Blackstone Fortress: Espern Locarno

Next to emerge from the labyrinthine depths of the Blackstone Fortress, my partner’s favourite character – Espern Locarno. I must admit, I don’t think she was entirely sure about her choice to begin with but once she saw the kind of effect a glance from a Navigator’s warp-filled third eye has on a hapless traitor guardsman she was sold. Given her enthusiasm for the character I probably should have painted him sooner but, in my defence, I was terrified of messing up the pattern on his cape. It still isn’t perfect but it looks good in hand and that’s good enough for now.

Espern Locarno 1Espern Locarno 2Espern Locarno 3Espern Locarno 4Espern Locarno 5

The Navigator households are one of the most interesting parts of the Imperium for me, and ripe for future exploration by GW’s miniature’s designers. I’m also pleased to see that a novel featuring them, Rites of Passage by Mike Brooks, is forthcoming – given his masterful handling of Necromunda in Wanted: Dead and A Common Ground (itself apparently a prequel to Rites of Passage) this will definitely be on the “to read” list as soon as it’s released.

27 responses to “Blackstone Fortress: Espern Locarno

  • theimperfectmodeller

    Great job mate, especially on the cape. Looks like freehand to me but I have been wrong before! In any event it required good brush work and looking at these images you nailed it.

    • Wudugast

      Cheers! Not proper freehand per se on the cape but close enough for a few headaches! There’s a sculpted pattern to work to so I had some guidelines but I’m not sure how much that helped – everyone is working to the same pattern so I was always going to be directly comparing myself to anyone else who painted him and despite there being guidelines a lot of the challenges of freehand were still there. Plus because the guidelines were already in place I had to fill them in, there was no option to bottle out and leave it blank! πŸ˜‰ Anyway, glad you approve of the end result – was definitely a job for steady hands.

  • Alex

    Very nicely done mate – it’s a hell of a mini to take on, but you nailed it! Totally agree with your comment on the Navigators being such an interesting part of the law…

    • Wudugast

      Thanks very much mate πŸ˜€ Yeah, I think we’ll see a Navigators army someday. Maybe not for a while (i.e. maybe not this decade) but I can’t see GW ever saying “Well, we’ve really done everything we’re ever going to with the Imperium, we’ve given it 30 solid years now it’s time for something new”. Sooner or later they’ll have filled out all the existing factions as much as their customers will tolerate and they’ll need a new avenue to explore, at which point the real masters of the Imperium will get their moment.

  • patmcf

    I just love the eyes Mate ,the turquoise really stands out against the copper and gold .

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! Yeah, the eyes were very much a happy accident, as soon as I painted them in it was one of those “Eureka!” moments when he just came alive.

  • heresyofus

    Its a cool model! Nice work on the purple and I’d have to agree the navigators would be a cool faction to have.

    • Wudugast

      Thanks mate! I really think this is one of the models with which Blackstone Fortress was an attempt to test the waters and he certainly seems to have been a hit, I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like him. Like I was saying to Alex above, I’m sure we’ll get a full faction for the Navigators, perhaps not for many years yet but their moment will come (and even if it’s not for a couple of decades yet I’ll still be working my way through my backlog so from my point of view there’s no rush…)

  • Thomas

    Excellent paint scheme with the purple and blue. Great work, mate!

    • Wudugast

      Thanks man! Truth be told separating the purple and blue areas of cloth was one of the biggest challenges of painting him. I wanted them to look fairly close in tone but different enough that they stood out from each other. Of course it’s one of those things where if you get it right no-one will notice, and if you get it wrong everyone will! πŸ˜€

  • krakendoomcool

    The eyes are really bringing that unusual helmet to life. Also really like the blue and purple cloak, nice choices.

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! Yeah, I wanted to use purple and blue here, they’re not colours I get to use very often and they bring a real feeling of wealth to the character (even more so than all the gold I feel). I wanted him to stand out straight away as the richest guy in town πŸ™‚

  • Pete S/ SP

    That is fantastic- the colour and blending are so well done.



  • davekay

    Nice work, I really like your colour scheme here

  • Alexis West

    Very cool! He’s the only one I’ve played as, but I stalled out on painting him because of the detail on the cloak. The various colours you used back there came out great, and I think I’m going to have to borrow your colour choice for the eyes.

    Also, his name is really fun to say with a totally over the top accent. “EsssPERN LoCARNo! At your service!”

    • Wudugast

      Haha! You’re right about the name, we were really getting into doing everything in character, Janice was poshing it up as Espern and I was going full on religious zealot with Pious!

      Yeah, I could easily have stalled on him with the detailing on the cloak too, but by that point it was the only thing left to do so I forced myself to push on. I know you’ll do a great job when you get back to him πŸ™‚

  • imperialrebelork

    Oh wow man. This is some of your finest work. The detailing on the cloak is exceptional.

  • krautscientist

    Easily the most interesting model in the Blackstone Fortress box, and you have really knocked it out of the park with him! I am tempted to say that this is one of your best paintobs so far, mate!

    I have also been wondering about painting Locarno with bright blue eyes for quite a while, so it was extremely helpful to see your proof of concept, as it were πŸ˜‰

    Keep up the excellent work! πŸ™‚

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! Yeah, I’m really pleased with him and I agree, he’s certainly one of the best painted models I think I’ve produced – hopefully goes to show that just gently pushing myself to keep upping my standards has paid off.

      As for the bright blue eyes, it’s surely the only way to go with a navigator. The spice must flow after all… πŸ˜‰

  • Carlo

    Three thumbs up for the (quasi-) freehand! The whole model looks lovely πŸ™‚

  • Azazel

    Lovely work! Really like the subtlety between the purple and blue, and the old gold really offsets it (and the eyes in turn offset the gold!) Great stuff!

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