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Mr_Pink
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PostSubject: Coven of the Unmarred   Sat Apr 21 2012, 14:02

Greetings Dark City Denizens! After posting some of my models in the Aphotic Gallery, Gobsmakked has encouraged me to start a thread in the project logs.

Though the lion's share of my modeling work to date has been Tyranid-related (I may have met some of you over on Warpshadow), I have always had Dark Eldar sitting on a back burner in my brain...likely from the time when they were released with the third edition boxed set and a new Tyranid release was nowhere in sight. I put my bugs on the shelf (those Big Black Book rules were atrocious), and I picked up some dark kin. In fact, the Dark Eldar may just be what got me into conversions in the first place. I was so disappointed with the old DE models that I tried to convert things like Helions and Grotesques out of other plastic kits, like Zombies and DE Warriors.

Anyway, I soon gave up on my Dark Eldar as Tyranids returned to the spotlight, and I wasn't troubled by the Dark Itch again until Jes Goodwin overhauled the model line into its current incarnation, which I believe you would all agree is the finest range of models in 40K right now. I got a hold of the codex, and I was instantly taken with all the Haemonculi Coven units in the book. I entertained the idea of converting an entire coven army, and set to work thinking of ways that non-coven units could be coven-ified.

Before the Haemonculi unit splash release, I had picked out models that I was going to use to convert things like Wracks and Grotesques, I'd secured a commission to make the army for another warpshadow board member. However, the splash release arrived right in the midst of this planning process, and I worried that my idea to convert the models would be all for nought as official models now existed. Fortunately, though the Wracks were nice, me and my commissioner both agreed that the Grotesques could be improved, and he had faith in me to do the Wracks justice as well, so he sent me a pile of models (including something like 3-4 Talos), and I set to work.

Though doing this work for a commission may seem like a mercenary thing to do, I've come to realize that this was a project that I was passionate about and which I would not have been able to do otherwise. I feel very fortunate that someone is financing me to put in all this time and effort, and when I'm finished that someone will get some joy out of painting up and playing with the models I made.

Anyway, though, for now, I am only doing a few units for this commission, my overall vision for my imagined All-Coven army is that it is lead by a weird kind of Haemonculus who is terribly vain. As such, he keeps all of his youthful technologies for himself and his most trusted  Haemonculus advisors while using the rest of his army as experimental stock. This, I believe, serves to explain why all the Wracks/Grotesques are hidden behind masks. Though this vain Haemonculus delights in how beautiful he looks in contrast to the freak circus that surrounds him, he doesn't like to have to look at the hideous faces of his freaks. This is where the name "Coven of the Unmarred" comes into it. He and his Haemonculus Court are the Unmarred, but the name has a nice ironic tinge to it when it encompasses his entire, freakshow army Very Happy

SO, yeah, that's the idea. I'm not sure how far I'm going to get with it, but I'm determined to put together some Grotesques, Wracks, Raiders, Warriors, and Wyches at the very least with ideas for other things like Coven Reavers.

Enough talk, though. Here are some photos of how far I've gotten in the last year. If you'll forgive me the cross-polenation (primarily because I don't want to go through all that trouble of re-looking up and re-inserting the links!), I'll repost the images in this thread that I previously posted in the Aphotic Gallery for now and then go into more detail soon.

For the Wracks, I used a whole pile of WHFB bits: Bloodletters, Flagellants, Ghouls, and Orc bows.








For my Grotesques, I started off with Paulson Games Bioterrors, added some Talos bits, and then did a whole pile of sculpting:








That last was meant to be the "Meat Rack"; the Grotesque in charge of harvesting all of the trophies from the slain.

Finally, I've also made some Pain Counters, and I wanted to take a slightly different approach to them. I elected to do individual counters for each squad. Instead of having additional counters that were added after the first, meaning that the squad had more models to drag around, I elected to depict a single victim that would become more and more twisted as the squad amassed pain tokens.

