A few years back I created some updated Squat concepts as I always liked them in Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000 game. I hadn’t put all of my ideas online so here’s my Squat Warlord in Power armour, partly inspired by Paul Bonner’s illustration of a last stand of the Squats against the Eldar. There’s also a Squat Power Boarder as a homage to Pete Knifton’s illustration in the original Rogue Trader rulebook.
These pages are from my sketchbook started in 2013 of various things I was working on. Firstly I have some doodles and notes, some tinkering of my dimensional alchemist’s helmet/mask and an idea I had for a character for my second sunken world adventuring party. He’s an enemy of the Icthyss (fish-men) and their Thulhid overlords and has a fish-man skull, a weapon or two and scaled skin as trophies. The next page has some jolly Space Ork Freebooters as I felt like drawing them and some ideas for a race of smaller humanoids in the Sunken World. There’s also a fish-themed helmet for a sunken world bounty hunter.
Here we have my thief idea and more of the sea ranger/Icthyss hunter and then some ideas for a Thulhid’s experimental mutants and an elite armoured Icthyss.
Space Ork Freebooters are copyright Games Workshop, this is fan art and not intended to annoy GW.
Over the last couple of months Games Workshop have announced and shown their new version of the classic Necromunda Underhive game (which the Necromunda online community have been keeping alive for almost 20 years!):
Bell of Lost Souls Necromunda Underhive revealed
The miniatures look to be a larger scale than before and I wonder if many of the rest of the 40K range would be compatible. From this first look the game itself seems to be just a flat board game; completely ignoring the main reason people liked the Necromunda game in the first place: A fast competitive skirmish, with each side using under a dozen gangers a side and an vertical element to the gameplay and scenery.
What GW will bring out to support this remains to be seen; the pessismist in me says they will just ask you to buy the Adeptus Mechanicus scenery they brought out for Shadow War Armageddon. What I’d like to have seen is similar to the original set, with the new de-bossed cardboard for the flatter areas (as in the original game) with new plastic bulkheads, ladders and maybe some objectives and with a game-mat for the ground, all for under £150.
On that wishful note here are some more pages from my Necromunda Underhive sketchbook.
These are my first ideas for the symbols for the various house and gangs, with a Catoblepas riding beast conversion idea for a Rogue Trader’s entourage (Catoblepas entry on Wikipedia). There’s also a Scavvy Scaly with his scattergun.
Some ideas for a border for the Underhive website, some scenery and colour options to do for the Redemptionist portrait.
Nomad image plans and Ratskin portrait and weapons designs.
More underhive banner textures and my idea for an Enforcers symbol, with an Art Deco look based on the LAPD shield design.
On these pages I was doodling symbols for the human rebel force I was converting and painting. I wanted a design for humans rebelling against the fascist Imperium which was small enough and simple enough to paint on a 28mm miniature. More of this sketchbook tomorrow!
As always with these images, they’re fan art and not intended to breach Games Workshop’s intellectual property.
I promised a diversion but it’s really still following the same subject! I had this idea when Games Workshop brought out Shadow War:Armageddon a few months ago. The box contained some OK scenery (though pricey and rather heavy on the skulls and Adeptus Mechanicus symbols!), some Space Marine Scouts and Ork Boyz and the welcome return of the Necromunda rules. Now I suspect not many people bought it for the Scouts and Orks as these were kits that came out years ago, more wanted just the scenery and rules. There was an opportunity missed I feel to show the Imperial Guard (Astra Militarum) and Ork players that they haven’t been forgotten and bring out some plastic Armageddon Ork Hunters for the Imperial Guard and Ork Kommandos for the Orks. Here are my ideas for the Ork Hunters, they could have just been an upgrade sprue with a standard Cadian or Catachan Command sprue with few special characters in the same way they had in Deathwatch Overkill.
I looked at which Guard divisions served on Armageddon and created a motley bunch of expert Ork Hunters, kind of like a Warhammer 40,000 Bad Company (an old strip in 2000AD Bad Company comic on Wikipedia).
Again this is all fan art and not intended to breach Games Workshop intellectual property. Not many people look at this site anyway.
