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Alien Flora & Fauna Project Proposal

SQUEAL at giant mutant space rats!!!

Extra terrestrials and alien environments are a big draw for me in fiction and correspondingly so in my toy soldiers.  I get a kick out of seeing my little guys beset by men-in-suit type aliens while wandering through slightly dodgy and unconvincing miniature sets that have a 1960s Star Trek feel to them.  Creating my own geeky tiny film set like environment, complete with unlikely looking plants and bogus looking monsters is one of the main drivers in the hobby for me.

Gyrinx

COO at the psychic space cat!!!

I have found painting the occasional gyrinx or catachan devil as part of my 40k Skirmish project very enjoyable.  In fact I found it so agreeable that I have decided to expand that part of the project out a bit.

Halitosis

GASP at perversions of intergalactic science!!!

I work better when some sort of structure or brief is presented, so I am making a list of the creatures and plants that I intend to tackle and I will proceed from there.  I dont see the list as something with a strict deadline, more of a guideline or reference point.

WONDER at the vegetables beyond the Kuiper belt!!!

WONDER at the vegetables that grow in the Oort cloud!!

The list below is not set in stone and I will add and remove items from it, but at least it presents a decent core to kick off from.  As time goes on I will also add links to the posts on the completed sub-projects.  In addition to those I also have some older painted but yet to be photographed figures that will be suitable for use as some of these creatures.  I will also add those when I get around to photographing them.

MARVEL at the weird hive intelligences beyond the Kuiper belt!!!

MARVEL at the weird hive intelligence beyond the Kuiper belt!!!

Initially the largest source for the list will be the 40k universe and in particular Rogue Trader first edition.  The first tabletop miniatures game that I got heavily into was Warhammer 40,000 Rogue Trader and I have a particular fondness for it.  That book was more like a role-playing game than a tabletop game rulebook and I have long been fond of the bestiary parts of the book, so they will be the starting point for this ongoing project.

SWEAT in dark jungles under distant suns!!!

  • Ambull
  • Astralhound
  • Astralspectre
  • Bouncer
  • Carnivorous Sand Clam
  • Catachan Brain Plant
  • Catachan Devil
  • Catachan Face-Eater
  • Catachan Great Barking Toad (lesser)
  • Crawler
  • Creeper
  • Crotalid
  • Cthellean Cudbear
  • Death Ferret
  • Dinosaur
  • Enslaver
  • Ferrobeast
  • Floaters
  • Gasfungus
  • Genestealer
  • Giant Insectoids
  • Giant Spider
  • Gila Munja
  • Gila Bruja
  • Grox
  • Gyrinx
  • Lashworm
  • Mimics
  • Psychneuein
  • Pterasquirrel
  • Rainspore
  • Razorwing
  • Rippyfish
  • Rubbermoss
  • Spiker
  • Spinethorn
  • Sponge Weed
  • Sunworm
  • Swarm
  • Tangle Fungus
  • Thermotropic Vine
  • Vampire
  • Venus Man-Trap
  • Zombie

EDIT: a more up to date list, regularly updated with links to aspects of this project is HERE.

Dinner

LAUGH at comedy alien based 1980s sitcom puppets!!!

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14 Responses

  1. The idea of a collection of Death World terrain has always been in the back of my head also. They are a good thing that the GM can use to make a game exciting or for “player control” when you need to push them down a certain path for the sake of the narrative. I want to have a go at many of the guys on that list myself. The Venus Man trap is particularly appealing.

    One beast which I would love to have a decent, like the illustration model of is the Grox. Have you come across anything which comes close to it in your travels in the Webway? I was thinking that converting some kind of dinosaur might be the way to go.

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    • The Flash Gordon-esque, Buck Rogers-ian nature of the scary monsters and plants inhabiting a 40K deathworld are very appealing. I read a fair bit of Harry Harrisson as a kid including his Deathworld series – from which 40k predictably pilfered much from – and a few images from the series have stuck with me since then. Translating some of that into miniatures has been a goal since day one really.

      Using active terrain and wandering monster types to drive the narrative makes sense and should add fun for all participants. With a reasonably light touch they can add fun to games that dont have a GM too. I have found those sorts of subjects to be of particular interest in miniatures since I started: painting the weird carnivorous plant is regularly more appealing than painting the umpteenth space marine.

      I have a model for the Venus Mantrap. Ill keep it as a surprise though 🙂

      Grox are referenced all over the place in 40k literature. As such they are one of the RT bestiary poster boys, like the catachan devil. The Tales From the Maelstrom guys used what appear to be small triceratops toys that they seem to have flocked or something to represent a few grox. Plastic Dark Elf cold ones are an obvious choice as the chassis for some grox conversions.

      I have painted up five grox proxies for this project already, with a number yet to go to complete the herd. While its cool to have models that match the illustrations in Rogue Trader, I took the easy option and went for cheap, suitable models that look like aggressive herbivores. In games they will fill the grox niche exactly, although they look a little more Fraggle Rock than the RT illustration 🙂 They wont suit you for that reason though. I dont recall seeing an off the peg grox model anywhere.

