Sonntag, 20. September 2009

Let's just call it a stage

I did another building today which I originally wanted to look like the Dawn of War Aspect Portal. The draft looks like this:

The first thing to do were the three Croissant-Thingies (that is the official name, I believe) which I cut out from Styrodur. I gave them a few holes at the bottom to make the look more organic.

After I had made the platform, I thought that this was too well-proportioned and therefore lacked the alien-feeling I wanted it to have. So I cut of one of the Edges and placed all three Croissants on one side. I am quite happy with it, but can only imagine it as some kind of stage or podium. I could imagine a farseer standing up there, giving grave news to the Eldar surrounding him, or a public debate about politics between to warlocks.

Maype I will ad stairs in the front, too.

Webway Gate IV

I took the green Webway Gate, gave it some balls (styrofoam) and set it on a base.

I then decided that now it would be a good idea to prime the whole thing and get some paint on it. A problem with that materialized, when I saw that the Styrodur was not getting white when sprayed with white primer. Let me tell you that, Whatever you do, DO NOT USE GW-PRIMER ON STYRODUR!

Thank goodness the damage is comparably small, as the belt sander melted it a bit when I used it on the material, sealing it of a bit, so I can probably repair it. But, of course, this means I have to paint it white by hand.

Mittwoch, 16. September 2009

Webway Gate III

After I had saw the pieces this morning, I realized, that I like my prototype more that the actual product, as it has clearer lines and looks less crudely made. So I did another one. This time I took the foamcard, but removed the card. The foam is not very stable and working with the belt sander would probably destroy it in no time, which is why I had to use the Dremel only. I do not think that stability poses a problem in the long run, as I plan to cover the whole thing with Apoxy Sculpt anyway. I would have done so already, but I am still waiting for it to arrive. I have never worked with it, but was told it were good stuff.

I think ths one looks far better than the one from Styrodur, but  when both are done I will see which one is better. The Styrodur one is also in a better state then yesterday, as I have done the other dents and rounded it off a bit more. It already looks very bony but still more like a sickle than  like a magic Elf-o-Porter.
I think it is because of the edge on the outer circle. It needs to be more distinct or else it looses the alien-tech feeling.

Dienstag, 15. September 2009

Webway Gate II

Had a short trip to the hardware store and got some Styrodur. The first step was to draw a rough silhouette of the gate onto the plate and cut it out. The material is way harder to cut than I had imagined.
The next step was sanding it into the form I wanted it to have. Eldar use wraithbone for everything and that is why I tried to give it a bone-like form. To do this, I used a belt sander on which I pressed the gate while pulling it over the belt. I am amazed how fast this is and how good the effect is. I  also made a small base for it with the same technique.
After having done Captain Hook's mascot, I started to put in little dents and athoer decorational stuff. I used a cutter  to do the rough forms and used a dremel to sand them into the form I actually wanted. In hindsight I would not do this again, as I cut a bit too deep into the material which made it difficult to get a clear form with the Dremel. Next time I will just use the Dremel. Talking of the Dremel: The little guy bailed out on me and left me without a tool in the middle of working on the piece. I really have to remember to put him back in the docking station when I am done with him.

Well, that leaves me with a picture of a halfway finished product, in which different stages of work can be seen at once. Gotta see the good side.

Concept Scrawlings and a Webway Gate Prototype

As promised, here are my concepts, that I plan to bring into being. I already mentioned, that the webway gates gave me the most headaches, so I drew a whole bunch of them to try and find out, what I liked most.
The first round looked like this:

 Well, I told you they were just scrawlings. None the less I think you can see that I tried to stay true to the idea of an Elven-Croissant-Portal, as that makes it easily indentifiable. After I knew a bit more about the general look and feel of the portals, I did some more concepts. The ones I liked best are these two:

The one on top is going to make it. I think it has a bit more of that slight insectoid touch that always seems to be in Eldar designs. It reminds me a bit of a claw or mandible, maybe an arm of a praying mantis or something similar. The bottom one also seems a bit too open, although I like the big gem  in the top. I tried that in the other one, but, at least on paper, it looks unbalanced.

I did a prototype of a webway gate, let me fetch my photo...
Ok... took a picture. The Falcon is for scale purposes only and not included in the package.

As you can see, I tried a smaller top first, but did not really like it. That gave it a bit too much of the insectoid flair. Please remember that this is only a prototype. I used foamcard, but the final product will (hopefully) be made from Styrodur (does this even have an English name? It is the green stuff you use to isolate walls, feels like the stuff thats inside of a plate of foamcore.)

I know its a bit large, but I think they build a large portal, so they can transport big stuff over huge distances. They think big.

The first post

I started this blog mainly in order to show off my latest project, as it comes into being. Eldar scenery is the word of the day and I ran into several problems directly after I decided to build some. The first one is: What does Eldar stuff look like? Kinda technical / organic, ok, but elvish! They are elves.
Sounds like H.R.Giger on a sunny morning in spring.
I googled around a bit and searched for some input, finding quite a few things, but only stuff that other players built. There seem to be no concept arts or GW-pictures out there actually showing Eldar buildings. The exception to that are the Dawn of War games, but let's be serious... The game rocks, the design of its Eldar buildings stinks. If you go about it logically you run into problems with these things. Take for example the main building: What purpose does it serve? Are there people in there? What are they doing in there? Standing very close to each other, walking around in very small circles? If not, could it be a teleporter beacon or a webway entrance or something like that? Then why does it have to be that big? Does the triangular form serve any purpose?
I think my problem here is that I assume that the creed of Form Follows Function is valid for Eldar, too. But why should it not be true for them? Look for example at a shuriken catapult. It seems to me that this weapon is very similar to a human rifle. The only thing that is different is the shape of the barrel, but fluff states that it shoots discs by accelerating them with magnetism. That would mean that you need more stuff near the handle (is it called that?) to get the initial power, than at the end of the barrel. If you now give it a case, it looks just like the shuriken catapult does.
So I think even if it is not necessary to actually know what the purpose of a building or terrain piece is, you should have at least one or two ideas about what the purpose could be. I have great difficulties imagining what the purpose of a Soul Shrine could be. Especially if it should be relatable to making equipment available on the battlefield.
But do not get me wrong. A few of the buildings are great and will be stolen used. If you take a look at the support portal, you will see, that it aktually makes some sense. I can imagine some bonesingers working on a falcon in there, playing their flutes, the sounds amplified and directed by the three ... lets call them "thingies" around them. Makes sense to me.
But the biggest question is the following: What does a webway gate look like? I think this is the most important question, as the design of the gates will heavily influence the rest of the terrain. It is the single best known building ever made for Eldar. It kind of symbolizes them.
I'll post some of my concept drawings scrawlings later.