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Out of my comfort zone (Part II)


Elves? Gelflings? Imps?

During the last days, since I published the first sneak peek of our Elf character, I read many people arguing about its species classification. Before going on, let me tell you that I'm always super happy to read people commenting on my works: it makes me really feel part of the market!

Said so, before showing you this dude in all his exotic majesty, let me talk a little about how to define him, which is quite simple: whatever you want to call him.

It's not a secret that I wanted to make my Elves more similar to the fairy creatures of Anglo-Saxon legends, and despite their anatomy is considerably different from The Dark Crystal's Gelflings, my Elves are obviously more similar to them than to the classic pointy-ears from The Lord of The Rings. So if you want to call them Gelfling, it's fine.

Concerning my point of view, I honestly am embarrassed because 'till now I've always looked at Elves only to aim as accurately as possible with my dwarf cannons, so I'm not extremely versed in these matters.

I always defined "Elves" all those beardless creatures that fumble in the dark, with weird ears and an alarming passion for bows, leaves, trees and children abductions (really guys?! How can you feel comfortable with them?!).

As you will see, as I will show you more about this new range in the next months, The Lost Court (the name I've chosen for this project) will gather many different creatures, with bizarre names and look: from titanic Trolls to creepy spirits and even the female version of Flonzi (which, for your interest, are 100% part of the Fairy People. Yes, they are Elves too, to my eyes.).

Said so, let's finally see our first Elf character, and his incredibly well sculpted (Valerio did a miracle, this time) mount:










Being the first miniature of this range, I wanted it to be as iconic as possible of the art-direction of our Elves. Despite you barely know nothing about the lore of these creatures, I think you may easily get an idea of them by looking at this scene: first of all, Elves of Inneath don't seem too friendly with other peoples. I'm not a "skull-fan", concerning miniature (sorry, Khorne, I have nothing personal against you) so I really thought A LOT before inserting this detail on the scene: I think that, generally, the abundance of skulls, gore and "look how badass adults we are" is quite goofy. However, I needed something that immediately makes you realize that these guys, despite their look may seem a bit soft and playful, Elves are quite dangerous.

In specific, this character is a kind of Guardian, that constantly patrols the Court's borders in search for intruders: nobody is well accepted inside the Fairy Court and this guy is the first memento of this phylosophy.

This is a classic archetype of Wood Elves, and indeed my Elves have lot in commons with them.

Elves of Inneath, as we have already learned in the previous blog post, have a particular affinity with..dinosaurs!

So, let me finally talk about this gigantic dude.

Being me a hipster, I couldn't accept to design a classic T-Rex, Raptor or whatever mainstream creature that everybody knows, so I thought about a Tapejara Wellnhoferi, a prehistoric guy that has such a great design by itself that I barely hadn't to change it, in order to make it look more "fantasy".

I love the beak of this Tapejara and I really can't wait to paint it with vibrant colours!

The whole scene is completed by one of my favourite passions: the big, weird, faces!

You can see them almost everywhere: the armour (kind of), the totem on the base, even the dinosaur's collar!

These faces represent (I think, I'm not an Elf) a tribute to their ancestors or maybe some kind of deities, or just natural spirits that they worship. I think that they not only give immediately that "Froud" vibe, but also connect the design of these Elves with all those symbols used in Polynesian culture (one of the main references of this range).

I think they are also great to paint, allowing you to experiment a lot with textures (are they made with wood, or with stone?) and vibrant colours.

So, here is the first character of this new range: I'm quite excited to read your reactions about, it's important for me to learn your opinions!

What do you think about it? What would you like to see in this new range, in the next future?



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5 Comments


Hello Matteo. I really enjoy your work and i am really excitted to see what this new range will look like.

To me, are they elves ? Honestly, no. They looks like a cross-over between Peter Pan's Lost Children and some asian unseelies. I am more attached to the classical scandinavian/celtic elves european representation. By the way, in Tolkien's books, elves are not perfect, Pride is often their biggest flaw like in Fëanor's tale.

Does that mean that your elves are bad ? Absolutely not. The designs are gorgeous, you are really doing something out of the standards, something unique, and that is a good thing especially with your talent.


I often buy your miniatures in order to use them…


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Durgin
Durgin
Oct 14, 2019

@Simon: uhh! I will probably visit Paris in March, I will surely take a look at that Museum!! Thanks for the hint u_u!

About this guys, I'm glad that you liked him, and I'm quite happy about the general welcome that this Elf received from our community! It seems that this kind of Elves has a lot of potential, and it comforts me that despite they are not warhammerish, people seem to really appreciate them!

Now I'm working on the first Elf warriors, I confess that it's even more challenging than designing this one because it's (almost) easy to make an impressive high rank character (the Tapejara immediately catches the eye!), but I hope that also the "humble" sentinels of…

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This design is gorgeous and I can't wait to see the next ones, especially those inspired by maori arts and objects. And I think the "masks" on his kneepads match that style quite well ;) I visited an exhibition in Musée du Quai Branly this summer, about the island cultures and people of Oceania. It was really great, and I'm sure it would have been a great inspiration for your range of elves. Even though the exhibition is now over, you definitely have to check that museum if you happen to pass by Paris: its dedicted to "primitive arts" (I don't like the word "primitive" in that context, there should be better translations out there) and the museum's collections are just fabulous…

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Durgin
Durgin
Oct 14, 2019

@Smoot: oh yes, I know Terry Pratchett's stuff ^^ indeed, my Elves are close to those "evil" creatures, than the noble&perfect ones written by Tolkien u_u but yes, skulls won't be a cliché in this range.

About trousers/knee pads, their reason is mainly a "design" one: we wanted exactly that kind of volumes and shape, and the best way to do it is with wardrobe. It's hard to explain (above all in English..) but without those volumes on arms and legs they looked quite flat and anonymous (at least, to my eyes), too similar to, for example, Malifaux's Gremlins: which are cool, don't get me wrong, but have a more goblinoid vine that I wanted to avoid u_u

However, consider…

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Smoot
Smoot
Oct 14, 2019

Interesting idea. Have you read any of Terry Pratchets stuff on Elves? Lords and Ladies. Rather nasty evil things they are too! Yep been stealing our babies from since time began. Last killing over this sort of thing in UK was late 19th C! Anyway back to the sculpt. Not too keen on the trousers and knee pads. Just don't fit the 'vibe' for me. I see more bare legs and tattoos than a set of strides, maybe grass or leaf skirts? Plenty of chance for sculpting texture there. The flying beast is very cute/nasty. Totem is fun. Males and females a level of 'cute' with an offputting feeling of 'wrong'. Think your well on the way for that look.…

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