• vendredi 17 janvier 2020

    Steve Jackson's Sorcery!

    Today we're gonna talk about a huge piece of the Fantasy culture. Like many of you, I succumbed to the temptation to read some Gamebooks during the 80’s. I remember (among others) the reading of The Seven Serpents, the only issue of the Sorcery campaign available at my local library… Not really tasty when you play it as a one shot adventure for sur, this books take senses when you read it with the three other opus of the Sorcery campaign.
    To correct this patent lack of FF culture, I make some research on the web. Few weeks later, I found these gamebooks at the foot of the Christmas tree.

    Sorcery is the meeting of two great characters of the fantasy from the 80’s, Steve Jackson and John Blanche. The illustrations realised by the last one are probably the reason of why I’m back to Gamesbooks in 2020. The JB drawing style is really close to the illustration of WHFB 2nd edition, I’m immediately transported into the 80’s when I watch them, very inspiring.
    Steve Jackson is the author of the books and I was very (very) impressed by how they‘re so smartly wrote. In fact, I forgotten how much a Gambooks are a cool experience.  The principal characteristic of the Sorcery campaign is the learning of the spells and how to use them during the adventure. Without forgetting the many bridges between the books of the series, the secrets paragraphs, etc… This author is very talented. 
    Concerning the story, I was pleased to meet a large part of the classic fantasy bestiary across the Kakhabad land. The book take place in different kinds of landscapes like Hills, desert, town and the finish at the fortress of Mampang. So It’s hard to be disappointed with all these good things.  

    In my first try, my character died at the end of the third book. I feel like I ‘ve been missing out on a lot of things. Played the first book too fastly and avoided to much characters. Largely cheated in the second book after many hours lost in the street of Khare. My conclusion was, my adventure backpack is uncomplet, it miss me some space on my adventure sheet for drawing the map of my adventures. So I redesigned a new adventure sheet, I added more space to write all the items grabbed across the campaign. I splited the sheet in three parts. When I fold it in a tryptic, I can use it as bookmark.
    I completed the original Adventure Sheet.
    The gaming difficulty grow book after book. The last book is the harder of the campaign, the informations collected in the third book are very usefull. This last adventure take place basicly in the fortress and you visit it like a dungeon. If I have some advises for you : Don’t trust anybody and avoid peoples in the fortress!

    My adventure sheet at the end of the campaign and the (my) map the Mampang Fortress!

    If you never read these books...I warmly recommend them, not really expensive and a lot of gaming time. See below how many hours (approx.) per book I played in my second try.
    The Shamutanti Hills : 3 Hours / Kharé – Cityport of Traps : 5 hours / The Seven Serpents : 4 hours / The Crown of Kings : 6 hours
    Classic FF sequence : Mmm... of course, I turn to 343! / Oi! What? / I'm dead again !

    samedi 21 décembre 2019

    O&G Army : Part Three - Baneful Banners

    Hi! Last message of the year. It’s time to bring some bright colours to my O&G army. If you follow this blog, you probably notice in the first part of the project, when you watch the army pictures how the colours of the units are mute. Expect the Troll skin, I used neutral tones : Grey, brown and green tones.

    So, it was intentional! Because when you work on the harmony of colours with populous army it’s more appropriate (imho) to consider the whole units, in opposition of skirmish armies where you focus on the single models. By this way when you have many models in your army, the function of the shields and the banners is to highlight the whole units with new tones (Red, yellow, orange, …)

    I worked different aspects of the fantasy banners “science” : The personal banners, the trophies racks, the tribes banners and the great army banner. I’m feel comfortable with this part of the project and I particularly enjoyed these intense creative moments.

    Personal banners and trophies racks :
    These elements of identification are highly prised by the Orc Nobz. These decorative constructions reflect their power, prowess and skills to win during challenges. I equipped most of these posers of Grunta’s and Snorta’s and of course the Warlord on Wyvern.

