Sunday, 30 June 2013

Cynath Ch'Ihll
The Black Prince. The Bastard of Ch'Ihll. The Gorgon's Disgrace.

Cynath remains the sole heir to the Ch'Ihll dynasty, an ancient name that ruled Lost Nagarythe at the behest of doomed Aenerion. The Black House is ancient, even by the reckoning of the Elves and holds many traditions that pre-date the Great War against Chaos in the first age. 

The Prince is possessed of a wild and savage temper, unpredictable in his wrath and reward. He is tall, even for an elf, slender of shoulder with a thin, sullen face. His skin is the colour of fresh snow, his handsome features crippled by cruelty, pierced through with daemonic carmine eyes. His hair is a silver white and his blood is a rich prurple of the nobility of Naggaroth; poisonous to the lesser races, intoxicating to other Elves. 

The Black Prince is a bastard of the house; a title that is fashionable in the higher echelons of Naggarond society. In truth, matters of legitimacy and blood inheritance are of little consequence to those of power, only invoking these ancient mores in matter of politics. Lokastias, the current Matriarch of the Ch'Ihll dynasty, has not birthed a child that is hale and whole since Cynath. It is talked of that the Prince is the doom of the Ch'Ihll dynasty, the last in the line of monsters.

Cynath's father is a mystery to the young prince. Lokastias's bed is open to monsters, witches and elves alike: her rutting birthing monsters into the world. Cynath has been known to boast that his sire was a daemon of the blackest hells, but the truth is not so. Before Alith Anar became King of the Shadow Lands, Aliar Corwain ruled this blighted realm. He is only now remembered as the Forgotten King, for he turned his back on honour, duty and the isles of Ulthan for the charms of his dark lady; Lokastias. Cynath, born of the true Blood of Ch'Ihll and Ulthan weds the old lands together and may claim by right of birth the broken ruins of the Shadowlands.  

Cynath bears the Dragon Glass Ring, a bibelot that every true born Ch'Ihll must wear as a mark of their lineage and their secret servitude to their patron Daemon-God Arioch Ch'Ihll, from whom the Dynasty derives their name. Cynath wears the ancient Lorica of Lost Nagarythe, as worn by the Kings of old before the Sundering. The armour is wrought with painstakingly beautiful fashion, the minutiae of which tells the history of the Elvish race. Scenes of the Birth, the enslavement by the Old Ones and the life of Aenerion play across the obsidian metal in silent repose, forever doomed to enact the triumphs and tragedies of the great Elvish civilization. The Strangers Smile is a helm that contains the lingering essence of a long dead deity that allows Cynath to dream strange dreams of the forgotten Pantheon. 

The final hierloom of the Ch'Ihll House the Black Prince wields is the Dark Sister, Mother's Woe, otherwise spoken of as The Tear of Khaine. This long sword is Nagarythe steel, a rare breed of weapon owned only by a few houses in Naggaroth and Ulthan.  This ancient heirloom of the Ch'Ihll house was created in the first age, before the coming of Chaos and has ended the lives of traitors, kings, thieves and heroes.With it, the Black Prince sings a song of ruin in the Northern wastes at the head of a private army drawn from the house retainers and nobles of infamous repute. 

I've owned the base of the model since I was twelve years old. Cynath has been known as Kharn Heartbreaker, Kharn Darkstar, but I finally settled on the name Cynath after reading the rune in an old High Elf army book. In the old tongue, Cynath means 'chill, silence, loneliness, fear of death' - all very appealing themes to a child indulging in a little fatalistic narcism (as an aside I also found this which was a little weird). In retrospect, this was a good name to pick, as it isn't really a name at all, but functions as a noun in the Elven language. The bastard born prince is undeserving of a name and so is simply branded with an ill fated nomenclature. 

The miniature is one of Jes Goodwin's classics (original can be found here) and I fell in love with sculpt as soon as I saw it. I decided on a Dark Elf army based on the Darkblade series of comic books and my first few conversions were heavily influences by this character. 

The painting is the culmination of study into NMM, TMM and contrast that I've been practicing for the past year. I love the work of Georc and I have tried to emulate the NMM of the black to be noticeably different to the black of his cloak. I knew this model would be very dark and monochromatic and I was terrified it would look boring. Black can easily end up looking dull and un-interesting, so I decided to paint the armour as if it were highly polished, using blues to bring out the sheen. I used yellows, beige and colours closer red on the colour spectrum on the cloth to make the two blacks look different. 

I used carmine (more red than purple) as a spot colour on the ring, the tear on the sword and the Prince's eyes. Cynath's skin is quite pallid, with undertones of blue and purple - he's an aristocrat of Naggaroth and needed to be quite pale. The white hair is nod to Elric Stormbringer, the hero of Moorcok's Eternal Champion series whom this character was influenced by. 

