Monday, 15 February 2021

Primaris Apothecary

Painting marines white is harder than I thought.  Hats off to all you White Scars players out there.  I wanted to give him a bluish tinge so used Drakenhof Nightshade for the recess shading.  Trying to replicate the glorious version of the the Apothecary painted by the GW team (is it still 'Eavy Metal?) is an exercise in madness.  There was no way mine was going to be as good but it was definitely inspiration.

Nevertheless, this was really enjoyable to paint. There is just something about the sculpt which fires my imagination.  The Apothecary is touted as a healer, but isn't he also a necromancer of sorts?  In the books I've read, I rarely see them doing much actual healing.  Their main role seems to be defiling the corpses of their brethren, salvaging arcane and unnatural organs which are then resurrected inside the bodies of neophyte recruits.  It all sounds a bit sinister and Frankenstein, I mean just look at Fabius Bile.  He's technically an apothecary, or at least he was.  

This sculpt shows the good doctor resting his boot on the chest of a fallen comrade.  Blithely examining the progenoid gland he just ripped out of his brother's neck. Illuminor Szeras has got nothing on this guy. You can even see the exit wound.  This sort of casual brutality sums up the noble Adeptus Astartes for me.  Yes, he's technically a healer and is performing a necessary service by preserving the precious genetic heritage of his chapter.  But at his core, he's just another dehumanised warrior-fanatic and the Emperor's Peace amounts to efficient resource collection.  Its macabre is what it is.  

I suppose I could have painted the dead marine on the base from an enemy chapter.  It still amounts to desecration of a fallen enemy.  Something Achilles did in the Iliad which ultimately sealed his fate.  Hector was the hero in that story, trying to protect his people and his family, not Achilles.  I decided to paint my 'patient' as a Red Scorpion and tell that story, but I've seen a lot of other people rebase the whole model. Removing the dead marine entirely, presumably to make it a less grisly scene.  But it's one of the reasons why I like the model so much.  It's a vignette, it tells a tale and is an insight into the nature of the Angels of Death.  I'll probably never play a game with him, but it's a brilliant model that I just had to own.

My favourite apothecary in 40k lore is probably Talos Valcoran from Aaron Dembski-Bowden's disturbing 'Night Lords' series.  Valcorian's bedside manner certainly leaves much to be desired and you would not want his fellow Apothecary, 'Variel the Flayer' anywhere near your bed, except in your darkest nightmares.  Ironically, it is Variel who does all of the actual healing, albeit in a most unorthodox manner.

I read somewhere that they made Red Scorpions a successor chapter of the Ultramarines, or at least strongly implied it.  How very disappointing.  Part of the allure of this chapter for me was that it was an unknown founding.  The Scorpions could have been an Emperor's Children successor chapter.  The Sigillite could have ordered the captured geneseed from the fallen legions to be preserved instead of destroyed.  

What a waste of resources to purge an entire legion just because their leader went batshit crazy.  Mind you, they all carry the genetic material of their fathers in their implanted glands so that doesn't bode well I suppose.  This Apothecary could have been safeguarding a bit of Lorgar's heritage for all we knew.  But now its just boring, boring smurfs. (Granted this is what I play them as in game, but that's not the point!)

Sunday, 17 January 2021

This Way Up


And so my descent into the howling interstices of the Immaterium continues with the latest heretek Warglaive fresh off the assembly line.  It's not quite freefall; I just bought the Primaris Apothecary model which is so good I daren't convert it.  I might finally pluck up the courage to paint a marine in white armour.  A crisp marine would be just the right palate cleanser after this fella.

The beast is an attempt to placate Grandfather Nurgle.  I have a feeling it might not be fecund or tumescent enough for the Great Plague Lord who likes his corruption bloated.  If machines could have weeping sores however, I hope they would look like this.    

I did another glory hole 360 video and you can see the poor old turntable twitching and wobbling away.  I think I've worn it out.  Forcing it to rotate endlessly with hefty models and weighted bases balanced on top has probably overstrained the mechanism.

I can hear something grinding inside it now as it rotates and the bottom has come loose.  It's probably time to get a new, industrial strength turntable that can take the weight of a spitting cat.  That could provide a lifetime of fun.

Speaking of animals, I not sure what I was attempting here.  Something raptorlike and Dinobot for sure.  I think it ended up a bit ratlike however, skittering through the wasteland.  Spewing filth from strange, ventral orifices like a 41st millenium muck spreader.  I'm not sure you'd want this particular bio-mechanical horror to fertilize your crops.  Not unless you were hoping for a very grimdark version of Jack and the Beanstalk outside your window when you woke up the next morning.

