Hey everyone, KrautScientist here, with a look at some amazing models and the highly talented artist behind it all: Today, I would like to talk about the marvelous menagerie of Jeff Vader.
In just a little over a year, Jeff Vader's blog - Officio Convertorum - has become one of my absolute favourites and also one of the most exciting sources for amazing conversions and paintjobs. So let me walk you through a few of my favourite pieces done by Jeff and tell you what I think is so great about them.
Jeff's models first came to my attention when he started to post Inquisitorial henchmen like these on his blog and on various forums:
The models show some of the hallmarks of Jeff's design approach: Inspired kitbashing, often using a rather eclectic mix of parts, combined with lush paintjobs and excellent little freehands all over the models. These guys really look like the retro-futuristic henchmen of an order concerning itself with hunting down heretics and burning them at the stake, don't you think?
In fact, Jeff always seems to be at his best when he is trawling the darker corners of the 40k universe for inspiration, coming up with characters that are slightly unsettling and sinister, but also strangely captivating -- like this Cherub, that is equal parts cute and disturbing:
John Blanche's art is a big inspiration for Jeff Vader's work, which is why many of his models seem to explore the kind of character that can be found loitering around in the background of JB's paintings, like this female assassin:
In fact, he even directly features the big man t in one of his models. Here's a diminutive mutant, carrying a portrait of JB himself, inspired by an actual self-portrait that regularly appears in John's own Blanchitsu column:
Meanwhile, Jeff Vader is not afraid to explore elements of 40k lore that have more or less fallen by the wayside over the years, coming up with retro-styled models like these squat mechanics:
Or reimagining a classic, Rogue Trader-era assassin model by Jes Goodwin...
...as a glorious new plastic version:
Or creating his own minor Xenos races, like the reptilian race that gave birth to fabled bounty hunter Glarrg the Brontoglorrg:
But Jeff is not only great at coming up with his own, highly creative characters, but also at putting a twist on some of the more common archetypes in the 40k universe:
Here's his take on the Grey Knights, a marvelous "Questing Knight" that might just be my favourite creation of his at the moment:
And what about the ruinous powers? Well, I am happy to say that Jeff has us covered here as well, with amazing models for followers of Nurgle...
What's more, Jeff has even managed to come up with his own addition to the chaos pantheon. Now I am fairly skeptical when people try to create something as archetypal as their own chaos god, but Jeff Vader really pulled it off in style with Mhorrigot, who, in Jeff's own words, is...
"...the patron god of the stone cold killers, cut-throats, the gun-men and the mercenaries - the soul of every man or woman who kills others only for the sake of worldly gain belongs him in the end. As reaper of reapers the sickle or scythe is his symbol, along with the image of an iron heart."
Being a kick-ass illsutrator as well as a talented modeller and painter, Jeff has outlined a whole host of daemonic servants for Mhorrigot, complete with greater and lesser daemons, daemonic beasts and what have you:
And, of course, he has also built models to represent the mortal servants of Mhorrigot, namely a cultist...
...and even a traitor Astartes, lovingly called "Mhorrimarine" (or even "Mhorrine" by me ;) ):
I could post Jeff's amazing work here all day, but you should really check it out yourself! The good news is that Jeff is tirelessly working on new stuff and coming up with new models, so you'll find lots and lots of quality content over at his blog, Officio Convertorum. It's easily one of my favourite blogs around, and you'll find it to be an amazing inspiration for learning new painting tricks as well as getting in the mood for some serious kitbashing!
Jeff Vader's models were also featured in a recent instalment of John Blanche's own Blanchitsu, in the last ever "regular" monthly issue of White Dwarf, as it were:
A well earned honour for an extraordinary artist!
So yeah, what are you sitting around here for, listening to my gushing praise of the man? Go check out his blog at once! In fact, bookmark it while you're at it. Come on, you can thank me later ;)
This has been KrautScientist, thanks for tuning in.