I have finally finished Mephiston! And what a learning curve he was too. I’ll start off with some pictures and then say what I think!
I am very pleased with the results. In particular the sword. This is the first time I have done multiple blends – dark, to light and back again – on the same weapon and I think it turned out well. It looks smooth and the edges look sharp.
The wings worked well, I am pleased with how the yellow brightens the tips and highlights them too. The freehand on the cloak is some of my best work to date when it comes to freehand and although it took an age, I am sure I would be able to recreate the brocade pattern even better if I were to use it again.
Pipe Bloodletter adds amusement to the piece and I got to use the UV resin mixed with some green wash to create the horrid goo in the pipe with him. I love how that worked out. I am not convinced about the copper pipe itself, but regardless of that, the diorama works.
This is not the Mephiston I will be using on the table top though, he is too big and I do not want him to get damaged. I may have to paint another version of Mephiston in the future, but for now, I am content to just have this one!
As mentioned in a recent post, I have been working on the Mephiston diorama. Many of you know I am a bit of a freehand nut when it comes to cloaks (though I have an idea for a tank brewing) and so I wanted to create something a bit special. I have done galaxy’s and other motifs but this had to be something that pushed my skills, else there would be little point to doing it.
I decided to go with a deep red with a brocade pattern over the top. I am not the best at creating regular shapes, but I tried it anyway. This is how phase one turned out:
To achieve this pattern, I used Khorne red as a base coat and then did some very thin black glazes in the recesses to give the red a bit of depth. I then created the pattern – I may do a tutorial on this sometime in case other people want to give it a go. I used Ushabti bone for this. When it was done, I glazed it down with very thin Khorne red until it looked mroe natural. It took several layers but you can see the difference between the two pictures.
Now, I wasn’t about to stop there. When I painted Mephiston for my friend, I placed a flaming winged blood drop motif on the cloak, so I thought I would do something similar on this one. I also added a brown hem at the bottom. I did think about writing his name on the hem, however the creases in the fabric meant that it wouldn’t look right if I did. Here is the end result:
The billows of the cloak make this rather tricky to photograph properly, and I know this is not finished – he has psyker tubes and the lining to work on as well, but so far, so good!
Before the world went mad, I had planned on creating a diorama of Mephiston fighting a demon – Doonbreed – for a Golden Demon entry. A lot has happened and the event was cancelled. The parts of the diorama have been left in a box mostly forgotten about until the other day. I thought, it might not be for Golden Demon anymore, but it would be a shame to waste the parts I had collected. So I started working on it again last week. Fridays have become my ‘skills’ day – where I try new things and practice existing skills in a way that I am unable to while doing commission work.
Here are some snaps of the mock up:
The idea is that he will be landing on the pipe in order to mess up a horde of demons on the larger base. I want the smaller base to be able to come off in case I get the insane notion of using this large, tall miniature on the tabletop… Yeah, maybe not but the practice of building up a scenic base won’t be a bad thing.
So, next task was to crack on and paint him. He is in sub assembly in order for me to get into the hard to reach spots without making too much of a mess. Here are some of the parts:
I have quite a way to go with this as yet, but I am pleased with the progress. I have also done work on his cloak, but I am saving that for another post as I want to really talk about the process of creating it.
I don’t normally go for special edition releases, but sometimes, you just need to know what happens. I endulged in this one and I was pleasantly surprised. Before I talk about the book itself, I want to show you the extra goodies that came in the box with the book:
In order for the diorama to look how I want it to, I need to make some changes to the miniatures I am using. Most plastic kits are dynamic these days, which makes doing so a little bit tricker, but with a bit of willingness to have a go and see, I have found it to be ok. Admittedly, the changes I am making are fairly small, so until I tackle a larger conversion, I cannot comment.
I started with Mephiston. I needed to make him a hand with the palm out to look like he is creating a force shield with it. I used a couple of different parts for this. One was a hand from a tank driver that I had spare from the Execusioner boxed set. I then used a spare Intercessor arm and matched the two together. I then had to find a leg for Mephiston. He has one, but the other in the kit is hidden behind layers of skirt. In the diorama, he is supposed to be floating in the air, so I stole a leg from an intercessor, carved out a space for it in the skirt part and now he has two legs! Here are his parts layed out – I am not assembling him fully yet because I want to paint some of the parts seperately.
Next was Doom Breed. I am using the demon prince kit for that, and so it was fairly simple to pick the bits I want and assemble them, again in parts. He is described as having a reptilian face with forward facing horns in the short story, so I had to alter the face in order to fit this. All I did was take the horns off one of the head and replace them onto the other. The rest was relatively simple. I know I am going to have to use a bit of greenstuff to fill gaps and smooth lines, but here he is for the time being:
Next will be playing around with liquid resin stuff and that UV torch I picked up at Vapnartak!
