Saturday 31 May 2014

Oriental adventurer for a Sensei band

And here comes a new follower for my sensei. His name is Moulay Abd An-nour and I really enjoyed  painting him and imagining a background for him. I see him as a scout used to rough environments which is why I painted him a pair of blue Jeans and a leather Jacket to give him a sort of traditionnal adventurer look. He has some very fancy weapons one of which being a shuriken pistol. I think it is a interesting weapon in terms of Background since it either means he got it from black-market or that he got it from an eldar (which I strongly think he did)

Monday 26 May 2014

A rebel's tale in the Rogue trader universe

Hi people, today let me present you Poakey, a rebel underhive dweller who has seen the light of the Starchild and joined the band of Lucas Stern, Sensei extraordianaire

Poakey is a youth whose athletic skills have always been reliable and which earned him a good place in the local Deathball league. Poakey was playing in the Human League until he won his admission in the trans-species league but severe repression by the Hive authorities made him chose a life of rebelion instead of a sport career. It was on this occasion he met Lucas Stern, a Sensei, hero of the Starchild and defender of the oppressed. he has then been following him across the universe to help for the good cause.

This model is a Hive worlder and like quite a lot of thsoe you'll see here, it comes form the excellent Rogue trader adventurers range which integrated a lot of older references and some very good additions.

Pictures from Solegend

But what were the inspirations for that miniature and the way I painted it? Hum well, I can't hide that the quite peculiar haircut with short hair on one side and long hair on the other immediately make me feel about someone most 80's fans know :

Phil Oakey form the Human League

I strongly advise you to read Zhu's excellent article about his particular haircut and how you can see it on other references like Kaleb Daark.

We can note that the model is wearing a pair of power armour legs on top of his regular outfit. I really like this detail because it reminds that in conforntation (Laserburn's heir and Necromunda's predecessor) it was possible to get power armour parts and to wear them even though the real benefit of a power armour only came when the power pack was worn with the rest.

As it is now, those pieces are probably more of a burden than anything else but I like to think Poakey is expecting to find a complete set over time ! I painted the parts in rusted steel to represent the fact he probably scavenged them from some sort of sordid place.

Another thing I like about this model is the strange set of weapons he holds. A wooden crossbow is quite unexpected in a cyberpunkish setting and the chainsword is looking more like a sort of tuned butchering tool than a real weapon. It enhances the fact this fellow armed himslef with what he had under hand.  I also painted the shoulder pad as if it could have been a sort of sport protection to remind his past.

The belt's been painted green against all colour theory logic for the sole reason it reminded me of the belt on this guy (yeah I know, pathetic fanfoyism form a pathetic maniac) :

Roronoa Zoro from Manga One piece

Now here is the traditional group pose with the 3 members so far, the 4th being nearly done and the 3 on their way.

While we're at it, I thought I could show you the next Rogue trader band I'm working on. It's the band of Roger Ferrero, rogue trader and space adventurer. You can see that his band has changed a little from last time but the background is still the same (yeah, the space skelleton is going to be a playable member of the crew).

Another thing which has had my interest lately is the preparations for BOYL 2014, the Oldhammer event in Newmark this summer. Since I 've decided to join a little game implying several sensei, I thought it was the good occasion to make myself a grey sensei (aka BAD sensei). I decided to base my model on Christophe Lambert in the Highlander series and here is Connor Mc Lambert, grey sensei and ennemy of all good things.
I had particular fun making him a perveted katana from different sources and I'm quite pleased of the result. The kendoka in me is particularly pleased that his right hand is holding the saber the right way but that's the part most of you won't care about...

What you can see here has been done in 2 nights and I only need to add some green stuff to make a new collar and to refine the sword and he's good. I used the dark vengeance cultist as a base and it's a really good model to work with. I love how a simple modification can make him look completely different (I have even as we speak some other plans for the very same model) :

Oh and while we're stillat it, let's have a look at some henchmen I kitbashed for my imperial nobles with fantasy imperial trooper, scion tempestus and regular IGs

In the next episode, I'll declare the winner of my little give-away so stay tuned !

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Lucas Stern, Sensei master, hero of the Starchild

OK, with all the latest sexual confusion of last Week-end, I managed to get the finishing touches on the Sensei Master for my Sensei warband. This time you can be sure he is a man and has been so for a few centuries and even some millenia (no more phoenix non -sense ^^).

I've already covered a bit of the history and concepts of Sensei in a previous post so today I'm going to focus mainly on the leader of the band.

Let me present you Lucas Stern, my sensei master, leader of the sensei band that will arise in the coming weeks.

This is actually the second time I've painted this model. First time must have been in 1997 or something and I remember I did not enjoy painting him much at the time. It's why he has spent quite some time in a box of unloved half-painted lead until I rediscovered him a few months back and decided a good Acetone bath and some fresh eyes could probably do him good.

My main inspirations for this model were taken from this illustration (coming from the Slaves to Darkness tome) :

And as explained in my previous post, by the Japanese martial art of Kendo which I happen to practice. The real funny thing is that the first time I painted this model it was already with blues and greys just like it is now because for me that's the way Sensei have got to be painted (don't ask me why, I have seriously no clue).

Anyway, this time the choice of colours is justified by the feeling I wanted to give to the model.

The name sensei itself is a japanese word meaning "teacher" or which represents someone who has authority over you in a special field. The description of Sensei as very straight and honorable people in the Realm of Chaos books added to the japanese origin of the name immediately rang the Samourai bell for me and especially the Kendo one.

The picture below explains the different parts of a typical Kendo armour (in Japanese fencing, cuts and thrusts touch so you definitely want some protection to avoid broken limbs and cracked skulls).

