Sunday, 31 July 2016
Toy Story (WIP)
Inspired by Westrider's 'Cowering in Terror' post over on Cascadian Grimdark I decided to use the idea for a Lictor model that I haven't gotten round to building yet. I've depicted various marines, guardsmen and Necrons on my nid bases in the past. Usually in various stages of imminent death, incontinence and decollation.
I was impressed with Westrider's cowardly guardsman. It really brings the whole thing alive; its not just a base anymore but a mini diorama. This sort of thing works especially well with Tyranids. The utterly alien and unknowable face of the Great Devourer cannot tell it's own story, otherwise it would spoil the whole scary alien and unknowable thing. You aren't meant to identify with the Hive Mind, you're just supposed to be terrified by it. I guess that's why there aren't many Black Library books about Tyranids. They don't make very good protagonists. A story from the Termagant perspective would probably go something like: I/WE BORN! FIND PREY. EAT-EAT-EAT! JUMP INTO DIGESTION POOL. I/WE MELTING! and would leave it's audience unfulfilled. A story from the Hive Mind perspective would probably go: billions-of-voices-clamouring-simultaneously-in-gestalt-entity. Conscious-overload-sense-of-self-eradicated-human-mind-cannot-comprehend-brain-explodes...
And so we glue hapless redshirts, bricking themselves on our monster bases to convey the story. Something that can invoke terror in a scarred veteran or an unflappable astartes has got to be pretty horrible right?
You've got to be careful that you don't 'over-egg the pudding' though and turn the whole thing into a farce. Pouring a pot of Tamiya Red over a pile of spare space marine legs, glued in a jumble at the foot of your bad ass behemoth is only disturbing to your mother. A kind, caring parent who wonders whether you should get out of the house more and make 'real' friends. Or is it? Actually, its exactly the sort of thing Slaanesh would do, isn't it? Assaulting your senses with something outrageous, grisly and improbable. 'Sweet, merciful Emperor! is that real or just some corrupted child's dream!?!'.
I remember once, a few years ago, coming second in a conversion competition. Losing to someone who had depicted a giant with an arrow in his eye and his entire midsection missing, leaving a huge, wet puddle of intestines resting neatly between his feet. I seem to remember being confident of a win that day, so what do I know about the macabre? Revulsion is in the eye of the beholder. I would have modelled him stepping in his own intestines had it been me, but maybe that's where the farce part comes in.
Anyway, in this case I haven't gone for grisly or outlandish. I liked the fact that Westrider's guardsman was on his knees, unmanned by fear and thought it would be good to try a kneeling down Tempestus Scion. A tricky challenge. I managed to get that part done but in the end decided to model the Trooper taking cover round the back of a pillar. Just starting to peer around it to catch sight of his enemy. He's still screaming though. The Lictor will, of course, be behind him. Just like panto!