Thursday, 6 September 2018

Conversations with Vaul

I was just talking to a friend of mine. He said something really interesting (Brett if you're reading this it was our convo that sparked this off)  He was talking about a cracker of a model he did, really nice alternate Khorne color scheme that utilities blues, whites and golds. His style is neat and crisp and his highlights pop! I commented that (As his time zone is 14hrs behind me) it must be late there! He responded with "I was laying down but I had to finish Abraal, he was talking to me."
What he said jumped out at me. It made me stop for a second. Now I know none of us "Hear" our models talking to us but in the same vein what a peculiar choice of words! I think, what it translates into is that the hobby is such a pivotal part of our lives in the modern world. The modern us, with our work stress, bill stress, our (for me at least) difficult to navigate social relationships, our constant go go go lives.. we need a release. Hobby IS that release. Anything that gives us an escape, a way to heal from the stress is going to take up a very large and real part of our lives. Some turn to weights, sports, drugs, alcohol, church! I think that what ever it is we can all agree, it speaks to us. When I started this project (see the first entry) I was hit by a need to see my game preserved. So much so I am willing to pay with both currency and time to see it come to fruition. This is a decades long commitment that is second only to my immediate family in its importance! So while it came as a surprise to hear Brett use the terminology, after truly thinking about it, I completely understand! If he felt only half of what I do for his hobby, whether it be painting, sculpting, cutting and shutting or playing, of course he would be talking to his models, they are THAT important! I'll admit, I have begun to take it a bit further of late. Where before I would talk myself through a project or work through a color scheme in my head, now I find myself legit asking Vaul what he thinks! I know its stupid and quite frankly I don't give a fat rats crack! It helps me.. A LOT! I'm churning out models that are a good caliber at a good speed! My little brother and I are having more games than we have ever had and I'm feeling like this universe is truly coming together. I'm driven, I have a goal! and even if it never comes to fruition, I'll have an amazing display with which to decorate my home! It will be a few years but I truly enjoyed the feeling of looking at last years work (the armies project) and seeing a physical manifestation of my time and effort. I once thought i was king shit for using Orcs to wipe out every war hammer race in total war.. I even saved the file as "No one left Waaagh!!! and while I look at that pic and giggle, I don't get anywhere near the pleasure I get from looking at my completed project. I Understand how being a creator, of anything, is so rewarding! Seeing that physical manifestation of your hard work and being able to appreciate it is just wonderful! Any how! Next up for the World that is, a gorgeous LEAD forest dragon! I've always loved this model. Just like the Elves, its got so much more movement than the others, its so much more dynamic!  I also need to finish off the last member of my first unit of deep wood scouts and get them on a skirmish tray!


