Monday, 6 May 2019

Wild men and Untamed Beasts

I had great plans for this bank holiday weekend.

The time had come to ride my bike again, bask in sunshine and hang out with friends. Of course none of this happened since I caught an awful cold and I spent most of the time sneezing in bed alongside a pile of used tissues.

It's not all that bad though as I at least had time to go back to some sculpting and painting.
Yesterday I saw the preview of the new chaos warband for Warcry: the Untamed Beasts and the idea of chaotic savages of the wilderness of Ghur awoke the inspiration to keep going with my Sons of Or.

The new Untamed Beasts fro Warcry are chaotic tribes of the Ghurian Wilderness. Image courtesy of Games Workshop Ltd.

So long story short, here you have another warrior of the Appalachian Tribes

It is again a pretty simple conversion from the golden kit of the Kairic Acolytes with a collection of bits from savage looking bits from a variety of kits (bonesplitters, beastmen Ungor and chaos blood reavers) with some green stuff to enhance the savage and wild aesthetic of the tribes.

Though I am a very slow painter the Sons of Or are a project I am very fond of, dating back to the very first days of AoS, and I still try to find the time to keep working on them and make them a playable warband. Sooner or later I will find the courage to go back to my Wanderer King and do him justice.

Here is the warband as it stands now:

Saturday, 20 April 2019

A few hours later

I managed to find some time to paint! Here is the result (still WIP)

As you can see I decided to keep it really simple, which was the plan from the beginning. These are not  garish nomads or bizarre warlocks but no-nonsense fighters of the highlands. Their colour scheme should convey practicality and robustness, so I went for a very simple palette of cream, browns and dirty blue. For the metal I went for a very slight oxide tinge, obtained with multiple washes of Rhinox Hide and Mourning Brown.

It was very nice, easy and refreshing to paint a model in such a way, using many techniques developed in the past, especially on my old Bretonnian army.
The only part that doesn't photograph too well is the shield, where I used a very light drybrush that the light of my desk lamp make look a bit messy. I think in real life it looks better (and slightly yellower) than in the pictures.
Only heraldry and base to go now!

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

The Oaranium Ibex

An update!

It's been another long while without updates, but I am back now (at least for a while) to show you what I have worked on recently. Very early stages at the moment but here goes the green of the first model of my new gang of the Realms.

He is the first member of a new warband project I am currently working on called the Oaranium Ibex.

I have been wanting to create a warband hailing from Chamon, the Realm of Metal, for a while now. In the past I have been trying to convert something similar but all my attempts failed because of a lack of planning ahead of the conversion. This time I gave a lot more thought to what I was trying to achieve and what bits I would have used and this model, which is the first concept for the warband, is the result of these considerations.

The idea is to explore the aesthetic of the Realm of Chamon, a land imbued with the raw essence of the Wind of Metal and pulsating with alchemical powers. It seems that when people think of Chamon, they think of a steam powered fantasy setting, where the boundaries between magic and technology are blurred and where everyone owns at least a rifle and a pair of goggles.
Nothing wrong with Steampunk aesthetics to me, but I wanted to create something with a different feel that responded to the question "how do humans of the Realm of Metal look" without recurring to over-the-top clockwork technology. 

This warrior belongs to the Oaranium Ibex, a regiment of armed guards specialised in escorting mining expeditions into the dangers of the Cold-iron Anvil.  This vast mountain chain to the north of Chamon is rich in the mineral called Oaranium, a combustible realmstone capable of powering entire civilisations across the Realms. The Anvil is a very hard place though, full of Ironjaws tribes and the mutated remains of the fools who roamed too close to the realm edge. The Oaranium Guild pays well to ensure the protection of the brave pioneers who are willing to venture into those misty heights and the Ibex are one of the  regiments of mercenaries that specialised in mobile warfare and protection of the mineral caravans.

Symbol of the Oaranium Ibex

So that is the general idea: a sort of Klondike pioneers guild of the Mortal Realms. In addition to the soldiers, I am planning to convert a couple of miners, an itinerant blacksmith, a Duardin mountain guide and possibly a wizard/alchemist and an warrior/engineer of the Oaranium Guild to lead them.

Painted updates of the test model to follow, hopefully soon.


Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Happy New Year!

Or as we say here, BUON ANNO! to all my friends and followers!

It has been an amazing 2018 for me hobby wise, with lots of exciting projects and experiments, collaborations and satisfactions.
My invitation from Les Kouzes for the Advent Calendar was of course the highlight, having proven an incredibly enjoyable experience which allowed me to create something with a greater sense of pourpose and work alongside some of my favourite hobbyists around the web.

So lots of nice memories but I decided that instead of posting a retrospective on the past year I should have inaugurated this new season with a preview of what will be coming next year!

Greet the Moonshine Wagon, my latest and final addition to the Caravan of the Hundred Moons!

Of course the still very much a work in progress, but the idea is there'd I am really happy with the general feel of the piece, one of the biggest and more ambitious (and expansive) conversions I ever worked on.
The Wagon is a mix of GW kits, mainly the Empire Hurricanum and the new Nighthaunt Black Coach, one of the best models I've ever seen! When it first came out I started playing with ideas on how to convert it into something that could fit one of my projects and I ended up finding it a suitable use as a big centrepiece for my Caravan of the Hundred Moons. 
I have great plans for this miniature but I already know it will take me an eternity to complete it, so you might see other projects creeping in while I will struggle with the tides of motivation and inspiration to finally complete it. My biggest difficulty at the moment is how in hell to convert the horses. As the Caravan itself is a multidimensional wandering tribe, travelling from Realm to Realm every night, I wanted the wagon to feel imbued with arcane magic. The fact that the Black Coach is flying suited my idea for the model very well, so I would like to retain this aspect, but the horses of the original model are quite challenging to convert, as I do not want them to be skeletal remains but strong stallions infused with a fraction of the power of the Katophranes. I tried with many different options but every single GW horse is simply too small to fit this behemoth of a model. At the moment I am struggling with the green stuffing of the original four horses of the BC, but it's a real difficult feat! I hope I will be able to succeed in the end, I will keep you updated!

