Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Kingdom Death, Deranged, warped, disturbed and sexy miniatures!!!

Kingdom Death

OK yeah I said it, sexy! I'm not normally one to go for 'cheese cake' poses or indeed female barbarians with huge melons wearing thongs that belong on a Florida beech sometime in the mid 80's. But there is something undeniably sultry and sexy about the Pin-Up range of miniatures on offer from the wonderfully warped minds of Kingdom Death and Adam Poots, a man who must have come close to being sectioned at least once in his life!!! Only kidding Adam... I'm sure you've probably been sectioned multiple times, now put the axe down and step away from it!!!

You see, to say some of Kingdom Death's weird and wonderful creations... are well... disturbing is somewhat of an understatement. I don't mind saying when I first saw the Wet Nurse I was somewhat disturbed and may even have muttered 'WTF is that?' indeed I think that might have been the exact response that they wanted to illicit. However it was another delightfully disturbed creation that I first saw that drew me towards the range The Grandmother miniature that is as stunning as it is... well disturbing. Sadly I have yet to add The Grandmother to my range, but I will as soon as Adam manages to remaster it (that is a none too subtle hint Adam, hurry up man!!!)

Grandmother concept art

As you can see from the concept art above its a pretty 'interesting' design and miniature, its an utterly fantastic sculpt as well. As you can clearly see by clicking on the picture to the left. I think even in an industry that's known for dreaming up weird fantasy creatures and elves and such like, you'd all probably have to concede that the Grandmother and Wet Nurse are... somewhat... unique in appearance. Granted if you've seen the brood mother in Dragon Age they are somewhat kindred spirits, but nevertheless they were clearly developed separately of each other given the time frames involved. I also have a little bit of 'love' for the sexier type of mini they produce, or the Pin-Up range. As I said at the start of this blog I don't normally go for cheese cake pose's but these are just so damn cool its hard not to like them!

To the right of this here text you'll see the artwork for the Twilight Knight Pin-Up. Now yes clearly that is a very impractical outfit to be wearing for the slaying of demons and other nasty little thingies that go bump in the night, but hey at least she'll save on her dry cleaning bill!!! I have both the 54mm and the 32mm versions because she is that damn sexy... grrrrr. She can chop my head off any day, and no I'm not too sure if that's a valid euphemism either, but it should be. There are also Preacher, Forsaker and White Speaker (God only knows why, the original was scantily clad enough) Pin-Ups as well, and yeah I own them all. In fact I own 9 Kingdom Death miniatures in total, so I have enough Kingdom Death Goodness to be able to review them and to give you all an idea of what to expect if you take the plunge (and I urge you please do) and purchase some of these mental miniatures, because they're harrowingly beautiful some of them.

Its not all sexy ladies and weird freaky things with more boobs than all the Urotsukidoji films combined!!! Oh no there are also blokes with huge choppers and lots of muscles for the ladies. Like the Forsaker; I bet behind his mask he's a real sensitive type and just wants to be loved and hug kitties. But then there's his huge chopper, he just looks like he whips it out far too often and he probably knows how to use it to good effect too. There's also the rather rotund Preacher who looks like he's had one too many pies but also knows how to wield a big feck off hammer or two. I don't think there has been a male Twilight Knight produced yet but the work in progress and artwork look truly fantastic. However the real star of the masculine alpha male types on show just has to be the awesome looking Man Hunter, he is just one cool looking bad ass, as you can see from the picture below, he clearly means business and I'm pretty sure that his business has something to do with dealing death, and he looks like he's pretty darn good at his chosen profession!!!

However what is Adam Poots' ultimate goal and aim? Well if you'd read my blog on board games you'd have seen that he intends to release a board game all of his own. As a homage to all those awesome dungeon crawlers we all played in our misspent youth. Especially his beloved Warhammer Quest, which Adam describes as the 'greatest tabletop game ever produced'... he's obviously never played Buckaroo or Hungry, Hungry Hippos!!! While I'll always admit I thought dungeon crawlers were cool, no matter how uncool and geeky it makes me look, and I even really enjoyed Warhammer Quest, I have to say I'm not as passionate or as enthusiastic as Adam clearly is. I'm not sure anyone could be, what comes across loud and clear from speaking to him is just how much love he has for the genre and its form. If he channels that love into his own game its sure to be something very special indeed. How do I know he has so much love and passion for his hobby and pet project? The man is pumping all of his savings and money into it and working on it full-time instead of buying a home and a place to live... that's dedication to the cause that few of us could match, and I hope his dedication pays off for him. Because if anyone deserves success its Adam.

He's been working away on the project for 3 years now officially, but he himself admits 'its hard to say for sure because so many of the notes and character designs were things I've jotted down over the course of my life' you see Kingdom Death really is his life, literally. Adam has described breaking into the industry as 'hard' and I know he had to struggle away to get the first 100 miniatures of the White Speaker out of the door, and I'm so glad he stuck at it and persevered. He once said to me that 'the hobby is quite lucky to have' Mike McVey in the industry, and I know Adam is very proud of the friendship he has with Mike, who he describes as his childhood hero, and I agree we are lucky to have Mike and Ali... but I also think the hobby is lucky to have Adam and his enthusiasm and the great miniatures he's releasing, and although it was hard for him breaking into the industry he is now working with some of the best talent there is.

