Retrospect 2016 and Odyssey 17 – Iron Sleet is two years!

Ladies and gentlemen,

It felt like a good time to reflect a little bit, to savor some of last year’s work and share some details of things to come. The problem with these sort of posts is that they become self congratulatory and I generally hate the type of looking in the past as a critique of one’s own voice award ceremonies so prevalent this time of the year in different blogs.

So not only might this be a bit like that, it’s also going to be a pretty personal post. Iron Sleet is four miniature artists with grim, dark, Finnish roots and a shared passion and vision to create in the dystopian setting of the Warhammer 40 000 Universe. Yet four very unique individuals, living in three different countries and with four different approaches. So this article is one viewpoint, one end point of this collective vision. Mine. Of this mission to push the imagery and miniatures to new places, with new techniques, with the most care and passion and fun.

This week I bumped into this comment at the absolutely fantastic Ex Profundis by an artist I respect immensely for his sense of purpose, deep sensitivity and originality. (BTW Jake, if you read this, I wanted to congratulate you on the amazing AOS war band, but your site uniquely doesn’t allow comments from the WordPress app I use mostly to browse the goodness)

“Iron sleet is currently unmatched with regards to it’s collection of unique 40k models”

Thanks Neil!


2016 in Retrospect

Was the culmination of the hobby for me thus far. Work in three categories. The Pilgrym, Vlka Fenryka and the Ghost Legion, each a labor of love and it’s own experiment. I look back absolutely blown away by what the Pilgrym became and frankly a little shocked about my own productivity. I can share it’s strictly down to power of habits. Half an hour to an hour pretty much every day goes a loooooong way. A few 12 hour panicky days with the Cathedral and the rare multi hour paint or converting flow thrown in.

Pilgrym was a hobby privilege of a life time. Getting to collaborate with so many artists and friends and then having Games Workshop embrace the project the way they have, White Dwarf and the Warhammer World Museum in particular, was incredible and a huge surprise that we never even imagined or thought of. So grateful for all of that.

I tried to see how many models I actually finished last year. (In pictures.) More than 50! One of them a gigantic section of a Terran Cathedral. Each of them pretty intensively converted, except perhaps for the 4 vehicles finished, which feel like big achievements for other reasons.



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What will 2017 bring?

I’ve increasingly begun working more like a “movie director” of these dystopian worlds and themes and narratives. Collaboration, imagination, experimentation… Less a lone artist, less about what is and more what could be, more confident and more bolder in the experimental approach that has always defined my work.

Sometimes personal missions clash with other people’s approach. There are many artists out there who’s work I adore to bits – yet whose approach would be my personal nightmare of mannerism and developing a chosen “style” to perfection. Equally mimicking other people’s work religiously or being defined by a genre, such as Blanchitsu, in approach rather than philosophy is not for me.

I thrive to be able to think and produce independently, constantly and happily subject myself to feeling like a complete novice with new tools or new paints, or new subject matters. It’s not a better approach. It’s my approach. Part designer, part artist, part director and part fool.

I admit I also admire and respect productivity. John is such an inspiration for his incredible originality, but also the sheer inevitable, unmovable, never ending productivity. I hope I can help Iron Sleet to overall be more consistently productive this year. Looks like we have Mikko back with some stunning WIPs now, so that will help.

2017 will bring my favorite legions to war, in a setting created by FPOA, the distant Thorn Moons. The Vlka will be unleashed on the Renegade Green Mechancvm, and amongst the shadow of the defenses stand the XX.

The main goal will be world building – terrain and mood making for the Thorn Moons. One of the absolute highlights in 2016 was my six year old getting into the hobby big time. Painting his first miniatures. Helping me build the Cathedral all the way. And a good half a dozen games of 40k that we played.

So with that cinematic goal of Thorn Moons in mind, this is what has happened so far this year!

The Ten Thousand arrived to Fenrys
Third full XX Redux cell begun from a true scale marine Adam of Between Bolter and Me gave me as a gift. I detailed it and painted as a first Vignette to the Thorn Moon Terrain.


Wulfen Jarl av Wyrd – WIP – Vlka with some Thorn Moon flavor…
My son’s first model in 2017. Solely painted by the soon 7 year old, including teaching him to use the airbrush and do sponge weathering for the first time, and put on decals (which was the hardest part in his opinion) 



Lastly and most importantly, even more so if you made it this far. Thank you so much for your on going interest, comments, shares and the work that inspires us in return.

GW is clearly gearing up for an incredible year of releases. Lets make the most of it!






24 thoughts on “Retrospect 2016 and Odyssey 17 – Iron Sleet is two years!

  1. Holy Carp! Your nearly-seven-year-old son can already paint a damn sight better than me! ><

    I don't think it's self-indulgent to look back on the last year because it can give perspective to where you want to go in the future. Iron Sleet has been a massive source of inspiration to me and it continues to give me motivation to push my own boundaries in sculpting stuff.

    Kudos to a fantastic past year and I look forward to more visual feasts in 2017 from this quartet of quality…..

