Monday, 16 April 2012

A blast from the (ancient) past

There’s been no mini painting action during the last two weeks as I’ve been to Egypt over the Easter holiday. I’ve had an interest in Egyptology for the last twenty years and it probably comes as no surprise that on occasions my interests in Ancient Egypt and miniature painting come together. 

Ancient Egypt is a rich source of inspiration providing imagery and mythology that many miniature companies have tapped into. I’m most familiar with the Egyptian inspired minis of Games Workshop (Tomb Kings) and Crocodile Games (War Gods of Ægyptus). The Tomb Kings minis take on the exotic imagery of Ancient Egypt and mix it with the more gothic iconography of death to produce a distinct hybrid style all their own and appropriate the Warhammer world. In contrast the War Gods minis present a far more recognisable version of ancient Egypt albeit a highly fantastical one with magic and monsters. 

My first use of Egyptian imagery in my mini painting came back in 1992 when I painted a Swooping Hawk Exarch using the Egyptian Hawk God Horus as a source of inspiration.

In 2007 I discovered the War Gods minis and I’ve had a lot of fun painting a few of them up. 


I collect Egyptian replicas and on rare occasions you can come across a decent one in the Egyptian Bazars. Inevitably in order to make it more saleable an enterprising Egyptian will have painted it gold – very gold! On several occasions I’ve called on my model painting experience to put the appearance of a replica back to something more like the original. 

More recently I used an Egyptian style head on my first version of the Dark Eldar diorama 

So much for the past, what about future projects?

I’m normally very bloody minded about only working on one project at a time or I’d never get anything finished and lets be honest the Dark Eldar diorama is taking more than long enough! However my trip to Egypt has me fired up with the urge to go paint a mini mummy and several ideas I’ve had in the back of my mind came together. Rather than store the idea away and probably never see it done I’ve taken a break from my Scourge and begun prepping a Tomb King 

Something I’ve wanted to try is cutting away a portion of a plinth to create some more interesting terrain for a mini and this combined with a piece of wood I picked up while walking home from work have come together to form the basis for my new base. The mummies are a combination of War Gods mummies (lots of bandages - very nice) and the Khemrian Warsphinx Tomb Guard Crew. The Tomb King (converted) from the Warsphinx will stand atop the rock outcrop summoning his undead legions up out of the desert sands.

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