Sunday, 25 June 2017

The Emperor of Mankind


The Emperor of Mankind... What more iconic character in the vast 40k universe ? None I reckon. To date though there still isn't an "official" model of him despite the many depictions of him throughout the last 3 decades. I was kindly offered this version in a trade and with the renewed interest in 40k due to the release of its 8th edition, I thought I'd finish a model that had waited half finished for too long.


I don't have the full story behind this model and can't even tell you the name of the sculptor but I know it comes from a limited run for a private commission. The model itself is a miscast which was not assembled by me but which was more than OK to work with really.

Now I'm going to admit it right away, I'm not very good with the 40k lore and background, I've never read any of the BL books and the little I know comes entirely from Old Codex books, white dwarves and rulebooks.
I'm able to tell the model above must have been inspired by this picture below though.


Now you can see the model's colours vary from the illustration so it's probably not "canon". 
Do I care ? Probably not.
I certainly didn't want too much gold on this one and wanted something a little more like a human touched by grace than an angel walking amongst us. I do like the Emperor being a human, born from human minds and gracing the world with children and good actions throughout time.
That's why I painted him with more subdued colours and added a fair bit of stains and weathering to him.


Painting wise, I actually had quite some fun on teh cloak which was quite nicely blended from deep blue in the recesses to bright ornage on the tips before adding decals, freehands and an awful lot of weathering.


Now of course, this isn't exactly the kind of models I usually paint and I was a little uncomfortable with it, it's better fitter with more skilled guys than I am but I did enjoy the process of painting something else for once.
For me, the Emperor (and the primarchs as well for that matter) are the kind of characters that should never see a tabletop and I really prefer the tales of anonymous everyday heroes and casual folks to depict a setting like 40k.
The Emperor that pops to my mind is more like this :

Now the "Golden" might not refer to what the throne is made of but to the colour of HIS sheets...

H.R. Giger called, he wants his seat back
Best Emperor EVER.

Only Horus Vs Emperor illustrations allowed, all others being wrong.
 So here I am, I did paint a bit of 40k history, another good part being I'm gonna enter it in a painting challenge at my Friendly Local Gaming Shop. I'm not expecting much from it, it's more a way to take part in the fun with the guys really !

- Hey Dad...
- Hey Kiddo ! How's your mother doing ? Erm... Suzanne ?
- ...
- ...erm ... Giselle ?
-You're a jerk, you know that ?
Now, I still have plenty to paint ahead, so let's get back to work !

39 comments:

  1. That last pic & caption really tickled me! ^^

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  2. Nice to see a different take on the palette of the emperor, kind of makes me wish I'd tried something different with mine. I have to agree about the illustration of Horus and the emperor, it's my favourite along with the diorama by McVey, I actually ordered the bits from gw (back when they did individual parts) and tried rather unsuccessfully to emulate the conversions. That white armour is awesome!

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    1. It's up there indeed, better not dwell in Mike's territory.
      Thanks !

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  3. This turned out VERY good, and you ought to attempt more pieces like this! You definitely have the skillz! I like how the whole piece turned out and I am particularly fond of that cloak. Well done indeed sir.

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    1. I can paint them but I know I'm missing a lot of what they can provide to a good painter. The cloak turned out to be very an enjoyable part of the model when I though it would be the most I'd struggle the most on.

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  4. Love your take on the Emp!
    That last little shot tickled me too.
    :-D

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    1. It was a last minute idea, butthen I had to. ^^
      Thanks a lot !

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  5. Perfect except the "raven" at the top :D
    It had to be golden as it is a clear ref. to the roman legion ;) :
    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/39/16/69/391669744eb8032a94a78a229add2dfa.jpg

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    1. I guess so, I usually try to avoid looking at sources to roll how I want but then I miss some things. I wanted to avoid too much gold but maybe this one could have been gold indeed ! ^^'
      Thanks mec.

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  6. Awesome model and inspiring paint job! Do I read correctly that you started the red cloack from blue?

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    1. Thanks !
      I actually strated with a base coat of red but the dark parts were glazed with deep sea marine blue and blended up to orange on the edges, should have made that clearer. ^^

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  7. Cracking stuff as always JB.