Note that all the parts can somehow be found on the original drawing and on the model even if in altered versions. I have serisouly no clue as to wether this was some real inspiration or not but I couldn't let that resemblance unused for my project.
Both drawing and model display some form of blade which is the essence of Kendo (literally meaning "the way of the sword").

So the blue/grey/black colourscheme fitted both my ways of seeing sensei and the colours used in Kendo.
I opted for a red chainsword to offer some contrast. The colours are volontarily not very bright because I beleive such a character has managed to survive for centuries by staying low-profile in the shadows and this model served as a basis for the rest of the band in terms of colour combinations. The poor "readability" of it made me work the blues twice until I got the result I was looking for.

I kept a nice armour and clothing and decided to add battle damage on the chainsword (don't know if that shows well on the pictures).

Some of you may have heard about Musashi Myamoto, a great swordsman and ronin renowned for his swordmanship and being the autjor of the Go rin no sho.

Well I wanted to use some of the philosophy behind this art to give my sensei some more depth and I decided to opt for the principle of Zanshin.

(I'm using Wikipedia's definition)

Zanshin (Japanese: 残心) is a term used in the Japanese martial arts. It refers to a state of awareness – of relaxed alertness. The literal translation of zanshin is "remaining mind"
zanshin is the continued state of spirit, mental alertness and physical readiness to meet the situation

This principle is very important in the practice of Kendo but also in many martial arts coming form the Bushido and it can even be applied to arts. Permanent awareness and readiness is really how I portray sensei. Centuries and even millenia of training, surviving and thinking must have led to someting better than just a bunch of careless heroes.
I chose this concept because it embodies honour, respect, skill and experience. I realy see Sensei as the paladins of Rogue trader, with immortailty as little bonus.

I hope Japanese people or people who practice martial arts won't be offended by my poor freehand skills and attempt at calligraphy. 
I actually tried to paint the Kanji (symbol) like I would have done with a big brush on a big sheet of white paper, trying to write the whole Kanji in one motion (actually 3 to reload the brush) in order to keep a good Zanshin while doing so (if you follow me).

From now on, I'll add a picture of the band growing little by little so here is Lucas Stern with his loyal ratling cook, ready to go explore the universe and serve the Starchild and help those who need hope.

As far as Background is concerned, the Sensei leader will stay a bit misterious until his troops gather around him, for now, all I can say is that he's been serving th eStarchild cause for a very long time and that his time to come to light has come...

I don't know what other follower I'm going to do next but he should be ready soon (meaning before the end of the week).

Sunday 18 May 2014

Duchess Lion - She's a lady !

Enough said, a clean cut and some make-up later...

From now on, I'll behave like nothing ever happened right?

Saturday 17 May 2014

Duke Lion, Hero and member of the Oldhammer legacy band

There's been a challenge launched on the oldhammer forum lately which is one of the best to have ever taken place. We owe it to Axiom who decided to organise a group project where every contestant would paint and submit a model to a team which would be attributed randomly to one of the contestants.
Not only does this challenge offer the chance to win a complete band but it also enables the members to work on a project with the same rules. All the choices have been made via democratic vote (and some rebellion) and we finally ended up with a band of heroes of Good from all kinds of different races and all kinds of different horizons, all tied by the will to act heroicly for the good cause.

Wednesday 14 May 2014

Celebration time ! (with give-away bits inside...)

After a week away from brushes and internet access, I've realised I had my 100th post to write !

I will use this very special post to celebrate 2 things :

1) I Reached 100 followers !

 First is the fact I've reached 100 followers. I am really glad about this because this is mainly the only figure I care about (that and comments I get). I know most views come from Google bots, Apple bots or whatever so these kind of figures don't mean much really. On another hand, the fact that people pressed the "follow" button because they wanted to see more after coming here is really meaningfull to me.
Since my (dare I say) friends Warlord Paul and Legio Custodes suggested (quite heavily) I should celebrate, there was no shying away from thanking you all. Hence the little event (see below)

1) I got liebstered (again...(twice))

The second thing is that during my little holidays in the french Riviera, I received not one but TWO liebster awards from Demi-Morgana and Legio Custodes (the very same)! I really thank them for this and I will use this post to answer their questions (I'm trying to limit the number of non-hobby posts).

Friday 2 May 2014

The Realm of Chaos Challenge - Finished Warband

My complete Slaanesh war band
OK, you may remember from this post I engaged myself in a little challenge over the oldhammer forum

The aim being to collect, model and paint a warband designed by another contestant.

The war band I was assigned (designed by Mr Phreed) was this one :

Warband 7 – Asslessman
Champion of Slaanesh:
Human 10 Wizard (rolled 71, upgraded him to lv15 for survivability)
Gift: Willpower increase (Slaanesh). Second gift to be decided upon by painter.
Trait: Short legs (first rolled silly voice, then short legs - decided short legs was funnier from a modeling point of view)
Trait: Spits acid

• 3 Dark Elf (light armour, hand weapon, crossbow)
• 12 Chaos Cultists (handweapon, shield, no physical attributes)
• 2 Minotaurs (fudged. Rolled 4 orcs - didn't feel very Slaaneshi, so rerolled and got 2 minotaurs. Perfect!)

I won't go into the model selection since I already covered that part in the first post but I can explain a bit my strategy to paint this band.
I wanted to avoid the traditionnal use of purples, pinks and vivid colors. You will understand in the background story I built I needed noble colours and the other important point for me was to limit the palette to gain as much time as possible (since we had a month and a half to finish this challenge). I opted for dark red, black and bone colours because they go together well and suit my needs in terms of background.
I believe cultists in the cities tend to avoid displaying big Slaanesh symbols or signs which could betray them so the colourscheme seemed right, this is a reason why I opted for a more original path.

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