Wednesday 28 August 2013

XXXI. Noise. Horns. Underworld.

I'm back and it's time to present the newest set of minis I'll be making. There were originally two ideas I had to choose between, both involving grotesque creatures that emerged from underneath the earth:


Stray branch of humankind. Deformed inbred creeps who normally live deep in subterranean caves and have no dealings with the world above the ground. However, for some reason they have now emerged from the darkness and started attacking their Homo sapiens relatives. Their leader is the huge levitating Mother, the one they all descended from. 

The main inspiration for the concept were the Wendol from The 13th Warrior / Eaters of the Dead. And possibly ants, a bit.

The faction would consist mainly of a horde of misshapen Troglodytes (The Hobbit Goblin Warriors are perfect for the role; no converting needed and you get close to 20 in a box), perhaps a shaman of some kind, and the Mother- a scratchbuilt monstrosity in the image of the most famous piece of Paleolithic art: the Venus of Willendorf. 


The heathen ancestors who emerged from the underworld in these terrible times to drag their descendants back down with them. Flocks of beast-headed revenants hung with big noisy bells, led by the Four Horse-men of Hades.

Their design based on figures from Croatian traditional carnivals (note that very similar costumes appear all across Europe which almost certainly means they are related), the faction would include a number of beast-headed bell-ringing footsoldiers, Grandfather and Grandmother, a hobby horse, possibly a devil and a bear with handler...
Most of the characters can be made from a box of Nurgle Plaguebearers. And I already have Confrontation Scavengers of Acheron for the remaining three Horse-men.  

I decided to go with option #2 because it seems more interesting- it involves a lot of design and sculpting. That doesn't mean the troglodytes won't get made. They'll just have to wait for their turn.

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So, having made up my mind I proceeded to make my first footsoldier revenant. 


Zvončari, nap'hanci, buše, didi... the inspiration came from them. Ever since I first saw them as a little girl, I've been fascinated by the horrific carnival bell-ringers. They are groups of men, their faces typically covered with grotesque horned masks and their torsos with fleece or animal pelts, who wear large bells hung from their bodies. In their hands they usually carry clubs, sticks or similar instruments. They move as a scary noisy horde, sometimes chasing innocent bystanders around and smearing their faces with char or throwing them into deep snow.

Nap'hanci as a museum exhibit.

Nap'hanci in their "natural habitat", accompanied by a crude hobby horse.
According to scholars the bell ringers are of dual nature. On one hand they are seen as ancestoral figures, which is supported by some of their names, the fact they are accompanied by grandfather and grandmother figures, as well as their terrifying appearance and behavior which points to apotropaeic magic. 

Nap'hanec with a pitchfork.

On the other hand, their acts, such as hitting people with ash-filled stockings, dances and songs for better crops, clubs they wield (phalic symbol, possibly) and obscene jokes performed by characters which accompany them all point to a form of fertility magic.

Zvončar, his face revealed. In his right hand he's holding his headgear and in the left an ash-filled stocking. Around 1930.
Zvončar's back; note the bigass bells. Around 1930.
I actually found etnographic footage of zvončari from 1931:



I've shown a bit of this months ago, actually:

What I wanted to do here was make the creatures the traditional costumes represent come to life. I want them to look rotten since they are a sort of undead. The word nap'hanec actually means something like swolen/bloated/blown up one, and the clothing of that costume is filled up with straw. It's pretty cool then that the Plaguebearer sculpts have that bloated belly and weird bulges all over the place. 

The different types of scary headgear are to be translated into actual scary heads.  One or more bells of some sort is a must. The weapons are be clubs, scythes, sickles, pitchforks. Details such as parts of their skulls visible, ropes and sacks will appear throughout the faction (they can be found on first Horse-man as well). As for the paintjob I intend to have them in different shades of sickly green and grey/off white, with black fur. 


And finally, after all this rambling, the actual miniature. The fellow is still a WIP, but you can get the idea. Apart from the horns, which come from Goblin King's sceptre, I sculpted the entire head myself. The weapon is from Skaven Clanrat sprue. 

If this was Warhammer, he would make a fine Pestigor. Do they even exist anymore these days?

Friday 16 August 2013

XXX. Strange Apparitions

Took some photos of terrain and miniatures with the background I painted ages ago. 

People say the old chapel is haunted...
Strange apparitions have been reported by much alarmed peasants.
The Doctor and his staff arrive to investigate.

It's evident from one of the above photos that I've finished the spirit I showed in the last post. Here's the standard  white background pic:

 Now I'll be taking a week off from the hobby. I'm traveling to the seaside tonight and I'm not bringing anything miniature-related along with me. I might bring something back though; I often chance upon interesting basing materials on my vacations. : )
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Tuesday 13 August 2013

XXIX. The House II

The house is done:
Front of the house.
Back of the house.

Size comparison with Chapel and people.
 As you can see in the pictures I made some barrels as well. They're plaster copies of a plastic barrel I found in my bits box. 

I'm making some more fence segments as I'll need plenty of those. Fortunately they're really easy to produce:

 And to break this whole terrain spree a bit, I converted another tall black spirit for the Countess. This one's made from a Vampire Counts Wraith, a skull and a Plaguebearer hand. It's one of my favourite conversions, though it doesn't seem to photograph that well. I guess I'll have to keep looking for the right angle. Or it might look better when it's painted.

Anyone got any idea for a name for them? I'm tired of calling them "tall black spirits" or "y'know, the robed ones". I'll have to think of something.

Monday 5 August 2013

XXVIII. The House

My terrain-building spree continues, this time with a decently sized human dwelling:

Again it's just balsa, metal pins, some plasticard and plastic bits (chimney and angel from GW Chapel kit) for detailing. Two more houses will follow after I've painted this, only they will be a bit more narrow.   

An angel on the rooftop is a common sight in towns and villages of Gardens; traditionally every house chooses its angelic guardian (and each settlement its patron saint). Such practices are a remnant from the heathen past of ancestor cults and household spirits.

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In other news: the Reaper Horseman won me a bronze medal in this year's Black Queen painting competition, a part of Agram Arena Summer tournament. Here he is, proudly presenting it:

But that's not the only thing the Horseman is excited about. He is soon to get his very own faction, which he will be the leader of. You may have already caught a glimpse of them in one of my earlier posts. 
I'll just leave you with a few teaser words: Noise. Horns. Underworld.