Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Adepticon: Visual Research

Today’s post is largely a “visual research” in style and substance. For that reason, there will be relatively little of my prattling, and quite a lot of images from my favorite odds and ends on Saturday –an immense day.

But first I need to apologize profusely to most of the artists that produced these, as there are notably few credits in included here. The focused intensity of the team-tournament, and the manic nature of the competition in general, as well as the limited amount of space/time available meant that I was able to speak with only very, very few of the people whose work I find both so compelling and so incredibly inspiring (if you recognize any of these armies, please let me know and I will most certainly give credit where it is due). I always asked permission, of course, but there simply wasn’t time to write everything down adequately, etc.

Well, here are the visual inspirations that I took from the event:

COLOR: These first examples are of some Orks whose color scheme caught me off guard. I like these fellows primarily because they are unexpected and visually arresting. They also invoke quite a bit of the high-contrast, complementary color theory stuff that makes each individual model really jump.

This team also added an element of playfulness and humor, which I find really quite compelling. It's almost enough to make me want an Ork army...

AIRBRUSHING: This Rhino was part of a HUGE mechanized force all done in nearly identical colors. I’ve discussed the merits of masking fluid elsewhere, but the combination of fluid and airbrush here made me want to drive straight to an arts supply store and start learning. The effects are subtle and smooth and just wonderfully dynamic. Again, the complementing colors make each (gray-blue and orangish rust) look more vibrant. Love it.

DISPLAY BASES: with my excessively strong compulsion towards the narrative of my armies, I am really surprised that I’ve never tried my hand at building a suitable narrative display base for any of my armies. Really. Perhaps it’s because I’ve never played a tournament. I don’t know, but the possibilities here are both endless and endlessly evocative.

In particular, I have to give special kudos to my friend FrozenJoe (ha) who helped create this truly fantastic Ork Derby. My favorite detail must be the Bleachers, which hold all the Boyz who would later pile out of said vehicles. Each quarter of the track held all the units for one player, so that the team could split up easily and re-assemble the track in between games. Fluff and Function. Lovely.

MAGNETIC BASES: It’s just a good idea, particularly with the above in mind. I’ve never tried it, but intend to in the very near future.

OUT THE BOX – SCALE: I’ve never for moment even considered using Epic scale minis in 40K. I will now. These are Bushido Red Panda's Sons of Horus, and in one photo you can just barely see the Horus he commissioned from Dave Taylor (Dave, in my humble opinion, is an absolute legend). Glorious.

OUT THE BOX – GAME SYSTEM: As these photos clearly demonstrate, there’s an entire alternate universe out there, and plastics couldn't possibly make it easier to walk across game systems in order to find a peculiar and/or unique look. These modest selections from WHFB make that point beautifully.

Again, Joe gets special credits for his use of Black Orcs as Nobz. It's both simple and perfect.

These Squats (IG counts as) were another notably interesting idea that got me thinking about…

OUT THE BOX – COUNTS AS: These nifty conversions are meant to be the Squat answer to the Chimera. Clever.

All of this has left me in a state of adrenaline-fueled enthusiasm for future projects of my own. Again, I’d like to thank all of the artists above for their work and for the inspiration they’ve loaned me. I hope to return the favor someday in the reasonably near future.

Tune in Thursday for my final “two cents” on the convention.

(If you haven't yet, be sure to enter Dark Templar's Prize Draw. It's class, and it ends in less than 24 hours).


Dverning said...

Thanks for sharing these. There's some great models and inspiration there.

eriochrome said...

I am not sure about those Titans? What are they supposed to be? Dreadnoughts. They look like they could get a cover save from a single marine which I do not think is the case for the normal dread.

Similarly those skimmer chimeras are different enough in scale to cause real changes to line of sight and footprint issues.

Max said...

Wow, some great pics! The Epic scale stuff is definitely impressive... I'm gonna assume that those are Oblits or something like that.

HOTpanda said...

The vibrant colours of the Ork army have me rethinking about selling my massive waaagh!!! Thanks for all the wonderful pictures.

Brian said...

@Dverning and Panda: Thanks. I completely agree. Inspiring stuff.

@Max and @Eriochrome: I'm not sure what the Epic scale models are meant to count as exactly -Oblits or Dreads. I'm inclined to think Oblits, but couldn't say for certain. I've added a link to Bushido Red Panda's site above, and I'm sure a bit more digging could solve the mystery.

With regard to Eriochrome's observation about the Chimeras, this did actually cause some friction on the day. While I was taking these photos, one opponent (who had just lost) was complaining quite vociferously that the Chimera size had been reduced to problematic levels. He left, suggesting that he was going to find a judge. I have no idea what came of it because I took the opportunity to shuffle onward for more inspiration. I've never played competitively, and such considerations aren't really my purview.

Grizzled Gamer said...

Thanks for sharing those pictures. The Sons of Horus army was fantastic looking.
These pictures make me wish I actually had painting skills.

Mr.Esty said...

Great inspiring post!
This is a great example what hobby blogging can do for the community :)

I would love some Titans to count-as oblits! Genius!

Brian said...

@ Magilla. I'm constantly talking about contrasting colors (redish or orange with green, orange with pale blue, etc), but I think what's most striking in the Horus army is simply the contrast... full stop. The pale bluish color is eerie, but really its the contrast between the brightness and the dark gray that really grabs my attention again and again and again. It's just a beautiful and well thought out color scheme.

@Esty. Thanks. I completely agree.