    N.B. scratch that last part; quartet of quality sounds like a bad superhero reject band! :p

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your nearly seven year old is a super star! I’m relatively new to the hobby as an adult and I must say that blogs like yours and many others have kept me motivated. I am constantly in a state of inspiration and I’m always learning. At the same time I am experimenting and pushing myself to do better. My favourite thing about all the work done on Iron Sleet is the unique imagination. It’s what I thrive on. Keep up the great work gang.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think I’ve probably read every post you’ve made since Ironsleet was born (and many before) and I’m still amazed to see the totally of your output in the last year. Seeing it all listed together, really brings home just how special it is. 2017 is shaping up to be another cracking year. What we’ve seen of the Thorn Moon so far, has get me very excited for what’s to come.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Brilliant stuff Migs, individually and as a collective. I love what you guys do – true luminaries of the hobby, you never cease to amaze, delight and inspire. Here’s to 2017!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very inspirational and impressive output! Seeing it all in one post really shows just how brilliant an output it has been. Looking forward to seeing Thorn Moon, and whatever else presents itself on here in 2017!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What an inspiring and impressive body of work for last year! I love how organic your work is and how you know no constraints in your work and it shows in the variety of your creations. . . Add to that, your son already producing models like that, I guess he must have had a pretty good teacher ;-), keep up the good work. . .

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow two years already, happy birthday! 🙂
    It’s ok to be a little self congratulatory with a such a body of work as yours.
    You guys keep inspiring me and fueling my own creativity and vision in this particular part of the hobby. That is a great tool for an artist to have. Thanks 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I absolutely love your style, your tone, basically everything here. Your work is amazingly inspiring and evocative, and may it continue to be so for another year! But I won’t ramble any more, as you’ve probably heard it all before.
    One thing I’ve always wondered, is would you be interested in doing something AoS related? The background and setting of AoS is, while still being set up, really interesting and much darker than the GW models portray it as. Ex Profundis is actually talking about doing ‘AOS28’ type event as far as I’m aware.
    Anyway, amazing work as always, and long may it continue

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve begun to be more and more excited about AOS, but laser weapons always beat bows and arrows for me. Just how it is. Having said that I definitely intend to keep pillaging the AOS range for my conversions. Gorgeous models.


  9. Amen! Thank you for being so productive and creative and providing the catharsis your work gives.

    I wish You and the rest of the crew most joyful moments in the hobby to come!

    Ps. Seems like the offspring have the same hardworking attitude. That is just superb first model.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What a stunning catalogue of work 🙂 you’ve certainly brought your own unique lens to the universe of 40k. Looking forward to what’s on the horizon for this year 🙂

    Also, your 6-year-old can paint better than I can!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks 🙂 I have to say the 6 year is testament to how much one can learn when taught the basics rather than having to figure out everything yourself and also how easy and useful of a tool an airbrush and some decals are. Little sloppiness and going rogue with white paint in between only added charm and wear to his model. It’s a huge leap from the first models he painted last year.


    1. Thanks Toni. I’m honestly really surprised myself. It means I could do an army this year if I focus. But I think it’s a year of world building 🙂


  11. I adore the fact that you are not afraid to try new things, regardless of how novice it makes you feel – You are amazing, your work is amazing and with that kind of attitude your only going to continue to do and be so.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This is consistently one of the best sources of inspiration there is and you should be incredibly proud of everything that you’ve done to promote this branch of our hobby!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Migs, congratulations on the 2 year anniversary. You mention in your post that you respect productivity – such an underrated asset – and one that I think you excel at. I have no idea how you produce so many miniatures of such a high quality. It’s one thing to have good ideas, it’s another to turn them into actual miniatures. You mention sometimes painting for 30 minute periods, is this really possible? I feel like it takes 30 minutes just to find my paints and remember what I am doing. If you have any tips on productivity that would be good to hear.

    I don’t comment on this blog as much as I should, but I do follow your work. And I appreciate you mentioning the problem with commenting on my site using the app, I’ve re-enabled that feature so you should be able to now if you ever want to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jake, thank you. I love what you and the guys are doing! The absolute must/secret for me is to have everything readily available. Sometimes my wet palette has the same colors for a week. I just pop the lid and paint a face, then hit the sack. It’s the power of habit more than anything. Sometimes I’m utterly overwhelmed with work like this week and nothing happens, but I have half a dozen models ready for metallics and then finished so thats a bonus.


  14. Wow

    It seems that have found this site at just the right time for my hobby. I was reaching that crossroads of trying to motivate myself to start a new army. But just seemed to far a daunting task. Spending most of my free time yesterday going through the two years worth of articles has inspired me to take on a new approach to my hobby.

    Your son is showing talents and skills that will blossom over the coming years and it will be interesting to follow the journey of both of you as you explore the hobby together.

    Thanks for lifting the scales from my eyes and showing me a darker and more inspiring universe

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Sketchy work by a sketchy man. Thank you for the sight and the beautiful work by you and your cohorts. It is always appreciated!


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