Sunday, 20 January 2013

War Paint : Blood Drinker Priest Markings

Staying on the subject of Guy Haley's writing for the moment, I mentioned in Decembers post that the author had described a prominent marking on the Sanguinary High Priest character in his Hammer and Bolter short story, The Rite of Holos and that he was then kind enough to share his ideas about the marking with me.

It was described as a black cross painted over Brother Teale's face; Guy stated that this was specific to the Sanguinary High Priest alone and that other Priests might have similar markings to denote their rank within the order. He was of a mind that the Blood Drinkers would adorn themselves with paint in contrast to the Nova Marines who are heavily into ritual tattooing.

With this in mind, I've had a bit of a play around on Paint, nothing fancy (it's me, the Techno-Barbarian after all) and come up with some rough sketched ideas that I hope to transfer to my Sanguinary Priest miniatures.

High Priest
Guy's use of ceremonial face painting by the Chapter's Priests was easy to mesh with my Fandex as I had written a tribal background for the Children of the San, the peoples I envisioned as inhabiting San Guisuga, the Death World home of the Blood Drinkers.

As a recap, in my vision of San Guisuga, the mysterious habitable enclave of the planet resembles the various terrains found on the continent of South America, the tribes of the San are loosely based on the pre-Columbian peoples of that continent; albeit much more racially diverse, with both people and environment given a suitably large dunk in the Sci Fi bath.

Priest
Therefore as the Chapter embraced the blood rituals of their founding planet, so too would they adopt the face and body painting practices of the San tribes.

Even the colour black was conducive with my sources of inspiration, the South American Indians often using charcoal or Huito juice to paint themselves black.

That the symbol Guy chose was a cross, is something I have also given a bit of thought to, aside from the fact that it could be a knowing wink to the 'Space Vampire' status of all the Son's of Sanguinius, subtly mocking the convention of Vampiric aversion to the Crucifix.

Perhaps it could be an echo of the religious icons of some of the original Terran refugees stranded on San Guisuga, it's specific meaning now lost to time, but the race memory of it being a mark of some spiritual potency remains.

Novitiate
Anyhow these are what I came up with, like I said fairly rough and I'm still undecided whether to use a straight bar across the eyes as in the Novitiate or follow the contours of the eye ridges a bit more as in the other two pictures. Maybe getting it down on a miniature will make my mind up, thoughts?

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