+ Common Core Concepts +

Thursday, October 16, 2014

+ inload: Interpreting artwork into miniature +


+ The First Expedition is a forum that focusses on the Horus Heresy, a fictional civil war to determine the fate of the future galaxy. They're running a competition to create in miniature a version of a piece of Horus Heresy-themed artwork. +

+ To a degree, the idea of recreating models that more closely followed the artwork is what led to the Praetors of Calth project in the first place; allowing me to interpret images like this:
Visions of Heresy
...into miniatures like this:


+ However, there's a difference between using artwork as inspiration, and actively trying to recreate the artwork as accurately as possible. I have tried this in the past in two dimensions, with a banner based on John Blanche's fantastic Eternity Gate artwork: 
Click for a bigger version – the banner's in the lower left-hand corner.

+ If my mem-banks don't fail me, there was an explanation in White Dwarf magazine that the countless serried banners were honoured relic from long-disbanded/destroyed armies of the Emperor, built up over 10,000 years – a wonderfully gothic conceit! I liked it so much that I built it into the Praetors of Calth as a little nod:


+ This obviously required a little interpretation – the whole banner isn't shown, and I wanted to tie it into the Ultramarines. However, it wasn't overly complex to interpret a two-dimensional image into another two-dimensional image. The same can't be said for miniatures, which are three-dimensional and proportioned very differently from the artwork. However, I did have a go at turning John Gravato's cool artwork Techmarine Arius (again from the Visions of Heresy artbook), into a miniature:


+ This was a really fun challenge, and a good test to see whether the altered proportions I'd done for my marines worked with the proportions of the artwork. Here's the result:

+ It's not a perfect replica due to my lack of skill, and also necessary compromises to use existing pieces to create the model. However, I think it successfully evokes the idea of the artwork, and has enough ideintifable features – the pose, the helmet, the cogged and clawed backpack etc. – to make it recognisable. This is what I call finding the iconic elements. If you have enough of them, you can play quite fast and loose with details, while still reminding people of the original. +

+ While I'm writing about the Arius figure, I'd like to point out a couple of bits – the the streetlamp on the base. The original artwork has a powerful light source behind it; and I thought adding a streetlamp here would serve two purposes – creating a light source on the miniature, and simultaneously create a strong, solid piece that would help protect the model from gaming wear-and-tear.+ 

+ This miniature was also a good opportunity to try a little trompe-l'oeil – the hoops that make up the armour segments are just painted on. I think I'd do a better job of it these days, but I remember feeling very pleased with it at the time. Models like this – one-offs that for one reason or another you spend more time thinking about and trying new things out on – are a great opportunity to stretch yourself, and are very rewarding. +

+ Coming back to The First Expedition's contest, I'm having another go at recreating a bit of artwork. Since the contest doesn't end until the end of the month, here's a little silhouette teaser.+


+ Have you ever tried your hand at turning an artwork into a figure – or perhaps the other way round? +

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