In The Yellow Wood

To enter a wood is to pass into a different world in which we ourselves are transformed.

– Roger Deakin; Wildwood: A Journey through Trees


For some of you The Chapel will need no introduction. For those new to it however The Chapel is the brainchild of Mark from Heresy Of Us and serves as the latest in what has become a growing – and extremely welcome – trend towards small-scale collaborative story-driven gaming events.


As part of the collaborative process Mark called on the participants to design one of the Ostium Guides. For those, like me, who didn’t know Ostium refers to “an opening or entry point into a vessel or the cavity of the body”. The Ostium Guides are those who will aid the adventurers arriving on the Chapel to gain entry to the interior – for a price. They are described as capricious, boastful and bardic creatures which “fight with the skill of a dancer” and dwell within the Albino Wood on the Chapel’s outer skin. Now if that doesn’t make you think of wood elves I don’t know what will!

First off the mark of the Chapel’s participants was ImperialRebelOrk who designed a pair of unearthly, psychopomp-like figures. With the first Guides built my own creative juices clicked into action. The original brief called for a single Guide to lead your band across the surface but I found myself unable to shake off the desire to create a husband and wife team. I also wanted something more rooted in the mundane, something earthy and autumnal.





Inspired by IRO I wanted to give my Guides long walking staffs, helping to connect them to these other, very different Guides, and to emphasis their druidic, roving nature as creatures of the xenotopic places, the byways, holloways, pilgrimage routes and hidden roads that criss-cross the skin of any world. The instrument played by the male Guide helps reflect their whimsical, musical nature and one can imagine their haunting music hanging amongst the pale trees as the walk the ghost-paths of their forest home. These are creatures attuned to the land, circulating like the air upon the planet’s surface, through the living bones of its mountains and the joyful currents of its rivers. They carry all they need upon their backs and in their hearts; a blanket to sleep under, a cloak to wrap themselves in against the rain, music and the joy of the winding road beneath their feet.

To avoid them looking too much like Wood Elves in space, with the accompanying connotations of Eldar Exodites, I used Tau heads with the slit noses carefully greenstuffed over. To me one of the key things with these characters was ensuring that they continued to look human, albeit abhuman, and that they fit into the 40k aesthetic. This latter point is harder than it first appears, 40k is defined by its towering hives and blasted wastelands and introducing creatures of the forest without them looking tacked on was challenging but I feel I got there in the end.





As usual your feedback is welcome!

14 responses to “In The Yellow Wood

  • Alex

    Very cool, very unusual! They read perfectly as guides, and certainly have an elfin vibe about them without being too obvious – love ’em mate!

    • Wudugast

      Thanks 🙂 I think the key was avoiding using too many Wood Elf parts. The bodies, and the horn, came from the eternal guard kit but everything else came from elsewhere (even the arms are originally Dark Elf in origin) so the effect was present, but diluted.

  • Thomas

    You nailed it mate! Very cool indeed. I immediately recognised them as Ostium Guides. Perfect match.

    Now let’s ruin them for you, the face makes them look like the bad guy in Harry Potter. Hahaha. 😉

    • Wudugast

      Ha! You know, you’re quite right mate! Another reason those Tau aren’t to be trusted I reckon… Not to worry, it should be less apparent once they’re painted. Glad you like them otherwise 🙂

  • imperialrebelork

    Excellent mate. Simple but effective. I like the choice of heads as it gives them an older but mystical feel. They look like they know exactly what they’re doing. Where did you get the coiled up rope from? Oh and thanks for the shout out. It’s a real honour having someone like you appreciate my work! I can’t wait to see what else you bring to the table man.

    • Wudugast

      My pleasure mate – your Guides really got me thinking about how these models would work, what they would need to be carrying, whether I wanted something more ethereal or spiritual, or something more earthy and practical. Glad you like the results 🙂 The coiled rope is from the Ogre Thundertusk.

  • heresyofus

    Nice characters mate. I like the nomadic nature and the haunting music. Really well thought out models. Will you go for earthy tones?

    • Wudugast

      Cheers. My plan was to go for a combination of cool earthy browns and off whites, but I think I’ll sit on them (figuratively not literally) until I’ve seen a bit more of the Albino Forest board. My aim is for them to look, as much as possible, like inhabitants of the forest, part of a race which has living there long enough to have shaped the woods around them and been shaped by them. I’d like them to appear able to vanish in moments into the woods and that’s not going to happen if they’re wildly different colours!

      • heresyofus

        I’m on it! I’ve got some trees and a few models, like more trees and buildings, to make but it should be the first board finished. My vision is a very pale colour scheme for the plants and trees, kind of ghost like in appearance, with the buildings of the town the same sort of colours so they blend in to the surroundings. The ground will be darker creating a stark contrast.

  • Joe B.

    Fantastic conversion and the use of the Tau heads is an awesome choice, I haven’t seen the many people use them for other projects but your midication to the nose really makes it work. looking forward to seeing these painted as well as the whole Chapel group come together.

    • Wudugast

      Cheers Joe. I think the distinctive Tau nose puts a lot of people off, although it really didn’t take much to cover it over. I too am looking forward to seeing what I come up with for the Chapel, right now it’s going to be almost as much of a surprise to me as it is to everyone else but I like to think my ideas are coalescing at last!

  • WIP: INQ28 The Chapel Warband, part 4 | High times on the Eastern Fringe

    […] seeing IRO, Wudugast, Alex and Mark (I got this terrible feeling I’m forgetting someone, drop a comment if I did) […]

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