Sunday, 30 April 2017

CXXV. The Codex Gigas Devil

Codex Gigas, popularly known as Devil's Bible, is a medieval manuscript famous for its unusually large dimensions. It contains a collection of texts in Latin, including the entire Bible. This book probably took decades to complete, but according to legend it was written in a single night by a monk who was supernaturally aided in the task by Lucifer himself. In exchange for his soul, of course. This idea must have come from the fact the handwriting is incredibly unified and unchanged throughout the manuscript. The most famous page in the tome is the one containing the Devil's image shown above.
This image is already featured in Iulia's spell tome.

Which brings us to my newest piece: a miniature representation of the Codex Gigas devil. This is another AoS28 commission for Urion, accompanying the snail demon from my previous post.
Translating that book illustration into miniature form required some thought. He needed a more natural and believable body and pose, but still had to be recognisable at first glance. I went for a Kroot body and Ghoul arms. The head is the key to identifying him, so I sculpted it from scratch to resemble the illustration as closely as I could.
The spikes on the back of his head are not suggested in my reference material, but I added them to visually tie this devil in with his two mates - the snail and the barbed Bol.
That face came straight from the uncanny valley. If I encountered this guy somewhere I would wet my pants.
The snail and the devil frolicking in the woods...
Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo before priming. So an after priming one will have to do this time.
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Some material arrived for future projects. Problem is I have way more ideas than I have time.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

CXXIV. Three Books and a Snail

I made an impulse-buy of three lovely books last week, so I thought I might as well make a brief review. Bruegel (2015; text by Rose-Marie and Rainer Hagen), Dürer (2016; text by Norbert Wolf) and Bosch (2016; text by Walter Bosing). Those are artists whose work inspires me a lot. 
The three hardcover books are from Taschen's Basic Art series and measure 21,5 x 26,5 cm. Each has around 100 pages. They are bound well, so I don't think they will fall apart on me. The pages are not too stiff and the books can be made to stay open on their own. The contents are organized the same way throughout the series: 6-9 chapters elaborate on the life, work, historical context and cultural importance of the artist in question, which is followed by a short biography at the end. Sprinkled throughout are numerous captioned illustrations. The texts, which are in English, are informative and comprehensive. The images are printed well, quite clear and most of them not too small. With a number of the bigger paintings we are shown some details enlarged, but I wish they'd done that more. It would have been nice to be able to see works like Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights or Bruegel's The Triumph of Death more up close in these books. 
To conclude, for my needs I think these are well suitable. A valuable addition to my personal library, I think they will be pored over innumerable times in their future life with me.
The three books without their dust jackets.

Life and work summary.

Durer's woodcuts.
There is another one from the Taschen catalogue I must get at some point: Alchemy and Mysticism. Seems it contains sall sorts of esoteric art goodness.

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The second thing I wanted to show off today is my newest demonic commission for Urion - a snail creature. The concept was inspired by Junji Ito's graphic short story Slug Girl. The artist was a fairly recent discovery for me and I became an instant fan. He creates disturbing, outlandish graphic horror stories. Check out his work, you won't be disappointed.
Milliput, green stuff, pins and a butchered Ogre head.
Page from Slug Girl (1997) by Junji Ito.

Monday, 10 April 2017

CXXIII. Cult of Vvolos: An Enemy of the Cult

Janos the Cannibal, a ghoulish knight from a rival undead-ruled kingdom. On orders from his king, he roams the land on a quest to eliminate acolytes of the Daemon Vvolos. The king considers potential spreading of the chaotic cult into his own kingdom a threat. Janos is a ruthless slayer with particular hate for Chaos. He does not need the cultists alive, in fact he makes sure the ones he catches are thoroughly obliterated - by devouring their bodies. He has been questing for years now, and his trophy collection as well as his ever growing girth testify to his skill at his job. Yellow-robed acolytes tell terrifying tales of their brothers being caught and eaten alive by this monstrosity. Janos' Chaos-tainted diet is not without effect on his body, however, as visible from his tumorous sword hand. What if he ultimately ends up turning into what he despises?  
The shield design comes from the same Ian Miller piece as the shield on the skeleton Kettelhelm from earlier.
Janos the Cannibal is my entry for The Eclipse contest over at Ex Profundis. Well, it's more like a community challenge than a competition, really. I'm looking forward to seeing other people's witch hunters.
Janos is based on a Blightking, with a Banshee head and bits from a variety of other kits.

