So today this happened:
After the year of fireworks that was 2016 from the GW studio, I couldn’t help but feel this was some alternate reality that was taking over. Maybe the veil really is thinning?
Such strong concepts and well conceived models have been pouring out lately that seeing an ill-proportioned plastic primarch covered in seemingly tzeentchian runework almost made me faint. I could go on about what I don’t like, both in the big picture of things and the myriad details, but that’s besides the point of this site.
I took this as a wakeup call.
Two years ago, before joining Iron Sleet, I was toying with an idea about using 3D printing as a way of ‘fixing’ space marines. The plan was to grow the legs and torso, but keep access and relation to all the various heads, arms, backpacks and weaponry that make collecting marines such a fun thing. I also started to collect a library of favorite imagery.
Contrary to the usual ‘mood is king’ approach that almost-but-not-quite-entirely captures Iron Sleet, I started with only looking at proportions and trying to forget everything else for a while. I think, when the size and composition of a figure are correct, coming up with the rest is just pure enjoyment. I believe the proof can be seen the Forgeworld Primarchs, and in the speedy creation and quality of Migs’ wolves.
The work of these masters somehow perfectly captures what is the single coolest concept in the world of 40k to me: Power Armour. A formidable tank of a carapace encapsulating the recruited sons of the Imperium’s toiling masses, engineered to serve one purpose and one purpose alone. War.
I made some successive 3D models and prints in a short time, and got together something I thought resembles the target. A quick paintjob to prove the concept, and then it was time for phase 2, modelling a detailed, poseable frame onto which details could start to be added.
But phase 2 never came.
I moved to London to study and two most intense years of my life followed, along with an unexpected revival of the hobby. There was no time to remember old things. Too much exciting things were happening. The Invitational, Pilgrym!
Today, seeing the plastic Roboute Guilliman kicked me right back into 2014. I have to see this work through. And coming out with in public is an irreversible promise. This year I will revisit the past, and build a truescale space marine force. But this time it will also be a personal consolidation of the Iron Sleet approach, a moody reimagining of a transhuman war-tribe.
I want to end the post with what is in my opinion the best warhammer 40k miniature of all time. Simon Egan’s stunning Horus Lupercal. I bought it last year from the Forgeworld shop in Nottingham, with the aim to convert and paint him. But with time I grew to admire this display of skill so much that I decided to keep him in the stasis-field infinitely. For me this miniature is (perhaps heretically) the golden standard of what a space marine model can be. And everything the plastic Guilliman is not.