Ferrus Manus, Primarch of the Iron Hands

Hey Mom,

Ferrus was the first Primarch I painted. My wife bought the miniature for me as a Christmas gift.

Ferrus Manus is Primarch of the Iron Hands Legion, one of the original twenty Legiones Astartes created by the Emperor of Mankind before the beginning of The Great Crusade.

ferrus front

Ferrus was not “difficult” to paint. I use that term loosely because painting a primarch is not an easy task, but he didn’t have the sheer level of intricate detail present like that of Fulgrim’s miniature. Despite that, Ferrus has an incredible amount of accessories, namely his backpack full of technological goodies, to paint.

ferris other side

One of my favorite things about Ferrus is that the miniature has a sense of motion to it. The pose is really dynamic and all the hanging cables, cords, and chains swaying about give him an incredibly kinetic feel. The miniature feels like it is a captured moment in time, like a snapshot within his scene. Some of the newer character series models from Forgeworld look wooden. Some even look ridged even though they are sculpted to be “in motion.” Because of this, Ferrus remains my favorite Horus Heresy model with Fulgrim close behind.

ferrus side

I believe the most difficult part of the model was to paint the transition between the flesh of Ferrus’s arms and his metal forearms. Making sure the transition was correct and “natural” between the two distinctly different colors was extremely important.

ferrus exploded

Like Fulgrim before him, I magnetized Ferrus’s base. The base opens up to hold the 40mm gaming piece that Ferrus is attached to in case a player wants to use him in their army. There is also a small section of the base that comes off to allow Fulgrim and Ferrus to join together in their climatic duel at the end of the novel Fulgrim. As I mentioned last time their weapons would be switched if the duel was accurate, but it is important they can exist outside of that one specific moment.

ferrus vs. fulgrim

The two figures “attached” together.

Fulgrim, Primarch of the Emperor’s Children

Hey Mom,

Art and writing are what this blog is all about. For a long time I’ve done little of either. I’m going to kick off the first official post of this blog with a miniature I completed a few months ago. I’ll be featuring more of these as I get them photographed and presentation ready.

Before moving to Alabamastan I worked at a Game/ Comic book shop that became one of the best experiences of my life. I met good people and genuinely enjoyed my job. I haven’t looked fondly on a job since I was in high school. During my time at the game store I became immersed in tabletop gaming and was seduced by the allure of Games Workshop’s Warhammer properties.

Everyone that worked at the store were veterans of the game by many years, some having played since the First Edition/ Rogue Trader days. I was determined to know the game, not just to fit in, not just because the culture of the store was built around Warhammer, but because most of our customers had questions about it and I wasn’t going to be the only guy who couldn’t answer them! The more I learned, the deeper I was immersed.

I love the lore of Warhammer 40K, the setting is wonderful to put it mildly. The game itself I could take or leave, but I do love the hobby aspects. I love miniatures and painting them combines my love of art with the miniature aspect. Bringing to life a character from this series brings me a lot of joy. Building my own characters and armies around a brief story has become a real passion of mine. The only downfall is that I don’t have a small labor force to make it happen faster.

Forgeworld is a subsidiary of Games Workshop that specializes in hand made, resin miniatures that are extremely detailed. Because of the specialized nature of Forgeworld, this subsidiary can produce more esoteric and more risky ventures than Games Workshop. But, there is an added bonus for me as a storyteller. The setting is even more rich, more real, and more dramatic at Forgeworld. Games Workshop has turned their property into a caricature of itself by reducing their powerful story into a toy oriented framework. Some of the miniatures are detailed, others are absurd and cartoony. There is no consistency and the story of the world is uneven to say the least.

Forgeworld specializes in keeping the setting dramatic and serious. Because of this my first army was Death Korps of Krieg Army and my son has a multi-era (Crusade, Heresy, 35K, 40K) Ultramarines army. These values are reflected and culminated inside their Horus Heresy series, a line of miniatures originating from 40K backstory and developed from a line of novels of the same name.

For my first art presentation on this blog I’ve chosen Fulgrim, Primarch of the Emperor’s Children. One of the twenty genetically engineered sons of the Emperor of Mankind. These Primarchs lead a Legion of men that have been genetically modified with genes from their primogenitor Primarch. In turn, these Legionaries are a kind of sons to the Primarch.