Sunday, 2 September 2018

13 times 13

The Vermin scurry and gnaw. Warpstone; that green glowing, mutation driving, stuff of magic, it gets in everywhere! Vaul and I had been working overtime on trying to get a sizable force of wood elves together. Under the watchful eye of Kurnos & Isha of the Cadai, (part of the pantheon of the elves) rulers of the heavens and revered Gods in the eyes of the Asrai; We were making quite good progress. First came Imrillion, leader of the Autumn host and general of the hunt. Tirsyth is his home and as such all under his command are clad in the colors of autumn. Warm browns and cold grays, straddling the line between life and death. Both Vaul and I feel it fitting that those who inhabit this pocket plane of existence, reflect the eternal twilight of the Old world. Their original creators having cast them aside and we, their saviors, pulling them back from the brink of utter annihilation. Imrillion was given an honor guard of  24 Eternal guard. The sons and daughters of the noble houses of Tirsyth. Each one an adept of the double bladed Asrai Spear. After those, 25 more, were formed, giving Imrillion 49 body guards, all willing to lay their lives down for their lord. Vaul and I were pleased. 49 lives shaped and created in little more than a week. 49 lives with stories, loves, triumphs and failures. Think on that. Each one was the center of their own story and reality. Perhaps not a story that will never be told but a story none the less. It was at this point I journeyed to meat an old friend and mentor. when I say journey i mean i traveled about 30 meters to his abode. He lives a mere stones throw from me. Without getting too far off topic, He is the winner of multiple golden daemons. Possessed of an ability and affinity with art that i could never hope to accomplish myself, I have always looked up to him and since i was a young teenager, been in awe of his work. So when I received a message one day inviting me to see him, I jumped at the chance! I wont describe any more than this, he is a very private person and I think far too much of him to say any more. Every time i see him however, I am inspired to emulate and create. He passed on to me an old unfinished work. This in turn inspired me. I took home his pieces, pieces long fallen into obscurity and almost forgotten. Using putty and greenstuff he had began to model kneeling  Woodelves. The dynamic poses and detail he was able to create out of formless lumps of medium, were just amazing! Inspired, Vaul and I set about creating  a unit of Deep Wood Scouts. The scouts had never been given a stand alone model by Citadel and as a semi elite unit, we decided they must be treated as such. My mentors partially build project became the basis for a beautiful unit of elite elves that would become the second unit of the Autmn Asrai force. 10 Elite Deepwood scouts were made manifest. Between us, Vaul and I created the vanguard for our army. Led by Killendra the Huntress, master scout and a noble of the house Torgvani,  Her hawk Sathrael accompanies her everywhere.




















It is at this point I need to make clear that the bell that tolled came from out of the blue. A terrible peeling of brass on brass. The sound was deafening. 13 times 13 rings came, droning on for what seemed like an eternity. My head split apart, Vauls shocked Elven countenance blurred and faded from my sight, replaced with blackness and two glowing red eyes. The cloying, musky smell of rodent was overpowering. Warp dust hung thick in the air. Its mutating, toxic effects could be felt as surely as the cold prickling of a drop of ice water down a persons spine. The red eyes didn't speak, they did nothing other than hang there, in the blackness, the intent though, that was clear. I had craft an effigy, an idol to his greatness. If I were to be allowed to continue with the Asrai, if I were ever to be given a moments rest or spark of creativity again, I must do this thing.  My old air brush was sitting beneath my studio desk, I was drawn to it, like a drowning man to a piece of driftwood.  forsaking all else, my wife, my newborn son; who was named for the wood elves I was working on. I set to work. Vaul was nowhere to be seen, I could hear he and the other Cadai at the edges of reality. Straining and fighting to break back into the fore front of my psyche. Nothing could break through the musky haze of verminous magic. I toiled by myself, in scant hours the paint flew from my brush, I worked into the dead of the night. By the time Vaul and the others had broken through, the task had already been complete. Isha wept, her crystalline tears shattering upon the earth as they fell. Kurnos raged and set about himself in a destructive frenzy. Vaul, my constant ally, simply beheld my work and with a sad smile and rejoined me in my quest. We set aside the idol and picked up where we had left off, working on yet more Asrai.

Despite the glory of the elves, the radiant, luminous, nobility of the Asur, the cold malevolent beauty of the Druchii and the peaceful, earthy, nature of the Asrai; even with all of the creative potential that their beautiful existence provided, the Skaven had still managed to wormed their way back into reality. Insidious and cunning, the rats had exerted their will, pushing their way to the creative forefront, if only for an instant.




