Changing the Face of the Union

With the recent release of Grace and Benediction it seems the Solthecian Church's influence is taking over the sculpting team. We're over the moon to welcome Russ Charles to the Steamforged Blog as he talks about his latest tinkerings with how the Union look. Let's see what he's been up to...


Recently, I was asked by Rich Loxam (co-creator of Guild Ball and my boss!) to create some unique Union models for his team at Vengeance. His vision was to make a ‘Solthecian’ themed team to tie into Seasoned Brisket and Grace & Benediction.

Whilst the majority of these models would be simple modifications that added Church masks and symbols to existing sculpts, I saw an opportunity to do something I rarely get the chance to: revise some older sculpts to strengthen their design.

The Union were the last team created for Season 1 and whilst I was very happy with most of them, there were a couple of models I felt lacked impact. The adding of a Solthecian element was a nice chance to revisit their style to emphasise the sense of being slightly exotic. It also afforded me a second go at posing the models and applying the things we have learned about base contact, free floating parts and tiny details!


For coin, I simply wanted a second chance at the snake’s scales and a way of making him have more of a presence as a miniature. Having him coiled over a broken Solthecian Offertory allowed me to bulk the model out and I liked the idea of him swallowing the Church’s collection plate! I feel the character of lazy, slightly self-satisfied Coin has been kept, but I am very happy with the presence on the table this version has.


For Gutter, I wanted to address several things. Her pose, whilst cool in principle, lacked the impact that the profile deserves on the field. Also, I saw this as an opportunity to introduce a unique looking set of weapons.  I chose the circular blades and the shape of her knife guards as being shapes that hinted at the sun, sun beams and other elements that reflected the Solthecian faith. I also added the same scroll work onto her kit that can be found on Grace and Benediction. I chose not to add a mask to her so that she felt different to the main model set. The pose was intended to add action and movement to the model, and the placement of the weapons ensured multiple points of contact, no free-floating parts that could snap easily, and a nicely solid base contact point.

I did re-use elements such as her hair from the original model, to provide some continuity of design.


With Decimate, I again wanted to address her pose to give it more ‘oomph’ but overall I felt the model needed less overall design change. I re-used her head, belt and weapons as well as several other elements. Mainly I wanted to streamline the detailing to emphasise the pose and not have a ‘busy’ model.  She does get some Solthecian theming and the ribbons, as well as adding movement, will provide structural strength to the blades. This allows for a model that feels delicate but makes a robust gaming piece.

So, in all three cases, I feel the Union has gained some exciting new models here. I am happy with the way they look on the table and how they hold up as gaming pieces. What happens next with these sculpts is yet to be revealed. Will the other Union get modified in a similar way? Are these even the final versions of these models? Who can say? It has been great fun to seize an opportunity to revise and update some older designs, which is something I would love to do again in the future. For now, I hope this look into the revision process has been interesting!

Thank you for the interesting insight there Russ. What do you think at home? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter and our Forums.