Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Hammer of Daemons

While the Grey Knights range - and indeed my army - have been reinforced with power armoured troops, dreadnoughts, huge walking thingies and the like. There has always been just one true pattern of Grey Knight. The Grey Knight Terminator.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that these are my favourite terminators in general circulation (the space hulk ones are my favourites). They're just so well designed, the poses are natural and if you pick the right componants in the right places they're dynamic too. Like the power armoured lads, their details are crisp and nicely cast - the script on the shoulders and knees is excellent - and their weapons look even more badass than the power armoured chaps are! These have actually been hanging around for a while, painted before my wrist started hurting again but lacking a couple of highlights and basing. So I finished them off! Lets take a closer look at some of them.

As with the power armoured ones, the daemonhammer is the only slightly disapointing pose. It always looks a little "weak". I know the huge shoulders cause them posing difficulties but slung over a shoulder or planted on the ground might have looked better. I went for "turned sideways urging the men into battle" as the only viable option. Nice, but not as nice as:

These two are awesome. The two handed grip on the haft coupled with the moving feet makes for a lovely dynamic pose. The one on the left seems to be shifting his weight ready to step forward with his right foot and pivot through it to deliver a savage chop. The one on the right, winding up to strike with the butt-end of the weapon, driving his target back to open room for a chop or stab. It is this sort of thought in sculpting - and careful experiments in dry fitting and part selection - that can make or break a miniature. So many of these models end up looking a little stiff or awkward where a few moments work experimenting with rotating waists and altering head positions can make all the difference. Stand up and get into the pose the model is in. If it is not comfortable or stable then the model will always look awkward. It's why models with poorly sculpted centres of mass look like they are falling over. You know instinctively where a body should be to be stable.

The psycannon was a tiny conversion. I didn't like the passive arm it is designed to go on, I wanted a much more action-packed pose. By trimming some bits to help the fit I was able to get the cannon on to the aiming arm and by putting it on one of the braced pairs of legs I was able to give a nice impression of the Grey Knight lowering his weight, bracing himself and then letting rip with a savage volley of gunfire. Seemed to work!

You'll notice that I talked about posing a lot this time rather than painting. Two reasons why, first, I talked about painting these guys extensively in the power armour article and not a lot has changed since then. Secondly. I really believe that we overlook posing at our peril. Too many of us race through assembly and into painting to get them onto the table. Well, the best painting in the world will not change a bad miniature. You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. When the miniature is a solid, totally sculpted one then you kind of have not a lot of choice. When it is parts that you assemble and pose yourself? You are doing your collection a great disservice not to spend just ten more minutes experimenting and acting the prat standing in poses. Heck, we spend enough money on them. Lets make 'em good. Until next time folks.


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