Since my last post I have found a few more followers bring me over the 100 mark which is something that I thought my little blog would never achieve. So cheers to the newcomers! I have had a lot of interest in my Taurox and Scion conversion, and rest assured they will be the focus of an upcoming post soon. Now that I have a free moment, I'd like to share a project (over a few posts) that is actually turning out to be pretty cool.
I have had this slow burn project quietly progressing on the sidelines of my other modelling for some time now. It has moved forward so sporadically that I never felt the need to shed the spot light on it for a blog post. This has resulted in having what is now a relatively big project that hasn't been blogged about! So in typical Ackland style, hold on to your hats, this is going to be quite a ride.
The whole thing started because of my Praetorian army. While I have dabbled with almost every other army in 40k, (most of which are boxed up in my shed somewhere) the Praetorians are the one force that I have always come back to, time and time again.
|Nemesis: The Greek goddess/spirit of divine retribution, with a name meaning "to give what is due".|
|I have a feeling Miss Carthage will win this one.|
Can we even contemplat the Armegeddon Steel Legion without thinking about a mighty Ork WAAAGH to fight off?The truth is that war is all about adversaries; who has been pitted against who. So my Praetorians need a worthy advisory to complete their look and feel. Where are they campaigning and who are they campaigning against?
An obvious choice would have been Orks, but I felt that that had been done.
Dark Eldar have a bit to much sadomasochism going on plus some seem to remind me of Bowie for some reason.
I considered Chaos as I have the models and they are a natural arch-enemy to the Imperium...
|I have a box of old Death Guard waiting for me to be inspired to do something with.|
But there was one other army that I had packed away that I love almost as much as my Praetorians. That is my 2nd ed Necron army.
|Some of the goodies that were tucked away in my shed.|
|'Fear of the unknown' was a big part of the original Necron Raiders.|
These guys 'fit' really well against the old Praetorians. Both armies were released together in White Dwarf 217 and 218 over Jan and Feb 1997 and as such, both are full of that 2nd and 3rd ed 40k feel. The more I thought about it the more I was fixed on the decision.
It would be Redcoats Vs Space Robots!
|White Dwarf 217 from January 1997 featured the release of both Necron Raiders (page 27) and Praetorians (page 60) .|
Check out the T5, 2+ Saves in the stat line -
Rick Priestley pegged the Necron Raiders as brutal opponents!
So who and what are these Necrons going to be?
There are a few concepts that I really like about the Necron persona. I love the 'ancient' society image that they have. I really want to incorporate that and balance it off with the 'British Imperial power' personality of the Praetorian Guard.
This painting, called Monuments of Egypt by Charles-Louis-Fleury Panckoucke, encapsulates exactly what I had in mind. The first thing that you are drawn to is the spender and treasure of the ancient Egyptian world - once a rich mighty world power. Then in the center there is the new world power of Napoleon's French soldiers, who invaded in July 1798. I'd expect the French army would get quite a shock if an army of mummies suddenly rose from their tombs to defend their treasure! For my purposes, swap the Napoleonic French for pith helmeted Redcoats and Egyptians for Necrons and my mental blue print is starting to take form. A similar analogy is that of the Spanish Conquistadors and the many rich South American nations that they plundered and destroyed.
Ancient Egyptians are pretty much exactly what Necron Raiders originally were.
|The three above pictures are from White Dwarf 220 -April 1997, showing Necron terrain modeled by GW's Dave Andrews, Owen Branham and Mark Jones.|
|The above picture has appeared in a few places over the years. Here, I took this picture and the one below it from the 2001 Chapter Approved - Second Book of Astronomicon.|
At this point I am reminded of a fellow bloggers post about creating fluff, and as Kieran (from Do You Have A Flag?) put it "Be a little different" (on a tangent another good post about in game fluff is here at the Palladian Guard). The truth is that I didn't just want to make Egyptian Necrons. I wanted the guise of the ancient world without being exactly or solely Egyptian. What I really wanted to do was incorporate several ancient cultures and play off the character of 'ancient alien' conspiracies. Cue the crazy hair guy (Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, one of the hosts of the History Channel's 'Ancient Aliens'):
And all of these types of ideas:
Distilling this down, the idea that I wanted to draw on was the thought that at some point in human history ancient man had contact with aliens. That contact influenced the culture, writing, language and architecture of Earth's (or in this case Terra's) ancient societies. Then in the future when Man (the Imperium) comes across an alien world, many of its characteristics resemble that of our ancient cities. Not to be a caricature of something human (like Space Wolves are to Viking and Celtic warriors, Ultramarines are to Romans, Praetorians are to British redcoats etc.) but implying that they are literally the same by causation. The 40k fluff does this in places too, like the linking of the current world to that during the unification wars by using place names similar to current ones (ie. Britonnica (British Isles), Europa (South Central Europe), Franc (France), Gyptus (Egypt), Merica (North America). When they write Merica they don't mean a place 'like' today's America, they mean America in the future.
This will become clearer in my background fluff but basically in terms of time frame, from our current time go forward 40k years you have the Imperiam and Space Marines, go back 45k years and there is an ancient (now forgotten) alien race influencing life on Terra.
Another aspect that I want to include is GOLD. Gold commonly comes up in many many ancient alien theories too. Egyptians believed gold was divine and a connection with the stars, as did the ancient Sumerians and various South American, Asian and African cultures. The Incas had 'Paititi' the "City of Gold" and the Muiscans (Native Colombians) had El Dorado "The Golden One". The Incas described gold as the sweat of the sun, while the Egyptians described it as the flesh of the Gods. A translation of Sumerian cuneiform tablets supposedly describes aliens coming to earth to mine for gold. Another wild theory is that aliens built the Pyramids of Giza as a nuclear reactor to make gold. And the theories go on and on....
My point is that if I am going to include ancient alien theories in my fluff, gold needs to be a prominent part in some way! For Necrons, considering the properties of gold (being inert, heat resistant and a strong conductor) it shouldn't be too hard to explain a connection between space robots and gold.
Beyond the fluff, how does this translate to this project?
A big part of this project is going to be the terrain, which will resemble several ancient cultures and as I said above, gold. There will be lots of gold!
From Egyptian architecture I'l like to include brightly colored painted pillars, pylons, obelisks and the sense of a monolithic and megalithic city.
For the colour scheme of the miniatures I have chosen a yellow-gold (obviously) and a complimentary deep blue like that of ancient Assyrian cities.
For the colour of the gold I will be aiming for more a C3PO 'yellow-gold' rather than the 'orange-gold' of the 'teal' Nihilakh Dynasty Necrons (below). It is a subtle difference in the tone of the gold, but obvious when looking at the colour wheel.
I'm also going to mix up the Necron script (writing) taking the old original 2nd ed style (like the Lord below) over the newer 4th ed script.
That is the bones of my concept for this project. Work has started on a temple, a massive obelisk, an epic ziggurat, some ruins and a hand-full of Necron Warriors. Now that you have a grips into how I envision them all I'll start posting up the work-in-progress shots, which are far more interesting then all this concept stuff! I also have the background fluff written out too. It's a pretty crazy story.
Thanks for stopping by. :)