The base is special built using a GW cavalry base and three 25mm bases. I found the standard cavalry base to be inadequate for Gamezone's beast of a Cold One. Although I'm a little worried about using this larger base on the battlefield, aesthetically, I'm glad I re-mounted the lord and the cavalry on Gamezone's version of the Cold One (Cynath's mount is called Venura by the way). GW's plastic version is smaller than the standard horse and is even smaller than the Fenrisian wolves (which I used for my dark riders). That would not strike fear into the hearts of my enemies. These mounts will. I'm not sure if it is too clear from the photographs but I've modeled clear spittle on Venura's maw. A extra detail for those careful enough to look.

A labour of love leading a force that is another labour of love. 

Now to unleash some hate upon the world! 


Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Veteran Cop: Damn, that sucker can move.
Rookie Cop: What the hell is that?
Veteran Cop: Can't exactly look right now, kid.
Rookie Cop: Up there. Freaking weird.
Veteran Cop: You gonna tell me or - Holy...
Rookie Cop: You're slowing down?
Veteran Cop: Yeah. We're in for a show, kid.

Friday, 21 June 2013

 "My dear penguins, we stand on a great threshold! It's okay to be scared; many of you won't be coming back. Thanks to Batman, the time has come to punish all God's children! 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th-born! Why be biased? Male and female! Hell, the sexes are equal with their erogenous zones blown sky high! Forward march! The liberation of Gotham has begun!"

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

The Great Boy Wonder, Robin. This character has carried alongside it a depth of tragedy that is only rivaled by the more recognizable cast from the Batman universe; the joker, Batman himself, or Harley Quinn. Watch Batman; Under the Read hood, or read the recent story ark; Batman, a Death in a family to understand my sentiment.

The role of the boy wonder is also a curious one in the mythos of the universe. The very concept of effectively raising a surrogate child in a world of absolute violence is unsavory to say the least. The character is certainly compelling and the sculptor did a great job trying to capture the the projected physicality Robin attempts to convey, and the threat of violence his adolescent form cannot fully articulate.


Friday, 14 June 2013

Nightwing has quite a confusing history. I only have a passing knowledge of the Batman Universe and I assumed that Nightwing was a former Robin...boy was I wrong

The model itself was challenging to paint. Like Batman this model had a lot of black surfaces that needed extreme highlighting to bring out the textures and details of the piece. I fear for the life of those mace clubs if this were to be used heavily in games. Like a lot of the Knight Model range what you gain in looks and appropriate scaling, you sacrifice in durability. 


Thursday, 13 June 2013

"Criminals are a terror. Hearts of the night. I must disguise my terror. Criminals are cowardly. A superstitious terrible omen. A cowardly lot. My disguise must strike terror. I must be black. Terrible. Criminals are a superstitious cowardly lot. I must be a creature. I must be a creature of the night. Mommy's dead. Daddy's dead. Brucie's dead. I shall become a bat."

This marks the first in a line of commissions collecting the entire cast of the Batman universe as represented by the Knight Models company. I've deliberately gone for a film noir, desaturated palette with these miniatures as befits the nature of Batman's shadowy world.


My second incarnation of mighty Throgg. Love painting this bad boy up so much I've decided to do a third! 


Friday, 7 June 2013

Designer: Jes Godwin
Release date: 1989

This model was painted for a friend recently when he decided to move from Skaven to his beloved Nurgle. When we started playing the Chaos books were unified, you could mix daemons with warriors and Beastmen (there's even an early White Dwarf battle report where Skaven Plague Monks are taken with Plague Bearers). His switch in allgience spurred me into painting this miniature, left languishing at the bottom of a bitz box for some years now. 

If you click on the SOL link above you can see that this Chaos Champion was created in an era of unrivaled creative impetus from Jes and the Games Workshop team. Twenty years on we can see how these models influenced the entire range of Chaos miniatures. These guys are a constant source of inspiration and like any great work of art, there is always something new to find on these sculpts.  

I decided to purchase Miniature Mentor's Abyssal Lord tutorial to improve my true metallic metal (TMM) technique. I painted the armour in dark tones, highlighting area's in bronze and contrasted this with very pale skin. The horns were basecoated with P3's Coal Black - this slightly green, slightly blue paint was a nice comprimise between the traditional green associated with Nurgle and my need to put a new spin on this miniature. The mace was finished off with weathering powers (I like to think of this as the Flith Mace). The base was created with dried tree bark, orgenao, basil and some dried leaves from my back garden. 

And so Ol' Smiler makes it three entries in my Citadel Legends campaign. Because of the Classic nature of the piece I decided to photograph this on a traditional 80-90's faded blue background. What to paint next? I feel the spirit of Khaine pressing upon my paint brush.