+ Common Core Concepts +

Thursday, April 13, 2017

+ inload: Posing for effect +

+ conceptinload: Visual contrast – the Brotherhood of the Nine Winds +

+ The events of Little Horus, my favourite bit of Horus Heresy literature, focus on Dwell, where the Sons of Horus are assaulting a planet called Dwell, defended by a group of Iron Hands along with a few waifs and strays from other Legions – the prototypical 'Shattered Legions'. +

+ Alongside my Iron Hands (above), I'm planning to include a few White Scars – they have a prominent role in the Little Horus story, and they're a great opportunity to create some contrasts and visual interest in the army. +

+ Creating character through posing +

+ When approaching things like this, it's best to plan, test and refine. It would have been relatively easy to simply build the White Scars in the same way as the other marines, and give them a different paint scheme. This would have given a certain visual cohesiveness to the group (i.e. the army), but that's not what I'm after for this. I want the army to look like it's made up of slightly off-kilter bits – to look broken and reforged. +

+ To achieve this, I want to make sure that the different groups – Iron Hands, White Scars and others – have their own distinct look. For the Iron Hands, I've gone with solid, slow and heavy visual cues:

The Immortal

+ The example above is rigid, unyielding, loaded down with equipment. Even their postures are generally simple triangles – wide base for the legs, going up to a central point (the head). Together with fairly neutral poses, they look reactionary rather than dynamic. +

+ Contrast this with a (WIP) White Scar from the Nine Winds: 

+ Despite being made from very similar components, there's much more of a sense of fluidity and movement in this figure. The eyes is led around the curves, and the centre of gravity is higher. Less massive pauldrons (I've used rimless and cutaway pads) help to create a faster, more streamlined look. While the curved blade and Legion helm are distinctive and important, I hope that the effect would have been obvious even without these identifiers – they should act to magnify the result rather than as a crutch to create it. +

+ As a better illustration, have a look at the White Scar on the left of the image below. He doesn't use any of the techniques I've described above: he's got the same neutral pose and heavy pauldrons of the Iron Hands; and he lacks any White Scars-specific components. As a result, even when he's painted in the Scars' legion colours, he's going to be more anonymous and less eye-catching. +

+ This suits me well as the chap on the left is destined to be part of a mixed squad – an individual recon marine seconded into a remnant team – so he needs to fit in a little more to avoid the visuals being too disjointed. The White Scar on the right, meanwhile, is a Legion veteran who will be part of a dedicated White Scar killteam, so he gets the 'full works'. +

+ Building the White Scar +

+ The model is based – perhaps surprisingly – on a set of Death Guard legs, which are in motion. I think they're from the Grave Wardens, but I can't be sure as I bought them as bits. I've trimmed away the chainmail loincloth (this lowers the centre of visual gravity and is also diagnostic of the Death Guard, so it had to go to 'sell' the figure as something else) and sculpted a new codpiece. The torso is a Grey Knight Terminator torso carved down and resculpted, and the arms and hands are drawn from various plastic kits. The pauldron you see above is a Grey Knight Terminator one. I like the cutaway for the White Scar, as it suggests the armour is lighter, more open and better suited to the Legion when compared with the massive reinforced bulk of the pads I use for my Ultramarines, Iron Warriors and Iron Hands, for example. +

+ The sword is a trimmed-down eldar Wraithguard blade. The pauldron visible here is from the standard Terminator kits – I trimmed off the lower 'nubbin' and used a sharp knife to carve two horizontal lines across the pad, dividing it into thirds. I then used green stuff to build up a ridge above each line, and an angled file to create a gradient below. This creates the impression of the pad being made up of interconnected hoops. +

 + The result is (hopefully) a figure that looks in motion from any angle. Note that the open hand, head and trailing foot are all pointing in the same direction. Having his face mirror his forefoot would have created more of a sense of a full-on run or charge; I wanted him to look nimble and responsive rather than berserk. +


  1. Very thoughtful posing on the models and it is great to hear your thoughts behind them. It is neat how you take each part of the model and think of the best bits to get the job done, and then hack those bits apart anyway :-)

  2. Ta very much. I tend to view everything as just coming from the hobby budget – they're just models at the end of the day, whatever label they've got. Whether I'm putting a model together from household scraps or chopping up 'limited' stuff, it's all grist to the mill :)


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