The following page are ideas I had for the non-Imperial powered armour for the Spyrers. It had to have recording devices, various ways it could upgrade itself according to the performance of the wearer and also look both high-tech but also as if it was very old. I imagined a baroque, almost 17th Century suit of armour look with servo motors, fibre bundles, cameras and also an engraved list of notable previous users. The larger, snooty-looking chap is my version of an Orrus Spyrer. (Necromunda Spyre hunters)
Back to my Necromunda sketchbook for the next few pages:
Here I’m planning a conversion of a Mike Perry Ratskin miniature followed by some character ideas for a Pit Slave gang.
I’ve settled on the design of my Scavvy, with some more sketches for a whole bunch of them. On the opposite page are some thumbnails of the other Outlander gang portraits, a Scaly, a Nomad and another Pit Slave.
Ratskin portrait and the Redemptionists are progressing on these pages.
Here are more crazy plans for scratch-building an entire Scavvy gang and the pose I chose for the Enforcer portrait.
Though I’ve scanned the entire Underhive-themed sketchbook I may post something a bit different next time!
This packing and throwing away is taking much longer than I’d thought. Flippin’eck! I’ve tonnes of stuff acquired over the last decade and a half.
OK back to my old sketches; following on from the previous post here’s a page of Daemonhosts.
Here I’ve deliberately avoided Brian Nelson’s amazing Cherubael sculpt with his twisted scrawny look. The bloated floating creature perhaps is possessed by a Nurgle daemon, I’ve provided the radical Inquisitor who’s using him a vortex bomb collar in case he gets out of hand! Not sure quite when I did them, probably before the Necromunda sketchbook, entirely in inks and acrylics with no digital jiggery-pokery.
Back to Necromunda for these portrait sketches, me refining the look of the Ratskin and Redemptionist.
The tiny composition sketch refers to an image I’m not sure I’ve ever posted online, my Badland Scout (from 2005). He’s a guide to the ruined hives so has a little bit of a tribal look to his gear.
These next pages feature a sketch of the priest from the start of The Fifth Element (the late actor John Bennett), a bunch of Scavvies and then some Pit Slave portrait compositions.
All fan art and not intended to infringe Games Workshop’s copyright.
I’m in the middle of moving house at the moment so I haven’t had much time to add images to my website. In a break from frantically packing I’ve uploaded some more of my Necromunda sketchbook as I promised. The next pages are me working how to make the Necromunda Enforcers have a more hive world look but still keep the Adeptus Arbites/Judge Dredd feel to them. The quilted jacket was a medieval reference from Jes Goodwin’s early Arbites drawings (from White Dwarf 130, way back in October 1990!).
The next page has some refinements of the Necromunda Enforcer design taking elements from John Blanche’s Inquisitor Sketchbook with his slightly Fifth Element inspired Arbites. ((Wikipedia entry for The Fifth Element) (IMDb entry for The Fifth Element)). On the opposite page there are some early plans for the Scavvy gang member portrait.
The next pages are me working out the hairstyle and scene for the Scavvy and a pose for the Ratskin too. Ratskins are rumoured to be descendants of the original colonists of Necromunda who have adapted their existence over the millenia to make use of the utterly polluted hyper-populated world.
I’m still not sure the Scavvy is scary or mutated enough on the next page but I’m refining the look of the Ratskin portrait.
And the last pages for today are a sketch of a Pit Slave woman, some tracked feet for the boss Pit Slave, a sketch of an 28mm Inquisitor conversion, a floating fat Daemonhost (more of him later!) and some ideas for what would become my Scavvy portrait.
As always with my Games Workshop sketches they’re fan art and not intended to breach copyright.
These next pages are me working on the hulking Goliath ganger, followed by some early Outlander sketches. I was wondering which of the Spyrer classes to portray and also working on the Redemptionist Deacon, a deliberate homage to Pat Mills and Kevin O’Neill Nemesis The Warlock’s arch-foe Torquemada (and his Terminators). (Wikipedia entry for Nemesis the Warlock)
Here’s how I took a self-portrait photo (on the left!) and used it as reference for the crazed mutant preacher who wanders the lower levels of the Underhive. I didn’t just paint over it, I like to draw from it rather than ‘tracing’.
On these pages I was considering a BioShock Big Daddy look for the Pit Slave image, there are some doodles of Necromunda scenery too. (Wikipedia entry for Big Daddy)
Some more outlander sketches and an entire Pit Slave gang, including a robo-gimp(I don’t want to know if this is a ‘thing’) a Ned Kelly axe head chap, various cyborgs and a creepy tech to repair them.
All of this is fan art. More very soon.
