Saturday, 21 March 2015

The space white dwarf - Toruna Ironwind and acolyte

After painting some quite old references, here is a not too old model. The Space white dwarf was released in 2010 and available as a subscription gift.
My sources tell me that the sculpt is from Dave Thomas and I have to say it is one wonderful model to paint. I really had tremendous pleasure with it as it has that particular balance between detail and simple areas. It is not too full of insane details but the ones present are very fine and a treat to paint. Really a painter friendly model. Thanks Dave.

Tis really inspiring sculpt has really got me to up my game a bit and take a lite more time. You will spot some shortcuts here and there (especially in the metallics).
You also have to remember that for a time I struggled with finding what colour to paint the beard...

During good days, Toruna will be giving the thumb to most people...
during bad days, he'll more likely give people a taste of his dreadful powermace...

From the pictures above you will have noticed that I painted the goblin with human flesh instead of painting him green. Well, this is simply because as much as I respect Bryan Nelson, I have to say I prefer the older orkoid look to his take. That means if I want to have greenskins, they'll have to tie with those :

Another point was this allowed me to paint the model a little differently from all the others you've seen elsewhere which is always nice. As a joke though, I painted the alien costume green to reverse what the model is intended to be. This is a sort of abhuman wearing a green suit to pretend he's an alien. You may have spotted his earring which is a remote nod towards Tintin's rocket...

Painting wise I tried some new techniques "just to try". for the backpack, I tried weathering with a sponge, tis was done by painting the backpack neatly first :

And then using blister foam dipped in black first to add random patterns of weathering. I then repeated the process with a reddish brown and then metal to reach this point :

I might have overdone it a bit but at least I learnt something in the process so I fell I'll be able to put this technique to good use soon.

Seen my watch, you only get those in the future !
Toruna Ironwind is a peculiar squat in that he doesn't seek the exclusive company of his kin at all cost. One could even say that in fact, he likes to enjoy the broad horizons the universe has to offer.
Toruna was sent early in his childhood to an adeptus mechanicus formation facility to become one member of this powerful organisation. His natural skill and curiosity for technology could have make him a very influent member of the Admech cult if it wasn't for his strong thirst for adventure...
Before joining higher ranks and starting his transformation to become one with the machine god, Toruna left all that had been his life until then to travel through the galaxy and see with his own eyes the wonders of the universe.
Whenever he finds a place he enjoys, Toruna will make a workshop to use his skills to help people and earn what he needs to continue his journey, his servo-arm and powermace, remnants of is former allegiance have now found a new use.
During his journey, he has encountered Umba, an abhuman like him which has the cunning and greed Toruna's good nature lack. Umba's past is quite mysterious but offer him a pint of astro-beer and he will tell you the story of how his ogryn father "seduced" his ratling mother...
To gain quick notoriety, Toruna has often tried to use his former admech formation but few people have ever believed him... until Umba came up with the idea to disguise himself as a martian Toruna would have abducted during his period there (and natural martians are green as everyone knows). Surprisingly enough this seems to trick some people and Umba's personification seems to have mystified enough to get them far enough job so far.

Whenever he can, he will lend a hand to fellow squats in the name of blood bonds (though Umba will make sure they pay just like any other customer).

You need your armour defrosted? I can help you with that kiddo !

I thought funny to have a picture of the very first space dwarf GW ever produced along the very last (to this date)... 
I believe that picture alone pretty sums it all doesn't it ? They're both great models anyway and now I'm quite reluctant to varnish the newer, fearing it has to suffer from varnishing issues like his older counterpart.

In the coming weeks, what will we see in those pages ? Like always, I'm not really sure, some old stuff for sure (old habits die hard) but some more recent too and many unexpected like often.


  1. Very nice paint JB. The face on the goblin is my favourite element - he has real character. I confess, I can't find it in myself to like the sculpt - squats are fairly low on my list (just above orks), and this guy seems a bit too cheery and not grim enough for my taste.

    I love the contrast shot between first and last. That would make a great concept for a series of similar photos :)

    1. I see what you mean about the cherry side and I would have never picked it myself if it wasn't proposed to me in a trade. That said, this was one of those sculpts you get to love beyond what you imagined at first. With the small warbands approach we have, I like that we can allow ourselves some models a bit different between 2 gangs.
      The comparison shot would be fun indeed but would be a tad difficult with space marines since some are released every week ! That said I've just got my hands on one of the original space orks, a comparison between that one and one of the most recent would be fun ;)

      Thanks a lot !

