A Third Eye Ain’t So Bad…

Master crafted

In this first article in what will eventually become a run of staggered features in the Master Crafted series, we are incredibly excited to present the prodigious talents of Mr. Third Eye Nuke himself, Christopher Poole.

Dark Eldar Haemonculus and Wracks

Through staying true to his trademark moody, gritty and ultra-realistic painting style, Chris’ horror-inspired miniatures are instantly recognisable, thus garnering the artist a steady following online. Until its recent demise, Chris’ models were also regularly featured on the Games Workshop blog.

Adeptus Mechanicus Ruststalkers
Adeptus Mechnicus Ruststalkers
Having been a huge fan of Chris’ work for quite some time, it was a no-brainer when deciding who I wanted as the first artist featured in the Master Crafted series. Chris – in my opinion –- is without doubt one of the most skilled figure painters around right now and I’m truly honoured that he accepted my invertation for an interview:

 

John: Hi Chris. How are you today?

Chris: “I’m good, John – just had a day off after painting three new releases in a row”.

John: So, what are you working on at the moment?

Chris: “At the moment I’m working on the new GW Plasma Obliterator building and an Adeptus Mechanicus Dunecrawler”.

John: Cool. What was it that got you interested in the hobby in the first place? 

Chris: “Back in the 70s my dad worked in London and one day came across a newly opened Games Workshop store in Hammersmith. He bought me a few models from the Fiend Factory range as he knew I was very much into monsters and all things sinister. Being arty, I got really into painting. In fact, I never got to play the actual game much. I even won a regional painting competition when I was 14.

“When I got older, I didn’t stick with the hobby and forgot all about it. A few years ago I came across a GW store and got interested in the miniatures again. And it kind of went from there”.

Chaos Daemons Skull Cannon of Khorne
Chaos Daemons Skull Cannon of Khorne

John: With the amount of new figures you’ve turned out recently, it would seem you’re firing on all cylinders. What’s your secret for staying motivated?

Chris: “Well, I am fascinated by the game, its rules and models. I do have an addiction to researching everything Warhammer. When new models come out, I am always interested to try them out and see what I can do with them. But of course I won’t lie – painting in bulk can be boring and tiring too. Imagine painting 40 dark elves for example, such detailed work, mostly by brush! I tend to watch a lot of films while I work. Nothing new, just classics that I love, like John Carpenter’s horror films”.

Nurgle Maggoth
Nurgle Maggoth

John: You mentioned the other day that you were trying out some new paints. Can you tell us about those and how they differ from what you were using before? 

Chris: “The new paints are from Com-Art Colours. It comes in a slightly larger bottle than the Vallejo range, but unlike Vallejo it’s a bit thinner in consistency. It’s a very smooth paint, great for airbrushing, but can be used with a brush too. I found that their white and black are the best of all the brands that I use, as it doesn’t splatter or clog the airbrush. It’s good for blending colour and they have quite nice bright colours in their range. I would use those for smaller more detailed miniatures, as it sprays in fine layers. I’ll still use my other paints, such as Vallejo, P3 and Citadel, as they work great in different ways”.

Luna Wolves
Luna Wolves

John: One of the things I truly admire about your work is its uniqueness. In three words, how would you describe your own painting style?

Chris: “Realistic, dark and gory”.

John: Were these aspects of your style applied consciously or did it just happen naturally over time?

Chris: “At first I tried to stick with a more traditional style. As I grew confident with my painting technique, I started to experiment with paint combinations, trying to achieve a more realistic style. As a fan of the horror genre, I guess it makes sense why my style turned out a bit on the dark side”.

Tyranid Horuspex - Third Eye Nuke
Tyranid Haruspex

John: Out off all the figures you’ve painted, which did you enjoy working on the most? 

Chris: “I really liked working on Forge World’s Greater Daemon Prince of Nurgle with wings”.

John: I’ve noticed over the past year or so that the majority of your figures feature at least one area painted black and finished with a layer of gloss. I guess it’s become a bit of a self-styled signature. How did that originally come about?  

Chris: “I generally like using black. I think the first time I used glossy black on a model was on the [then] newly released Tervigon a few years back. I actually took a lot of my inspiration for the Tyranid colour scheme from the film Alien. I guess since then I just tried it out here and there and decided to stick with it”.

Imperial Fist Bikers
Imperial Fist Bikers

John: When you paint a figure, do you adhere to a specific tried-and-tested process or do you tend to just go with whatever feels right at the time?  

Chris: “I do a bit of both. For some models I have a worked out recipe which I stick to. And for some, especially models I’ve never worked with, I like to experiment with my painting. I also do work on self-improvement; I always look out for new techniques, paints and methods. Sometimes I learn something new and I apply it to a well-tested colour scheme to improve it”.