I've been dicking around with the model for months now.  When I finally realised that I was never actually going to finish it, I just stopped.  I painted the rim, washed my brushes and started taking photos.  I think it was the right decision really, I was in danger of over-egging the pudding.  GW Technical paints are too much fun.  Whoever invented Nurgle's Rot deserves a medal in my opinion, but you've got to stop short of pouring the damn stuff all over the model.

I wanted the front to be clean with the Warglaive becoming more and more messed up along its length.  The base would reflect that too.  But I found some pictures of wet rust online and really wanted to give it a go on the tongue.  I liked it so much I did various bits and pieces in the same way to balance it out.

The pinned foot has held up well, surviving an accidental kicking across the garage floor after being dropped.  I wanted a distressed look but this was taking it a bit far.

I really liked the simple, almost stylised mark of Nurgle which was donated by Jordan at some at some distant point the past. And there's a little fly on the side of the weapon.  That's about it for obvious signs of devotion to the god of poor hygiene .

I think the back end is much more nasty and I experimented with all sorts of weirdness here.  Skin on barbed wire.  Cracked, leaky and rusted pipes.  Noxious fluids spilling from a mess of tubing on the underbelly.

I think I'm finally channelling my inner Covid.  I just sprayed a succession of technical paints, glazes and contrast paint on the base with a toothbrush.  I was making a mess and loving it.  It took about 10 minutes and is a good reminder that you should never skimp on the base.  And always paint your rims to signify that you are finally done with it!

The bloody stools shooting out of its undercarriage and skin on the barbed wire were lovingly created with cat hair, Nurgle's Rot and Blood for the Blood God.  I'm definitely not tired of that technique yet. 

Finally a shot of the whole gang.  Well, the whole gang so far.  The Budgie of Slaanesh needs to be tackled next I suppose.  It's not very Slaaneshi now that I think about it and doesn't really fit with these three anyway.

Monday, 4 January 2021

I Am The Law!


This is my interpretation of Joe Dredd, without his helmet.  And a chainsword instead of a stun baton.  Silly really, because Dredd never takes his helmet off.  Plus this is a sergeant, who should be setting an example to his men on battlefield protection and the use of headgear.

It wasn't until I went to basecoat the models that I noticed I'd modelled the sergeant's body on the wrong legs.  So now one of the troopers had 2 helmets, one clipped to his belt and one on his bonce.  What a schoolboy error.

Normally, I would berate myself harshly and immediately begin dismantling the offending models.  Usually with a craft knife.  Then spend another 10 hours undoing the damage whilst I tried to reassemble them correctly.  Slipping into an OCD loop of self loathing and failing to notice that I could have just swapped the heads back.  They weren't even glued when I discovered this obvious blunder.  I could have just put the damn Sergeant's head on the damn Sergeant's bike and have done with it.

It wouldn't be difficult to prise the heads off now and swap them.  I'm not going to do it though.  The enraged, almost psychotic look on his face coupled with the mohican absolutely  belongs on the bike plunging into the Ripper swarm in my humble opinion.  His subordinate has obviously been designated 'Helmet Carrier'.  That poor, long suffering marine just follows his Sergeant around into battle desperately waving the forgotten helmet.
'Don't forget your...  oh ffs!' 

The Genestealer model turned out alright and I spent an enjoyable couple of hours creating blood effects with cat hair and Blood for the Blood God.  I was a bit more ambitious with it this time compared to Sawberus.  Obviously, there's less blood, but there's more cat hair, which is the tricky part.

The sergeant is still my favourite though and seemed deliberately built to slot into that Forgeworld Ripper base.  It's almost like a Meat Loaf album cover.  He was also much easier to assemble and paint and I'm pretty pleased with his eyes.

I struggled with the eyes again at first.  I thought my fine motor skills were beginning to deteriorate.  A chilling thought.  Then I realised that I was just going even more blind than usual.  So it's my eyes that are deteriorating.  Fortunately we live in the modern age and a 10 dollar pair of super-strength reading glasses came to the rescue.  When worn over the top of my other reading glasses I can count the individual whorls of my fingerprints.  It was something of a revelation and I think I need to go to the opticians.

So my 2021 New Year's resolutions are:

1.  Visit the optometrist

2.  Try to be less miserable

3.  Eat more medjool dates