I find myself feeling that sharing some might be a good idea, so here goes!
Unfortunately, I don't think I'm quite lined up to share about that Great Unclean One who's images I shared in the blog description, so that will have to wait.
Instead I have a finished diorama of mine, based around my SwampBound army (Swamp themed Khorne Bloodbound).
After completing the blog entry I've popped back up here to give warning that a lot of what I've chosen to write about in this is what this piece makes me think about. Not many words on the crafting itself, much more focused on the thoughts. If there is interest I'd be happy to try to do some explaining with WIP pics in the future (on an unsure time-line, of course). But for now, what I've written here is what I was interested in writing. Feel free to skip the words and simply check out the pictures if you wish!
I intend to get some much better photos with a black backdrop in the future, but my desire to share this now leads me to post what I have at hand.
Here below are a couple of overview shots:
I actually received a Khorne Bloodbound Start Collecting box by accident, when my sister ordered me a Sylvaneth one for my birthday a couple of years ago. Before receiving it, I don't think I would have ever picked up any of the army, as it never really resonated with me. After working through the shipping issues, I was allowed to keep the improperly sent box along with receiving a now properly shipped Sylvaneth one, which was quite awesome.
I decided that it felt pretty important to me to make the most of it, these boxes are expensive in my eyes and I really wanted to help myself find some meaningful experiences in the process. Because I wasn't particularly attached to the box, or initially invested in it, I decided that a great way to move forward was to let myself make some significant changes (significant to my abilities and experience, haha).
So with this project, after some personal musings, I decided that I would do my first kit-bashes by purchasing some wolf mounts (as I really dislike the normal skull crusher mounts, on a personal level. Technically speaking they look very impressive to me.). I would also modify the khorne helmets and instead replace all of the sticking out bits with antlers. The antlers come from chopped up Wild Riders deer antlers (thus the hunted deer not having its standard crown of bone). This process of antler-izing the helmets was done for all of the blood warriors as well as the skull crusher riders.
Moving away from the SC box as a whole, and focusing more onto this display, I have found that a significant portion of my personal joy with this hobby is seeing miniatures within landscapes. In a shared space, I enjoy the gameplay with a friend, but some very deep internal joy comes from seeing dioramas. After completing a display for my first two Start Collecting boxes, the Khorne Swampbound came next.
Previously I had designed displays that fit the whole army, similiar to Armies on Parade, but cut down to the size required for only the miniatures included in a SC box.
This display, with its focus solely on the wolves and deer is major shift from presenting 'everything' to presenting a selection that tells a story.
I'm a big fan of the duality of the worlds that are art meaning something to the viewer and art meaning something to the creator. I just love how I can look at something and it can have such depth of meaning to me in one aspect of my life and someone else can look and have it touch them in some other way. I certainly like the experience of shared appreciation, but I don't think that all of my joy is lost simply because someone experiences something in a different light than the way I presented it. I believe that in part this comes from me often not knowing what I'm trying to present while I create things. I like finding out as I go, mostly because I simply often don't know when I start.
But please, reader, as I share with you the connections I make as I look at my work, try and pay attention to what may speak to you. Or at the very least, please don't let my interpretations squash out alternatives.
The swampland, for me, brings up feelings towards physical life, often. My mind, imagination, emotions, and ideas can feel so fluid and quick at times, that moving these ideas into a more physical realm of creation and action, even communication, can feel like a very sluggish experience. Combined with a medical condition that I've needed to turn lots of my life's attention towards managing, which in itself leads to symptoms causing my body and mind to feel 'mired in mud', this swamp as physical life feels like a very apt connection within myself.
There is life in this swamp, clearly. Plants I imagine are uniquely situated to grow in this sort of environment. Mosses, algae, and water plants. And there are ruins, buildings perhaps abandoned when the swamps overtook this area? The hunt happens within and through these ruins, as if the leftovers of these human creations are simply part of the landscape that exists here now.
The riders of the wolves almost blur into the background for me, as I look at this piece. When I draw myself to them, I see protected humans who are emulating nature, with their green armor and antlered helms. They ride powerful wolves, and by doing this, they must recognize the power within the nature of these beasts. Interestingly, they do not have reins nor saddles. I wonder if the riders are simply at the will of the wolves, then. For them to need to go where the wolves take them. Perhaps they want this, much rather holding onto their chosen tokens; weapons, shields, standards, horns, than spend their attention and strength guiding their mounts to a destination of their choice. Hah, perhaps they don't even have a destination in mind, so the idea of reins hasn't come to their mind! I enjoy the idea of the riders finding pleasure in the skill required to stay on top of a mount that moves of its own mind. Or perhaps that wolves and riders are more connected than it seems, sharing some link that helps them intuit each other's desires and work together towards goals.
I'm enthralled by the primal movements of the wolves. Enraptured by the fierceness of their facial states. I'm surprised by the graceful gait of the deer. Her determined and wary, yet unfazed-looking stare towards the future while these wolves surround her from behind and the sides.
These two, the deer and the wolves, feel like the focus of this for me in my life right now.
Sometimes the wolves feel like primal sides of me. Anger, Hunger, Ferocity. Operating off of instinct, moving towards food, using the skills that are practically part of the wolf to get them where they need to be and to try to take what they are after. I can see them working together, working as a pack to hunt. And yet in each of the wolves' faces I see personal desire for the kill. The prize that is within their reach.
Their feet move upon the dry ground that they find, planning a course that limits the amount of time they must run through the muck (and also, fortunately, makes it so that I can choose to re-base them if I want! No solid resin stuck to their feet!)
I see each of the wolves in different poses, states of action. The middle is mid-pounce, taking the chance for a quick take down. The fellow on the right seems almost thoughtful, planning where to be to meet the deer at a certain point in the future. And the one on the left is mid-run, clearly working towards keeping up with the prey, acknowledging that more distance needs to be made before any direct action on his part needs to be taken.
The deer seems to frustrate me in ways that light my insides on fire. How can it possibly be so graceful, so... collected given its surroundings? How can it not be freaking out and darting every which way for the sake of a slight chance of escape? Does it truly have such self-confidence that it is not worried? I can see the determination, that it is clearly focused on a goal, but still...
When I consider the deer being the spiritual sides of life, or perhaps the spiritual ideas of female energy, then my frustration seems to make a bit more sense. If I'm in a place to identify with the primal male wolves, then of course the opposite side of the spectrum, the graceful female deer would feel at odds with my understanding. Sometimes I interact with the deer side of myself, in those times the wolves are less frustrating and more... 'givens'. Pieces of the whole. Knowns. I find that interesting.
I like that the deer dances upon the ruins. Using the sureness of the cut stone, the work of previous developments, to make trusted steps. The hoof itself is in mud upon a cut stone, so it clearly isn't operating from a place of trying to stay pure or clean. It simply is what it is, moving as it will.
Stepping back from the description of what these images bring up for me, I have one last photo to show. This is of the base without the miniatures inserted. I do like to play AoS, and I do like to not feel trapped within one set of choices. So being able to remove and replace these miniatures was an important step of this process. It would have been A LOT easier to go through this without trying to create these slots for the resin to not fill in. Even completed, the bases require a bit of jimmying to get in and out. But I'm pretty dang proud of it overall!
Okay, so that is the end of blog entry 1. I'm not really sure what future ones might look like, or when I might next take the time to write one up. But I hope someone out there finds either the pictures, the words, or both interesting!
Oh, and here is a shot from behind, haha.