Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Last Tour On Earth

World's at end... or is it really?
I sure hope those Inca indians were just shitting with us back in the day ;)
2011 was a wonderful year, but 2012 will definitely also be (spiky) Rats year!

So, as this year is taking its last breath, I like to leave you with this WIP shot.
(too drunk to write any more text x)

 May you all have a Spiky New Year!!!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Jolly Christmas MMXI

It's a bit dark Christmas in Finland this year. Usually we have lots of snow by this time of year but not today.

Never the less, we from Spiky Rat Pack would like to wish merry and peaceful Christmas to all of you our trusty trackers. And what a Christmas it would be without traditional Finnish Christmas special...

Part I

Part II

- izeColt

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Let's continue with 40k watercolour paintings...

Elijah (Watercolours, white acrylic paint and black ink pencil)

This is Elijah, Imperial Inquisition's huntsman. He's armed with a massive greatsword, Daemon Cleaver, and an ancient, xenos-origin handgun. Elijah's body has not been physically adepted and he needs a special powerglove to wield his huge sword.

Elijah is a possessor of a rare gift, the Sight of Chaos, also known as the Warpsight. With this power Elijah has gained certain reputation amongst Inquisition; His skill to wade - dream - in the Warpstreams makes him very talented hunter of daemons and personalities carrying ruinous powers. Of course Inquisition has learned to use this edge in their course.

How Elijah got blessed by the skill, Inquisition falls silent...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Stone Grey Soil

The model is now primed and assembled for photoshoot. I used zenithal  priming for this project. Basicly it means, that I first primed the whole model with black primer, that was then followed by thin white layer from 45 degree angle with airbrush. This technigue is nicely described in Massive Voodoo's blog here.

The scenic base was also inspired from the bases that you can see in that wonderful blog, just please check it out. Lots of good tutorials and nicely painted miniatures there!

If you wonder about that little rabbit out there, it's a thing that got there because I wanted to add something into that combosition and Ian is always sending me these cryptic and funny little poems about dogs and rabbits when we chat through e-mail, so I felt that little rabbit was a perfect thing to add there=) It balances the things nicely now.

I first coloured that wooden blog with some paint but wasn't happy with the result until i figured out to use black shoe polish for colouring! Gives nice deep colour with waxy feel. Perfect! ;)

and little music to go with...

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Floating Bedrocks

The Miller-Project has again taken big steps ahead, as the winter grows darker here in the Northlands. Im now 80% finished with the sculpting, so I think I'l be moving into painting phase next week.

I don't want to spoil everything yet, so I just leave you with one WIP shot from the scenic base I just finished.

Here's some really good music to go with this update.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Akvarelli III

Here's my third drawing made with watercolours, white acrylic paint and black ink pen, inspired by the grim and dark Warhammer 40k Universe. This piece is influenced by Jakob Rune Nielsen's servo-skull collector seen in one of mr. Nielsen's 40k wizpimp sketches on his wonderful blog miniaTEXTures. There's some obvious hints from William Shakespeare's play Hamlet too. I won't bother quoting the famous phrase and instead will leave you with the drawing...

(watercolors, white acrylic paint and black ink pen)

The scheme follows the two previous painings. This crook-backed oldster is inspecting his latest finding, wondering in his twisted mind what'd be the perfect price for such a fine piece...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Finished Hero & Future Mystery

Little words again... Just wanted to show you the progress.
What's next you may ask?... Many things to do here but Mechanical pet-rat atleast and a little surprise ;)

Hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Not So Quiet In The Western Front Anymore!


I'v been studying Mr. Millers Art a LOT lately... and what a wonderful art that is! so inspiring and so powerful! If there are some people that (for some reason) are not familiar with Ian's work  I strongly suggest to visit here right away.

OK then we are ready to move to the Rat Soldier sculpt itself...

The sculpt is 40mm tall. I chose little larger scale as this will be display piece, hopefully standing on some mantelpiece later=)

I used ProCreate in this sculpt. Wonderful stuff that seems to have all those good qualities that I was looking for and almost no bad ones! I can recommend this stuff for everyone!

As you know, these are WIPs, so not many details yet and some things may change...but I have made pretty good progress here I think.

