The forgotten Organ Oak – The Curiosity of the Botanicarium

From JRN of Miniatextures, the second crazy amazing Dane on a pilgrimage comes the Organ Oak and the Dryatides. Jakob is a Slayer Sword winning treasure of the Games Workshop hobby, both a brilliant sculptor/convertor/painter and a brilliant human. Just like FPOA that is 🙂


The forgotten Organ Oak  – The Curiosity of the Botanicarium
Like the lives of billions of imperial citizens weapon engineer Haenrik Galde is an insignificient ant in the hive that is Terra. This ant spends the few hours dedicated for sleep in the ancient Botanicarium delving into the myths of ancient Flora. Reseaching for decades his mind is fixed on uncovering the mystery of the Organ Oak, a shape of a blasted and whithered tree fused unnervingly with set of organ pipes. What was previously considered curious sight on the Pilgrim Road has been forgotten the past centuries…
Galde has dedicated himself to fusing his weapon knowledge with the botanical enigma, and thus he has secretly created on an unorthodox interface to the bizarre instrument fused into the Oak…
To me, enbarking on a hobby project usually happens when a number of ideas, interests and personal commitments converge.
For this one I have been following fellow hobbyist, FPOA, who has been deiving into the subject of Hollowways. Another trait was an idea sparked when the Glottkin brought the ecosystem of the Lord of Decay to the Forrests of the Old World. I instantly wanted to combine plaguebearers and dryads into disturbing wickedness. Then, Iron Sleet approached me to join their pilgrim quest, and finding inspiration from the various tech-forrests of Thistle I made a few humble sketches.
And on one of these he just popped up: A man fused into a tree displaying a set of organ pipes. I starting thinking about the music of the organ fused with the ancient ressonance of the whithered tree – weaponry or a musical key to trigger monstrosities of a forgotten Past.
All brings us to the imagery: The initial sketch ”the composer”. Then a spelled out concept exploring the Organ Oak. And finally a dramatically posed, lit and cropped image of three Dryatides – the Wicked Seeds of Ancient Terra.

11 thoughts on “The forgotten Organ Oak – The Curiosity of the Botanicarium

  1. This whole botanicariumme project from the three gardeners of grim is a really original and unexpected addition to imperial creed – hurry up so body and get a painted model to look at – paper concepts are fun and thought provoking but it’s just the start ……

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  2. A pilgrymme wanderer lost in the Botanicarium strayes deeper and deeper in… following a few reedy, thin, piping melancholy notes of music… through hollow and winding-path… he sees it, the organne-oake, a strange, twisted shape emerging from the slightly suffocating dense, damp incense-mist and oil-fume that hangs in the holloways… The tune swells, now rising, now falling, a sing-song melodie… he gazes in wonder… but he is not alone. Other things, strange, old, cruel, perhaps experiments, fusing plante and animalle, that long were forgotten and now roame free, move in the incense-mists. Drawne to the music by mere chance, noticing a disturbance in their realme? Or does the music call them… Pain, bloode, deathe… another deathe, another skeleton on the holie charnel-planete…

    As the control of the mechanicvm slips, as knowledge is lost and more falls into delapidation, the prieste-botanistes with holie oil and electrosecateurs withdraw… the darkness advances… it is dangerous to wander deep in the living machine-forestes.The Imperium decays into ignorance, misunderstanding and at last forgetfulness…

    The night-scholar, spending his sleepe between complyne and mattins in the decaying forests studying this strange, loste, forgotten device, the very purpose forgotten as the holloways fall into darkness, a fascination turning into an obsession — he is a livinge manne-tree now… His body lichened, mossed, fused to the wood, only the face is still free, pale, blank, peacefulle… he and his fascination are one now, inseparable, another fusionne of machine, flesh and woode. The scrubby scraps of browned foliage and the greenes of the organ-supporting fleshie mass, and on the trunk a browne-greene suggest that this tree, like the emperor, like Terra, is neither truly alive nor trulie dead, a long decay of millennia without deathe… The gold of the organ pipes is pale, sickly, decayed. The skulls which, I imagine, once regulated the flowe of sap and oil, are memento moris, signs of the living-dying decay of terra.

    The tree would seem, without its fused devotee, to be more animal than vegetable, the boughes suggesting armes — or has it changed and moulded around its fleshy hearte?

    The long root-legs, something often seen in ‘Blanchean’ compositions create a sense of surrealness… in the incense, petrol, mist and fume of the botanicariumme, what is truly there? The visionne of a mystic, an allegory, a delusion, or a strange vision of the Darke Milleniumme.

    The brownish creame background reminds me of botanical pressing paper.


  3. This is truly inspired – in fact the whole botanicariumme concept is. Like a plant it seems to be spreading out its roots and pushing up shoots all over the urban decay of crumbling Terra. The not-so-subtle message of resurgent nature and the ability of wild things to survive and grow even against the background of human apocalypse is obviously extremely meaningful to a contemporary audience. As for the pictures and models – well they’re simply brilliant too!

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  4. Thanks a lot.
    The concept of mechanic and organic fused in tree form is a really interesting one. I hope to have work in progress images in a weeks time. I expect the process to be a good combo of exploration, chance picks from the bitz box, intuition and routine.

    Really inspiring write-up interpreting my ideas. Thanks. The tree concept has lots of directions. Lets see where we end up.

    And Laurence; your comment is spot on. At some point i have to jump from concept to miniature. That jump is the crucial one, but also one of those “just go do it” things.


  5. This is an awesome concept, so alien and weird. I like that you are exploring biology in 40k, rather than just dark rusty machines. I cannot wait to see you put the oak into model form. The dryad/plaguebearers are great, such a simple solution for creating new unique models!


  6. The color palette beginning to form in the sketch is really intriguing. Quite close to what I’ve been painting today. Maybe I was subconsciously thinking about this. The whole Terra project seems to be developing a visual identity without forced effort.
    I’d like to see technology/nature juxtaposition greatly underscored when you get to modeling..
    It occured to me now you also have the perfect excuse to make really a large model 🙂


    1. Yeah Toni. It will be pretty huge.
      Will try and go for this colour palette although no battleplan usually survives contact with the enemy… Same goes for the planning of colours on minis…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Very original and inspiring Jakob.

    The concept sketch is wonderful but that shot with the Dryatides is brilliant. Love the lighting and sense of depth in the picture…visual storytelling unfolding!


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