For my Grotesques' pain counter, I used this poor individual. The idea was to have him be progressively more twisted by the pain he's being put through:




For my Wracks, I used a similar idea, except with the number of Hemavores crawling out of the victim being indicative of how many pain counters this one counter was meant to represent:




Those last ones are clearly unfinished and require a deal more gore to be added. My favourite is, likely, the guy who is looking up at the worm busting out of his belly  Twisted Evil

I hope you like the concepts. I don't know why I haven't posted them on here before as I've been working on them for a year now. I relish the opportunity to share them with some Dark-Kin-Minded folks, as well as the opportunity to inspired some more fun conversions. Though the DE line is glorious, nothing makes me sadder than a straight-out-of-box miniature, so I hope that by joining the Dark City I can at once witness of your cool ideas while also possibly inspiring some folks to take their models a bit further down the conversion line  Very Happy

Oh, and though I don't know if the No-Links-For-7-Days is a spambot policy or not, I'd encourage anyone who's interested in seeing some WiP shots of my coven to scope out my blog: modernsynthesist.blogspot.ca/search/label/Dark%20Eldar , though I'll endeavour to repost some of the more interesting bits of the model construction in this Project Log.

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Last edited by Mr_Pink on Fri Nov 20 2015, 20:49; edited 12 times in total
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SleepyPillow
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PostSubject: Re: Coven of the Unmarred   Sat Apr 21 2012, 14:08

This is pretty damn amazing.

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mot666
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PostSubject: Re: Coven of the Unmarred   Sat Apr 21 2012, 14:22

I'll say! I was going to do something in a similar vein for my coven models. I wanted to wait to see what they released first for continuities sake. You've reinspired me mate. Pro conversions there without a doubt.

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KnightSeerValkia
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PostSubject: Re: Coven of the Unmarred   Sat Apr 21 2012, 19:07

You sir are a Master Haemonculus, equal parts artist to macarbe doctor. Will love looking at the rest of your (future) work. Welcome to the forum =]

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PostSubject: Re: Coven of the Unmarred   Sat Apr 21 2012, 22:23

I can only agree with what the others have said; these are looking awesome. Whatever haemey has made these are seriously a master of fleshsculpting.

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Cavash
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PostSubject: Re: Coven of the Unmarred   Sat Apr 21 2012, 23:14

I am going to go the more gentlemanly approach.

Splendid good chum!

This is seriousl awesome. The Haemavores remind me of the Scythe-heads from Resident Evil 4.
Good work, keep it up.

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Lord Clazaryn
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PostSubject: Re: Coven of the Unmarred   Sun Apr 22 2012, 11:08

Omg, I am seriously freaked out by those, they are the most fantastic, scary, creepy and terrifying models I have seen! You have incredible conversion talent, people could mistake me for greenstuff, that's how envious I am. And those pain tokens are the icing on the cake, I'm lost for words, I think this will be the first thread I will actively watch! Can't wait for more!

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Siticus the Ancient
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PostSubject: Re: Coven of the Unmarred   Sun Apr 22 2012, 13:10

Those are some of the most twisted, nightmarish Coven conversions I have seen! Those pain tokens are also absolutely breathtaking, an idea I should probably borrow some time. Fantastic work, I'd love to see more!

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Hydra
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PostSubject: Re: Coven of the Unmarred   Sun Apr 22 2012, 16:37

Sweet, Mr_Pink!

And to ll the others here, in RL, they look even better. Mr.P is a decent photographer, don't get me wrong, but having held these in hands is even more stunning.
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Mr_Pink
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PostSubject: Re: Coven of the Unmarred   Sun Apr 22 2012, 21:59

Thanks for the love, friends Very Happy It's good to hear the support as I've been working on this project for a while, and sometimes it feels like working in a vaccuum/after looking at the models for so long, I start to get used to the concepts and start to tire of them. It's good to see them again through the eyes of others--particularly others who are invested in the Dark Eldar aesthetic! I'll be sure to post some more photos as I go forward with other coven units. Though I'm not sure when I'll be able to start on them, I am most excited to attempt some Coven Warriors/Wyches based on a concept Hydra and I talked over.

Hydra, thanks for the hands-on vote of confidence. With all of the appendages/growths on these models, it is rather difficult to photograph them satisfactorily!

For now, I'll share some more photos of the formula I used to come up with the Wracks. Sure, the GW Wracks are nice, but if you don't want to pay the gold--er, rather--finecast price, here's what I used:

- Bloodletters Kit (upper torsos, arms, heads, horns, back ridges)
- Flagellants Kit (only legs...this could be a bits order if you can find them)
- Savage Orc Bows (a dime a dozen on a bits site like Hoard O Bits)
- Ghoul arms (though these are optional; I liked them as atrophied extra limbs)
- Random Dark Eldar blade weapons
- Plasticard
- Apoxie Putty


Here's a look at the bare body without any of the Apoxie Sculpt/Greenstuff. I cut the bloodletter at the waist to flatten it out so it would sit flush with the Flagellant legs. I made sure to cut it a bit long to give some height/a hunch. I cut down the back spine slightly and attached it backwards, attached a single Bloodletter horn to that, then attached some Savage Orc bow pieces to the bloodletter horn to form some boney racks.




