Thursday, December 30, 2010

Something Delved From The Closet

I finally learned to operate some of my camera's more expert settings! I have always had some troubles handling the depth of view when shooting my projects, especially larger groups. It really pissed me off. Well, now this pesky little problem seems to be fixed, hooyah!

Now that those rear ranks won't blur away, I thought to take a shot from my another everlasting project, Chaos Warriors.

This project has been long under work, maybe lost forever, who knows... I was collecting this army just before Games Workshop decided to split Mortals and Immortals (daemons). Maybe that's one of the reasons this project, Father Nurgle's Ruddy Idolators, is now chilled and just lurking in the closet, waiting for my retirement days...

That group of eight Chaos Warriors in rotting red armors won The Best Group title in RopeCon 2010's Miniature Painting Competition.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Work Bench Update 2.0!


Here's some "teaser footage" for my Captain Gaga project!
The sculpt is about 80% ready at the moment.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Utter Nonsense And Emperor's Children

I must admit, I'm a bit of a nostalgia junkie. I have four Commodore 64's with couple of floppy drives and a punch of TAC-2's. Me and couple of my good friends enjoy playing retro games in our every-now-and-then arranged Retro Evenings, which also include some beer to go with the old classics, of course. I happen to like, surprisingly, 80's and early 90's heavy metal. Those old thrash bands really had that something. Too bad I was just a kid when that kind of music was "the pop".

I'm also a huge fan of 80's Games Workshop stuff, especially the classic Citadel miniatures range (just visit The Stuff of the Legends and you'll know what I'm talking about) and the (real) Old World, the one that is introduced properly in the 1st edition of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay and, in generally, in the 3rd edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battle. Those two first Realm of Chaos books, Slaves to Darkness and The Lost And The Damned, are just something you simply need to read to fully understand what's the real potential of the Warhammer universe. Even the smell of those old tomes gives me damn good vibes to start painting.

Speaking of the grim and unforgiving world of Warhammer, place where death visits often and widely. I happened to stumble in the Internet and found out that the upcoming The Witcher 2 is going to have very interesting feature - Insane difficulty. In Insane mode you're not able to load your saved games after you die. Now that, if something, is like straight from the good old WFRP, where only couple of critical hits could sever your limbs off and end your adventure in that bloody spot. Yeah, sounds like a harsh way to play the game but the enjoyment of surviving the events is plenty in my opinion.


Back to business... Usually my projects are heavily inspired by the 80's and early 90's 'Eavy Metal team's outputs. I wade the old White Dwarfs, which are perfect source of inspiration for my kind of projects.

Collecting and painting an entire playable forces has always fascinated me. Seeing fully painted armies in show case standard is something outrageously beautiful, something to envy. I have many old school armies under work, dwarfs, orcs, chaos warriors and wood elves. Well, my current ambitious project, a small warband of Emperor's Children, is a bit of a side quest...

Once again I was dragged by the irresistible need to collect an army. I was planning to start playing Warhammer 40.000 and I was thinking of which army I'd like to play. Space Marines have always fascinated me, but I wanted to play the evil side. Therefor I chose the Chaos Space Marines.

Then it was a time to choose which God of Chaos would it be. I know that you can take worshipers of different Gods and mix them to suit your playing style, but I wanted to make just one chapter warband. I've read about Emperor's Children and their background really inspired me, so I decided to choose them. I dug some resent White Dwarfs and ended up browsing the one that included the new Chaos Space Marines plastics and their new Codex. The same WD had also an article about the new Apocalypse and some pictures of the studio armies. Christian Byrne's huge Chaos Space Marines army caught my eye, especially his Slaanesh posse. I decided to emulate his colour scheme for my army as it looked so bad ass.

Here's the first three of the Children that I've managed to mod and paint in past six (seven or eight?) months...

I still have two of these on the painting stage and punch of more in bits. I'm planning to have one squad of 5-10 Children armed with bolters, plasma pistol (Champion, in the middle) and one with the bigger plasma gun. Second squad of 5 Children is going to consist of bolt pistols and close combat weapons (chainsaw swords and power swords). These two squads will have nicely freehanded Rhinos as their personal transport, just to give them enough rapid deployment if needed.

Of course Slaanesh warband is nothing without couple of Noise Marines. I think I'm going to have 5 of those gigsters. Daemon Prince is a must too, so I thought to have the Daemon Prince of Slaanesh, Azazel, to be leading my band of brothers. Azazel's pose, feather wings and daemonic claw make him just perfect for my plans.

