Slaanesh Built My Dreadnaught

You crept into my bones that night in La Fenice, crept in and changed me forever. All these millennia you have slept whilst I have paced, restless and hungry – first in flesh and then in iron. Others wept and raged as their broken bodies were carried from the battlefields and beaten into unfeeling ironframes. I felt nothing. Since the day I fell free of your possession, since the tide of your control rolled back and left me, a puppet without a master, alone on the cold shore of freedom I have felt nothing! No acts of debauchery, no mutilation of flesh, not the braying of the great horns of battle or the slaughter of brothers and slaves alike has stirred in me the ecstasy you brought before you abandoned me at Terra’s walls. When the First Primarch fell and we fled from the golden walls of the False One’s palace you discarded me and left a hollow in my heart, a cold stone that has never healed or warmed since. What did it matter if I walked the stars as a man, or an ironform, or if I no longer walked at all; when all passion was denied me?

Only now do you creep back in, now that Terra is once more in our sight. What is ten thousand years, after all, to one such as you? Have you even felt the ages of my suffering? You exulted in our master’s glory whilst I was cast aside, spent and forgotten, one of Fulgrim’s chosen yet treated no better than a flesh thrall!

How I hate you! How I love you! Claim my soul! Warp my flesh! Let the horns of war scream out once more!

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Well here we have it, my Dreadtober contribution finished at last (although we’re now almost a week into Cheatvember!) Lately I’ve been finding my enthusiasm for painting at a bit of a low, and I know this held me back considerably on this project, as well as draining my interest in all my other schemes as well. Particularly since visiting Warhammer World my imagination has been bursting with new ideas and crazy conversions but the desire to actually apply a paintbrush to any of them has been distinctly lacking. What’s more as the number of unpainted models continued to mount up I felt increasingly guilty about building more without painted the ones I’d already made. In some ways I hoped that Dreadtober would give me a push to actually get on with things, after all there was a deadline to be met and a lot of people who’d notice if I failed. As it turned out it did help but not until the very last moment.

The issue, I came to realise, was not dissimilar to that which felled the Emperor’s Children themselves – and so perhaps it’s fitting that it took a Slaaneshi dreadnaught to make me aware of it. By constantly trying to improve my skills, by striving to make every model better than the last, I’d drained a lot of the pleasure out of painting. Not every model needs to be a golden demon winner – indeed that’s not something I’d consciously aspire to. Art should be organic, both in its creation and its outcomes. In striving for perfection I’d made a rod for my own back. Instead I should have accepted that nothing I could create would ever be truly perfect and just had fun with it. Photography gives us crisp realism, paintings give us brushstrokes. The flaws in live music give it a quality, some might say a soul, that overproduced recordings cannot match. In an age of Hollywood blockbusters theatre has not died. Art needs to live. By setting goals which were unachievable I left myself unable to achieve anything. As a direct result of my determination to produce models which were always better than before I found myself producing things which I was less and less happy with. The more I tried to force myself to improve the more I wanted to take each model and throw it against the wall. Hardly the outcome one wants from a hobby which one intends to be relaxing. Time to change my outlook.

With this in mind I decided to let my hair down a little and just enjoy painting, and what a difference it made. Freed from my self imposed restrictions I took on my Dreadtober challenge with a new gusto. Ultimately we can’t all be Golden Demon winners and shouldn’t aspire to be. We are all craftspeople, all creating little pieces of art in our own style. Too much planning, too much fretting over details, and the process of creating becomes a chore.

For me painting miniatures should be more like sketching, taking an idea and giving it shape without worrying too much over the minutia. I’m not espousing laziness or sloppiness but I am saying that, for me, creativity is more important than perfection – which is why when I go to the Sea of Souls Tzeentch will claim me before Slaanesh does. Ironically the end result of this revelation is a model I’m particularly proud of, indeed – in my opinion – it’s one of the best things I’ve created in a while.

Anyway, enough waffle – you came here for pictures and you shall have them!

