Why is he a risk taker you ask? Before we get to that, part of the risk taker aspect of this week’s challenge is my choice of a figure at all, as I am submitting for your viewing pleasure, a Chibi figure into the painting challenge. Yes, that's right, a large headed, large eye, version of one of the Grim Dark’s nastiest warriors. The paradox is huge since Mortarion should inspire fear in lesser beings, yet here he is chibi form.
So, onto why Mortarion is a risk taker. Mortarion had long been ignored by his father, sent away from home at a young age to a foster parent on a horrible world, where the very air Mortarion had to breath was poison. Left there for decades Mortarion grew up alone, but became a fierce warlord, his one hidden pleasure his stuffed teddy bear that he had as a gift from his father the Emperor. Though a fierce warrior by day, Morty still clutched his teddy at night when he was sure he was alone.
Then the day came that his father came to reclaim him and Morty was joyful. He traveled the stars in joy as together at long last with his brothers and father they aimed to cleanse the galaxy or heretics and heathens. All was right in the universe.
However, a time came when his father announce that he would no longer be traveling the stars with them. He would declare one of his sons as Warlord to impose his authority as their rightful conquest continued. Unaware of the fact that his secret had been discovered, Mortarion took a risk and went to his father, asking for the honour of leading the war effort and being placed in charge. His father laughed in his son’s face and held up his beloved teddy, and asked if someone that still played with toys really deserved the honour of taking his place leading the crusade. Mortarion was shocked by this and hung his head in shame, and mumbled “but I kept it all these years as a reminder of you Father”.
The Emperor looked down on his son and said with distain, “No true son of mine would care about such things.” He then ripped the head off teddy and hurled the remains of the bear at Mortarion. "Come back when you can show me that you are no longer weak with sentiment and feeling, all that matters is power.”
Mortarion picked up his beloved teddy and sulked out of his father’s room. He had gambled and lost, but one day he would show him.
This figure is from a company called Legendarion (http://legendarion.com/others.html) that produces a pretty big set of chibi primarchs that I fell in love with about a year or so ago. They capture the essence of the primarchs while still being different enough from the real thing to avoid copyright violations. The figures have tons or character and feeling and come in high quality resin.
The one big thing painting Morty was balancing how much shading to do and how much single colour to do. Chibi art in general is very cartoony with lots of bright colours, high contrast, and very little shading. I still wanted some shading though to show some definition, so this is my compromise on that.
He was a lot of fun to paint and I may pick up more in the future as fielding him with my normal Death Guard at a 40k tournament as a leader and throwing my opponents off their game by using a “childish” figure is an idea I love.