Thursday, 30 August 2018

The restless slumber of dead Gods and the sharper of the universe


While I haven't touched the blog in almost a year its not to say I haven't been busy. I'm full to the brim with pictures and projects. Since my last update, the lord Khaine, Vaul, Kurnos, Nurgle, The Great Horned Rat and all manner of other Gods have been tearing at my psyche, the edges of my consciousness have been rent asunder, torn to shreds. I'm getting ahead of myself though.. First thing is first, Armies on Parade, We took the win, by we I mean Vaul and myself. If it were not for the heavenly smiths input I, as the creator god, couldn't have finished the project, let alone to the level required to win. The scene was that of bloody murder. Corsairs, under the command of Lokhir Fellheart, lead shackled men of the Empire and Bretonnia up an ancient, stony path. Har-Ganeth Guard, the Executioners, formed up and flanked the procession, their banners tussled in the soft breeze. Lokhir presented himself before the Hag and her handmaidens, offering up the chosen slaves. Their sacrifice, at the hands of witches, would fuel the return of Khaine and usher in the true dawn of the ancient gods. Eldritch mist boiled forth from the feet of the Khainite Idol, it blanketed the white haired brides of Khaine. Sath'eledron, Hag and leader of the cult, bathed in the blood of previous sacrifices in her cauldron, looking down with heightened arousal at the wretched blood bags being lead to her. Ancient blood temples bubbled and churned, as the sacrifices were goaded ever closer to the idol. The rich red contents lapped at the edges of the arcane stonework as if having a mind of its own.

I used Dry Ice and hot water to great effect with this build. making a pool at the feet of the idol of Khaine, I was able to drop the dry ice, into the water to create the mist effect, coupled with the red LED's I had wired up into the cliff face its self, the effect was, in a word, fantastic!

  https://youtu.be/mwC_rtmqzOc

https://youtu.be/_4I_kp3T7D0

All of the hard work paid off even before the blood of the last victim had dried, A shrill, metallic scream pierced reality. In a parody of Slaaneshes birth Khaine was once again a force in the old world. Gone was the new age, the so called "Age of Sigmar", the hands of the Creator god had, swept it away, in that one win, the square bases, the rank and file, secured the future of the old world against the depredations and would be ravishes of the round base! The people had voted and in doing so cemented, for eternity, the dominance of the square over the round.






Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Khaine's worshipers grow and the future of Cav

I sat back and beheld what I had done. This Armies on Parade was good for me. I can honestly say, hand on heart I'v never fully completed a warhammer project before. Sure I've painted plenty of models I've fully painted and based some modest sized armies but never to a "better than tabletop" standard. This AoP, my visions and the whispers of dead gods have really driven me to achieve. I have been quickened by seeing this project come to fruition. The effort, the planing the execution, all of it has come together, to form a real, tangible, physical representation of a creator gods will. The plastic, pigment, sand, glue, flock, time, effort, energy. Its all there! Its all there and it has shown me I am on the right path. These stories need to continue to be told, these characters are still yearning to be heard. I had planed to take a break from the hobby, until after the Armies on parade. To let myself unwind and experience the new Total war Warhammer 2. I did try, I gave it a red hot crack but as i sat there clicking the mouse, moving Malekith from battle to battle, Khaine was urging my hand. I kept looking at my paints, looking at my table, seeing the cold dead grey witches, devoid of vigor, practically shapeless in their monochrome uniformity. I couldn't do it. I couldn't put the brush down. So I started my next unit. 20 witch elves, their pale, hated flesh tones that need hours of blending and washing, sapping away an eternity of my life. 6 layers of gold armor, green glaze for poisoned blades, 3 layers of black for the leather with delicate and fine highlighting. These rank and file cultists of the lord of murder were getting the same care and attention as if they were Hellebron herself. 3 weeks and I had churned out another unit of  Witches. fully based, moment tray and ready for battle. as I sat, feeling contented in my work, the lord of murder's hand took my chin, his powerful grip no longer incorporeal and devoid of substance. Now the metallic tang of blood was all too real, the smell, the heat and the feel. The viscous fluid, tickled as it ran in rivulets to form thick oozing stalactites hanging from my jaw, drips fell with a dull tap-tap-tap on my cream carpet. None of this I saw though. I was transfixed by his gaze, white hot, molten metal orbs, sent icy shards of fear and purpose through me. This was a turning point. Before now I had a hobby, I had a goal, now though, now it was an obsession. He cursed me with conviction, he placed a hex on me a hex that drives me still to this day to complete his rebirth. I am having trouble sleeping, my mind is ablaze with possibilities! I must now finish my next unit of witches, 30 in all. Along with Hellebron, Hag Queen and leader of the cult of Khaine. After them I move onto a unit of 20 sisters of slaughter. Their blood lust and artistic murderous prowess is pleasing to the lord of murder. As for the pirates who supply them their slaves I have 20 more to complete. An interesting aside, While I am well and truly in the grip of Khaine so is Vaul, both of us now brothers in servitude. we have concocted a means by which to add both chariots and cold ones to the army. We will use Kharibdyss heads! They shall be fixed to cav bases, designed to look like water, on their backs shall ride corsairs. They will appear as great sea snakes being ridden into battle by pirate slavers. We will twist sky cutter chariots to shadowy ends, crew them with Corsairs and once again have them drawn by Sea Serpents.  this is the vision of three gods. Lord Khaine shall have his bloody host, they in turn shall sacrifice countless souls to his majesty, given to them by their pirate raider allies. As always though, in the back ground, not more than a whispered suggestion, is a scratching, chittering, and skittering and bells, bells that toll 13 times, 13 times a day. Its enough to drive a person quite mad.












