Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Fluff: The knightly order of the Last Dawn


The Knightly Order was formed at the beginning of the Age of Strife. It was to be an order, rather than a household, as its founders from Terra were more scholars and keepers of the ancient manuscripts of pre-dark age histories. The texts, books and scrolls they kept were so old that some could not be removed from their stasis cubes to be transferred to the safer storage devices of this era.

These were not hidden histories, but parts of humanity that had been forgotten. Mostly tales of knights and battles and histories of ages that were no longer relevant. Times before machines fought wars for humanity. Many amongst the ranks of the Ordo Scolastica deemed their continued existence to be a waste of resources. And so the Order was formed of the few that considered these works of the early days of humanity to be records of a time that would repeat again. Times of fractured houses and knights sent to war against each other. And by the time of the Great Heresy they were justified, and ready to face their foe


Lion el'Johnson arrives on Telka. After being brought back into the Imperial fold of his father and reading of the knightly houses, his first visit was to Telka. It was on this world where he believed the Order of the Last Dawn finally colonised. Taking a small contingent of his 1st Company, he found eventually them.

The world was not far removed from Caliban. Forests and jungles covered much of its surface and it was clear that the knights here were of a different breed. Honour and fealty went hand in hand with the ancient and amazingly well-cared for suits of Castigator, Lancer and Acheron armour. The early Mechanicum envoys that went with the original colonists had been among the most senior priests of Mars. Knowing that the technology to keep the books in such pristine condition was something sacred, they could not leave without studying it. They welcomed the Knights and merged with the Order to became a single entity. Machine Lore and the books of a forgotten age were both taken with equal solemnity. The secrets of both were shared and a revived Order was reborn, knowing their armour because they had helped build it.

The head of the Order, Arator, met the Lion on their jousting fields and immediately swore loyalty to him. Seeing in him all the qualities of a knight in any age of man.

It transpired that the system of worlds ruled by the Order had faced countless wars since loosing touch with humanity. Eldar, Ork, and even the tentative raids by other knightly households that they had swept aside with ease. And with the tactical help of the Dark Angels by their side they tore apart the strong holds and worlds lost in the 5000 years of silence.


The Order and the Dark Angels Were now one and the same. The ancient volumes had been entrusted to the Lion to safe guard on Caliban and instead of freeblade knights running to see the galaxy with other households or legions, the freeblade knights of the Order swore oaths of blood to the Lion and painted in the colours of the legion, they would march as honour guard.

Known for their joy in battle and camaraderie with the space marines, they were a welcome addition to Crusade.

+++++++ HISTORIES EXPUNGED ++++++++++


Nearly 10,000 years passed between the Heresy and the knights of the 41st millennium. Now a Household with its banners proudly displayed the knights still hold the heraldry of the Dark Angels, however they no longer fight along side them. Amazingly they still hold all the patterns of armour that had fought against Horus and the traitors. It is widely believed that the stasis technology that kept their books and treasures in such pristine order were also used to keep the armour and even pilots for a time when they would be needed again.

Colours and heraldry:

While red features prominently within the colours of the house it was made very apparent that this had nothing to do with the Mechanicum of today. The majority of knights in the household are coloured red, black, and white. One or two knights choose to be black or white knights. Both a type of freeblade yet still a part of the Order. The Black and White seems to dictate that the knights are no longer constrained by the hierarchy of the Order, making independent choices on the battlefield.

The Skull has featured prominently in the strange and scattered heraldry of the Order since its inception, however, most knights colours and heraldry are left to the pilots. Many have given prominence to the illuminated text from the manuscripts they have protected through the millennia.

Thank you to John ( who has kindly given his time and expertise to making this read like something not written by a tired man. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Knight Castigator: Ha'Noon the Indomitable

Henry 'Hotspur' Percy

Ha'Noon watched the 100tons of adamantium and rage of his lancers barrel past him into the thick of the frey. Knowing that the orders had been given and anything said now would be futile. The brutal and red mind of the Marshal of Phen'brook and the needle blade of the freeblade Thanatos. Their armour in a shocking state of disrepair compared to his own. He was not fastidious but knew what it meant to see a commander and to know you have seen a leader.

The Castigator pattern armour was unique. Heavy plates protected every inch of its bulk nearly doubling the weight of his "lighter" wards. Intricate scrollwork and the history of its owners was writ large upon his shell. His name was Indomitable, and Ha'Noon was adding his mind to the mighty solid tacticians mind of the machine.

Movement from the left resulted in the armour pivoting on its axis before Ha'Noon had reacted. The sign of a perfect sync between metal and man. The bolt cannon fired. No gaudy showboating. No dramatic whine of barrels gathering speed. A solid, unstoppable, wall of fire and warheads that simply removed the target and surrounding hab blocks. Regulating the surge of adrenaline, that came as the machine mind briefly revelled in its own power, Ha'Noon strode after his household. Not commanding but nudging and trusting their pilots and armour to anticipate the tides of war.

