Sunday, 24 June 2018

A Knight, Death and the Devil

It is funny how the next diversion, or impulse buy, can seemingly come from nowhere.  A chance comment left on one of the many notable weblogs that I enjoy alerted me to the fact that ‘Antediluvian Miniatures’ were to have a Kickstarter.  My curiosity was piqued, for not only is my weakness for indulging in crowd funding hobbyness well documented, but ‘Antediluvian Miniatures’ are also the purveyors of some rather fine ‘Lost World’ related miniatures; but gentle reader, these were not dinosaurs but demons!  Taking mediaeval manuscripts as their inspiration the plan was to produce a host of demonic denizens of the dark, along with the usual stretch goals, to unearth all manner of ungodly creatures.
Always looking to justify an expenditure*, I squared this unusual purchase away as possible material for my Witchfinder General project.  The idea of battling demons across England’s green and pleasant land seemed to fit well with the ethos of a game that continues to hold my interest.  Exploring the rich and diverse folklore of the country continues to provide a rich vein of inspiration and the recent investigation of Donnybrook as a more accessible rule set have continued to see time, and pocket money invested, in the project.
*It helps me sleep at night.
 There has always been a fascination with the macabre, the oh so Gothic or the downright terrifying; not, you understand, to any worrying level, but a genuine fascination as to how evil has been depicted through the centuries.  As a budding art student young Master Awdry would stare in wonderment at Piranesi’s inescapable prisons or marvel at Dore’s illustrations for Dante's Divine Comedy, but it was the complexity of Albrecht Dürer’s etchings that really stirred my imagination.
Imagine my delight when I discovered that one of stretch goals ‘Antediluvian Miniatures’ was proposing was a Demon Prince, inspired by the etching, ‘A Knight, Death and the Devil’.  This virtuoso engraving by Dürer depicts a lone knight riding through a threatening, desolate landscape all the time stalked by Death and a hellish abomination.  Created in, and around, 1513 here is an image that is packed full of ominous symbolism, evocative of the 23rd Psalm, ‘Though I walk through the shadow of the valley of death, I will fear no evil’ (Psalms 23:4).

As for the miniature itself, it was beautifully cast in white metal, but is made up of five constituent parts!  I have to confess that I find this much assembly a bit of a chore, but decided to persevere because of my love of the subject matter and ultimately glad that I did.  I pinned the arm and tail, but not the wings as they seemed to have a sufficient amount of cast lugs to make the join secure.**  The difficulty came with deciding on a colour palette, after all Dürer’s etchings are all black and white!
**I may ultimately regret this decision.
A little web based research unearthed some suitable reference material and I was fortunate to also find a painted version on the company’s website that acted as an invaluable source of inspiration.  The application of the paint also saw a bit of a departure from my usual approach.  I have been watching more of the talented Sorastro's painting tutorials on Youtube.  There are a number on painting zombies for Zombicide: Black Plague using base colours and Quickshade, so I thought that I would give this a go.  I have to confess that I was a little sceptical, particularly when it came to covering my carefully painted miniature with what looks like wood stain, but lo and behold, it works!

42 comments:

  1. What a wonderful piece Michael, the painting looks excellent, but a model that you have a use for, and has such deep meaning for you is priceless

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    1. Thank you Dave, great to get this one done and a good excuse to go and look at some quality artwork.

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  2. Excellent find Michael, and you've done a brilliant modelling and painting job on him.
    I've been looking for a suitable "Devil" for WfG ever since I watched "The Devils Whore" on dvd.

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    1. That you and now I need to go and check out that DVD, sounds intriguing.

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  3. Nice conversion. Suitably horrible and at the same time Sympathy inducing. Just as it should be!

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    1. It is a funny creation with his animal head and lop sided horn.

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  4. Fab. Do like a bit of the macabre

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    1. Thank you and I couldn't agree more.

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    1. They are a wonderfully bizarre group of miniatures.

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  6. really lovely work Michael, nice to see a demon/devil that is not 30ft tall and covered in spikes! (GW has a lot to answer for!).

    Careful with the quickshade though, once you get a taste for it, it can be addictive! I use it on just about everything now.

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Thank you Roger and I know what you mean about the dip! The trick seems to be not to let the stuff pool and make everything too dark.

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  7. What a great looking figure Sir M!

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    1. Thank you Ray, great fun to do too.

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    1. Thank you Jay, it is a bit of a leap of faith though.

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  9. The devil is in the detail Michael and you have done a wonderful job once again.

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  10. Oh, my what a wonderfully scary character, Michael! He kind of reminds me, in a good way, of that P.A.G.A.N. scene in Dragnet (with Dan Aykroyd) :)

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    1. Don't forget your goat leggings! :D

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  11. That mini is as disturbing as its paint-job is excellent - which just goes to show how utterly unnerving a beast it is, Michael :-)

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    1. Thank you so much Simon, now looking to see what else I can dip! :)

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  12. Awesome looking beast, Michael. Superbly painted as always.

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  13. That‘s definitely an absolutely awesome paint job on a worthy miniature. Really love to follow your flights of fancy Michael. Have you ever tried industrial grade super glue? It‘s some rather expensive stuff (20€ for a small bottle) but ever since I switched to that stuff I haven’t had a single breakage. A word of warning though: If you‘re as prone as I‘m to gluing your fingers together with super glue: It‘s even worse with industrial grade glue... last time really hurt badly I tell you.

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    1. Thank you Nick. I haven't tried industrial strength superglue, but tempted to give it a go on your recommendation. I recently switched to superglue gel, which I find easier to use though.

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  14. That's a bit cool. Nicely painted too.

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  15. Very nice work, Michael. I did see that range by Antediluvian and thought of your WFG games. And interestimg rhat you should mention Donnybrook, as I've been looking over those rules recently as a potential set for using in my Ravenloft games. I know they're mainly historical in concept, but the witch(?) Faction does offer some interesting alternatives to standard pike and shot rules.

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    1. Thank you Jez, if truth be told I haven't got past enjoying the pictures! The Cultist faction certainly caught my eye and the idea that it should be fun is definitely a plus.

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  16. Inspired job once again, he looks superb and scary!

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    1. You are very kind Phil, thank you.

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  17. Nice figure. Very evocative!

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  18. Great miniature (and quick-shading), one that can probably be used in more than just your "Witchfinder" project. I immediately though of Evil Cultist (20th century) as I 'd thought it a man with headress rather than a demon!

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  19. You find the oddest miniatures Michael, which oft leads to a lighter wallet for me. Thanks for continuing to show me all the things I would otherwise miss.

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  20. Not so nice character but very nice paintjob.

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  21. The Problem with Durer Pictures...the devil´s in the Detail.

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  22. Great work on a unique piece Michael.

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  23. What a wonderful miniature. I absolutely like the medieval depicting of demons over their fantasy counterparts.
    Brilliant paintjob Michael.

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