Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Top Ten Models... according to me: #3 The Baneblade




Perhaps you thought I had forgotten about the series…

As with the Venerable Dreadnought kit from last time, I suspect that this model may seem a bit chunky and stagnant to be considered alongside the aesthetic concerns I have developed in earlier iterations of the series. And to be sure, there are at least as many visceral reasons as formal design elements that might describe why he has earned such a high spot on the charts.

Let’s think about those for a moment. There are three basic elements to my decision here:

1. This kit is astounding. It is beautiful and powerful and massive and detailed and thorough and rich with possibility –both for the tank and for the “extra” elements that accompany the beast. The 41st millennium positively teems with weight and violence in this design. and yes. the model is quite expensive and truly tangential to the actual game of 40K (at best); however, I do not subscribe for a moment to those who might argue that the kit was a money-grab on the part of GW’s designers and corporate overlords. That is a rather juvenile assertion in my opinion, one both created and sustained by the scores of vapid but vocal malcontents here on the internet. To those adolescents I challenge you to name one multinational company that does not want, on some level, to earn money; name one hobby company that is creating anything comparable to this kit. Categorically, none. This model, therefore, sets a profound bar, which leads me directly to points 2 and 3…

2. Apart from the overflowing kit itself, the Baneblade is frivolity and ambition bound snuggly into one formidable package. It’s lovely. I have played only a handful of Apocalypse games and found the experience a little flat compared to my initial enthusiasm. Something may have been slightly wrong with the scale and the gameplay, but something was also much more wrong with one of the players –an otherwise pleasant young fellow who misguidedly felt that “winning” was the point. It’s a shame really, as I feel quite strongly that the Apocalypse dynamic is compelling for exactly the opposite reason: you are breaking the game and therefore must play for the love. No single model, in my opinion, embodies the “for the love” mentality than this monster. The Baneblade, by conscious design, is reserved for those games when you really want to do something weird and wonderful with the grand hobby experience. That’s just brilliant. (as an aside, for my last effort, I hadn’t yet see the article, but I fully intend to take another look at Warhammer 39,999’s smashing ideas on how to clean up a Apocalypse game for the next run… who knows when).

3. Compulsion. This single model reminds me of why I got into the hobby in the first place. As mentioned, he has only ever seen the tabletop on a handful of occasions, but he is nevertheless one of my favorite models. When I purchased this Baneblade, I had no notion of when I would build him, why, nor what army he might join. I simply felt that familiar and utterly inescapable compulsion: buy, build, paint… the details will work themselves out (and so I did, and so they did as well).

He ended up a proud and malignant member of my Arrugginiti –the rusted crowd of Nurgle CSM that I tinker with from time to time. His first game out, he was blown up turn one, but don’t let that fool you. It was a brief but glorious moment.  

Full disclosure: I also considered the plastic Giant for this slot as much on the merit of the idea and execution as on the model itself. In particular, the Giant seems to my mind GW’s first swing at massive plastic builds with oodles of quirky extras and possibilities. I loved that model and vividly remember the sensation of being distinctly floored when it first came out. The pose is great. The additional material is superlative… just all over the place (the screaming villager in particular has found his way into my Blood Bowl collection as a converted apothecary); however, it was summarily disqualified based on the most important criteria of this list …according to me: I do not own one. Sure, I have painted a Giant, but that was for a friend and he was never mine as such. Alas.  

Also: because I referenced the extras from both the Baneblade and the Giant kit, I thought that I should drop an old photo or two as reference. Until next time...  




7 comments:

The Inner Geek said...

A great kit for sure. I don't own one, but I sure like looking at the ones other people own. I'd be interested in how you got that paint effect on it? I understand it's rust, but at first glance I thought it was some sort of beaten copper or brass. Very nice.

psychobob808 said...

I would like to purchase one eventually so that I can take it to my Ork Big Mek shop and tinker around with it a little.

Son of Dorn said...

Wouldn't mind getting a Baneblade or a Sormlord to accompany my Fists into the siege! :)

Von said...

While I agree with everything you said about the Baneblade, I prefer the Stompa - for, it must be owned, a similar set of reasons.

Brian said...

@ The Inner Geek. Thanks. I used a variation of the rust recipe I've posted (right->), but did indeed blend in some dwarf bronze during the highlighting. Well spotted.

@ PsychoBob. I would really love to see this kit get the Ork treatment. If any model calls out for said treatment, surely...

@ Son of Dorn. Custom made for your purposes.

@ Von. She is a bute, to be sure.

Warhammer39999 said...

And number 2 is?

Brian said...

In good time, sir. In good time. You've dropped off the map a bit lately. Glad to see you back.