The forgotten Oak – Pilgrym Treeman

Our Danish duo continues their ground braking Greenery work. This time Jakob with the forgotten oak!


The forgotten Oak – building, painting, creating the character

The dirt-encrusted brass pipes still had sound in them. Starting as a deep low hum the vibrations grew as a cresendo the smaller pipes starting to squeak, then whine, finally scream. While the vibrations started to physically threaten the building something wonderful happened. The fossil-like tech tree rose from the ground while sprouting tentacle-like branches and twigs. 

* * *

Initially, I had thought that the man submerged into the tree, master engineer Haenrik Galde, would ”suit up” into the Oak just prior to the Pilgrym arriving and the gaming story starting to unfold. However, building the model, and sketching up the floating tree, I realised that I wanted to have the character appear as if he had been fused with the tree seemingly forever. Patiently waiting for the Pilgrym to appear and then, finally, activating the power of the machine tree and go to battle. 

I think the model is just about right, but I still need to add a few little bits – two servo skulls to be precise. And then I want to go over my complete group of models and tweak and adjust to align them all. Also, I have had a few comments from the Pilgrym crew on the pipes of the organ. Maybe they need a little more weathering – some moss or dirt around the base of the pipes which could easily be taken onto some of the branches as well. But I think I will address this suggestion at the tweaking phase and also see if any of the other models could benefit from a little more dirt and grime.


32 thoughts on “The forgotten Oak – Pilgrym Treeman

  1. There is something very Kalevala about him. I’m not quite sure what it is but he reminds me of the paintings by Akseli Gallen-Kallela.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Been looking forward to seeing this finished since the concept sketch appeared and the completed article does not disappoint. Absolute brilliance!


    1. Thanks man. Getting from the concept sketch to the model took both courage and compromises. Especially going from the open 2d concept with a lot of suggested details to actually building the model deciding on all shapes and details was a great process. The sketch had very few explicit details, so making the model took a lot of bitz research and texture exercises. But at some point it was just about comitting and running with the idea…

      Liked by 2 people

  3. This miniature is such an epitome of the strange, grim, dystopian world of M41. The sense of movement and floating, texture of the bark, the unholy ancient looks of it’s face, the protruding organs, list goes on and on. Everything is just perfect. Beautiful piece!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the kind words. Elaborating on the word “perfect”, I might add that it has the perfect level of openess to it. The model suggests a mood, rather than spells it out – if you get my meaning. This is what I strive for in my miniatures these days. I what you to look and think when you look at the miniature. To activate memory and imagination…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this so much, seriously an incredible model. I love the textures you’ve built up and the tone is perfect, so bleak and real in contrast to the absurdity of the concept. This is one of my all time favourite miniatures for sure.


    1. On another note, have you got any tips/advice for building that tree? I’ve got a forest concept in mind for my Mordheim stuff and I think it would fit the bill perfectly.


      1. Buildign the tree I used wire-frame for the main branches for strength and balance issues. Around this I mocked up the main shape simply using tinfoil that I worked into place. Over this I added modelling putty to get a solid outer layer. Actually in a few places there is still access to the inner tinfoil core. From here I started to add the thinner branches using cut up dryad bitz. These were glued into place with superglue. On top ot this “aggrax earth” – the technical crackling paint from GW – thin in some places, thicker in others. And a few places were left bare.

        For a tree production setup for Mordheim or similar I’d recommend that you cut down the process to make it easiers and faster. Maybe take out the greenstull layer and work out something else to get the same effect. Maybe wrapping the tinfoil with a layer of thin bandage rolls and seal it with pva glue. And if you go this route – maybe the texturing step can also be replaces by sprinkling the glued-up bandage-wrapped trees trees with fine sand for texture. That combines two steps and saves time…

        Good luck with your trees.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks for the detailed write-up, I never would have guessed that you used tin foil! The bandage idea is a good one, and I think I have some of those lying around somewhere. I’ll let you know if I have any success 🙂


  5. From the miniature itself, and from your blog post, I can see a new philosophy forming inside your hobby! Words like openness, memory, and depth, are creeping into a conversation where ‘mood’ and ‘cinematic’ maybe have helped you get to. I’m reminded of movies like Pan’s Labyrinth and The Orphanage, as well as the mentioned Gallen-Kallela. If the Pilgrym project helps to pave the way towards a new style and a school of thought within the hobby… that would be more than worth the effort!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great conversion and a relly good and moody paintjob.

    I like the somehow faded or wornout look of the colours, i think it just fits right for to background you came with. Using a similar green on the checker pattern and for the washes of the bark really helps to bring all the details together.

    But only praise doesn´t help to progress….. So i dare to point out two things that could be improved.

    For me there is missing some kind of focus on the model. Here this should be the human fused with the tree, and to draw the eye to the head of it of course.
    The highlights here are already pretty strong, but due to the muted colour scheme it “pops” too less.
    I think the best colour to draw a little more attention would be red, as you already used it on other parts of your tree.
    Just some ideas:
    -You could paint a red imperial eagle tattoo on his head
    – Candels of red wax could be placed on his head (maybe with some OSL from the candlelight)
    – this might be crazy, but a crown of thorns might fit the treeish look. with red blood dripping down to get the red into

    The other thing are the organ pipes.
    As i know that they are organ pipes i instantly recognise them as organ pipes.
    But for someone without that knowlegde they may just look like pipes sticking out from a tree.
    When you take a look at organ pipes they have a diagonal top end. So by adding this detail it will instantly read as what they are.

    It might be to late to change because they are already finished. But with some carefull cutting, the damage on the paintjob should be minimal. And the repaint pretty easy

    Please don´t take me wrong, the model is awesome. But the devil is in details.



    1. Thanks for the comments.

      A lot of good suggestions – most of them, however, were actually considered early in the process. Red was discarded as I thought it would draw too much attention – and I wanted a really withered look to the whole model. Also I find that the treeman or mantree concept is at its most disturbing when the transition between the parts is not that obvious. A matter of personaly taste I guess.

      I did work in subtle contrasts between the tree and the human skin, but the most important difference is one that is extremely hard to photograph: Matt vs. gloss finish. For the skin I sometimes mix in gloss varnish to get a dirrefent shine and this is one of the places where a technique like that can be very effective – but only to the person seeing the model in the flesh.

      The organ pipes could easily have had more work, but I had to win some time and deliberately went fast on these. They also lack the opening that usually also can be found on these instruments. But in short I just took a short cut, which leads to the main thing. This model was actually pretty fast to do. Complex, yes. The concept took time to mature, yes. But from starting the build, to finish and paint the model it was a really great process. These days, my goal is always to get stuff done – stuff to present, for gaming for sharing.

      btw, just finished a round of tweaking the whole gang. Everthing is shaping up nicely…
      Thanks for the input.


  7. Wonderful model and concept! I really like the look of the branches and the lower root structure. It really looks like it uprooted and is floating! I also really like how his eyes are hidden in shadows, creepy and effective. 🙂


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