People like artists Yasmine Purti, Lokman Lam and Danny Cruz who are responsible for much of the artwork you'll see on the Kingdom Death website and in this very blog. He also works with some of the very best sculptors in the business too, Juan Navarro Perez (one of my personal favourite sculptors) and Thomas David (another personal favourite of mine). However he's also worked with the likes of Jon-Troy Nickel who is responsible for the White Speaker and Twilight Pin-Up, but who is probably more famous for his work as lead character artist at Trion Games who are responsible for the MMORPG Rift. Now I've mentioned before in my blog just how interested I am in the whole digital sculpting process, and many of the mini's in the Kingdom Death line are produced using this method, and Adam was kind enough to talk me through the process, I hope you find it as interesting as I did:

  1. A base 3D polygon / NURBS or whatever mesh is created using 3D modelling software such as 3D Studio Max or Maya. This is comparable to the armature or basic volume frame work that many traditional sculptors use.
  2. This base mesh is then posed and anatomy layers are sculpted on using another program called ZBrush.
  3. All the clothes, accessories, swords, G-strings and nipple piercings (I may have made the last one up) are then created again in either 3D Studio Max or Maya.
  4. They're then imported again into ZBrush where the final detailed is added to them and they themselves are incorporated onto the character itself.
  5. Then there is the last step where the model is endlessly tweaked by artistic types to make sure those butt cheeks are as peachy perfect as possible and the breasts are just the right amount of perky!!! Adam describes this process as 'endless tweaking' and I have to say I can see why, because artist types are never happy and the digital process allows them to go back and re-jig endlessly until they're happy... or as I suspect procrastinate until someone shouts at them.
  6. Once the sculptor / 3D artist is happy with the detail and pose the 3D model is digitally cut and prepared for 3D printing and any rogue or errant detailing is cleaned up and made all lovely again.
  7. The figure is then digitally printed and sometimes they can require a little bit of extra cleaning up or the 'deepening' of some detail that didn't quite 'fill out' during the 3D printing process.
  8. Finally the 3D print of the miniature is sent off to the caster where they work their magic with the resin and make us those lovely miniatures we all like to paint.

Go on admit it, you thought it was all done by faeries in forced labour camps didn't you? No! Oh, well I did.

I'm going to have to say that I'm quite clearly excited to see what Adam Poots has up his particularly twisted sleeves in the future, both in terms of his miniature range, but also since finding my love of board games again his actual game. I have every confidence he has the drive and talent to make his business a success and I hope that us as gamers help him out by supporting his business. Its a rare thing in our industry to find someone who not only has the passion, but the talent and balls to go it alone and try to fulfill their dream (or should that be nightmare?). Here's hoping Adam finally gets to where he wants to go. As a final thing to note before I sign off on my write up on the Kingdom Death stuff, I'd urge you to take a look at some of the fan painted Kingdom Death miniatures on their website, some like the 54mm Preacher Pin-Up by SuoU or the Saviour being lead by the Forsaker Pin-Up and the little Red Twilight Night Hood Pin-Up are fantastically well painted. Peace out!


  1. Thanks for this I just saw that they are selling these on maelstrom and I think they are beautiful.

    A game for them will be awesome

  2. Erm... OK... that's a really weird user name Mr Random person from the internet!!! lol :P

    But yeah really good the Maelstrom will be stocking these. Perhaps they'll get a wider audience now.

    1. I actually think this article is sort of Ironic after reading your latest article with the Eldar "Rape" Diorama. You won't post a actual picture of the Eldar Diorama yet you have no problem showing the Wet Nurse with it gazzions boobs and the 10 foot long MEMBER. Instead of a Eldar that it is getting assaulted you have 3 human slaves that are to produce milk or monsters for the "nurse". I find this hypocritical of you. Regardless if you get free swag from Adam Poots lets call like it is. This is a RAPE Diorama. You can't have it both ways. If you object so much to the Eldar Diorama how can you leave the wet nurse up on your site?

    2. I'll answer this ion the exact same way I've answered everything, The Wet Nurse disturbs me. I say as much.

      I was asked not to post a picture of the Eldar Rape scene. I asked and permission was denied. I would have posted pictures, but without permission I'd be open to DMCA action.

      I say the Wet Nurse is disturbing and twisted. In the exact same way I find most horror imagery disturbing. I am however drawn to dark and macabre images that are meant to horrify me. In the same way I love slasher films etc. they terrify me and I like that they make me feel scared or in the case of KD stuff uneasy.

      Also KD clearly say what it is that they produce. Would I want to see it in an army on display in a shop? Hell no, inappropriate, do I think people should have the right to purchase it and collect it yes.

      If you want to call it a rape diorama then that's fine. I actually wouldn't necessarily disagree with that. However, it looks horrific and there is no glorification of the act of rape here. The women look beaten down and they also look abused and that does make you feel queasy. So it isn't easy viewing, or I certainly don't think it is, and anyone who says otherwise might need to see a shrink.

      As for hypocrisy over free stuff? Please get a grip. I always tell people when I get free stuff and not everyone does. I got the gilded Saint free too... oh... hang on. I was critical of that wasn't I? In fact I have been on a few products. Swing an a miss if you think that I'm afraid.