måndag, september 17, 2007

Each journey starts with one small step

Allrighty, I've finally gotten this blasted camera to working condition. Ish. So, I thought I'd show you my the first little step on the way in this project. To the right, you can see the first "draft" sculpt of my first Praetorian Private. So far it's not much to look at, and some of those who've dabbled with fotographing miniatures should know how painfully well a photograph can show the flaws on a miniature. It also has some minor flaws and less-than-satisfacory areas that are going to be removed and redone. There is no room for a bleeding heart in the savage world of miniature scultping. Or something.

All that aside, as far as a first step goes, I think this is a rather good one. Those familiar with the Praetorian models from the GW line may notice a subtle diffrence in that the "skirt" is a fair bit longer than on those models. This is delibirate. Honestly. I've decided that since I'm going to be building my own models anyhow I might as well take some liberties with the concept. Rather than letting my praetorians remain as Mordian Iron Guard with headswaps, I intend to take this concept closer to the source, so to speak.

For those who don't know Praetorians were originally made by Games Workshop because someone had watched the film "Zulu" and decided that mordians with Pith Helmets, painted red, were the coolest thing ever. Or something like that. Now, I belive the film Zulu is about the Battle of Rorke's Drift, a battle which was fought in the Anglo-Zulu War. The war in itself is rather interesting, but I won't go into details here. Indeed, the only reason I brought it up was so that I could point out that although the Games Workshop Praetorian models aren't very alike the original british uniforms, apart from the colours and the pith helmets. Apart from the obvious shortage of lasguns and Imperial Iconography, british soldiers didn't have epaulettes, and they didn't wear double-breasted jackets. They did, however, have some other smart details on their sleeves and some nice belts, straps and bayonette sheaths/scabbards and a lot of pouches(for reasons I haven't quite figured out yet).
Now, I like to model details. To me the obvious approach to this is to use everything I can, and refer to artistic licence if anyone complains. So, my models are going to have epaulettes, imperial iconography, double-breasted uniforms, belts, pouches, bayonette sheaths and anything else that I might come up with. This is going to be great! Will it be better than the original paetorians? No clue!

Oh, and while we're talking about modelling details in semi-accordance with the historical british gear, here's a little thing I made the other day, and boy am I proud of it. This is what's going to be my Praetoria Pattern Lasgun. The reason it's so long in comparison to other lasguns is actually due to a mistake on my part. When I started making them I had only found one or two pictures of the guns used by the british soldiers in the Anglo-Zulu war, and those pictures were dramatic paintings in which their rifles looked like a cross-breed between a gun and a spear. Since then I've found some pictures of the acctual guns and concluded that that was just Artistic Licence and that in reality their guns were about lagun-length, bayonettes notwithstanding. I have, however, grown too attached to my longer versions to consider butchering it for historcal quasi-accuracy.

So, now I've proven that I actually have something to show for this project apart from a lot of fancy ideas. I'll throw in another update as soon as I have something new to show.


söndag, september 16, 2007

The Grand Design

Allrighty, for those of you who don't know, this is what this project is all about and how it got started;

A couple of years ago, when I first started playing Warhammer 40k, I discovered the Praetorian models on the Games Workshop webpage. I loved the style of the models, feeling that they were a nice break the otherwise so grim and emo-ish 40k universe. I quickly came to the conclustion that being unable to pose the models would just drive me mad, accustomed as I were to working with plastic models. And then, it struck me; maybe I could use this lack of variation, and make a "thing" out of it. Suddenly the answer lay before me like some great... lying thing: I could construct an entire army using only two models; One praetorian standing and firing, and one praetorian on a knee and firing. These would then be organized into squads with 5 of each, and placed in close order with the standing ones behind the croutching ones. It was going to look awsome.

Now, I guess you can all guess what discouraged me, by then nothing but teen without a job; The cost. The army i had in mind would cost me about £500 to complete, at least, and that was money I just couldn't see myself aquring, and certainly not spending on something that at the time was nothing more than a funny "what-if?" scenario. So, I forgot all about it for a while. A pretty long while. Some years.

Then, not a month before the present day, a man at my local gaming hangout mentioned a casting-project he'd talked to me about, and how funny it would've been to make an entire army out of a single Mordian Iron Guard-model. That brought my praetorian dreams back to the surface, as vividly as ever before. But now I had the tools to make the army. Not money(turns out just having a job doesn't really make you have money), but skill and ideas of how to pull it through.

My first idea was to buy one of each of the required models from Games Workshop and cast copies of them. This would by far be the most convienient, but I decided against it on account of not wanting to breaking any laws. As far as I've understood, the Games Workshop legal department can be a harsh mistress, and I would like to be able to show my army on the Interblarg and maybe a tournament or two. So natrually, option two came to mind;
Building one of each of the required models in greenstuff and cast copies of them. This became what I decided to run with, so now the project is not only a way to make a fun gimmick-army, but also a way for me to prove myselfs a a sculptor. I also decided that two models weren't really that feasable, and I've since then expanded the concept to contain about nine diffrent models, ranking from ordinary guardsman to Sergant to Heroic Senior Officer.

So, that's the plan. That's what this blog is about, at least at the moment. It's about sculpting 9+ models to the best of my ability, and casting an army of just those nine models.

I'll update as soon as I get my hands on a camera, and I'll show y'all some purty pictures.
Wish me luck!