Thursday, 27 April 2017

Ballads of War 1x26 & 1x27

New couple of pages, we may be getting to something...

One of the things I was sure I wanted is the group being portrayed not as a bunch of no-sweat badasses able to cope with anything in the Galaxy, but rather as a gang aware of their self-limitations in this, you know, grimdark galaxy in which life is so fragile. These are not Stallone and the Expendables. So if a group of Orks is approaching, the wise move is a retreat.

But well, the whole point in a Warhammer universe is conflict, so we need our heroes to pew pew a little! (Remember, my idea was a growing climax throughout the whole series, from RPG/small skirmishes to full scale apocalyptic battles by the end of the story). This also serves to know a little more about Brent, we can see him as a group leader making tactical decisions, and we even get a hint about his past (would it be true?)

If things were not warming up enough, we also get to see that the Eldar fleet has finally arrived as expected, to accomplish the Great Harlequin's purpose (whatever that is), just in time! If they manage to break the Imperial orbital blockade, we may get to see some pointy ears in a few pages (spoiler alert, of course we'll do).

But before that happens, if you have to judge for Brent and Arieh's faces in that last panel, there apparently  are a few more surprises to be unveiled...

While that comes, you can have a look at all previous pages HERE.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Yet some more World of Twilight!

That's right, I have some more advance on this side of the workbench :)

This time I chose a group of similar minis, which is always a good way to move forward. They all are small biped mounts, the last I had from this bunch. First one is Tanaris Zelehn, the Herder Queen:

A true queen
In her royal herding garments
The other two are Enuks, tiny (and beautiful!) beasts of burden. I treated them in quite a similar way, in warm colours and a variety of  bags on them.

Looks upset, but she's a nice girl
It was not until I have painted the body orange that I noticed the carrots in the basket! Fortunately purple carrots are a healthy alternative

Well, yess, I'm upset too
You would be mad too if you had to work in my conditions
 They all are quite adorable! Here you have the three of them:

Ready to travel through all the savannah long
I still have some minis left (my mate and I did made quite an order, hehe), but I can say I've already gone through the main part of the project (at least of the project so far!)

This is it for now, more Twilight stuff anytime soon!

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Ballads of War 1x24 & 1x25

We have officially gone through half of Volume 1 now. Confetti!!

Well, OK, I'm no Bernini, sure, but the entrance to the sepulchre does its part. I have later regretted the aspect of it many times, but didn't want to redo the page. I wanted to represent a 'classic' Imperial monument from the early Emperor times, so nothing gothic or too shabby/square, but more delicate, in a Renaissance way. I don't know. Now I don't see it as such a good idea. I think it needs to be much more massive/impressive (you'll eventually know why, hehe) and in a totally different architectural concept. Anyway, this is how I drew it and so it stays!

 But the real news here is that we're gonna have some greenskins soon! This is getting entangled...

For previous pages, please be served HERE.

More doodles anytime soon!

Monday, 17 April 2017

Descent on a budget: Cardinal Koth

The Easter break has been productive family-wise talking, but not that much in painting terms, hehe. However, I have managed to add a new character to the Descent project. Today it's turn for Cardinal Koth.
Not much is said of him in the Adventurer's booklet. The heroes must aid him when the baddies assault the cathedral he's in. He bears the 'Staff of Light'... and that's pretty much all we get to know!

The mini of choice was this one:

Yesss, I'm a certified Cardinal, don't disstrust tentaclesss, ïa, ïa!
The robes and the stuff were of course critical, but he seriously needed a head swap. OK, OK, nowhere in the booklet it's written that the Cardinal has to be human, point taken. Anyway, I think it would be better. Ahem.
I used the discarded head in Sir Alric Farrow mini. Only a beard had to be added to disguise the part where the tentacles were, as well as a skullcap, to reinforce the ecclesiastic look.

Not sure if I got a Cardinal or a Rabbi
Easy paintjob, I chose white for the robes and red for the lining, nothing too complicated.

Eat this, Gandalf, this is a staff of light!
Quite simple and time-efficient, so I couldn't ask for more. He makes just a quick appearance in the game, but I pretend it to be suitably 3D, not with a card token :D

Well, little by little, this project is taking shape, we already have a few minis! Phew, now for more stuff!

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Ballads of War 1x22 & 1x23

More tons of text as promised!

