Sunday, 22 December 2013

Terra was not created in order to disappear - Terra will endure and flourish. It is the child of hope and the home of the brave. It can neither be broken by adversity nor demoralized by success. It carries the shield of democracy and it honors the sword of freedom.
Ancient Terran War Chieftain. 


A commissioned piece for a much larger force of Custodes that should arise in the new year. We decided that this Valdor should be present on Terra in the final moments of the Great Heresy. I wanted a stern posture, confident and unyielding. The gold was created using metallic air silver mixed with VMC Sepia ink and then glazed with GW washes. 

I decided to emblazon the cloak with Terra images - Eagles, wreaths and lightening bolts. There is no artifice of double meaning behind the imagery - he is a straightforward, honest guardian to the Emperor. 

Although during this project I couldn't help but feel that Valodr's place is amongst the Imperium is a little redundant. Anything capable of killing, of even wounding The Emperor would have little trouble over coming his guardians. Perhaps the creation of the Custodes was to put humanity and legions and Humanity at large at ease? By having guardians it implies he needs protecting and thus mortal. 


Monday, 16 December 2013

Of the primeval Priests assum'd power,
When Eternals spurn'd back his religion;
And gave him a place in the north,
Obscure, shadowy, void, solitary.
Eternals I hear your call gladly,
Dictate swift winged words, & fear not
To unfold your dark visions of torment.

The First Book Of Urizen, William Blake.

[Pict Capture] Lorgar contemplation within the Holy of Holies,  Colchis

Lorgar stands within the inner sanctum of Colchis most revered holy site; The Py Thia Temple, or the Holy of Holies. This site is a cave rather than a man made construction that reached two miles into the Ascendant Mountain Ranges and is a popular ground for pilgrimage from people of the surrounding sector. The name Py Thia derived from Pytho which in myth was the original name for Delphi (cross reference proto Gothic cultre archive). 

The agreed upon theory of Imperial archivists is that the inner sanctum where a priest could communicate directly with god and be induced into a frenzied state was due to the highly toxic vapors rising from the rock. The induced priest would wander out from the inner sanctum speaking in tongues which other holy men would interpret and mark as propheies preserved in Colchisian literature.

Lorgar here wears red as is traditional for seekers of revelation entering the inner sanctum of the Holy of Holies. In this aspect he is the spiritual leader of Colchis, a physical conduit between the realm of the flesh and of the Gods. He wields Illuminarum a master crafted crozius that at its heart contains a fragment of Colchis core suspended in gravitic fields. Upon his right Pauldron rests the Book of Lorgar upon upon the passages "Songs of Innocence and Experience". The pauldron has a energy refractor field & teleportation fail-safe ensuring the work will survive even the bodily destruction of the Primarch. 

Forge World have produced another master piece of the model. My hat is well and truly doffed to Edgar Skomorowski.

Aurelian poses some very difficult challenges to the painter, chief amongst these being the gold script lining his face. A beautifully evocative image, but a nightmare for the figure painter. Forge World very sensibly painted Lorgar's skin lined with black. Gold does not show up well on skin tones nor does it give any meaningful contrast. At best it would look neat, most likely it would be a mess; so I decided to cheat. I painted Aurelian's face as if it were underlit by his suit. This gives the skin a golden tone before I start painting the Scripture, but also halos the Primarchs head quite nicely. I decided to go for yellow over a more contrasting blue to represent fire (Lorgar's head is a bright yellow, the under light is organge, his armour is red and the base is gret/ black). I also had Willaim Blake's Book of Urizen plates in my head and I couldn't escape trying to represent the damnation of the character through the painting.

The image on his cloak is a nod to Blake (see image below). I'll leave the interpretation of the image in relation to Lorgar to you as I beleive there are multiple reasons why the Primarch is sometimes known as the Urizen.


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

General. Liberator. Conquerer. First Son of the Imperium. Horus Lupercal. 

(From right to left) Ezekyle Abaddon, Horus Lupercal, Garviel Loken, Torgeddon. 

The Truimph of Ullanor

This pict capture (recovered from a routine data sweep of Imperial records, Terra) shows the Heretical Primarch Horus leading his forces at Ullanor. The Ullanor Crusade marked the largest war undertaking in Imperial History toppling the Xenos Ork empire; safeguarding the future of Humanity amongst the stars. 


