Quercus and quintus arrive from Dalthus sector

And meet up with Herod.

Thistle’s latest, moody, desaturated group where he got inspired by movies such as the Road or Book of Eli. Such an incredibly strong and unified trio.



35 thoughts on “Quercus and quintus arrive from Dalthus sector

  1. Quintus, Quercus and Herodde the kinge…

    His skin pallid and filthy… the rot and filth that surrounds all the Imperium, the mudde and filthe and shitte of the pilgrymme-fleets, the duste and waste of a thousand foul middens of corpse-cities (hardly ever does anyone washe…)… there is a reddish tint about the mouth which suggests the smear and grease of furtive meales (I remember the redde cookpot in rottenchapell…shudder… or rawe and bloodie flesh… one eye loste with a darke scar running up his browe, his mouth drawn into a malformed gape… is it a wounde sustained in the grinding exploratorre-worke, a mutation or the decayes of age and crude repair? a cleft in the lippe drawing up the skin and baring rotten teeth filed to sharpe points, his features coarse, the nose stubby, the browe heavie and all twisted in pain, the one remaining eye a pitiless one.

    His heade is set oddly on the neck, cocked to one side, another deformity in this darke millenniumme of decaye. Phrenologie is a science in the Darke Millenniumme, men look as they are… in the skulle I see a rich manne, a poor manne, a seynt and a sinner…

    The coarse, vicious face which makes a strange contraste with the furre collar, matted and clotted with filth, a signe of his privilege as an adeptus and his relative wealthe… the white robes are filthy, layers of grime, sweate and worse lying in the creases, caked in dirtie browne filthe, stained and dulled… foule, dirty, thickly washed with murky brown, greasy cloth sticking to his lousy skinne underneath the almutiumme or shoulder-cape.

    The harnesse and device he bears on his backe are evidentlie some piece of relique-technologie of which only a few functions are understood… filthy, coated with the duste of a hundred rotten civilisations and the filth of the charnel-world of terra, the holie icon of the omnissiah on his chest, pale dirty silver visible on the pipes where black lacquer has been rubbed awaye… an aerial and two greene lightes, murky under the dirt, gleam on the heavy back-part, which is rusty and dust-covered, a speaker, indicating long-lost functions, strange devices hanging from metallic tubes… one perhaps some sort of regulatorre with a dialle and two buttons.

    The silvered incensoriumme, also borne on a metallic tube, whatever its original purpose, loste in the distant past, is a common sighte among the explorators, ostensiblie to shew due reverence to the machine-spirits of the recovered archaeotech… they are actually used by the foremenne and archaeotech-seekers to keepe them from spewing vomit at the stench of millennia of decay, accumulated oile and rotting flesh, stale pisse and dead corpse-rattes… the serfes who dig and cleare passages into the layers of decaye have no such protection — a few more valuable workers may have the olfactorie lobes crudely removed (clumsie chirurgeonnes often encroach on other parts of the braine, leading to eventualle madness, sometimes wreaking havoc with a spiked pick amongst the workers and inevitable death) but manie succumbe after a few months ceaseless toile in such an atmosphere… best not inquire what meate is floating in the thinne soupe served up to the survivors after a hard shift…

    He carries a little booke at his waiste, orange-crimsonne on the cover standing out amidst the grime — perhaps some booke of forgotten tech-lore, a guide to some part of Terra plundered by Herodde’s gang and given to the manne who can make best use of it, perhaps the foremanne’s primer or booke of mechanicusse devotions carried out of habit not convictionne. The golden reliquarie showes he has not been idle on Terra… stripped from some rotting chapelle to be sold for a good price to the endless flow of pious relic-seekers.

    His legs and feete seem to be encased in silver augmeticks, the pistons perhaps supplementing inevitablie worne muscles… they too are filthy, but evidently well made, the gleam of silver recalling as before a knight’s armour, an odd mix of splendour and decaye as ever… covered in dust and filth… His sworde, a pale ghoste of aristocratic splendour just visible in the discoloured gold choked with filth at the hilte, is clearly another discovered tech-relic he has kept for himself… as too the pistol, remnants of bluing and gleames of silver…

    The base is a backdroppe but in itself a piece of arte… a heap of broken cobbles, metal and a thicke layer of dust and umentionable filth lying inch-thicke on the floors of the charnel-world.

