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Bouncers

“BALLS!”

Not the thick-necked gentlemen performing security duties at a venue, but a peculiar bit of Rogue Trader alien wildlife weirdness with some lo-fi execution.  Hold on to your valuables, here we go…

Not these guys.

Not these guys.

From Warhammer 40,000 Rogue Trader

“Bouncers are an unusual life-form from the planet Chbal.  They are sperical, 1-2 metres in diameter, red with yellow veins, and have no organs or limbs apart from their normally invisible claw-like feet.  A Bouncers body is light, its skeleton being formed from inflated sections of tissue.”

“In the windy atmosphere of Chbal, Bouncers travel vast distances, following the wind patterns, floating across oceans and bounding their way from continent to continent.  They are lively and inquisitive creatures with playful natures and alert minds.  They have an intelligence somewhat lower than any truly sentient race, but can mimic speech and take great interest in the activities of other creatures.”

“Bouncers are not hostile unless provoked, when they will attack by bouncing on the victim and delivering an attack with thier long taloned claws.  These creatures are quite fragile and any rupture in their skin will usually deflate and kill them.”

“Bouncers literally bounce about, each bounce being up to 12″ long and sufficiently high to reach a second storey window.  In appropriate wind conditions this bounce can be extended considerably.  When Attacking the Bouncer simply bounces onto its victim and straight off again, fighting a single round of combat.”

Bouncer as it appeared in WH40K Rogue Trader.

“Your names not down, your not coming in”

Still with me?

The illustration above was included in Rogue Trader a page or so after that description.  It looks a bit like a large, engorged tick, which wasnt the image that the description generated in my teenage mind back in 1989 at all.  In fact, as this illustration isnt printed in the book alongside the Bouncer description, I didnt realise that it was supposed to be a Bouncer for years, I thought that it was some sort of carnivorous sand clam.  I imagined Bouncers to look like coloured, veined versions of this…

The rovers from The Prisoner are far more how I imagine these things to look and act.  Weird and oddly sinister.

RoverThePrisoner2

“Not tonight mate.”

Tempting as it was to simply glue a few table tennis balls to bases and be done with it, I felt that I should make an effort to tie the Bouncers in more with their description in Rogue Trader, to keep the standard of the DeathWorld/Alien Flora and Fauna Project above a certain base level.  Well, a little bit above it anyway.  So I went shopping.

Bouncers2

“Feel the puffing and swelling of your work”

I bought some cheap t-shirt decorating Pop-Up Paint as seen above.  It the stuff that kids sometime use to add a thick bead of some sort of foamy plastic to items of clothing.  After the clothing is heated with an iron or a hairdryer, it puffs up.

Bouncers3

Note the blue Pop-Up Paint “Test” on the other piece of wood.

Next I attached some ping-pong balls to bases, sprayed them black and  then gave them a zenith spray of red oxide primer that I had handy.  After that I drew yellow (and a small bit of orange) lines suggestive of veins around the four balls with Pop-Up Paint.  I forgot to take photos at that stage.

RoverThePrisoner1

“Listen mate I told you once i told you twice you’re not on the list, alright!?”

I then heated the balls up with a hairdryer until the “veins” puffed up.  I quickly washed and drybrushed the veins with appropriate colours and bullseye… the rest of the dominoes fell like a house of cards… Checkmate…

Bouncers7

“These balls are making me testy!”

Using his sybiotic connection with local wildlife, Exodite L'Oreal evelops the interlopers with his bouncers.

Using his symbiotic connection with local wildlife, Exodite L’Oreal surrounds the interlopers with his huge, veined balls.

“The Elders tell of a young ball much like you. He bounced three metres in the air.  Then he bounced one point eight metres in the air.  Then he bounced four metres in the air.  Do I make myself clear?”

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19 Responses

  1. Wonderful bouncers….I want to make some now! 🙂

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    • Go for it then Danny.

      They didnt take very long at all and while they are definitely goofy, they are sure to generate a few laughs when the hit the table.

      Thanks for the feedback.

      Like

  2. Have you seen Dark Star? I always thought Bouncers were based on the alien in that, the “Beachball. ”
    I like that last picture and its caption!

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    • I have tried to watch Dark Star twice over the years and both times I was put off by the slow paced, 1970s-ness of the whole affair. I did not realise that the inspiration for the Bouncers came from it though. Now Im going to have to try to watch it a third time I guess…

      The final image above is a direct homage/rip-off of a scene from one of my favourite Futurama episodes, “War is the H word”. Watching that episode is 22 minutes well spent 🙂

      Thanks for the feedback and the movie reference in particular 🙂

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  3. “These balls are making me testy”… I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE.

    The puff-up paint was clever but I do feel the rest of the balls could use some more texture. But hey, I guess when you’ve made probably the only miniatures in existence for this species, you can do whatever you like.

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    • The “testy” thing is another reference to/direct quote from the Futurama episode mentioned in my response to gonzohistory above. I didnt manage to squeeze “No need to bounce off the handle” and “We will not condone bouncing of the seventh variety” into the post unfortunately 😉

      The balls could easily be improved upon, I agree. Arguably these are prototypes for a finished set of Bouncers that I will never make. I treated these a bit like terrain pieces: a backdrop for the “proper” toy soldiers to get up to shenanigans in front of, rather than hero models, if you know what I mean.

