My approach to tracking down the artists was simply to scan through GW publications, and try and make contact through any online presence. Through this process I came across Roberto Cirillo; if you're not familiar with Roberto as a GW artist, it's because he worked for GW, primarily as a concept artist for 3 years during the early 2000s. His output included Tau, Tyranid and Imperial Guard concepts, as well as the bulk of the design for the Warhammer 40k Cityfight scenery. You can see some of his excellent concept work at http://rcstudio.co.uk/
Given the nature of Roberto's role at GW, it is no surprise that the bulk of his output was never published (although you can see the outcomes in the models sculpted from his work). Roberto is also a skilled technical draughtsman, and you may recognise his highly detailed cityscapes and battlefield illustrations from the Warhammer 40k 'Cities of Death' (2006) and 'Apocalypse' (2007) supplements.
|'Dhneb Capitalis' from Cities of Death (top), 'The Defence of Cyros Prime' from Apocalypse (bottom)|
|Original compared against the published version|
I find myself blown away by the sheer precision of the pencil work, and the wealth of detail, but I guess that's where Roberto's background as a concept artist comes in; when you're producing concepts for sculptors to work from, you can't have any areas of uncertainty. Let's have a look at some of the details:
|In the annotated published image, these spear-wielding chaps were labelled 'Everguard'|
|Check out all the starships, large and small|
|One particular Bonesinger has enjoyed himself with some fretwork on those windows!|
Alongside the purchase of the published piece, I also bought this preliminary work up of the scene (dated August 2005). The details are a bit looser, and Roberto has shaded it with grey marker pen.
Roberto also very kindly included some earlier sketches from when he was planning the piece:
|Exploratory ideas for the look and feel, with different perspectives|
|Some of these towers and extended platforms/walkways were incorporated into the final piece|
The final piece I purchased from Roberto was one of a series of 6 pieces intended to support the studio hobby section in building terrain for use in miniatures photography (you can see some family resemblences to the terrain used in the 2006 Eldar Codex).
|Concept work for Eldar terrain|