Lastly I like to send special thanks to Steve! I showed some early WIP's of the Rat to him and he kindly gave me some pretty good points where to go with this sculpt along some pro tips'n tricks. Steve has helped me before, he had acted as my mentor in my earlier project and so on. So I feel that I really like to thank the Man properly now =)

While fixing the errors from the sculpt, I felt that I realized few major things about sculpting. It was a special moment and I truly hope that you will  see some of this progress in my future work, as I upload new stuff  later.

I have said this thing many times already but I like to say it again - When i sculpt these things here, I feel like exploring this strange and wonderful world full of surprises after every corner! It is not always easy,  frustrading at times..but I try to keep up this positive "I'l nail it next time!" attitude...

So for those who struggle with their sculpting - Dont stress it! Im sure you get it right next time ;)

The Fighting Continues!!


Saturday, November 12, 2011

An Excercise In Watercolors

I had an urgent desire to try my son's watercolors that were lying around our kitchen table. Here's the outcome...

Mutie Kul (watercolors, white acrylic paint and black ink pen)

Servo Skulls (watercolors, white acrylic paint and black ink pen)

The painting process was actually very pleasant, more than I thought. I really enjoyed the free flow that the watercolors gave me. It's been some time since the last time I tried to paint something with these instruments. I guess it was back in the high school. I remember hating them back then, maybe because I felt that I was forced to use them... Well, times change apparently.

- izeColt

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Creative Horizon

Creative mind needs to discharge itself for time to time. If it doesn't, it will get anguished and depressed. That's one of the "curses" of being creative.

The way you empty your can of inspiration doesn't really matter, just as long as it's something you really enjoy doing and what motivates you; write, draw, paint, build, discuss, read, improve your skill, live, learn and enjoy.

Discharging your fully loaded creativity can sometimes be really hard in today's pressing society. It's because of the lack of time, or more properly put, lack of courage to make the time - and I'm a bit of a coward in this case, to tell you to truth...

But when you're short of time you start to appreciate it more. I, for instance, have really started focusing on what I want to do with my precious hobbytime. I'd like to have an inspirational working space where I'd enjoy every drop of creativity I have damed in my packed mind, something similar that Migsula is currently working with.

This is something I'd like to call as a creative horizon. When you've reached certain step in your hobby, you start to think how'd it feel like to stay on that spot for a bit longer and widen your point of view a bit more horizontal, look for new ways to take the most out of that stage.

For example, you're enjoying the way you paint and convert your miniatures, but you'd like to get more out of 'em than just paint and finish the work. You start to write background stories about your heroes, tell their tales and give them more than meets the eye. Another way is to create some side projects such as character cards, parchaments for spells and tarot cards that your painted character might use in his/her universe. This can be very fascinating way to add more value for your hobbytime and create more depth for your creative project. Tears of Envy's =][=MVNDA project is kind of something I'm aiming at with this ramble...

For me it's the little things that make my creative horizon more wanderous. I've started widening my perspective and look for new ways to improve the quality time I've in my hands for my hobby. I've thought about starting my own little Inquisitor/Necromunda posse project, building it up from figures that I'd really love to paint, this meaning that I'd have to do some serious conversion and kitbashing work to get to that point. I'd then widen the project by adding some detailed papers, drawings and background stories for 'em, giving life to them in their own universe. That'd be neat.

I'm also currently trying to "decorate" my hobby surroundings with little things that matter to me, images, music, books and such. There's just something when you raise your head from your project for some neck strecthes, your nose catches some pleasant scent from the old booklets full of beautiful images, laid open for some bursts of inspirations while eardrums are bouncing in the beat of the relaxing thrash metal from the late 80's and the early 90's. That makes it for me at the moment, though it's too bad that it's impossible to paint in the light of the candles... *sigh*

My nest of comfy chaos, creative horizon wide and open for wandering.

So, how do you spend your pools of creativity? Do you widen your creative horizon from the point where you're currently staying at and how? The word is free.

- izeColt

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Rat Of War

Moving on into the sketching.

Like I revealed earlier, to get started with this, Ian send me this wonderfull 12-page PDF full of amazing characters to choose from! Boy! I felt like a kid in a candy store!!! Browsing through the file I managed to find two favourites (Mr. Millers art is so fantastic that I would have wanted to pick all of them really;)

I chose these following drawings for several reasons.

