None shall pass!

Hail, and well met. This week I’ve been utterly blown away by the progress of my fellow Aaronoriumites! Although I’ve managed to get my skirmish warband completed I didn’t want to rest on my laurels, and Ross’s Dark AoS/Inq 28 dabbling really put me in the mood to work on something to enhance the narrative of my army.

I mentioned my army-themed realmgate in a few previous posts, and this week, while building some palladors and gryph hounds, I continued to work on it.

Having previously measured the dimensions of a realmgate:

 

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(Original pic by Matt over at the descentintochaos blog)

…I proceeeded to cut the rough arch shape from foamcard. Having superglued several layers (and several of my fingers) together, I added a capstone with the icons of the realms and Sigmar’s twin-tailed comet sigil pinched from the Eternity Stair terrain kit. To further push the theme I added two Gryphon statues from the war altar of Sigmar kit.

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Having sketched out the framework for the gate I’m now focusing on the detailing, and in the week ahead I’ll be ‘dressing’ the arch, and creating a suitable base.

I’ve even started work on a small altar before the arch. Upon it sits a hefty tome, no doubt redolent in arcane mysteries, which may unlock the realmgate for passage to Azyr, or lead the unworthy through into their inevitable doom.

 

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It’s a real page-turner!

Now a gate needs a gatekeeper.

I’ve always been a sucker for the ‘defiant guardian’ trope, where a defiant hero draws a line in the sand and says ‘No further!’.

 

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History’s most dedicated bouncers

 

By way of my first dabbling in a Dark AoS-style kitbash I decided to juxtapose the Gryphon statues with two ‘Watchers of the Way’. I see these two as sentinels who watch over one of the now active Realmgates to Azyr, and though they’ll be painted in the style of the rest of my army I envisage them as simple ‘scenic’ characters, who take no active part in games…

 

Both are converted from the awesome Shadespire kits, but on seeing the new release for Malign Portents with the quilted tabard, I decided to add some more cloth to the armour, to add a more ‘ceremonial’ vibe.

 

First up is this chap:

 

 

I went back and forth on whether to add a shield to his left hand, but the notion of the ‘broadsword-wielding guard’ felt more natural. So much so, that I mirrored the look for his compatriot:

 

Both still need a bit of greenstuff, and I think I’ll trim the male guard’s robe with a similar eldritch flame pattern to the lady’s. I’ll paint the trim in whatever colour I use on the lightning I’ll be modelling on the gate itself, to underline their connection.

 

As I continue my main force build I’ll be tinkering with the gate (and gatekeepers!), and will endeavour to post updates when there’s anything worth showing!

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Come at us, bro!

Until next week, hobby well!

Mark

20 thoughts on “None shall pass!

  1. I am loving this realm gate project of yours, it just looks maximum excellent, especially with the two gatekeepers.

    For symmetry you could add some sigils of sigmar to the female guardian as well, like the one on the chest of the male. Tying them further together. Same for perhaps the shoulderguard, adding a lion’s head.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers, dude! I’ve been thinking about that. She’ll certainly be getting some sigils of her own, and her shoulderplates will both be getting some extra detailing…

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  2. Loving this realm gate project of yours, it is inspiring stuff. The little tome in front of it kinda reminds me of the control panels in stargate, just press the right buttons and you’ll end up somewhere (hopefully not deadly).

    As for the guardians, excellent stuff. You could add a sigil of sigmar to the female guardian as well, creating that symmetry between them and further tying them together, so to say. Same for perhaps the shoulderguard, add a lion/dragon (or whatever it is) to the female’s as well.

    How easy did you find it to convert the shadespire kits? been thinking of picking up one of them myself, but they come as almost one piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! That’s sort of what I was trying to touch on, with the implication that only those ‘in the know’ could use it…

      The female guardian will definitely have some detailing to unify the two, perhaps suggesting an as-yet-unidentified Stormcast chamber.

      As for the Shadespire kits, I love them. They are very push-fit/monopose, but the plastic is slightly different to standard kits, and clips/cuts easily, making for easy conversions – my Knight Venatrix from previous posts was based off the same female Shadespire mini, but has a very different dynamic.

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      1. Though I’d not thought of that, now I can’t unsee it…WoW’s indelible impact on my subconscious strikes again! *grin*

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  3. The archway is looking great, but those Watchers are awesome!

    Like part Heimdall, part Grail Knight from Last Crusade. They might stand watch for centuries. Whole Stormhosts guard the largest realmgates, but the lost and hidden ones have but a solitary warden.

    These two could be mighty champions, protagonists themselves, or they could equally be the final boss in a Silver Tower dungeon, guarding the portal from unworthy heroes. Literal threshold guardians.

    Such a good concept though. I kinda want to have my own go at making one!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You…you just get me.

      All of the above, at some point, went through my mind when making them.

      When I saw the Lord-Ordinator I wanted some more understated, static characters, and the hoods were something I’ve been considering making a big feature of my Freeguild force, but as soon as I saw the dark angel and wildwood ranger helms, the concept for the characters and the conversions pretty much took care of themselves!

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  4. This is amazing stuff. Love the link between the two larger gryphons and the smaller ones on the book. The silent gate guardians are thematically brilliant also. Just evocative fantastic stuff – probably my favourite piece of work that’s come out of this blog yet.

    A few humble musings:

    The poster above that mentioned The Dark Portal from Warcraft has it spot on. Have you thought of potentially building upwards, so to speak, and building stairs leading up to the portal? It’ll add height, and help space out all the detail across different tiers, which actually makes the piece feel a lot more imposing. Kinda like this: http://wow.zamimg.com/uploads/screenshots/small/27803.jpg

    That way, you can
    – Have a bit more space, or potentially an entire layer of stairs between the book / altar (stroke of genius) and the gate so it doesn’t look like someone’s going to trip right over the book when they walk through the gate

    – Consider having your gryphon as actual guardian statues (facing forwards at the foot of the stairs). The orientation of the gryphons makes a huge different to the character of the piece – rather than gate decorations (facing outwards), actual “gate guardians” typically face forwards, poised as if they might actually come to life to defend the gate. There’s a lot of real life examples of Chinese Lions that are fantastic references: see
    https://ak1.picdn.net/shutterstock/videos/5176211/thumb/1.jpg?i10c=img.resize(height:160)

    – Create clear space around the foot of the gate itself where your twin gate guardians can stand watch, the last line of defence between the gate and anything trying to get in (or out…)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks WSP! All sage suggestions, and all, ultimately, already planned. The photo is a bit of a WIP shot, but the idea is to have the Gate atop a flight of steps, with a staggered flat level every few steps – one for the guardians, a second for the altar and a third for the gate itself/Gryphons. Great minds think alike! The steps also let me add more detail, to help unify it with the rest of the campaign’s terrain, with some sandstone, vines/bracken, and weathering to ramp up the age of the piece…

      Expect updates as it progresses!

      Like

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