Thursday, 12 March 2015

Space Pirates


















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.

Bases

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.

18 comments:

  1. They're bloody great, so much character.
    The VICTA on the bloke's chainsaw is a great touch.

    I mistakenly thought a lot of older minis were a bit dodgy too, if only we knew then what we know now!

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    1. Thanks! If only I had realised how reasonable early 90s prices were in comparison to what they would later go for on ebay!

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  2. Brilliant stuff, the pirates are one of my favourite ranges and you've done those figures proud. I've got a couple of those waiting to get painted and you've encouraged me to pull my finger out. Well done on those!

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    1. For sure, me too, luckily I still have some more to paint but I wish I had them all! Thanks!

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  3. Those are stunning! I especially like the 'tiger-stripe' camo on a couple of the trousers. Also, if you're in mood for some more sci-fi-themed traditional heavy metal, then check out THIS track from Terminus' upcoming debut album.

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    1. Also, is that fine turf you've used on the bases?

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    2. Cheers Gaz, hell yeah Terminus are great, right up my alley. Thanks for the link and introducing a sweet new band. It's woodland scenics blended turf along with a mix of a few varieties of sand, not 100% sure about it yet though.

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  4. What great choice of vivid colour! Yellow jumpsuit and green pinstriped blue trousers are particular favourites. Nice work!

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    1. Thanks Ed, the colours were a little out of my comfort zone but it seemed appropriate for a band of futuristic space pirates.

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  5. Wow, these are amazing. I like the approach, how you managed to get that 80's vibe and how you made these colours work when together! Great work!!

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  6. Really nice work, and it's always great to see old models like these pop up!

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    1. Cheers Tim, very flattered to have a Genestealer Cult fan of your stature to take the time to make a comment here. Got any inside gossip or rumours regarding GW plans for the cult? ;)

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  7. Right! Now where do I start?!.......oh yeah, your fantastic miniatures!!!!!

    I like the unkempt eunuchs' groin detail (I don't think I'll ever get to use those words, in that order, ever again in my lifetime), adds an amusing touch :)

    I don't ever remember seeing that fat red head with the friar cut mini (again, a description I'll never get to use again), he looks fittingly disgusting with the paint job you have given him too....like he's penchant for hard liquor has ended up pickling him! Superb!

    And I'm extremely jealous of your yellow jumpsuit rocket man, I've wanted that mini for ages! You've done a bang up job picking out his details too, never noticed his neck tube before.

    Lastly, the influence you mentioned for the paint schemes? I watched that doco a few months back, and enjoyed it! But I'm a little puzzled as to where you got the material to help you with your painting. Did you just take screenshots from doco? Is there a retail version of "the" book from the doco that you obtained? Or was it just a simple case of Google images to the rescue?

    I'd love it if it was option B, it'd be awesome to have one!

    Cheers.

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    1. Hey there, thanks for the kind words. Well about the Jodorowsky's Dune doco, bits and pieces of the design and concept work for Jodorowsky's version of the film has been available for quite a long time, an old issue of Heavy Metal magazine was dedicated to the film and published alot of the concept art. I think this is where I first read about the saga of this epic which was sadly not to be. Likewise other images have been available online on Dune and Jodorowsky fan sites since long before the doco came out.

      Apparently there is an enormous design document/book of which there are but a handful of copies, which was printed as a reference for the production. It contains all the storyboards and concept art, and looks like it weighs about 20kg. I have heard that there are plans to reproduce this book or at least part of it. I would love to have a copy if it was available!

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  8. I have never seen those great old models look as good as they do here.

    Fantastic. More please!

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