I had clear in my mind from the beginning that I didnt't want just a pew pew comic strip. I wanted some more depth. You noticed it last week with the Eldar myth, and you can see it again with all this Eldar lore in a nutshell. Once again it was part of the 'must know' to fully understand the whole story without the reader having to consult other sources. Now we know of the Eldar diaspora and the Harlequin's role in the big scheme. That would prove useful when different Eldar factions made their appearance in the future (spoiler alert: unfortunately that was never achieved, sigh).
You can also get a glimpse of my own interpretation of a Craftworld (we'll get more of that in the future), the Eye of Terror and even why the Slaanesh symbol looks like that. The constellation nonsense was just a dumb idea I got out from nowhere, but I found it fun, and was quite visual too, so... there it stayed :)

The second page takes us directly into action. We see our people finally descending on the surface of Itabirion and getting into the place where we wanted to go from the beginning.
Once again you can see my obsession with stupid details, such as the twins having to adapt to gravity and atmosphere (why is this subject always avoided in movies? All planets are exactly the same, with millimetric precision! No matter if it's Star Wars, Star Trek or whatever, they all can harbour life in the very same conditions. Boooring). I also planned to talk about vaccination and other stuff, but the story asked for some action.
You can also see my footnote system. Unusual for comic language, but useful for my purposes. I really wanted to implement the Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell novel footnote system (what, you haven't read it? Go now!!), with such a delightful metanarrative process. I had some ideas of inner stories within the story that would have given some strenght to the narration. I think you'll have the chance of seeing maybe one or two.

This is it for today. More adventures anytime soon. Cannot tell you what's going to happen, but I can give you a hint. If you are familiar with storytelling expressions, I'll just say that I don't have a Chekhov's gun... I've replaced it by a Harlequin's Kiss ;)

Ahhh, the mistery... :D

All the previous stuff... you know, HERE.

Monday, 10 April 2017

More Victorian Gothic (with 60% less of horror)

You may remember the Victorian Gothic Horror minis I painted for a friend as a replace for his Fury of Dracula game a few weeks ago. Well, after some productive discussion about the bases, we decided they needed some additional work, as they had too much colour. I came with the idea of some kind of Victorian-like trimming, which still allowed to see the colour but made the bases quite more discreet. So this was the result:

It takes some time and it's sanity points consuming, but catches the vibe
But what's the reason behind this colour obsession? Easy, so my pal can also use them for the A Study in Emerald game, in which the agents are colour designated. But that game has some characters of its own. Using the same West Wind Productions Empire of the Dead minis (and the same approach), this is what I can show you. First of all, elementarily, Sherlock Holmes:

In the most Basil Rathbone tradition
But what is Holmes without Watson?

Trust me, I'm a doctor
For Moriarty, my pal and I both agreed that we wanted something different, something more lighthearted among all this grimdarkness. That's because we both had this in mind:

IMDb reference, just in case (seriously?)
Well. One thing I discovered is that light lilac doesn't work for a suit, no matter what you do. So I dressed him up all in cream/white, and added some purple touches to stick to the original source:

Only the bold and the brave dare to dress like this in Victorian London
We also have another two agents. With no special idea in mind (i.e., not thinking of particular characters), I simply painted them in what I thought would look in place for the ambientation:

Best tweed vest in the market
He only needs a pocket watch to be 10 out of 10

Here you have them all:

We can also play Ludo

There's only one piece missing now in this dual-purpose project, the vampire himself for the Fury of Dracula game. I've already placed an order to Otherworld, so I'll let you know when he arrives.
Project nearly finished!

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Ballads of War 1x20 & 1x21

New pages today. Something... different.

This is both a transition scene and a walk through the Harlequin's personality (as well as a kind of look into Eldar culture). The whole myth the Harlequin tells is my invention, nothing official (don't go try to find it in any Codex!). I wanted to use a reference to the Tears of Isha and came with this story, mixing it up with the origin of the rainbow and the hopes of Eldar. I don't know, it all sounded Elvish enough in my mind, and the Harlequin needed something in this fashion so the reader didn't get the impression of him being 'generic character #4'.

It works the same for the Solitaire. He is supposed to be the quiet character, but I didn't want to make a gag of him, a Silent Bob cliche. He for sure can speak, but certainly chooses to do not so, unless he has something ugly to say. This was also the chance to make you know that being addressed by a Solitaire means bad luck (this is indeed official fluff).

About the second page, just a quick reminder that the Imperial authorities are on the chase! The touch about the navigator being inexperienced was something I specifically wanted to make into the story. I'm so sick of the good guys being just outstanding in everything they do. It happens all the time, everywhere. This group is not about that. They have limited resources and make mistakes. I of course have to stick to many narrative conventions (which aren't bad by themselves, in fact they are necessary sometimes), but I like to do different things from time to time.

