Wednesday 20 February 2013

Illuminations: The Art of Ian Miller

Long time no blog.

My Rogue Trader project has ground to a standstill. Hopefully, you know why! This blog's sister, Realm of Chaos 80s, has taken up all my limited blogging time with interviews, Oldhammer Day organisation (well the Slaves to Darkness bit, Gaj has down a sterling job on the rest) and warband creation. 

The same is true with my Dark Future project. 

Occasionally, I feel guilty and pop over to one of these other forgotten places and have a wild stab at throwing together an article. Well, today is one of those days. I have for your viewing pleasure an '80s article into the twisted mind of Ian Miller culled from the crackling pages of an ancient White Dwarf. 

Illuminations was a long time semi regular feature in White Dwarf that sought to present the work of in house and freelance artists. A bit like 'Eavy Metal, only without the miniatures. What is interesting about this particular extract is the fact that Miller was experimenting with a faster, more fluid art style to help produce enough art for Rogue Trader. Which explains the raw, combat-exhausted feel of many of the black and whites within the famous rulebook. 

One of the things I love about Old School GW art is the fact that each artist had a recognisable style. Their work was also actual art, it said something, and did more for the viewer than simply advertise models.
I have vivid memories of images such as these. The frantic, fantastical combat really inspired my imagination. Beaky marines are also superior to all others. Its a fact!
The humorous 'fact files were also a lovely feature of Illuminations. Some of them were serious, other less so. Which category does Ian Miller's fit into?
This image could generate much debate. Are they chaos marines in an early form? Is that a proto-titan exploding in the background? Are they orks? Mutants? What do you think?

This article also contains one or two images prepared for Rogue Trader that never made it into the book itself. 

Can you spot them?

Its seems that after completion of the artwork for Rogue Trader. Ian Miller moved into the GW studio and started a six month stint creating illustrations for Realm of Chaos. SIX MONTHS! And, he was working alongside Tony Ackland and a wealth of freelancers. So much time lavished on one product.

It really shows, doesn't it!



  1. Ian Miller ruled, I think those illustrations were supposed to be Space Orks, he had the great habit of giving everything vampiric fangs, he also incorporated actual miniatures into his art. I bumped into his art again when the magic The Gathering craze hit in the 90's.

  2. Yeah, Orks I reckon. Though there seems to be a discomfited Space Marine prisoner in amongst the rabble. Unfortunately this is a terrible sight for me since I unknowingly stumbled across the fan-fiction 'Squad Broken'. DO NOT LOOK IT UP, EVER. The proto-Gargant also appears to be wearing a Space-Elf warp gate for a hat.

    1. I looked it up. Wish I hadn't.

    2. I tried to warn you buddy. It doesn't ever go away you know. :(

  3. A couple of weeks ago I did a 'rogue trader' search over at
    and spent about an hour staring at everything there was to see. They did a Rogue Trader 25th Anniversary event about a year ago and produced some really beautiful armies and games. Their efforts might deserve an article. Some samples below:

  4. I looked it up too it next on my reading list after I finish the Ravenor omnibus

  5. I found a pic of a Bob Olley Megabot HERE

    It looks close to the proto-gargant in the illustration to my eye.

  6. Nice to see you are still here, I impressed you manage to keep the blogs floating, and with such quality material.

    I also reckon those are proto orks, Miller drew similar orks in the Tolkien bestiary. An interview with Miller would be an interesting read, perhaps a future project?

  7. Great stuff. I've been playing since the end of the Rogue Trader Era. I still have my RT book and I've been putting together a Crimson Fist army using RT era minis. Good times.