Tuesday, 29 July 2014

"It is not enough to claim the galaxy in the fire of war. The Crusade must temper the will of those we seek to liberate, or we set the galaxy aflame and leave nought but ash in our wake." 

Vulkan - The Tome of Fire [Unverified quote]


Paints used: Vallejo, Reaper Master Series, Games Workshop Washes, Com Art Medea Airbrush
Paint Brushes: Rosemary & Co. Raphael 8040, Broken Toad Brushes

My initial impressions of how I would tackle Vulkan were informed by the Salamander palette used in Rogue Trader and in the new Horus Heresy book. I remember seeing the new changed tone when the Armageddon supplements appeared (along with the famous army deal boxed sets for Salamanders, Orks and the Steel legion) not much liking the revised brighter tone the chapter had taken. 

The changed Salamander armour tone. 

The earthier tone of the piece was achieved by putting a little brown paint in every colour I used. The green is a camo colour from Vallejo shaded with brown and highlighted and washed with a green with slightly more blue. This helps break up the armour shades adding a little visual interest to the viewer. Something else I wanted to concentrate on was the mantle of Vulkan. I didn't want to paint the shoulder dragon head as a skull but as a leathery sunken head with desiccated flesh. I used an oil wash with weathering powders, worked into the cracks and crevices to give the false impression of age worn skin.  I've taken photos of the step by step stages used to paint Vulkan and an article will be forthcoming shortly in Figure Painting Magazine

Warlords of Ullanor

eBay Listing for Vulkan

Monday, 21 July 2014

The Helmet of Horror

For those privileged  lords that measure their life times over millennia, for those few monsters who have gorged on the terror of empires for time out of mind, there arises an ennui; a crushing all consuming boredom at the perversions of dark eldar culture. The soul shrivels, and excess burns to a thin lingering smoke trail of blasted memory.

Few have done so, but sometimes these lords will give his house's wealth, political assets and holdings over to an ancient homunculus in exchange for internment in the helmet of horror; the pain engine of the lords of Comarragh. For what care does a lord have for the welfare of his court if they bring him no joy?

The helmet of horror resembles the Talos, with an extended serpentine tail to keep it in contact with the ground. The carapace is thronged with an extended nervous system. Chemical injectors line the flesh of the pain engine, and at the end of the shielding lies the helmet. The is another sensory node that replaces the head of the lord and pumps a chaotic stream information into the body. This concussive assault of sensation is relayed into the minds of other combatants and in turn, so to can their sensations be fed into the Helmet:  a reinforcing harmonic of agony that grows in pitch of intensity.
For the dismembered head, many light years, if not dimensions away from the danger, there is only the numbing cessation of being; waiting in one of the Homunculus's oubliettes for the sensations  and experiences of the Helmet of horror to quicken their souls.


I was inspired to create this piece after reading Victor Pelvin's The Helmet of Horror. It is a re-imagining of the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur and has left a lasting impression on me. The motif of the Labyrinth is a troubling one, explored throughout the work of Pelvin and Borges. I imagine the Dark Eldar have wrestled with such philosophical knots for centuries and have found ways to manipulate it into their pain engines. 

The Helmet of Horror is essentially a logic trap - a second reality that supersedes the wearer and the controller both. When two Dark Eldar enter into the Helmet, they become master and slave both. 

The kit was created using the current Talos kit and the Necron Wraith kit. The wearer is a conversion using an old Haemonculi. I painted the Talos to fit in with the rest of my Dark Eldar Kabal using TMM with green and blue washes. This is slightly darker than the rest of my collection and I'm aiming to paint  more Dark Eldar like this. The blood effect was created with Tamiya Clear Red and a pinch of Black ink. The lump in the middle of the base was created by melting some plastic and forming it into a small circle.