Astra Militarum Valkyrie
Astra Militarum Valkyrie

John: Okay, Chris, what would be your top tips to any budding figure painters out there? 

Chris: “First of all I think it’s important to enjoy painting and have fun with it. It’s good to learn from different painters out there, and there are many resources online to do that. And don’t be disappointed if the first results are not perfect. It takes time to build on your skill and knowledge, but it’s a great reward to see your work looking better and better over time”.

John: Chris, it’s been a pleasure. Thank you. 

Chris: “Cheers, John”.

Eldar Wraithknight
Eldar Wraithknight

If you would like to see more of Chris’ handiwork, head over to his website Third Eye Nuke Studio where he offers a high-quality miniatures painting service. Chris also occasionally blogs on the popular war-games blog Tale of Painters

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Master Crafted

Master crafted

As an aside from our own humble projects, Master Crafted aims to feature the works of some of the most prolific and gifted painters from around The Web. The plan is to seek out the artists whose painting-styles inspire us the most and showcase their talents in an interview-style format with a selection of images to accompany each article. We hope that by creating this sub-blog, if you like, it will eventually become a veritable well-spring of inspiration whenever `it’ decides to allude us.

John, James and Elazar.

The inner Tzeentchian, a guide to all things James.

James

So as John has presented some of his older work, I thought I would do the same. As you’ll see there is a pretty stark contrast between his style and mine. We both usually like the work each of us does, but for very different reasons.

My style is more of a line highlight and with a very bright palette behind it. I have no idea why, but I just can’t get away with current trends of hyper realism. I prefer my pretties to be pretty! Now as a Tzeentch player that’s no problem at all, we do bright colours over here in the realm of change, but it hasn’t always just applied to my demons, it has been a part of my painting with other armies too.

I’ll push through a few of my favourites here now, and then end with some nice Tzeentch stuff. Enjoy! (Or perhaps don’t!)

Bonecruncha’s Nurgle Showcase

John2

Being that I’m a huge fan of the chaos god Nurgle and his corrupted followers, I imagine my Death Guard and Daemons forces will make up the bulk of my blogging activity. That said, my recent purchase of a Haemonculus Covens army will no-doubt occasionally creep from the shadows whenever I’m tired of looking at greens and browns.

Before I get cracking with some freshly painted figures, though, I thought I’d post some completed models from my collection as a taster of what’s to come. Hopefully I’ll muster the strength to get a bit more progress done on my helbute tomorrow. But in the meantime I hope you enjoy the samples I’ve attached below.

Nurgle Blight Drone
Nurgle Blight Drone
nurgle-chaos-lord-conversion
Nurgle Chaos Lord
Mamon - Nurgle Demon Prince
Mamon – Nurgle Demon Prince
Death Guard Vindicator
Death Guard Vindicator

At the moment I’m really trying to focus my attention on making a dent in getting my Chaos Space Marines built up. You wouldn’t believe how long some of my models have been sat in their boxes; loved, but untouched. Then again, maybe you would…

Oddly, the whispering whims of fancy have been trying to lure me into painting city ruins of late, too.

Must. Stay. Focused.

John.

Nurgle Helbrute: WIP

John2

Here’s a quick post to show you guys the Nurgle helbrute I’ve been working on this past week or so. Then again, if you played Chaos Space Marines prior to 6th edition, you probably still refer to these modern demon engines as dreadnoughts. For the sake of argument, however, I’ll refer to them henceforward in their current incarnation.

When I first set about collecting Death Guard, the first model I ever converted was a chaos helbrute. As crude as it was, my kit-bashed creation was my pride and joy. Its armour was strewn with chains as if it had just broken free from its restraints, and I’d even sculpted on some `green stuff’ to represent patches of decomposing flesh and open wounds.

As I put the finishing touches to my hideous masterpiece, I recall feeling a great sense of achievement. Once I’d painting it, rusting and bleeding from every orifice, I decided to take my new model down to my local war-games club to show it off to some of its members.

One guy – a bit of a Fluff Nazi – came over and glowered at my beautiful figure: “Huh… Dreadnoughts don’t bleed – they’re machines”. All of a sudden, my cool-looking figure just didn’t look anywhere near as cool as it had. No matter how hard I tried, never again did I see that model in the same light. As insensitive as his comments were, he was right.

Of course, everyone’s entitled to explore their own artistic licence when it comes to miniatures. But somehow `that guy’ struck a nerve with the purist in me and the model just served to irritate me after that. Looking back now, many moons on, it really was god-awful! But then we’ve all got to start somewhere, right?

IMG_20150408_034552
Nurgle Helbrute Conversion: WIP

If you’re interested in seeing more of this project, be sure to check back soon for more updates.

Until next time,

John.