Tuesday, 23 August 2016

CVII. The Wilderness Project vol.6


 It has been a week since the first WIP post. In the meantime I have done the following:

The main entrance. This one is a double door. The process and materials are the same as for the side door. I put the Waywode coat of arms above it (they are the noble family that had this structure built). I sculpted the shield and copied the boar from a Bretonnian knight helmet. There is space on either side of it that will hopefully be filled with symmetrical reliefs of wodewoses. If I fail to sculpt that I'll have to come up with an alternative.
My next step was building up a roof  over this part.
I proceeded by covering the rest of the bare polystyrene parts with planks. The planked area above the door will get more detail at a later point.
The protrusions on the side of the chapel are done apart from the roof tiles and windowpanes. The latter will be inserted after after painting. The deer skull is a green stuff copy of a bit from Mierce Miniatures. Antlers are from the same company. It is not glued in place yet (it's temporarily being held in place with a pin) because it would get in the way when painting.

First of the wooden posts that will surround the chapel. It is scratch-built from balsa, card, pins, deer skulls (plaster copies this time) and a length of chain from my bits box.
This is it after painting. I'm happy with what I managed to achieve here. The only thing I don't like are the metal rings, which to me seem too thin for this diametre. A trip to the hobby shop for some better rings is in order before I get to work on the rest of the posts.
*   *   *
This is where we are at the moment. Stay tuned for more. Again - all comments, questions, critiques and suggestions are much appreciated.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

CVI. The Wilderness Project vol.5


The chapel I mentioned earlier is is finally in progress. I'm building it from scratch, and it is my largest and most complex attempt at a scenery piece so far. 

My coloured sketch. However, the building is actually based on an illustration by Paul Bonner.
It's just awesome. I've had a desire to build this for a while, but I could find no purpose for it. Now it will get built, although in adapted form. I have to get away from the Scandinavian aesthetics of it and add details that will identify it as a sacral structure dedicated to St. Hubertus, patron of hunters. Since I'm not recreating the illustration "to the letter", I didn't bother to get all the proportions right.   
The base: two layers of polystyrene.
After adding more refinement and detail to the base, I built the rough shape of the tower and entrance.
Ground floor takes shape around the tower. It's balsa wood. I glued the wall planks before moving on to the roof because it would get in the way.
The part of the roof that protrudes horizontally was next. Every plank placed individually.
Skeleton of the roof. Since it won't be visible at all when I'm done, I didn't bother to make it pretty.
Some plaster+PVA+paint applied on top of the roof planks to fill holes in between (as well as to some other areas). The first layer of the roof is masking tape. Roof tiles will later go on top. So many roof tiles...
View from a lower angle.
This is a decorative carving of a wose head. I sculpted it from air-drying clay and cast copies in plaster. It's not as good as I hoped it would be, but it works.
Again, the roof was left off from this part because it would get in the way when building and painting the side entrance. I made the door from balsa, plasticard and pins. Glued the decorative head carvings in place on either side of the door.
The side door, mostly painted. I can finish it later. Now I can  add roof over it.
The current state. More updates will follow as I proceed.

All comments, questions, critiques and ideas are much appreciated.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

CV. Wodewose

According to legend, the Chapel of St. Hubertus in the Waywode Hunting Grounds is guarded by a group of supernatural beings. Among those creatures are a handful of Wodewoses, feral people from ancient times. These particular Woses were tamed by the Waywode ancestor who had the chapel built, and remain bound to it to protect it. They are said to inhabit the surrounding woods.  