IN the meantime I wish all of you a Happy New Year full of hobby, new challenges and projects that will push you out of your comfort zone and to always greater achievements, hobby and life wise.


Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas guys!
To celebrate it in hobbyists fashion, here we have the last article of the advent calendar this year from Les Kouzes. Great job to all of them and if you feel like it, head off to Les Kouzes and vote for your favorite war band.

Les Ladz de Gukrab, from Morbäck

The Caravan of the Hundred Moons, by me

Devoted of Sigmar, by Cagn

Searcher's Guild, by Larg

Les Corbeaux Noir de Ziamak, by Daouide

It was an amazing ride, I am so happy to have participated to it!
My personal favorite must be Morbäck orc war band for painting, Daouide's one interns of color choice and background and Larg's for the conversions. But my favorite model of all the calendar is....

....Drum Roll.....

Panza by Cagn!

This model is a wonderful conversion full of atmosphere and dark humor, like something out of the movie Labyrinth and really reminiscent of the quirkyness of the Old World. J'adore!

Let me know what you guy think about the whole Adven t Calendar, I'd love to discuss with you your favorites and hopefully what inspiration you got from our work.


Sunday, 23 December 2018

The Queen of Crescents

“Those born with the Moon in the House of Ghyran will be generous with the fruits of their harvest but shall see them returned tenfolds on the pan of the Scale of Reckoning” 

Ruling over the people of Caravan the mysterious entity known as the Queen of Crescents is said by her subjects to be the most powerful monarch of all the Realms as her kingdom stretches over a different horizon every dawn.
A mighty enchantress the Queen is a master of illusions, capable of confusing her enemies by manifesting swirling visions of their most intimate dreams and using half true prophecies to lure them to their doom. No man is immune to her seduction and many who now travel along with the Caravan are under the spell of her supernatural beauty, said to be part of the curse that Nagash cast upon her ancestors.
She is also the keeper of one of the most powerful relics of Shadespire: the ancient Oracle of Tauth, a deck of tarot cards said to be so imbued with the eldritch energies of Shysh that, if handled by the blood of the Katophranes, it is capable of unleashing the power of its divinations upon the enemies of the wielder. 
The Queen of Crescents is where it all started. I had this idea for a conversion of a gipsy princess ever since I saw the wonderful Mistweaver Saih from Silver Tower. She had a ballet dancer pose, very dynamic and seductive. In fact I always thought that the more martial aspects of the model (the spikes coming out of her arms and armour) were a bit too much and distracted from the more elegant aspects of the sculpture.
Before starting to plan anything on the caravan and even before trying to define the aesthetic of the miniatures I prepared the sketch below for what was then supposed to be just a gypsy dancer. While I was drawing though I realised there was something quite imposing and interesting in the potential final result, so I gave her a suitably mysterious but imposing name and planned to make of her an important model of the group (though I had no idea what the others would be).

Then of course the conversion itself happened over the course of a feverish weekend. I just moved into my new place and I did not have a table nor a chair so I made the hole thing hunched over my kitchen sitting on a pile of suitcases, It did the job and I was instantly pleased with the conversion, so much so that I can honestly say I was seduced by it somehow. The Queen of Crescent became a very interesting experiment for me, I felt like it could become the beginning of a more experimental phase of my miniature work, though I had no idea how or what was so special about her... Just a personal sensation.

The conversion was not the easiest, I had to use quite a lot of small and fiddly components and resculpt some of the anatomy of the upper torso, but the most involved part, and what gave me the idea for the bases on the rest of the warband, was the billowing smoke and the brazier. I wanted to enhance the sense of movement and give a strong sense of setting to the piece, almost like a small diorama. There should have been action and that action should have involved the base somehow. The cards and coins flying around her just provide that sense of action, though of course I knew they would have been a pain to paint. They actually were the most enjoyable part of the model in the end!

That is it, my complete warband will be showcased on the 25 along with the rest of Les Kouzes works, although as I anticipated I am still working on this project and will have more to show you in the new year! For now let me just express once again my gratitude to all the guys at Les Kouzes and to Maxime in particular for having invited me to this fun ride all together. It was an amazing project to take part to and one which allowed me to experiment a bit with techniques and unusual colour schemes for a change.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Sketches out of the blue

Hi guys! 
I managed to finish a big project (architectural) for a client presentation last weekend, which meant that I had the chance to take a lot of time for myself this week. As a result I went back to drawing and illustrating, my other passion aside from painting and converting miniatures, and since I am pretty chuffed with some of the results I decided to share with you.

All of these drawings are illustrations from a role-play campaign that I am narrating every time I go back home and see my good friends there. 
The setting is one of my most beloved works, I have been detailing and expanding it for more than three years now, and I always thought that illustrations play a big role in setting the tones and atmospheres of a game.
All images are pencil sketches on A4 paper. Each one took between 1 and 3 hours.
Of course I am not a professional (although my actual profession includes quite a lot of hand drawing) but I always try to do my best and push my skills a little with every drawing.

I know it's not miniature, I just felt like sharing and hopefully you will find it a nice change of pace to the later additions to the blog.

Curious to hear what you think.