I'm not sure how much that all is in gaming points, enough to start playing maybe? So that's it for now. Maybe I'll finish my next couple of Children within 3-4 months ;) In any case, have a merry Christmas and mind blowing New Year!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Space Pirato "Captain Gaga"

I have always wanted to be an artist of some sort. When about a year ago, i started to sculpt my own miniatures from scratch. I then felt, that it was the turning point for me. I immediately realized that it was the "Thing" for me and my art. It was the perfect medium to turn my visions into life!

First i sculpted couple of miniatures in a Warhammer setting, but i quickly stopped to think, that i didn't wanted to just copy the endless heroes with swords standing over their fallen! i wanted to create something more unique, something that could actualy be called............. an Artistic Vision!!!!!

Then one day,me and izeColt had this very good conversation about Pop Culture in the miniature design scene. It was then, when i realized that was it! That was perfect thing to study in my next project
Combining Pop Culture with miniatures, offers great opportunity to display your mini's to a people who dont have any knowledge about the background of these characters that we are usually modelling and painting. Inspired by the conversation i hurried to start a new project!

I then chose Lady Gaga as a starting point for my next project. Lady Gaga has the most bizarre look and i personally respect her artistic vision, so she was a perfect pick for this project. I wanted to mix Lady Gaga look with qothic Warhammer look. So firstly i thought to make sister of battle with "Gaga" look, but then found this wonderfull character class from The Inquisitor Scetchbook by John Blanche.

My new character was to be a Space Pirato. A warrior that roams the qalaxies of Warhammer 40k robbing and pillaging!

I started by searching pictures of Gaga and then deciding that what features i wanted to bring out.Then i started to sketch the character.

When sketching was done i started to sculpt the model.
I began to sculpt the model about four(!) times before i finally managed to get it right.
I used Super Sculpey Firm for the body subsequent detailing will be made with duro.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Last Weekend & Weird Visions


My head still eachs from last weekend! izeColt Called me and invited me to have a drink with him. So we had few beers and talked about future projects...and them some more beer & less talk and then some little more =)

So when i woke up in the morning, i felt like Hell for some reason ;) Anyway, as i lingered in the borderline of life and death my imagination was running wildly. In that delirium i saw this following scene inside my head:

"Aaah! This is pointless", "we're never gonna find IT in this damned snow storm!!!"
"Stupid! Can't you remember what Captain told us? It is not our job to find IT, We are here so that IT could find US"
"Well yeah! But I have come to doubt that we have been wandering in this freakin' labyrinth for hours now and soon it is going to be dark and all!"
"IT is called "The wandering beast" after all. Maybe he's not at home?"

"Be quiet yer both!", yelled the Captain. The Captain was big man and renowned for his skills with the sword. He had been leading his mercenary party for years now. This time they were on a mission to bring down a beast, beast that had been causing troubles on the rural areas of the Northern Empire.

Only this time, finding the catch had been a little bit more difficult than usual. The tracks had led them to this labyrinth of razor sharp rock pillars. They had been searching the labyrith for whole day now, but all they had found was a haunting sound of a wind sighing trough the rock pillars.

His men were tired and bored "We have hunted down scums like this before havent we? And we have always found treasures as well right?", asked the captain, in attempt to raise the morale of his men. "RIGHTRIGHT!!", answered the rest of the mercenary party. "Despite, I have sent Crowell ahead already, he is a good scout. He will probably bring us some information soon enou..!"

"Thats Crowell! Beheaded!" Yelled Snarr the Cutter "But the head 's missing!"

"Looking for this?", asked crooked voice that echoed in the walls of the rocky labyrinth. As if appeared from nowhere, a large creature suddenly stood in the front of them. The Creature was tall, muscular and lizard-like. It had pale skin and long tail with spiky, club-like business end. But the most signifigant feature was a large singular eye that stood in the the middle of the creatures brows. The eye was large and it seemed to radiate coldness around it, at least the mercenaries felt the cold shriwelling down their spines, as they answered the creatures penetrating gaze.

"We are looking for you!", answered the captain. "We are here to kill you, so we could bring your one ugly eye to the Mayor of the Razor Peak City".
"You have been raiding the food supply caravans for the whole winter", "and this has been a harsh winter!"
"The people of the Razor Peak City don't want to starve to death this winter!"
"So we came here to put the end to your illegall business, my fiendish friend!"

The creature answered with howling laughter and threw away the head, the one he had severed earlier.

"Very well then... Boys! Kill the beast!", "But watch out that tail!"

Monday, November 29, 2010

Work Bench Update!

There you go!

Since my friend izeColt has been posting so many blog posts lately, i'v been feeling little ashamed for not uploading anything here...after all, this is my blog too!!

So here is little something: Just tought i could show what i am working at the moment. It is 90mm tall female figure..She is going to be a space pirate some day!!

