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Ask the Artist: Jordan Pantsios aka @lahmian_maximus

Updated: Jun 26, 2020

I've been pretty busy lately reaching out to potential influencers and starting the process for these interviews. I have had a blast and it's been awesome talking with people I've looked up to since I started painting! Yesterday, as I was typing up my fourth interview of the day (whew), I was contacted by Jordan on Instagram. I had never spoken with him before, so it came as quite a shock when he said he appreciated the outreach of these posts and wanted to add a few artists names to my list. This was a pretty big moment for me, because it shows people are interested in these interviews. They want to know the inner thoughts and driving factors of those that have inspired and motivated us all to get better! This was huge for another reason. Here was someone that has seen what I'm doing for what it is: a promotion of artists, for the pure and simple purpose of bringing the hobby community together, and he wanted to help.

As we were chatting back and forth, I found myself scrolling through his feed. I'm nosy like that! There, I witnessed a technique and style I had never seen before! The first thing I noticed was the very unique matte appearance of his miniatures. I also couldn't help but appreciate the LACK of Primaris marines on his page. Something else that caught my attention was some of the cleanest free hand chapter insignia work I have ever seen! (You'll see those in a bit!)

A lot of his work pays homage to the pre-heresy chapters and paint schemes. His Sons of Horus army is breathtaking and is such a clever mashup of art styles. The matte finish gives the models an aged appearance, while the edge highlighting brings a crisp quality that pleasantly conflicts with the intentionally muted power armor. It's so unique, because it goes against the majority of the paint styles so popular today. Most people want to show the sheen of the armor or their non-metallic metal prowess. But his models display a brutal simplicity and almost hidden beauty. If you look at the models quickly, you think "oh, that's a very well painted model with matte power armor". But then you focus in on the details...the lenses, the individual ribs and edges of the bits between the armor panels, the crisp, uniform edge highlighting and thats when the depth and complexity of his style hits you.

I found myself sitting at a silly crossroads. Here someone was, appreciative of my recent project's intent, willingly conversing with me about our shared hobby. At the same time, I was enamored at his work! So, although I had just finished my 10th post, (4th of the day) I just had to know more about Lahmian_Maximus! Thankfully his willingness to help was quickly converted into my next Influencer Interview!

Let's hop in!

1. How long have you been involved in the hobby in general? "I fell in love with GW fantasy/Sci-fi around the time the first store opened in my hometown. My brothers and I were about 10-12 years old respectively (I’m 33 now) and we were positively overwhelmed by every aspect of the hobby. Skaven and the Blood Angels were my first loves. (Specifically Death Master Snikch) Between the ages of 16-32 however I had along hiatus from the hobby doing things like building cars, chasing girls and apparently saving money to spend later on plastic crack. I rediscovered the hobby a year and a bit ago actually through rather unpleasant circumstances. I was going through a particularly hard time in my life and someone suggested “Art therapy” I asked myself which form of art would I most like to do, I’ve not looked back for one second since". 2. How long have you been actively promoting your content on social media? "I just celebrated my 1 year anniversary on Instagram in March of this year. I started posting to keep myself motivated more than anything, little did I know I had stumbled upon possibly the best internet community in existence, or at least the best one I’ve ever had the pleasure of being part of. I decided at 100 followers (Which blew me away at the time) that if I was to ever reach 1000 (Still seems ridiculous to me) I would actively give back to the people who had all been so supportive and encouraging. Every thousand followers I run a giveaway in which I build/paint/post one mini to either fit someone’s existing army or help them start a new one, along with a tutorial on how to achieve the paint scheme. I have a mini now in Texas, Japan and the UK and I absolutely love the idea of one of my creations charging a battlefield on the other side of the planet and bringing people as much joy as I had creating it".

