Thursday, December 27, 2012

Illuminated Polar Night

This time of the year Finland is swallowed by the polar night. Days are short and nights are long, cold and dark. Perfect time to stay inside and do some hobbystuff... or make a Lumberjack's Candle or two!

It is a tradition of sort for my family. Almost every Christmas or New Year's Eve me and my dad venture in the woods and drag couple of these four to five feet long pine tree logs back home, where they are then sawn and lighten up to illuminate our dark nights.

So simple yet so beautiful...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sergi The Slasher

Brother Sergi is the sole survivor of the infamous XVI Penal Battalion. The battalion's last stand was witnessed on the Butcher's Creek, where the convicted troops bought just enough time for the Imperial Navy to make their withdrawal off the Death World known as the Fang, just moments before the whole planet was consumed by the swarming horde of unknown Xenos breed.

After weeks of ineffectual heavy orbital bombarding of the colonized planet in hope of exterminating the unknown alien race, the Imperial Navy made their choice of saving the remnants of the badly beaten colony and evacuating all the personnel off the planet. The XVI Penal Battalion, made-up from the dregs of the Imperial Guard serving the colonization, was sent to shield the Imperial Navy's withdrawal from the harsh planet, while the vile horde of dreadful aliens were over-running the Imperial colony.

It goes without saying that the swarming horde butchered the weakly equipped battalion, who lacked both discipline and courage. While all of his comrades were torn to bloody pieces, Sergi, after being seriously wounded, cunningly played dead in the bottom of pile of his brothers' corpses, hoping that the Xenos wouldn't smell him.

After the slightly succesful withdrawal, the Imperial Navy did their final call and decided to vaporize the thin atmosphere of the small Death World, making sure that the Xenos - and the humans left behind - were to be destroyed.

How Sergi survived the complete destruction of the planet, the records don't tell...

+ Brother Sergi of the XVI Penal Battalion +

"Laurel and Hardy"

Sergi is a cunning personality, whose two-faced nature makes him a very untrusty henchman. But stealthy throatcutter as Sergi is, Inquisitor Cassar has seen much potential in this murderous character, keeping him in a leash of dept.


In Sergi's case I decided to approach the design process more directly than usual, jumping over my traditional sketching and drawing phase, letting the kit-bashing spree go mildly wild. I took my bits box and started fitting the pieces together, having no certain aim in my mind. After a while, bits found each other and the "Spaceman Joe", what Sergi was first called as, was materialized.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Task Force Pherion revisited

Task Force Pherion is now at full strength.

Inquisitor Pherion


The Red Priest






Let the hunt begin!

Sunday, November 04, 2012

The Golden Age Of 40k

It was Neil101's comment "The golden age of 40k " in okkiW's previous entry that made me ponder the current status of our beloved hobby. We truely are living glamorous times at the moment, that's for sure. I'm not just talking about the level of painting and the quality of GW's current line of minis, which both are at their best I think. That's just the frontline.

There has been a lot happening on the (less) quiet homefront, the 40k blogsphere, things that have made the past couple of years - especially the couple of last months - gleam like no other. The bloggers around the world are writing about the way they practice their hobbies and displaying their masterpieces for the rest of us to study, like always, but the soup is thickening.

Not only that, but we are networking, uniting, and pushing the creativity even further with the collaborations and joint-operations such as Yggrasilium Pilgrimage and the INQvitational. These kind of happenings are just what the scene needs to grow deeper and juicier! These are the spinners that only the most visionary masters are able to put in the motion.

I guess that the INQ28 and =I=Munda movements have had a lot to do with the success of the current era too. The INQ28 movement in particularly has taken some serious wind under its sails, thanks to the active and passionate community that has been producing some grandeur visual and verbal arts around it.

Here's but a few of the blogs that I think have had a lot to do with the current status of the scene. The  blogs are more or less attached to the gray spectre of the Warhammer 40.000 and Inquisition, telling their own tales of the hobby, polishing the era with their wonderful deeds and creations...

INQ28 by Molotov
The first spark and the spirit keeper. Molotov is the ambassador of the INQ28, that goes without saying. The blog is the first thing that made me interested of INQ28 scene and the Inquisitor game and gave me the first spark for Spiky Rat Pack's Punk Moth operation.

Opus Maius by Neil101
The master of Mechanicum. Neil's incredible talent of building scenery and making it feel like alive is fantastic. The way the gothic walls, rusty pipes and war torn ground turn in to the worlds of death and despair is palpable in Neil's projects.

MiniaTextures by JRN
The slayer of daemons. The flawless execution, that is the signature of Mr. Nielsen's style. JRN's linear perfection has been guiding me in many of my projects, giving me the spirit to push my limits even further. It sure is great to follow the ponderings of person with such merits.

Eternal Hunt by KrautScientist
KrautScientist's twisted experiments and wonderful kit-bashing has had a huge impact on my visions. His intuitive working method is pleasure to follow, every bit of background he writes with the passion most of us can only dream of.

Legion of Plastic by Migsula
Father of the fire, source of the endless inspiration. Migsula keeps on surprising me whenever he unfolds another spread open and reveals his next grande project. I've once had a chance to study Mig's minis at close range and was in an instant blown away by their imaginative narrativity and fine implementation. It is my obsession to study Mig's minis and learn the way he's doing his magic.

The Tears of Isstvan by Fulgrim
Seer of the horrific beauty, painter of curious visions. Fulgrim is frighteningly close to the truth of what the dark and cold 40k universe feels like. Whenever I feel like I've lost the touch of creativity, dwelved too far away from the spirit and need to have something to help me get dragged back to the sorrowly world of 40k, I schlep to Isstvan and get my dose of inspiration from the wise words of Fulgrim.

Last but not least is PDH who writes P&M blogs at the DakkaDakka community.
There are those who kit-bash and then there's PDH. Peter has found the very essence of the kit-bashing, creating amazing shapes of personalities, character after character, finely finishing every one of them with great amount of detail. There's no gang even close to those that PDH has put together, such is the marvel in them.

The artists of these fine sites have given us plenty of accomplishments to wonder and admire, yet we too seldom write or talk about their achievements. This is me raising my hat to you sirs, saying thank you for being around and sharing your wonderful thoughts with the rest of the community. Without you guys Spiky Rat Pack's grand operation Punk Moth wouldn't exist. It would be just another small dying sun in some dark corner of mind, withering away from the lack of attention.

Rats live on no evil star.

Then there are the Demigods. They are wandering in the mids of us ordinary mortals, raising our spirits to the levels that we could only dream of. A bit corny way to put it, but that's the way I'm able turn my thoughts in the words.

Art by John Blanche (a page from Emperor's Will by Black Library).

John Blanche himself has been pushing our spirits to the outer limits with his presence. We are lucky to have such an inspiring star as guidance, showing us the path to the glorious depths of the dark future. His fierce art and enthusiasm towards the hobby is a constant source of inspiration for us. I guess we can never thank him enough for the work he is doing, can we?

But I'm a dog, what does that make of me?

Summa summarum, I have a feeling that we truely are living the golden age of 40k, right here, right now. It's like a handful of hobbyists have found the furthest and darkest corner of the galaxy, the one that pulses the real essence of the grim and dark Universe of Warhammer 40.000. We are shaping it to something wondrous. It's a bit lone in there, but I'm glad that we've got the Internet, the place where we can share our thoughts and get connected with the like-minded people.

God damn mad dog.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Inquisitional Entourage -

It first appeared to be just another operation to bring down corrupted smuggler. But later, Imperial spies around the near by systems brought new information regarding the suspected Heresy of a high ranking Imperial agent...

The new mission profile demanded new kinds of specialists in order to be successful...

Ready for some seriously dirty painting!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

0tt0 - Force Brutalis

0tt0 is the latest addition to the Task Force. Im expecting him to bring some serious Inquisitional muscle to this hunting party.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Workspace Walkthrough - okkiW Style

Still remember this?

That was the setup I used two years ago, when i didn't care much about where I was making my toy soldiers. It was OK, because back then I did not spent that much time sitting in front of my desk sculpting away. Over the years I have started to spend more and more time sitting and sculpting, so I have been forced to make some major chances there.

This is my workbench that I using at the moment...

The picture also reveals my latest addition to the setup - The Daylight Company's wonderful triple daylight lamp. That lamp simply rocks! It provides lots of good neutral light that makes working easy. Especially in the wintertime, when natural daylight is very limited luxury here in Finland. It's a little expensive thingy but definitely worth every penny ;)
(While back Steve was talking about that same lamp)

This one shows how my desk is assembled quite high, so that Im able to keep my back straight while sculpting long hours. Im also using a saddle stool for more ergonomic posture.

 Finally, as a source of inspiration, got my original Miller framed. Ian sent it to me while ago as a return gift for Rat with a gun It's Cool as Hell!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Arsonya WIP (Burn Baby Burn!)

There she is! 