*Thanks for reading guys. I find writing a little background in this mid stage really gets me ready to finish a project. I'll be doing a breakdown and a full shoot at the end including how I made the extra armour plating and a little bit about freehand mini calligraphy.

Happy Painting!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Free 3D printable creature

Sorry for the radio silence guys! But I have some exciting news that I had to share.
My friend and talented sculptor and 3D artist Sam Rowan has released his first 3D printable creature. One that I cant wait to get my hands on and paint.

This model is also part of a competition to start manufacture and distribution. By going to the link at the bottom and downloading a copy of the creature yourself (FOR FREE) it gives him a great chance of winning. And looking at the other entrants I cant believe he hasn't won already.

Support your local sculptors and artists. Support Sam Rowan!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Im In Visions!

Pretty momentous thing that I haven't even bothered writing on my blog. I probably should have written it on my blog as soon as the pre-orders came up but it completely passed me by.

Anyway, with its release this Saturday, and my 14 page Blanchjitsu article firmly wedged in there I am proud to say that I have officially had a chunk of my models published and written about in the hallowed pages of White Dwarf!
Needless to say I'll be buying several copies and hanging around Muswell hill GW on Saturday grinning.

Thanks for all your support and motivation,
Next stop! Golden Demon! 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Ist legion begins: Pre-Heresy Dark Angels

This little spark of inspiration first came about with my experiments with painting black.

A brutal colour to get right. Do it in shades of grey, and you end up with a black and white mini like an old Disney cartoon. Unless your model exists on monochrome world this just doesn't look right. Put too much colour in it and you end up with what looks like a mega shaded colour at night. Blacks can be warm or cool, vibrant or matte. Its a bugger. And I still don't think I've got it right. But its getting there. And its fun to paint!

So in my mind I had a couple of choices.  Raven Guard are meant to be matte black. Right? Non reflective, hard lines, and brutal. Black legion are Chaos, and I wont mix with that lot (apart from the occasional foray into the bloody landscapes of Khorne).

But 30k Dark Angels? Bad ass knights of the realm, with all sorts of secrets, and gold, and shiny black plate armour? Hells yeah. And the picture below really was my inspiration for it. Look at all that blue that reads as black.

The picture at the top was obviously edited to be darker, slightly less saturated, maybe adding more grey to the final glaze to knock it back will work in the future but as a proof of concept I'm a happy man. Anyway, this is how he looks in the flesh.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Knight Lancer: WIP

The magnets are in and the colours are down!
Finally I can see how the lancer looks. And I'm really happy with how its turned out. If I were to do it again I might re-consider the lion head, the current one is a little too stark and cartoony. But other than that im pretty happy. little more freehand, the pilot, and the banners to do and im calling it a day with this model. Amazing fun doing it.

And finally a little size comparison for those who havent seen one of these giants in the flesh. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Knight Lancer: Vilhelm the red

*Vilhelm the Red piloted himself lightly through the ruins of the shattered hab unit, refugees streaming around the giant claws of his Lancer, the mighty and proven Marshal of Phen'brook. An old name lost in the sands of time but given by the Emperor before his ascendance to the golden throne. His chassis, plate, and weapons were replaced many times since then, but it's mighty machine soul was ancient and wrought of the minds of a thousand knights.

His prey was close at hand. The explosions rumbling the hive structure under foot told him as much. Something evil and twisted had crawled from the warp to persecute the citizens of the imperium. 
The plate of Phen'brook was battered and scarred, much to the chagrin of the magos that traveled with their group of misfits and freeblades. But he carried himself taller for it. These scars and repairs were the badges of honor where others would carry their gaudy baubles and kill markings, Phen'brook had no time for such things. Those who knew his name rejoiced at his arrival while his enemies scattered before him, that was all that mattered. 

A terrible wrenching noise broke across the plaza into which he stepped. The sound of metal being torn asunder to make room for his foe. The lance at his side began the process of winding itself back in anticipation of the horrific power to be unleashed, when it was needed the lance would decend with the speed of a rail gun and the power of a dieing star. Hefting the scarred shield and bracing himself Vilhelm let out a roar of challenge that was echoed by Phen'brook a thousand decibels louder causing the nightmare of metal, tentacle and colour to swing around , and with a cry of sonic weaponry the two foes lept to the joust...*

A little fluff and a couple of early WIPS from my latest project. The fluff inspired by my good friend John Ashton over at heresyandheroes and his incredible Slaaneshi knight that you may have seen featured on the GW blog recently.  

