One of the first warbands to be completed for AoS28 is this collection of nightmare forest creatures created by Orfeo Culzean. Orfeo has created some unique looking miniatures – a dark mirror to Games Workshop’s Sylvaneth – and each model has a lot of personality, with some seamless conversions that blend parts from various daemon and undead miniatures. This is a great example of a warband that could work with Hinterlands or a similar ruleset but that is primarily all about making miniatures with story and character rather than rules.

Over to Orfeo:

Deep in the woods, next to a stagnant pool in a rotten copse, dead flesh and wood cling to each other in perverse imitation of life. Some say that they dance according to the whim of whatever killed the forest and poisoned the water.

Creaking and squelching they stumble in the lightless shade ‘neath the boughs of murdered trees, sightless eyes and grasping hands yearning for warmth and light.

I first got into this hobby as a young child and when I got a little bit older I drifted away. A few years ago I felt nostalgic and started looking at blogs and reading up on what had happened since I’d been out of it, until eventually I discovered the INQ28 movement. I’d always loved the artwork of Blanche, Miller and the others who established the grimdark look and feel of the Warhammer worlds and this was an opportunity to model, paint and play in that spirit.

When I saw that Bruticus had created a new movement to try and bring that aesthetic and mindset to Age of Sigmar, I knew it was something I wanted to get involved in. As much as I love the dystopian future of the 41st millennium, dark, gritty gothic fantasy was my first love – and now I could explore some of the things that just don’t fit in the mainstream of the game. The ‘Pathetic Aesthetic’ is something I identify quite closely with, hence my creations aren’t strong, well-muscled heroes – in fact these ones have already failed and died.

I found the key thing to starting with AoS28 was to find an idea that really inspired me. It could be from a novel, a film, a piece of artwork, but whatever it is it should grip you and almost force you to try and represent it in miniature form. The Mortal Realms are incomprehensibly vast and varied, and anything you can imagine probably exists somewhere out there, which is of course a huge attraction for the people in the hobby who approach everything from the perspective of trying to personalise their miniatures and create stories for them. Converting miniatures has never been easier – hundreds of third party bits manufacturers along with fantastic multipart plastic kits from Games Workshop mean that with a little cutting, gluing and greenstuff work you can bring your twisted nightmares to life. That’s got to be something worth doing, right?

This was my latest and I think my most successful attempt at painting in a style which comes naturally to me and is also fairly quick and easy. The first and most important stage was to add texture – as I paint in a similar manner to watercolours on canvas the texture is what gives the model real depth and life. Agrellan Earth, stippled Liquid Green Stuff and different little tricks with glues and knives all added the needed wear and tear. Then I used an airbrush to lay down progressive layers of tone, leaving plenty of the previous layer each time. Black, greys, creams and whites are all used in varying concentrations and sprayed from different angles. Next I got out my glaze medium and flow improver along with the Games Workshop line of shades. I played around with glazing and shading until I got a result I liked. As you can imagine, this makes it a little difficult to write a tutorial as I often can’t remember what I’ve done after I’ve done it. The reason I like this method is that is produces a subdued, realistic miniature and allows the modelling work to shine.

The idea behind the models came from something I’ve been interested in recently, which is the decay of semi-urban environments. Seeing nature push its way through pollution and concrete makes for some very interesting textures and colours, especially in the autumn and winter when the vegetation is dead as well. Rust, dead leaves, cracked paint and pale wood could be thought of as the visual palette that informed this warband. As such, the idea of dead wood clinging to dead bodies was the seed that grew into this concept. The meaning behind it – we die and nature reclaims what was ours. nature dies and leaves desolation. entropy rules – is something that INQ28 and now AoS28 allow you to bring to your models, stories and hobby. You can put real time and thought into your small band of characters and I think it really comes through with the attachment you develop towards them.

I can’t wait to see where else this new movement in the hobby takes us. There are a lot of very talented people producing some truly awe-inspiring works and I’m sure it will blossom into a very strange flower.

See more of Orfeo’s miniatures on his site

4 Comments on “The Dark Age of Sigmar: Rottwoode

  1. Thank you so much for publishing me on your site, it’s a true honour. Can’t wait to see what comes next for The Dark Age of Sigmar.

  2. That is lovely.
    I really dig all these nasty foresty types popping out of the undergrowth these days.

  3. Great work!Really enjoyed reading your words and looking at the models. Cheers.

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