    Of course, there is the problem of how exactly you'd use him in a game.

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    1. Thanks.
      I have no idea how to field him or even if I do want to field him honestly, he'll just be a pleasant painting exercise for a the time being. ^^

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  8. Woot ! One sure thing is that yours colors are awesome ! I'm not fond of your model but the tones of the armour, hair and aquila are just perfect to my old eye. Nice take on the old man anyway :)

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    1. It's clearly not the kind of model I'd pick myself but I do like being challenged every now and then. The main thing is I prefer painting models I know i'll be able to use in games in a way or another. This one tought me a few things though and it's a nice milestone.

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  9. Looking good; a nice fusion of imperial splendour and your usual muted colours.

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    1. Thanks, It's hard not to make him look too bling but I tried to keep the gold to a reasonable balance. ^^

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  10. Excellent! I agree about not really wanting to see the Emperor or Primarchs on the table... I don't think they should even had started exploring the Horus Heresy; it was better when it was all a long lost mystery. Nice work painting him anyway, though for me (as someone else said) the definitive version of the Emperor is Mike McVey's model from his famous diorama.

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    1. I tend to prefer some misteries remaining untold, food for imagination and all that.
      Mike McVey's interpretation would surely have been something I would have gone for if th emodel wasn't given to me and felt like painting that character. Adrian Smith's emperor in power armour remains my favourite by far.
      Thanks !

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    2. It will look good in the display case either way!!

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  11. That's a great take on a more human emperor, stained cloak and all. Those decals worked great. The effect on his power glove and sword really make him pop, care to elaborate on how you painted them? I wants to steal that.

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    1. Cheers !
      For this guy, I used the same colours as in this tutorial :
      http://leadplague.blogspot.fr/2015/11/fresh-blood-and-tutorial-for-champions.html

      th eidea is to start with a large area with he pastel blue and then tighten the areas as you used brighter colours until you use pure blue as a single spot or line. For some reason I prefer to work from the outside to the inside when painting fire and the likes, the blending is neater and simpler I find.
      http://leadplague.blogspot.fr/2015/11/fresh-blood-and-tutorial-for-champions.html

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  12. Another superb effort! Lovely stuff!

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  13. Wonderful piece. I totally agree about the Emperor and Primarchs being kept as material of legends better than to be disclosed; that makes them lose their mistery aura and most of what made them so cool and worthy. I also second everything you said about the illustrations! :D
    Apart from that, all the gold and brass and the OSL is totally ace. Cool!

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    1. I think we're on the same page here.
      Thanks mate !

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  14. A fun side project.

    I reckon that if I had one of those models myself it would likely never be painted, due to lack of practical uses for it. Fun all the same.

    I expect that model is actually smaller than the plastic Gulliman. I prefer primarchs etc to look as if they at least once managed to walk through a door, fit in a rhino or use a normal toilet.

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    1. I had to rely on both the guilt from not painting a gift and the deadline of a competition for which I had nothing in mind to complete it honestly.

      Like you, I do favour teh idea the Emperor was just a regular human in appearance at least, the kind who could have gone unnoticed for thousands of years and make human kids with regular sized women.

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  15. Nicely done JB - and all of the other bits I missed these last few weeks, (those Brats are particularly lovely!). I had good fun catching up on everything :-)

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    1. Glad you had mate, you'll surely see some of it in a month or so ! ^^

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  16. That's fabulous JB. That sword is absolutely gorgeous!

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    1. They're the same old tricks I keep using ! ^^
      Glad you like him !

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  17. That last pic was funny as feck. ^_^

    Regardless of how you feel about him, I think you've done a great job bringing him to life. The power claw is my fav part by far.

    (And that last Emperor v Horus illustration might just be one of my all time fav 40K pictures.)

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    1. Thanks !
      Tha Adrian Smith illustration is 40k at its best indeed !

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  18. Oh wow ... the colours and details ... wow.

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  19. Love that you've taken a photo of him with the Sensei.

    In the B&W illustration, I always get a vibe that the Emperor's armour is in metallic turquoise.

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