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  2. Quintusse — five hundred yeares olde…
    Quintus, too, is pallid, but his skin is stained a darker brownish rotting black by filth or decay… his lippes either cut or rotten away, revealing, like his brother, teeth filed to points… perhaps to tackle the dubious meates of the carrion-millenniumme. The rawe fleshe of the upper jaw is crimson…perhaps it has never properlie healed, perhaps he too is smeared with redde-browne, suggesting foule meales… the lower jawe is darkening to blacke, perhaps necrotic and rotting awaye… he wille be troubled by flies…

    His robes are filthy, the edges stained a vile brown-red by unmentionable things, the chequer-pattern barely visible… dragged through mud, dust, filth, human waste on pilgrymmage and for hundreds of years of foul searching… the ‘white’ cloth is stained a disgusting creame by sweat, oile and grease, the creases thick with dirte, unwashed, louse-ridden… but a preciousse signe of an adeptus…

    His cheste is covered in archaeotech, decayed, but stille partlie functionalle… the shoulder-plates are well made, overlapping metalle, the crenellated collar suggests a helmet once fitted to it… forgotten relics, discovered in the filthe of a loste and nameless citie and taken for his own use…

    Perhaps the relic he bears on his cheste directs the flowe of humours and ichor through his ancient veins as thicke sappe through a rotting tree, filthy, covered in brown grime with a glinte of pale and sicklie golde… there is a healthie trade in freshe bloode and bile on Terra, and and freshe corpses are never scarce on the Exploratorre fleetes… The great pipe, or rather manie pipes bound together, pierces his skulle (the wounde seems to have had a brasse socket sewn into it) and ramifies throughout his aging bodie, sewn to his veins, a source of constant agonie… the greenish containers may contain precious freshe fluids… other pipes, runne from it to pierce his back, perhaps passing into decaying organne… what understanding remains will be in rhymes, rubrics and ritualles passed from generation to generation or written in decaying bookes…

    The foul cloth of his arms is covered with armour of the same good make as the collar, I imaging found together, dirty, filthie, uncleaned through reverence, scavenged by the carrion-fowle of the holie mechanicvmme… parts only survive, cobbled together…

    Evidently it once had many functions now loste… it still bears an incensoriumme and a clawe… the pipes are hung with stolen reliques , the bones of a sainte in a gilte case taken for sale to a grubbing fence, and worthless rubbish, an hourglasse, taken for in case it has any value… so understanding decays and the darkenesse advances…

    His gunne is another ill-understood thing, brasse or gilte shining through layers of dirte, the bodie perhaps once japanned but blue-grey with duste… no doubt it workes, but none know how, the reloading of it is a ritualle, the firing of it a matter of chance…

    He seems to point with his bonie clawe-hande with an aire of commande, ordering some midden-heap to be cleared away for the treasures – rusting, rotten, decayed scraps of technologie – that may lie within, rotting himself, too, clad in filthy robes and forgotten relics, standing on a metal sheete covered with ruste and filthe, broken brickes and metalle, the foul layer of filthe coating the floor of terra.

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  3. Herodde the kinge… a corrupt, murderous brute, master of the rotting sumpe of rottenchapelle… His face is pale, telling of manie a year of foul grubbing and scavenging in lowe terra away from lighte… the features coarse, the nose broad and a hard chin, a brutish, greedy face drawn with anger or paine, covered with the hood of his filthy robe, a hoode stained with sweat, downpours of sewage and filthy water through broken roofes…

    He is a parasite, his augmetick legges, scavenged relic-technology dulled and dirtied by the filthe of terra, jointed like those of a foul insecte. They reache forward, suggesting the fingers of a grasping hand… avarice, greede, desire for power. His robe is ragged with holes and filthy white dulled to a disgusting grey or grey-green, a rotting colour, by unmentionable things, the folds a brownish colour… the edges stained a foul brown-red, the colour of ruste and mennes waste… despite its vileness a precious thinge, giving at least the appearance of adeptus status, which fewe will gainsay… Through the holes of his robe are groping augmetick tendrils, ending in grasping clawes… to seize anything of worth.