What can I say about Horus that hasn't been said before? He's Alexander. He's Hannibal and Churchill. He's the man. No other character draws the imagination in the entire cannon of the 40K universe. 

For the painting I wanted Horus to have cleaner, brighter armour than his sons draped with a deep imperial red cloak. The symbol of the eye, Horus' personal heraldic device, stands above the imperial eagle dwarfing it in size. The eye symbol is prominent on this model, even over shadowing the legion symbol of the wolf and moon. Although this character was created to display Horus as an exemplar of Imperial virtue I couldn't help put little hints like this in to remind us of his immense arrogance and hubris. 


Sunday, 8 December 2013

"For the warrior, the only crime is cowardice."
— Attributed to Primarch Horus Lupercal

Lupercal! Lupercal! Lupercal! All Hail the Warmaster! 

Friday, 6 December 2013

The Eagle & The Serpent

  An Eagle swooped down upon a Serpent and seized it in his talons
with the intention of carrying it off and devouring it. But the
Serpent was too quick for him and had its coils round him in a moment;
and then there ensued a life-and-death struggle between the two. A
countryman, who was a witness of the encounter, came to the assistance
of the eagle, and succeeded in freeing him from the Serpent and
enabling him to escape. In revenge, the Serpent spat some of his
poison into the man's drinking-horn. Heated with his exertions, the
man was about to slake his thirst with a draught from the horn, when
the Eagle knocked it out of his hand, and spilled its contents upon
the ground.

 "One good turn deserves another."

Aesop Fable


Some freehand work for a Sons of Horus Commission. If you would like to improve your freehand technique try using a short haired round brush. This allows greater control over the movement of the strokes. 


P.S Oh the quote story...has absolutely nothing to do with the Heresy. Unlike my other quotes that I can claim some kind of tentative contextual link to the wider Horus Heresy this is just a nice story. 

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

“I incline to Cain's heresy," he used to say quaintly: "I let my brother go to the devil in his own way.” 

Robert Louis Stevenson. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde


Phew...what a piece. This felt more like a battle than a painting exercise. This was a difficult piece to attempt - not only are both miniatures exceptionally detailed but they can act as centerpieces all by themselves. I couldn't shake the idea that both Ferrus and Fulgrim were miniature suns exerting their individual gravity on the scene. The space marines littering the base are reduced to spectators (space particles if I were to belabour the metaphor) destroyed by the two titans dueling for the fate of Mankind's future.

I aimed to contrast the characters by their skin tone. Fulgrim has a blue undertone with a slightly lighter skin tone. Ferrus has more earthy, oily tones. The presentation of the armour is something of a contrast too with Ferrus weathered and dinted by battle. Fulgrim on the other hand is untouched by the tumult of battle around; he is a fey creature - not of the world of rust, grinding destruction and fire that Ferrus inhabits.

It will be my great pleasure to paint Angron next as a personal project (well, Angron won't be the very next Primarch I paint...the Great first Son of the Imperium will be the next).


Friday, 29 November 2013

“I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active - not more happy - nor more wise, than he was 60,000 years ago.” 

 Intimations on Perfection, unpublished treatise. Author Unknown.

Fulgrim's character is one of intense darkness and light. On the one hand he is the most idealistic (although Lorgar may disagree) of the Emperor's sons, striving for the perfection he believes humanity is capable of. His legion bore that responsibility until its disintegration, where each soldier chose what his personal ideal of perfection would be rather than the prescribed divinity of the Emperor. 

I wanted to reflect this duality in the painting and modeling of the miniature. I painted Frulgrim in pristine armour, untroubled by the dirt and battle around him. He is above such things. The gold is a good foil to the purple armour. I decicded to paint the inside of Fulgrims cloak cream to further highlight the rich purple of the Emperor's Chidlren Livery. I changed Fulgrim's position of the base, putting him in a more central position. I couldn't imagine Fulgrim being content on the periphery of any scene, he dominates the centre stage. 

This is the second Fulgrim I have painted, the first being a private conversion commission. I have painted this for a collector alongside Ferrus Manus (seen in the last picture). My version was heavily inspired by the redoubtable Warmaster Painting Fulgrim which can be found here.

Tomorrow will reveal the full diorama.