Firstly there was a rat character. As a proud pack member of the Spiky Rat Pack I felt, that it was great way to bring something that represented me into this project.

Secondly I just love War history and old military eguimpment!

Thirdly these drawings just got my imagination rolling wildly as I saw them.

So we get to the sketching part then...

The character is taking shape here. This is not the final version and the things will get chanched as I move into sculpting phase...

I feel really good about this project...I think that the miniature will be something around 40mm tall. Got pack of ProCreate in the mail at the other day, so this will be good chanche to test that new stuff here.

- okkiW

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Talking Dog And Mechanical Rabbits (A Collaboration With Ian Miller)

A few weeks ago I contacted  one of my favourite artist of all time mr. Ian Miller. First I just wanted to tell him, that we have this blog and how its gotten its name from Ratspike and stuff, but then I had this idea to ask if we could do this little project together.

I have always thought, that it would be so cool to transform one of those mystical characters from Ians paintings and drawings into miniature form, but have always dropped the idea, because i don't like the idea to touch someone's art without a permission.

So I just dropped the question "How about if we could do this project together, no money involved just passion. You give me the character, I turn it into a miniature. You get the finished piece, I get COOL blog post. What do you say?"

Ian promised me to talk with the dog and ask from the rabbit about it. In between, we (naturally) talked about fog bells and religious cannon balls.
but the answer came few days after.."Sounds like lot of fun! Let's do it!!!"

I guess this blog was convincing enough then..after all i consider it as my portfolio anyway ;)

We started by choosing the character. Fortunately Ian send me many to choose from! All of the chraracters were brilliant (as anyone who is familiar with his work can surely imagine:) But there was one drawing that really caught my eye. It was a drawing about Rat Soldiers advancing in the streets of crumbled city.

Wow! I get to do a Rat character!!!

Ian told me that the rats were concept studies for some craphic novel, but the rats never made it to the cover of the book. It looked like it was time to give them a new chance to shine!

"I'm happy for you to interpret the chosen character as you see fit" "Have a fun filled free fall adventure"

With these words in my mind I rush forwards! More Will Follow!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Rats Under Lucky Stars

I have this feeling, that i should write down some thoughts from my head...Right now, my brain is in the middle of this whirlwind of creativity and hunger to make something big!

Ok...Spiky Rat Pack has been around for a year or so...In that short time me and Kari have created this amazing blog that now has over 100 followers! that's something i am very proud of!

This blog has opened a gateway for us into so many wonderfull things!
No way a thing like this would have happened fifteen years ago...
Sometimes that big bad internet isn't that bad thing at all, don't you think;)

When we started this blog we thought, that we would do lots of different projects together..well it didn't quite happened,,, nowadays be both do pretty much our own stuff. but I think that we get inspired by each others works all the time. And by having this blog, we are infact having this one big collaboration together.
So this blog is about friendship...and kicking each others butts!

Yeah...I will start my own small Mini Company!
It will be very small, something that i will run as a hobby alongside my dayjob, but the goal is to create small line of  alternative miniatures for sale. So many cool ideas in my mind... i promise you, that Spiky Miniatures will be LOUD & CRAZY something that no other mini's company could ever have guts to do,)

This was just me letting out some "steams",  allowing you to have a quick look inside my head=)

I promise you one thing...Things WILL get more and more crazier here in the near future, so keep following the trail of this pack and invite your friends to do the same....We Are Legion!


Friday, October 14, 2011

New Commission Work!

Hi Everybody!

After returning from our amazing trip to UK, i did not rest on my laurels for a long. Very soon I was asked to do this "little" conversion job for my friend Eric.
Eric asked, if I could sculpt a Plague Cart for his Mordheim warband. He gave me this old Carnival of Chaos Plague Cart model and asked if I could transform it into a Slug driven one!

I accepted the commission with a joy! Not only it was great opportunity for me to test my newly learned tricks from GD, but it was also the first time, when someone was actually hiring my skills for money ;)

I started sculpting the Slug-Beast first, Super Sculpey Firm was used for that. After the Slug was finished and baked, I moved into converting the Cart and mounting it into back of the slug. I used Green Stuff for all the converted parts, including the sculpted bait-halfling!

This was such a fun project! I was able to work quite quickly, it only took less than two weeks to finish from start.

