Thursday 8 January 2015

Miniature Defeats.

Never realised they were emerging from a giant blue colon eh?

Continuing from where my last post finished off, the past week has been spent finishing off some Genestealer related bits and pieces. Having always wanted to paint these figures, I never stopped to even consider that they wouldn't actually be that fun to paint. As sad as it is, I think these figures were some of the most disappointing that I've ever worked on and there's a few reasons for this. 

#1 - The sculpts are actually kind of weird in a bad way. When I think of Genestealer Hybrids, I think of the amazing Dave Gallagher artwork pictured above. They bestial, brutalistic and driven creatures - but there's also a strange kind of alien sensuality to them which these sculpts just don't capture. I'm aware Bob Olley is known for dividing opinions and sadly, I'm starting to see why. His ornamental, Geiger-esque organic designs have an unfinished, rough feel to them. The accessories on the miniatures seem rushed, with two of the figures carrying what look to be like cheese-graters on their belts! Lastly, I'm not overly keen on the facial sculpts of the three forth generation hybrids. They seem almost ogreish and cartoon-like. Even the Patriarch, which is an iconic model, failed to get me hyped, which is weird because the throned version was amazing to paint. 

#2 - These figures are a bitch to get the arms right on. Luckily, I've a little stash of original Imperial Guard clothed arms that I was able to play around with, but not without more green-stuffing that I'd have liked. There's either too much detail on the chest or not enough space in-between the head and legs to fit anything properly! In addition, the Hybrid arms don't afford any pose other than a stiff, cardboard gunslinger look. 

The only previous Olley sculpt I've ever painted is the Throned Patriarch, which was a joy to put together and paint. I'm not going to slag Olley off too much because it's obvious that his style works for some things and not for others - I think it might be to do with scale. Perhaps there's just too much going on with the Hybrids? Even the running Patriarch seems to have too much detail on it, whilst the larger, sitting version managed to get away with it because it's almost a third bigger than his smaller, jauntier self.

He's a biggun.

However, they've been ticked off the list of things to paint before I end up dead, so that's an achievement in itself. I think because I was initially so excited about these it made the fact that they were awkward all the more lame. You live and learn. Anyway, here they are!

Creepy green plasma guy and wavy fist fella.

Heavy stubber and cowelled lasgun dude.
Fuck the Patriarchy.

Despite it being a bit of a disappointment, it wasn't all bad. The guys below were a treat to paint and I'm beginning to suspect that the Magus advisor or Genestealer Familiar aren't Olley sculpts either. They seem more refined and in keeping with the Hybrids/Magus featured in the previous post. I think they're talking shit on the rest of the Brood.

'Don't tell him I told you about his weight problem and alopecia,..'

So yeah, that's that done. I might see if I can pick up the odd third or second generation Hybrid to replace the fourths as I'm just not happy with them. However, they'll do for stand-ins for a Cult Necromunda gang. I suppose I'd better make a start on the Eldar project now!


  1. The two single piece hybrids, familiars, Magus advisor, Magus with microphone and his staff wielding twin are all Jes Goodwin sculpts. His cleaner style is a lot more forgiving. Personally I like about 1/3 of the Olley hybrids, am neutral on 1/3 and dislike the remainder. And I'm an Olley fan!

    1. Thank you so much for confirming that for me! The old catalogues I've seen have never made it obvious as to which sculptor was responsible for those figures - rad to know the hunch was correct! I hate talking crap on sculptors as they're a bunch of talented people whose skill far outweighs mine. Some of Olley's Chaos beastman sculpts are iconic and wonderful to paint - just wish some of that magic had rubbed off on the Hybrids!

  2. Just found my way here via the Realm Of Chaos blog and I'm glad I did!
    I'm having trouble following right at the moment (explorer can't show this page) but I will persist.

    Your 'stealer minis look great, I've painted the running Patriarch and agree that there are details on the details, despite it appearing to be very simple.
    Your version looks nicer than mine though!

    I've got a fair amount of Squats painted up and I've got to say I'm pretty much firmly in the pro Olley camp, they can look like rubbish unpainted but when they're done I end up loving them...often very challenging to paint though!

    1. Haha, I'm forever grateful for that blog, so much inspiration flows from that place! Thanks for stopping by!

      Cheers! the running Patriarch really is a strange model - it's a proper icon yet on closer inspection has just too much going on! I tried not to pick out too much on mine so the silhouette could come through. I think it was one of the first models I messed around with the purples too, mixing flesh coloured paints instead of white to lighten it up. Overall, I reckon the sitting one works better as it's just that little bigger - you can really go to town on all the cracked chitin!

      I really like Olley's Squats and I feel awful slating him for the work on the Hybrids. It's true they're a daunting thing unpainted! He handles textures very differently to any other modeller and I think that's what throws people.