Wildman, or woodwose/wodewose, is a figure that appears as an allegorical device in 13th-15th century European art and literature (and as decoration in architecture and as a heraldic device). It is depicted as a humanoid creature with a hirsute body that inhabits wild places - forests and mountains, where it dwells in caves. The wildman is naked, with hair covering the body except the face, feet and hands (sometimes also knees, elbows and/or breasts). The head hair is longer than body hair (like head hair and beards in humans). Usually carries a wooden club or mace.
Albrecht Dürer. 1499.
The woodwose of Medieval literature used to be a human being but went feral when separated from God's grace. The degeneration might be due to insanity, being brought up by animals or some great trouble in life. This instantly reminded me of king Nebuchadnezzar, and the time that he lost his wits and lived in the wild like an animal for years. Just like the Babylonian king, a wildman is able to get better and return to civilized society. The fuzzy body and fuzzy mind are both a part of an acquired state which can be reversed. 

 Nebuchadnezzar. Artwork by William Blake.
There are wildman figures in European rural folklore as well. Unlike the literary ones, they are not of human origin but a separate natural species or supernatural spirit. The folkloristic wildmen are described variously as ugly, unable to speak, supernaturally strong, having a savage temper, posessing knowledge of plants and mastery of animals. In many cases they are anthropofagous. The males have a habit of abducting human children and women, while wildwomen like to captivate human men (often using shape-changing to accomplish that). 
Medieval depiction of a wildwoman.
Hunting and capture of wildmen appear widely as a folk dramatic performance (and we can find that trope in Medieval iconography, too). The wildmen of art and literature most probably came from folklore and were then transformed. Other possible sources/influences are the Bible, writings from classical antiquity of mythical creatures and gods like Pan and satyrs, and contemporary descriptions of encounters with primates. 

Forth, Gregory. "Images of the Wildman Inside and Outside Europe." Folklore, 2007, pp. 261-281.


The base miniature is a plastic Plaguebearer. I filed down the gut and cut off its legs. The head came from an old Empire State Trooper. The shield is from the current State Troops set. The rest is green stuff.

*   *   *

An update on the corpse markers for the Troglodytes. I think I have enough now.
I finally have all I need for the chapel, so my next move will be starting work on it.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

CIV. The Wilderness Project vol.4

Finished the remaining dry stone fence sections.

A couple of group shots:

Thanks to Tomislav Rac for providing me with some photos from his visit to Dartmoor. They were a useful resource when painting the above pieces, and I'm sure they will be helpful in the future as well.

Photo by Tomislav Rac.

Photo by Tomislav Rac.

Photo by Tomislav Rac.

 *   *   *

Dead Troglodytes can be revived by their shamans, so I'll need some corpse markers for them to drop when they die during games. I'll probably need no more than a dozen.

First I made one on a 25mm base, from a plastic Goblin, some cork and sand. Then I made a mould with Oyumaru.
I poured plaster in the mould and this is what came out. Not bad. After casting I added injuries such as bullet holes and cuts.
The first four corpse markers, painted and varnished. Since I don't want all of them to look the same I'll make one or two more designs from which I'll make the remaining copies.

 *   *   *

Registrations are open for my club's annual summer tournament in July. Like every year, I'll be there since I am attending the Black Queen painting competition and the international Malifaux tournament. Here's the official announcement:
"Dear friends! 

It is time for another (14th annual) Agram Arena Summer Tournament

We are in the second decade of organizing Arena events and this year's Agram Arena Summer is going to be held over a record three weekends:
09.07.2016. International Star Wars X-Wing Tournament

16-17.07.2016. International 40K Tournament + Hobby and miniature painting competition Black Queen!

23-24.07.2016. International Malifaux Tournament + demo/open gaming (23.7. Infinity & LOTR/Hobbit SBG and 24.7. Flames of War & Warmachine)

Location: MS "Cvjetni trg", Miskecov prolaz 3, Zagreb, Croatia.
Entry: FREE!

Refreshing drinks for all players will be free during the tournaments.

Accommodation for Saturday night is also free for the 1st-time-comers (read more in the rules)! Everyone else can be booked for the price of 13€ for the nights 16/17.7 and 23/24.7, and 18€ for every other night you might need. The Hostel is in the centre of the city, with parking ensured and only 5 minutes walk from the venue.
Lunch is available at the price of 75 Kn (around 10 Euro) for both days (= 5 Euro/day)!

