Friday, 31 March 2017

A look at Pantone's Colour of the Year 2017 (Greenery) through geek lenses

If you're a fan of the annual Pantone Color of the Year announcements you would've long known by now that greenery is this year's hue of choice. So you guessed it. Painting a miniature in predominantly green hues is now a to-do-item in my ever expanding hobby checklist.    

Pantone Color of the Year 2017 - Greenery
Greenery comes in a variety of hues which enlarge the pool of potential projects

While I wouldn't say for sure that green is my favourite colour, it certainly vies with blue for that dubious honour. If I had to choose a favoured hue it would be more of an amalgam of pastel greens and blues with the occasional soft desaturated pinks and purples thrown in. But that being said, looking back at my past miniature painting projects I seem to have painted a lot of miniatures with predominantly green hues. I guess I like green a lot after all, subconsciously that is.

My past miniature projects which had major elements of greenery in them: clockwise from top left - The Hulk, Freya, House Baratheon Knight, Nurgle Chaos Chosen, Gretchin, and Wood Elf Goddess

Going forward, I might add two more miniatures into this green group i.e. the 28 mm heroic scale Legolas of the Fellowship of the Ring and the 1/28th scale Loki of Asgard. They are from Games Workshop and Knight Models respectively. In a weird coincidence, at this point in time both companies no longer produce miniatures for the Lord of the Rings and Marvel licences.

Potential miniature painting projects with high levels of greenery - Legolas and Loki

In honour of all things geek I thought I would share some green-hued characters in a few of my favourite science fiction, fantasy and horror universes. Of the characters below, Yoda is doable as a project Bandai just released a Yoda plastic model kit. The zombie too as I should've some zombies lying around somewhere. Legolas is already in the to-do-list while Tauriel not so much as I don't have a miniature equivalent of her. Sadly nada too for Vina the Orion slave girl and Arwen of Rivendell. 

Star Wars - Master Yoda, Jedi
Star Trek The Original Series - Vina, the Orion slave girl
The Hobbit - Tauriel and Legolas in elven travel wear
The Lord of the Rings - Arwen in her coronation gown
The Walking Dead - a zombie with green tinged skin tone crawliing on grass

Now that's enough greenery to last beyond 2017, miniature painting-wise. This was the third year in a row - coincidentally the length of time I've been following Pantone's annual declarations - in which I had loved the hues in question. Hopefully next year's hue will be equally lovable. But until the next announcement in December, I will have plenty on my plate as it is with regard to this year's colour. Well, the minis aren't going to paint themselves. I had better hop to it then. Time's a-wasting.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Slaanesh Chaos Chosen [Completed]

Cute wasn't what I was actually aiming for ... heck who am I kidding, it totally was. Sugar, spice, unicorns, rainbows, care bears, you name it. If it was cutesy in any way, it was running through my mind as I settled on a colour scheme to weave such thoughts onto a subject matter that's the very antithesis of all that's good - a servant of Slaanesh. I was in the mood for pastels, and after contemplating the usual suspects like chibi minis I decided on a Chaos Chosen instead.  

Slaanesh Chaos Chosen, eyes devoid of compassion

Of all the four chaos gods, only Tzeentch and Slaanesh had the potential for the kind of pastel colour scheme I wanted to create. And of the two, the former is predominantly blue while the latter is dominated by purples. Both are equally appealing so it was just arbitrary that I painted the Slaanesh Chaos Chosen first. Eventually, I'm sure I will do the Tzeentch one in a similar pastel colour scheme.

Of all Slaanesh's attributes, this Chosen personifies pain the most
A daemon is infused into the Chosen's armour, trying desperately wrest 'soul' control
Pristine claws, so much the better to rend with 

One thing nearly all my completed miniature projects have in common is that upon finishing them I always find some key thing I could have done differently to take it to the next level. Needless to say, it was no different with the Slaanesh Chaos Chosen. Here, I could've permeated the armour with flesh pink hues in a pattern suggesting that the daemon within was winning a battle of wills between itself and the Chaos Chosen. But that meant the colour spectrum would shift towards pink from purple. While there is precedent for predominantly pink hues in Slaanesh subjects, it wasn't what I wanted.  

Sweet pastel colours is incongruous with the nature of Slaanesh, yet somehow fitting
More of the daemon is erupting from the Slaanesh Chosen's back
Base comprises a greyish black sandy texture

What I wanted was a Slaanesh Chaos Chosen covered primarily with purplish hues. Hence I abandoned the thought of painting strands of pink flesh crisscrossing the Chosen's armour. This arguably leaves the armour looking a bit flat in places. But it was a trade off I was willing to accept.  

Other than the claws shown here, the Slaanesh Chosen's eyes had the brightest hues
Hues of muted gold, blue and bone help keep the colour scheme varied

And then there were two. Completion of the Slaanesh Chaos Chosen marks the midpoint of my 'visual ode' to the Warhammer 40K chaos gods. With the other two upcoming Chaos Chosens being mainly in reds (Khorne) and blues (Tzeentch) respectively, it also more aesthetically pleasing for me to have the Slaanesh Chaos Chosen covered mostly in purplish hues as opposed to pink.    