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      • The cheap option is the way to go for a herd of Grox. The dark elf cold ones are appealing but the riders don’t do anything for me and I couldnt justify the expense. I liked those triceratops conversions you mentioned. I would probably try to get models from the ankylosaur family of dinos:

        http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/life/dinosaurs-other-extinct-creatures/dino-directory/body-shape/ankylosaurid/gallery.html

        You have me intrigued with the promise of lizardstock now, I can’t wait to see your herd when you get them finished.

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        • You mean like cheap ankylosaur herds like this?

          Cheap Ankylo Stampede

          Actually, my grox arent really grox (or even toy dinosaurs). They are not even saurian, just some sort of furry generic space livestock painted in unlikely colours. They look a bit like what Asterix and Obelix might hunt if the spent their time in Astro-Gaul rather than just plain old Gaul, if that makes any sense.

          The herd will fill exactly the same role as grox in game terms: if I were to play a game of Rogue Trader then I would use the grox stats. I suspect that you may not like them at aesthetically at all actually Otto, but I have been enjoying painting them and look forward to getting them on the table anyway. The lot should be finished over the next fortnight or so I reckon. You can decide what you think then, just moderate you expectations accordingly 🙂

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  2. Wait is that a miniature of Alf? Was that his name? And these are EPIC minis!! Where did you get them?
    Lovely lovely paint-jobs as always from you 🙂

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    • A bit of a list here. Deep breath…

      Yep, an ALF (as in A-lien L-ife F-orm) homage miniature, available here. Im showing my age here, but the characters “real” name was Gordon Shumway 😀

      The rats are GW, all OOP. There are plenty of miniature giant rats available from different sources if you need some though. The first Reaper Bones Kickstarter shipped fifteen thousand sets this year, so they should be thick on the ground and cheap.

      Marjory (the large green thing) is a slightly remodelled resin figure from the Leviathan game, OOP since the mid-nineties available from Scotia Grendel. The fleshy licker to her left (a baddie from the Resident Evil games) is a heavily resculpted Horrorclix “Tickler”.

      The red cat is currently available from Black Cat Bases.

      The giant toadstools are a resin set that I bought in a Dublin model shop in 1993 – they might be manufactured by “Scotia Grendel” these days. I painted them twenty years ago so they are a bit rough, but I like them. In the same photo there is a pair of Laserburn fishmen that I picked up from Foundry last year, an OOP GW Astropath. The Veer-myn (ratmen) are from Mantic and the blue cat with ALF is from the now closed down Mega Miniatures.

      Im glad that you like them 🙂 I have put links to either the manufacturer and/or to the relevant blog entries if I have them.

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  3. It’s always nice to see someone get their teeth into a project, and I intend to enjoy yours vicariously as usual. I’m intrigued by how you plan to deal with the Catachan Face-eater though. My memory of the RT rulebook is probably hazy, but I thought that they were described as being essentially carnivorous flannels.

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    • Your description of the Face-Eater is bang on 🙂 Its a small flannel shaped creature that leaps onto it targets face, (an action that always puts images of a repeated Leslie Nielsen Naked Gun/Police Squad gag in my head).

      The RT book suggested using blu-tac to represent face-eaters, but I am sure that I can do better than that. Part of the fun with that one will be to make the “creature” look more like a flannel than an animal I reckon.

      Watch this space…

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  4. Excellent stuff! Its fantastic to see both a great selection of miniatures (even an Everhungry from Leviathan! Huzzah!) and a set of scenery that moves away from the traditional golf course look of flat green surface and a few fake trees!

    I’d love to see some how to articles on terrain for deathworlds too so I can shamelessly steal your ideas!

    All the best!

    Like

    • Thanks Mr Smith. May I call you Spacecow? in this context it seems appropriate.

      My attitude to terrain is the same as my attitude to all of my hobby stuff. Keep it simple, practical, modular and easy to prep quickly or else it wont get finished. I wont be making any beautiful sculpted landscapes, just painting some store bought fun pieces and adding them to some aquarium plants and the like. It wont really even need tutorials or step by steps really, but if you have questions then shoot.

      For the first few entries the emphasis will be on creatures rather than scenics.

      Thanks for the feedback!

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  5. I LOVE this project! I’ve always loved the snippets about the various flora and fauna in the background of 40k, it was my favourite thing from the Catachan codex and I’ve painted a few similar things over the years. I’m rubbish at commenting normally, but your blog is easily one of my favourites – definitely one of the reasons I’m gaming again (rather than just painting/building!) – thanks!

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    • Thats great to hear Chris, thanks!
      I have a few entries in the pipeline. Hopefully you will enjoy those too.
      I enjoy every comment. It helps when I dont feel like I am howling into the digital void, so thanks for the kind feedback.

      Like

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