The Fictive

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“It is the 41st Millennium. For more than a hundred centuries The Emperor has sat immobile on the Golden Throne of Earth. He is the Master of Mankind by the will of the gods, and master of a million worlds by the might of his inexhaustible armies. He is a rotting carcass writhing invisibly with power from the Dark Age of Technology. He is the Carrion Lord of the Imperium for whom a thousand souls are sacrificed every day, so that he may never truly die.

Yet even in his deathless state, the Emperor continues his eternal vigilance. Mighty battlefleets cross the daemon-infested miasma of the Warp, the only route between distant stars, their way lit by the Astronomican, the psychic manifestation of the Emperor’s will. Vast armies give battle in his name on uncounted worlds. Greatest amongst his soldiers are the Adeptus Astartes, the Space Marines, bio-engineered super-warriors. Their comrades in arms are legion: the Imperial Guard and countless planetary defence forces, the ever vigilant Inquisition and the tech-priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus to name only a few. But for all their multitudes, they are barely enough to hold off the ever-present threat from aliens, heretics, mutants – and worse.

To be a man in such times is to be one amongst untold billions. It is to live in the cruelest and most bloody regime imaginable. These are the tales of those times. Forget the power of technology and science, for so much has been forgotten, never to be re-learned. Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for in the grim dark future there is only war. There is no peace amongst the stars, only an eternity of carnage and slaughter, and the laughter of thirsting gods.”

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Everything you have been told is lie.

Herein starts the descent to madness or dystopian dark baroque nirvana.

There is something so delusional in taking any meaning in this work inspired by a purely imaginary realm, we, Homo sapiens invented. Our real life equally is an evolutionary experiment with zero proof of any real meaning to the universe. Yet on space ship earth we stand alone being able to imagine 39 000 years into the future, and passionately create little tiny representations of Homo sapiens and Homo astartes inhabiting that eternity of carnage. It may be meaningless, but its incredibly rewarding.

This is where things for me, during the experiment that is the Ironsleet stepped up many levels. Armies and projects became my imagery “movies”. The models more a collection of exquisite little sculptures brought to life with weather and material feel. The inspiration from fellow Sleeters a new dimension of energy and somehow and aligned aesthetic. More a collective mission and angle into the realms of Warhammer gothic. Tapping deep into Blanchitsu.

So this Untold monkey business then – inconveniently dropping on top of the epic Thorn Moons Crusade – perhaps its a bridge to crystallize what I see as the generic essence of the Grim Dark far future, to tie the esoteric, super original newness FPOA is directing with his Green Mechanicvm, one my Alpha Legion is fondly rallying around and Vlka Fenryka is determined to eradicate. Seeing Koltti’s insane Red Corsair fleet expand, with the half obvious promise of traitor guard that no-one in the universe can do like him, and all the rest of it, is going to make Pilgrym feel like a nifty prelude. A trailer.

Collaborating is hard. The hobby perhaps uniquely draws people with intense creativity and the self discipline of a whimsical kid lost somewhere between the Warhammer universe and the chores and ambitions each tries to escape. It certainly produces more excuses than it does miniatures. I’ve tried to approach it differently. To me this is a solemn passion and practice. A journey that connects me in meditative manner to being free to imagine, play and apply – yet also calms and centers me in deep awareness with each breath to each brush stroke.

The Untold  – blank, black, backwards – a project with its own will. Pouring out. Going places. Clueless yet so very intentional.

Sorry to put you through all of this. I did worn you it’s delusional. So lets also consider the tangible. The materially new here.

For the first time ever I’ve really also introduced a full range of gloss, from Uber matte to satin to ceramic glossy to reflective metallics. There really is dozens of differently painted areas of black in the mix leading a richness none of my previous retinues have without losing coherency.

There is designer disease deep in my cells where the current project is also usually the favorite project but still I feel these really broke new ground. Felt different from the start. In talking with John, something extra connected with him too. Necromunda spirit and the face of the approach. Maybe I nailed some icons from Necromunda to Inquisitor rule book. The mental image of the main retinue as the cover art and the different satellite characters and groups as the rich B&W illustrations from inside the book has been an approach that really framed everything and continues to inspire me to make more.

The whole effort thus feels effortless and less an experiment for the sake of experiment.

There are three new models to share. The Chirurgeon. A spherical data extraction unit – in ceramic black that inspired me to revisit the Storm Trooper armor and really elevated that whole trio and tied them to The Baroness.

