samedi 1 mai 2021

Luna Cohort Kastellan


The Luna Cohort is a defence force of the Legio Cybernetica assigned to surveillance of the outer fields of the Circuit. Patrolling the Lunar deserts of moon dust, these automated servitors of the Omnissiah protect these desolated regions from the locals contesting the authority of the Imperium and infiltrators from outer space.

Most of the stock of robots was decimated during the tragic events following the destruction of Cadia, but some have been seen wandering in the areas they were allocated…


So here is something a bit different from what you have been seeing me painting (and writing) over the years. I am going to try to explain my thought process behind this model, through a short personal story. I hope that it will make sense to you!

1. The Overdose

I think I have experienced a bit of a hobby overdose. I mean, I’ve had 20 years of nonstop hobby, solid, without interruption and at a pace that everyone could witness on that blog. Not to mention that my job is a tiny bit hobby related (is it?!)

I never had a hobby break before, so it felt very strange as it is such an important part of my life and daily routine, actually. Some friends were actually checking on me thinking something happened “Are you ok?” I only painted a handful of models over 2020, and this Kastellan Robot is so far the only model of 2021 (more to come?)

I tried to get back to it many times, without being able to commit for more than 20 minutes and in a very sporadic way. And it was painful to realize that I was not able to achieve what I could do before but more than anything else that I was not enjoying the process.

I questioned myself on why I was feeling this for painting models, something that I have loved so deeply over the last two decades. Painting those Ork planes slowly helped me to see clearer and to put my finger on what was bothering me.

2.   The Art of Edge Highlighting

I was really struggling with edge highlighting. Not only was I finding it very difficult (my eyesight not getting better does not help, that’s for sure) but also as soon as I was getting to this stage of the painting process, I was feeling a bit sick.

I am a huge fan of the ‘Eavy Metal style, which is the epitome of edge highlighting, we will all agree on that. I also really like what I see as being the other end of the spectrum, all the Blanchitsu movement. I tried to paint a few models in that style too, but never got anything successful and worth showing on the blog. It is simply not for me. I consider my personal painting style (if I have one) to oscillate somewhere in between, textural but with a very graphic approach. However I probably lean towards the “clean” side of the spectrum a bit more (even my rusty Plaguebones are painted in a pretty neat way), so I was questioning myself: Does a clean painting style always have to tend towards the ‘Eavy Metal style? Couldn’t I find a way of painting devoided of sharp highlights but still being clean and easy to read?

Anyway that kind of hobby break and the fact that I was struggling to find it enjoyable made me think that I needed to explore new territories.

3. The Moon

I really, really like our lonely satellite. I look at it pretty much every night, and sometimes find myself just sitting in my garden with a glass of wine, staring at it for a few moments (that was some romantic sh*t based on true events)

There is something I find absolutely fascinating in this pale, gloomy orb mottled with tiny (from our distance) craters. Looking at this desolated, cold and dusty disc (or crescent) makes me feel very peaceful, and somehow inspired me to research a different visual language.

                                                4. Towards a different Way of Painting

So all that said, I went in search for some images that would reflect the kind of aesthetic that triggered those feelings, and made up a quick mood board:

It is composed of pictures of the moon exploration, but also of photographs of the amazing Andrew MacCarthy who managed to capture the essence of what I tried to express above.

I then looked into what painting technics I could play with to replicate that pale and dusty feel, and what model could be appropriate for those technics (knowing that I would not want to highlight a single edge - that excludes Space Marines I believe…) to sit in that environment: the Moon (well, Luna in High Gothic).

I’ve always had something for the Kastellan Robot. There is something in that slight retro sci-fi / early space exploration that I find very charming and very conveniently fits completely in the environment I just described. Moreover, thanks to the round shapes that compose this brilliant design, they have very few edges. I think I had my winner.

I finally decided to design my own iconography for what would become the Luna Cohort, a handful of Legio Cybernetica robots wandering in the moon-dust wastelands of Luna.


That was a lot of words, I think I’ll detail the painting process, aesthetic choices and colours (colour?!) I used in a future article.

Thanks a lot for reading me, I hope you found that big monster of metal covered with guns, well, relaxing! 😊



6 commentaires:

  1. J'aime beaucoup beaucoup la palette de blancs que tu nous proposes : froids, un peu de chauds, subtils et doux ! Ca donne une belle ambiance et vu ce que tu nous racontes je pense que l'objectif lune est tintin !...euh atteint ! Ca fait très plaisir de revoir que tu reviens calmement sur le blog

    1. Haha, merci Sno!
      Je suis un grand fan de Tintin, c'est marrant j'aurais dû mettre Objectif Lune dans mes références...


  2. Je retrouve pas mal de ce que tu décris dans mes propres phases de "break". L'essentiel est que tu retrouves doucement des choses qui te motivent. Et c'est je pense, en effet, salutaire d'explorer de nouveaux territoires.
    Le résultat sur le castellant lui donne bien un effet "lunaire". C'est intrigant de voir que les détails se détachent bien, alors que si j'ai bien compris tu n'as pas utilisé de highlights. Du coup, impatient de voir l'article technique :-)

    1. Merci BK! Si l'aspect lunaire se ressent bien, le contrat est rempli!
      Comme dit le design tout en rondeurs se prête complètement à cet exercice "sans éclaircissements". Je ne sais pas ce que ça donnerait sur d'autres sujets. À tester!


  3. Ce commentaire a été supprimé par un administrateur du blog.

  4. Qui n'a pas fondu en larmes face à une série de 10 space marines dont il fallait faire les lining ! On est tous passe par là. C'était intéressant de voir par qu'elle stratégie tu t'en étais sorti. Belle réalisation en tout cas.