Annihilator in a Field of Tombstones
Posted: 19. 04. 2023.
Nekroplanet Grob is the final resting place to millions of remains belonging to an extinct species that once dominated this star system. Back in the day, funeral ships regularly brought newly departed to join their ancestors. The arid surface of the Nekroplanet is dotted with massive tomb complexes, vast fields of tombstones, and entire necropolises. Grobniks - an army of androids built to guard the dead, still dutifully protect the silent red planet's peace.
Another scenic photo from the Nekroplanet. Each of these scenes is a small window into the world of Grob, which I've already started exploring with the miniature range I sculpted that Mammoth Miniatures is casting and distributing for me. My brother and I are working on a skirmish game to go along with the setting, and if we ever finish it these scenic photos will serve as illustrations for the rulebook.
Last time I made a potential cover, depicting spaceships flying through the void towards the Nekroplanet. This month I experimented with a possible alternative, showing a Grobnik on the planet’s surface. I selected my favourite Grobnik unit type for the role: the stompy Annihilator.
IDEA AND REFERENCE
The multitude of crooked tombstones littering the hill on top of which my new Annihilator is posing was inspired by this particular painting by 20th century Polish artist Zdzisław Beksiński:
I conveniently had a set of tombstones I had sculpted last year, which are available here: LINK. I just had to get creative, since I'd need them in rather large quantities.
The Annihilator is just another variant of an already familiar design. This is the third one I’ve scratchbuilt out of assorted toy parts, and the overall largest. You can find its predecessors here and here.
For more detailed information about my greebling process and materials I use, make sure to check out my Spherical Drone Build tutorial: LINK.
PHOTOGRAPHY AND EDITING
Everything you see in the photo was actually there, except for the stars, which were added from a stock photo in editing stage.
This is what the photograph looked like before editing:
My editing software of choice is Affinity Photo. It's similar to Photoshop, but the licence is actually affordable. If you want something that's free to use, have a look at Photopea, an online photo editor. (I'm not sponsored by, or affiliated with any of the aforementioned.) I cropped it, adjusted brightness, contrast, shadows, colours, as well as added stars in the sky, overall noise, and wear-and-tear texturing.
This is what it could look like if used as a book cover:
In other Nekroplanet-related news:
Ivan and I are playtesting the latest version of the skirmish rules. We had a major rehaul recently, and it plays a lot smoother now. As you can see in the photo below, I’ve also been building some ruins for terrain. A lot more to be done, and I’ll definitely show it off up close in the future.
The new Grobnik sculpts I had sent to Mammoth Miniatures have by now been moulded, and I should be receiving first resin copies in a few weeks. I'm planning the release for early June, but if you find yourself at Salute in London this weekend, you’ll have the opportunity to get them before I do! They will be available in small quantities early at the Mammoth Miniatures booth. The three newcomers will finish off the list of Grobnik types that exist in our game, so I suppose I'm scupting a collection of space treasure hunters next.
As always, I must thank my patrons! Your support is appreciated. If you’re not a member, you can join here anytime: PATREON. The extra coin allows me to experiment with new ideas, tools, materials and techniques - and produce quality content for everyone to enjoy.
I like the end result, ie the electronic image you created. But I also feel a bit uneasy about all this photography & image editing stuff, since obviously the actual model’s coloring doesn’t really look like what we see on screen. It makes we wonder about all those painted miniature showcases… I guess that’s a good thing.
Suppose I wanted to commission you as a miniature painter. How would I have an accurate idea of what the end result would be like?
Hi Ricardo, thank you for your interesting comment!
You can never have a completely accurate representation of a painted miniature in a photo, and that’s due to a combination of reasons. First, a miniature even when looked at ‘in the flesh’ will look differently in different lighting conditions (though in person is still the best way to examine a figure). In a photograph, that will be multiple times more in effect. Poor lighting and camera settings can make a fantastic paintjob look shitty in a pic, while knowing how to light the photo can bring out the best in any paintjob. Additionally, different digital screens will display colours differently, as will printed material. If you look at that photo I showed before editing, when I compare it to the figure in my hand it also does not represent the actual colours. Adjustment of several parametres in editing is usually necessary to get it to look closer to reality, or simply more presentable. You are absolutely right, photos of miniatures are deceptive, one way or another.
To make you even more paranoid: people can digitally retouch their paintjobs to remove imperfections (and some definitely do), to the extent that a figure can even be coloured completely digitally.
This photo undoubtely represent far better the idea of the game, nice work.
I’m curious about those treasure hunters.
That looks fantastic! Interesting to see the process behind the photos.
Thanks Igor and Warburton!