I bet you’re happy to be off the Sin of Alacrity for a bit. It’s been nearly two weeks now, and that’s a long time for the earthbound. I know.
Well. I mentioned Sunday that I was positively delirious with the need to get working on WH 39.9K’s extremely cool Chaos Marines, and so today is a bonus WIP on that commission. Each of these models represents a test for what will hopefully be an entire squad done in a similar, or possibly identical, color scheme. WH39.9K has some reasonably specific ideas about those colors and kindly sent along a bullet-pointed outline of the five test schemes in question. And I should be clear on this one. These guys are not yet finished. In fact, I'd estimate about 70-80%.
To my way of thinking, working inside someone else expectations has been both the real challenge and the real pleasure of this commission. By comparison, Pitmann simply says, “go” and I do. Perhaps Ironically, Pitmann's approach can at times be a bit debilitating because I’m constantly trying to anticipate what I suspect he might like, and I’m never entirely sure if he does. He's also very polite, which is usually a wonderful (and rare) characteristic... just not always in this circumstance.
Instead, I’ve got a clear focus about my purpose here, and a precise model upon which to shape my painting. This saves me from falling (moreso than I already have) into the time-suck in which I simply stare at the models for uncounted time thinking thinking thinking.
The challenge, however, has been to mimic accurately WH39.9K’s style. He, for example, tends toward a more muted red than I would normally, and his black is highlighted much differently (with blues up to a near gray) than I would be inclined to in my own standard painting (I tend to favor browns and to keep my blacks very, very dark). Interestingly, this has also made me completely rethink my use of black. So, once more, the challenge is also the pleasure of it all.
Of course, the models themselves are also a tremendous part of the fun in all of this, and it is very interesting indeed, basically, to watch the evolution of GW’s ideas about CSM in these models. So many elements that are commonplace today are here in some mutated form within these minis.
There is, for example, the basic Chaos emblem on the should pad of the third example and, for that matter, the shoulder pads itself looks very much like what we now know as standard CSM. Likewise, there are at least two emblems that almost resemble the standard Khorne design we would recognize today (some of which you can see on the should of the three fellows above).
Also, I’ve found more than a few odd components that I miss a bit and would like to see back, to be candid: the organic backpacks for starters. I really like the strange faces and clawed lines that run along the packs. Likewise, there are strange faces on guns, etc. that make me think John Blanche still had a nearly overwhelming influence in the design at this time. These odd details make the whole model look a bit more metamorphic (which, one must surmise, is certainly why/how these visual clues got shuffled over to the Tyranids when that army arrived in good stride). Again, however, it’s really interesting to watch GW think these things through on an actual model.
Likewise, I’ve enjoyed some of the odd weaponry and metamorphic limbs. Two of these models (numbers 2 and 5 in the sequence here) have limbs that blend into a weapon of some description -very cool. The plasma gun, in particular, is so weird and wonderful that I found myself simply staring at it for ages.This final guy, if you were wondering, is still absolutely my favorite of the entire project, and I will (nay, must!!!) convert something in his honor imminently.
Speaking of being dumbfounded, the prospect of a whole army of these guys? Fuggeddaboudit.
(You may have noticed that there are six CSM pictured here. The second one from the left -all the way in the back- is the sample that WH39.9K sent me as an example to emulate... glorious -just glorious. Oh, and beneath them at left, you can just spot the outline from WH39.9K. very helpful and a little intimidating).
…and, by the way, in all this clamor you may have forgotten about my very own Daemon Prince Number Three, but I most certainly have not. Sunday we return to our regularly scheduled WIP for a look at his progress.