Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Quick and Easy Vraksian Psyker Battle Squad
As I said, the obvious conversion base for a Psyker Battle squad, are the Empire Flagellants. Even if I was going to create an imperial unit, I would still use these models as a base. The filthy cloaks, tattered wrappings and zealous standards all depict a devout group of single-minded fanatics.
Like all of the squad leaders in my collection, I knew I would use a Forgeworld Enforcer model to shepard the psychic mutants into battle. As for the psychic choir itself, I used the basic flagellant body, with a Beastman Ungor head. I removed the melee weapon held in the left hand, and replaced it with a lasgun from the Cadian Command sprue; again, from bits sellers. Lastly, I hung a few sparse totems and fetishes from the standards, to give the appearance of a savage, almost tribal superstition.
Next, I made sure all nine psykers in thew squad were carrying some sort of text-topped staff. I did wind up ordering a few more book/parchment topped staffs from a bits dealer, but the cost was marginal. I have always found it appealing when a model is displaying some sort of written material. Perhaps it is my job as a high school English teacher that gives me a kinship for those who would be roused by the written word, or perhaps it is just the opportunity to paint-in obscene drawings. Regardless, the idea of "men" so moved by a written text, that they would carry it to battle in a manner to be pointed at the enemy, like a weapon, truly inspires me. Now naturally, the next question is, what will the texts say?
I have the two original "Realms of Chaos" books, and combined they offer a fairly comprehensive cipher for piecing together bits of "chaotic language". While it is tempting to try and write actual bits of verse on each standard, I think that the size of the model limits my already minimal freehand ability. That said, I imagine each sheet of parchment to contain one large rune, surrounded by smaller text represented by the oft maligned "squiggly line" imitation of too-small-to-read sentences. I typically achieve this look, by basing the parchment in bleached bone, then writing my text on with a sharpie micro-point pen. Once dry, I wash the whole parchment with a sepia tone, or an ogryn flesh ink. This is important, as it removes the iridescent and oily sheen the sharpie pen can leave behind. While this takes care of the "how", the "what" remains a mystery.
Should I use a large rune on each sheet to spell out something obscene when the unit stands together (Give me an F)? Should I simply spell out a name or location from my army's background? I have yet to decide. I am open to suggestions!
Oh yes, I hope this picture is of a higher quality than Monday's. I have continued to fiddle with the lighting and camera settings, as well as explore photoshop.com and Picasa. A big Thank You goes out to this week's episode of The Gamer's Lounge for the insight they offered concerning digital photography, and at-home light-box work.
That's all for now. I must retire to my studio, where I have thousand year old curses to inscribe...