Monday, 20 July 2015

Building better worlds

Everything you have been told is a lie.

Okay, not everything. But probably a few things.

And almost certainly one of them was my fault.

In an earlier post I mentioned that the Imperial Denizens were my first stab at building non-combatants to populate a WH40K city. But on looking at my model collection the other day I spotted these two little guys, both of whom predate my denizens by at least a few months.

At the time I was never sure (and clearly none too bothered) whether they were robots, drones, or servitors. I think I decided they were essentially robots, but if someone pointed out that they contravened an Imperial decree banning automatons they could easily be upgraded to hazard-zone, sealed-servitors (where none of the organics are open to the elements), or downgraded to remote-drones (robots so stupid, they are basically just remote-controlled power-tools).

Both these bots were meant to be for use in the construction industry. The biped was a heavy-duty fabricator, sent into hostile or dangerous environments to aid construction teams, while the quadruped was an inspection model, used for checking and repairing seams and cracks on unstable or hard-to-reach surfaces and inside large-bore pipes.

They were inspired by a number of different references:

1) A scene in the movie Aliens. This film must be one of the most influential sci-fi movies ever made, and "A scene in the movie Aliens" probably appears on a huge percentage of modelling inspiration lists. In this case its the scene where the Colonial Marines first enter Wayland-Yutani's colony complex, Hadley's Hope. In the blustery street outside the sealed main doors, we catch glimpses of large, yellow, industrial machinery tucked into dark corners or under tarpaulins, covered in muck and dirt. It's the scene where Apone shouts "Hudson, run a bypass.The equipment looks vaguely like modern-day vehicles made by CAT or...

2) JCB. These were the diggers and excavators of my childhood. The kind of huge machines that a small boy would point at and somehow, excitedly equate to toys. As if these ugly, lumbering behemoths would be of any use whatsoever to a tiny five-year-old.

3) Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. This is less of an inspiration, and more of a reference I tried to incorporate into both miniatures. Can you spot it? It's said that the film's bad guy, confused computer HAL, was a forewarning of the potential dangers of the then fledgling computer industry. It's also said that the name HAL was found by simply dialling back the initials of IBM, the dominant computer company of the day. Can you spot the reference now? I'll forgive you if you can't, as my painting isn't exactly crisp, but both of these bots sport KDC logos. As well as being one step on from JCB, I've just decided that it also means Kruenta Demolition and Construction.

4) And finally the main inspiration for how these things actually looked was, if I'm completely honest, just the spare parts I had lying around at the time. The biped was essentially the Cataphract from the first Imperial Robot release in the late 80s or early 90s, while the quadruped was the original Ork Dreadnought from around the same time, knocked on its back, with its spare legs attached instead of the arms, and given a head made from a couple of Space Marine jump packs. A bunch of bits were added to both, and then my somewhat poor paint job applied. It was a long time ago, don't judge me. 

Or, if you prefer, go ahead and judge me. I might have something to help you with that in the next post.

No comments:

Post a Comment