Saturday, 29 April 2017

Sisters of Psylence

When the benevolent (despotic) Emperor of Mankind sent his armies out to re-unite (conquer) the galaxy, his fleets were sometimes accompanied by the silent Black Ships. Silent Black Ships full of warrior women on a silent mission – all sworn to a vow of silence.

I don't know about you, but to me, that last silence was at least one too far.

Why would the Sisters of Silence be forbidden to speak? Other than to give them a cool-sounding name, of course. Surely not being able to speak to one another is a bit of an operational handicap?

Anyone who has read any of their background material knows that the Sisters carry the mysterious pariah gene, making them untouchables, or null-pyskers. They create localised fields where psychic powers simply don't work. Something like a radio dead zone for witches. Their mere presence literally silences the powers of nearby Psykers.

Therefore a simple tweak to the spelling of their name could have made a great deal more sense. Psilence or Psylence would neatly describe their tactical abilities, and no-one would need to take that strange and detrimental vow.

Anyway, up until recently it had been very difficult to find suitable models of these enigmatic null-maidens. In fact, before Games Workshop released the Burning of Prospero boxed game, pretty much the only way to field a mildly accurate representation of a Sister was to convert or create one from scratch.

So that's exactly what I did.

And with terrible timing that is becoming quite a trend for me, I managed to commence my little project mere weeks before the official models were announced.

So now everybody and their aunts has whole squads of Sisters running around their battlefields, and I've only just finished converting two of them.

The eagle-eyed among you may notice I cheated a little. I was struggling to find ladylike arms in my bits box, and, being somewhat demoralised by all the completely finished units springing up on the internet, I decided just to 'borrow' a couple of parts from the now-commonplace Sisters sprue. So I definitely lose marks for originality, but on the plus side at least they are both finished*. As General Patton said, "a good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow". And although I doubt he was talking about miniature model making at the time, I think the wisdom is still pretty relevant.

*Finished for now, that is. As much as I like two-tone grey, with green accents, I am aware I still have to paint them.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Generic sci-fi, industrial, multi-layered, run-down, semi-Gothic scenery

I've been working on the first piece of terrain for my Imperial hive city, Kruenta Karoliina Arx Rotunda. As the initial model it's also the test piece, where I get to try out some of the various techniques I'm hoping to employ across the whole project. You can see an old White Dwarf article detailing some of the main ones here.

On the up-side, all the experimentation makes it quite exciting to build, but on the down-side it takes an already long construction phase and draws it out even further.

So although I first started working on this several months back, I'm only just now getting to a stage where it's beginning to take shape.

Here are some work-in-progress pictures.

Start with a plain base
Add four tins of chopped tomatoes
Plus a second layer of your choosing
Put it all together and struggle to maintain the slightly silly allusion to pizza
Check the other side is done properly

There's a lot of detailing left to do, especially on those tins, and I think I may add a little extra height in the form of a partial third layer at the top, but generally I'd say I'm fairly happy with how it's coming together.

So with that in mind, let's see how long it takes me to get a point where I'm willing to get the paints out and call the whole thing done.