Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Necron Toy-Bash Extravaganza!
We have all seen a wargame that featured a tonka truck proxied as some kind of tank, or a godzilla toy as a stand-in for a monstrous creature. When seeing such a bizarre conglomeration of aberrant plastic, it is understandable to cringe. There is much discomfort to be generated in the jarring shock of mixed scales and aesthetics. I have decided to harness this discomfort, and see where it leads.
The skull you see above, is from the Robotix building set that was popular in the 80's. Check out the jaws on this guy!
I find the absurd expression and over-emphasized teeth to be particularly interesting. Regardless, I began playing with the idea of incorporating such an embarrassingly out of place component in my necron collection. After all, the 2nd edition models that constitute my army are already pretty wonky enough.
I played around with the jaws as I worked out the scale of the toy, and found this little gem of a detail, which seemed to be a perfect representation of the deck of a command barge:
The Overlord model fit perfectly in the mouth, and looked quite at home. After magnetizing the model to stay put while in the jaws, I added the guts of an LED candle to the roof of the mouth, for an illuminated profile effect. Things were starting to take hold...
For the rear of the model, I used five engines from the barge kit, as well as a few chassis bits to form a set of "fins" for the back half. The finished conversion is a bit longer than the command barge (maybe by %20), but using such a classic piece of plastic was worth the sacrifice in profile.
Naturally, my success here led to other experiments. For example, an old Atlantis Flying Saucer model inspired me to build three doom scythe stand-ins:
The death ray attachment sports a flickering LED core. Part of the whole "over the top" element drove me to install lights on all of the models I am currently working with. You may recognize the pilot from the command barge kit:
Naturally, none of these models have been primed, so none of the clear components have been glued in place yet. The testor's canopy glue is going to make those bubbles gleam...
Lastly, I needed to convert 4 ghost arks. As I have said before, I am less than pleased with some of the aesthetic choices that GW has made regarding the necron line. I personally don't like the "tomb kings in space" style, so I needed some cool core component for the arks. Enter Voltron:
This coffin of doom is a transport, that dropped "robeasts", Voltron's foes, into battle. The coffins open, allowing for more LED fixtures...
Yes, I know there is already a light in the coffin. Unfortunately, those bulbs were ancient and cracked, and quite singular. No, the coffins that I needed for my necrons needed far more than just ONE light...
Regardless, here is a bit of WIP profile experimentation:
The dimensions are MOSTLY correct (just 1" taller than the GW kit), and the model should certainly be identifiable. I was lucky enough to bring one of the coffins to the Conflict GT a few weeks ago, and was able to take some photos of it near the GW kit for comparison. When I get more progress, I will certainly share.
Anyway, this is what I have been up to. I had a bit of momentum going with my Emperor's Children, but as soon as the ebay boxes started arriving at my door, I just had to release the converting beast. And the testor's glue fumes.
I hope you guys get a kick out of the pics. I know that this project is quite a bit different than my previous work, but then who wants to make the same army over and over again? And as for the wonky aesthetic, if it bothers you, then I have succeeded. I am hoping that my painting will unify the collection, and lessen the visual shock of the mixed components, but honestly, I am really hoping that the absurdity of the conversions, mixed with the over-abundance of lighting effects (and the installed MP3 player blasting techno; more on that some other time), turn the project into something that approaches the sublime. I hope that when this project is finished, it stands as a work of satire of both the GW art direction of MORE, but also of our own inexorable attachment to such dismal roots. Defining "the line" by clearly going over it.
"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
I for one think Dr. Thompson would be proud.