Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Three Liegemen of Woe

It is known that in the ashen highlands of the 'Wold there are many folk of ill intent. What nobody knows is why.

The most common explanation is that the 'Wold is a land of exile. Where knaves are sent, knavery will follow.

But many believe that something darker is at work, for the ones who are shepherded out the great gate of the interior are the cutpurses, the unruly, and the disgraced; but the ones who come from out of the mist that sweeps down from the bases of the inverted mountains in the North, those are the damned and the murderous.

The priests of the great Magnifitrix preach that wickedness proliferates in the darkness at the edges of the world. When folk are cut off from the holy light, they become more and more cruel and corrupted, say the sermons.

However no one believes this who have seen the dark deeds done -- even in the heart of the Fulgent Desmesnes -- in the name of her holiness.

So from where come these villains? Where do they learn their strange tongues and their unearthly dirges? What inspires their fearful icons: the Argent hoof, the Spiral Wand, Our Lady Monocular?

Not even the Horse-thegns, who treat with the villains sometimes for aid in their bloody struggles of succession, can say for sure, though it is their belief that a toad-o'-the pit named Comes-For-More has coerced their allegiance, and therefore their souls, in a bid for apotheosis.

There is a tanner in Skeldkryk who claims to have come among a gathering of them in the woods one night, where they had slain a black swine and collected it's blood, and were forcing a captive fair-haired youth to drink of it.

The tanner swears that when the dregs of the fourth chalice had been forced through the youth's lips, her hair was made raven and her eyes changed to those of a beast, black-red with blood, and that she took up a blade and drew it across her bosom to the delight of the gathered fiends.

The people of Skeldkryk whisper that the tanner is at best a liar and a drunk, but also that he has been getting odder with each passing year.

One of the warrior monks of the fortress monastery of Ceolmaran claims to have crossed the inverted mountains and come even to the bitterbreach itself. From the other side (in the direction, they say, of Helmrood that was), he says he witnessed a foulness insinuating through the air. He says it was as a murk that seemed to slither along the ground and to collect in the swales and hollows of the land. He says when he breathed it his head filled with visions of the pit, and strange signs, and a hideous cacophony. It was only the holy thought of the purity of the great Magnifitrix, he says, that saved him from running mad...

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Bloat

It is of course canonical to paint certain demons in certain ways. Nothing wrong with that.

Green and brown to represent bile and decay--the corrupted flesh. Occasionally a startling, bowel-y purple, as a reminder that what's inside is a mystery, and mysteries can be rubbery.

 But there are other possible associations. This sculpt in particular, with its nicks and gouges, makes me think of a cut finger that has been under a bandage for a long time. The flesh is soft and overly pale. The wound is a bloodless red with an alien topography to the under-surface that is normally hidden beneath the skin.

This association makes me reflect that beneath the surface of things, death is a powerful and pervasive motivating force. It's inside everything, even if we don't recognize it. 

That is one of the metaphorical faces of Chaos--the animating force of death is portrayed literally, incorporated in the body of the demon and alluded to in the gong of skulls on which the march is beaten. 

I have painted this guy to reflect this idea. I call him The Bloat.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Painting Exchange

I found that I liked this sculpt quite a bit as I painted it. There's something so implacable about the set of the sallet and the off-kilter trudge/stalk that really appeals to me.

And the grip on the sword. It's like its been wrung for decades with a timeless grudge. I hear the leather creak like the grinding of teeth. This figure looks like it stumped into the twilight miles away and years ago, and has just now reappeared in the circle of firelight, walking in the same direction, muttering the same curses.

I think my non-metallic metal painting has come along apace, though it's still somewhat more painterly than you'll find in other examples. I'm okay with that though.

This was painted for a figure exchange put on by my friends at Chicago Skirmish Wargames. A fun exercise that made me really want to go the extra mile.

Though it made it a little hard to let go when I was done, if I'm honest.

In case you're curious, this is an old grenadier sculpt. You can find your own here, along with much of the rest of the Fantasy Warriors line for a very reasonable price.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I'm Moving to Hawaii...

(you can buy this print here)

...which isn't that big a deal, but right now it feels like I might as well be moving to another planet. Anyway, that's why it's been so quiet around here, and why it will continue to be so. But don't worry, I'll be back in a month or two.

Friday, June 19, 2015


So I've come to hate this particular model. I didn't like it much to begin with, but it came in an ebay lot with several citadel demonoids and broo-folk that I loved, so he wound up in my collection. 

I thought I could paint him up to look more like a demon than an unreflective mish-mash of effed up colonialist ideas—which, though generally regarded by even the modestly informed as completely effed, still for some reason persist in our fantasy renderings of certain creatures—but all that I accomplished was to hate this model increasingly the more I looked at it. Clearly you can't polish a perverse systemic problem any more than you can polish a turd.

Maybe I'm alone in this. Maybe I'm being too sensitive, I don't know. Maybe you feel differently and maybe that's fine. Maybe there are possible treatments that can make something like this acceptable. All I know is that I don't like looking at this figure and I don't like displaying it on my shelf. I wouldn't even put it up here if I didn't think it was important for me to express my feelings about it.

I'll be selling it on as soon as I can be arsed. Maybe I should have mentioned that at the beginning of my sales pitch.