Friday, 15 February 2019

CCVIII. Bloodfiend and Custodian Wraith - My Sculpts in Metal

If you follow me on Instagram you might have caught this yesterday: I've received a bunch of metal minis cast from my last year's sculpts. I'm quite thrilled about it. The minis will see a release by Harwood Hobbies soon, so if you like them you'll be able to get some for yourself.  I'll be painting one of each through the next couple weeks, and I'll definitely let you all know when they become available.

I've already painted the first two:




These ghosts are white metal miniatures, and 37-40mm tall. The bases I put them on are 32mm diameter, but they were designed to fit OK on 25mm slotta bases.

I'm actually really looking forward to seeing other people's paintjobs on these.

Friday, 8 February 2019

CCVII. Inq28: Sister Beata

Finally got round to painting this model. Bought Canoness Veridyan months ago, as she fit in perfectly with my Inquisitorial retinue. Since the mini was already based on a Blanche illustration, I ended up leaving her unconverted - a rare occurrence on my workbench. She was painted in the same loose style as the other characters. This is actually not faithful to the artwork (it's an actual illustration, not a sketch) but it was more important that she blends in with the warband. Here she is, with a paintjob and a new name:

Sister Beata.

*   *   *

Another thing I want to tell you about in this post is the launch of liminal, my new slow-burn project in a new setting. It involves miniatures but has no gaming component to it. It'll be me exploring further what I can do with scenic miniature photography, in bringing to life an eerie world and its denizens using as little accompanying text as possible. If you end up finding the content there to be murky and unclear, means I'm doing it right.

I want this project to have its own space, so I started a blog for it: HERE. This blog is not going to feature any WIPs or discussions of backstory, inspiration, etc., the way you're used to seeing from me. However, some 'behind the scenes' content about liminal may appear here on Gardens occasionally. By that I mean the technical stuff: how I set up and shoot my photos or craft the scenery and models, etc.

Saturday, 2 February 2019

CCVI. The Remains of Saint Talula

Saint Talula. 

Folk mystic, and later travelling death monk. Propagator of trepanning, for therapeutic as well as spiritual purposes. Invoked against headaches and demonic possession. 

Talula was strangled to death in retaliation for performing a botched trepanation procedure which resulted in the patient's demise.


*   *   *

Trepanning, or trepanation, is drilling or scraping a hole in the skull in order to expose the brain. This was usually done as a cure for various physical and mental ailments. Evidence of the practise goes back to the Neolithic times. 

Hieronymus Bosch.

This little mummy was a commission. I'm really happy with the result, it's better than my first attempt. I'd purchased some more colours of pigment powders and a pot of Agrellan Earth in the meantime, so I could really go to town on the cracked skin and dusty clothing. The sculpting is better as well. Dimensions of the box are once again 6,5 x 7,5 x 3cm.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

CCV. Hecate

The spirit of the Gardens...

I'm working on another mummified saint, but in the meantime I've finished the blog's 'mascot'. She's in a little bit larger box: 7x10x3,5 cm. Built with DAS clay, epoxy putties, roots, card, and other bits and bobs. Painted with acrylics.

I remembered to take some WIP shots during the sculpting process:

Friday, 25 January 2019

CCIV. The Husk of Saint Ottmer


Saint Ottmer is the patron saint of orators and preachers. He is also invoked against illnesses of the throat.

According to legend, St. Ottmer was speaking to a crowd when he was shot through the throat by an unknown assassin. Miraculously, he went on with his speech for several more hours, as if nothing had happened. When he was quite finished talking, he immediately fell dead.

St. Ottmer's remains reside in his shrine in Mirrogoi. The deadly arrow's shaft is on display with the body (or rather within the body), while the arrowhead is kept in a reliquary in the city he originates from.

This dry, dusty fellow is the first in an intended series of made-up holy relics from the Isles of Brume. 

