Monday, July 31, 2017

Thorn Moons Crusade: Elder One Othalanga

Elder One Othalanga

Song of Othalanga, Cerberin Brier
With a Thousand Sons I walked betwixt a profusion of petals
Until lymph and serum congealed sweet and thick
Until my marrow drained and flesh transmogrified

For a thousand years I spurned the flesh change
But I had lived as half a being
Until the celestial tides wrought our metagenesis.

I am an envenomed barb, a binary poison
Cerberin brier, a wordless hex
The heart arrests and vision fades

Wreathed in white, brass, and iron
I forge adamantium and steel with branch and bough
I shape a truth that had been sleeping

As the Thousandth Son I am reborn
I am a wanderer of moons, a changer of ways.
From Throne to Thorne.
I must live, I must die, and live again
I am the memory of all that came before,
I am the worlds soil, and the world anew.

Although I spent a large portion of this year sculpting and then casting a better proportioned Space Marine, it all started with the idea of creating an Elder One for Iron Sleet’s upcoming Thorn Moons Crusade, a major collaborative event where the Imperium, led by a ravaging horde of Space Wolves, is attempting to the purge the herectical Green Mechanicvm from existance. Although few in number and their origin nebulous, each Elder One is a prodigious warrior that towers above most Astartes. Currently, all of the Elder Ones (each created by the esteemed FPOA) have been built from one of the Forge World Primarch models. This fits quite well with the “true-scale” marine that I created, as they are roughly the same size. Due to the Elder Ones’ connection with the Green Mechanicvm, I wanted to create one that was a techmarine. While I wanted to maintain some of the classic imagery (servo arm, cog symbols, etc), I wanted to subvert them a little with plant imagery, such as flowers and tree branches.

The Thorn King - John Blanche

As a techmarine, I thought he would prefer ranged weapons over melee ones, and decided to have him holding his master-crafted boltgun.

When trying to decide a weapon for him, I felt that I should continue to experiment with standard Space Marine imagery and give him a Boltgun. From the poem that I wrote, I knew that I wanted him to be a toxicologist, studying poisons and toxins. Giving him a Boltgun with a needler attached (as a combi-weapon) seemed like a good way of incorporating his interest in toxins into the classic Boltgun design. To build the weapon, I took one of the 2nd edition boltguns and replaced the skeletonized stock with a more standard fixed stock (from a Skitarii Radcarbine). I extended the barrel of the Boltgun and then added the needler on top (converted from a Sicarian Infiltrator subcarbine).

I wanted the Elder One to be a botanist who took special interest in flowers, so I added a few flowers growing on his shoulders.
To make the base, I just combined a 32 and 40mm base, filling the seams with green stuff and adding a few branches. I also gave it a coat of GW texture paint to give it that parched look.

One of the main inspirations for the character was John Blanche’s Voodoo Forest series of artwork, with all of its monstrous forests and thorns. John also did a piece shortly after the Thorn Moon Crusade was announced, featuring wild-eyed man with a beard of vines and thorns, with withered tree sprouting from his scalp. This image embodied the emotion that I was hoping to instill in the Elder One that I was creating, a wry smirk, harboring an antediluvian certainty that all would return to leaf and branch. To achieve this, I took the head of a Forge World Legion Praetor and sculpted a wiry beard. I used part of a dryad to create a branch sprouting from his forehead, and used green stuff to sculpt a few vines around it.

I added a book, filled with esoteric knowledge of toxins and poisons, to his side, strapped into a little harness that I sculpted from green stuff.

I think the model is finally about done and ready for paint. If anyone has any suggestions on either the conversion or the paint scheme, I would be happy to hear it!

- Adam Wier


  1. Wow! Really nice. The2nd ed boltguns really are perfect for the new bigger scale of Space Marines, and even looks fine on your primarch sized one. My only qualm is I don't have enough of them left for a whole army....

    Looking forward to seeing it painted. :)

    1. I am glad you like the Elder One! He has certainly been a labor of love. :)

      Those 2nd edition boltguns are great. I think they would look nice on the newer Primaris marines. Getting enough of them for an army could be pretty tricky. I guess casting them would be the easiest option?

    2. Yeah I'm probably going to have to get into casting as I also want to do a terrain project that will rely on it. Your posts on that topic have been and will be very helpful. It's a big step to take though....

    3. Casting is a very useful technique to have in your hobby arsenal. I am glad you have found the posts on this blog about casting useful. :)

      It is a very big step to take though as you said. If you want to get nice casts you really have to invest a fair amount of time and money. Feel free to send us an e-mail if you have further questions about casting. We would be glad to help out any way we can. :)

  2. Wow the Elder One really came together excellently! Those leather straps are a detail I had not noticed until now and one of my favorites, the clasps especially I am sure were quite difficult but very well executed. The servo arm is a much better size than the ridiculous ones Techmarine models typically have. The green work and heavy amount of converting on the model are to a level that it is very easy to forget that the base miniature you start with was almost entirely sculpted itself. Absolutely stunning work man, can't wait to see him painted.

    1. Thank you for all of the kind words! I am glad you noticed the little straps and claps holding the book at his side. I still have a few more details to sculpt on the model before he is completely finished.

      It is good to finally be so close to being able to paint the model. It has been months of work. He he

  3. This is fantastic. I've been a little out of the loop lately, but I've been following the progress on the Thorne Moons Crusade when I can, and this is a great addition. the roses and the integrated skull on the shoulder are perfect touches.

    I think you could take the organic details even further though. There are a lot of mechanical details like cables and hoses, and even the claw on his pack that could be swapped out with twisted vines and branches to reinforce the symbiosis of the mechanical and the organic growth. I'd love to see armor details like a pauldron or leg plating be replaced with gnarled bark or twisted growth.

    1. When I first started planning out the model, the roses were the main detail I wanted to experiment with. The servo skull came much later in the process. :)

      I still have a little more work to do on the model's armor with the plant-life. I have considered adding a lot more vines and branches, but I am worried I could overdo the detailing on the model.

  4. Beautiful, the combination of dead metals and living roses and flora creates a wonderful imagery. The death among the flora then further twists it.

    1. I am glad you noticed all of the plants growing out of the skulls on his base. It seemed like something very fitting for Warhammer 40,000. :)

  5. Wonderful interpretation of the Elder Ones indeed Adam. Incredible amount of sculpting and attention to detail too :)

    Your take on writing a song for Othalanga is wonderful..."I am an envenomed barb, a binary poison."

    Yes! Get painting :)

    1. I am glad you like my interpretation of the Elder Ones! The ones you have created have been a big inspiration to me. I hope to begin paint the model soon (working on too many projects...).

      Great to hear you liked the poem too. It was a nice way to explore the character even further. :)