Monday, July 23, 2012

Update July 23, 2012 (two things)

I wanted to talk about two things today.  First let’s talk about projects. I've had a lot of requests lately and I've figured out that the pile needs to be written down so I don’t forget anything.  I don't want people to not request things but i felt it important to actually record what I'm working on.  This will be in no particular order.
Lets see…
Sisters of Silence heads (Female with respirator and top knot)
Dark Eldar Harlequin Rider Heads (pilot mask with harliquine icons)
Dire Avenger Heads (possible upgrade sprue with weapons and banner)
Female Marine Bare Heads (female various hair styles)
Adeptus Custodes Heads (Male mk3 or 4 heads with wing motif and plumes)
Space Marine Shoulder Pads (about 400 of them, more on this below)
Space Marine Shields (heavy and light varients of about 300 chapters)
Space Marine vehicle icons (not sure I’ll do this but was asked once if I was going to and said maybe)
Revision of Mk0 Heavy Armor (exo armored Terminator)
Revision of Mk3b Heavy Armor (standard Terminator)
Total Remake of Female Marines (using beefier body design, likely with custom armor varients)
Hurricane Gunship Revision (custom storm talon alternative)
Tsunami Dropship (custom Storm Raven alternative definitely to expensive)
Iron Eagle Motorbike (motorcycle alternative)
Iron Eagle Heavy Motorbike (attack bike alternative)
Iron Eagle Trike Variant (3 wheeled bike alternative)
Sky Eagle Grav Bike Revision (jetbike revision)
Ground Taker Transport Revision (back burnered due to cost but still on the list)
Chevalier Warmech (Knight Titan alternative likely to expensive)
Gyrojet Rifles with secondary weapons (Combi-weapons)
Advanced gyrojet revisions (custom bolter revisions including pistols/combi-weapons/alternate weapons)
Blood Pack upgrades (blood pack icons and spiky lasguns)
Imperial Guard upgrades (shoulder pad-less guard arms, female guard uniforms)
Protoss (star craft race in 28mm scale)
Batman Heads (space marine and IG Scale)
Star Wars Storm Trooper Heads (Space Marine and IG Scale)
Eldar Wraith Lord Harlequin canopy (head for wraithlord, possible project)
Eldar Falcon Harlequin Canopies (for turret and vehicle body, possible project)
Aspecies Of Mu (advanced counts as space marine race, includes advanced power armor and centaur power armor variants)
Golden Legion (intricately detailed marine chapter, torso finished, arms mostly finished, legs left to complete, yes they are male legs no I won’t do 700 varients)
Emperor’s Tide Chapter (custom aquatic marine chapter, packs done, weapons done, need flippers and aquatic helms)
Scythes of the Emperor revision (custom female marine chapter, bodies done, scythes done, packs done, need cloaked arms, and add on cloth draperies, custom heads as well)
Iron Warriors Display (custom cybernetic arms for evil warriors, barely started)
Daemon Hammor rescale(7” scale D’hammer redesign)
Various Weapons Requests (combi weapons, frost blades, heresy axes, daemon weapons, necron weapons, eldar weapons)
Dalek Revision (revised dalek, spider dalek, heavy weapons dalek, supreme dalek upgrades, I haven’t gotten back to these but need to)
Other Franchise Figures (Ed209, T51b power armor, Starcraft Space Marine, these requests are very slow projects since they are built mostly from scratch)
MK16 Damocles armor (this was a maybe request, not sure I like the armor design enough to put in the work)
Tau Drones (various drones to build armies with cause GW won’t package drones alone)
Upgrade Sprues (still want to fix my Crusader and do my Death Cult and Arbites upgrades, maybe a servitor one too, so hard to get back to these)
So that’s my project list at the moment. I think everything is on there.  I might have a few other things that have been requested, if I’ve forgotten anything drop it in the comments.

On to topic number two.  Space marine shoulder pads.  This is of course a huge ongoing project so I thought a status update would be good.  I’ve designed approximately 290 space marine chapter icons.  These are sitting in sketchup in a 150mb design file.  I’ve just started work on my next batch of chapters this weekend.  I’ve completed maybe 15 chapters of those 290. 

I’m primarily going off of this list from lexicanum.

This rather comprehensive list includes both loyalist and traitor chapters which is quite helpful. They also have a pictorial list of chapters which includes an image of those chapters that have iconography chosen.  I’ve also been cross referencing chapters against the lists below.  I do this because there isn’t a definitive list of iconography and chapter names.  You’ll notice that lexicanum’s list of chapters is quite extensive but about 100 chapters have no icons.  This is generally because GW never ascribed an icon for them and generally their fluff or background material is so mundane or nonexistent that no one else has either.