  2. Lovely work. Well done.

    I'm a collector of Squats, and have over 200 of them. I'm a fan of both of these models. I don't mind the cheery disposition. Even in the grim world of 40K you can have a good day!

    Regarding varnishing, I find brush on gloss varnish followed by a coat of matt varnish when it's fully dried works well and avoids the frosting issues. Have to admit I have difficulty deciding a mini is finished, so most of mine stay unvarnished in case I want to touch them up.

    1. Thanks James !

      I really agree with you that not everything has to be grim in 40k especially in Rogue trader which is my edition of choice. The space adventurers range is full of those concepts like ratling cook or testbed slave and I think this model fits right in ...only a little bigger and more detailed.
      Deciding when a model's done is still a mistery, it just "happens", you realise it's done. I'll go back to brush varnishing or maybe with the airbrush, have to test what I really like, I just hate to kill all blendings andcolours wih in 5 seconds...

  3. Very nice painting JB. Like you, I found it a surprisingly pleasant model to paint, even if it took me a while to finish what is essentially two models in one. The casting and sculpting were so crisp that it was extremely pleasant to work with. Im glad that you seem to have enjoyed it as much :)

    He is a big guy in comparison with the squats, but not so much that it would put me off using the models in my games. Irn Bonce is particularly small, but the Space White Dwarf is big by any standards. I cant insert an image here, just a link, but this photo has another pretty apt comparison shot:

    As for how cheery the guy is, the sombre aspect of 40k appeals to me to an extent, but I find relentless grimness tedious. I find Batman tedious for the same reason: without a counterpoint it all becomes dull quickly. Its probably why a well written Joker is Batmans favoured foe.

    This model - with its weird goblin dressed in a Grey suit and other peculiar details - definitely comes under the "joke miniature" umbrella, like the various Santas and the drunk marines etc. If too many of those elements are in a game or army I quickly lose interest, but I enjoy featuring some of them from time to time in my games as a counterpoint. We all have our different tastes and limits and lines in the sand I guess :)

    You are churning out some good stuff lately JB, keep it coming!

    1. Cheers Paul, I'm whole heartedly with you on all points here, first it is 2 models in one (hence the extra needed time). I'm not grieved by the size difference one bit, the hover squat is even smaller and I'll use it still ;)

      The balance between grim, funny, graphic and realistic is something we each see a different way and it's what I like in fact. Seeing various takes (like your space WD here) is what I really appreciate. I do not fancy painting like others.
      The joker analogy is not one I'd have thought of myself but it is a perfect one !

  4. This is some of your finest work, JB. I particularly like the job on his beard. Some wonderful colour selection as usual.

    1. Thanks Edward,

      i have to say I did spend extra time on him but that was natural and came from the pleasure to paint. this was the kind of miniature that pulls you up !

  5. That. Beard. Is. Stunning. Work. Great job, JB! This is Asslessman at the top of his game. Really fantastic work.

    1. Some time was spent on the beard so I'm glad it pays ! I see points of improvment like the metallics or the skintones that could use some more richness as suggested. I sure had fun on this one so let's hope it continues on the others !
      Many thanks !

  6. Love the Tintin rocket earring, excellent attention to detail on a really well painted model.

    1. I did the pattern from memory and just realised afterwards the real one is slightly different, well, may next time !

      Thanks !

  7. Really great painting JB, the face is especially good and I always love well painted gemstones.

    1. Thanks Iannick ! To be honest I do love wel pianted gemstones but only succeed in making them look good once in a while, those were big enough to help ;)

  8. Really nice job on this/these guy/guys, thanks to your PJ the Grot nearly steals the show here- it's face looks brilliant and your choice of colours for it is out of the ordinary.

    Like lannick just mentioned, I love well painted gemstones- which the ability to do is not yet in my bag of tricks!

    The white shoes are rather awesome too :)

    1. To be honest, gemstones and eyes are always a fluke for me, I am never sure how they'll turn out but happily, those turned out nice (nothing like ruining a whole model with a silly look)

      Thanks a lot Bruno ;)

  9. Love the story behind what you use him as!
    (nice painting as ever too, particularly like the non-green gobbo/abhuman!)

    1. Cheers Jess' !
      I realy find a nice backstory is even better than the final varnish layer, it immediately gives depth and all (almost gives a sense to all of this)

    2. just noticed the Gallery bit to the side, love some of don kenns weird monsters he scribbles.

    3. That guy is insane, he draws those on post-its during lunchbreaks If I got this right. Really inspired (and inspiring) stuff.


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