I hope you enjoyed this one!

 I accept commissions. If you are interested, please contact me at -

Masters Of Stars

Just finished another drawing inspired by the 40.000 universe...

Mortis Protectus Legio

Took me couple of evenings to finish him. It's been quite some time since last time I drew with such a pace and passion... Hope you like the outcome, I'm quite pleased by it to tell you the truth ;)

- izeColt

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Adeptus Arbites Sketch

I started warming up my drawing zeal this afternoon and ended up sketching Adeptus Arbites Judge. This one is heavily inspired by some baroque and napoleonic paintings I was browsing for one of my incoming projects...

Obeye Lex Imperialis.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

"Goblyn b'gone!"

Here's Ulf, the infamous Goblyn Slayer. He's a fearsome sword for hire, not the most expensive one but still sharp enough to do anybody's dirty work - for decent amount of coins, of course...

As I've told in some of my previous Goblyn Slayer post, this project was more than just my entry for this year's UK Golden Demon painting competition. This work was also kind of a tribute to John Blanche and Jes Goodwin, for both of them have been great source of inspiration in my hobby.

There are many references taken from mr. Blanche's Ratspike era art; Warm colour scheme, checkers patterns, stripy pants, bloody brutality and last but not the least, the red ogre face grinning inside the sun.

The miniature itself is from classic Citadel Miniatures range (C01 Fighters), sculpted, of course, by Jes Goodwin. I've always loved Jes' sculpts, especially the way he sculpts faces. For me, his miniatures have always been the most characterful and true representatives of the grimmy Old World. His classic punk wood elves, ferocious human fighters and grumpy ogres from the 80's are perfect examples of this.

This was a great project to carry out. The miniature was awesome to paint, full of the 80's fantasy spirit, just the way I like it. I joked that Ulf, with his blazing red hair and mustache, is like the Old World's own grim and savage version of Tanis from the Dragonlance series.

Ulf is just the first of the many personalities I've planned doing for the Old World milieu. At some point there's going to be a four person adventure group made in the spirit of the 1st edition Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. Ulf's story is a kind of spin-off from their epic adventures...

Don't hold yer breaths though, I've my mind full of other flamboyant ideas from our trip to UK...

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Blanchitsu Pays A Visit In The Rat Hatch

The last weekend, during our trip to Nottingham we had a priviledge to have a lunch with John Blanche, the art director of Games Workshop and the pioneer of the visions of both Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40k universes. While we were eating some delicious Bugman's burgers, John asked if we'd like to take a couple of shots from his latest miniatures and post 'em on our Blog, Spiky Rat Pack. Oh boy did we!

So, we went outside to the Bugman's sunny autumn terrace, sat down and with the help of Steve's - who had also joined us for a chat - package padding we made a quick, rough set to shoot at. Without further delays, here they are, John Blanche's wonderful Inquisitor and the retinue...

It was marvelous to see these pawns in person, every one of them a true piece of art. By then I knew why some have wrote that you really need to see John's paintings in life to understand how beautiful they are. It's not just the way they look, it's also the way they make you feel...

When talking with John about his painting technique, he told me that he paints his miniatures the same way he paints his paintings. That might be one of the reasons why his miniatures look so unique and, well, painterly. Peculiar techniques and materials are common in John's projects. This combination gives that little special spice on what he does. To be frank, John's attitude towards art and painting has inspired me too to be more adventurous with the techniques in the future.


Friday, September 30, 2011

Rats Invading UK - PART II

We woke up around 5.45 am, had a quick breakfast and headed to Warhammer World where we'd jump in the Gamesday coach to Birmingham. We met John, his son and grandson around 7.00 am at the gates of the Games Workshop HQ. We felt both privileged and anxious to have a chance to talk with the master...

Our minds were blown away when John handed his art book to us and showed his latest converted/painted miniatures while the coach was bouncing towards Birmingham. With shaky hands we browsed the most amazing paintings of John's, each better than the other, trying to get as much out of them as we could get in the short time we had on the road before the terminus.

It's unbelievable how much passion and skill John Blanche puts into his art. Seeing his work, in real life, was a tremendous experience, one of those that - and I'm sure I'm also speaking from the behalf of Mikko too - we will NEVER forget... His enthusiasm towards the hobby should work as an example for all of us.