It’s a symptom of Space Marine gluttony in modern 40k.  GW names chapters just to kill them off.  They do this for several important reasons.  Firstly they have different people write different codex’s so no writer wants to step on another writer’s toes so they avoid overlapping fluff as much as possible.  Second, the core space marine armies IE Dark Angels, Blood Angels, Space Wolves, Ultra Marines, and Black Templars, are pretty much sacred.  If anything grand and inventive was ever planned with the other first founding chapters it’s mostly forgotten now.  Customers would cry doom if any first founding chapters got their ass kicked and their design team would redacted overnight if anything sucky happened to the favored chapters.  Thus they invent new chapters to shaft.  Thirdly, a longtime ago people would write in to white dwarf with original ideas.  It was one of the things I loved about the old dwarf.  But the chapter approved articles and space marine icon line ups and such were compiled from those chapter dossiers.  Games Workshop was really cleaver here.  They got their customers to send them pictures so they could publish them, then they tossed the icons and color schemes into a side publication so they could trade mark them.  Oh I’m sure the index astartes book sold out its phenomenally small print run but really the project was mostly intended to grab a bunch of IP and claim it as their own.  Short term gamers don’t really recall but most of the 40k marine chapters were created after they appeared as someone’s personal army in WD. Hell the original 20 legions were created from the ideas of individual employees, and up until the 90s were legally the property not of GW but the individual creators.  That’s’ why there are 2 missing legions and why most first founding chapters have never had their own codex.  Now GW keeps those Trademarks alive by mentioning chapters they axed in codex’s and name dropping in black library products.  Not that I’m cynical or anything.  My point is really no one knows all chapters that exist and what their icons look like, so this is a rather involved process.

I also confess that I collected a lot of icons into a photoshop file in order to recreate the icons in illustrator and then import them into sketchup.  Unfortunately during the entire process I lost the names of many chapter icons due to me being to lazy to write things down.  I’m working down the lexicanum list so I can remember what each icon is called. LOL.

You’ll probably note some variances between the icons on these lists. I’ve already found 15 chapters that have multiple icons for them.  Some like the Space Sharks have entirely changed names while others like the mentors have sort of evolved.  Admittedly this is often for the best. The original space shark icon is laughable. Also admittedly the original space shark icon has a quaint charm that sums up my youth painting 40k miniatures.   At any rate I will be trying to do these icons when I get the chance.

On occasions there will be icons I won’t do.  These icons are generally those icons that fall into two categories.  Category 1 is icons that have been done to death.  I’m sorry Space Wolves, ultramarines, and blood angels. It’s not that I don’t like your logos; it’s just that you have been milked to death by your GW overlords.  Sorry.  Specifically these are the core chapters I mentioned before (BA, DA, SW, UM, and BT).  Some other chapters likely fall into there as well like the Grey Knights but I’m not sure yet.  Category 2 is icons I just can’t do well.  The ones that string to mind here are the Alpha Legion’s post Heresy icon and the Thousand Son’s briefly lived 3rd edition icon.  The Hydra logo of the Alpha legion is very cool but I can’t do it the justice that it deserves.  Likewise the Oroboros icon the thousand sons used on their banners is very cool but to intricately detailed to pull off well.  These sort of shoulder pads will likely become dedicated projects on their own like my Eagle and Lion Shoulders. Or I might never do them cause I don’t like the chapters and no one asks me to do them.

As I go through the icons I’m also adding designs.  These added designs may be my own chapter ideas like my Tides of the Emperor icons.  Or they might be joke shoulders like putting the wifi icon on a shoulder pad.  I even might get inspired by the name or background of a chapter that has no icon and make it one.  Such as the Angels of Flame which I have a sweet firebird and sword motif I designed.  Still others might be just random doodles I thought were cool looking with no real intent behind them.  Anything to inspire me really.  If I don’t have something entertaining to do then I’ll end up never finishing things.

The last thing I wanted to say about the shoulder pads is an honest statement about the proceeds.  For most of my products the proceeds of the purchases goes into a pool used to pay for test printing new models.  For most of the shoulder pads however I won’t need to test print at all since I’m using a template that I have tested multiple times.  So I’ve decided to take the dollar a model and put it into my computer fund.  Collectively the shoulder pads sold will help me replace my ailing computer with something that is more reliable. IE less likely to have the hard drive crash and lose my models.  It won't be the only avenue of funding I use to replace this machine but it will be part of it.  I’m not sure if the fact I intend to use the money this way will bother people as I’ve been designing things for a while without making any kind of profit.  I just can’t deny any longer that my computer needs replaced and this seemed like a good juncture to start working towards that.


  1. I'm extremley excited about those Blood Swords pads.

  2. Good! I'm glad you're excited, that's the whole point of the hobby right? Blood Swords are ready and up on shapeways, search "blood blades" in my shop.