Monday, 12 December 2016
Grand Master Gabriel: A Commission by D Power
A few weeks ago D Power from I'm Alone with a Dream, a regular contributor to the Google+ 40K community, launched a commissions service. He had previously established an enviable reputation for innovative conversions and wonderfully executed Blanchitsu-style paint schemes. By "innovative", I mean the kind of grim/dark imaginings that ooze from the eyes of daemons, thrice blinded by their own malevolence. And by "wonderfully executed" I mean the warp just bleeds awesome sauce on his models. It gets in the grooves and lightly dusts in other places. Even the bright parts look...
I was intrigued to see how such a style would translate into a commission service, so I sent him a brief for a conversion idea I came up with 20 years ago, based on the picture of Grand Master Gabriel of the Deathwing, below:
Grand Master Gabriel was slain leading the Deathwing aboard the Space Hulk "Charnel Shrine", during the events of the 13th Black Crusade. He was replaced by Belial, who restored the honour of the Deathwing company by cleansing the Space Hulk room by (freaking) room. I sent D Power the picture above and these instructions/suggestions:
A BRIEF EXPLANATION: There is a wicked picture of the old Master of Deathwing, Gabriel, in the Angels of Death Codex (2nd Ed.). The new Deathwatch Terminator Captain would be a good base for a conversion based on this picture. I'm guessing other Terminator models would be suitable as well.
PAINTED? Grim dark the hell out of it for me. Just don't use real blood.
EXTENDED THOUGHTS: This would require a lightning claw arm, preferably a 2nd Ed. curved one, and some DA bits for icons etc.
Within a few days D was sending me images of the early stages of the conversions. The effort being put into achieving the details depicted in the picture was immediately apparent, including the innovative and appropriate use of bitz, materials and sculpting.
In particular, the elongated appearance of the stormbolter/auxiliary grenade launcher has always vexed me. But... there it was.
The detail on the back of the model is also interesting, particularly since there is no way of knowing what it would look like from the picture. The skill of the artist shows here; it is the kind of detail that can be easily overdone or underdone, but this work just fits. I haven't tried to read the text on the cloak yet, but it looks awesome and pays further homage to the original artwork.
The use of Dark Angels iconography makes is absolutely clear where Gabriel's allegiance lies, despite the spikes and the heavy weathering. Small uses of spot colour attract the eye to small details all over the place, such as the piping.
So, how does D Power's style translate into a commissioned service?
Unlike other building/painting services, you aren't going to get a nice, neat, safe paint scheme with airbrushed OSL (for an additional fee). The kind of scheme that the artist can reliably do every single time, twice a month, because otherwise they would be out of a job. You are buying an interpretation of the 40K universe, as it is viewed through a very dark and gritty lens. You are buying a piece that reflects both a specific style and the immense talent of the artist in regards to modelling. This style may not be to everyone's liking (pleasing everyone is the job of those other services), but it pleases me greatly. If Gabriel's restless ghost were to eternally haunt the blistered decks of the Charnel Shrine, he would look something like this:
If you like the idea of owning a piece like this, send D Power an email and he will help you get the ball rolling.
See you across the table,