Monday, 29 November 2021

First foray into Sculpting? Making a Veratican vicar

 Something I haven't done much of in the past is sculpting. I mean, I've done a bit here and there, a pelt on an Astartes' back or a bunch of purity seals. What I've always wanted to try is ac-tu-al sculpture, as in from a base, forming the whole from milliput or whatever is handy and usable.


The milliput is currently in the post. It'll be my first time with it, and I'm quite nervous/excited to give it a go.

So, who to make?


I may or may not be working on a miniature-based tabletop game, set in the Apocalyptican fairytales. One of the pieces I know to be present is a vicar, a frail old half-corpse in a robe with a sword and shield. Or a hammer, not sure what I'll send up making? Either way, theirs is a rather particular look.




Mostly, the attire of the parish shepherds is based on that of Tay Tumbel, a vicar who was known for his many adventures. A pleated surplice over a long coat of mail, wth layers and hoods and even a bit of plate-iron over to of everything.


So there we are; many textures, many layers to work on. it'll be an informative project and most importantly it'll be fun! And hard too I expect.



Putting a flame to that everpresent empty sprue we can never seem to dispose of, I made a body to work from. The general shape of the skirt and the baggy outer robe is all I've defined.


I imagined the head would be the most finicky part to make, so I had to give this one a good bit of thought. Eventually I dug up a bit of clear ABS plastic which had paper gummed on one side; this I drew on to give me a visual thing to work from.


You can just about see it through the other side. Anyway, the shiny surface is much easier to scrape the finished product away from.




For his nose, the stump of a chaos chainsword has just the right shape to it; I'll sculpt the rest of the nose later.
The rest of the head is made from a bead, cut and spaced with bits of 25mm base.


S here's what the handsome fellow looks like so far. He even has arms... Just. This is where I have to leave him until the milliput arrives, and I learn how to use it! 

***

I want to say this explicitly, before anything else happens. Please understand, I need to make this statement for future reasons.

While this vicar is based on the character of Tay Tumbel, it is not meant to represent the character. That is not the way of the fairytale, to focus on one tale more than others. This will be a general representation of a particular kind of vicar, and not a template.

All good? All good, thanks for understanding. Well, here's hoping the milliput arrives soon.

Bye bye for now.


Friday, 19 November 2021

Characters and OCs - is there a difference?


A question has been on my mind for some time and I'd like to try and straighten it out here: Is there a difference between a character and an OC?

Now, this might not be the sort of content you are used to on this blog; correct, it's not the usual thing. But it's something I've been mulling over for a while now and I wanted to get it down.

Also, you'll be able to see a side of my art you might never have seen before - clean!



I believe there is, at least to my mind there is. On the left of the picture above is Djn of Tenbridge, a character from my trilogy. On the right, Kerindra and Fréki, two of my OCs. Now, the first differentiation might be style, but that's got nothing to do with it - I believe it's to do with the reason for their creation.

An original illustration I did for the first book, framed.


His relationship with Rygnir, the main character, was planned from the start of the story, what would happen and how they would interact. I may never mention this couple again in another Fairytale because their story has been told.

***

On the other hand, I drew K and Fréki to practice elements of their particular design, i.e plush bodies. I simply drew them the way they are, because they have elements I like to draw. The fact that they're a couple is actually because my wife said they'd be cute together, not because it was planned at all.

This is my art. Don't ask how, I just CAN do less grim, okay?

OCs, in my interpretation, can be created for myriad reasons. I have OCs I made to experiment with relationship dynamics or character interaction. In practicing art or testing certain traits, I've come upon something I've really liked and made an OC out of it. I even have some who originally were sprite edits!
OCs can be a refuge in a way, a means of getting the toxicity of the world out of your head. That's the reason almost all of my OCs are queer, in fact.

Men is too headache. Also yes, this is my art too.

Many of them have backstories in one way or another, but nothing much in the way of actual narratives in which they play a part. However, I am currently working on an urban fantasy alongside my usual stuff, in which a particularly special OC is the protagonist. They are based largely on my own experiences as a kid; things I wanted to do or be (I always wanted to fly, talk to faeries, be a girl - you know, all those mythical things) but never could.