I will post more information about this project later (hopefully not much later;)

That's about it! hope you like it!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

All In a Day's Work

I'm on fire! This week has been very productive, at least what comes to my hobby. I managed to paint Fimir Bust in just couple of evenings and now I'm on my everlasting Chaos Space Marines project. Yeah, that doesn't sound like a much but when you consider that you need to work, look after your child, do household chores and have quality time with your fiancee, I think I'm doing quite well ;)

I thought to share my practical painting station with you, just for fun.

My portable painting station, which also works as a baking platform. It's very useful to have portable painting station when you've 1,5 years old perisher running around the house pulling everything down that he manages to get his hands on. It'd be damn shame to see him gnawing one of the projects which I just spent couple of day's work.

Part on my current everlasting Emperor's Children project. Good things come slowly.

So that's where the magic happens. Interesting, or maybe not. Still so much to do and so little time...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Finished Fimir Bust

Here it is, finished Fimir bust. Colour scheme is, well, quite monotonic but that was the aim. Base colour gave me headache by being damn repellent.

Now all this needs is a showbase to stand on...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Skinned Fimir

Today was especially interesting day. Helsinki is covered by a small blizzard. It was quite funny to listen Bolt Thrower from iPod and scratch car windows from the frost at the same time the wind is whirling spiky snow flakes, horizontally, straight to your face... Yay!

I finally managed to get my tools out of the closet and start painting. I promised to okkiW to paint this bust of Fimir as soon as possible. Here's the first set of pics from this gig!

Fimir skin is usually painted in greenish or brownish but I thought that I'd try something different in here. We're planning to put this Fimir in winter scheme and there for it'd be a good idea to use somehow cold colours all the way. Well, here I decided to use some browns and yellows together with some purple and bluish colours and I must say, I'm pretty satisfied by the outcome.

What comes to the colour scheme and "old granny" look, I got a lot of inspiration from Roman a.k.a Jarhead's (Massive Voodoo) WIP Schell Bust. I really like the way Roman treats his miniature projects. His style is artistic yet very professional and controlled. This isn't the first time I've taken some ideas from that fellow's works ;)

Hopefully I'll get this done before next weekend's Unofficial Helsinki Figumeeting, where bunch of fellow miniature painters gather together to talk about the hobby and give ideas for future/ongoing projects. So, catch you later!

Nordic Challenge, In Photos

Grhm... And here, finally, some photos taken from Nordic Challenge 2010...

Photobucket Album

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Nordic Challenge, The Summary

Hi ya! So, the first Nordic Challenge was, and went. Here's a short summary from the event...

As we both, okkiW and I, live in Helsinki at the moment, we thought that it'd be a good idea to drive Hämeenlinna and back on both days, after all Hämeenlinna is only about 100 kilometers away from Helsinki. On Saturday we thought to just drop in our entries for the competition and socialize the rest of the day. It was a damn shame that we decided to skip the Scale Modeler's Christmas Party. It'd have been nice place to get new contacts and friends from the hobby scene.

On Sunday we even participated on couple of workshops. The first one was kept by Mr. Pekka Nieminen, who's a spectacular Finnish sculptor and modeler. Mr. Nieminen's workshop consisted, surprisingly, sculpting and modeling historical figures. The second workshop was kept by the Norwegian diorama virtuoso Mr. Per Olav Lund. Too bad we missed the third lecture kept by Mr. Adam Wilder from USA.

Anyways, both of the workshops that we were able to participate were excellent and superb. I learned a lot from them, at least what comes to the clothing wrinkles and the metal wearing effects. The "Why didn't I come up with that" effect was imminent :D

Exhibition's Scale Model Contest was very strict as there were so many great models and splendidly painted figures. We did participate on "Fantasy Figures 55mm and larger" competition category with our Chaos Dwarf of Tzeentch project. I also thought to give my Harboth Orc Hero a chance in "Fantasy Figures 54mm and smaller" category.

Well, we didn't win any medals but got Commended for both of the figures. Of course that was a bit of disappointment but considering the overall quality of the competition (there were over 400 models after all), getting Commended was a pretty good achievement. Maybe next time we'll see something more shiny!

So, that's the summary from Nordic Challenge 2010, from our point of view. Sorry for lack of photos, I'll try to unload my camera this evening and put some shots from the event as soon as possible.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Nordic Challenge

Nordic Challenge scale model exhibition is happening this weekend (20.-21.11.) in Hämeenlinna, Finland. Of course me and okkiW decided to participate this rare opportunity to display couple of our models. I must say, we were pretty amazed by the amount of quality models displayed in the event, most of the models representing Finnish scale model hobby's top notch.

We'll upload some photos and a sort of summary tomorrow when we'll have some more time.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Shaping the Monster

I am a big fan of izeColt's drawings. He seems to have this weird talent, to make the images appear just if they have been drawn 30 years ago when (in my opinion) fantasy art was at its best! Influences from Blanche, Miller etc. are visible of course, but in very subtle way. The characters in the drawings still appear very original and they are very inspiring stuff!

