Jes Goodwin is an excellent sculptor and we have all been impressed with the latest codex line, the Dark Eldar. Just the models themselves have brought tons of players into the Dark Eldar folds, and will continue to do so as the rest of the Dark Eldar miniature line comes out. We have a lot to look forward to over the next several months.
Here is Jes's words on his latest model releases for the Dark Eldar. Beasts and Succubus.
Jes: The original warp beasts were 'creatures of nightmare', which is a tough design brief to start from! So, as with a lot of the other Dark Eldar imagery, it made more sense to update what we already had; the image of 'flayed things from another dimension' appealed anyway, and it gave me a chance to play with the big cat anatomy as well as the sense of motion.
The Khymerae are an evolution of the old warp beasts. They're effectively running cats, but with no skin on them. I went through a lot of images of cheetahs and panthers, and looked at how they ran, so on the model we had the back legs off the ground and the back-end reared up to try and get a sense of speed. In the last set of posts we talked about wanting to get a lot of the troop types off of the ground and the ones that were left on the floor needed to look really fast. We also wanted to give the impression that you were getting a snap-shot half-way through their motion; so as they moved the surface of the body moves as well - as do the shoulder limbs, the smaller tentacles around the ribs, the little forelimbs and so on. We wanted to use that skinned look with bone to make them stand out, but we didn't want to give them ordinary eyes, so their skulls are studded with weird little organs, almost like a spider with their multiple eyes. Though it's a little harder to see on the Beastmaster, his helmet also echoes that.
The Clawed Fiend and the Razorwings had another slant to them. We knew we wanted to do something a bit bigger and singular, and also something that was a swarm. In the end we went back to the original Rogue Trader, because I thought it would be really cool if we actually resurrected a couple of monsters from there. We'd had Razorwings in 40k since 1987, which is going back a bit! We could have made something more alien, but I stayed close to that original concept - because the idea with Razorwings is that they look like really evil crows. It's all about the sharpness of the beak and feathers. With the small size of the model, a simple and distinctive silhouette was needed. It was also a challenge to get a particularly three-dimensional bird from a two-part mould so what we did was get a spiral of them swooping down to give that extra dimension.
The Clawed Fiend is a monster we'd had around for ages - another Rogue Trader veteran. There had been several sketches made over the years but I don't think anyone knew what it looked like other than a shaggy thing with really large claws. Again, we wanted to do something dynamic, so we fused bits of bears, monkeys, baboons, gibbons (which loop around really fast). I liked the idea of this thing bouncing around off walls just being hyper. While the anatomy was rooted in real world animals we wanted the face to look very different, which is how the multiple eyes came about (so it can see through different spectrums). It's got three pairs of eyes and I tried to sculpt the face so whichever of the pairs you look at, each pair seem to be a natural expression.
And with the three clusters I tried to reflect that on the rest of the model - the three-fingered hands for example (and three nipples...) as well as more abdominal muscles than you could possibly get in the real world. When it came around to painting it we wanted some bright colours. We wanted that baboon/ mandrill effect (though obviously it's the other end we're dealing with here), and found a Japanese monkey called the Japanese Macaque, which lives on the north island - you see pictures of them in these hot springs like little old men with grey fur but completely red faces, so that provided a good inspiration for the effect we wanted.
We wanted a more generic Succubus, one which would be a contrast to Lelith Hesperax, and one that was more in keeping with the ordinary Wyches. She was deliberately more armoured so that she'd look different to Lelith. But the main thing with the Succubus was that she should take the plastic heads and arms, so it fulfils the same role as the Archon model (which was good fodder for people to work on their own Archon). I did the concept, and Juan and I worked equally in getting this together - we worked back and forth on different versions and essentially converted on each other's work, so this was a real joint effort.