Privateer: Designing Aiakos, Scourge of Meredius

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The dreaded pirate has gotten an upgrade for MkIII – take a look at how Privateer brought him to (un)life!

Aiakos, the Scourge of the Meredius, is a Cryxian pirate and warcaster who has honed his skills through years of piracy upon the Meredius. He moves with his battlegroup like a specter of death both at sea and on land, striking down foes with wicked effectiveness. Aiakos has already earned infamy through deeds both brazen and savage. His reputation is a credit to his cunning, ruthlessness, and indomitable will.

Sculptor Doug Hamilton let’s us in on the process that took Aiakos from sketch to 3D model…

via Privateer:

One of the toughest sculpts for me in my time at Privateer Press was the original WARMACHINE: Tactics Kickstarter version of Aiakos, Scourge of Meredius, my first Cryx model. Since it was my first experience working with this Faction, I really had to work on the shapes and style, which were a serious challenge. But it was a labor of love, no matter what I said at the time. I knew this Journeyman Warcaster would grow up and take over as a full-fledged badass, and I hoped that someday I would get to work on that full warcaster version.

Flash forward two years: Now I have a little more experience with both the Cryx aesthetic and 3D sculpting, and I’m feeling pretty good about myself… and then Captain Aiakos comes sailing across my desk. Someday had arrived, and I was not prepared.

You can see the Aiakos sketches below that Art Director Mike Vaillancourt would ultimately use to come up with the final version of Captain Aiakos. I [ always find these different sketches interesting since they leave you thinking about the possibilities of what could have been. It must be tough picking from these great options; I know I really like the harpoon!

The new concept for Captain Aiakos (above) had everything a sculptor could ask for: it looked great and had been concepted by a great artist, Andrea Uderzo, and yet I still had this mental block. Typically when I work on a sculpt, I go back and forth with Studio Director Ron Kruzie a few times until I get final approval. But with Captain Aiakos, I kept hitting this creative resistance and ended up dragging my feet. After getting feedback on my work from Kruzie, I managed to use a holiday and finish three other sculpts before I finished Aiakos. Once he was finalized and approved, I still wasn’t satisfied. But then the rapid prototype was completed…

That changed everything. Now I wasn’t just staring at shapes on my screen. Instead, there was Captain Aiakos looking back at me, and his details were sharp and his pose was so cool. This guy looked like a freakin’ badass pirate!

Now it was only a matter of time before my buddy Dallas Kemp was able to paint him up. That’s what Dallas does—takes my work from the classic silver screen black-and-white visuals to hard-hitting, full-blown modern color. These warcasters and warlocks stop being just images and become part of the real world by the time Dallas is done with them. I love how a model pops after he has painted it. The colors always seem to be just right and always have that extra flair that lets me see the model as flesh and blood on the battlefield.

Finally, we come to another amazing illustration by Néstor Ossandòn. So, there you have Captain Aiakos in all his glory!

What do you think of Aiakos’ new look?
  • ChubToad

    I feel that for PP, their concept art is amazing, but the execution leaves us with something different. I dunno it might be just me. And why in the world do they design minis that don’t fit into the space their bases have??

    • ZeeLobby

      Really? I love this model. It’s definitely my favorite of the new Gencon casters. I do admit that sometimes the art has much better poses that seem to get lost on the miniature. It probably has something to do with designing the art and the renders at a much larger scale and then being somewhat hampered by the production process further down the line. They could definitely get better at that.

      • ChubToad

        I do like the model, but compared to the concept art, in which it looks awesome, the final render and mini looks catoonish to me. There’s something that is missing there, but cannot exactly pinpoint it.

        • ZeeLobby

          I wonder if it’s lack of skill on their painting team. I’ve often thought similar things about other companies models from early images, but then see a pro do it and it looks amazing. Some pro-painted Glacier Kings for example look awesome compared to the stock one. But I definitely get what you’re saying, it does seem meh after the artwork. I actually really like Aikos in the stoic pose rather than action shot.

          • ChubToad

            Yeah, him throwing that spear looks amazing, I dunno why they chose that “Tanith pose” for him.

          • Hawt Dawg

            Actually looking at the MK3 video I have to say most if not all the models from PP painters are looking really impressive.

        • Countdiscount

          I think it’s the size of the hand/fingers on the finished model. They’re too big, making the finished product look cartoony. Compare the size of the hands on the 3D model, to the size of the hands on the concept art above it.

          To me, it looks like they increased the thickness of the spear, and the hand holding it.

        • zeno666

          I agree, and so does Terminus… 😉
          I’m ok with the model, but it looks a bit too busy with all the bric-a-brac. Less is more.
          Another thing could be his mouth, in the artwork he looks like he is about to chuck that harpoon with all the strength he’s got.
          But the model is just poking with it.

      • Hawt Dawg


        Slimey gators and fat pigs is the only love you need.

        • ZeeLobby

          Haha. When I first got into the game, I went purely with Cryx based on the short story of Aikos. Since then I’ve become wiser in my ways, and only worship Barnabas! The gator god!

          • Hawt Dawg

            Preach brother, preach!

    • WhenDidVicesBecomeVirtues

      Personally I think the model looks great, but often times they have to take into consideration how thin/wide they can make components relative to the material components strength/tensile nature etc and how easily molds/sculpting can be made for the detail level they want on the mini.

      In a nutshell, it’s often a compromise knowing the limits of the materials/system they use to produce minis.