And yes, the dynamic duo Kerry & Fréki will be making a passing appearence too; a tiny window into their own little world, and a step on the road to becoming "characters" in the more regimented way I've described.


Characters, I feel cannot be experimented with or placed into situations outside their established body of work, while OCs potentially can. My wife and I are currently engaged in an ongoing DnD-esque narrative with some of our OCs in a vaguely fantastical setting. I would not be comfortable using a character in this setting.

This was a commission piece I made for a private client


I must have hundreds of characters by now. If you were to include every person I mention over the course of the trilogy you might say I had millions. However, I've only got about twenty OCs, in the sense of the word I've detailed; the people who appear in their stories I would consider characters, because they have a set reason to be there, a role to fulfill.

***

Well, I think that's everything laid out for my argument. I'm not exactly sure why I felt the need to write this down, but there we are. Have you any thoughts on the matter?

By the way, I wanted to apologise for moderating comments. Blogger seems to have become filled with spam bots.

Bye bye for now.

Thursday, 11 November 2021

AEONS MORDICUS

 I see a shadow in my dreams. From whence, I cannot tell, do not press me so! Merciful Throne, how it devours...

 


If Him on Terra had but one flaw to speak of (and oh, but how many there are to course from!) then it is His towering inability to admit fault. To his sons He imparted this gift, however unwillingly received, to perhaps all twenty of His children, letting them do as they would with it.


Arrogance. Perfectionism. Self-doubt, self-hatred. These four things, and these things alone sculpted the Primarchs into the men they became. And these things consumed them.


We see the Prætorian as a mind forsaken, alone in a sea of doubt and hatred who could turn to no-one for comfort, for arrogance rendered him incapable of it. Human emotions were said to not apply to Dorn - a lie altogether blind! - for it was impossible for him to exhibit them, even hate, even love. What then, I ask, could become of such a godlike creation as he, when faced with the absolute horror of betrayal at the master of mankind's death? How could something become so inhuman relate emotions he was disallowed from touching?


He fell back into a dream. It was all he could do. Fall back into dream of consuming darkness.


If the pitiable state of the Primarchs was an unknowable taboo, then that of their sons would be all the more so, especially as they are humanity's only bulwark against the night. We do not want to think of our saviours as fallible, but so they are! So they are, and it terrifies the mind to understand the true depth of this psychosis! I speak largely of the VIIth legion and all who came therefrom. Oh yes! Perfect, staunch, unmovable, who would believe the consuming dark that eats away at their souls?


It begins first as dreams, nightmare visions of an empty Throne, a carcass in gold devoured by chittering, wormy, claw-fisted alien maggots. Long hallways of twisted darkness seep from their sleeping minds to press against their waking eyes, then the dream takes a hold of their body.


So subtly - so subtly! - the dark, seeping hallways manifest as a pit on the flesh of the Astartes, broadening with insatiable hunger as humanity and emotion leaks out. Darkness consumes the Astartes in his every thought and action until he cannot even summon enough reason to let his hearts beat. His dreams of hallways become so real to him that he would rather never leave them, for there is pain there, and pain means life - doesn't it? Pain is there where pain is not here, here in a waking world turned all to ash and darkness absolute...



When next the Astartes wakes, he finds himself walking down those halls, with the inhuman screams of every living thing blending into a distant, almost mechanical chugging, creaking, breathing. The halls are alive - he is alive - the devouring dark is alive, and he is alone against it, naked and afraid.


Hark, but not naked.



***


Well, that's the general opening to a terminator project that I've been working on for the past year or so. Next time I'll explain what my plan is, but for now that's the flavour text.


Bye bye for now.

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Once more into the fray



So here we are again. It's been a long time since I last made use of this blog. It feels like the reopening of an ancient spellbook used by an equally ancient wizard, of whom I am a reincarnation with only shreds of memory left.


Blogging is an outdated, longhand kind of content very few people use nowadays. For this reason, I feel more comfortable with discussing past events - and generally, everything else - in a more longhand format, as only those genuinely interested will spend the extra effort in reading.


I have changed. I've changed a lot.


I will not overlook the fact that I am still quite mad these days. However, compared to the unsocial, suicidal creature I was during this blog's initial use, I'm nowhere near to that destructive or depressed.