Thursday, 5 October 2017

The sacrifice draws near, Khains power grows

Its been a very eventful month! The day of sacrifice is less than one month away and the Armies on Parade Project is quickly drawing to a close. Lord Khaine is ascendant and eagerly awaiting his return to reality. No longer will he be a shade, struggling against the bonds of entropy. Through this AoP entry, the lord of murder shall once again rise to his rightful place in the pantheon of Deities. Over the last month Vaul possessed me in earnest. He worked through me, shaping mountains, hills, grass and even ancient ruins. Through his creative majesty the entire Warhammer reality has manifested on a 2 x 2 piece of wood. I have hardened my chosen medium (florists foam) using PVA glue, undercoated, sprayed, brushed and flocked. Through Vauls artifice the mediocre wood was transformed into mud, dirt, grass, blood, pathways, vegetation and even eldritch mist! What was once flat, featureless, wood is now a scene of blood-shed, a ritual sacrifice. The wretched are march to their fate, lead by the fierce pirate slaver Lokhir Fellheart, his black hearted crew ensuring none may slip their bonds and flee. A guard of executioners, attended by Tullaris himself watch on, their impassive masks hiding faces well accustomed to visions of blood and death. Frenzied witches dance and cavort at the base of the stairs leading to the place of slaughter. Toasting their sacrifice with a chalice of blood, a hag bathes in the energizing and revitalizing fluid. Xothica, forever young and beautiful, holds in her hand the ritual blade that shall slice the throats of the wretched and allow their precious vitae to flow into her cauldron, their souls offered up to mighty Khaine as fuel for his rebirth. The bleak and imposing crag that houses the cauldron also houses the idol. Khaine's cold and harsh features stare down from on high. Eldritch mists emanate forth, blanketing the landscape, eerie and otherworldly. This is a place of death... and great power. Cyclopean ruins house ever churning pools of blood. Razor leaf vines grow insidiously, feeding on the sorcerous crimson liquid. A common site on the fields of battle, throughout the mortal realms and old world. Their leaves conspire to slice living flesh, in a never ending desire to feed their roots on the life energies of warm bloods. Bodies lay scattered from those foolish enough to attempt escape. The Drichii, ever the sadists, allow those that slip their binds to almost make it to freedom, some being shot with bolts or impaled with spears,  others being beheaded on the very steps of the realm-gate to freedom.

The centerpiece of this project is without a doubt the Mist. I had posted a picture on Instagram of the almost completed build, lamenting the fact I couldn't accurately reflect the mists from the realm of shadow. One of the people the follows me suggested a pool of water and dry ice. I hunted for a dry ice seller in my local area and was lucky enough to find a stockist. I purchased a kilogram and ran some tests. The results of which were fantastic! the dry ice bubbles and fulminates and gives a perfect mist effect. It adds both movement and depth to the entire piece. I've found myself with some time to spare so now I have decided to try my hand at Air brushing to see if I cant make myself a half decent background with which to tie together the entire thing.