Go jump on into the Celebration! Custom Celebration IX is underway.
Idea for faction: Happened to be listening to the Fugees song entitled "Family Business". Heard the chorus below and immediately wanted to do this.
"If I should fall asleep and death takes me away
Don't be surprised son, I wasn't put here to stay
At night the evil armies of shaton don't play
So the family stick together and we never betray."
I then did some research on the fallen angel Iblis and the role of the Shaytan in Islamic theology.
The Qu'ran mentions several instances of Iblis. Because of my interest in theology, the following one really caught my attention. As follows:
'God said: And We created you, then fashioned you, then told the angels: Fall ye prostrate before Adam!
And they fell prostrate, all save Iblis, who was not of those who make prostration.
God said: What hindered thee that thou didst not fall prostrate when I bade thee ?
Iblis said: I am better than him. Thou createdst me of fire while him Thou didst create of mud.
God said: Then go down hence! It is not for thee to show pride here, so go forth! Lo! thou art of those degraded.
Iblis said: Reprieve me till the day when they are raised (from the dead).
God said: Lo! thou art of those reprieved.
Iblis said: Now, because Thou hast sent me astray, verily I shall lurk in ambush for them on Thy Right Path.' - AL A'RAAF 7:11-16
There were a few things that I didn't get to finish on the figure. Completely my fault. Like a paint wash on the face. Also, on my list of to do's is to sand down the helmet notches of the head but that works for now as devil horns which work for the character. Also, I will pick better accessories.
I did my best to stay away from established stock Cobra colors like blue, red and black. I preferred them only to be highlights and used them sparingly. I based the blue of Iblis' face and neck on an old artist's impression of the devil Iblis who had blue skin.
I went with a Sandstone paint as a base which worked because it gave them that look and texture as if they have literally risen out of the desert. Went with Games Workshop Scorched Brown and GW Tin Bits for the metal touches.
Did some further research and found that the Ifrit are actually stronger beings than the Shaytan. I felt it would make for a suitable second-in-command\Nemesis Enforcer type.
Ifrit is mentioned in the Qur'an, Sura An-Naml (27:39-40)
An 'Ifrit (strong one) from the jinn said: "I will bring it to you before you rise from your place. And verily, I am indeed strong, and trustworthy for such work. One with whom was knowledge of the Scripture said: "I will bring it to you within the twinkling of an eye!" Then when Solomon saw it placed before him, he said: "This is by the Grace of my Lord - to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful! And whoever is grateful, truly, his gratitude is for (the good of) his ownself; and whoever is ungrateful, (he is ungrateful only for the loss of his ownself). Certainly my Lord is Rich (Free of all needs), Bountiful. Sura An-Naml:40. (27:40)
Ifrit's mention in the Qur'an and the Hadith, the eyewitness narratives of Muhammad's words and actions, is always in the phrase "the ifrit of the jinn". Ifrit has come to refer to an entire class of formidable, rebellious beings, but in the confused world of underworld spirits.
Had to merge SE's head with the Ferret neck ball in order to get a nice fit which actually worked. Ifrit's jet pack is made of a Batman Firefly figures jet pack wings, Barbecue's backpack tank and the rocket pack from a Star Wars figure. I actually painted the tanks but this picture was before the painting. Additionally, I would like to make decals of the logo and put them on the wings but we'll see about that.
This character is NOT from Islamic theology but rather from Egyptian mythology. Sekhmet is the Egyptian goddess of war and destruction. Since Egypt is predominantly Islamic, the connection fits. Additionally, it would make sense that Iblis recruits from all across the Middle East.
I found a small myth excerpt about her:
"Humans conspired to overthrow Ra and the other Gods. Even the priests and magicians plotted against the gods, using the powers given them against these gods. Ra heard of this, and called together the most powerful and ancient deities. It was decided that Sekhmet, the "force against which no other force avails" (Masters) should stomp out the rebellion. She would punish all those who had evil in their hearts and minds. So Sekhmet went out and slaughtered the humans, drinking their blood."
For me, I ran into two roadblocks with this figure. The first was that I had to hollow out the waist section of SW skirt to allow for a waist piece, o-ring and t-hook to pull through properly. The trick is to hollow it out without cutting the skirt piece to refit around the waist piece. I pulled that off but the SW helmet was a last minute choice which works. I initially tried making a helmet as per the Sekhmet goddess picture with a lion head. I tried fusing a lion head onto a Metal Head helmet to act as a cowl and it looked like a demonic Officer McGruff. That just wouldn't work to my satisfaction so I went with the SW helmet which actually looks like a more militaristic version of the head wraps that are customary in the region. The helmet on top helps out a lot to ground the character. I purposefully made her completely red to pay homage to the Egyptian goddess. She is often depicted as having the head of a lion and dressed in red.
In theology, the Shaytan are fallen angels who rebelled against God and are now led by the devil Iblis. I thought it made for a good fusion of trooper with an extremist twist. Notice that the star in the logo is a pentagram to symbolize the evil army of Shaytan.
Had to modify the EFCC head to fit nicely and still be able to swivel around. The SE arm shoulder peg had to be dremeled to fit the torso. I have never really bothered creating a generic trooper until this project and I am sure glad I did. I really like the way this figure came out. My only regret was that I did not make more but that was completely my fault. I will make a few more to round out the force. The carvings on SE's arms help seal the deal. They look like a fusion of Arabic and sandscript.