Monday, 2 December 2013

Arcane Armorials: Psygnosis inspired owl face

Those of you who frequented the home computer in the late '80s and early '90s will recall the above image with delight. Yes, Psygnosis, creators of Shadow of the Beast, Lemmings and parallax scrolling among a great many other great things. Zhu mentioned the possibility of using this image to create an old school shield design a few posts back and I wondered if such a thing was possible. 

So defying a nasty eye infection, I set to work on the shield. 

Stage One: Using the reverse side of a plastic shield (its best to fill the rim side with greenstuff or just file it off) I undercoated with a mix of light blue and blue ink. A couple of coats and the tone was flat enough to start!

Stage Two: Here I applied the white following some of the structure of the Psygnosis original. I preferred to keep things a little more symmetrical than in the original design. 

Stage Three: Add the black. Create the eyebrows, eyes and the beak.Once I was happy I had the design elements I was after, I tidied up the black line with more white paint.

Stage Four: Using white, I created circles within the eye balls and then painted them yellow. Before the yellow paint could dry, I used a little orange ink to vary the colour slightly. 

Stage Five: Blob on the pupils and tidy up the blue design features. 

Stage Six. Add tiny white dots to the eyes and cut the shield off the sprue.

Stage Seven: Pack the rim of the shield black and do the same to the rear. Oh, and attach it to a suitable model.

And there we have it! Another freehand shield on another new Old School model. I painted this skeleton specifically for the owl design as, for me anyway, these old Citadel skeletons are the perfect hanger for a shield! I think I might have a go at a more traditional owl face design at some point in the future, perhaps for my Warhammer Bestiary Wood Elf??

What not have a go at one of these yourselves? Or even better, can you suggest another design that would make a good old school shield design? If so, please comment below and I will have a go at painting it!


  1. Absolutely lovely, what can I say. Your shield tutorials are truly top notch!

  2. Very nice indeed, an owl and a skeletton seems like a natural combo to me.
    The cyberpunkish look of this logo makes me think of copying it onto the back of a rogue trader model, I even think it could be a job for an airbrush (some hard masking job though...)

    Great job as always.

  3. Great idea... and looks perfect. And it takes me back to the golden Amiga 500 days. Thanks for tutorial.

  4. Lovely! Well done. Just a suggestion, a little bit of blue woad on the skeletons head might really tie the two elements together. Nontheless, I'm very impressed with the clean brushwork you've achieved. Bravo!

    For a suggestion, how about the old Fighting Fantasy logo, perhaps without the "FF" and the text? Might be a bit fiddly...

  5. Great tribute to a legendary studio!!

    retro wargaming + retro computer gaming = AWESOMENESS