Gladiator Bodyguard

hippocampus gladiatorus



Though feared by most Pilgryms, the Harvspices Collegium are a group mostly disdained by the functioning organisations on Terra. They often find themselves harassed and threatened. The Aether sipped dull the priest’s body, whatever speed and agility is needed from a warrior can not be found in these men.

Smoke, narcoticae and surgical weaponry can deter a lone attacker or two. But when faced with an organized military opponent priests, even in groups, stand little chance.

The Collegium are known to turn to the Collisevms and fighting pits of TERRA for muscular strength and security. The wealth accumulated from Pilgrym spoils and the flowing gold that comes from above are more than enough to acquire a strong man for each of the groups that thread the floors of TERRA.

Filled with chemicals and with a hideous visage formed by ancient Terran myth, these fighters fit well into the narcotic enhanced mysticism of the Collegium groups.

The mere presence of a single of these Gladiator monsters makes even a competent soldier doubt his and his allies chances.

* * *

So after I saw John Blanches latest fantastic contribution to the Pilgrym project (check it out!) I simply had to make something with a robot crabclaw.

I made this rough concept sketch and then got to work on finding appropriate bitz. Here’s what I got so far:

wip 12

Still a lot of work remaining. I think I’m gonna let him rest for a While and keep working on the first Harvspex priest.

I think he’s coming along nicely. Need to add a hood and some fur + add some more length to his robes so that he’ll look taller and more gangly.

wip 13

23 thoughts on “Gladiator Bodyguard

  1. The harvspex priest is fantastic. Very creepy.

    The “minotaur” is a little hard to read, both as a mini and as an illustration. The head is just so big it’s hard to understand what’s really going on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yea, I get that, He was inspired by a gladiator from the movie “gladiator”. There’s this guy that’s just taken a disgusting frothy bull head and put it over his face. I liked the rawness and the monstrous dissproportions of it all so I just went with it. More thought could have been applied though:)
      I might tinker with the mini’s body and make it a little bigger, this might even things out

      Thank you for your feedback man!


  2. Your art is so great, it really captures the essence of 40k!
    The priest is looking so creepy, I like how you’ve transferred the idea from art to model.
    The gladiator is shaping up really well, the big ornate metal head reminds me of a brazen bull. I can practically hear his distorted screams echoing down the abandoned domes of ancient Terra. The claw is a nice touch too!


      1. I’m not sure how you’d model such a thing (or even if you’d need to?) but that’s a really cool idea.
        It’d be terrifying for the pilgrims, already delirious by the hallucinogenic fug emanating from the priests. A proper terror weapon.


  3. Ooh, how wonderful! I really dig the concept sketch, especially the clawed-crab-fist thingie. The head really does remind me of the movie “Catacombs” (a bit cheesy flick but I like all things necropolis) and the crazy bullhead axe murderer.

    The priest is also looking good. You have found the fitting parts so it truly reflects your drawings. Makes me want to practice sculpting!


  4. I confine myself in this post to the art and the Harvspex — although I like the Gladiator very much I think I had best wait til he is nearer done.

    A true horror… a hulking figure barely visible through a mist of narcotics… and perhaps it is better that way… the minotavrre, guardianne of a wandering band of scryers

    The hippocampusse is a regionne of the braine, a name which suggests the mental, genetic and physcial augmentation-ritualles he has undergone… the great bull’s head immediately suggests the minotaur, continuing the greeke theme all centring round the Delphic oracle and her hallucinatorie fumes… the eyes and nostrils seem to belch aether-smoke which coils around him, I imagine a dull trance-wailing from the haruspices…

    I think the very oddness and disproportion is what the model succeeds in doing, in the painting it is ambiguous whether it is a real bull’s head worn as a disgusting flesh-mask, a brazen mask or a hideous mutant, an ambiguity played on by the haruspices to earn their living and cow their foes… which begs the question — are we seeing the gladiatorre as he reallie is, or is it merely an image formed by the interplay of sight, imagination, fear and delusion which changes as the fumes wend hypnotically round and round and the chant rises and falls? Sight which is reallie blindnesse, visionnes which are really delusionnes, which may yet strike on the truth… Remember the weirdly thin legs of the Delphic engine — john blanche and his fellows’ paintings often have a dreme-like quality to them, a strange vision…

