|"Fly Duchess! We simply must get to Miranda and tell her the news before she boards the steamer for the New World!"|
Sometimes you approach a modelling project with a clear vision, a solid goal and a palpable reason for finishing it, say, for a certain game, or event, or competition. Other times you just stick a more differenter head on a model and go 'Hey look ma! I made a donkey-squid!'
These models definitely fall into the latter category.
The new(ish) skitarii kits from Games Workshop are a goldmine of great parts for convertatin' things. While messing about in my bitz box I wondered what it would be like if I put an ad-mech ranger head on a dark elf Dark Rider. Then I wondered what it would be like if I put the toaster in the shower ("HOT SPRINKLER-BREAD!!"). Fortunately I only went through with one of those ideas. Then I painted it like a zebra.
|"Quiet Duchess! I think my gun is talking to me again!"|
The paint scheme didn't immediately occur to me. The idea they were desert raiders of some ilk was not foremost in my mind. Initially I just imagined this figure would be an ad-mech ranger on a horse. Simple right? A Mars Horse. From Mars. But those dudes would probably ride a robot horse made of sentient metal hoses, and aren't usually down with feathery (leafy?) capes. So the model went on the shelf and seemed doomed to wait in the queue forever...
10 YEARS LATER
Recently, I was looking through some production designs for Frank Herbert's Dune and the design of the 'stillsuits' - outfits designed to capture all the moisture, wee-wees and farts of it's wearer and turn it into sweet, sweet butt-water for you to drink from your wenis-pads (I may have only paid slight attention to the details). The one glaring thing about them, for me, was that they are all completely, totally, sexily, glossy black and bulbous, like shiny black beetle suits for the insect version of Furries to wear.
|Yep, you know they are going to have shiny beetle sex later on - I hear Patrick is mad for it.|
If I were a raider in a desert on a horse-analogue, I would totally
be dead from exposure in minutes wear some sort of desert camo. Now i'm no expert on camo anything, despite the fact I wear camo pants exclusively in the hope my legs will disappear and I will look like a floating torso going about my day-to-day. So I looked up 'desert camo' on the Google and it showed me this scheme from Operation Desert Storm:
|"Don't stop running Duchess, or this giant cape will envelop us all!"|
The camo has a lot of spots in it's detail, and so it worked nicely with the stripes of the 'horse' - visually appealing, even if two different types of camo on the same wearer is somewhat self-defeating. It makes the model stand out, is what i'm saying. I'd hate to lose it on the table because I camouflaged it too well.
The second rider I made was painted with the same theory in mind, only I used stripe-based camo on a spotty horse. The spots were borrowed from a giraffe, because what the hell does an 18ft tall quadruped need with camouflage anyway??
|"I wish he'd given me a holster for this thing, my aaaarms are getting tiiiired..."|
There is something about nomadic alien desert folks with long rifles that is somewhat iconic. I know this because George Lucas did it and he knows everything forever, especially about making films.
|He never hits anything with it, he's always too busy waving it around and making weird noises.|
Galloping along at speed, making trick shots with his space rifle - that's what these guys are ALL about. Not survival at all costs, conservation of energy and resources. Nope. In the desert the guy who can stand in the saddle and hit a penny at 100 yards is king.
|"I could hit the eye of a hawk flying, if I hadn't eaten the hawk. And my ammo. It's been a long trip..."|
The actual raiders themselves are mysterious figures - I didn't go overboard giving them tentacles or anything, leaving the extent of their mutant cred to the imagination. One is showing a greenish coloured hand, but much like the Tusken Raiders that helped inspire them, their real features are a secret for the make-up department... for now.
The Dark Rider horses are just a great alien mount. They are like regular horses, but with spurs. When you ride these creatures, they spur you on. Well they would, if you fell off and they leg-ganked you. You'd have to be a pretty shitty owner for it to want to do that though. Shame on you, neglectful desert mutant.
|It's a little known fact that the poisoned spurs of a mutie-horse contain a powerful aphrodisiac. You should go ahead and try it.|
In gaming terms, I have no real actual 'plans' for these models, I just really like them, and so i'll be making more and more of them. Like 400 of them. It has been pointed out to me by people who like pointing (rude) that they would make great proxies for Gorkamorka muties, though why you would want to use anything but the official models is beyond me.
|"Glaaargh! I costed £20 on an eBaaaaay!"|
|"Make sure they get our good sides, Maxwell."|
"Right you are Jenkins old bean."
And what's next? Well, there's an old saying, "When in Rome, build giant ogres."
|"Do those boots come in ogres?"|