To make the masks, I applied apoxie sculpt to the cut-down bloodletter head and stamped it with the inside of a Talos facemask. This worked as a pretty good mold, and I just had to cut away/shape the edges. If you're patient, this is a pretty good way to replicate the smooth face masks like the ones Reaver pilots use.



Next, the tricky bit of putting openings in the masks. I tried sculpting them in...

...but they didn't come out as cleanly as I would have liked, so I elected to drill them in after the fact...

...which worked a little more cleanly.

To finish off the masks and make them a little more Hellraiser-y, I added bolts around the edges to make it seem like once they were on, they were not coming off!


To finish off, I just went back and sculpted in some armour plates around the heads/waists to mesh them with the other bits, and I sculpted in spinal detail on all of them. I really like the concept of Wracks/Grotesques having these external spinal columns, and though the usage of the bloodletter horns/orc bows suggested this, I wanted to make the nastiness more pronounced:



For their hands/weapons, I tried to go for a vibe that was at once reminiscent of butchers and doctors. I think that this wrack marries the two quite well as he's carrying a meat cleaver AND a hypodermic gauntlet:

When making these custom weapons, I tried to base them on the sword-wielding arms of the Bloodletter models as the musculature (once stripped of the annoying, zit-like texture the models have) is fitting for my idea of wracks as being shambling-yet-strong.

Here are some more of my plasticard weapon creations:




That last is meant to be the squad leader (acothyst?), and the following two dudes are the Liquifiers:


I hope that serves to give a better idea of how the wracks all came together Very Happy It wound up being a bit more work than I'd originally expected, and if I had it to do again, I would likely use more extra dark eldar arms/weapons and spend less time making so many weapons from scratch.

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Arkynomicon
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PostSubject: Re: Coven of the Unmarred   Mon Apr 23 2012, 23:39

This is all quite amazing and rather inspiring.
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PostSubject: Re: Coven of the Unmarred   Tue Apr 24 2012, 17:14

WOW that is incredible, they look brilliant. Loving the meat rack grotescue and accompaniying pain token.

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PostSubject: Re: Coven of the Unmarred   Tue Apr 24 2012, 19:06

they so good! melikey so very much! in particular i like the BIG kustom plasticard bits. ive been looking at using crypt ghouls as a start. i like the pre-festering/furry hunched.

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PostSubject: Re: Coven of the Unmarred   Wed Apr 25 2012, 20:25

oh my. If I had goggly eyes people would mistake me for kermit the frog. My greenstuff-fu is limited to filling gaps. I'll definitely be bookmarking this one to learn from!

Two very enthusiastic thumbs up sir, keep going, we want to see more!

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PostSubject: Re: Coven of the Unmarred   Fri Apr 27 2012, 02:10

WOW! These are awesome!

Your Grotesques and Wracks are definitely the best. The selection of bits and the green stuff work is excellent. Nothing looks out of place or awkward. I especially love the exposed spines Smile

I can't wait to see more and hopefully see some paint on these magnificent minis.
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PostSubject: Re: Coven of the Unmarred   Fri May 11 2012, 23:05

Folks,

The Wracks are now complete, boxed, and shipped off to their new home with the gent who commissioned them (sorry about the lack of paint!). They are pretty close to the images I posted here, but here are some more shots




If you're interested in more shots, they can be found here.

To go along with them in their happy little package of flesh crafting stabby death, I also completed their pain tokens:


...and they just may have wound up being the single most grotesque, single most pleasing things I've done for the coven yet!

More shots on the blog

Next, at long last, the Raider which I have been putting off forever...that or a start on some Coven Warriors/Wyches >Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Coven of the Unmarred   Sat May 12 2012, 10:40

Really impressive work! And I love the idea with the pain counters representing different stages of transformation of a poor victim.
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PostSubject: Re: Coven of the Unmarred   Sun May 13 2012, 10:14

Holy sweet damn, already looked through your tutorials but now I'm seeing everything together this is just epic. I am sure the new owner will be ecstatic when he gets this.
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PostSubject: Re: Coven of the Unmarred   Fri Mar 01 2013, 23:52

Dark Kids!

