Getting inked is not a decision to take lightly, so I do as much research as I can before choosing a design and going under the needle. In my quest to figure out how I want to make this hobby a permanent part of me I talked to a few folks that have Warhammer ink, and I thought I’d share the stories of their tattoos here.
The symbol is from an image of a rune [representing the Craftworlds, Harlequins, Exodites, and the Dark Eldar, among others] covered tablet the 3rd Edition Eldar Codex. It means “those who travel” and “the fearless” as well as representing the God of Laughter. The representation is the most important aspect to him. He explains: “I’ve always been the joker amongst my friendship group, from starting secondary school (that’s eleven years old, I don’t know if you know how British schools work) right up to now (I’m 22), and since I’ve known about Him I’ve always considered myself a bit of a disciple! It just made sense to me that something so fundamental to my being – making people laugh – should have some kind of representation on my skin.”
When Kedge first got into 40K he was drawn to the Eldar’s aesthic, and the more he learned about the race the more enthralled he became. “There’s nothing at all I dislike about the Eldar, from the fast and fragile playstyle to the idea that their own decadence spawned a literal God of Excess and how all the individual groups deal with that in a different way… I’m tempted to say that what I like most about the Eldar is the way the Avatar says, ‘I AM KAELA MENSHA KHAINE’ on arrival in Dawn of War but really we all know what my answer was going to be… it’s the Harlequins, and everything about them!”
Rebecca started in the hobby about 7 years ago after her husband, a veteran 40K player, told her about the Eldar. Her long standing love of elves – that started when she read the Hobbit in her early teens – made picking up the game irresistible. Since then she has grown that love for elves into armies for WFB [High and Wood Elves], LOTR [Lothlorien], and 40K [Eldar – she currently has 10k points of Beil tan]. Though her Lothlorien army is the most special due to her history with Tolkien’s books, the game’s waning popularity pushed her to play more 40K. When the Harlequins were introduced she was drawn their bold colors and masks.
“Writing about tattoos is a pretty tough thing to do, especially when they’re your own. While painting miniatures is a hobby that allows for a ton of personal immersion, something like permanent body art takes it so many steps further.
In 2004, to celebrate my 10 years with the company, amongst a host of other achievements (including moving to the US arm of the company), I got a tattoo of the Double Eagle logo from the Dan Abnett book of the same name. Again, it was simple, solid black, and still indicative of my loyalties.
I was all set to add to my tattoo collection in 2009 for what would have been my 15 year mark with GW, but that milestone was not to be reached.
Instead, with a new lease on life outside of GW yet still involved in the hobby and working for another great wargaming company (Battlefront Miniatures, makers of Flames of War and the Wargames Illustrated magazine), I had an opportunity to expand my horizons. Excited by the support my blog was receiving from the hobby community I thought I’d do something crazy to express my freedom and mark the creation of my latest major project, the Blood Pact army. So, in February 2010 I ran a competition on my blog to create the design for my Blood Pact tattoo. Fortunately, there were a lot of entries to choose from and a couple that “broke the mould” of what I was expecting. I was then able to take my favorite to an artist I’d never used before and she added her own spin to it all. The whole experience was very freeing, and has opened up a lot of new ideas and avenues for me to explore in the future.
The design is from Dawn of War. He thought it would it be a great addition to what will eventually be a full sleeve of game designs/art. In terms of the work: the tattoo was more of a “test trial” to show her skills while she was apprenticing. She told me: “I was only being given simple work to do, but knew that I could do more – so I made an attempt and think it came out really cool!” I have to agree… when I found the tattoo in an image search it immediately stood out.
She’s currently out on maternity leave, but will be going back to work late spring of this year. If you find yourself in Sweden, and you want some awesome work done, drop her a line on her DevArt page.
Do you have tabletop gaming ink, or maybe thinking about it? Share your photos, stories, and plans in the comments.
Note: The photo of the D20 tattoo was taken circa 2009 at the GW retail store in Victoria, BC.