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.