    The trident immediately recalls the retiarii of the Roman arena.. yet he is a splendid figure too. Much of what I said about John Blanche’s Ulbus applies here and is here given with minor modifications:

    Notice also his collar of fur, even fouller than usual, I imagine slick with blood, greasy, unwashed, crawling with lice, an odd note of aristocracy, the wealthe of the harvspices means they want to make a show of their power… hence the knightlie greaves as well, which are actually very well made (I imagine it takes considerable skill to create the flexible foot-joint from metal plates… they look like they once formed part of some noble suit, rusted and filthy, found in some hoard of technologie and metall and taken to outfit their servant.

    He is of course filthy, sweaty, necrotic, stinking of aether and sweat and blood… his splendour is a decayed splendour as is that of all terra. The servo-skulls text is mercenarius hippocampvs. Some of the waving hypnotic tendrils seem to end in syringes, perhaps some chemical stimulant to increase his terrible wrath…

    The harvspex is an excellent miniature, another stooping vulture-parasite on decaying terra. His four eyes are ironic as they have nothing to see but the fumes of aether breathed through his maske… the bare chest rotting around a metal implant, the arms equipped, I think, with a more robust bone-cutting claw on the farther arm and a flesh-slicer on the nearer.

    The little apron with its tools suggests a twisted surgeon, a form of art, whether they are cutters, pins, hooks, lenses for fine work… and there are elements of the wealth of the harvspices, the wavy edge to his robe, I imagine embroidered in gold.

    But the composition is a squalid and a sordid one, filthy, blood- and sweat- and grease-spattered, stooping, robe draggling through dust and mud and worse, stooping over his prey, the head turned back furtively like a creature surprised by a sudden noise from pawing and routing through its carrion-meat, or in this case from routing through the entrailles… a ragged vulture of terra, preying on the pilgrymes, standing on the ruins of a shryne… as the emperor decays terra decays and like lice swarming on a rotting carcase these bands of cheats and vultures flourish and swarm… then decay and die in their turn, rotting amidst the rotte…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The Hippocampus aspect is actually more literal: He, like many other gladiators on Terra, impersonates different set characters from ancient Terran Mythos. He is currently portraying the beaste-creatyr Hippocampus. A fell horse monster of the sea.
      the crab claw and triton was added to enforce this theme.
      The head is made ready for combat with a mask of brass and horns.

      The Harvspex arms were positioned with the intention that it would look like de-feathered weak/too heavy wings that a tired sick vulture were trying to raise.

      What he has on his apron will be clarified soon.

      Cheers for a mind-opening comment Gray!


      1. Notte at alle — thank you for several newe insightes.. alwayes a pleasure. I particularly like the arms positioned like a tired vulture… a sicklie carrion-bird… and the grotesques from garbled terran mythe…

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Very impressive work all around! Your art style is fantastic, I love the smoky, murky look in this new piece.

    You have done a good job transitioning from your illustration to model form for Gladiator Hippocampus, particularly with the choice of head. I really like in the illustration how the gladiator is standing tall and straight and appears to be in complete control. In the model however he looks to be leaning forward slightly and his mask is tilted upwards. This gives him more of an awkward and clumsy look, like he is having trouble functioning with the bull-head mask. If possible, I think tilting the mask down a little would help make his presence more imposing and terrifying.

    Your Harvspex priest is simply fantastic. I love his pose and creepy looking mask. I think the addition of a hood will look great. I am really looking forward to seeing him progress. 🙂

    Keep up the great work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks man! He does not look great righ now I agree. However repositioning the mask will be difficult since i’ve anchored it with greenstuff. But I think that if I fix his legs he’ll look better. + im planning on adding more fur, I think that might distract the viewer from the akwardness:)


      1. Modifying the positioning of his legs should do the trick too. Having a little awkwardness in the model would not be a bad thing either. 🙂

        Good look with your future work on the model!


  6. This blog is just super inspirational, I’m loving your artwork and your minis just take those concepts and turn them into brilliant 3d renderings, keep up the great work!


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