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!