Thursday, 12 March 2015
The first batch of a crew of space pirates with a dozen or so still to come, along with a couple juvenile 'stealer whelps. As criminals and outcasts, bands of space pirates are easily swayed into the service of the Cult of the Four Armed Emperor. Their violent, immoral lifestyle and nefarious space-faring activities make them convenient allies for the Genestealers.
This lot of painting was a bit of a departure from my usual style for a couple reasons. Experimenting with a much brighter palette than normal, and a new basing method.
I don't like painting bases very much, I've never found a technique I was happy with. For a long time I have just been giving all my miniatures a very minimal painted sand/grit base with the intention of eventually adding detail at a later date (yeah right!).
I do like the way this simple texture unobtrusively emphasizes the figure, whilst giving an impression of ambiguous "ground".
But the process of gluing sand, waiting for it to dry, painting it, and drybrushing has always felt like a tedious chore. The idea of basing with some textured, natural materials that I could just glue on and be done with it appealed to me.
Some may scoff but I have always really liked the basing used by the GW Studio pretty much as standard in the late 80s period eg:
You can see a lot of high res photos of this style of base in the Bryan Ansell Galleries of the excellent blog Eldritch Epistles.
I experimented with several different sands and flocks until I found something I was happy with. Obviously it's not identical, but has a similar enough feel to me.
This psychotic cultist armed with a chainsaw is based in my older style.
Victa is a classic Australian garden tools manufacturer.
A Space Eunuch who has shaved and tattooed his head in reverance to his Genestealer masters.
Something tells me the revealing power armour and eye shadow aren't codex approved.
When I was a lot younger and becoming seduced by miniatures and 40k, an older dude my friends and I looked up to at the local game store had an awesome Genestealer cult with hordes of Rogue Trader Space Pirates and Adventurers employed as Brood Brothers. In my naivety I remember looking at them thinking "What crappy figures! They are weird, old, fat, ugly, poorly sculpted, and not at all bad-ass, unlike these Marines and Eldar". Well needless to say now they are some of my favourites.
While the Bob Naismith sculpts perhaps seem a bit rough or hastily sculpted, this only adds to their charm in my opinion. And they perfectly portray the kind of scum and villainy you'd expect to find on Logan's World, Mos Eisley Cantina, Mega City One or the cover of an 80s sci-fi paperback or VHS tape. They have an eclectic array of weaponry, costume, facial characteristics, and body types that are far removed from the homogenous, "Grim Dark" 40k universe of today.
My painting inspiration for these comes from the concept art by Chris Foss and Moebius for Alexander Jodorowsky's aborted Dune film, and also the Aeon Flux cartoon. My Space Pirates have adopted the symbol of Moebius'.
The clashing, oversaturated colours and patterns really evoke for me the idea of futuristic, flamboyant, scoundrels and rebels.
The Genestealer neonates (familiars) are fun and really quick to paint.