I've published two books now, with a third on it's way. I'm married, and we have a beautiful blue/grey cat child. From a place of utter desperation and darkness, I've begun to heal, to learn how to be human. To love. To be who I truly was meant to be.



The views I had of Games Workshop haven't changed since the last post - hell, to be honest I think the company has become all the more worse - however, this blog will continue, for the most part, to be focused on my 40k kitbashing work, and any commissions if they come along; but I won't push it out there. If you find this blog, it won't be because I made you go look at it.


As much of the original content as there could be is still present, but you aren't obliged to trawl back through; it's here mostly as a testament to the past, to what I was, to what my kitbashing was.



Let's see what the future will bring, eh?


Bye bye for now.


Saturday, 26 May 2018

A sign-off: What deters me from the 40K fandom

Warhammer saved me long ago from the monotony of mainstream media.  It revealed to me there were some stories worth pursuing, there was an audience for grimdark fantasy, and as a right little edgelord, I was not alone in my taste for the insane and the outré.  I grew up with it, matured into as much of a man as I'm probably ever going to be with it, it was a pillar of my childhood's foundation.





But that was then.  Now the appeal is waning, and there are several reasons which I'll do my best to explain.

I will not bring up the price of miniatures as a reason, because that's easily remedied by toning down on purchases.  There are so many sides to this argument and it's obvious GW won't be lowering prices of existing kits in the near future, so I'd rather not address cost.
Here we go.


1: It is a community-driven hobby; and as a professional failure, I physically cannot people

Firstly this point needs to be got out the way, as of course the same thing could be said for every fandom.  Unfortunately it's just another point of several that deters me, and most importantly I'm the only one to blame here.

A fandom consists of a number of people who like the same thing, discussing it and creating or experiencing that same thing-- but the DISCUSSING I believe to be the biggest part of any fandom.  That's where I, the most socially backwards person ever can attest, falls short.
 Warhammer is a game, a game to be played with other people, with other people who like and understand the IP's concept, with friends. Friends some people don't-- or can't-- have.


My online presence has deteriorated significantly over the last while, despite me climbing on board new platforms left right and centre, that's really a fault of my being caught up in other stuff-- and a combination of rural locale and dodgy vehicle means I can't really extend my RL presence much farther than the workplace.  How I'm ever going to find a girlfriend at this rate is beyond me... That's beside the point.  Moving on.


2: What it once was vs What it is now

I don't believe 40K was ever this mainstream.
This I'm sure I've brought up before, because I'm a fuddy duddy stickler for old things.  Warhammer used to be a hobby, an art expression; now it only feels like an IP to exploit.  True, their miniatures have gotten more and more detailed and pretty in the last while,but is that really necessary?  I mean really truly?  Think about it, does detail enhance the game?  Or rather would it draw new people in?
Uninspired? Clearly one intolerant bugger thinks so
 Don't get me wrong, new people are great for an IP to make money and be more widespread; new people are good.  But at what point does an IP stop being itself, and start appealing to the widest audience possible at the cost of its individuality?





3:  Official art used to be more interpretative than this

I can't leave a rant without at least a bit of good old hobby horse time; I'll try and keep this short.  As a defeated artist, I appreciate an IP mostly through its aesthetic, through its art.
Compare these two tech-adepts, a skitarii and a myrmidon:




Much in the same way I love the inaccurate nature of medieval art, I found the older 40K art inspiring.  It gave me ideas for kitbashes and painting methods, it added depth and character to a story already rich with character.  The miniatures were simple templates for you to build on and develop your own style.
Nowadays I see more and more art taken directly from the miniatures, and to be brutally honest, some are not much more interesting than studio photographs with their subject matter.  Alright, I might have gone and chosen that skitarii image purposefully, but the fact remains; there's less up for interpretation.  The majority of modern artwork seems less of telling a story, as presenting a range of products.


