Sunday, 4 January 2015

LXXIX. The Assistant Mk II - Painted

All done.

A drop of Secret Weapon Scenics Realistic Water on the lamp's "eye"makes it look like glass.
All that digging inevitably puts mud on one's clothes.
There is a red cross patch on the Assistant's right shoulder- this symbol appears on several minis throughout the crew.

I've read a bit about body snatching while working on this fellow. The practice was widespread during 18th and 19th centuries, when fresh corpses were on high demand by medical schools of the Western world. The schools, who needed the bodies for dissection and anatomy lessons, could legally get them only from convicted and executed criminals. However, while the number and size of medical schools increased with the progress of medical science, the number of people condemned to death decreased as the laws became more lenient and people were no longer hanged for trifles. As a result, there were simply not enough cadavers to meet the growing demand. This saw the emergence of the resurrectionist profession. 
The resurrection-men operated in small groups. First, a suitable grave needed to be found. They often had gravediggers, undertakers, etc. on their payroll, who would tip them off. Working under cover of darkness, they would dig a hole down to the end of the coffin at the head of the grave. Using crowbars or hooks they would then lift the lid on that end, remaining earth on the coffin providing a counterweight which would snap the wood of the lid. The deceased could then be pulled out, stripped naked (stealing possessions of the dead brought a more severe punishment than stealing a corpse) and put into a sack for transport. Good rezzers could do all this in under half an hour.  
The punishment for taking a body from a grave was a fine or time in prison. However, if a body-snatching gang was caught in the act by outraged locals, they would sometimes take law into their own hands. Lynch mobs are nasty. 
People developed various methods to protect the remains of their dearly departed. There were cemetary patrols, watchdogs, watchtowers, mortsafes (metal cages encasing the coffin), mort houses (where bodies were safely stored until they decomposed far enough to be useless for dissection)... 

All in all, it's a fairly morbid, but interesting topic.


  1. love the paint job and character, and love the world war type vibe of the uniform/medical cross and colour pallette.

  2. That's a really gruesome story. I like the paintjob on this one. Dark and atmospheric with great use of dry pigments (I assume that's what you used for the dirt effect).

  3. Thank you Jessica and Viruk! And yes, I used pigments for the dirt.

  4. Another lovely model, Ana! I especially love how you've made him look so interesting in spite of the muted greens and browns -- in fact, I would love to hear your recipe for the robe and the leather coat covering his upper body, if you don't mind.

    The small red cross provides such a nice dot of colour. And is that a dapper little mustache I spot there? Fabulous!

    1. Thanks, krautscientist! Indeed, I've always imagined this character wearing a moustache. Of course, it wasn't visible in his first incarnation because of the mask.

      The base for the robe is a mix of Vallejo Desert Yellow and black (not sure about the ratio, but it must be about 1:1). The result is this greenish colour; I use a similar mix for the skin of my Bell-ringers. This gets an Agrax Earthshade wash. For the highlights I add just a little more Desert Yellow and increasing amounts of Citadel Rakarth Flesh.
      The brown on the coat has Citadel Mournfang Brown, Gorthor Brown and black in it. I think I washed this with both Agrax Earthshade and Nuln Oil. Again, extra Mournfang and some Rakarth Flesh for the highlights. I f you take a closer look, you'll see that some parts go more towards orange - these have more Mournfang Brown. The sharp edges on the folds, belts, etc. have more Rakarth Flesh.

    2. Ah, thanks so much for the recipe! What makes this even better is that I am only one pot of paint short of being able to try and replicate this, and I have wanted to pick up a decent yellow anyway, so Vallejo Desert Yellow it is ;)

      Thanks again!

    3. You're welcome! I believe Vallejo Desert Yellow is very similar to Tallarn Sand from the current Citadel range. So you could probably use that as a substitute.

  5. He looks great.

    yeah Bodysnatching is such a morbid subject, but sadly it was vital, we wouldn't know half about the human body we know today if it wasn';t for the likes of Burke and Hare....