Nurgle and Slaanesh now have their chosen while Khorne and Tzeentch await theirs

At this point I'm not sure which of the Chosen Chaos - Tzeentch or Khorne - will be painted next. I'm not even sure if either one will be the next W40K project. For now, please say a warm hello to a My Little Pony version of a Chaos warrior who bears the favour of the Dark Gods, in this case Slaanesh.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Slaanesh Chaos Chosen [WIP - Claws & Colours]

I may be a year late but I've finally managed to incorporate the Pantone Color of the Year 2016 - namely Rose Quartz and Serenity - into a miniature painting project. Two years ago saw the start of my fascination with Pantone's annual Color of the Year announcements. It has become a treasured source of inspiration for my art projects especially miniature painting. Last year's was no different.  

Slaanesh Chaos Chosen: work-in-progress on claws and colour scheme

Admittedly though, not even I could have foreseen the miniature I would eventually use the hues on. Pantone officially describes the colours in question in the following way: Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace. So I'm pretty sure they didn't envision them being used to depict a servant of chaos.   

Pantone Color of the Year 2016 - Rose Quartz & Serenity
Slaanesh Chosen's colours run the gamut from Rose Quartz to somewhere in between to Serenity

Another miniature, another first. Here, the Slaanesh Chosen's claws marked the first time I had ever used Vallejo Model Color metallic paints. In this instance, I used Vallejo Gunmetal Blue with Citadel Chainmail and Mithril Silver in varying ratios to achieve a kind of 'pastel metallic hues' for want of a better description. A thin wash of Citadel Asurmen Blue was also applied on parts of both claws. 

Sheen on the Slaanesh Chosen's claws were painted using Vallejo Model Color and Citadel metallic paints
Light blue bordering on violet was used to nudge the colour scheme towards Pantone's Color of the Year 2016

A couple of shots below provide a sneak peak of the Slaanesh Chosen's front end but it's not the finished article yet. Not much remains to be done, yet enough that a complete reveal is still days away. What little that can be seen, however, shows a variety of surfaces from metal to cloth to bone.  

An inadvertent sneak peak of the Slaanesh Chosen's front end during a closeup shot of the claws
Violet blues of the loincloth completes the range of Pantone's Color of the Year 2016

Awash in pastel hues, the existence of any creepiness factor whatsoever is debatable. That said, I'm hoping the dichotomy which exists between the sculpted details and the colour scheme would still instill a sense of unease in anyone who lays eyes on the Slaanesh Chaos Chosen. 

A closeup shot of the Slaanesh Chosen's back to show the piece's predominant colour scheme

All this talk about Pantone's Color of the Year has gotten me all excited about this year's iteration too. But that's a story for another day as I finish painting last year's hues on this W40K miniature.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Slaanesh Chaos Chosen [WIP - Armour, Cloth and Demonic Flesh]

Of the four chosen chaos space marines dedicated to Nurgle, Slaanesh, Khorne and Tzeentch, it is Slaneesh's favoured one which fascinates me most, colour-wise that is. That's because Slaanesh subjects have base colours that can be mixed into a light pastel-like scheme. And as I've mentioned before - probably ad nauseam - light pastel colour schemes are firm favourites of mine.  

Slaanesh Chaos Chosen sports a demonic face playing peekaboo from his shoulder armour
Sickly flesh permeates the Slaanesh Chaos Chosen's armour

At this stage of the painting process it's still too early to gauge the overall look I'm going for. Suffice to say I want to infuse it with hues which, to paraphrase the words of the Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, reflect a soothing sense of peace and order. Wait a minute! Slaanesh. Peace and order. Sheer humbug? I'll leave it to you to be the judge when I finish painting the last major hue of my Slaanesh colour scheme. But just so you know, I'm going for a creepy My Little Pony look.

Slaanesh chosen, work-in-progress on his armour, cloth and demonic flesh
Demonic face pops out of the chosen's shoulder pads like an unwanted boil
Slaanesh chosen's claws will take on the last major hue in order to complete the colour scheme

For the Slaanesh chosen's organic forms, I wanted to convey ulcerating and necrotising flesh rather than dead or rotting flesh. In other words, molecules in demonic flesh that is trying to regenerate while in its death throes. So that meant flesh with more pinkish/purplish versus greenish hues.

Chosen's violet armour is more or less done with only extreme highlights yet to be painted on bony protrusions
Demonic flesh is prevalent on the chosen's back, more so than in any other part of his body armour
Whereas Nurgle's chosen had rusted metallic parts, Slaanesh's chosen is largerly expected to have shinier metals

Meanwhile, plans are for the base to be kept simple and dull. This is in anticipation of an overall light pastel colour scheme. Anything bright and vivid will likely distract from the miniature itself. To fulfill these conditions, only neutral greyscale colours fit the bill. Sometimes boring is what's needed. 

From this angle, no blues are visible thus showing more traditional Slaanesh hues but too dull in my opinion
Blues of the loin cloth was tempered by a purple wash to ensure a more Slaanesh-like colour scheme

When the claws are finished next, the Slaanesh chosen's colour scheme will then take on a more definite identity. One that will no doubt be confusingly pleasant and disgusting at the same time. Only time, or my next post, will tell if I can pull this off. In the meantime, the weekend is almost here so have a good one until my next update of this project comes along.
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