Saturday, 26 December 2015

Dave's Primarch Miniature Theory

Firstly, happy Christmas everyone. I hope you all got your hobby-gift wish? (let us know please). My lovely wife (she didn't make me write that, honest... Love you Helen) brought me a copy of Wolf King. I haven't managed to read it yet but the limited edition packaging is awesome. I have never brought a HH limited edition before but I love Wolves and Chris Wraight is a great writer so I thought this would be a good Christmas gift for me.

But, lets get down to the topic of my post... my theory on Forge World's Primarch miniatures and more specifically, why they designers have selected the poses that they have.

When Roboute Guilliman was released there was no doubt it was a fine miniature, but why did they select THAT pose? The one with a single power fist and a sword?! I, like many I am sure based on the comments I have read around the interweb, was so hoping for the twin-power-fist-angry-rage-face pose from the cover of Know No Fear:

Having Guilliman with that pose would have made me buy him, despite my previous lack of love for the boys in blue. That pose and that book made me love the Ultramarines. In fact, every time a new Horus Heresy novel comes along, 9 times out of 10 Neil Roberts' artwork makes me want to start a new army. And I know many in the community feel the same, just read the comments on any blog or forum site.

I didn't buy that miniature in the end. I generally paint the miniatures that inspire me, and that pose didn't get my blood pumping.

So, with Mr Roberts' excellent direction, why has Forge World chosen not to use the Black Library art for inspiration on so many occasions?

Here's my theory: many of the miniatures coming along now represent the two side of the same coin so often thrown up in the literature. We have Guilliman the empire builder, Lord of the Five Hundred Worlds. His miniature pose matches that of Horus, first among equals and builder of the Imperium (whether on behalf of himself or his farther):
Both have a single power first and a power weapon in the opposite hand.
So who else have we got so far? Ferrus and Fulgrim don't really match in terms of pose but they were modelled much earlier, so I'll exclude them.

But we do have Vulkan and Perturabo, arguably two sides of the same coin: both blacksmiths, both artisans, both believers in the strength of Man:
And FW posed them similarly: hammer in one hand, leaning in for the attack.

Then we have the latest addition (which made me think of this whole link in the first place): Corax and Curze. Both from planets enslaved by the dominant elite, both members of the enslaved population. Both could have become bitter and twisted but one chose the dark and the other the light. Look at the way they are posed:
Look at the legs, look at the claws. Both Angels, but one is an Angel of Death and Destruction. Horus and Guilliman aside, these two are definitely, consciously designed as a pair of miniatures I would suggest.

So in summary, the designers haven't gone for the poses depicted by the artwork, they have gone for the poses that reflect that Primarch's character and tied that in with their traitorous (or loyalist, depending on your persuasion) counterpart.

Maybe I'm reading too much in to it.

When I threw this thought out there, Steve (another of the Four Dads group) suggested that the doubling up of poses was inevitable. There are 18 (or 19) Primarch miniatures to design and ensuring that they are all unique whilst remaining dynamic was always going to be difficult. I'd argue that the artwork for the novels is all different and dynamic, so the designers could have easily done this if they had selected images from the novels/novellas/audio dramas/Collected Visions... there are tons of sources.

What do you think?


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