Wednesday 19 June 2019

Ratspike: Ian Miller.

Further on from my last blog update, this the second part of two updates concerning the book 'Ratspike', this time concerning Ian Miller's half of the book.

Ian Miller: what can I say? Anyone familar with the fantasy genre, and Warhammer Fantasy Battle in particular in the 1980's will recognise his artwork. Like John Blanche he was very much a part of the art used at the time (1970's/80's/early 90's). I'm not going to critique or analyse his artwork, I did'nt for John Blanche and I'm not going to here, but I feel I will let the art speak for itself. I will say that I like his artwork. It's full of detail, and can be both bright in colours, yet very dark and brooding in subject matter.

I will consider two things however.
First, I think that his artwork had an influence on the design of the Slaves to Darkness era Chaos Renegades, as some of his artwork and the range look very similar in design (perhaps a post for another day!). Also, I always wondered if  Bob Olley's sculpting style in the Iron Claw ranges was influenced by Ian Miller? Bob Olleys sculpting has the same high level of detail as Ian Miller's artwork, something I cover briefly a little later in the blog post.

Secondly, the following photographs do not really do justice to the depth and feel of his artwork. I am fortunate to own this book so I can see them properly, 'in the real'. Also, I am doubly fortunate enough to have seen many of his original artworks in real life, and actual size, at a gallery viewing a few years ago. I also met Ian Miller, and he is a lovely person.
A link to that blog update is here:

Enjoy :)
The front page of Ian Miller's half of the book.
"My images are the stuff of dreams and apparitions, the tremors that touch the skirt of the day. Unspoken thoughts, stored memories, drawn up to be aired and then twisted by fancy."
'The Vomit Hounds'.
'Spring's Bane'.
Throughout the book there are several pieces of art with a 'British Redcoat' or 'Toy Soldier'  theme. This is because are linked by pieces of text throughout the book taken from a story which Ian Miller wrote entitled 'The Revenge of the Tin Solider'.
There is a link to an interview Ian Miller gave on the subject in 2014 here:
Close up.
It always reminded me of 'The Cure', and their song 'Lullaby'.
'Bill Spring'.
The text at the side reads: " With the death of Kaspar 'the Unwelded' last of the Gottencogs, the Empire known by that name succummed to the wiles of evil men."
'The Chasm'.
The vivdness of the red really stands out.
The small piece of art next to 'The Chasm'.
I think a converted (or Bob Olley sculpted) army of miniatures in this style would look pretty good.
Eureka Miniatures produce a nice line of Toy Town Soldier miniatures:
I love the deep, nocturnal feeling of the blue.
'Captain Scut' .
He is a character from 'The Revenge of the Tin Solider'.
'Death in the Rocking Horse Factory'.
I like how it all looks bright and pleasant, yet otherworldly and unsettling, especially the rocking horses.
'The Reaper'.
'The Nursery', and 'The Beach'.
The cliffs and view in 'The Beach' remind me of a view, looking West, from a place called Saltdean, on the East Sussex coast, not far from where I live in Brighton and Hove. As Ian Miller is based in Brighton and Hove, I wonder if it inspired him?
'Udder Woman, Killer of Cows'.
'Wasp Eye'.
Quite a frenetic feel to 'The Maypole', just as you get from dancing around one (which I have done a couple of times).
The text next to 'The Maypole'.
The dead solider, beneath 'The Maypole artwork.
'Angel Butcher'.
There's a passing resemblance to 1980's UK Prime Minister Margret Thatcher.
'Terror of the Lichemaster'.
Famously used in the eponymous Warhammer Fantasy Battle scenario, and on the cover of the  Citadel Journal Spring 1987.
Close up.
I have one the original Lichemaster (and the other Skeleton Characters) to paint, so I might go for this style of paint scheme for them, and the entire army.
'Santa Claus'.
Sweet dreams, hope you've been good, otherwise this Santa Claus will make you pay!
I am sure that Citadel based their LE16 Sanity Claws miniature on this artwork:
Concept sketch of 'Santa Claus'.
Another concept sketch of 'Santa Claus'.
Untitled pair of artworks. However, below her is written:

Playful she turn'd that he might see
The passing smile her cheek put on;
But when she mark'd how mournfully
His eyes met hers, that smile was gone.
                                          Lalla Rookh'Lalla Rookh', is a Poem written by Thomas Moore, and this a except from it.
Concept sketches for 'Lalla Rookh'(?).
'He' from the poem?
Comcept sketches for the male warrior, or at least in his style.
A series of picture entitled 'The Watcher'.
'Edward Hoghead.
'Horn Towers 1'.
The top three pictures of 'Nort Passage'.
The lower picture of 'Nort Passage.
'Emperor Starship'.
I'm struck how much like a fish this looks.
'Champion of Khorne'.
Below this is written:
"With a mighty shout he rose brighter than the sun and more fierce. In his hand he held a rod of  twisted bone, crossed and double crossed to form the sign of his dark Lord, a symbol of his power and fruit of mortal longings well fulfilled."
Double page of two pieces of artwork which are 
both used in the Slaves to Darkness book: 'The Marcher Fortress' (left); and 'Temple of Khorne' (right).
This is used on page 13 of Slaves to Darkness, opposite the text concering 'The Marcher Fortress'.
This can be found on page 171 of Slaves to Darkness, opposite the text concerning 'The Bastion Stair'. Interestingly, this artwork is a mix of reds greys,and blacks, whereas in Slaves to Darkness it is black and white.
Also interestingly (to me anyway), just past Saltdean there is a place called 'The Bastion Stair'.
However this is taken from a double spread of art works entitled 'Warp'.
Another from 'Warp'.
'Vale of Creatures', also used in Slaves to Darkness, page 106.
'Tree of Souls', Slaves to Darkness, page 210.
I always liked the creepy story which accompanied this in Slaves to Darkness.
Close up of the main face of the 'Tree of Souls.
This reminds me of Bob Olleys Goblins, especially a standard bearer which he sculpted, below:
 Front view...
...rear view.
'The Slaanesh Women', and 'Khorne'.
Again, both used in Slaves to Darkness.
The text beside is a nursery ryhme and reads:

The North Wind doth blow,
And we shall have snow,
and what will the Robin do then?
Poor thing.

He'll sit in a barn.
And keep himeslf warm,
And hide his head under his wing,
poor thing.
'Death of the Reik'.
Used in the scenario of the same name.
'East Rift'.
I like the more earthy colours he's used, seems unusual for Ian Miller.
'Hollywood Gothic-White Rider'.
'Battle of Hornburg'.
Based on the Battle from the Lord of the Rings, the artwork used in 'A Tolkien Bestiary' by David Day.
'Battle of Pelennor Fields', and from the Lord of the Rings, and used in 'A Tolkien Bestiary' by David Day.
This is untitled but there is a section of text from 'The Compleat Angler' adjacent to it.
More fish, also untitled, on the opposite page to the others.
'Mesh Death'.
This has all the feeling of something from HP Lovecraft.
'Chaos Knight'.
'Spring cough'.
Untitled, but above it is written 'Debacle'.
These are of course 40k Space Marines, and this was used in the 40k Rogue Trader rulebook.
More untitled Space Marines.
Untitled, but part of a series of artwork on a double page entitled 'The Imperium'.
Artwork on the opposite page to the last piece.
'Iron Lady'.
No prizes for guessing on who this is based.
A different take of the Redcoated Tin Soldiers as well.
This is the artwork directly below 'Iron Lady'.
The back cover of the book.

My next blog update will be back to miniatures. :)

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