So I have started the painting process on the first of the beasts sent to me by friends (PPC and Mike Butcher) and will post write ups on how that goes very soon. In the meantime I have the honor of unveiling what has quickly become one of my favorite Beastmen - the model built for me by the incomparable Todd Swanson.
Todd first came to my attention when he painted his first (OF FIVE!!!) Slayer sword winning entries for Baltimore in 2006. This was a Beastmen unit that was lavished in cool details (shown above). Here is a LINK to the galleries at crookedeye.net a site he shares with the super nice and immensely talented Zach Lanier. There are great images of the individual Beastmen from the unit there along with commentaries on each. The site also features several tutorials and explanations that are worth their weight in Gold!
Todd has continued to push himself and I have had the pleasure of watching his style and techniques develop by leaps and bounds over the years. His attention to detail is incredible and his sense of composition and posing is fantastic. His figures tell more of their a story in their gesture and posing than many complete dioramas I have seen.
This past summer Todd won the North American Slayer sword with a wood elf that started out as a dark eldar model of Lelith Hesperax he largely re sculpted himself. It is a beautiful piece full of tension, power and expression (not to mention truly minute detail!).
When I received his beastman contribution to this project I was astounded by how fast he had finished and how wonderfully classic the whole piece was. A traditional scene of a beastman standing on an incredibly detailed resin forest base (that Todd had clearly cast himself) holding the severed head of one of its most noteworthy enemies - a wood elf...... And then it hit me. It was THAT base and yes, it was the head of THAT wood elf!
Todd had made casts of his finished sculpted parts! I was holding a model that itself was holding the head of the 2012 North American Slayer winner! He said of the model: I only spent about 2-3 hours on the mini but you get the benefit of my casting as that base probably took me 60+hours to sculpt.
This was an incredibly cool move on Todd's part - poking a little inside fun at himself and really sharing something incredibly special with me in the process. The little twist has raised this model to be one of my favorites in my whole collection. The whole clever idea just entertains me to no end.
The concept sold me completely, and the challenge of painting it to look even vaguely like his masterpiece ought to be nightmarishly fun!