Fulgrim was the hardest of all the Primarch models I’ve painted thus far. They are all difficult in their own regard, but Fulgrim’s armor is extremely detailed and ornate. The miniature proved quite a challenge to my skills. Fulgrim became a constant source of stress and he was shelved for a bit while I started and finished Angron, while I attempted to think out some of Fulgrim’s problems.


A Primarch model is not only expensive, but they occupy, as a collective, the second most important slot in the entire Warhammer lore, second only to the Emperor himself. They demand attention and care. My goal with the Primarchs and the Heresy era character series of models is to produce the most accurate representations, grounded in as much reality as the Warhammer setting can muster. This philosophy has permeated all my Warhammer 40000 work, I try to keep things as “real” as possible. The cartoony look that the ‘Eavy Metal team produces is of zero interest to me. I choose to work in the same way Forgeworld chooses to approach the Warhammer universe: seriously.


After reading the fifth book of the Horus Heresy series: Fulgrim I became very attached to the title character in the lore. Ultimately, I wanted him to be represented as he would be at the height of his power in service to humanity. I felt this was the best way to represent him across all eras. Briefly, I was tempted to switch weapons with the Primarch Ferrus Manus to remain faithful to the text and the centerpiece duel between Fulgrim and his closest brother at the Istvaan V massacre.

I chose to age the armor of the Primarchs, not only to show that they have been in use for well over a century, but the tarnished gold of their armor represents the sin they each carry within. For all their greatness and renown they are all deeply flawed in their own ways.

Looking at the model everyday in my personal display collection I’m humbled by how much I went through to complete this work, thinking at times I had ruined him, but miraculously pulling it all together in the end. Most of all I learned that I need to be extremely patient with miniature painting. I have a desire to complete the model as fast as possible and that impatience gets me into trouble everyday. I want to give each piece the respect it deserves.

Technique wise I want to get better at painting eyes, glass/ jewels, and I need to learn to simulate small writing. I really wanted to ornately detail his oaths, but I just couldn’t do it. I painted over it and just weathered the paper. In regards to the eyes; the heads of the Primarchs are massive by comparison to a normal 25mm figure, but they were still challenging. I find eyes to be one of the most difficult things to master in miniature painting.

Thanks for taking a look at my work. I’ll get another one posted up in a few days as I continue to photograph more of my work. I also plan on doing more recent works as I progress on them and produce more posts by taking a look at other art related topics.

In the meantime if you would like to see some of my other miniatures you can visit my Flickr page by clicking on the pictures in the right column.

Late Night Clarity

Hey Mom,

I’m sitting up at 1:03AM.

I don’t stay up that often anymore, but I used to many years ago. When I was in my teens I would sit up virtually all night and be at full capacity. I would draw, play video games, or watch TV, dreaming of whatever. When I was with friends we would discuss all the deep philosophies of life over Steak ‘N Shake. As I got older those dreams and discussions turned into writing sessions and I wrote furiously at night. My best work was a night. For some reason it was the only time I could be absolutely creative and it was the only time I had absolute clarity in my life’s purpose and direction.

Tonight I had that feeling again. I was in my studio, painting, and about 10PM something inside of me just clicked like a light switch. I began to strip my studio apart and clean it. The only force I had inside of me was the desire to complete my backlog of sales projects. I wanted to focus on each one and get it out the door and ready to be sold. I organized my shelves and put each project in order from closest to, to furthest from completion. Absolute clarity, singular purpose, and determination consumed me.

I dread going to sleep after writing this because I know when I wake up the clarity will be gone. I’ll remember the feeling, the residual echo of it lingering in my chest, and the loss of that will weigh on me. Tomorrow, I will start to work on each individual project as I imagined it happening this evening, but after a few days I’ll get distracted and work on something else, perhaps start something personal or new. Eventually I’ll be in over my head, scatterbrained, lost, and seeking a way to keep my head above water.

One of the benefits of being younger was that I could stay awake until 6AM and sleep until 4 or 5PM. Almost never loosing touch with that feeling of clarity, always having the desire and willpower to do as I wanted and as I needed. Now that I’m older the schedule is 6AM to 10PM. A distinct severance from my “prime operating hours,” a severance that I can feel within, in my gut, my soul.