So, I finally finished the the Mephiston trilogy and I must say I will be sad to see the end of it. I have thoroughly enjoyed the other tales of Mephiston and friends and the last one in the set was every bit as good. As usual, I will try not to give anything away in the review.
The final tale sees Mephiston, Rhacelus and Antros finally catching up to the demon that has been irritating them for some time. Mephiston, having survived the Primaris embiggening – the rubric that makes him bigger and less likely to lose control of himself and blast anyone who gets too close, finds out that the demon is up to hi-jinks in the Prospero system and asks to go and sort it out.
Dante agreed in a heart-warming scene so long as he takes Rhacelus with him.
What follows is a whirl-wind of events that culminate in a heart-aching scene, which I won’t say about here.
The tale flows very well and contains more interesting characters. We are treated to some wonderful interactions between the three librarians but we are also introduced to some interesting characters from the Imperial Guard. The fellow who survives is far from a two dimensional man who is only there to support the main characters. He has his own goals and works towards them in what must be terrifying situations.
The pace of the tale is good too. I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened and this led to at least one late night. The language is easy to read but not too simple either. It doesn’t distract the reader from what is happening and for me, is very balanced.
I shall miss reading about these Blood Angels, they are responsible for a new army appearing in the cabinet after all. I do hope there will be more adventures around them in the future. Go and read these tales, they are well worth it.
While I was away, Warhammer Fest was announced and therefore Golden Demon too. I want to enter this year after last year’s did not get finished. I underestimated how much time I would need and I was working as a teacher then, so ran out of time.
This year, I want to re-create a scene from one of the Mephiston short stories by David Annandale. In Lord of Death, Mephiston battles a demon prince named Doombreed. I love the scene, especially when he tries to play ‘the floor is lava’ with a demon. There is a lot going on in the scene, and I get a lot of enjoyment out of creating dioramas, so there we are. That is my challenge.
I have a concept sketch, which is silly, full of little notes and ideas, and a basic parts list:
I have a lot to think about, and some parts to source as well. At this stage, I am also open to suggestions as well. It will involve a bit of conversion work, a lot of patience and a great deal of effort as well. Still, it’s not worth doing if it isn’t going to push me to try new things, and it will be worth it regardless!
It did not take me long to chew through this novel – this is a good thing. A very good thing. I picked it up at the Warhammer Open Day and have now finished it, which for me, is good timing. There were a few late nights involved…
So, what’s good about this book?
It’s the second of a trilogy (maybe more I am not Black Library and for once I am fairly up to date with publications). Usually, when it comes to the middle book, they can be a bit slower and filled with more ‘filler’ material. Not so in this case. The synopsis is that Mephiston’s psychic abilities are being stifled by something and in order to find that oh so nasty daemon mentioned in book one, he needs to get that sorted out. Aparrently, it is a bit hard to track a daemon when you can’t ‘see’ it. Who knew. Cut to a planet occupied by some bonkers Necrons and you can probably guess what happens, at least to some extent.
Why was this book good? It has more of the Rhacelus-Mephiston-Antros dynamic which was so good in the first one. The relationship is explored further, pushed further and we learn some of the history there as well. It is gloriously well written, emotive (there might have been tears) and heartwarming in many places. No point is over laboured, but nor is it skimmed. It is well balanced and shows good character development throughout.
It also has crazy Necrons. I confess to not knowing a great deal about these xenos, and still don’t but what I learned, I really liked. It explores an old dynasty and how having a metal body does not always protect the mind! It was great to see how an ‘outsider’ Necron viewed those he had been sent to help. That said, I did wonder if they were a bit too human. I don’t know much about them though, so that might be just me not knowing things!
Another parallel I want to mention is that Mephiston, at one point, is bothered by the dead. Ghosts scream at him while he is trying to do tasks and it becomes quite the distraction. I was reminded how another Space Marine has similar problems with being screamed at *cough Abaddon* and wonder if that was intentional or not.
Anyway, to bring the review to a close. Read this book, its quick paced, full of interested characters and details and brings to life some less than familiar aspects of the Warhammer 40k universe.
A very good friend of mine is a bit of a Mephiston fangirl – no shame in admitting that, he is an awesome character. Happily enough, he has also just had a new miniature (and novel) released and I was only too happy to paint him for her.
I wanted to do something a bit special with him; he is a Christmas present after all, and I wanted to push my skills. There is no point having them if you’re not going to use them. I used layered blending to create depth on the red cloth and armour. I have done this with blue before but not red, so it was good to try it with a new colour.
I then gave my friend some choices about freehand on the cloak. I could do a fancy pattern, the Blood Angels symbol or a galaxy. She went for option number two, and after some discussion, we opted for a flaming blood drop. It was tricky to do and took a while to get right. Symmetry is something I find difficult, so when it turned out how it did, I was most pleased.
Enough of my waffling on about it though, here he is in all his red glory: