Thursday, 27 December 2012

Spears of Mawdryn Space Marine Druid (Librarian)

Hope everyone has had a good Christmas and whatnot, I'm still feeling the turkey in my lungs...

I've been staying with the missus and her family over the holidays, and whilst everyone's been at work today I've been house-sitting and miniature building / converting.

I brought a chunk of my bitz delivery with me, along with a couple of the smaller bitz boxes I have. This presented the challenge of using what was available to me, which I think often leads to better results as you have to be more creative.

So, first I decided to work on some Mawdryn stuff as I'm short on a few legs for the Imperial Navy Ratings - despite the rather large recent order. Not an oversight, honest, they were out of stock...

As promised previously, the next miniature was to be a Druid of the Spears of Mawdryn. The Chapter, which draws from Romano-British/Arthurian and earlier Iron Age Celtic elements makes extensive use of Druids - or Dwyrydd ("dweir-rith") in the Mawdryn tongue.





They are split into two Orders. The Druids of the Order of the Scythe combine the roles of Apothecary and Chaplain. They lead the Chapter in rituals and religious rites, and use their alchemical knowledge not only to provide healing salves and fortifying poultices, but also upon the battlefield - the hallucinogenic grenades they make from Mawdryn Wyrmwood are particularly potent. Known for their hooded robes and named for the scythe-topped crozius they carry, the Druids of the Scythe are a force to be reckoned with.

Druid Crozium Concept Art
The second Order is the Order of the Stave, both a reference to the tangled wooden staffs they carry and the ancient Mawdryn runes which all but these Druids are forbidden to write. These are the Librarians of the Chapter, the psykers and seers. The Chief Librarian or Pencerdd ("Pen-Kerth") is second in seniority only to the Chapter Master himself.


It's these latter figures that have been through the most evolution in fluff terms, they started out more closely based on Bards of the Welsh and Irish tradition, but I felt it would be difficult to represent these effectively on the table. It was doable but there was no clear concise imagery. This changed when I finally got round to reading Bernard Cornwell's Warlord trilogy and fell in love with Merlin, and Nimue, and the ambiguous descriptors of magic. This fitted in perfectly with my Wicker Man / Children of the Stones / Stone Circle-obsessed Chapter vibe.


With this in mind, also etched in my memory was an image of Herne the Hunter I saw in a book about mythology as a kid. I thought an antlered helmet would look pretty good to mark out the Epistolary / Awdur ("Ow-dur") ranks. I stumbled across a Bretonnian helmet that had antlers that were spot on.


The body still had to be robed of course, so the natural option were the Dark Angels torsos. The Dark Angels range also provided the Chaplain crozius that I used as the basis for the staff.

The top of the staff from the old Radagast mini provided the top (loved the stone top with carved symbol) and to extend the bottom I used part of a spear from the old Wood Elf Glade Guard (I think...) that I acquired around 1997... This hopefully gives the staff the blend of sci-fi / hedge witch (wizard?) look I was after.


I wasn't sure whether to give him a psychic hood or not, but wanted to make sure he was still recognisable as a Librarian. What prompted me to do it was discovering the superb tutorial on From The Warp by Modelling, Painting and Gaming on how to make one from a shoulder pad. So that's what I did. Could have turned out better, but for a first attempt (I only had one spare pad) I was pretty pleased.


I knew he had to have plenty of gribbly bits around his belt, but not nearly as much as the latest sculpts - they look like they've lost a fight with fly paper.

The main talisman of the tied bones came from the Dryad set - I thought they looked suitably dubious also. The scroll with skull is from the Empire Flagellant set (this one has proved useful for the Navy stuff as well). I'm going to add a dagger on the front too, just as an excuse for more bronze blade weaponry. I got some keys too (I think from the Flagellant set also) which all Librarians have in varying amounts according to rank it seems, but I got these for my Sergeant of the Watch in the Imperial Navy Landing Party, and as tempting as it was to get some more, the Druids are from being "Codex" in their appearance so why bother...

I didn't give him a book of any sorts as the Druids aren't supposed to write anything down (still debating that one fluff-wise), other than runic talismans - which he had dotted about his person in the form of purity seals and whatnot.


Also in the Dryad set was an animal skull that looked rather like the old school Librarian symbol but more... animalistic. Perfect. I cleaned the branches away from it with a modelling knife, but unfortunately it was too large to really fit about his person, even on the staff. So I'm thinking of popping it on a small stake and putting it on the base so it still hints at the Librarian imagery, and again looks nicely eerie and Barrow / talisman-y...

Similarly I really wanted to use the owl in the Dryad pack as a familiar, since the raven has been over used - but it looks a bit cluttered so again I thought I'd put it on the rock out of the dryad pack on the base.

The one question I have for you all is - blue armour and green and white robes, or standard green red and white armour with blue robes? Again, he's going to look pretty grubby like the rest of the Chapter.

Apologies for the dryness of the post, it's the first post I've done on the Blogger phone app...

15 comments:

  1. Cool stuff, man! Love the thought that's gone into the look and feel of the model.

    Personally I think going with the blue armor is the way to go, combined with the model-work you've done it'll really stand out as a hero of the chapter.

    Looking forward to seeing more!

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    1. Thanks very much, really appreciate it. Hopefully I can get some better photos when I get home. I was thinking that blue armour would be the way to go, maybe with the helm being green - I think that'll complement the antler shade better. I think they may be a little long themselves, might give them a trim lol

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  2. Great mini, and a well written play-by-play of your thought process from when you made it.

    I have to admit, I don't think this deeply when creating a characterful mini. I normally have an idea of what army they're being built into, and that dictates a lot of my thoughts. Its the personaly touches however that I find most fun. A sealed book on the hip for a Librarian, a collection of skulls about the waist for a Veteran, that sort of thing.

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    1. Thanks very much Narric, need to go and fix the typos and "autocorrections" from typing it on the phone. It depends what you're going for I suppose, if I was doing a more standard Chapter I'd probably do the same. I suppose I enjoy the balance of writing the fluff and showing it on the table - as not many people are likely to want to listen to me waffle on about my fluff too long before a game or read the endless times of the stuff I like to try and reflect the character of the force and the spirit of the fluff in the models. With the Navy stuff I'm working on this isn't quite done to the same extent but each figure should be characterful, and there's little details I'm trying to put on each one

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  3. Great pose. I say blue as well, and a green helmet could look cool. Antlers too long? Nar, they look awesome. :)

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    1. Ta muchly Col., much appreciated, really wanted the plasma pistol arm hanging down by his side but didn't have anything quite right short of sculpting a new one lol. Think I'll take your advice on the armour and antlers sir. Tried to watch the video you posted on Scipio's comments but couldn't get it to work, will give it another go when I'm back home...

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  4. Brilliant stuff as ever - for what it's worth, I like the slightly crooked plasma pistol arm. Can't wait to see him painted!

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    1. Many thanks sir, catastrophe has struck and one of the antlers fell off and went walk abouts, I'm drilling small insets for them next time round like I did with the staff top. Already got replacements on the way...

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  5. I really like the ideas you have for Druids, would you mind terribly if I made one? I also vote blue for the armor, I've always liked the look of blue Librarians.

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    1. Thanks Chris, no problem at all - would they be for another chapter or did you want to do one as a Mawdryn Druid as part of an exchange of sorts. With the armour was thinking of doing it blue with the main part of the helmet and rebreather green, but the crest and the side parts blue (and maybe a couple of bits of green trim here and there. The question now is I'm not sure whether the robes should be green with white trim or off-white with green or red trim

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    2. I was thinking of making a Druid of the Scythe, if you liked the way he turned out we could discuss an exchange. I also think off-white with red trim would look best, the red should contrast nicely with the blue armor and the lighter robes should bring a certain balance to mini overall. Really looking forward to seeing your Druid all painted up. What colors would a Druid of the Scythe be by the way?

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    3. That was my thought with the robes, I didn't think the green would provide enough contrast. The Druids of the Scythe, or Offeriad, I thought would be mostly black armour, white robes with a green trim - almost always hooded, without helm they should definitely have a proper beard lol, of they do have a helmet it can be normal or the chaplain skull type (found some great ones online). They should definitely have a few vials and gourds on their belt, I've got hold of a few bits for these

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  6. I've got started on something, I think you'll like what I've got so far.

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  7. Ooh I'm intrigued... Done a bit more on the chap above (and started on the Naval boarders) so I'll upload those tomorrow. Can't wait to see what you've done

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