      Another consideration was that I didnt know how much heat the puff-up paint would require to do its thing (answer: a lot. So much heat had to be applied from the hairdryer that the ball deformed and the bases warped). which meant that I was concerned that it could damage any other work done to the surface. Considering that using the puff paint was intended as a short cut anyway (being texture and colour in one) I decided to leave it as is.

      So in short, yes I could make better versions if I did it again, which I wont. For what they are, they are plenty good enough I think, although they could easily be improved upon.

      Thanks for the feedback 🙂

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  4. Nice idea and execution. never heard of that puff paint. I can see quite some applications: Roots, organic outcroppings Alien style. I think the only suggestion I would have is to cover the entire ball with a bit of texture before you add the veins, so that it looks more like the sketch. Woodfiller rmight work for this.

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    • This was the first time that I used the puff paint. Its major limitation is that it requires a lot more heat to puff up than I expected. So much heat that surrounding elements may be burned or warped in fact (see my reply to No Such Agency above). I think that wood filler subjected to that sort of heat would crack and fall off, as would a number of other substances I suspect. Wood filler mixed with paint might survive the heat I think.

      If using it to make roots or similar, timing of when to apply the puff paint and and when to subsequently apply heat would be interesting. It is strangely appealing stuff though. Like you, I keep thinking that there must be numerous applications that I have yet to think of. If you do some experimenting the make sure to report back 🙂

      There are other ways to get texture to the admittedly rather flat areas on the balls (textured paint is an obvious one), but they would have made the process more time consuming. I didnt want to get bogged down in such a goofy project, so I went ahead with the quick and dirty approach shown and got them done quickly. Plenty of room for improvement for sure, but considering the silly subject matter they are probably good enough 🙂

      Oh yeah, regarding the sketch: I really dont like it. I like most of the illustrations in that part of the RT rulebook, but that one never looked like what I imagined a bouncer to look like. It doesnt look like it can actually bounce for starters… So adhering to that reference wasnt top of my priority list.

      Thanks for the feedback!

      Like

  5. Please tell me you showed these to your wife proudly proclaiming “look what I’ve done!”. 😀 Would love to hear if there was any reaction beyond the infamous spousal sigh accompanied by head shaking precursored by tut-tutting. I get that a lot. 🙂

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    • Mrs Sho3box was treated to demands for a critical consultation at each and every neurotically minute step 😀 She doesnt wear spectacles, but if she did she would have been looking over the top of them with a mixture of amusement, disdain and pity.

      You are correct in thinking that the woman didnt really “get” this particular journey further down the psychological rabbit hole as much as she occasionally gets any of it. However, to her credit, she was the one who saw the Puff Paint for sale in some shop or other, remembered that I had been wittering on about it at some point in the past and brought it home unbidden, generating a surprise Saturday afternoons spray painting, glueing and hairdrying. Bless her little cotton socks.

      It not only proved that she does in fact listen, but that she cares (or wants me occupied so that I am not irritating her further). Both notable as frankly, I must be hell to live with.

      Feel free to show your missus online images of my balls Mattias, Please note her reaction and report back 😉

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      • She said they didn’t look healthy and you should have them looked at by a professional. =)

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        • I diagnose severe varicocele, I mean look at them! 😉

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          • Even reading that word makes me feel like crossing my legs NSA.

            All this chat has made me mildly concerned. I will have to spread all four of my veiny balls on a waist high gaming table the next time that I meet the lads, just to see what they think of them.

            And Im spent. Thats all the balls talk I can muster up enthusiasm for.

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  6. Just a thought, could you lay the of paint out onto baking paper & then heat it? So that you wouldn’t have to worry about wrecking the ping pong balls. Or would it end up being too hard to lay on the ball afterwards?
    I giggled a juvenile laugh when I read “I then heated the balls up with a hairdryer until the “veins” puffed up.” Priceless 😀
    Those vein popping space balls look great!

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    • Applying the paint to something like greaseproof paper might work, but the adhesive properties of the puff paint is part of the reason to use it. I guess that I could fairly quickly achieve a similar result with green stuff, but it would take longer than the super fast puff paint approach. The aim of this sub-project was to take a goofy concept and get something tabletop ready pretty fast, so I cut a fair few corners.

      As for juvenile laughs, you have come to the right place. Funnily enough I didnt even spot the vein/hairdryer bit until you pointed it out head head 😀

      Then again, I recently referred to to a mistake that I made when painting a Space Eunuch miniature as a “cock up”. Certain parties were highly amused.

      Thanks for the feedback head head!

      Like

  7. Hahahaha! I have ejoyed the text as much as the pics! 😀
    I was looking for a way to make them, yours is a nice one! I may explore the more orthodox way, as I pretty much like the arachno-sponge looking, but you are definitely inspirational!

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    • The universe is a very large place Suber, with plenty of room for many varieties of giant floating vein covered space ball. Im sure that yours will be a treat to see 🙂

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  8. Hahaha… Until your recent comment on my own space ball, I’d forgotten about this post and all the veiny balls related banter it generated. Classic!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I ended up coming back here after seeing your Dark Star monster too 🙂
      Nothing is as nostalgically eighties as jokes about balls. 98.7% of all comedies made in the 1980s featured someone getting kicked in the balls. Fact*.

      *may not be a fact

      Like

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