Check out the tournament rules & other info:

Official languages of the tournament will be English and Croatian!

  • Star Wars X-Wing - from 1st of June to 1st of July
  • 40K - from 1st of June to 07th of July
  • Black Queen - from 1st of June to 07th of July (not neccessary unless you need accommodation - see the rulespack)
  • Malifaux - from 1st of June to 14th of July
  • Demo Games / Open Play - from 14th of July to 22th of July
  • (you can find guidelines on registration in the rules (check out the above link))!

If you need any other information please contact us at ums.agram@gmail.com or GSM +385 91 7620584

Note: After the end of the registrations of each respective event (July 1st for X-Wing, July 7th for 40k and BQ and July 14th for Malifaux) it is no longer possible to cancel your accommodation and you will be billed for the accommodation at full price (18€ per night regardless of any discounts you might be elligable for). Also, the room assignements will be done once the registrations are final as we are not a tourist agency."

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

CIII. The Wilderness Project vol.3

The Wilderness Project continues at a slow but steady pace. This update brings another Wyrd large  Hanging Tree and two new dry stone wall sections.
I converted this one, changing a number of details. I didn't want it to look exactly the same as its twin.
The back view.
That's three done out of the planned eight pieces.

 *   *   *

And now for something rather more exciting: plans for a centrepiece. So far I've made some sketches and I'm compiling reference material.

I haven't attempted making a building in quite a while. I think my skills have evolved considerably since the chapel and the house I did back in 2013. Now I want to put them to the test with a new project: the forest chapel of St. Hubertus.

This mysterious piece of sacral architecture stands somewhere in the Waywode Hunting Grounds. It was erected by the Waywode family, many generations ago. The counts take good care of it, making sure it gets renovated as time erodes it. The nobles visit it when they set out to hunt, to pray for safety and good luck. There are several legends associated with the tiny chapel. But more on that later...

The actual building process will take a while, I expect. I want to give my best. I'll probably get down to it in a month or so, once my semester ends and I can focus on it fully.  I already got a pile of antlers and skulls to properly decorate the chapel and its surroundings:

They come from Mierce Miniatures, who let you order bits from their store. It wasn't exactly cheap, but they do have a fine selection of different shapes and sizes of good-looking antlers, and I'll need more than a couple pairs for this project. Sculpting them all myself was out of the question.

  *   *   *

And, as if this wasn't enough deer parts, I present this beastie I painted just for fun:

It's the first half or a diptych, the second being the Monstrous Hedge Hog (not yet done).

Monday, 9 May 2016

CII. The Automaton

Another Iron Painter entry from me: The Automaton.

The robot is based on this illustration for a Magic:The Gathering card:

Proteus Machine. Artwork by Greg Staples. © Wizards of the Coast
I wanted to make a clockwork automaton like that one for Gardens at some point. As a mercenary or even a part of a whole new faction. I made a skech and notes for later. 

But round 3 of Iron Painter had a theme in which such a miniature would fit, so I used the opportunity. But I had to turn the idea into something a bit more elaborate than a gaming piece. Not that I cannot still use him for games; it would not be too complicated to make him removable from the large base to a 30mm round one.

Sketch of the composition.
The robot started as a Necron Warrior.
The faces are 40K Blood Angel masks. I made copies rather than cutting the actual bits.
Originally I meant to make the head actually rotateable. However, since I later decided that I want dramatic lighting coming from one side of the scene, this idea didn't seem right any more. I ended up gluing it in place.
The torso needed some sculpting.
The finished conversion.
Once again I relied a lot on washes and glazes when painting the miniature.
The base was simpler than the last one. I used air-drying clay, plaster and real tree roots.

The feel I was hoping I would get was that of an old-school SF illustration. I think I did that part right. But there is just something missing. The scene seems to me too static, too dull. Do you have the same feeling? How would you fix it? It's too late now to improve it for the competition, but at least I can learn for next time.