Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Eldar Craftworld table

Part 1. Concepts

I was asked by member of the NOVA Open board of directors to come with an idea for a table that would complement the “Battle for Craftworld” theme of the 2015 charity armies. I was told there were certain criteria that have to be met for this table.-

1.       It has to be packable. Last year’s table is still in NOVA possession and will hopefully make it home at the conclusion of this year’s event.  The new table must breakdown easily for shipping and storage.
2.       It must be interesting. The 2014 and 2015 tables were really interesting, so I have my work cut out for me.
3.       It must NOT look like a maiden world. No forests or grassy sections with Eldar ruins that so many others use when doing Eldar terrain.
4. It must tell a story

No Pressure.

I did some research and discovered a few things.

One of the most daunting lessons was that I was pretty much on my own for inspiration. There are not that many “Craftworld” tables out there. There are tons of Maiden World and exodite world tables as well as Eldar ruins and even the “city” of oddly shaped pillars, but not what I wanted.

There was also the problem of what is Eldar architecture? Everyone seems to have their own opinion. Strange curves, asymmetrical, yin yang, don’t use circles/circles are OK, it goes on and on. I was actually getting discouraged.

I was so frustrated that my wife had to step in and talk me off the ledge. We sat down and started drawing up plans.

The concept drawing I turned in to the board for approval

Instead of trying to find examples of other people’s work we looked at elder imagery and found elements that could be used to give the table the feel of Eldar without ridiculous amounts of intricacy. We decided on the modern decorating principle that less is more.

The original concept drawing the wife and  I came up with
Artwork that inspired the design
We decided on a set of concept principles that would guide the design and fulfill the requirements as best we could.  

Concept principles

  1. The table would be divided into six (6) 2’x2’ sections Connected together with Velcro 
  2. All above tabletop features would be removable
  3. There will be an inset water feature
  4. The colors of the table would complement the bases of the charity armies
Background: from the Warhammer 40K Wiki

The Siege of Alaitoc (Unknown Date.M41) - Enraged after a series of raids against Imperial shipping by Dark Eldar raiders near Craftworld Alaitoc, the Imperium blames the Craftworld Eldar instead of their dark kin, after having tracked the raiding parties back to Alaitoc. Deciding to make an example out of the Craftworld, the Imperium decides to invade and annihilate the Eldar. Led by a large Imperial Navy fleet, the attack is spearheaded by the Sons of Orar Space Marine Chapter and a large contingent of Imperial Guard forces. Forewarned of the attack by their Farseers, Alaitoc manages to prepare for the oncoming assault and are further aided by the Phoenix Lords Baharroth, Maugan Ra and Karandras. The war quickly devolves into a bloody war of attrition, one in which the Imperium is slowly prevailing, as the Imperial forces use their numerically superior forces in their favour against the sparsely deployed Aspect Warriors. Ultimate disaster is only averted with the timely arrival of the Ranger Aradryan, who had discovered the true culprits behind the attacks on the Imperial shipping lanes. Arriving upon Alaitoc, Aradryan is able to convince the Sons of Orar Chapter Master that the raids against the Imperial ships were nothing more than a ruse by the Dark Eldar to pull both sides into a pointless war of attrition. Seeing the wisdom of the Eldar Ranger, the Chapter Master sought to stave any more losses for his Chapter, and decides to withdraw his forces from the invasion. With their Space Marine spearhead withdrawn, the rest of the Imperial forces quickly follow suit. Though Alaitoc survives the invasion, its people have taken heavy losses and sustained heavy damage to much of the Craftworld.

This is the stage for the table. 

When studying the pictures of the massive Craftworld ships I kept noticing these giant domes. in some of the pictures I was able to identify forests and in others vast landscapes. I thought what if I based the the table inside of of the domes? It all began to fit together.

Concept art (not by me) for what the inner dome may look like.

Then I found this picture and BAM it all fell into place.

Even the name influenced the design
The Table would be part of a sanctuary or park dedicated to peaceful meditation until the Imperial forces burst through an outer wall and began destroying what the Eldar hold sacred. I call it: Peaceful Sanctuary Violated By War

Well that is all the time I have right now. In part 2 I will talk about the materials and terrain purchased to make the table as well as sharing some of the prototypes I did that were interesting if not fully successful.

Till then



Monday, July 13, 2015

Terrain Build 7/11/2015

Hello All,

Saturday was the last official terrain build session for 2015. What an amazing year so far. We had a about a dozen folks show up for what turned into a bright (hot) clear day. Airbrush stations were set up along with some last minute priming with the house painter and even a dry brushing team saw action. For me the highlight was the impressive use of some good old spray paint cans to finish up some of the projects. As far as I can tell our projects are complete to a point we can live with. Some them will see updates for 2016 but are good enough for prime time use now.

So without further babble here are the pictures

Prep and work
Tablescapes by secret weapon miniatures

Work hard and look good doing it!

Spray booths

cool stencil effect

Energy Fences 

These effects brought to you by spray paint

These look like real rocks but are plaster

Weathering effect done with vertical drybrush technique

Drybrushing done with a shade of pink.

More Tablescapes!
 Packing up for storage

 The aftermath
The post session spray booths.

Where did it all go?

The Back of the truck

Until “Show Time” the remaining weekends will be filled with NOVA events like the BBQ next week  and lots of prep for the administrative side of things. We need volunteers for this so don’t hesitate to contact me by leaving a comment or emailing novaopen at gmail dot com.

Well that’s it for now.