3. What initially drew you to the miniature model hobby realm? "I’m a creative arty type by nature, I love colours and paints and anything you can push around to make something that looks pleasing. Fantasy storytelling is a passion of mine as well, creative writing and beautifully constructed lore Is the aspect of the hobby that probably excites me most of all. All my projects start with a concept or back story of my own concoction which then drives my physical creativity. I also have a strong military family history and a deep-seated interest in warfare and weaponry. Warhammer, both fantasy and sci-fi allows me to entertain all my interests in the one medium. Put plainly, It just hits all my buttons". 4. What tabletop game would you say is your favorite? What particular faction within that game is your favorite and why? "Oh my, what a question indeed. The Warhammer sci-fi setting and the grim dark appeal to me in a way that I fear I cannot ever truly explain. Specifically the Horus Heresy and more specifically the Sons of Horus grip me so deeply that sometimes I have very real visceral reactions to their exploits. My Paternal grandfather led the XVIth battalion In an extremely bloody conflict that took place in Eastern Europe circa 1945. I remember first discovering the Heresy by way of instagram. I simply preferred the Aesthetic look of MK IV marines which then led me down a rabbit hole that I will willing stay down for the rest of my life. The more I learn about the lore of the sons of Horus, the more parallels With my grandfathers story I seem to discover, right down to the colours they wear. I truly believe that factions choose us and not the other way round. Recently I’ve found myself enamoured by the Kharadron Overlords based on one throw away line of lore text in their newest battle tomb. 5. What is more enjoyable for you personally: painting or playing the game? "Until very recently I would have referred to myself as strictly a painter, I find it meditative and stress relieving as I’m sure many of us do. When I’m at my painting desk things like food, sleep and the outdoors simply don’t occur to me, and I love every second of it. I have however, because of COVID, discovered the joys of rolling dice with my housemate which has motivated me to foray into Age of Sigmar and Killteam. It’s nice to actually use these models after all, I’ll never be a competitive player, I’m now a painter who plays (Not to be confused with a player who paints)" 6. If money or time weren’t a consideration, what single purchase/upgrade/expansion would you make to further your hobby enjoyment? "A full size gaming table that is fantasy on one side and grim dark on the other with all the terrain trimmings. If I had to pick a single item though it would be an airbrush I think".

7. Where do you get the inspiration for your particular army theme or style?

I would be remiss to not mention Duncan Rhodes. Painting like Duncan was my first ever hobby goal. I’m so glad he’s back on the air waves doing what he does best, convincing the self doubting masses that “Of course you can do this” there are several instagramers that inspire me daily, Dornsarrow, Hendarion, Upplander, fellhanded, Armageddon_bound, bagelpaints, rawkdoc_mini, custardworkshop, creative micromanagment, rpowell138, in_excelsis_milia, just to name a few. (Sorry if I left anyone out) And of course all the mini painting you tubers who sacrifice their own painting time to fiddle with booms and cameras so that we can know what we are doing". 8. What tips or advice would you give someone just starting out in the hobby? "Go at your own pace, comparison is truly the death of joy In my opinion, a hobby is meant to make you feel good about yourself (Unless you want to compete, in which case, listen to Vince Venturella on all accounts) More basically - wet palette, thin your paints, flow improver". 9. What was the moment you realized commission painting was something you wanted to pursue as more than a hobby? "I have forayed into commission work but Honestly I find that I’d rather use that time selfishly to add to my own projects. The right job will always peak my interest however". 10. What was the most rewarding experience you’ve had as a painter? "The joyous gratitude you get when a happy client receives their mini and is blown away that it’s now theirs to play with forever. Even more so, giving them the tools to replicate the paint scheme and seeing it Successfully put Into action. Priceless". 11. If you could do anything to expand your company/studio/hobby footprint, what would it be? "The dream is to one day make video content of my own. I have a numerical stretch goal on insta, let’s see if I get there".

12. What product line do you endorse and what about their products do you feel sets them above their competitors?

"My paint brand of choice is Citadel, I love the hues and the names that connect with the lore. I do transfer them to dropper bottles though, I use other brands but I thin everything to within an inch of its life with my own recipe of mediums that brand matters little. It’s all about the colour for me". 13. If you could earn a sponsorship or endorsement from your dream company, who would it be and why? "I’m a GW fanboy through and through, I’ve applied to work at Warhammer world numerous times now and have been told that if it were not for tricky immigration/visa reasons I would be there painter or even black library intern (if such a thing exists)......I’m coming for you GW.....mark my words". 14. What advice would you give to someone interested in taking the plunge to becoming a commission painter? "Dabble small first, a squad here, a hero there, maybe an underworlds team. Do not jump into committing to 2000pts of space marines or you’re gonna have a bad time. (See Miniacs first videos)

Jordan, thank you for being willing to answer my questions, as well as help me in my quest to spread the love and perhaps even introduce people to some new and exciting artists that motivate us!

Readers, go check out his Instagram and pay extra close attention to his guys in green (Sons of Horus, not Dark Angels or Salamanders,

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