Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Morathi Queen of the Druchii.

Out of all the Dark Elf characters Morathi is possibly my favourite. On the battlefield she is a force of nature, unpredictable, wild and exciting. While aspects of the current model are excellent, I felt there were a few things I could improve upon. 

First was the post of the pegasus. In my opinion the current GW sculpt is too small and obscures what should be the main focus of the model; the rider. Because the current Dark Pegasus is rearing up ready to take to the skies, it's bat like wings spread wide, it is easy to forget there is a rider at all. The Morathi sculpt itself suffers for this and she is in an awkward pose, fist clenched screaming into the sky with no sense of movement or dynamism. The first thing to change had to be the pegasus for the older version and re position Morathi into a more natural and dynamic pose. 

I was very conscious that a large proportion of the model was the Dark Pegasus itself and could easily dominate the eye when complete. I was also conscious that it had to be a dark Pegasus and would probably be black - but black can be a hideously boring colour to look at. I decided to paint the Pegasus as if it were magically charged; not a wholesome beast, but deformed by Morathi's art. I used cold colours on the pegasus and snuck a little green into Morathi's skin tone to bring it to the fore. I also painted the magic emanating from her hand in cool colours to add a visual link from the pegasus to the rider. I painted the shadows around the OSL magic in her hand and mounted her on a snowy rock base. 


Sunday, 27 May 2012

This is a commission piece based off the unreleased Necromunda Brave (below). I've sculpted the feather as an optional extra. 

Comparison shot:


Friday, 18 May 2012

Sculptor: Alex Hedstrom
Release Date: 2005

The infamous Kal Jerico and his side kick Scabs; Wanted, dead or alive! These wonderful sculpts by Alex Hedstrom were a joy to paint and mark the opening to a new series of articles I am writing called Citadel Legends.

 The pose of Kal is so nochelant, confident, and he's firing a gun sideways - how much more gansta can you get? Before this set was realesed you had to use a scavvy alternative to represent Scabs, but the sheer character of the Hedstrom sculpts blows any other representation I have seen out of the water. I I've modeled some archotech on their bases to represent the decaying bowels of the Underhive. 

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Availability: Raging Heroes and all good online retailers. Very easy to find
Price: £16.50 for 5 basic Blood Vestals and £18.60 for the Command (excluding shipping)
Details: 28mm in scale in white metal. Designed by Benoit Guerville, sculpted by Benoit Guerville & Jean - Romain Barrau.

Look what came in the mail this morning! The much anticipated Blood Vestals by raging heroes. As a Druchii fan, I get giddy at the thought of little metal women in a frenzy. While I am a fan of Games Workshop's Witch Elf sculpts, Chris Fitzpatrick's sculpts are looking a little dated. With Avatars of War and Mantic rumoured to be producing Witch Elf equivalent kits, it is Raging Heroes who are the first on the scene. Let's see what they have to offer.

I received a confirmation e-mail on the 2nd of May to say that my order had been dispatched and were sent via France's postal service and I received the package on the 10th. They came well packaged each in an individual polytene bag. There were no missing miniatures and none were broken. While I experienced no problems with the service, DarkMark over at did, receiving a troop box instead of a HQ. Considering the size of the company and the large quantity of orders they were shipping out I was expecting to see a crop of messages op up across the forums with these types of complaints. I am happy to see that this seems to be an isolated incident (please post if you have had a different experience) and was quickly resolved by the guys from the Raging Hero team. I tend to judge companies by their reactions to set backs like this, and Raging Heroes pass with flying colours. 

The first thing I have to say is that they are beautiful. I was immediately struck by the delicate grace of the miniature and the more natural proportions in comparison to GW's. I've compared the miniature to two different generations of Witch Elves so that you can see the difference. I was also struck by how simple the sculpture is. I'm used to Citadel miniatures which are quite ornate and detailed (lots of skulls). Raging Heroes have kept a sleek, stylish concept that allows the painter to really play with the tone of skin and hair. The lack of detail allows these models to be used across a wide range of game systems and are not stymied to just one.

Above is another size comparison shot next to a Repeater crossbowman and my converted Spear elf. 

Turning the model around in your fingers is very nice. I got the feeling of holding something precious; it's the kind of model that takes you back to being a child and feeling that same thrill of having a new toy to play with. However, while I praise the Blood Vestal kit for its delicacy, from a practical point of view the ankles and wrists look very thin and I believe some people would find it hard to remove the flash tab and pin the model in place. The flash tab on model above is slightly too large to fit into the slotted tab, so that means a nervy clipping session to get it right. 

I'm not sure how well this kit would fare the rigours of a regular gamer.  I'd dread to think what would happen if it were to break - pinning that would not be a fun experience. 

Because these are early production miniatures you would expect there to be little flash. I struggled to find the flash line and could only manage the above photo to show how little there is. removing it was very easy; a few passes with my scalpel knife removed any flash present. The models do have quite a lot of release agent on them, so please make sure you wash them before you apply a primer. 

In conclusion, these are exquisite models that really fill me with hope for the future of miniature sculpture. I am still a sceptic about artists using CAD sculpts exclusively to produce kits, but the Blood Vestals show what this new technology is capable to producing. The elegant simplicity of these miniatures encourage artists to explore a space, or gamers to quickly paint these for the battlefield. I have no doubt that this company is destined for bigger and better things and these Blood Vestals may be remembered as a seminal product in their history. 

And for all those lucky enough to have the models in their possession, but don't know how to paint them, here's a little inspiration for you.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

These are the finished fantasy Fenrisian wolves built for my Dark Elf Dark Riders. These are fantastic models, so fun to paint. I painted these in winter colours inspired by these photographs:

I've tried to emphasise the movement of the wolves with the snow, patting it in the fur and raised paws. 

I hope you like.