Monday 31 December 2012

13 rooks

Christmas time has been hectic for me and most of my days have flown by with work, family and other projects. Sadly only a small amount of FPOA time, which means that I am a bit behind on my Melancholia Project and the Ecclesiarchy Echo Priest.

Today, on the last day of the year, I went walking in a local wood with my family. At some point we came to a gathering of 13 empty rooks nests in some tall trees. A very fitting number, which reminded me of a book I am reading at the moment, Wildwood - A Journey Through Trees by late Roger Deakin. He writes of rooks that they in the gaity of their hearts attempt to sing, but with no great success:

Most of the old bird-books attempt some version of 'rude harmony', 'sweet thunder' or 'musical discord', but I prefer to think of their utterances as conversation, or the roughest of folksong. Rooks speak in the strongest of country burrs. They are rasping, leathery, parched, raucous, hoarse, strangled, deep-throated, brawling, plaintive, never reticent and, like all good yokels, incomprehensible. No doubt you could play a dead rook like a bagpipe, all drone and no melody. (Deakin, 2007)

FPOA is partly inspired by Echospace drone and I like the idea of Deakins rook drone. Related as they are. 

I look forward to share with you in 2013 more of my miniature stuff and what is for me closely related to this; weather, music, landscapes, walks.

Take care and all the best for the coming evening. See you next year.

Wednesday 28 November 2012

I see not!

The Ecclesiarchy Echo Priest is well underway but some days ago I coincidentally stumbled upon a perfect addition to my Melancholia Project while rumaging through my precious metals.

A blindfolded Cherub from a SoB cape, which fits perfectly into the theme of the Melancholia Project. 

In the Melancholia Project there is now three minis (excluding a servo skull). Paradoxically the only one capable (or allowed) to see "properly" is the blind Navigator who kindly has assisted in blindfolding his servants.

It reminds me somewhat of Calvino's Invisible Cities and the city of Zemrude where ones "gaze will be held on the ground, in the gutters, the manhole covers, the fish scales, wastepaper,"  and further that:

For everyone, sooner or later, the day comes when we bring our gaze down along the drainpipes and we can no longer detach it from the cobblestones. The reverse is not impossible, but it is more rare: and so we continue walking through Zemrude's streets with eyes now digging into the cellars, the foundations, the wells. (Calvino, 1972)

I imagine the Navigator so convinced about himself seeing the right things that his gaze is slowly becoming detached from the divine light of the God Emperor.

Tuesday 20 November 2012

=][= Ecclesiarchy Echo Priest Part II

I have done some more modelling on the =][= Ecclesiarchy Echo Priest.

Added some more flowing robes in order to really capture the sense of him flying. I am working on a single servo skull which will assist him. 

Next up some final touches before the paintjob; thin wires, more work on the robes and some parchment/seals here and there.

Sunday 18 November 2012

=][= Ecclesiarchy Echo Priest Part I

In between painting my Melancholia Project - where I am now almost done with the blindfolded servant - I do other stuff.

The current project being an =][= Ecclesiarchy Echo Priest. A concept of my own devising inspired by Migsulas wonderful Mirror Master as well as referencing the title of my blog, which in turn is inspired by a wonderful Echospace track.

I imagine Ecclesiarchy Echo Priests as part of a million strong choir spanning star systems echoing the dying voices of uncountable God Emperor devotees. Where the Navigator of my Melancholia I project is a beacon of sight, an Ecclesiarchy Echo Priest is a beacon of sound!

Hissing, analogue, mechanical, vox-com sound echoing a thousand dying souls each. In the words of Michel Serres (read it while thinking of Migs Mirror Master too):

”We resonate with echoes and rhymes. Robinson [Crusoe] visited a desolate valley, a narrow gorge which threw back the last word of the verse he had uttered aloud: ’my soul’, ’my soul’, ’my soul’, repeated until silence, the multiplying mirror of his cogito." (Michel Serres, 1985)

The only thing touching the ground will be the staff. I will do some Servo Skulls assisting in carrying the priest and staff. Also add some more flowing robes, cables, wires and Purity Seals.

Monday 5 November 2012

=I= paint

=I= admit it. I havent been painting much for years.

But I have more or less finished one third of my Melancholia I project. The Navigator is as good as done. Next up are the two other parts of the project; servant and base. When all three parts are done I will go over the Navigator again to touch up on seals (highlights), reds and probably some more layers of glazing on the robe/skin.

As he is the main character of the project (maybe!) I wanted him to be very white-ish and pale so that he really stands out from the servant as well as the dark base I am building.

Although almost hunchbacked I like the tall slim shape of the main character together with the hunched, almost crawling, one-legged, ball-carrying servant. I also like how both are using a staff/crutch as a reference to C.D. Friedriechs Wanderer above the Sea of Fogs.

Inspired by JRNs post on reads I have added a picture of two of my current reads (Ravenor the Omnibus was at the bed table when I took the shot): Gardens by Robert Pogue Harrison and =I= Sketchbook by Blanche...the latter serves as a perfect backdrop for photo-shoots, the first is just a beautiful take on gardens and the vocation of care.

Friday 2 November 2012

=I= see

I am almost done with the paintjob of the Imperial Navigator himself and will continue with the small servant. I will share the first series of pictures in my next post. Before I do that I thought I would let you in on some more of the inspiration for the project.

Wanderer above the Sea of Fog (1818, Hamburg Kunsthalle) by Casper David Friedrich. 

A wonderful piece of art, which illustrates how the mysticism practised by the poets and painters of the time, the like of Friedrich, is closely linked to melancholy and the paradoxical sensation of being alone, lost, surrounded by weather in a dim lit world and at the same time seeing everything more clear.

Is the wanderer above the sea of fog in control of the landscape unfolding beneath him? Or is he rather truly lost in the fog?

Questions which are relevant for the Navigator as well, as he - gazing over the swirling and foggy warp sea - may loose himself on his stra=I=ght path using the warp as his medium (see Rogue Trader, 162).

Tuesday 23 October 2012


I recently saw Melancholia by the Danish film maker Lars von Trier:

I really liked Melancholia. Not only because of the extraordinarily beautiful images but also because of the paradoxes of melancholy hinted at by Trier. Being both a mental as well as bodily state. Both life envigorating and life destroying. Both capable of being harnessed and uncontrollable.

As I believe I am a practising melancholic at times I thought that kickstarting with Triers Melancholia would be a fitting first post on FPOA. It really intruigues me. I guess there is a fine line between romantiscism and melancholy and in a brilliantly twisted way both play an important role in the artwork of the dystopian and beautiful worlds of Warhammer - as it does for Trier in Melancholia:

Well, it’s hard to smuggle in a bit of ugliness. So I think the film is slightly on the edge of plastic. Here and there. (Lars von Trier, 2011)

I read Triers statement as a hint towards melancholy as a physical state of the body being able to be incorporated as a key element in miniatures. Balancing ugliness and the edge of plastic. I come to think of the book The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton (first published 1621).

With reference to Triers Melancholia, The Anatomy of Melancholy as well as some important artworks by Blanche and Casper David Friedrich I am working on a 40K Inquisitor Navigator (based on a converted sculpt by the talented hands of Danish sculptor Tue Kaa) and a blindfolded servant (based on a converted Mordheim Dreg).

This piece is my first FPOA Project: Melancholia I. I look forward to it!