The Last Argument – Recreating Covers
We would like to invite you to join us on this journey.
Artwork – especially cover artwork, either from books or boxed sets had always been a make or break for me. Collecting ever since books from games, that I would even never play. And it all started here, back in the 90’s with my first tabletop miniatures wargame: Warhammer.
I spent hours sitting over the WHFB 5th edition sourcebook and the cover of the boxed set – featuring Bretonians vs Lizardmen.
The vast battlescene taking place before the castle – up in front this huge knight (later I found out: the King himself) on his majestic steed scrampling over a crushed statue, facing an armoured Saurian warrior and their smaller kin – a Skink. While green projectiles (caused by magic, or gigantic creatures?) were flying through the creature infested sky, answered by burning orbs from the castle defenders. Then the eye wandered off, to all the small scenes in between and out of the painters focus. Charging knights, abadonded weapons and shields and the impression, that this was just a snippet of a huge siege taking place. And I was wondering which scenes would unfold when the eye of the observer could move back or forth?
And it was about the colours as well. The castle with ist one crushing tower in fire – yellow, orange and red dominating the right side oft he scene, while the creatures were bathed and scaled in green, brown and yellow. The whole scene, from their colours and movement of all elements seemed to crush from right to left, but without washing away the opposition; they seemed to mix into each other, whirling, conflicting like their fighting parts.
We all know, what happened to this majestic piece of miniatures wargaming. and it is up to you what you made out about it.
For us*, a huge hole was teared in what we called our hobby and main freetime activity. With their world gone and nearly 23 years of enthusiastic interaction, we were left out in the void. Or freed from shackles cast upon ourselves – by ourselves.
A journey began, to find a successor, able to fill those special needs about background, rules, list and army building that would come to an end in 2019 for us.
And it started with a cover artwork, too.
The game appeared on our radar as a „New releases“ info on our gaming onlinestore of choice. But price tag was high and the box seemed – just from the picture alone huge. But that was it. Just a picture – and the box artwork was not even full to see. Just a glimps of grey, white, black and red – in conflict. We hit the notification button and forgot it.
A few months later, we had just dropped another attempt at finding our game, Conquest was finally available. Ordering just the first (of a couple more) core box sets – I felt drawn back to these early day in tabletop wargaming. No cute dinosaurs this time of course, no maxed out Command choice on steed – but an artwork that like me, seemed to have grown up.
Grim, menacing, alien creatures in black and bone white – vast towers made from organic structure and the desperate struggle between two forces that could not be more different.
A sky cast in red and with plumets of smoke pushing these alien creatures in different sizes and shapes forwards against a mass of steel and closed ranks. A desperate warrior at the helm facing an agile assassine, ready to jump at his opponent – or get swatted aside by the two handed gripped word. And their is a noble aswell. Galopping with his entourage into the hulking brutes and the towering form of what we had to witness as truly an abomination. Both sides seem equal in this struggle. A few of the spear wielding creatures have made it into the enemy line – but the brave warrior in the center will soon be joined by other parts of this mighty army, against the alien lines that will close in. We would soon learn about and love these Spirers and 100 Kingdoms!
Know, that I shared this personal piece, I would like to get back to the reason we are here: in recreating this cover artwork – or further interpretating a scene with miniatures. I’m no professional painter, sculptor and I’m pretty sure, that there will be mistakes regarding colour composition or even focus of scene(s). But this is intended for your inspiration – you have made it to this point reading all these childhood memories and mixed feelings of a grown up man, so I will spoil this detail here.
PLAN THE PLAN
Before everything else, there is this inspiration – but we have to face reality, too. Which materials do we need, what would be the boundary, foundation of this project. Plain simple a picture frame would help me to keep my focus on a compromised space, withour being to small to even notice, or to huge to transport – because this projects serves a purpose other than being „done“ and inspirational, too. I will take it to my local store and place it in a glass cabinet. With this detail in mind, the setting and angles will become more important and the project a step closer to realistic.
MATERIALS & SPOTLIGHTS
The boundaries are set by the picture frame. Next the foundation for the miniatures – Foam Board. We add two layers, recreating the higher ground from which the Spirer forces will decent unto the 100 Kingdoms – and helping the viewer been able to see the creatures even from afar. We will need a core boxed set and two extra miniatures for conversions/ spotlights.
In the center there will be the brave Men-at-Arms – facing an assassine. We will use the Seasoned Veteran for our body, but will convert him. The assailant will be presented by a Mimetic Assasin – on the picture itself it could be a Vanguard Clone – but we will switch to this one instead. With his jumping pose, he will stand out, too. The second spotlight will be on the charging knights into the hulking Brutes. I’m not sure about the Abomination at the moment – maybe it will be added later, or must fade into the background.
The whole scene could, depending on the spot we can place it in the store, or glass cabinett either been watched from perspective A (long view) – or B sideways (side view). The scene must work in both directions.
TO FIX, OR NOT TO FIX
I’m carrying this decision since the day, the idea was born. Will I glue and pin the miniatures directly into the board, or will I keep them on their bases? To this very moment I’m not sure. The boxed set has yet to arrive and I’m thankful of the extra time. Both procedures have their pros and cons.
I will let you know in the next article. Please, feel free to leave your comments and maybe you will share your intro in the world of Conquest with us?
*without my dear brother, there would be no journey to share. No battles to fight, no need to be creative. Thank you Denis!