As promised here are some more of my sketchbook pages. These are a selection of pages from my Necromunda Sketchbook from 2008 (it’s 120mm 148mm, so smaller than my usual A5 one). I really like to look at other people’s sketchbooks and the one’s I had of mine when I was at the Hysterical Games Stand at Salute this year really got visitors interested in the miniatures.
This got me thinking ‘What’s a project I got really into?’ Well there are a few ongoing ones but the Necromunda Underhive one was a real labour of love for me and as I’d scanned in the sketchbooks a while back I would just need to arrange them into the order I had drawn them and upload them here.
It’s no coincidence that Necromunda was a really popular game; it required just the box with its rules, plastic miniatures, multi-levelled plastic and cardboard buildings inside and was a fairly simple, easy to learn ruleset which encouraged campaign play as part of the game itself. (Wikipedia entry for Necromunda)
In fact it’s still going strong online and Games Workshop have very belatedly cottoned on to this by dipping their toes in the water with their Shadow War:Armageddon game.
I was asked by Major Gilbear (not his real name, he’s a character from Dan Abnett’s Gaunt’s Ghosts series (Wikipedia entry for Gaunt’s Ghosts) by to produce a banner for the Underhive forum website (this site is now defunct though YakTribe Gaming are still using many of these images. Yak Tribe gaming site)
These first eight pages depict my initial ideas for the Underhive Houses of Hive Primus on the Hive World of Necromunda. I looked at as much of the original artwork from White Dwarf magazine, the game itself, it’s precursor Confrontation, the miniatures for inspiration and also threw some of my own ideas into the mix.
More on this tomorrow!
All fan art and not intended to breach Games Workshop’s copyright.
I’ve got loads of commissions on the go at the moment but as they’re all for unreleased projects I haven’t posted any images of them until the miniatures or games are available. Despite all that when I’ve had a spare moment I’ve still been doodling away in my sketchbook and the next few posts will be these.
A quick warning, the next few paragraphs are all about Games Workshop’s Warhammer game, so please ignore it if you’re not into that kind of thing and do skip down to the drawings!
OK, here are some of my thoughts on Games Workshop and Age of Sigmar, though bear in mind that I haven’t played it, so this isn’t related to the game play, just me looking at the aesthetic of the miniatures, artwork and whatever the new world is called (The Mortal Realms?). Last year Games Workshop decided to ‘murder their darling’ by destroying their entire Warhammer World and the last 30 years of creative output with The End Times and by releasing Warhammer – Age of Sigmar (with round bases being hastily added to peoples’ miniature armies all previously cleverly designed to rank up in units on square bases).
Now I leave it up to others to discuss the commercial wisdom of this but creatively this seems daft at best. Despite Games Workshop’s deliberate artistic policy of going for the Northern European more realistic and gritty, gothic look with the Warhammer World (rooted in part on the writers, sculptors and artists having extensive knowledge of history and the Northern Renaissance) the new Age of Sigmar seems to be going for a more Catholic, Southern European, almost high-fantasy look completely at odds with their previous artistic style and seemingly influenced by Blizzard computer games (which had ripped Games Workshop’s art off to start with!) They could easily have created an epic Heroic game system, with stripped down rules and focus on quick fun battles without resorting to wiping the Warhammer World out entirely (and letting other manufacturers take over where they left off).
OK, rambling a bit there but I thought about how I got into this stuff as a kid and it was through Warhammer Fantasy Role Play (1st edition, with rulebooks, lots of different dice and no cards!) so I drew some ideas for an Age of Sigmar role-playing party:
Here I have a sort of priest dude with the top half of a Stormcast Eternal mask, a barbaric Chaos-creature hunter, a Wood Elf Undead hunter, a non-European(!) knife-wielding woman and an ex-Empire mercenary too.
There’s a sketch of a fish-man and my vaguely Arabic masked warrior from my Sunken World poster.
The next page is continuing these characters (I was thinking there was more of the Old Warhammer World remaining than just the name Sigmar and Khorne) so I expanded on the barbarian chap fighting Chaos to a Priest of Ulric, continued with the Empire lady mercenary with a beastman skull on her hat. The former Priest of Morr is carrying bones and urns from the Warhammer World to summon the angry spirits of the fallen to wreak vengeance. After seeing the new Warhammer Quest game I think Games Workshop are trying to get some more character back into their flagship Fantasy game.
All fan art and not intended to breach Games Workshop copyright.