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Ask the Artist: Pete Whitlam aka Upplander

Updated: Jun 26, 2020

Hey there Ladies and Gentledudes!

In this post, I interviewed Pete Whitlam, aka Instagram's own @Upplander! With just over 9,000 followers on Instagram, he happens to have one of the more influential and wide reaching channels dedicated to the 30k era Space Wolves. His color scheme, cleanliness and realistic weathering techniques really set him apart in my book. It was actually his color palette that inspired me to change my own army's power armor.

So, without further ado, let's get down to the nitty-gritty!

1. How long have you been involved in the hobby in general?

"From around 1991-1993, so roughly 28 years".

2. What initially drew you to the miniature model hobby realm?

"Became aware of the hobby when I was 6 or 7, plated at Hero Quest with my friends and quickly realized I cared far more about the models and set up of the board than the game itself. Around the same sort of time my neighbour bought a box of 5 plastic space marines and so I could play with him, my brother gave me a Ragnar Blackmane model and some Wolf Guard Terminators which he’d bought and painted. I’ve never looked back since!"

3. How long have you been actively promoting your content on social media?

"Only really as an adult, I joined Warseer in about 2009 with the aim of having somewhere to store my ideas and progress. Keep photos of my armies together, etc… I liked that Warseer gave me a resource of other hobbyists to ask questions to, look at their work for inspiration and share my own work. I started to notice that it wasn’t always the amazingly painted or perfectly created models that influenced me, but the ideas behind people’s work and I liked that no matter a person’s ability there was an opportunity to inspire other from your work. I very much felt that to share my work, if it only inspired one person, was worthwhile. I love seeing other people’s work and the excitement that people develop behind their execution of creating models, lore and gaming".

4. What is more enjoyable for you personally: painting or actually playing the game?

"Painting, probably, but more specifically the creation of models and armies. I can’t get enough of the construction, planning and realization of ideas into physical items. The game gives that purpose and I think I’d be less inclined to do it without the game, but it’s definitely secondary".

5. What tabletop game would you say is your favorite? What particular faction within that game is your favorite and why?

"Warhammer 40,000 and latterly The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness. I am definitely a science fiction nerd, it's by far my favourite genre. Alongside that I grew up with a love of history and in particular medieval and ancient history, with Vikings and Norse mythology becoming a very real passion mine. Space Wolves for me are Vikings combined with Sci-Fi, so the Space Wolves have always held an affinity for me".

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

"Lots of places! Historical resources, tv and popular culture, other hobbyists; too many to name really, there are literally hundreds of people I follow on Instagram that all influence me and inspire me. I suppose I’d give shout outs to the following people as they are my regular hobby circle, the people I turn to for advice, bounce ideas off, etc.. in no particular order their Instagram handles: @Luther_Did_Nothing_Wrong @1KSon @FortunateSonOfHorus @The_Iron_Drake @ScionOfBaal".

7. If money or time weren’t a consideration, what single purchase/upgrade/expansion would you make to further your hobby enjoyment?

"I’d like to have multiple gaming tables set up, different environments and settings for my friends and I to enjoy".

8. What tips or advice would you give someone just starting out in the hobby?

"Ask questions, don’t be scared of critique, always be willing to self-assess and learn, push yourself. Try not to be intimidated by work you hold in high regard, aspire to it". 

There ya have it folks! If you are looking for some 30k wolves inspiration, go check out @Upplander on Instagram!

Pete, thank you so much for supporting the little guy and participating in this little interview!

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