Mikko is admiring Mr. Blanche's masterpiece...

For some odd reason the time seemed to fly by... We arrived to Birmingham in about an hour or something, ready to launch our raid to Gamesday '11. The happening was almost like we expected it to be; Intense, loud and exciting. Most of our time we were just hanging around the Design Studio stuffe, trying to learn as much as possible from the pros, discussing about techniques and things like that. We thought about buying ourselves couple of copies of The Emperor's Will art collection book from the Black Library, but the queues in the front of the shopping area were insanely long and so we had to give up for that idea...

It was nice gesture from John to introduce us to Jes, with whom we had tons of fun talking about the miniature designing, sources of inspiration and many other things. I believe I won't be telling lies if I say that the world would be quite marvelous place if there were more guys like Jes around, such is his spirit to what he does and how friendly he is. It was a true pleasure to meet such a splendid fella!

Great galactic crusade hit Birmingham. For the Emperor!

John Blanche showing his artwork @ Gamesday.

This guy just looked like someone whose hand you had to shake.
Just kidding, it's Mr. Goodwin, obviously!

Mikko is bombing the studio staff with questions
regarding the sculpting secrets.

Baneful banners.

Jervis signing the millionth rule book...

One of the latest Games Workshop's hit, Nurgle Lord, in three-up.

I managed to survive the first cut with my entry in Golden Demon, but didn't get any further than that. Got myself a nice pin though! Steve did better and got a third place in the open category with his entry. Way to go mate, congrats!

With tired feet (again) we made it back to the coach and started our journey back to Nottingham. There, at the GW HQ, we ended up joining Gamesday afterparty in Bugman's with John and Steve, had a couple of pints of Hobgoblin and shared the fun. What a great ending for a great day indeed!


Had a very mild hangover, nothing too much to handle though. Got away it after another great English breakfast. Last night, at the afterparty, John had asked us to join him and Steve for lunch at the Bugman's and so we did took another trip to Warhammer World.

Later on Jes joined us too for a brief moment. We missed him at the Gamesday afterparty and therefor it was really great to have a chance to meet him yet again. What a blast it was to listen to the troupers discuss about the very essence of the miniature hobby and sharing their insights with us common mortals.

After lunch we went outside to terrance where John asked if we'd like to take a couple of shots from the miniatures painted by him and post 'em on our blog! What a shame it was that we only had our iPhones with us and not any real camera... Despite that I think we managed to take quite decent shots. We'll be posting 'em in our next post, maintaining the excitement you know...

But yeah, as the blasts usually tend to be, this was a brief one too. We shared all the bestes with the gang and split. Mikko and I still had the rest of the day planles and decided to go and buy our souvenirs, hopping in the Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem on the same trip for the last time, as it was kind of along the way to our guest house...

This particular little corner of Ye Olde Trip became our permanent spot...


The trip back to Finland went as smoothly as it could, if we just ignore Mikko's major hangover and the fact that we almost missed our coach from Nottingham to London. Flight was on time and we crashed Mikko's place in Helsinki around 1.00 am. At 2.00 am I once again hit my head into pillow with tired but happy feeling...

Tired but happy...


Mikko told me that I should try to keep the story short and sweet, but I found it hard to comply. Sorry. Our journey to the heart of the hobby was just too damn cool to keep short; We had the best of time, all the time. We met a bunch of great guys who welcomed us with open arms. Perfect trip indeed, just like I hoped for!

From this day on the hobby will be nothing like it used to be. For me, it has reached a new level, evolved and made me really think what I want to get out from it.

But now, I'll let Mikko tell his thoughts regarding our journey...

Over and out.



What a Trip! I mean, honestly! Those four days that we just spent in England were some of the best days of my life! We, two keen hobbyists from Finland, had this amazing VIP treatment through the whole stay. We got several great opportunities to talk with our idols about the hobby and more!

There were so many things that we were allowed to see - original artworks and original sculpts, amazing stuff altogether! There were so many things that I learned - Tips & tricks from the true masters of the craft!!!

Whoa! I'm speechless! all I can say at this point is thank you John, thank you Jes and thank you Steve!! I had the time of my life!!!

I think I'll have to post another blogpost just to clear my head more about my future plans, 'cause its about to burst right now!!! So stay tuned...