We haven’t discussed the new sets have we? Or the new images of forthcoming book. Well I’m excited. Very excited by the possibilities the new resin kits open up as well as the art direction forge world are implementing for the 9th. Before we saw the colour plates I wondered what the secondary colour would be. For most Horus Heresy Armies it’s black, and it seems to be that way for the Blood Angels also. I thought they may have gone with a yellow as a throwback to Rogue Trader images (that’s not to say that you can’t use yellow - or that this is in anyway the correct way to paint the Blood Angels - the legion was large and had many factions).
Black, red and gold - a strong colour combination that is in line with their romantic vibe as well as being particularly vampiric. The black second colour will provide an excellent base for strong freehanded images. Unlike other heresy armies who use a sign system (abstracted human forms, eyes, roman numerals etc) the blood angels seem to have full blown fresco's painted on their vehicles. It's incredibly daunting, but something that should stretch the hobby legs of any painter.
9th Legion torsos and heads. I won't be buying any of the shoulder pads as I prefer to user decals. Decals offer a greater opportunity to weather the surface.
There are two things that I am eagerly awaiting from Forge world;
1) What colour are assault marine helmets?
We know in the 40K universe that assault marines have yellow helmets due to the reorganisation of the legions after the Horus Heresy. The yellow helmet denotes their role as fast attack within the chapter. However does this demarcation extend to Heresy era Blood Angels? You can find supporting images for either interpretation and I'm sure the sentiment that you can paint them however you want will persist, but I'd love a little clarification.
2) Decal sheets.
Will the chapter symbol change? Will it be more akin to the classic rogue trader style or the modern one.
In the future I'd love to have brass etch (I know there is a brass etch already but the new stuff looks Heresy centric), legion characters and special units but I am more than willing to wait for these. I think that the 9th will really come into their own at the Battle of Terra, which is for me the seminal battle of the Blood Angels that I associate closest to their back history.
Something that came up in the last seminar was how the Blood Angels view their vehicles. Each is a work of art. This gives us the chance for lots of freehand, working with renaissance images and playing with some the greatest classical images win your cultural lexicon.
Here’s a brief (and I mean very brief) overview of the guiding principles used in renaissance art. If some of this makes it into your own work for the 9th then this article will not be a waste.
Paintings of the Renaissance demonstrate the application of humanistic ideals learned from the ancients. In works from the Middle Ages, saints and Biblical figures are arranged in unnatural, geometric groups, and backgrounds are nothing more than washes of gold. The Renaissance painter depicted the human figure as realistically as possible, often with backgrounds of the natural world. Science had taught the artist how to show linear perspective--that is, how to represent objects in relative sizes so that smaller objects appear to be farther from the viewer than larger objects. Careful use of light and shadow (called "chiaroscuro") made figures appear full and real. Renaissance painters not only portrayed objects with more realism than earlier artists did, they often filled their canvases with more objects, all carefully and accurately depicted.
Painterly techniques of linear perspective, shading and other methods of realism were mastered.
High Renaissance Aesthetics
Techniques involving linear perspective and vanishing points, foreshortening, illusionistic devices, chiaroscuro and sfumato shading - all these methods were mastered during the High Renaissance. During the cinquecento, the near universal adoption of oil painting eliminated the matt colours of the 15th century, and made it possible for distance to be conveyed solely through the gradation of tones - a process known as aerial or atmospheric perspective.
Even so, despite the growing realism being achieved in their art, High Renaissance artists aspired to beauty, and harmony more than realism. Their paintings may have been based on nature but they had no interest in mere replication. Instead they looked for ultimate truth in a study of the classical world of Greek and Roman culture. It was this that provided artists with an ideal of perfection: their aesthetics. Thus, Greek philosophy provided the secret of the perfect human type with its proportions, muscular structure, oval face, triangular forehead, straight nose, and balance - with the weight on one hip - all of which can be seen in the paintings of Raphael, and the immensely expressive sculpture of Michelangelo. The latter in particular was never afraid to bend the realistic rules of anatomy and proportion, in order to increase his power of expression.
It was through Classical Greek philosophy that Renaissance theorists and artists developed their idea of 'Humanism'. Humanism was a way of thinking which attached more importance to Man and less importance to God. It imbued Renaissance art with its unique flavour, as exemplified in works like Leonardo's Mona Lisa (a non-religious painting), Michelangelo's David - a more human than religious statue - and Raphael's cool secular fresco School of Athens. Even when High Renaissance artists painted a religious painting or sculpted a religious scene, very often they were not glorifying God but Man. They were exalting the ideals of classical aesthetics.
Something to bear in mind when planning a big freehand project is to work with the lines of the vehicles, not override them otherwise your design will end up looking like graffiti. Take the lessons of the renaissance to heart - work to create a harmonious piece, working within context of the model, don’t go against the grain.
And finally the new plastic Heresy Set!
I feel like I should do a separate article on this as the set opens up a whole new vista of possibilities for adding to and developing new armies. There's a great article on Bell of Lost Souls with an introduction to 30K and what to do with two of the new box sets.
Because I have 18 tactical marines painted already I feel that I need Assault marines next (because, you know, Blood Angels) I don't think this will be the best value for money for me. However, when has a good decision ever gotten in the way of buying toy models? With the sheer bulk of marines this set provides it will allow me to make support marines with Volkites (nothing says 30K dark tech quite like Volkite weaponry), convert destroyers, create breachers and fill out some of those choices that orbit around the main thrust of the army, but help modify it. I dare say that the terminator set and Contemptor will be incredibly good value through eBay and will allow you to easily create Contemptor Talons (maybe a small Zone Mortalis force) and Pride of the Legion Forces.
The most exciting part of this is the interest it is generating in the community. I can't wait to see a whole heap of people join in and get going with their forces. I can't wait to see the same inventive endeavour I see people put into 40K collections.
Until next time.