The important thing is, he has a name. Say Hardy's writing about the Zulu wars - or later - or the Boer War possibly, and ... These were the first campaigns when soldiers, common soldiers, were commemorated. The names of the dead were recorded and inscribed on war memorials. Before this, soldiers, private soldiers, were all unknown soldiers. And so far from being revered, there was a firm in the nineteenth century (in Yorkshire, of course) which swept up their bones from the battlefields of Europe in order to grind them into fertiliser. So, thrown into a common grave he may be, he's still Hodge, the drummer. Lost boy, though he is, on the far side of the world, he still has a name."

By not having a 'name' I am robbing them of a place in history, leaving them part of the unremembered dead. Istvaan has annihilated their history, as it will rob them of a future. This is part of the silence of the witness in my write up. 

Or perhaps he would witness his Primarch fall to damnation and die. Perhaps the only appropriate response to these events is the silence of the massacred. 


P.S a preview piece. 

1 comment :

  1. Wow

    Not only an incredible paint job on an incredible sculpt, but a philosophical take on the piece too. And then that lovely pair beneath is a great parting shot!

    So yeah, wow....