The dimensions of the box are 6,5 x 7,5 x 3cm. The mummy's head and hand are sculpted in Milliput White, and the torso is DAS clay draped with some old cloth dipped in PVA. The red and green stuff you can see on the model are Martian Ironearth texture paint and Liquid Green Stuff. The broken arrow in Ottmer's neck is a piece of paperclip with fletching made of real feather. This pre-painting shot (above) actually looks pretty cool and eerie in itself, perhaps even more than the finished version. I'm looking forward to making more pieces in this format.

Friday, 18 January 2019

CCIII. Cult of the Possessed: the Possessed

More MordheimMMXIX progress. The Possessed is the largest piece in my warband, and I expect it will be the heaviest hitter. This is how the Possessed are described in the Mordheim rulebook:

The Possessed have committed the greatest of heresies: they have given their bodies to Daemons. As a result, they are nightmarish creatures, a melding of flesh, metal and black magic. Inside them lives a supernatural thing of evil, a Daemon from the dark reaches of the Realm of Chaos. The powerful spirit of a Daemon can meld several creatures together, be they men or animals, into a multi-faceted horror. These monstrous Possessed are perhaps the most dangerous of the creatures of Mordheim, and certainly the most loathsome and dreadful.
 I could have gone the usual mutation-heavy route (which I had ideas for, too), but I opted for a closer to human look. An unwashed madman with overgrown, matted hair and beard. His clawed hands, hollow eyes and unnatural body size are the more subtle signs of possession, but the daemon's ethereal seal hovering above his head announces it loud and clear to the world.


My main source of inspiration was William Blake's artwork 'Nebuchadnezzar', which depicts Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II during his period of madness, as reported in the Book of Daniel. I'd been meaning to base a conversion on this image for a long time. The demonic seal is made up, but in style of Goetic seals. The idea of it hovering above the Possessed's head came from Wayne Barlowe's incredible depictions of demons of hell.

Nebuchadnezzar, by William Blake.

The base model was Weirdnob Shaman from the AoS Orruk range. Again, I removed a lot of plastic and reconstructed many areas with putty. Gave him smaller hands, from Pink Horrors. The head is from a Space Wolf, but there is very little of it left showing. I sculpted the hair and beard to look filthy, tangled and stuck together, forming something like natural dreadlocks. The demonic sigil was made out of bits of thin wire, bent and fixed together with superglue. This was then covered with a layer of PVA in the end to make it a bit more durable. It's still delicate, but it'll last if I'm careful not to drop him. He was painted same as the Brethren.

Friday, 11 January 2019

CCII. Cult of the Possessed: Brethren

This week I'm continuing with my Mordheim project with addition of five Brethren. They all follow the same design, so it made sense to create all of them together in a batch. 

This is how Brethren are described in the Mordheim book:

Brethren are the crazed human followers of the cults of the dark gods, eager to descend into damnation. Their vile deeds and unspeakable acts have driven them to the brink of insanity.
The models' warped poses suggest erratic movement, the simple weapons unsophisticated brutality, the filth-encrusted naked bodies complete disregard for their own health and safety. Finally, crude masks hide their faces, adding another layer of sinister unpredictability. I hope this combination of choices successfully results in a 'crazed cultist' feel. Please tell me what you think in the comments.  

The conversions are all from 40K Poxwalkers. I picked those that were low on clothing and extreme mutations, but even then I had a lot of cleaning to do. Some of their hands are from Crypt Ghouls. Their sticks and stones will count as spears and short bows in the game.

Those who have played the survival horror game Darkwood may notice a resemblance to Savages, an enemy type from the game. Because of that headdress they also remind me of the Beast from Over the Garden Wall (2014), though there was no intention of referencing that. However, now that I'm mentioning it: the animated mini-series is brilliant, and I wholeheartedly recommend it. It takes under two hours to see the entire series.

 *   *   *

In the end, just a little shoutout: my Polish friend Witold started a miniatures blog. He's currently working on a converted Kill Team, so go check it out if you're interested: Backwater Deathworld