4: What it was for me vs. What it is now

 This harks back a lot to point 2.
Coming into the world of 40K long ago, what the 12-year-old me perceived was a huge, terrifying galaxy filled with such insane darkness and dread you couldn't hope to survive long; the morbid side of me latched on instantly.  This was a fantasy story set in a time so ridiculously far in the future it was obvious they weren't going to pull any stops on the madness.  Guns and vehicles were venerated instead of repaired, religious worship was directed here there and everywhere, aliens nobody even knows the origin of are streaming into the galaxy, man-made gods have taken form but are completely out-of-control...
Maybe I liked it for the wrong reasons; there might have been more fitting IPs to pursue... that weren't anime.  You know, it was the religious part of the Imperium I believe drew me in the strongest, and in the toning down of the archaic, the gothic, the pagan, I've been left hanging.
Like I said before, it was a pillar of my childhood's foundation; it should be left as such.  I don't want it spoiled by washed-out miniature design, lame narrative, and... people.


5: What GW has done/is doing with the IP


If you don't know about WH adventures, it's basically proof that GW have gone full sellout mainstream.
Do I recall a time when warhammer was age-restricted, or is that just a fanciful dream?  Also way to push the primarine shtick, I still don't like the buggers.


6: The memes


Yes, in the long run I hate memes.  So sue me.
 Personal experience has shown me the following; the majority of people are more drawn to funny things than scary things.  Whether they don't like a thing, like it too much or don't understand it because it's too creative or different they'll make it funny.  This mentality I can't stand, and connected to something I took so seriously as a child is oddly painful.

7: people in the community
 
In every fandom full of great people, there will always be the "badd'ns" .  My tolerance of who I'd consider to be a "badd'n" just happens to be WAY lower than most people, again due to my social ineptitude-- which I should stop wearing on my sleeve as if fishing for pity.
These badd'ns are what give the sane folk a bad name, I'm sure a good deal of you have a story.  Mine is of a guy who couldn't go on holiday without taking his entire (multi-faction) collection with him; so instead of not going on holiday at all, he put everything into a hundred ice cream containers and had them rattle about and fill up his camper.  Funny story, but how does it reflect the community as a whole?

It's not just the badd'ns either, I see a lot of unnecessary stupidity.  I've seen terrible crossovers and ship wars-- yes, ship wars concerning primarchs, ship wars concerning astartes heroes, all sorts.  I've seen people who can't enjoy an IP if they can't poke their diddly-stick in it, so they oversexualise.  I've heard of-- not misusing the word either-- truly retarded behavior of every sort, I've seen animal abusers, thieves, and some real mental cases who give the Columbine shooters a run for their money, all connected in some way to the 40K fandom.

It's all getting a bit much.


You sound pretty sick of it, D.  Can't you just ignore all that and stick with it alone?
You've always been alone.

I could shut myself in, yes.  I could lock myself away and nobody would know where I'd have gone, but the damage has been done.  If I withdraw to try and enjoy 40K by myself, I'll be withdrawing with all those awful stigmata attached to the IP I once loved.  I'd much rather leave it off for a while and let it heal a bit, even if the reasons I hate 40K will never go away.


What are you going to do?

What I'm going to do is move away from the fandom for a while.  2018 has been rough and slow, with illness and busyness and RL, and sadly 40K isn't quite as appealing as it used to be; it doesn't draw me like it used to.
I've got so many other projects I want to do in the future-- short films, puppets, art, not to mention the apocalyptican fairytales I'm writing-- all those things I seem to get more enjoyment out of.  I used to be able to make 40K my own thing, but as time's gone on and the aforementioned reasons have made it more and more difficult to focus on what I once liked.

Where will the dream take you, Lonely?

My biggest following has been generated by my activity in the 40K fandom, so I shall fade and go into the west, which may be for the better.
Sago-altar.com will still advertise my commissions painting of course, that's a part of my life now and a source of a few extra dollars.  This blog, if I do continue with it, will more than likely be related to things other than 40K, so if you're wanting to clean up what blogs you follow, it'd be best to take this one off for now if you're here for the 40K content.


Who knows, maybe this is just a rough patch for 40K.  Maybe it's just a rough patch for me, I don't know.  I might come back once things have sorted themselves out, I might not: So I guess I'll sign off with a final

FINÉ.


Bye bye for now.


***

For so long
I have wandered, I have fought
Now the road is at an end;
I've climbed the highest mountains, seen the sea beyond the hill,
I'm Alone with a Dream...