    He has obtained a breasteplate and shoulder-plates from some forgotten suit of armour, pale sickly silver choking under filth encrusting the plate and lying thicke in the crevices… of good make, but rusted and decayed over long centuries, another scrap of scarecrow dignity amongst the carrion foul of terra, as too the disgusting clotted scrap of fur, the very pile filled by some grease of fatte and filth at his waist… a little wealthe and opulence… One shoulder-plate is different to the other and seems to bear a black stripe, some piece of heraldrie perhaps… perhaps part of his right, augmetic arm, dirty and begrimed but evidently of excellent make, the cut-out forearme and a ghoste, perhaps, of silver or ivorie under the dirt.

    The gunnes he carries are obviously archaeotech reliques, blacke now blue with dust and dirt, clumping around visible protrusions on the barrel, the brasse or golde is filthy and dust-covered… the making a loste secret, the reloading a misunderstoode ritualle, firing a matter of chance…

    He is laden with reliques in grimy gilt cases, the gold barely showinge, coppery almoste… the fruit of a plundered chapelle in decaye… reliques ex ossibus, the tinie skulls of childe-saintes or gene-dwarves, an arm-bone, the doors of the reliquarie gaping, another hidden by the others, another locked… the keye loste… taken back to rottenchappell to force it carefullie and invisiblie… all of these will fetch a fine price from the endlesse thronges of pious pilgrymmes. The boxe seems to be archaeoteche, black lacquer flakinge away to reveal the silver underneath… some strange piece of forgotten machine-lore, perhaps, though as a tube runnes from it round herodde’s back I wonder if he may use it in some way… certainly he has some mechanicusse-heirloomes such as an incensoriumme to keep off the stenche of lowe terra…

    The base is beautiful… the squalor and filth of the charnel-world, brickes and thicke filthe duste and mildewe, shrines and choking gilte lying broken and covered in ruste and decaye… the bones of a forgotten seynt in a broken shrine, the letters ‘dire’… a strange piece of historie, recalling Goge Vandire…long has this scrap, smashed in damnatio memoriae, lain and rotted… I imagine the very existence of Goge Vandire is suppressed for the goode of the faithefulle. Strange reliques on terra…

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  4. Wonderful, as always Thistle. I never cease to be amazed by the scope of colour, texture and tone you use in your pieces… The undisputed master of portraying a grim and decayed future.


  5. An excellent group of miniatures. They are all quite unique, yet unified. And despite each being heavily made with mechanium models, they look entirely different. Herod is my favorite; you really got the scale down perfectly, making all the proportions seem just right, emphasizing his incredibly tall stature without it seeming overdone. He has a nice gunslinger pose , with a subtle hint of motion that brings him to life. He almost reminds me of what Cypher would actually look like, rather than simply a robed Dark Angel, he he.


  6. Deliberately aiming for a understated look with emphasis on the group – I’m working on more at the moment and indeed done a little more to Herodde himself – mechanicum gangsters who live in the underworld …….


    1. understated is the worde, drab, the pale creame-browne actually echoes the gabardine macks you mention in a grimme, harde, smoke-fugged fifties, violent, corrupt, criminal… a furtive, sneaking, greasie life in lowe terra… a grim, drab, painefulle, purposelesse, life of toil and deference and ritualle in the lowe manufactoria…, the servants of ragged houses passing out of minde… colde and paine and sweate, surrounded by filth and decaye, greasie oile-sweat-pisse stained robes, sleeping in a foetid denne [not necromunda-industrial, all wrong to my mind, a victorianne slumme, dores london but ramped up to eleven up and downe, gothicised, decaying chappels] under herodde’s iron fist…. twisted by labour, mutilated by accidentes, blearie-eyed, pustuled, blistered lippes… dickensianne almost, choking on thicke incense-smogs that falle from the highe basilicas, mixing with smoke and chemical belchings and foule aire, all corrupte…

      herodde the foremanne is the gange-boss, selecting the most vicious to slip into the rookeries of rottenchappell (rot = red = redde with bloode…) between shiftes of grinding hereditarie toille, you knowe not why you worke, to what end your toile is, why you shovell the coale, all is ritualle, your fathers father did so, with the lashe to keep up the pace… if you falle, ten will take your place (and meate in the cookepot that night…) seeking the weake in the pilgrymme swarmes, to be burked and cut up or led awaye to the slaving dennes…