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Bring me my shield!: knight lancer WIP

I wasn't a fan of this model when I first saw it in the forgeworld newsletter. Too gangling, too ostrich rider! Didn't look like the hard hitting beast a lancer should be. The armoured giant that it should be. And that god damn shield. Dammit. it looked wrong. All empty space. But then I saw it in the flesh and bought it almost immediately. Half again as tall as a knight and so much potential!

Still hated that shield though so my first plan was to give it a brutal steel welded beast of a shield. Welding burns and heat distortion, a double hard bastard of a shield.

It was ok, but too bare. So a couple of layers of hairspray and ard coat later and you have this! More weathering and heraldry to come. Something Simple and coggy.

I actually planned and made the base before I even got the lancer. A blasted wasteland with a small stomped on trench system to display the weight of the lancer as it pounds across the battlefield.

And gives it a nice wide tall stance without making it look too skeletal before the plates were put on.

I would say this is a slow burn project but I will probably complete it within a day of metal motivation.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Monday, June 23, 2014

Horus: Faces of Death.

My first time not using green as a base for skin and it's turned out ok! A little more alive than my usual dead flesh look. He also looks a lot like my brother. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Horus: First Blood

First touch to Horus! 

Such heresy! But what else would you expect? I've not posted anything in a month since the Eldar were finished. But this model has been calling to me. And just getting over my 2 weeks in Korea it seemed like a great way to get over the hobby slump. 

Which was very pretty!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Tutorial: "GOOOOOLD" part I

I've got gold to paint. A whole lot of gold to paint. And I intend to be good at it. Weather its faking it with NMM or using the good stuff with RMM (real metallic metals.) I feel this is something that can set a model apart from others.

So I've decided to approach it in the way I would approach any digital or flat painting but research and development.

So what do we paint in gold and why? Shiny stuff. Right. Things we want to look important. Damn right. Because gold (In our little world) usually symbolizes the bad ass king with a big ass sword. So let look at the gold we want to use.

Take this mental son of a bitch Charles-Andre van Loo.
(Download this picture, put it on your iphone, print it out. Its a beauty)
 I'll be using this little patch of his work a lot when it comes to putting paint to mini. Knowing where the light bends and what looks right is vital to a solid gold or metal. Cor. What a beauty.

 (Which is why the Queen of France in this picture must have been pissed. "Look at that god damn table shining like a motherfucker. You haven't even got my eyes straight!")

 There is a downside to trying to copy this palette however. Just look at how complex his golds are.
(DAMMIT LOO! Now that's a spectrum. Maybe he did it on purpose to stop people looking at the face of the queen of France.)

Condensing that down to 28mm scale would ruin most of our days. But Whats going on there that could help. 
The brightest colour is no where near white. Maximum is a beige. The darkest colour is mega dark red?! There is green in it. 

So maybe something a little simpler. Another master of metals is Charles Le Brun. 

Look at this cheeky arse bandits painting. Two types of gold on display here. The celestial pure gold, and the rich earthy gold of the frame. Probably a message there somewhere, sure as hell isn't share the wealth anyway. Look at this guy. Does a perfect face at the top and paints a guy that looks like a bad Michael Cera fan art in the main bit. What the hell dude. 

 I love the look of this gold. Im going to copy the hell out of it.

And low and behold. There is bugger all in it! Its all about the placement. Few colours and the right strokes. 

Drink hearty lads! for tonight we paint in hell!! (In part II)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Silver and Leather

Metal and leather are two textures that have always scared me. Knowing where to paint highlights, weather to let the shadow of the model do the work, painting reflected light or warping a reflected image. It's scary how much you need to know to get a grip on these things. So I decided to cheat to make it easier for me. :D

The highlights on the blade in the image above are all painted (please ignore the scratches, I got ideas that didn't pan out)

Accuracy in this is pretty easy actually! I just made sure I held the miniature at the same angle under the light while I painted them. Using dots of chrome paint where the light fell, followed by a very thin glaze of blue to set.

This way you know your getting highlights right because your just following the physics of what light is falling on the mini! Maybe I'm rehashing old news but this has been quite a revelation to me.

Finally, leather. Not much to say really. It's all about looking at reference. If something looks red in your reference, paint it red. Try not to use too much care when painting the base of it. Make sure you keep your first couple of layers rough. the more texture you have in the build up the better it will look in the end.

I still feel I have a long way to go with leather, especially when looking at people like Marta Slusarska
Who, in my mind, is one of the masters of all things cloth. She has better tutorials on that than anyone else.

thanks for reading guys!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Commissar WIP2

Quick update as this has come on in leaps and bounds today. From a block of wood and plastic to possibly my best painted mini. :)