I've been out of the world for some time now, but I'm slowly making my circuitous way back to this army. I'll have some new progress to post in the coming days, but for now I figured I should post up some photos of my in-progress coven raider as it never got posted.

As I mentioned previously, nothing bores me more than straight out of the box models. Thus, when it came time to come up with a Raider fit for my gribbly grotesqueries, I wasn't going to resort to a standard raider that was being steered by a couple of Wracks.

My concept came from the idea to extend the Talos/Cronos line. Those creations have already got the whole anti-grav thing down, and they are powered by pain, so wasn't it conceivable that a raider could be built around a Talos, and it could be, similarly, powered by the tormenting talos/cronos energies?

Anyhoo, here is as far as I've gotten with it to this point.



Upon closer inspection, you may notice that the cowling I used for the "rear" of the raider is actually the cowling from the front of the model.



It was a bit tough to make it fit with the bottom part of the model, but I made this decision to change up the obvious lines of the raider, while also electing to use the weapons mount as part of the steering for my--er--organic rudder:



Here is a look at the Talos driver for the thing. I've armoured him up and removed his arms as his only function now is to power the craft:




Though the talos is the powerplant and most of the pilot, there are times when it needs to be put right. Enter our steersman:




And when he needs to be particularly forceful, he uses a little cocktail he cooked up, injecting it directly into the rudder, which also happens to be the terminus of the Talos' spine!



I was having trouble meshing the talos with the rest of the raider, and more trouble figuring out how to put a prow on a Talos, but I eventually figured it out...more or less.




Here's a look at the Talos pilot. I'll be having no comment on the placement of his cannon!



Best thing about the...er....GROIN cannon is that it's magnetized!




The next steps for this critter are going to involve sculpting up the central spinal growths that are going to run down the middle of the craft:


This central growth is going to be built into the actual transport mechanism. As I'm not content to leave well enough alone, I came up with the idea of the Wrack/Grotesque passengers being carried around on the ends of spindly limbs that finish in meat hooks!

Can't wait to realize that part of the model, complete with an embarked, meat-hooked passenger to illustrate how the system works!

Next update will feature my solution for folding Kabalite Warriors into the Coven Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Coven of the Unmarred   Sat Mar 02 2013, 00:25

Yeah... that raider is going to be awesome when it's done. What a Face

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PostSubject: Re: Coven of the Unmarred   Sat Mar 02 2013, 01:16

Yup, this is ridiculously awesome Twisted Evil

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PostSubject: Re: Coven of the Unmarred   Sat Mar 02 2013, 02:01

OMG, seriously I am lost for words, it is exquisite. Your imagination and skill truly astound. It's funny that your awesome coven models have come back online at the exact same time as I got my first wracks. Very keen for more!

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PostSubject: Re: Coven of the Unmarred   Sat Mar 02 2013, 19:48

Now this is the work worthy of a true Haemonculus! This is an absolutely fantastic idea and the wip pics indicate it will be an absolute killer on the battlefield! As a haemonculus extraordinaire, I tip my proverbial hat to you.

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PostSubject: Re: Coven of the Unmarred   Sun Mar 03 2013, 17:03

Smile Thanks again for all the love, Dark Kin. This coven project has to be one of the most-loved ones I've ever set off on, and I'm always happy as a clam to hear that folks like the direction in which I'm heading with it.

However, with this next post we are going to take a slight departure from the twisted path of standard coven troops. I mentioned before that I had played with the idea of fielding an entire army of coven-inspired units, and I must say that I have become a bit obsessed with it of late. When I say an entire army of coven-inspired troops, what I mean is taking non-coven things like reavers and coming up with versions of them that look like they were made by haemonculuses.

People have already done similar by slapping talos bits on Wyches, but I feel I need to go further.

So, let's begin with some coven-themed Warriors. Thematically as well as tactically, it makes sense for a Haemonculus Coven that was trying to strike out on its own (as the fluff for mine suggests) to seek out some long-ranged firepower as this is something sorely lacking in all Coven units other than the Talos. Normally, a coven would just ally itself with some kabalites to solve that problem, but I wanted to come up with a team of kabalites who were exclusively dedicated to the Coven of the Unmarred. In exchange for certain enhancements that they wouldn't have otherwise had access to, these kabalite warriors have agreed to serve this one coven exclusively.

I called the unit "The Hunters," and I pictured them as the swift strike force the coven employs to make lightning raids and to harvest fresh meat for the flesh crafters.