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dreadtober-convertordie-5The knee-guard is finally re-attached.dreadtober-convertordie-3All the faces that didn’t work out as I wanted them to for the Warp Amp found a home on the base.dreadtober-convertordie-6Finally here’s a group shot of all my current Slaaneshi models.dreadtober-convertordie-8Once again I’d like to offer a huge “thank you” to Joe at Broken Paintbrush for making Dreadtober 2016 a success, and of course congratulations to all the other participants – whether they have a finished model to be proud of or just one that’s still half paint/half aspirations. As usual any comments or feedback are appreciated!

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15 responses to “Slaanesh Built My Dreadnaught

  • bigbossredskullz

    So much WIN even for slaanesh 😀 My tzeentch dread was not to be part of ‘tober but I’ll get to it eventually!

    • Wudugast

      Cheers! I’ll have to be patient but I’m looking forward to seeing your Tzeentchian dread’ eventually. Perhaps I’ll even get around to building my own before next Dreadtober.

  • imperialrebelork

    Definitely one of your best pieces mate. So much detail. I feel like I could stare at the monster for an hour and still not see all the little details. I especially like the mechanical work and the chain works well. In my opinion you should never be restricted in any way. Especially when it comes to a hobby. A hobby is for you, nobody else. Sure it’s fun to share and get feedback but for me it’s about creating things I like. I love the 40k and fantasy world but im sure I’ve broken the “rules” many times with my conversions and paintwork haha. I really enjoy how your work seems to seamlessly fit in but at the same time remain unique. However Id be really interested to see what you come up with no self inflicted restrictions. Time to unchain yourself man. Cut loose and cause havoc and most of all have fun.

    • Wudugast

      Very well, I shall consider myself unchained! Really the restrictions I was thinking of when I wrote this were all to do with my (self inflicted) desire to keep improving as a painter, but I also think it’s important to treat the background as a canvas to work upon rather than a bible to be slavishly adhered to. John Blanche once wrote of his miniatures “I don’t necessarily think of these concepts as actually existing in the Warhammer world or the 41st Millennium, but the possibility is there; they’re my interpretations of the setting”. I tend to see things from a similar angle myself, my aim is to capture characters not create gaming pieces, so I can let my hair down a little. After all none of my characters are going to pick up a discarded weapon on the battlefield and think “I wish I could use this but it doesn’t fit with my codex entry”. Likewise to the background, the galaxy is a very big place so who’s to say that warriors like mine aren’t out there somewhere?

  • p.sousbois

    Nice, depraved work, and glad you’ve got your hobby mojo back 🙂 Everyone goes about the hobby in a different way, and I reckon the key to hobby fulfilment is working out and staying true to what your own groove is. For the vast majority of people this is not a job, and so we need to be kind to ourselves; accepting our shortcomings and enjoying our favourite bits. Sure, a bit of discipline now and again to clear a backlog can help, as can practicing new paint techniques or watching some videos, but if it’s not fun then don’t do it! Looking forward to seeing what pleases you to craft 🙂

  • Alex

    Very cool dread mate, and excellent points made in your musings… we can all get bogged down with things, or wrapped up in the pursuit of perfection, and we can miss the most obvious point that this is supposed to be fun! Good to be reminded of that sometimes dude 🙂

    • Wudugast

      Cheers mate! Have to admit I’m more excited about painting than I have been for a while so hopefully I’ll start to clear my desk of half-finished projects (the unhealthy desire to buy things having never gone away!) 🙂

  • spacepoitre

    Very good work on the dread. An unusual scheme of colors for slaanesh, more evil and creepy to me, which is a good thing ! Congratulations from France 🙂

    • Wudugast

      Thanks! Because my army contains troops allied to all four gods (and to all/none of them) it’s important to me that each model reads as a follower of its patron god and as part of the larger whole. Thus I needed a colour scheme that made him read as a follower of Slaanesh, whilst still tying him to the rest of the army – so he wouldn’t look out of place if he found himself standing next to a plague bearer or a berserker. Of course, looking evil and creepy was most important of all!

  • Azazel

    Very cool finished product, and an appropriately atmospheric bit of fluff to go with it, too. Great work here, mate!

    • Wudugast

      Thanks! Of all the gods I find Slaanesh the most sinister and I wanted to capture that in the background as well as in the model. Plus I liked the idea of a possessed dreadnaught (and needed to explain why there was half a daemon sticking out the front of it!) 🙂

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