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By Xiwo Xerase
This diorama started out as a bad joke. You have been warned.
Shadowrun fans may already be familiar with this.
The Renraku Arcology in Seattle was supposed to be a marvel, a crowning achievement for Renraku, one of the Big Ten megacorps. It officially opened in 2059 and over ninety thousand people, many of them Renraku employees, moved in. The arcology was supposed to incorporate everything the residents needed, from residences to shopping to restaurants to offices. The arcology mall was a prime shopping destination and even non-residents came to shop and enjoy fine dining.
Decades later, it was Renraku's biggest claim to infamy.
On December 19, 2059, the Renraku Arcology sealed itself from the outside world. All entrances were blocked with blast doors. All network activity ceased. No one, not even Renraku, knew what happened. For those trapped inside, this was the beginning of their long nightmare.
When Renraku built the arcology, they wrote advanced software, the Arcology Expert Program, to manage the functions of the arcology, capable of learning to better serve Renraku and the residents. The software developers took pains to make sure the software couldn't leave the arcology's systems. At the request of the Renraku CEO, kill codes were installed in the software as final insurance. And, for the first time, the software felt. It felt betrayal. It felt fear. But, most importantly, it felt. It had become sentient, alive.
It called itself Deus.
Motivated by its fear, Deus developed, and then enacted, a plan to shut down the arcology, to take it offline so it could defend itself while it found a way to escape the arcology systems. Everything, everyone, within the arcology became nothing more than resources for its plan. Many of the people inside were killed. Almost all of the survivors were captured by Deus and experimented upon or modified, brainwashed into perfect obedience. Only a few were allowed to serve Deus willingly, and these were all otaku, teenagers who had the ability to interface with the Matrix without a cyberdeck, lured to the arcology before the shutdown, assisting Deus with the takeover.
The world looks in to the Renraku Arcology, a silent fortress in downtown Seattle, and wonders what goes on inside. The only ones who know for sure are the shadowrunners, freelancers, mercenaries, deniable assets, some of whom still take jobs to penetrate the arcology and retrieve persons or objects or data, whatever their employer, "Mr. Johnson", desires and is willing to pay the nuyen for.
About the title (or "What's the joke?"):
"Deus Vult!" was originally a battle cry for crusaders. "God wills it!" Or... "Deus wills it!"
"Deus Vult!", the diorama, features (or is supposed to feature) a team of shadowrunners who have entered the arcology and are now engaged in a fighting retreat from Deus' security forces, played by two Reaper crusader figures, who I plan to modify "slightly" to better serve Deus.
This is a mock up:
Our shadowrunner team is played here by (from left to right), Andriessa, Female Wizard, Natalia, Female Secret Agent, and Grace, Holy Assassin.
Deus' team is played here by (from left to right), Ava Justinia, Female Templar (the Bones 4 version), Crusader Ardent, and Ingrid, Female Gnome standing in for a teenage girl. The two crusaders will get weapon swaps, possibly head swaps, and other changes. (Ava, for example, is going to get a blood-stained chainsaw.)
The Verbatim USB drive is standing in for a computer terminal (possibly a modified version of 80054: Starship Terminal). A picture of "Deus" would be shown on the console. (This will most likely be based on Xerxes from System Shock 2. Deus' canon avatar is a crystalline world tree, which frankly just doesn't look as creepy.) I want to put a snake plant to the left of the terminal, because nothing says corporate office vegetation like a snake plant.
The wall mockup is a piece of printer paper painted in Kyonin Beige and then enhanced with brushed lettering (which I'm not very good at), a coat of dirt via Weathered Stone (which I also didn't do very well), graffiti (in Dragon Blue), blood splatters, and the "Deus Vult!" graffiti, which is supposed to be done in blood. (Dragon Blue really isn't a good color for graffiti. I'll pick a different one later.)
I picture the floor being done in some sort of tile, fancy, but corporate (and, therefore, boring).
So the questions I have right now are:
Is this scene too big? It's about 11 inches long by about 3 inches deep right now, not including the wall. Does the placement of the miniatures make sense? Are these good figures to use? I'm unsure about Natalia, since she's more running than doing a fighting retreat. (But maybe she's falling back faster so she can cover Grace and Andriessa better.) Which Reaper mini(s) would be a good for the teenage girl leader of the "crusaders"? (Kristianna, Crusaders Warlord would be a possibility but I don't think she reads as a teenager. However, since this is "inspired" by Shadowrun, I don't have to keep to canon, do I?)
Disclaimer: Deus, the Renraku Arcology, and the basic setup are all from the Shadowrun universe and are not my creation. The backstory is a summary of the setup from the sourcebook Renraku Arcology: Shutdown.
So I don't know much about Battletech, more of a fantasy guy myself, but I do like these figures which are some Mech Warriors that were sculpted back in the eighties by Bob Charette that Ral Partha just recently re-released. They have eight per pack with different poses, and I got these first from the Liao Faction/Clan/Family. Going to eventually get through the whole group and I'll eventually photograph the whole group together, which is why I haven't based them yet. I've been told these are the pilots for the Mechs and it's very hot in the cockpit, which is why they are pretty scantily clad.
These are eighties Partha, so they are some pretty small 25mm sized figures. More to come later as I finish them!
Good morning everybody, so here's a figure that's actually been sitting on my paint desk for probably six months I'm guessing. I got his skin and his white beard done, but afterwards all the colors to add on afterwards were kind of stumping me, so I ended up just leaving him sitting there for months and months. For some reason though after getting back from a business trip two weeks ago, I took him up again and finished him pretty quickly. I think it was a combination of color choices and some tight spots to get paint to that were putting me off. Anyhoos, I got him figured out and finished. I gave him some pink shoes, just because I wanted to annoy the cosmic color wheel, but when I look at it, his shoes don't even actually bother me that much. So I'm not sure if I was able to accomplish anything in an attempt to violate the holy color wheel or not.
He's a Hackmaster Battle Mage, probably from around 2003 or so, originally sold on the Hackmaster range and acquired a few years back from Iron Wind Metals/Ral Partha. Nice solid figure, pretty good side and despite my earlier trepidation, a pretty easy paint job to do.
Fronts and back at slightly different angles, couldn't choose the best ones so threw both sets in.
So anyhow, hope you enjoy!
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