Well, this is it for now. Get ready for more unconventional stuff soon ;)

As always, the story so far can be found HERE. :)

Monday, 3 April 2017

Descent on a budget: Lady Eliza Farrow

The crazy thing of being involved in several projects at a time is that you hardly see real progress on any of them. However, I still find it stimulating. I mean, that's for now. One day I'll wake up and decide to fully commit myself to a single thing until I got it finished. But until that day arrives, I'm coming back to Descent. Today, Lady Eliza Farrow.
All we get to know about her is that she's a fancy vampire lady, so the mini of choice was this one:

Yup. An almost naked lady vampire. Right from a 70's movie
As we didn't really need Vampirella to steal the show, I thought of a closer approach to the original illustration, i.e., a highborn looking lady with a taste for death. Or undeath. Whatever.

I made the dress with greenstuff and redid the cloak. I also thought that the orb in her hand could be repurposed. I cut it in two and made a goblet out of it:

There was a lot of flesh to dress!
Ony after I had finished her I realized with horror that I had painted a vampire Elsa (ouch!)

Snow! We need more snow!
Sorry, but we are sticking to what it's been made, no repainting for now. I guess she can be used for Frostgrave or something too... :D

Friday, 31 March 2017

Ballads of War 1x18 & 1x19

Here I am again, with some more 40K old doodles. I'm a little late on my regular updating schedule, but on my discharge I'll say that this time I had a lot more of text to translate!
I thought I should keep it anyway and offer you a couple of pages at a time, I think it's more rewarding to read. But let me know your thoughts, if you prefer this rate or just releasing the pages as I have them ready.

OK, let's go!

Well, now the plot is really revealed, so the reader gets a better glimpse of the full story so far and how this unlikely bunch of people got stuck together in a space blender (and what is supposed to be expected of them!)

The Great Harlequin steals all the show here. I firstly thought to make him way more 'extreme', more like a histrionic ator stuck in his role. After all, Eldar follow the Path of their election (Path of the Warrior, Path of the Seer, Path of the Scout, Path of the Artist, Path of the Baker, whatever) until they become simply outstanding at it and reach perfection, so they profession is their lifestyle more than a job career.
But remember, remember, it was 2005 (maybe early 2006 by then). The character I was envisioning already existed, and was the leading role in V for Vendetta. Ouch. The comic version had settled, of course, but the movie was totally fresh at the time. I simply couldn't bring just the same character into the comic, an over the top crazy bloke wearing a mask, speaking in verses and all that. A pity, I would have loved to have such a character here.
Anyway, I made him much more sober and weary, with some occasional emotional outburst. After all, Eldar feel much, much more deeply than humans, so their emotions are way more extreme or pure, sometimes uncontrollable.
About the outfit, at the time GW had abandoned the Harlequins ranges, so the only references were from the late '80s and they weren't to succeed, I'm afraid; too extreme. I simply reimagined/updated the appearance and went for the white armour, the sash, etc. Venetian masks were of course my main reference, and I in fact had a few sketches with dozens of ideas for masks, for the moment when we were to see more of the Harelequin's troupe. Never got them to the actual thing, sadly, but I even had designed a full scene in which the troupe played a full performance of Eldar myths. I didn't want to overdo the mask, so the thin gold trimming or the shells were simple concepts to attach to, and I think they worked fine.

About the last couple of panels in the second page, I wast just delving into Warhammer 40,000 fluff. That's the thing I talked about last week; the veterans will get the references and secretly giggle at them, and the newcomer won't be bothered by them and will (hopefully) get itchy to know more of this all.

Well, this is it for today, I'll go get some more stuff as soon as I can!

You know, previous pages HERE, as usual.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Variety is the spice

I've begun a new stage in the Twilight project. Though I still have a couple of big beasts of burden to paint, I wanted to do something different for a change. That's why I chose some anthropomorphic creatures. Three quite different ones, I must add. Let's start with the Fubarnii falconer:

Epic colour-burning pic. Ouch
It was the first mini of this batch I decided to paint as it immediately caught my eye. Ain't it beauty? The mere concept of the falconer is cool by itself, but the sculpt is also full of tiny details. The way the clothes are presented, its lace, its trimming... They all speak of a delicate, high-born person with a respected profession within the Fubarnii society.

I'm afraid those aren't Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion. But could be
Quite a contrast with the next one, in which I found very different lines:

A travelled fluoride green lizard
Gil Marsharl, travelling biologist, was the exclusive miniature from the first Twilight KS. A totally different mini, yet full of character and tiny details. Once again I went through the flamboyant approach...
If he gets lost in the woods it would be easier to find
 So OK, a falconer and a biologist. What next?
Some action, a Casanii leader, Telani Deyath:

With his loyal Yellowscales
The Casanii have a distinctive look within the World of Twilight ranges. They have a strong African vibe (at least for me!!) I'd love to take further and develop. Though I went Oriental with Loranti Pargal, minis like this one are asking for something in this fashion (which is great, as I hope it will let me try colourful patterns!)

Yet more to come!!