    Tribe banners :
    In reference of the Chaos Marauder cards game, I created 12 banners/icons to represent the different tribes involved in this massive Orc army. I added lot of details over the banners :  Shields, bags, mushrooms, teeth, chains, charms, etc… All these details represent the memories of the glorious past of the tribes.

    Great army banner :

    I named it “The pride banner”. This Orcish piece of art is composed by the differents great banners of armies defeated so far. It also Ornate by the shields or “personal parts” of the opponents Warlords crushed in challenge by the Green skins Overlord. The original illustration is credited to Gary Chalk, from Warhammer Armies 3rd ed.

    Different steps of the banners making :

     Next post : Background and pictures of the various tribes!

    vendredi 29 novembre 2019

    O&G illustrations : Paul Bonner

    I'm still in my Orchish phase and I continu to paint every day but today, I wish to share with you some illustrations of Paul Bonner. This artist is one of my favourite illustrator of the GW 80’s studio. He took part of the construction of my addiction of the the green skins. 

    I love to compare his 2D work to the 3D work of the Goblin Master, both of them are very brilliant and IMHO they’re the fathers of this race.

    Paul was commissioned for many works by GW but unfortunately only few of them are coloured, especially for fantasy green skins. the illustrations below are very evocative and carries me immediately in the past (Cf La madeleine de Proust). Click them, they're in high resolution, enjoy!

    Besieging Goblins :
    Illustration from Warhammer siege 1st ed and cover of The Doomstones Campaign (Blood in Darkness)

    Some words of Paul about this illustration :

    Way back in time - 80's - I guess, I got a great commission from Games Workshop as a freelancer to paint some besieging goblins. I was not so familiar with their world (GW - I knew all about besieging goblins) - and as everyone knows; goblins are lots of earthy colours, brownish based - not green.

    Alas - GW goblins were - and are - green. They loved the first painting - apart from the goblins not being green, so I repainted the whole thing rather than try and alter it as I was very happy with it. If they wanted green goblins they could have them, but I was not losing my brown goblins. Sat up over a few nights and painted the whole thing again - and so we were all happy bunnies.

    Well, maybe not the green ones, I still think they would rather have been Brown.

    What do you prefer :Green or Brown skin?
    Wolf Riders

    Cover of Warhammer Novel: Wolf Riders and Cover of The Doomstones Campaign (Death Rock).

    The last news about this illustration are note very good… Paul said : I think it (the illustration) got damaged in a flood we had some years back - but I'll try and dig it out.

    See you soon for my next article, O&G banners !

    lundi 4 novembre 2019

    O&G Army - Part Two - Shields!

    Hi ! today I focus on an important chapter of my O&G army, the shields! I was very inspired by the old White Dwarf and all these nice articles about shields. I remember how Fraser Gray half-sculpted funny colourful faces shields seemed to be impossible to modelling for me during the late 80’s.

    Thirty years later, I found the mojo to modelling my own shields for my O&G. I used one of my favourite technic, the pressed greenstuff mould. This technic is pretty easy to learn and apply, the most difficult things here is to find nice models to duplicate. Luckily, the Goblin Master sculpted plethora of nice faced shields during his carrier.  


    How to make your own shields?
    First step : Make the mould. Position the model on a flat surface, coat it with a lubricant (cooking oil, saliva, etc…) and press on the original model a generous ball of Greenstuff. Let it dry at less 8 hours, demould the two parts
    Second step : Duplicate the original model. It’s very easy, you just have to lubricant the mould and press a ball of Greenstuff in the mould. Let dry 8 hours and demould.
    Third step : Apply the duplicate parts on your own shields. I used the classics Citadel plastics shields, I filled the gaps between the duplicate part and the plastic shield with thin weld bead of Greenstuff. I added some details like : Pustules, piercing, chains and decorative plates.
    60 Shields!
    Original Shields from the Warmonger Minialtures range

    Original models fron the Citadel Miniatures range
    A part of my personnal collection of greenstuff moulds
    The pressed Greenstuff moulding process