" So basically, these characters are really dark, full of hell and death, but they’re fighting for good...a bit like Zorro! "
In case you were hibernating since the beginning of the new year, we've just released the most badass bikers miniatures of the decade, The Hell Riders! If you are curious to learn more about these characters, here's a post from Benoit, the art director, sharing many details behind the conception of these models. Enjoy!
The Daughters of the Crucible are part of the Sister of Eternal Mercy faction, but as much as the regular sisters are noble knights, well-organized army, the Daughters of the Crucible are more sort of missionaries that have been abandoned to themselves. Their mission is to take care of the underdogs, the poor and the weak, in places that have been abandoned by regular Sisters.
It means that they were left by themselves and had to create their own fighting style with what they could find. They are very streetwise, dealing with everyday violence and problems. They come from various backgrounds, and some of them ended up being Daughters because they had nowhere else to go. Different life stories that brought them to become Daughters of the Crucible.
Another consequence of having to deal with the violence without having the resource of a structured army, a proper training and weaponry: a lot of them go through death and terrible stories.
But they do own something special: the water of resurrection, which can bring them back to life. Yet, that's rarely an easy trip. Especially when it's not done properly: a complex process within the specific sanctuaries abandoned by the Sisters.
Instead, the Daughters have to find how to do it their own way, and most of the time it's a rough ride. That's where these Bikers come from: a brutal resurrection. When they come back to life, they've been through hell and dark times. And each one with a different experience, making every one of them very unique.
So we had this very cool concept with these street characters on bike. But of course, we didn't want heavy armored bikes, we wanted to give them more of a rock'n'roll feeling, like crazy choppers. And that was the beginning.
And we wanted to make each one a very different character. We went for different types of personalities that could fit that idea. A bit like the four horsemen of the apocalypse. But we had 6 of them, and each one would need her own theme, all of them dark but each with her own feel.
One of the biggest influence was the "Bat Out Of Hell" album cover of Meat Loaf, which is a crazy overthe-top illustration. We thought it was fun (and so cool at the same time!), and we wanted our bikers to be something like a poster you could find in the cabin of a truck driver or a truck stop. Something we really liked about this Meat Loaf cover artwork was the very extreme pose of the rider. So we wanted to have something in the sculpt making them look like they were speeding like crazy and driving their bikes like if it was an extension of their personalities. That was a starting point for these character on wheels.
Obviously we had to have the one breaking out of hell. On fire with skulls everywhere and chains and stuff like that. It was Evita Death. She's been chained to hell, doomed to death and now she's coming back to unleash her vengeance. She turned all the chains that were tying her up into weapons, swinging them around with flaming skulls. These skulls are most likely the spirits of people who've lived the same fate as she did, and she's coming back to bring justice in vengeance to honour their deaths.
Then we wanted one to look like death herself, again referring to the riders of the apocalypse. Blue-Eyez La Muerte came out like this! She's turning and shooting at the same time, ready to strike.
Cholita Destiny is the beautiful and elegant one, the one who looks innocent and delicate, but in fact, she holds the key to the destiny of every person she touches. She is like a deadly incarnation of Fate on wheels.
Blanca was supposed to be a destitute knight, one who might have been a noble Sister in the past, but who for some reason ended up with the Daughters, and died in the streets. So she turned into an hybrid between that shivery majestic-divine-knight look and a ferocious biker from hell...
We wanted one howling into the night, with a veil of spirit whirling around her, a completely crazy and possessed Daughter who screams into the eternal darkness, out of her mind. Wailing Mia's story could be the lyrics of an 80's hard rock/heavy metal song!
Finally we wanted one to be standing still among the chaos. In the middle of these bikes whirling around like crazy, one girl who is standing out there, like a mystic vision of death. Mad Rose Madonna is more like the see-er of the group, she can read the future and what's going to happen. She has these ravens flying around her: they are the link between the living world and the dead world. A manifestation of her visions into the fate of people.
So basically, these characters are really dark, full of hell and death, but they’re fighting for good. A bit like Zorro!
Once we had those ideas, we started working on the poses. We've made them so that the bikes will not stand straight in regular fashion. You can really position the bike in many different ways. We suggest you look at the 3D renders for inspiration, but also try this for yourself, play around to figure out the best pose for you.
What we would recommend is to sand the base of the wheel(s) that is(are) touching the ground, depending if you want them to do a wheelie, or have both wheels on the ground in a certain angle. Look at Blue-Eyez La Muerte for example: the bike should be angled, not straight up. We've made a few photos so you can have a better idea.
We've worked a lot on that, to give the sculpts as much speed feel as possible, which is not an easy thing to do. It's a lot of thinking about the poses and shapes, and exaggerating some movements on the characters.
I hope you enjoyed this post, please don't hesitate to share your thoughts in the comments below, if you have any questions or would like me to talk about something else, tell me! Cheers!
Founder and Art Director
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