Friday, March 18, 2016

My Tribute to Greg - Imperial Scribe/Archivist

This 'Tribute' figure is for my great friend Greg - our hockey-loving, plastic-hating, crayon-snapping though highly entertaining Friday adjudicator.

To be honest, I'm usually okay with plastics, and not so wild about hockey (that is actually a Stanley Cup sized understatement), but Greg and I do share a deep affection of the original 40K 'Rogue Trader' universe of the late 80s and early 90s. To us (and I imagine many like us, who were teenagers at that time), there was something deeply compelling about the creepily dystopian vision created by Rick Priestly and backed-up by the wonderfully disturbing art of John Blanche. 

At this time 40K was still a fresh and largely undiscovered genre. Games Workshop was basically led by hippies, and had not yet become the Kafkaesque corporate nightmare which now weirdly mimics the fictional dark Imperium it created. In those early days very little of the 40K universe was explained; so much being shrouded in shadow, mystery and completely open to conjecture. This, in turn, created a fevered playground of creativity, which allowed players to fill in the blanks with our own imaginations, where we were actually encouraged to use surrogate figures, bodged vehicles and sometimes devising our own rules. Of course, the reviled point-driven tournament system killed all this, but for a brief time there was an amazingly fun, dark universe called 40K... 

Anyway, I blather. Suffice it to say that many of us have grown perversely nostalgic and guardedly paternalistic about the 'early' Imperium of Man and its host of foes. 

With this in mind I am happy to present this figure of an Imperial Scribe to Greg. Some may know that I work in the archival profession and so I thought It apropos that Greg receive from me a phlegmatic, self-important civil servant to add to his impressive 40K collection. I figure that somebody has to keep these rivet-headed, gene-tweaked Space Marines in conformity with the infallible Imperial creed and its catechism of organizational perfection - so he's the man to do it.

Being an archivist I am ashamed to say I have absolutely no provenance backing up this figure other than knowing it's a GW figure and it's at least 12 years old. Nonetheless, it's a great model and think it's as iconic to the 40K universe as the Space Marines themselves.  

Greg likes to portray himself as a meat-and-potatoes painter (which many will smile at when you look at his amazing brushwork), and so he often smirks at 'fancy' paint techniques like non-metallic metals, zenithal highlighting, and modulated shading. Accordingly, I broke from my regular trope of 'kabuki style' painting and tried my hand at gradated blending, multi-hued glazes and I even went so far as painting the freakin' eyes! Well, I'm happy to report that I've been cured of any of further pretensions of artisanal skills and skip gleefully back to Greg's camp of curmudgeonly brush Luddites! :)

I hope you like him Greg! Again, thanks so much for helping out this year - I couldn't have done it without you.