Monday, December 30, 2019

Painting Challenge Submission 1 - Espern Locarno, Imperial Navigator

Espern Locarno, Imperial Navigator - 28mm figure for GW's 40k Universe. He could be yours!
Curt's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge has kicked off once again.  Through the winter months of 2019-2020, participants will do their best to tackle the mountain of unpainted figures and stalled gaming projects that lurk in their basements and hobby rooms.  Points are awarded based on production, but since you set your own target, you are competing against yourself - and all of the participants try to egg each other on, encourage each other and we all marvel at the sheer diversity of painting subjects and projects out there. 

I'm a little late getting going on my AHPC submissions, but I was lucky to be spending Christmas with my family in Sault Ste Marie while staying at our cabin. Very lovely for relaxing and enjoying winter scenes...while I paint a lot out at my cabin in the summer, it is not great for painting in the winter.  Now that I am back at my regular hobby hole in Winnipeg, I'm trying to get the painting engines fired up once again.

My first entry is modest, but is intended to accomplish a number of things at once. First, to obtain a landfall on "Challenge Island", the unique and interesting theme map meant to encourage participants to cover different challenges and painting opportunities.  Second, to provide an "entry fee", something Curt asks every participant to prepare.  

So here is Espern Locarno, Imperial Navigator, a character from the GW game "Blackstone Fortress".  Why paint this guy? Well, he looks pretty cool. Plus, I loved his description..."if you are looking to support your friends and manipulate your opponents, Espern Locarno is the explorer for you."   As someone who has a career in public affairs, this particular description really spoke to me :)

The shores of Lake Superior at Christmas, 2019.
I generally love the characters of the Navigators in GW's 30k/40k setting. Essential for warp travel, the Navigators are important and influential in the 40k universe. Your Empire can't span the galaxy after all, unless your starships can travel through space.  It's nice that The Emperor can sit and rot away for eternity on his Golden Throne, but everything from His greatest battleships to his lowliest cargo lugs will require one of these pin-headed Navigators to get from point A to point B. 

Life it good when you can wear an outfit like this on your head...
The Navigators realize this.  And while they cannot challenge the Emperor, they still know they are part of the glue that holds the terrible and terrifying Imperium of the grim and dark future together. Insufferable, arrogant, entitled and required to be literally disconnected from reality as a core part of performing their work (steering a starship through the warp i.e. not-reality), the Navigators have always been fun symbols of the 40k universe. And as with many good science fiction symbols, for me, they also reflect much about our present...

Need to have some kind of respirator of course, just to ensure you air is better than anyone else's...and you need a skull on your cloak because 40k.
The Navigators also are a very clear sign of the influence that Frank Herbert's "Dune" universe had on the design of the original Warhammer 40k setting. Anyone who has read those books will no doubt see the many parallels. Oddly, the GW's writers these days seem to also be having their Titan commanders seem more and more like the "Dune" navigators as well, which I don't like so much...but I'll leave that blather about that some other time. 

"What do you mean I am just some kind of 'entry fee' - this is an outrage!"
As with "Dune", in 30k/40k the Navigators themselves are seldom seen on a battlefield, so there are not many figures representing them.  While I was not interested in "Blackstone Fortress" myself, I did go out of my way to track down one of these figures so I could paint one up.  The GW sculptor hit things out of the park with this figure - a perfect rendition of a whackadoodle Navigator.  He oozes arrogance, technical competence and a smug inability to grasp his own vulnerability, knowing there will always be someone at his beck and call to take care of things.

Between the various bonus points one receives in the Challenge for painting an "entry fee" figure, and covering a location on "Challenge Island", this one figure gathered 60 points toward my total goal of 1,000 points worth of painting.  A modest start, but a few months lie ahead...stay tuned for more (and watch for great entries from fellow Challenge participants Byron and Mike F!).


Michael Awdry said...

Wow! That's a stunning piece of work.

Dallas said...

This guy looks great, dude!