      Grubbing in the middens and cesspits of deade menne looking for scraps of precious archaeoteche… dremes of great wealthe on the pilgrymme roads, but all vanitie, for what are the gangsters but ragged vultures in greasie borrowed feathers, the indulgence of a daye, the furre collar, the greasie clotted scrap of mouldering astrakhan, the ridiculous pard-skinne shakos and toppe hattes stuck with chandelles scavenged in thistle’s rottenchappell painting, rotting even as they swarm like bluebottels over the rotten carrion-world, deathe, deathe will take them all, prising with his firme grippe clutching hands from bone and golde and tech alike…

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  7. Wow, not sure what else I can say. The models are fantastic, the painting is fantastic, I especially love the dirty robes. The use of the orange really helps add colour with out overpowing the model. The bases are great, the brown stone gives a bit more colour to the model without pulling focus. Love them!


  8. Holy Bethseba these are frighteningly good Thistle! The scale and size of these are menacing. Quercus a very fitting name 🙂 Intruiging…



  9. Beautiful models. It perplexes me how you manage to combine such messy, desaturated painting with professional technicality. I’d love to see some extra pictures of these!


  10. Mr remnants – Basically it must boil down to experience of handling brushes for 59 years – I work fast and use techniques established in 18th century flower painting which I learnt fifty years ago – I try to be expressive creating moods rather than creating the slick scientific approach to mini painting that seems to be the norm these days – I don’t study technique ever but it’s all a fast mixture of blending, subtle dry brushing and many a wash ……as I said earlier I’ve added some more washes to Herodde – seeing photographs often reveal more that can be done ….

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    1. Thanks for the quick reply. It’s interesting how over your years of painting it’s evolved into what it is now (I’ve seen quite a few of your older models on the internet over time). In a way it inspires me further than just looking at your finished models, knowing that even you have managed to improve over the years. You have such a unique painting style (your use of old techniques and speed is inspired) and it has been refined with your most recent models. They’re so good.
      On another note, I remember reading somewhere that you wasn’t too well. I hope this isn’t intrusive, but I wish you the best!


      1. Ah yes – dropping to bits and getting old – in semi retirement now days so more tyme for mini painting …….

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s a shame, it happens to the very best of us. At least there’s always a good side, getting more time to do what you love!
        I, for one, am loving the sheer amount of models that are coming from your hand, seriously inspirational.


    2. I too am fascinated by this approach to painting miniatures. I’ve been painting them for …hmm… 40 years and I feel like a beginner again. The essence of it seems to be rooted in a different approach rather than any particular technique, like you say ‘creating moods’. It’s quite encouraging, because the ‘Eavy Metal team has taken the technical level into the stratosphere and left a lot of people like me feeling a bit inadequate!

      I tried a different approach recently with a couple of spare Traitor Marines – instead of focusing on ‘what colour’ or ‘what technique’, I tried to paint from mood… so I thought, what do these Traitor Marines represent? Corrupt and tainted were the key concepts that came to mind, so I picked out my most corrupted pots (filthy or warped colours and washes) and painted them in a corrupted way… yep, it was a mess 🙂 Haha

      Well, like all art, it’s a journey, and maybe this was a milestone. Thanks for sharing Mr. Thistle.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your approach took on what’s appropriate to the supposed background – traitor marines could be any colour so that would be mi approach – basically what looks great in Colour terms – all marines should be black anyway tho – a colour people seem to find hard in itself …..


      2. Mood is king. All other aspects of the model should obey the mood!
        Sometimes it calls for a technical level, but not nearly as often as it looks.