I could not have been more happier, when izeColt suddenly e-mailed me this wonderfull sketch for this Fimir character! As soon as i saw the drawing i was convinced that this thing would rock! At first, i had some doubts about how to make the Fimir look mean and sinister without looking somehow ridiculous=) But izeColt really nailed this thing and my doubts just vanished immediately!

Inspired by the drawing, i quickly collected my tools and Sculpted this small bust. I tried to make the sculpt to follow the original drawing as closely as possible. The bust is sculpted with Super Sculpey Firm.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

One Eyed Swamp Monster

Now that the blog has been formally started, it's time to heat up the steam engine and move on. Our current project is, surprise surprise, a Fimir, the infamous one eyed monster from the 3rd edition Warhammer Fantasy Battles era.

After finishing the previous project, Chaos Dwarf of Tzeentch, we sat down and thought about what should we do next. Last time we did consider of making Fimir, but ended up making Chaos Dwarf. Well, it was quite obvious that the next time it'd be the Fimir's turn.

We found the murky and twisted background of Fimir's to be quite fashinating. Well, Fimir's breeding is, quite frankly, a bit of a moral dilemma when it comes to telling their tale, but I think we can put that in the can besides the "beheads heads", "rotting corpses" and "interesting Slaanesh mutations" and move on... Eh, I've read from somewhere that this particular piece of Fimir's history might be one of the reasons Games Workshop decided to drop the Fimirs off from their future plans (which is, marketing their products to young teenagers rather than adults) along with the fact that the old metal Fimirs weren't that interesting - although I think they are cool.

Anyways, long story short, here's the first concept from the Fimir...

There are couple of things worth noticing; I thought it'd be cool to have Fimir keeping couple of chopped off heads around him, as trophies of worthy enemies. Some of the heads would be very old and barely hanging from the belt rings 'couse their hair is falling of from the rotting skull.

Fimir's posture is still a bit of mystery but I've got couple of wicked ideas. One idea is to have Fimir trying to stand in as proud posture as it is possible with that bodybuild and he would be dangling beheaded head from it's hair and watching it with very arrogant stare. This idea came to me when I thought about Shakespear's Hamlet and his famous frase "to be or not to be". Well, this is still under heavy mindwork...

What comes to armour and other pieces of elaborately crafted metals, we thought to give them a nice touch of Babylonian kind of feeling; Some nice little details along with very strong and ornate trimmings. This concept still lacks that kind of detail but they'll be in the next one! I still need to put my nose in the book and study those ornaments a little bit closer.

The plan is to make this thing in 28 millimeter scale, but as Fimirs are a bit larger than 28 millimeter human characters, this monster's going to be somewhere around 30 to 34 millimeters. I kind of like the way Nick Bibby sculpted his pack of Fimirs and would like to see if okkiW is going to make this in the same size.


Firstly, from my behalf, i’d like to welcome everyone of you, to follow this ragged pack of spiky rats!

The idea behind this blog, is not just to be conventional display of craftsmanship and fancy miniature painting..Well that too;), but we also try to go beyond that and create original stories that you could follow and get inspired about!!!

I wish this blog will develop into a form of exiting stories that are visualized with cool miniatures!! Be it a mighty warrior or a twisted wizard from a another multiverse Hold on!, 'cause these rats will bite ya!!!


The Beginning

So this is it, the very first post on our blog! As some of you might already be aware, Spiky Rat Pack is all about arts, craftsmanship, miniature hobby and scene around it.

Early this year, okkiW and I decided to band together and start doing miniature projects together. okkiW is a visionary sculptor and I'm more or less the guy who paints the stuff. We design and sketch our projects together and even create deep background stories behind our characters, just like in roleplaying games. Our previous project, Chaos Dwarf of Tzeentch, Rogan Rygaard, can be found from here.

It has been very easy to do projects together as we share quite similar visions, what comes to the hobby and how the World of Warhammer appears to us. We consider John Blanche as probably one of the most influencing fantasy artist of our time, among with Ian Miller and John Sibbick, who also have had very much to do with the grim and brutal low fantasy feel of the Old World and Rogue Trader era 40.000 universe.

Like a rock band, we play together and have our gigs. But every now and then we go solo and do our own stuff. okkiW is currently sculpting his Lady Gaga inspired Rogue Trader era Space Pirate. I'm trying to find some time to paint couple of my Emperor's Children Chaos Space Marines.

So, there we go. This is the beginning of a story about two friends who thought to share their enthusiasm for the hobby with the rest of the scene. I hope that you'll check our blog every now and then and hopefully find it useful and inspiring source of material. So catch you later!