And a pair of gangers. The first Satellite of the Untold. A Punk Leader and a Worn Pathfinder who’se been to the moons and back. I don’t know if they get friends or if an entirely new spin off satellite emerges next… while I bargain my practice between this flow and diligently building some real terrain and building the Moons to life.

Thank you. And sorry.

-Migs

Migs

18 thoughts on “The Fictive

    1. Thanks Alex. I’ve glossed it with future floor wash, which has a different name these days. Gloss varnish works too. Key is to use plenty of thinner/water to get the thickness down so it’s just a gloss change not a thickness.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. A seriously good read Migs, they are things hard to find and put out as words but extremely necessary. The sort of diluted escapism the hobby represents needs to be tended to reach its ultimate goal of channeling the strange part of imagination. Most importantly not betraying oneself with excuses.

    As for the minis, I really like how they paint the whole picture with just a handful of them. The codex reference is on point.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This read – and the three new minis your thoughts grew out of, and vice versa – leaves me humbled, inspired and so incredibly happy Migs. The read especially. Eloquently wonderful. Maybe it is as much what I read into it, but I sense even a touch melancholy. Definitely no delusion. On the contrary. Thanks!

    You put similar thoughts about what role the hobby plays for me into words. They remind me of an old image of what you call Spaceship Earth. The first image of Earth from afar. Looking back at ourselves on Earth as a pale blue dot ‘suspended in a sunbeam’, as it is so beautifully described by the dearly missed Carl Sagan.

    And here we are, imagining esoteric worlds of wonder far into the future. Maybe to escape at least some of the chores of our daily chores. Or maybe, on the contrary, to cope with them by immersing ourselves in pockets of creativity that puts it all into perspective.

    Thanks man ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I have to agree with FPOA. This is so beautifully written and so much deeper than the average hobby blog post. It speaks to me as well – you have perfectly described what a lot of of feel but can’t articulate. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I really appreciate this thoughtful post; particularly your description of the kind of meditative state the hobby puts you in (and demands from you). I’ll return your self indulgent introspection with some of my own!

    There are a lot of things that keep me coming back to the hobby night after night, but state of flow I get into while making miniatures (particularly while collaging them together) might be the most important. That type of creative state where you are once both completely present and focused and totally open and instinctive, making countless design choices at once without really being consciously aware of any of them . For me, that flow state is a rare way to temporarily step outside my sense of self, a feeling that is both deeply relaxing and exhilarating, and so important in times both good and bad.

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    But let me get back to little toy soldiers, I love your continuing use of different gloss levels. I’ve been doing more with spot acrylic gloss varnishes on top of mostly matte models, and think there’s so much potential for that variable to be really explored. The ceramic look of the drone is wonderful and makes me want to see some space marines who wear power armor that actually looks like it’s made of ceramics/ceramite rather than metal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You described it so well. I often get into this state when painting now too. That’s a huge change. Painting was painful until I got an airbrush and generally flipped the switch about what painting means. Emotion, weather, material feels crystallized… nothing to do with blending or edges…

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  5. Never apologize for being an artist, You doing what you love and shouldn’t feel guilt for it. If it was a commission that would be a different story then, there could be any number of things you might have to apologize for, but ultimately if you are asking for forgiveness it is from those who don’t know or understand what it takes to do what you do. I have a painting I was commissioned 3 years ago that is a a 12×5 foot canvas and I have been fighting with it to go properly for far too long, but as the patron told me “If he could do it himself he would have, he believes I can and is willing to wait till I’m happy with what I have done.” With that kind of work It’s more enjoyment of getting to do it, but is usually less about personal interests, more styles. I have always loved painting 40k stuff because it was stories my brain loved, enjoyed adding to, and building/painting small figures pulled all my energy together into a very small still space which required a lot of muscle control and breathing. Painting a model to me is more meditation and mental decompression than any other art form I work in. I have always been an illustrator first, and a painter second but I can find myself going a year or more without drawing where as more than a week and I get a mental itch without painting. I really appreciate reading other artists musings and thought processes. I love the craft almost as much as the product. I feel old thinking about how long I have followed your work around the internet but always get excited to see it pop up in my feed. I really appreciate your work in mattes, I think that is such a neat change in the world of model painting. Keep it up and all the best.

    Liked by 1 person

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