An introduction (of sorts).

Why start a blog to keep track of my intermittent and sporadic endeavors in miniature painting? Well, in a way, I already have - or at least did. Sort of. I've had the Tears of Isstvan blog for some time, although it existed in a different format and served another purpose (in spite of it's GW IP name). Coupled with this, I'd been keeping a small blog of a WHFB army on the forum of a gaming club that I'm on the committee of and have been helping to run in sunny London town, where I have the (mis)fortune to call home.

Most recently, though, I've been living vicariously through a couple of different miniatures blogs - most notably the excellent, recently launched, blog of Mikael Silvanto (aka - 'Migsula from Dakka'), which you can see here. A few people that also visit this blog have asked if I keep a blog of my own, to which I had to keep answering 'no, uhm, maybe I should', and rather than continually clog up Migsula's comments fields with my incessant, tangential witterings, I thought I'd give it a go, perhaps with the vain hope that it'll force me to concentrate on things a little more than I have been doing.

Aside from this desire for focus, I genuinely believe that miniature painting is entering into something of a golden age: there's been a peak in technical accomplishment achieved by certain exceptional painters, a style espoused by CMON, Golden Daemon, 'Eavy Metal and Crystal Brush, alongside other miniature painting competitions. However, this style can be something of a straight-jacket and seemed to be slowly becoming the 'correct' way to paint miniatures. Away from this, though, there's been a palpable shift in attitudes towards this style, and there's a distinctive group of painters really engaging critically with miniature painting: Migsula and Jakob Rune Nielsen being at the forefront of my mind, and of course, the extraordinary John Blanche, father of this criticality and a personal painting hero and enormous inspiration.

I've been massively inspired by the surge in 28mm Inquisition conversions I've been witnessing online, too. Primarily because the Inquisition has been my main focus within 40k modelling, and I'd always just been merrily pootling along, bulding my own Conclaves in 40k scale, without really being aware that other people were doing the same thing. As a former Catholic, I've always had a real obsession with the darkly gothic theological-politico supra-institution that the Inquisition represents in the 40k mythos, and feel that it lies at the very centre of that mythos, like a dark heart.

I wanted to keep a blog to showcase my own endeavors in investigating this institution (and various others) and to engage with miniature painting and conversion, and also to ruminate on some of the other aspects of the hobby that fascinate me: I have a tendency to get a bit wordy, and I take the hobby very seriously - to some, I no doubt seem thoroughly pretentious, but there's no disingenuity there, this is all born from sincerity.

The original Tears of Isstvan blog was a scrap-book of certain images that I'd discovered online or elsewhere that were of some kind of inspiration to me, and that I'd wanted to keep together for easy reference (kind of a proto-tumblr, if you like, although with less pornography). The images weren't necessarily Games Workshop or hobby related but came from a variety of sources: I work as a visual artist and tend to gather images and inspiration from many different places, some of which directly influence my miniatures, some of which doesn't, but I'll probably post things up from time to time if I like the look of them - so please indulge me if I post up an image that seems unrelated to anything at all.

Finally, I run a Dark Heresy campaign for a few members of the wargaming club I'm a member of. Every now and then, I'll post a narrative that I've written for that.

Anyway, that's enough of an introduction for now, I think. Onwards!

8 comments:

  1. Great introduction. Thanks for the kind words and good luck with the blog! I'll do a linkage soon to hopefully draw you some readers :)

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  2. Yep migs link worked , nice introduction, will we be seeing any of your own work on here also ?

    I have to agree that there are many great convertors if not necessarily painters , and the creativity in this particular sub genre of 40k is very exciting, i take it you are also a fan of the wonderful tears of envy blog?

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  3. Cool! A new blog! I'll keep my eyes on this one! :D

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  4. Thanks Migs and Malika - and Migs, thanks for the plug. Aficionado indeed! Build me up, why don't you?

    Neil, yep, the blog will primarily be for my own miniatures, but will frequently meander here and there.

    I recently started following the Tears of Envy blog: I came across it a short while ago whilst performing one of my fairly regular internet trawls for John Blanche's work, and then again after picking up a copy of Black Scorpion's Cutlass! system. It's a very interesting blog. The similarity of the name is entirely coincidental, though.

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  5. Hey Fulgrim , i wanted to talk to you about your theories of where you think this golden age of mini painting is heading, ? I look around and i see that model making and painting as a hobby is by far a lot more conservative than many other creative fields. By conservative i would clarify that a certain style of painting has emerged over the years , taking heavy metals purist clean lines as the only way to paint , or rather the correct way to paint. Now i agree that the stunning accomplishments of these artist are to be lauded , but i struggle my self to find my own style within this uber clean world . My style being a very loose almost dirty and unfinished look , reminiscent of an blanche painting without the originality ;-)

    whilst i agree that i think the painting has reached its zenith, i also doubt that the community as a whole would accept the more more daring work that is out their without thinking it is sub standard because it is different. Its heartening to see work around that espouses these ideals though, as this is where the true genius of creative originality lays.

    I guess by its nature miniature painting is a subset of either historical gaming or sci ci / fantasy gaming, And any digression from these canonical ideas will take the genre into new territory and anything new is always shunned for a while.

    For me a really creative army or miniature would combine elements of skill along with a new idea as a frame work to house it in. As much as we all enjoy the fantastic art work, Gw minis and the fantastic gothic settings they espouse ,i doubt any real creativity can emerge whilst still remaining under their IP banner. Its for this reason i have set up a blog also away from dakka dakka and the overtly stifling influence gw can have on creativity , of course i will still enjoy creating works within the established settings of gw and enjoying the familiarity that the viewers will have when i create such pieces, i cant help thinking its time to shake things up a bit , and embrace new ideas and fresh perspectives . maybe even a little humour.

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  6. Hey Neil,

    Sorry - I'm not ignoring your comment, it just deserves a proper response. I'll try and draft one this evening.

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  7. Hi T.
    Great introductory postings. I've decided to read through all this stuff from old to new, because I'm awkward like that.

    Good times.

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