Thursday 29 September 2011

Look Around You! - Real world inspiration

Recently Brian at A Gentleman's Ones completed four massive gaming tables to help out with the Heroes Of Armageddon charity endeavour. What's more he detailed how he came up with the design for the tables and more importantly what local Chicago references he was inspired by that were built into the Hive and Wastelands that formed the table. It's truly awesome work, a great team effort and a worthy cause, so take a look.

Now I'm not jumping on the band wagon regarding real world inspiration blog posts, I've been thinking for quite a while about the things that are smacking me on the noggin on a daily basis that just want to be recreated in red rockcrete for little 28mm future space battles. The thing is I tend to have an obsessive nature, when I get interested in something I embrace it whole. In much the same way when you buy a new car and all you can ever see thereafter are the same make I'm like an exocet interest seeking missile, homing in on those things that take my fancy. Of course when you extrapolate that to include architecture, but not like some famous landmark but just a bit of concrete, well sometimes it's a bit of visual overload...

Anyway, here's a bit of inspo, up first some concrete foundation casts. These now form part of the base of a local shopping outlet South of the Car Park that inspired the step in the Vulcan Plateau. Equally these cast buttresses inspired the look and feel of the hill and a future version will reflect this aesthetic more so.

Back in February I attended the funeral for one of my son's Godparents on the coach back we stopped in Truro to pick up more passengers and this was the roof of one of the bus shelters and this heavily verdigris-ed roof was useful inspiration for my Honoured Imperium's Matt Black: Former hero of the Imperium. Obviously he's a bit more vibrant, the picture isn't a true reflection of his colours and maybe using Bonewhite might have matched the tone a bit better but it was useful source material nontheless.

Next up are some as yet unproductive forms of inspiration seen on my walk to the station. As we know 40k Ruins always look like this:

But in actual fact most multi-storey building are constructed with a central lift-shaft core Like these three tower cores being constructed in Manchester. Most of the surrounding building is steel frame girders. And yet this simple box-like constructure with multiple access points [read fire points] seems to be grossly under-represented on the battle field. Just imagine the possibility of a multi storey core with numerous corner and side pieces that represent the outer edges of the demolished structure, so much scope... Whether I have the time or inclination to capitalise on this remains to be seen.

Nearby is this car park. Aside from the glass panes on the building which would make an interesting alternative to the usual stone structures in 40k, I know they refer to it as 'grim-dark' but there would be still plenty of worlds that have access to some form of transparent building materials. It's the wire mesh stairway that interests me more. Granny Grating may not necessarily be the best material for recreating this, the gauge of the mesh is a bit too thick but a simple frame out of foamcard with a mesh up against it would be relatively  quick to produce.

I'd do away with the curves though. You may not be aware but Ferron Proxima shuns the use of curves, it's an architectural anomaly. Sure they are used in arches and some access ports but cylindrical buildings are unheard of. This apparently goes back to the time Governor Sub-Sector Pringle (locally known as 'the Mad Popper') and his sector wide purge on all things cylindrical. It was only through intervention by the Dark Angels Second Founding Chapter - the Angels of Vengeance that the desecration was stopped. The Governor was removed from office without any explanation. Years of random architectural destruction halted in one surgical strike. What happened, or where the Governor now resides is a mystery but rumours, whispered behind closed doors, that he now resides in a secured vault in 'The Rock' persist to this day.

Lastly, for the time-being. here's another building, strangely enough from the other view it looks very much like the 40k Bastion model, but I was struck by the waterfall-esque cascading roofs on the back. Plenty of scope for some tarnished copper panels with plenty of fire ports. Again, maybe not something that may eventually see light on the battlefield but it 'speaks to me' visually on a daily basis.

So if you're in the terrain game you need to keep your eyes open, bits and bobs can spring up and be just as exciting to bring forth into creation as painting the latest figure. In fact I'm getting more pleasure and reward from this kind of enterprise than the figures themselves, and if you hadn't noticed Ferron Proxima is benefiting from this no end!


  1. Thanks for sharing those. There's more out there than we'd think, and maybe close by too. It takes a bit of self-training to keep the eyes open for it, but the inspiration is the reward.

  2. That's exactly right Porky, once you start looking you can't help but see, especially when it's on a route you do day in, day out.