I was able to finish her quite fast. Im pretty satisfied considering the very limited source of decent female parts in the GW range (no way I could ever use parts from some other kits ;)

Apart from Wyches sprue there is no good alternatives. Perhaps I could have used some other les "eldarish" head, but I decided to go with the closest one in the sprue. The hand flamers were little tricky also. Maybe I have used laspistols for them, if I would happen to have them in my bitz box, but I didn't, so I made them from imperial lasguns. My philosophy towards converting is that I don't have  to get every single part from bit-shops. I get the most important parts (body, head) and then just see what I got in my bits box. I believe that if you imagine very complex converions with too many "perfect" parts, you might end up with quite boring conversions. If you understand what Im trying to say ;)

Creativity is key here.

Anyway, Arsonya - Assassin and Inquisitional bodyguard.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

The Perdition

*Budda Budda Budda Budda*

Jacovy ran as fast as he could. Ricocheting bullets whistled inches away from his winding path, making small dusty clouds around him when hitting the dry stonewall behind his slim silhuette. He tried to cover his face with his free hand while running, but the small splinters and junk flying off the wall did their best in trying to bite his pale skin.

On the far side of the ruin, Sebbi, the robust guardsman of the 15th Regiment, was crouching behind a small hillock no more than fifty yards away from Jacovy, flailing with his hands and spurring for Jacovy to make it in cover alive.

Winded by the sprint that nearly took his life, Jacovy crashed towards the wall next to Sebbi and yelled with a hoarse voice: "What the fug is that thing?"

"I have no idea!", yelled Sebbi back, "But what ever it is, it will tear our beloved flesh in to the pieces if we stay here for a sec longer!"

"I... might have an idea!", yelled Jacovy between the short bursts of rugged gunfire.


Jacovy drew a big breath and yelled as hard as he could: "I HAVE AN IDEA!"

"Please, Jac, share it with the rest of us alive!", Sebbi yelled back with a dark ironic glint in his eyes.

Jacovy paused for a brief moment and continued: "I still have my issue of frags and smoke! If you'll try and pull that thing's fire at you, I migh have a shot!"

"No fugging way man! No way! I won't let that thing pierce my precious skullcappe just so that you could have a shot!"

"Trust me! When the thing is realoading, run for it and make yourself seen! I know where it is shooting at us from!"

Sebbi gave a piercing stare to Jacovy and murmured with a sour tone in his voice "If you say so..."

For a moment it felt like the stentorian pounding would never cease. Smashing bullets ate the wall around them like small greedy flies. Pieces of concrete fell off the wall and rained on their hunched backs.

*Clack Clack Clack*

Jacovy heard a familiar noise of hammer hitting the null. That was the sign for both of them...

+ Hagard & The Færwyrd +

Will the two buddies be able to escape the wrath of the Færwyrd, we might never know. But this I tell you, Hagard is now finished and is parading the best he can.

The result is very much ispired by the conversions made by John Blanche, PDH, JRN and Migsula. I believe I would have never started working on this thing if it had not been the awesome work these guys have done with their Lords. The mini is maybe one of the simplest yet most versatile creation that the design studio has made so far. Really lovely piece to work with.

This time I also put some more effort for the actual photoshooting. The idea for the black reflecting surface came from Tammy of Tear's of Envy (cheers!). The black shiny surface gives a touch of class for the work. I also decided to add some flavour to the background by dropping a small dark box on the back. It brings a nice element of scale and also works as a mood bringer.

Sunday, October 07, 2012


Hooayh! The Spiky Rat Pack has now 200 followers! This is a great moment in our blog's history. We shall celebrate this event and put the date in to history - maybe have a raffle or something.

Many thanks to all of you who have been tracking us and following our antics and yargonish chatter. We sincerely hope that you'll be doing so in the future too!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Horns of Apocalypse - "The Fourth"

Whooaaash! Fireball lightened the dark corridor in the northern sector. A man in heavy robes was turned into human torch as he leapt into his doom down from catwalk fifty feet above, to be crushed by metal wreckage in ground.  The assassin watched the man go down, and opened her com-link -

"That was the last one I think lord Pherion"

"Well done my girl" answered the old man "I think you're right, the daemons are gone now. Those cursed Demagogues always put up a tough fight don't they?"

"They all go down in flames in the end"

"Yes they do, there's really no one who can stand against the burning wrath of Emperor, not to mention your flamers my sweet girl"

She seems to be the fourth member of the Task Force Pherion. A quick respond to Kari's wonderful Hagard character. Assassin with two hand flamers, a gun slinger with horns!

Simple sketch with Rotring pencil and W&N inks

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Hagard & The Færwyrd, WIP II

The fat bloke is well on his way to the painting stage. I'm almost done with the greenstuffing and just making some finishing touches before basing and priming. Maybe this time I'll add skull or two on the base...