Painting WIP.
Painting WIP.
I'll build a warband around this character eventually. For now I have ideas for his steed (which he's become too corpulent to ride) and a skeletal squire. Maybe even a cart bearing his collection of trophies taken from all the slain cultists...

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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 Malifaux tournament. Here's the official announcement:

Dear friends!

It is time for another (15th annual) Agram Arena Summer Tournament!

We are well 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:

08.07.2017. International Star Wars X-Wing Tournament
15-16.07.2017. International 40K Tournamenty + Hobby and miniature painting competition Black Queen!
22-23.07.2017. International Malifaux Tournament + demo/open gaming (22.7. Infinity & LOTR/Hobbit SBG and 23.7. 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 8/9.7., 15/16.7 and 22/23.7, 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: ... AS2017.pdf

Official languages of the tournament will be English and Croatian!

Registration starts with the date of this announcement and ends on:
Star Wars X-Wing - 7th of JUNE
40K - 14th of JUNE
Black Queen - 14th of JUNE (not neccessary unless you need accommodation - see the rulespack)
Malifaux - 20th of JUNE
Demo Games / Open Play - 20th of JUNE (not neccessary unless you need accommodation - see the rulespack)
(you can find guidelines on registration in the rules (check out the above link))!

After these dates, players will be still able to register for the event but UMS "Agram" won't be able to make reservations for the accommodation

If you need any other information please contact us at or GSM +385 91 9122048

After the end of the registrations of each respective event (June 7th for X-Wing, June 14th for 40k and BQ and June 20th 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.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

CXXII. The Cult of Vvolos: Cultists

A new update on Iulia Docta-Sophosse's warband.

Dacre, Carteret and Maubenc, cultists of Vvolos.
Cultists have the mark of Vvolos branded on the backs of their shaved heads.Whereas higher ranking acolytes wear yellow, ones of lower status dress in dark-coloured robes.

Skaven Plague Monks were my base for these guys. This required removing the traces of Skavenness - head, tail, fur, feet. Same as with my conversion of Skrolk into a necromancer.
The two male heads are from Mantic Ghouls and the female one is from a Daemonette. I used green stuff and Milliput to rebuild the parts damaged during deratization.
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With the cultist trio completed I now have my entire starting warband of 10, ready to set off into the wilderness in search of treasure.
My next step on this project will be an adversary for Iulia's band. There is an AoS28 competition running at the moment, called The Eclipse. The topic is "witch hunter", but taken in a very broad sense. So my plan is to make a questing death knight from a rival necromantic kingdom, whose mission is to find and eradicate followers of the daemon Vvolos. This witch hunter knight will probably get a small retinue of his own eventually.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

CXXI. Swampfiends: Second Silurid

Another Silurid joins the Swampfiends. I'm gradually getting to know the crew as I play the campaign, and these jumping fishmen are just fantastic. 

Like his brother, this one was only slightly modified and painted in a matching colour scheme.
The first Silurid and the Spawn Mother's basing has them standing in water. This one is in a jumping pose, so I made him jump from a muddy bank into the water. As you'll see further below, this has to do with the display base I'll make for them.
I also painted the original Gupp swarms I got in the Spawn Mother set because they are essential to how her crew works and I needed them for the campaign. I hate the models, though. They are terribly cartoony and don't match the feel of the Swampfiend crew I'm going for at all, so I don't even want to show them here. They can't even be converted to fit. I do intend to make my own version of the swarms from third party bits that will have the right look, but that is not high on my priority list right now.
The fish family.

The future display base. I don't have the right tools to cut neat round slots on the display base, so I bought some MDF round base extensions for that purpose. The base itself is a picture frame.

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I'm working on a small illustrated book that I'm hoping to publish some day. I painted a couple of test illustrations for it; I thought you might find them interesting: