Monday, November 22, 2010

The Blue Scribes, and Why You Should Study the Product Range

As I worked towards completing my Chaos Daemons army, I began to run into the problem of having to create models that do not exist.  I knew this was going to take quite a bit of putty, pinning, paint and bits orders.
As described in Codex:  Chaos Daemons, The Blue Scribes are a very entertaining unit to bring to the gaming table.  I like the idea of two bickering daemons, sent on the impossible task of cataloging every single magical spell in the universe.  I would have loved to have modeled the unit with a trail of fluttering pages and parchments, to represent the constant uphill-battle they face in trying to categorize something with the infinite and ever-changing  nature as magic.  There is something very Sisyphean about the whole ordeal.

Creating this model, I had a very clear base to start from.  The two Horrors were easy enough, as I had a bag of dozens and dozens of metal Horrors to choose from.  Once I found two that seemed to complement each other, I began to work out just where on the back of the Screamer to place the models .  I noticed that the added weight of the Horrors was going to off-set the balance of the Screamer, so I wound up extending the tail in an effort to alter the center of gravity, and stabilize the creation.  I used some putty to wrap the extended portion of the tail, which was easy to sculpt into the twisting tendons that encircles the Screamer's tail.

Next, I needed to make sure the Horrors were truly representative of scribes and librarians; but how was I to do that?  If you have listened to my segment with The 11th Company, you know I advocate familiarizing yourself with the entirety of the Games Workshop product range.  More than just an interesting catalog of images, knowing what bits exist can really come in handy when it comes time to create a unique conversion.  As I have stated previously, I have always loved models that are holding scrolls and books, as I have a personal affection for the power of the written word.  With some pinning and some putty, I was able to apply both a Plague Monk's scroll, as well as a Plague Monk's book to my conversion.  Lastly, into the fist of one of the scribes, I stuck an Empire Pistolier's helmet feather, to represent a quill.

After painting the model to completion, I used a sharpie micro-tip pen to write some squiggly lines into the book, and onto the scroll.  Naturally, I made sure the writing in the book only went up to where the quill was.  This writing was followed by a thin wash of gryphonne sepia, to remove the oily and iridescent sheen of the marker.  Actually, I used several different brown inks, to make the books and scroll appear to have different types of paper in them.  Now, when you look at the model very close up, like in the picture above, the writing appears to be far too large, and in conflict with the scale of the model.  I must say however, that in a normal viewing environment, such as in a display case or on a gaming table, the scale is not an issue.

I hope that this explanation of my build was useful.  I also hope you begin to understand why I so frequently wax poetic on the virtues of familiarizing ones-self with the GW catalogue.  Now I know some people will be thinking that many other miniatures companies provide similar, and sometimes far more interesting bits to what GW currently has to offer.  I have no counter argument to this.  It's true; by sticking to GW bits, I am in some ways limiting myself.  While I could argue that I do so in an effort to create "sanctioned tournament legal" models, I would be lying.  I just take a sick sense of pride in building only from GW product.  Sure, my bases are from Dragonforge , but then GW does not provide a competing product, blank slottabases aside.  I have chosen my medium, and to be honest, with a bit of creativity, I have yet to come up with an idea that I could not build within these constraints.

Today's post aside, I would like to make two announcements:  First of all, thank you all for helping Ten Inch Template reach 100 subscribers.  It has been an interesting month or so, and I have enjoyed the experience.  Thank you all for your readership and feedback.  As always, if there is anything you would like to see, or anything you do not enjoy, don't hesitate to comment or email me (my email is on the top right of each page, in the "about me" box).

Secondly, my Vraksian Militia has been painted to completion, save for two units of Veterans, and one unit of Rough Riders.  What this means, is my next Warhammer 40,000 project has begun to take shape.  Packages of bits, boxes of resin, and envelopes of pewter have been arriving at my house all week.  While I won't spoil the surprise just yet, I will say this:  With 60 infantry models to putty and convert, 11 vehicles to re-purpose and 1 never before seen vehicle to scratch-build, I may have bitten of more than I can gnaw.


  1. The model is excellent and the idea for the quill is just amazing and looks really great!

  2. Dark Eldar, there, thats my guess. Lets see if im right considering they are the only codex with a vehicle that has no model. Unless you hate the stormraven model enough to refuse to belive it exists. (have a few friends like that)

    I love the Blue Scribes !!! They are one of the more humorouse choices in the Codex. I like the way you work the models.

    Whats the full Army list, because I see Scarbrand, Soul Grinder, Nurgle Deamon Ku-Gath, and the Blue Scribes. I realy want to see how the army all fits together.

  3. Thanks guys!

    Grim: I built and painted the whole Daemon codex, 10k points. I mix and match whatever I feel like trying for the day.

    As for the DE guess, honestly, aside from one or two warriors and the raider, I think the new models are very disappointing. The female models have scale issues in the feet and the shoulders, the hellions look like they were designed by a nine year old, and the haemonculus looks like a practical joke. Just my opinions; maybe I just havent seen the right paint scheme.

  4. Really like that one.

    Oh really must get my hands on some horrors (gah not that I have to many projects already).

    (btw I am one of your by feed subscribers)

  5. On the inside I would love to here Grey Knights, but I'm going to assume not as they have nearly nothing in plastic or resin. With a lot of resin, I would have to guess some sort of Space Marine chapter. Tough to guess a specific chapter though, as it could be anything from Red Scorpians or Space Sharks to Ultramarines.

  6. Michael Hogan, I actually do have a ton of unassembled Grey Knights, just not building them next. I will give one extra hint; not one of the infantry models in this next 40k army comes from the 40k line of products; think squarebase, and think counts-as. I have a ton of green stuff, and bits, and resin, and fishing line. Forgeworld models that are to be re-purposed, and Fantasy models that will be re-imagined. Every single model will have more conversion work than anything in my Vraks collection.

    I like a challenge. See you at NOVA. =D

  7. I could imagine lots and lots of Orks at this point or Chaos, but 60 infantry models screams Orks. Then again, it could be plenty of other things, especially with one talented as you are. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this turns out.