As you can see, I decided to add more layers to the shoulder guard to make it resemble a bit more like one shown in the drawing. Also, Hagard got some hair on the back of his head, which I tried to align so that it would look like the wind is moving it a bit...

A couple of purity seals on the shoulder guard give a feel of movement on the otherwise pretty stiff looking model.

So far Hagard does look something that I imaginated him to look like. I had some doupts if I could find suitable bits for the kit-bashing session from my rather limited bit-box. After a while my eyes started to pick up thing or two and the pieces just fell in to their places.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Good old days at the blogsphere?

Still remember the wonderful Spyglass Asylum Blog? Steve Buddle writing about the hobby and the scene around it?? I really miss those posts full of wise an thoughtful words.

As we know, Steve got hired into Games Workshop and he can no longer share his wisdom with us that freely anymore... which is good thing in a way because Steve's a skilled sculptor who is top choice in the continuum of turning the GW heritage into 3D form. Steve happens to be my friend and Im really happy for him about that matter =)

What Im trying to say, or write in this case is that I have always wanted to do something similar that Steve did before. Share some of my thoughts about this hobby, or in my case - the attitude towards this hobby. Im no true artist nor Im not very experienced one either, But still I wish to share these few thoughts with you anyway

- OK here we go -

There are many blogs out there where people paint and convert miniatures but then always have excuses why their creations aren't as good as they have wished. Very often it seems to be "horrible" camera that makes the paintjob look bad, and how "in reality" it is so different and much cooler. If only they would have enough money to buy better cameras or optics with prizes starting from 1000 ->

The truth is that these days you can do miracles with budget cameras or even with mobile phone's tiny cameras. Kari shot these with just an iPhone 4 on a bright day in Nottingham. If you just want to share your painted miniatures with your blogger friends, that quality should be all you need? Below you see my modest set up, that I use to shoot my Punk Moth material - 6 year old camera with very modest specs and couple of daylight lightbulbs to get good lighting.

Good lighting is VERY important in miniature photography. You can get bad shots with a good camera if you have poor lighting, but you can get pretty impressive shots with cheap cameras with good lighting.

The backdrop you see in the picture is The Emperor's Will slipcover! (you gotta be creative)

Im not saying that I take perfect shots with my cheap setup, Im saying that that gritty quality is perfectly enough to transfer my vision in to the interwebs for you to see.

Smartphone camera, blister foam and good ol' daylight too expensive for ya?

Little men need little photo studios

Painting the miniatures seems to be problematic for some people also, why? because all the skilled painters have gained their skills trough some dark ritual, where they sacrificed their souls for their inhuman painting skills. how can you compete that?! better just carry on with Chaos Black as shade tone and Skull White for the highlights right?? The key here is practice practice practice, practice when you had an awful day at work and no strength to do anything but watch Telly or play Ps3, practice when you are inspired and full of good spirit.

Most of all study different styles. I love how John Blanche paints his miniatures and paintings rough and gritty, but full of soul - that's why I study his style very closely, very very closely. You must learn to copy well before you can find your own style. I have not found my own style yet, that's why the GW artbooks in my bookshelf are always worn out from continous browsing! But again I know that someday I will get there and find my unique style to do these things.

The attidude is all that matters. You don't have to be super skilled painter/sculptor to make cool miniatures, just carefully study what others have done and you get there some day. Try out different mediums, write cool background stories, draw sketches, paint with inks or oil colour and be very inspired, all that stuff.

You want to paint or sculpt the good looking miniatures but be merciful on your self for you are not able to produce the coolest stuff in the Cmon right from the start...

But also don't let yourself on too easy either. stop only when you are sure that you couldn't have done it any better at that moment. If you doubt that something could have done better, do it again and again (just browse through my old plogposts and you see how I threw almost finished sculpts into trash with bloody tears running down my cheeks) you gonna get it right eventually.

Hope all this don't sound like some old master of the art speaking or anything silly like that. Im doing hard work every day to be good sculptor, but Im not near the skill demanded to be a GW sculptor, not yet I mean;)

I just felt that this needed to be written for my own sake.

I hope that you could see, that it's the attitude and hard work you need to get to the top. Not technology or supernatural Daemon gifts!

Be creative, be very creative

- okkiW

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Task Force Pherion - Let The Hunt Begin!


What can I say about this. Not completely satisfied about the paintjob but it's alright. The model became way too complex for my painting skills! I had lots of fun experimenting with W&N inks though ;)

The Hatching is now completed and I am ready to join Kari into Caterpillar phase. I can assure you guys that we have some wicked plans for that phase also!