|Pain is an illusion of the senses, despair an illusion of the mind.|
Having finished building quite a few members of the Church of the Red Athenæum, I realized that I need to start painting some of them, lest the summer arrive and they are all still grey plastic and green stuff. Looking over the models that I built, Samael Urkston, the Church’s Chronicler, seemed like a good place to start. The Wayne England tribute is one of my favorite models that I have ever created, and it seemed a good place to start painting, and experimenting with a suitable color scheme for the Church as a whole. The model ended up taking quite a long time to paint, but I think the effort was well worth it, both to establish the Church’s image going forward and to honor the irreplaceable Wayne England.
|With the Church's symbol being an hourglass filled with blood, I knew I had to convey this with the glass around Samael's neck.|
It seemed only natural that I made Samael’s robes red, fitting with the Church’s name, and also paying homage to some of the older artwork from the era of 2nd and 3rd edition 40k. I worked a lot on his robes trying to transition and highlight the red, but also blended blue into its folds and creases. While I am pleased with how they turned out, I am considering doing some form of simple linework at the edges, to add definition. I will do this after painting a few more members of the Church, when I have a more defined color scheme.
To paint his skin, I departed a little from my usual method, and decided to base it around the Citadel paint Karak Stone. I added a healthy amount of different red, purple, and green washes to create subtle differences in color. All together, I think it gives his skin a leathery, old look, very fitting for the ancient scribe.
|The skulls were a very important part of the model, so I took special effort to make sure they look bleached and worn, with carefully inked numerals.|
I also experimented with many of the smaller details on the model. The hourglass was painted to look like it was filled with blood to fit with the Church’s imagery. I tried to make the top and bottom look like they were hewn from granite, by creating a stippling pattern. To emphasize his role as a scribe I added ink stains to his single glove. Although I initially painted the glove white to emphasize the black ink stains, I changed it to a pallid brown such that it did not detracted from the skull he was holding. This ended up working really well with the dusty bleached color of the skulls. To fit with the artwork inspiring the miniature, I painted stylized Roman numerals on their foreheads.
While working on painting Samael, we decided to change his background a little, removing the element about him starting to lose his faith and him beginning to sell the bodies of the deceased congregation to families of the Officio Sancti Exanimus. While we still think the idea of a member of the Church conspiring with the Body Sellers of Terra is an intriguing one, it just did not seem to fit with this particular character. What would such an old, venerable man who has defined his life by the ideals of the Church need with some extra coin? We still plan to incorporate the idea, but will do so with another character, one that the motivation is more reasonable for. The slightly modified background is below for completeness:
|To make his feather quill stand out more, I made the top a dark brown.|
Samael Urkston, Chronicler of the Church of the Red Athenæum, Lord of Bones:
When a member of the Church dies, it is their custom to remove the head of the individual, stripping it of its flesh and muscle, and removing the brain. The last necrotizing tissue is cleaned with the help of Dermestid beetles, readying the skull for “chronicling.” The deceased's life and contributions to the Church are written directly onto the bleached bone with ink tinged with their blood. This tradition dates back to the foundation of the Church, with every past member’s skull lining the walls of a cyclopean sepulchre within the Red Basilica.
Since its induction, the Church of the Red Athenæum has had a Chronicler with the chief task of recording the Church’s history. This is primarily done with the aforementioned skull-inking. The Chronicler also assists members of the congregation in preserving the bones of their limbs and other body parts that were offered to the Emperor in veneration of His suffering. Additionally, they work hand in hand with the Chief Bibliognost, transcribing the Church’s sermons and other doctrines.
Samael Urkston, Lord of Bones, is the Church’s current Chronicler. He has practiced his craft with the Church longer than most members have even been with the congregation, having joined the Church shortly after venerable Ormond was elected Cardinal (811.M41). Such is his skill and clout, that he is virtually beyond reproach, a paragon of the Faith. As such, he serves as one of the Cardinal Levedescu’s (and the late Ormond’s) most trusted advisors on both spiritual and more mundane matters.
- Adam Wier