Friday 25 September 2020

Frostgrave: 2nd Edition

As the seasons turn chilly, a brief look at my border artwork appearing in the new edition of  Joseph A. McCullough's Frostgrave fantasy skirimish wargame.


Winter in Gormenghast. Carven gargoyles of the Winter King and Ice Queen blow wild knotworking winds through the derelict architecture of a long abandoned and forgotten city. Hope the explorers of Frostgrave enjoy the marginalia and find it add a suitable atmosphere to their games.

Frostgrave 2nd Edition is available from Osprey Games in Hardback and Digital editions.

Wednesday 9 September 2020

Otherworld Dagonite Fishmen Warriors

A look at the concept art I drew for Otherworld Miniatures Dagonite Fishmen Warriors.

The starting point for the design of the Dagonite Fishmen was the descriptions Eric Holmes 1986 novel The Maze of Peril (with thanks to Zach at Zenopus Archives).  references from classic Dungeons and Dragons artwork supplied by Richard at Otherworld. These included Dave Sutherlands illustrations from the D&D Module D2:Shrine of the Koa-Toa (1978), Alan Hunters illustrations of the Koa-Toa in the 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Fiend Folio (which themselves seem to be the source of Citadel Miniatures FF65 Ferocious Man-Fish models). Alongside all this, I cant help but think of Malcolm Barter's Manfish from The Forest of Doom, along with the descriptions of the more mutated Dagon cultists and their aquatic counterparts from H.P. Lovecrafts Shadow over Innsmouth. 

With those initial references in mind and direction on the poses, I produced some initial silhouettes and loose sketches to determine the overall shape and features, such as vestigal fins and barbels. Those elements decided, translated to the poses and introduced some thematic decorative elements, weapons and accoutrements before producing the final inked versions while under the influence of the classic Surf Rock stylings of The Longboards, Da Surftones and The Lively Ones.

Dagonite Fishmen Warrior I

Armed with a cutlass, favoured weapon of sea-going bandits, and a smaller 'fish-knife'. In keeping with the subaquatic-cult theme, the pommels are a stylised fish head and spiral shell. 

Dagonite Fishmen Warrior II

Keeping the aquatic theme the spear is based on a harpoon, with a stylised shark decoration etched onto the blade.

Dagonite Fishmen Warrior III

This is a heavier infantry type, with a scallop shell decorated brestplate and armed with a trident.  I also wanted to reflect the weird man-catcher weapon the Kua-Toa use in D&D, rather than a traditional Greek, and have given it a subtle squid shape (the butt of the weapon is also designed as a stylised fish-head). 

Dagonite Fishmen Warrior III
Dagonite Fishmen Warrior III
Bare metal model

The drawings were then passed over to Drew Williams to sculpt, who once again has done a supurb job of translating my linework into three dimensions, fleshing out the anatomy giving their monsterous bodies the both the slightly blubbery heft and smoothness that semi-aquatic , and expertly capturing the poses and expressions, filling the detail on the back...

Otherworld Dagonite Fishmen Warriors

The models then cast, and painted by Andrew Taylor for display. I had left the eyes in my drawings blank as I'd imagined them with pale, slightly glowing orbs, but Andrews large blank staring, reflective fish eyes are perfect. The bronze and verdigris metals on the armour and weapons is exactly how I'd imagined them, which is a bit odd, as I don't think we'd discussed that at all. Perhaps an unstated influence of the Bronze Age Sea Peoples, or maybe there was just something in the water.  The cold grey-blue contrasted with the redbrown the the gills and make them a classic monster and really conveys the cool slightly slimey texture of these creature. Equally, the Dagonites could be painted with patterns and colouration from tropical fish or even the bioluminescent strangeness from the Bathyal Zone to make them more exotic.

The full range of Dagonites, including the Assassin and High Priest which I also produced concept art for, can be seen at Otherworld Miniatures.