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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.
This was my second diorama for ReaperCon but was the one not judged. The idea behind it was a Mousling adventuring party finding treasure but also finding that others were already there. I wish I had done more with it, such as adding more elements on the Mousling side and possibly a back drop but I was sadly running out of time and this was the entry that suffered for it.
As commanded by the very, well, commanding @Glitterwolf, I’m going to paint this big boy. I’ve been eyeing him on the corner of my desk for months now, and to be honest I’m a little afraid of him. He’s probably going to look somewhere between terrible and mediocre by the time I’m done, but at least he won’t be grey anymore.
I’m probably going to use the airbrush that I barely know how to operate quite a bit.
I think we’re going to need a bigger brush ...
I only have up to a size 2, which I guess would be like mowing the grass with nail clippers. Should I get a size ... 4?
All are very welcome to critique/comment/heckle/throw tomatoes/etc. I need and will be very grateful for any advice and assistance I receive, but please don’t be too disappointed if it doesn’t do very much good.
By Rainbow Sculptor
Hey everyone! It's been a long while since I could post on here, I've been really busy with work. I've started a new commission piece from a client I won't name just yet but whom has given me permission to share my sketches/WIPs/ and sculpting process with you guys!
The project is to sculpt several nereids/sirens/water nymph type characters. One full body and at least two others partially submerged. They should be gorgeous and make men want to leap to their deaths so I'm avoiding any monstrous type features. Although we want them to be mostly humanoid I will be adding in some little features to indicate their magical/watery/fey nature.
Here are my initial sketches where I'm exploring posing, body types, and the kind of shape language I will want to use in the sculpts. My drawing hand was failing me today so these are REALLY rough but I got my ideas down and I'll have enough to move to the next stage which will be creating a mannequin in ZBrush.
*Apologies for the more sexual images. These aren't intended to be offensive in any way merely educational on the topic of character design*
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