Monday, June 30, 2014

New Places to Tread :: Potential Terrain Layout

Concerned less with balance or general symmetry, something I've explored in a hundred variations, making Gears of War style overhead maps where everything piece of cover is mirrored on the other side, I am embarking on a world building adventure. It's sort of a joke, but I mean this in both the literal construction of the space and in creating a permeated narrative, the objects in this environment should should be utterly tied to the fiction in which they exist.

The environment I am looking to create is the shell of a massive well system, one of the stations which feed water to mankind's city-holds. The layout below represents the top layer of the station, the abandoned yards and theoretical landing site. To make this simple, I'll go through the layout left to right.

Even further to the left will be a service elevator and switch-back stairway, connecting the surface with two sections of subterranean complex. This mess of pipes and cascading plant-life connects to the far left pumping station. Outside the pumping station is a concrete lot, empty, but easily filled with loose terrain like crates and abandoned hover-cars. Speaking of hover-cars, directly over the lip of the pump lot is a short dusty bowl, housing a run down hover-car whose roof has been torn and pressed aside by a gnarled, though now lifeless tree. Overlooking the bowl, a billboard, surrounded by walkways, gives shade to the lower part of the field, helping separate the lower, sand area, and the slightly higher ground of the lawn, a largely open dry grass field with a smattering of thorny bushes along the far edges. Descending the hill to the right, a tunnel-like rain cover provides a funnel for firefights, allowing movement through, to the abandoned car, and over, providing a hard-point for any push or defense. The farthest point on the surface is another bowl, this time descending into a riverbank, broken up by one or two chemical or water tanks, giving cover but providing plenty of room for aerial insertion/extraction. 

Chances are, I won't be exploring the lower spaces until the surface is close to completion, but will begin playing with ideas to incorporate later. If anybody has any thoughts on layout or aesthetics, let me know.

Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Gatekeeper's Sigil :: Bastion Progression

Champion even among the warrior orders, sworn to the reactionary houses
and bearing the great metal crest of their brotherhood,
the Bastion stands as if a great dike before the storming galactic sea.

The first discipline, the reactionary, reflects that familiar, armor-clad and heavily armed muscle of so many science-fiction and fantasy series. The Bastion is the bear, whose trappings often adorn those whose deeds become legend in the reactionary houses, patient and ponderous until need dictates, when adrenaline and sheer momentum carry it ever onwards.

I have no real experience playing wargames or roleplaying, so I'm trying to keep the theoretical game system very simple, the sort of thing my older brother and I could mess with on a slow afternoon without really worrying too much about rules. When we were kids, we used bottlecaps and a three sectioned box as a universal measure, but I think there will be an actual inch measure and some sort of dice, rather than a coin flip. That's all pretty far off, but the bonuses assigned to the Bastion will presumably be an extra wound or two and maybe an extra shot, or something to similarly define the model as the primary "shooter."

The progress shown here is just to show how character's appearance will branch. Acolytes of all disciplines will look very similar, and the two foci will be represented in different models, each with a second level of progress, this means that each discipline will see five, or six (with a second acolyte) models.

Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Born of the Bleeding Hall :: The Twin Suns Brotherhood

In times of unrest, the firstborn sons and daughters of the noble merchantry
bind themselves to palatine oaths, forfeiting inheritance to advise and protect the
city-holds of man. This warrior caste carries with them the twin suns of Thirdlanding,
a symbol of their dedication to the perseverance of all humanity.

So the order of these initial updates may not be quite what I had claimed. I mentioned the Enpellatine Compact, but that idea has been dissolved and the name tucked back into other projects. In the meantime, I have some work in progress photos to share, There is little by way of actual pose, just some serious paring down and the beginnings of some detail work.

I do not know how many roles/jobs/classes there will be to choose from, though I do not actually have a mind to play with these models and am really just doing this as an exploration of the hobby and for the fun of it. This individual will fill the sort of stereotypical 'heavy' role, with a belt fed support rifle and heavy plate-style armor. While his upper body has not really come together, except for some progress on the arms to be, I think the Twin Suns Brotherhood will mark their champions with brightly colored chest and shoulder decorations, almost in the style of the Fedaykin of David Lynch's 1984 Dune movie. Speaking of Dune, the Twin Suns Brotherhood could almost be compared to the Sardaukar, fighting with unquestioning brutality and living as warrior kings for their efforts.

Until next time,
B. Wright

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Red Suns Rising - The Start of Something New

Miniatures games, specifically Warhammer and Warhammer 40k have been a part of my life since childhood, when my older brother and I would ogle over the old space wolves and skaven codexes. At the time, the books had no proper binding, just a row of staples down the spine, only a handful of color images, and just enough fluff to send us into a flurry of plans and ideas. In time, my brother would bring home the Dark Angels Codex, mirrored later when I would buy the next version years after.

Despite the thrill of pouring over old white dwarf magazines and the various army and rule books, neither one of us ever made a proper army, and despite accumulating all manner of sprue and spare parts, I can probably count the number of models finished on one hand. But times are changing, and after years and years of planning, purchasing, dismantling, and sculpting, I will finally set myself to making a serious collection of models which I can be proud of.

This blog will start with two projects. The first, set in the Games Workshop fiction of the Horus Heresy, will be a record of the Unkindness at Istvaan, my XIX Legion (Raven Guard) force built in truescale. The second will be a smaller scale but equally time intensive project, inspired by video games like Destiny and Mass Effect, built in the style of the swelling inq28 community, following small warbands and gangs across the stars.

Both projects owe a great deal of inspiration to the fantastic community of miniatures hobbyists online, and where appropriate I will certainly direct readers to the work of more practiced hands.

Truescale photos will follow soon and the Enpellatine Compact will take shape directly after. Until then, thanks for looking.