Thursday, November 17, 2016

Terror of the Lichemaster: Mikael Jacsen




Terror of the Lichemaster, Part 5

In 1984, Michael Jackson's hair caught fire through an imprudent combination of hair spray and pyrotechnics. This was just a year after Jackson had released the Thriller video, which co-opted George Romero's cult classic Night of the Living Dead (1968) and evermore installed zombies in pop culture. Jackson's fiery accident clearly overwhelmed the sensitive emotions of the Citadel Design Team, and in response they created the miniature Mikael Jacsen, Lord of Zombies.

Mikael Jacsen (also spelled Mikeal Jacsen) is one of the undead minions of the Lichemaster, Heinrich Kemler. The warm appreciation of the boys at Games Workshop for Jackson's contribution to pop music is clear from the description of Jacsen in the Terror of the Lichemaster campaign book:
"By [the Lichemaster] hung the stench of decay, the rotting zombie legions and their Lieutenant, Mikeal Jacsen. In death, Jacsen was a great dark skeleton, long and thin, and with a skull that burned with an unnatural light, and from in between his huge dead teeth there issued a foul, thin shriek that few could listen to without sickening."
I've already written about how in the Lichemaster campaign, Kemler dispatches Ranlac the Black and his skeletons to ambush Gimbrin's Mine. The second prong of Kemler's attack on the Frugelhorn Valley is an attack on the farmstead of the Bogel family. That's Mikael's job...



Mikael Jacsen (detail) by Gary Chalk (1986)





Mikael Jacsen is another devilishly rare miniature in the Lichemaster set, being only sold by mail order in the mid-1980's. Based on the style of sculpting (big boots, gangly limbs and comic flair) I am confident is ascribing this miniature to Aly Morrison, who sculpted many of the C17 Citadel Skeletons. Jacsen's grinning shield is from the vintage range of SH1 Metal Shields released in 1987.

Jacsen is accompanied by a pack of 10 zombies. Naturally, I selected most of them from Citadel's C18 Zombies sculpted in 1986 by Kev "Goblinmaster" Adams. These are some of the best fantasy zombies ever sculpted: by turns they are hilarious, disgusting and scary. They also have some execrable puns as names (something I think we can blame on Tim Pollard), such as Kand-Meet and Deadringer.

Here are a few of Mikael's legion:

 - "Rustbone" C18 Zombie sculpted by Kev Adams (1986):




 - "Jin" C18 Undead Samurai sculpted by Aly Morrison (1985):




 - "Pek-Gregri" C18 Zombie sculpted by Kev Adams (1986):




 - "Peeceez" C18 Zombie sculpted by Kev Adams (1986):




 - "Kay-Bob" C18 Zombie* sculpted by Kev Adams (1986):




Thanks looking! And next week, we'll meet Mikael Jacsen's victims, the Bogel Family...



Mikael Jacsen by Tony Ackland (1986)




* This beautifully sculpted miniature is sadly without a name in the old Citadel flyers, so I gave him the most Tim Pollard-esque name that I could come up with... Kay-Bob. But nothing will ever beet "Pek-Gregri".

15 comments:

  1. Next chapter of my favourite miniatures-internet project of Lichemaster!
    Great work Matthew!

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  2. Wonderful job, they' re terrifying...Love the raven, nice, and of course the 'hair caught fire', most impressive!!

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  3. Wonderful, all the textures are splendid.

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  4. Haha, how much do I miss that humor in Warhammer :D
    Really nice work; not only the skelly in flames looks gorgeous, the zombies are inspired. I love everything!

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  5. Brilliant!

    And I agree the Gregory Peck pun is sublime!

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  6. Excellent work! By the way, are you aware that Kev Adams is busy sculpting more zombies in the style of the c18s?

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    1. I didn't know that! That's very exciting. His zombies are unique -- both menacing and disintegrating before your eyes.

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    2. I sent you a PM on the forum.

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  7. So much character in all these sculpts and your paint jobs are splendid necromancy at it's best; bringing the models to life.

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  8. Thanks everyone! It makes me happy to know that you're enjoying the Lichemaster saga as much as I am.

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    1. We sure are! These are visually amazing, but also a neat look at gaming history. I'm glad my spidey sense told me to check in here today :)

      Technically speaking, I like Mikael for his fantastic rusty armour, and the way you put the flames behind his eyes and mouth... something a lesser painter might not have thought to do.

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  9. Very nice - the Jacsen model is currently sitting on my table. I haven't decided what king of shield to use yet so he's been there for about two weeks. This may be impetus I need to get him painted!

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    1. I can't wait to see what you do with him... I'm a big fan of your work.

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  10. I had no idea there was an actual story behind this! Of course I got the reference in the name, but this is just brilliant! As per usual you've done a great job on another wonderful little oddity. Really enjoying watching this project progress.

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