Though I could have easily slapped exposed spinal columns and bone wracks on some standard warrior models, I figured there would already be a pile of gibbering, bloody horrors running around in this force, so I took this as an opportunity to dial the hellraizer vibe back a bit. I like the warrior models, so I wanted to use them without cutting them up too much, but I still wanted my models to be recognizably different from standard warriors.

I put this conundrum to forum member Hydra on a 10-hour drive back from New York City last April. The man is a modeling genius, and he quickly noted that the easiest way to break from the Warrior aesthetic is to break up the standard lines of a warrior. He postulated that the easiest way to do this would be to move the splinter rifles from their hands to their backs, and to give them some other weapon to hold, like knives.

The idea fit perfectly with my concept of these dudes as hunters, so I squirreled it away in my concept bank and kept saying that I would come back to it and produce at least one model as a proof of concept.

Cut to nearly a year later, when I produced this proof of concept model earlier this week:





One of the easiest elements of the conversion that I believe pays strong dividends towards linking these guys with the Coven is the use of scourge torsos rather than standard warrior ones. All of those vials harken to the grotesques and wracks, and they go a long way toward illustrating the perks that these warriors get from their service with the Coven.

As for heads, I'm not sure if the puppets war heads spawned all of these mad ideas, or if they slotted in nicely after, but I love their creepy, bug-y feel. Dark Eldar they're not, really, nor are they, strictly-speaking, coven-like, but I think they do a decent job of representing a kind of heightened sensing array.

Though the model still has a splinter rifle to identify it as a warrior, you can see that they prefer to use their dual knives. If I was concerned about tournaments, I'm sure there would be a problem with modeling a bunch of warriors with two close combat weapons, but as I've used puppets war heads, you can see I'm not that concerned.

Oh, and I believe that right handed knife is the only one in the Dark Eldar line, but I may have missed another one somewhere. One of the main challenges of this build was to convert up some more right-handed knives, but, fortunately, there are plenty of blades present on DE sprues Smile

Well, that proof of concept went so well that I was encouraged to bang out a few more warriors. Here's a shot of the first five squad members:


And some closer looks at the individuals:

This dude is likely one of my faves as that head is my favourite of the five that come in the pack from puppetswar.



My brother and I have nicknamed this guy "The Predator". Bending all of that guitar wire was a major pain, but once it was all in place, my love for the model increased drastically.




Mandatory fire support. Due to his helmet, I think of this guy as "The Gecko."



As these guys are called The Hunters, I wanted to adorn them with some of the trophies they would be dragging back from battle. As I'm primarily a Nid player, I have a never-ending supply of carnifex heads, so they show up on my bases from time to time...


...and what better giant thing for a dark lance hunter to have brought down than a Carnifex?




Speaking of dragging their kills back to the lairs of the Haemonculi...



As I've already evidenced my love for non-standard pain tokens, I had this wild idea to have one of the hunters dragging a corpse behind him, hooked to a chain. It would represent one pain token, and with each additional pain token, another corpse would be added on another chain!

It was a fantastic idea, but I'd need a dreadnought base to pull it off. I wasn't happy to give up on it entirely, though, so I produced the following (though he is still only tacked together:


I am a little bit obsessed with cavalry bases and how they can be used to portray somewhat cinematic, linear scenes. Thus, when my brother said "hey, wouldn't it be awesome if you had a victim who had just been impaled on a knife thrown by a hunter?" I thought "Yes. Yes it would."

This is EASILY my favourite model in the squad. I love the way the wych legs (don't worry; I'm going to sculpt on armour plates!) convey the break-neck motion of the hunter, and I love the emotion in the guardian's face contrasted with the emotionless mask on the hunter. The rifle on his back seems to carry the vector of the model, and despite having clearly just kiled his victim, I love how the hunter has got another knife ready to take the victim apart.






All together, they make a pretty good team. Now I just need to find an impressive way to make a squad leader for them :S


So, what do you fleshcrafters think? Are they freaky enough to go along with a coven? Or do the weird insect helmets jar you out of the dark city too much?

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Siticus the Ancient
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Join date : 2011-09-10
Location : Riga, Latvia

PostSubject: Re: Coven of the Unmarred   Sun Mar 03 2013, 18:14

10 out of 10. This is just incredible! You've taken the regular kabalites and with just a few headswaps and dynamic posing made them into something on an entirely different level! I cannot wait to see more of your flesh artworks!

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