  11. love Herod, as said above, sort of a medieval gunslinger look….makes me think of Stephen Kings “Gunslinger” series….


  12. Very interesting discussion about painting. That very precise, technical, everything painstakingly edge highlighted style is a very hard habit to break. I’m finding my own painting gets bogged down in attempts at precision and i find painting becoming more of a chore I force myself to do, rather than the joy it ought to be. I really need to work on getting the fluidity and expression I so admire in Thistle’s work.


    1. I firmly believe in the best of both worlds. Take your favorite Blanche Artwork or Danton illustration as a reference. Enough technical brilliance, but so much expression, emotion and style that only comes from brave flow and taste to edit. So the work breaths.


  13. i do not have the patience for that clean blending sharp edge stuff even if i had skill to do it – im not convinced it looks real let alone being evocative – eyes deteriorate as you get older so that does not help – for those who do not know i would say the brush is the most important piece of kit – not the real tiny ones but something that tapers to a good point – the ones i use are kolinsky series 7 sable – originally made for queen victoria ….


  14. I love taking inspiration from movies, and can certainly see The Road influences here. Must check out Book of Eli..
    It’s nice how the visual of Pilgrym is starting to blend in the more work we do. Beginning to find a unified voice. Looking forward to seeing these guys in the flesh!


  15. Yes that unified voice is something that dominated the published stuff in the mag – this is much grittier and darker than the usual brighter cleaner offerings – sort of of the northern rennaissance – altdorfer, grunwald, memling, durer, rembrant rather than those Italian Catholics …….


    1. Yes… grim, colde, paineful, filthie, gothick, poenitential, deathe, squalor, twisting and deformitie… saxon keyes… gothick arches, not the baroque stuffe… colde darke nightes as the darkenesse advances and filthie water leakes through the roofes. Northern art… inconceivable any of this otherwise .. not the background of dickens, plague, suffering, pain, starvation… grim darknesse…

      pietie a pietie of paine, penance and suffering, gold and brasse always dustie and specked, strange figures who speake and thinke notte as menne today (which is why to my mind the 40K novel will never capture the worlde of the art…) , twisted faces, twisted in pain, howling in rage, grinning beaste-like to showe sharpened teethe, long talon-nails, pustuled and deformed, madde menne our worlde would thinke them, strange lives centred around ritualle and grinding toille, or foul grubbing in the scrappes of deade menne, the greasie lace and ragged nobilitae sitting in rotting palaces full of strange beings in dustie corridors, the twisted, foul clotted rag-cladde serfes herded into the factoria to labour at a forgotten taske, the purpose of which none know… ignorance, darkenesse constant paine and the feel of stinking ragges against skinne, seething with lice…

      symbolism, ritualle, incense… the pilgrymme has caught this worlde… thistle’s art made it, only here (with exceptions e.g. wierdingway) do you get the miniatures to trulie dwelle in this darke millenniumme

      Forgive me, rambling… probably repeating myself.


  16. Fantastic collection of models! I love the use of that new Deathwatch Dark Angel head; just so fitting and characterful.

    Thanks for all your thoughts about your painting process in the comment section. It is great to hear different perspectives and approaches. I like the notion of focusing on capturing/achieving a mood for a model. I need to experiment more with that idea when I am painting. Thus far I feel I am strongly tethered to very technical and seamless transitions of colors. While it works well in some instances, it is not always as fitting. I really like some of the textures and color transitions you are able to achieve on your models.



  17. I too must join the choir and lend my thanks for the words said about painting.
    I´ve tried hard to learn how others do their masterpieces and it tooked me too long time and frustration to come to understanding that i should first of all just relax and experiment with my models.

    The ones i do now are heavily influed by many of the artist who are on this site and on Ammobunker, two of my most important pages i got on the internet for the moment, and i have never had so mutch fun with paintin!

    Too see these stunning models and hear you to hear your thoughs about different techniques is just a bless!
    Gonna go and put on another layer of washes and see what comes out of it now!

    Thanks for the inspiration!!


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