Blackstone Fortress: Janus Draik

As noted previously my plan for Blackstone Fortress is to start by painting up everything we need to play a game, beginning with anything I can’t proxy from elsewhere in my collection and focusing as much as possible on the basic units first, before moving on to those that only appear in more advanced missions or expansions. Of course I also aim to take a fairly relaxed attitude towards this, so long as everything gets painted to a standard I’m happy with in fairly short order I don’t mind being casual about the process itself.

One of the key things that you require for every game, regardless of the mission played, is a band of heroes willing to enter the alien labyrinth. Regardless of the number of players each game contains a party of four heroes, so with three already painted it made sense to get a fourth finished in order to round out the company. In addition, well-known blogger and one man painting machine Azazel has launched his latest monthly challenge – the Jewel of July – which calls for, amongst other things, the painting of great heroes and other characters so this seemed like a fine opportunity to round out the adventuring party. In our previous games my partner Janice played the navigator Espern Locarno, her brother Tom the robot UR-025, whilst I took the pyromaniacal Pious Vorne. Control of the rogue trader Janus Draik was passed between us. Thus he was the natural choice to be bumped up the queue for a coat of paint. 

Janus Draik Blackstone Fortress Wudugast (1)Janus Draik Blackstone Fortress Wudugast (2)Janus Draik Blackstone Fortress Wudugast (3)Janus Draik Blackstone Fortress Wudugast (4)Janus Draik Blackstone Fortress Wudugast (5)

Like all of the characters from Blackstone Fortress that I’ve tackled so far he was a real joy to paint, the model packed with clever elements with which to convey his personality. Much as I enjoyed novelization of the game by Darius Hinks (perhaps not great literature but well written and solidly entertaining nonetheless) I must confess that his vision of Draik never really gelled with my own. Rather than the tragic figure – generally noble (in both senses of the word) – who has fallen on hard times as the book portrays, I always envisioned him as a high-class bastard, ruthless, cunning, self-interested and self-aggrandising, a profiteering privateer, a ladies’ man, a do-er of derring-do and a buckler of considerable swash. Here, I always thought, was a man always ready to face death armed with nothing but a razor sharp quip – so long as the money was right and there was someone nearby to capture the moment for posterity.

Blackstone Fortress Wudugast

Next up I want to tackle a few other projects by way of a quick palate cleanser, but I’ll be returning to Blackstone Fortress in the near future. Really I should crack on with some more of the adversaries, the decidedly tricky to paint negavolt cultists or perhaps the beastmen. On the other hand it’s very possible that Jewel of July will encourage me in my temptation to paint another character or two – watch this space I guess…

28 responses to “Blackstone Fortress: Janus Draik

  • krakendoomcool

    That’s a great mini. Lots of character in his face. The version in your mind sounds a lot like Lord Flashheart. Woof!

  • Mikko

    Awesome! He certainly looks more like a ruthless bastard than a tragic figure.

  • Alex

    Lovely job mate, and I totally agree that he looks like an absolute bastardo… the cod-piece is a dead giveaway! 😆

  • davekay

    He looks great, and I love how you did the smoke too!

  • theimperfectmodeller

    A very cool figure indeed. Excellent stuff.

  • Alexis West

    Your impression of his character is much closer to mine than the book’s is. I was always thinking someone sort of along the lines of Harry Mudd, but actually competent.

    He came out looking great here! Now I want to try something fancy like that with the fur as well.

    • Wudugast

      Cheers! The fur was actually really straightforward, my first shot of messing around with the new contrast paints. Because they’re a lot more runny than normal paints it was easy to just make some natural-looking stripes across the beast’s hide, would have been a lot more challenging to achieve with old fashioned paints.

      • Alexis West

        Good to know. They just keep sounding better and better. I really do need to get my hands on some at some point here.

      • Wudugast

        I still need to find the time for a proper play with them, and I’ve only got one or two colours so far, but they definitely seem like a useful tool. How much I end up using them remains to be seen but I can already see their merits for things like this.

  • mcmattila

    I very much agree with your assessment of his character. It’s amazing what you can infer from a man’s moustache! (and codpiece?)

    I can’t help but feel that the blue on the cigarette smoke is all together too cold. Otherwise it’s a great paintjob.

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! Yeah, you couldn’t go out in public looking like that and not have people think you were a bit of a swine!

      The coldness of the smoke was a deliberate choice. I wanted to hint that it was something far more exotic and alien than good old Terran tobacco – perhaps even something faintly mind-altering. The best way to do that, I thought, would be to invert the colours and rather than the warm, blueish smoke of tobacco to go for something cold, greenish and slightly unnatural. I know it won’t work for everyone though 🙂

  • patmcf

    Love it mate ,particularly the beasts around his neck ,nicely painted ,and let me add to the one man painting machine the title amazing time management man ,I go away for a few days and I fall so far behind AAHH !

    • Wudugast

      Tell me about it, I’m still trying to catch up with all the blogs I missed when I was away a couple of weeks ago. There’s too many creative people out there I tell you, it’s impossible trying to keep track of them all 😀
      Glad you like Janus (and his beast!)

  • Azazel

    He looks great – once again your crew looks kick-arse. And reading your post, I’ve just realised that this guy’s name is (probably? possibly?) a bastardisation of Francis Drake…

    • imperialrebelork

      I named my first canoe Sir Francis Drake

    • Wudugast

      Thank you 🙂 You know, I hadn’t spotted that but I think you’re probably right. There was an article in White Dwarf a couple of months ago where they talked about doing exactly that, trying to pitch names so that they implied things to the reader without hitting them round the head with them. The example they gave was Elucia Vhane – she reveals things (to elucidate) and she’s an arrogant aristocrat (vain).

  • imperialrebelork

    Soooooooooo good matey! A high class bastard indeed haha. I have yet to even build mine and/or decide on a colour scheme but I’m really liking the blue and red coat. Very regal and very cool man.

    • Wudugast

      Cheers man 🙂 Have you considered decapitating him and giving him a head with a suitably fancy hat instead, but otherwise leaving him as is? I reckon he’d fit right in with the 701 Royal BannaRoff as a swaggering officer type.

      • imperialrebelork

        I was thinking either the BannaRoff or the Praetorian army! I hadn’t considered a fancy hat actually. Could work. I can see him in a Bicorn hat or even a top hat hehe.

  • Pete S/ SP

    He looks spot on to me.



Speak, damn you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: