Wednesday, March 11, 2015

On a weird way

Today, we have an other special guest... 

Hi Weirdingway and welcome to Legatho's warehouse!

Could you introduce yourself

My name is Weirdingway and I’m a graphic designer in Chicago, Il. I’m 35 and was first introduced to Games Workshop models and games by my older brother when I was about 9 years old. I was too young to paint or play but read all of his Rogue Trader books and White Dwarfs and really fell in love. We grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii, and we’d hang out after school at a wonderful shop called Hawaii Collector’s Gallery where I started to buy and paint a random assortment of models.

But when the first 40k boxed set came out I was completely hooked. I didn’t play many games, but was really into converting models and making up my own rules and army concepts, and became very active in the early days of 40k on the internet, particularly on the 40k mailing list (which Jervis Johnson and Andy Chambers would sometimes pop up on!), but I also had my own 40k and Necromunda website.*

Then I went to art school and had so much fun that I set aside the hobby for quite some time. Every once in a while I’d check out what I had missed (the introduction of Tau, Necron, and Dark Eldar for starters!), and eventually I discovered the new world of 40k blogs and forums, and all the amazing new plastic kits.
After reading the forums for years I eventually took the plunge and bought a few plastic kits and have been kitbashing like crazy for the past 3 years. It’s so fun!

* Building that website is actually one of the things that got me into graphic design so that’s one of the many ways I can thank the hobby for my career; graphic
design is really just kitbashing but the bits are typefaces and images and the background fluff is the content.

Could you tell us your vision of Warhammer 40k/ Inq28?

40k has changed greatly over the years, but at its core it has always been a wonderful postmodern blender that can absorb and remake almost any historical or fictional inspiration or archetype. That anachronistic mix of the past and the future is what really hooked me.

I personally gravitate to elements from every period of 40k; I love the free-wheeling weirdness and openness of the original Rogue Trader universe, 2nd edition’s more internally consistent and developed background, great and diverse art from every period (although Lost and the Damned may have been the greatest single
collection of illustrations) and the amazing models of the present era (sorry oldhammerers; while the old models were very characterful they can be so blobby and poorly proportioned!). Throughout it all runs a wonderful mix of John Blanche and Jes Goodwin, who have such different yet complementary styles that I feel like the aesthetic soul of 40k hovers perfectly suspended between their opposing magnetic forces, if that makes sense.

What are your main sources of inspiration?

Obviously Blanche, Goodwin, and all the 40k artists, but also the universe itself, built at the beginning by Rick Priestley and likes of Andy Chambers and Jervis Johnson and countless others.

Then there’s the explosion of amazing modeling online. I think it was really Migsula’s old Dakkadakka blogs (Crescent Guard!) that really blew me away and made me realize I had to try my hand at converting with both the new plastic kits and with my improved set of craft skills — I was an enthusiastic but very sloppy painter and converter as a teenager, and 4 years of art school and 13 years of working as a designer have made a big difference in my ability to realize my ideas!

And finally I am largely influenced by non-gaming sources. Some of this is the same sort of thing that no doubt also inspired 40k’s creators; sci-fi movies of the 80s, particularly Star Wars and David Lynch’s Dune, Terry Gilliam (Baron Munchuasen, Brazil, and Time Bandits), Mad Max, but also late medieval art, etc. Of
particular note is the amazing collection of concept art that went into Jodorowsky’s unfilmed Dune (Moebius, Dan O’Bannon, Chriss Foss, Ron Cobb, H.R. Giger!). I first saw these n but the documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune is a must-see as well. My current project is inspired by all of that
stuff, but also brings in some of my other loves like the experimental architecture of Lebbeus Woods and the Japanese mecha and mechanical designs from the Anime I grew up with (Robotech/Macross, Akira, Apple-seed, etc). And I’ve always loved art and history and particularly the way they interact, and 40k is a great
medium to explore that sort of thing.

How do you choose your paint schemes? Do you stay on a coherency or did the mini told you how it want to be painted?

I started my current “army” project thinking about the palette used in some of the film influences listed above (rusty orange contrasted with cool greens), but have also tried to bring in some of the more varied palettes of the medieval painter Giotto and his contemporaries, as well as a bit of the colorful excess of Moebius and Chris Foss. Basically I think after not painting models for so many years I went a little crazy and didn’t limit my palette as much as I probably should have! But enough grime and ink washes seems to tie things together so far.

On a model-by-model basis I don’t normally have a good plan when starting out, which leads to a lot of repainting over colors and many layers of glazes and washes as I push colors one way or another. I also keep trying new techniques and approaches on each set of models. Figuring it out as I go along may not make
for the best or cleanest results but its what I find the most fun and rewarding.

What are your favorites bitz?

There are so many great ones these days. The flagellant kit is amazing and a big source of bits for my project, but I’ve gotten a lot of mileage from the humble Jump Pack! In my case the ornamented ones from the Death Company kit, but I’ve sliced them into many separate chunks and used them to build shoulder-pads and backpacks for henchmen as well as the bodies and legs of my Navigator Ex-Suits. I love to chop bits/moels into tiny little pieces that can then be reconfigured in unexpected ways.

Do you have any project on your workbench?

I’m trying to finish a playable 40k army version of my Navigator Household in time for Adepticon here in Chicago. All the infantry are done (more or less, barring final paint touchups if I have time) and I’ve just finished scratch-building a large robot and a hover-craft, and am now trying to finish a drop-ship. So lately I’ve been basically just adding rivets and details which is extremely slow but fun and relaxing, and so rewarding. Scratchbuilt models really come alive when you add those final details. I don’t have an aibrush (or time to get one and learn how to use it) so it’s going to be a rush to get these big things painted!

 Last step, choose one of your minis (your favorite one) and tell us why. I'll do the same with what you made I prefer.

That would have to be my house’s Novator, the “head” navigator. It was a pretty crazy idea that I wasn’t sure would work out, and I’m really glad I went for it and tried anyway. I have the most fun modeling when I don’t know what the result will be; if it’s all worked out in advance then I tend to lose interest. The weirdest ideas can be the most exciting and I think the end result is both quintesentially 40k and still an original addition. And it was a huge challenge sculpting the head. It came out better than I expected so I hope to do some more soft-edge sculpting like that in the future (not sure if I’ll ever be able to sculpt a 28mm face but it would be fun to try one day).

Well, It's the same for me.... What an impressive mini ! Both the idea, the kitbash and the painted are ACE.
Thank you for your answer mate !

Thank you for reading


  1. Wonderful Read - seeing all these interviews side by side really sends out a unified message about how cool 40k is ! this is the stuff that should in white dwarf or visions - reading why so many talented folk started in the hobby and what drives them ( in such a concise way ) is just as interesting as seeing the models themselves . kudos to both legatho and weirding way on this insightful interview .

  2. Thank you Neil ! I'm honored by your reply! By the way.... you must be the next! I have to precise that even though I had already planned to ask you, John tells me to!

  3. Such a wonderful look into the mind of a true artist. Brilliant interview - thanks for collecting Weirdingways thoughts on the subject matter. Does he only post on Ammobunker or has he got a secret blog somewhere - His Navigator minis are beautiful in all aspects of their execution (sculpting, posing, painting). Simply brilliant.

    Cheers again for bringing this to the wider community.

  4. Thanks Frothing Muppet ! I've made this interview schedule with the question / answers I'd like to read on a magazine article.

  5. Bonjour Manu, je ne connaissais pas ton ton blog je viens de le découvrir ,félicitation pour ton travail , je vais y revenir souvent!!
    Bonne continuation.
    François Ridel

  6. Salut François ! Merci pour le com!

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