For my entire adult life all I have wanted to do was harness the clarity I find in the evenings and spark it in the mornings. I want to exist and feel like what I imagine a normal, well adjusted, functional adult does during normal, well adjusted, functional adult hours, but after more than a decade of trying I still find capturing that feeling impossible. This may be part of the reason I constantly try and find people to work and partner with because they might help me spark that clarity and, with their creative inspiration, keep me focused in the morning hours.

Unfortunately I’ve come to the conclusion that as my age advances I’ll never be able to work in a collaborative, creative environment, my true life’s goal. Although it doesn’t consume me as it did years ago, I still sometimes fantasize about the prospect. I want to lead a wonderful studio filled with creative people that will help create stories that will affect people’s lives.

I don’t know if tapping back into that clarity was a good thing or a bad thing this evening. I have the tendency to chase after it. Hopefully my age has tempered my ability and desire to chase the muse that seems to only visit me at night to torture me with the vision of the man I could be.


Hey Mom,

I’m just going to do some rambling here. More or less to put my current situation out in front of me and evaluate my course.

I’ve given the site a reboot onto wordpress.com to get away from paying a monthly fee to a hosting company. I like that, but silly things like limiting CSS access are plain annoying, but I’ll cope. I like WordPress as a platform and wanted to stick with it rather than go to Blogger, or Tumblr.

In the last several weeks I’ve been going to physical therapy for my back two times a week. I was finally discharged today in better condition than when I checked in, so that is mission accomplished. The therapists were excellent and I sincerely thanked them for working with me, despite not having a critical injury. My day to day pain level use to be around a one or two depending on my activity level. Even sleeping and sitting led to mild discomfort. That is all gone now. Now that therapy is over I need to get some new running shoes and get my run back up to 5K.

My son is out of school for the summer. I’m doing my best to keep him entertained. We play World of Warcraft and Minecraft together occasionally and we’ve already completed the anime series Attack on Titan via Netflix. We’re looking for another series to geek out over together. He is showing interest in Cowboy Bebop and I’m interested in watching the show again, so that is definitely in the cards. I wish the Blu-ray was out already. The DVDs I have are in rough shape. He expressed interest in running at the end of the school year, but each morning I try to drag him out, he is less than enthused. I need to put a bit more pressure on him to get out.

I’ve also begun an in-depth Bible study three days a week. I’m highlighting that process in another blog called Servant Unto Tribute. You can read about my thoughts and feelings on my personal pursuit of Christianity there. I’ve finished the overview of the Old Testament and I’m moving through extended studies of it now. I really want to master the Old Testament before I move onto the New. I don’t think Christians give the Old Testament the attention it deserves and they miss out on a lot of incredible discoveries and insights.

I’m still painting miniatures, but I feel like an indentured worker right now. I’m trying to move through some “extra” 40K armies right now to bulk up my portfolio and prepare them as fully painted figures for sale on eBay. I want to sell them so I can get more Horus Heresy related models. My character series collection is behind and I need to bulk out the Ultramarines Crusade/ Heresy/ Post Heresy/ Age of Darkness tiered army build I’m working on with my son. My Death Korps of Krieg are not completely ignored as I just completed a Forgeworld Thunderer tank and I’m in the process of painting the Forgeworld Event only Ogryn Boss/ Death Korp Victim model. I’ve also got a small mix of Kingdom Death models on the table. I’m both anxious and fearful of receiving my Kingdom Death: Monster Kickstarter rewards if I can’t get this stuff wrapped up. I still have Vampire Counts and High Elf armies still in boxes. My miniature painting portfolio is up on Flickr right now with a few entires. I plan to bulk it out in the next few weeks with more recent work.

Creatively I feel lost. Everything in me wants to create something. I considered writing again, but I can’t find the time or the story to trigger my excitement. I’m going back and forth with finally writing a novel from one of my screenplays, but I feel ho-hum about it. I’ve worked piecemeal on some screenplays and a pen and paper RPG setting I’ve been working on for the past decade, but I’ve not committed fully to completing anything. I want a project that can created for a small amount of money and then be sold to others.

I really wish I had some like minded teammates. Being alone as an artist leaves you floundering and directionless. I will, however keep on keeping on. I can’t say it will be productive creatively, but i’ll make sure to keep my skills sharp, learn a few things, and enjoy time with my family.