Jump to content
Xiwo Xerase

"Deus Vult!": A Shadowrun-inspired diorama

Recommended Posts

This diorama started out as a bad joke.  You have been warned.

 

The backstory:

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!"

 

The diorama:

"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:

 

1369034472_20191023MockupQuarter.jpg.75c50cebd4647d630294f4171870642c.jpg

 

Our shadowrunner team is played here by (from left to right), Andriessa, Female WizardNatalia, 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.

  • Like 14

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It doesn't strike me as being too large. I find it refreshing to have lots of space available for detailing.

 

The overall concept makes sense to me. 

 

Instead of a fairly static stand-off it may be interesting to have something going on in the middle, a fight for instance. The miniatures to the right look a bit static, too. Given you have the space movement might be the overarching theme.

 

I would recommend to think of framing devices to the left and right and a focal point to draw the eye in and design everything else around it. 

 

You could as a fun feature depict a part of the ceiling, too, as a cut-off so to say.

 

Looking forward to see this develop.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great story, and thoughts behind it! 

My thoughts.

I like the running Natalia, she gives good movement in the scene. 

I think you could cut down the size, but just very little. 

The two crusaders is i bit static, but they are also very similar in stance. 

The USB-computer-thing could be placed a bit more to one side, and the wall higher or lower in one end, to make it more asymmetrical. 

 

Looking forward to see this evolve! 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to both of you!

 

I agree that the middle space is empty and something should be there to draw attention.  A fight is a good idea.  Would adding another pair of minis in the middle make it too crowded though?

 

I believe I can remove the last inch on the right.  This would also make the terminal placed asymmetrically and closer to the crusaders, which was my original intent.  It wasn't supposed to end up in the middle.

 

I agree the two crusader minis are static.  One of them (the Ardent or his replacement) will have a firearm so it makes a little sense for him to be static.  The crusader in Ava's place should be advancing, although not as quickly as the runners are retreating.  The crusaders are moving slowly forward, relentless, unstoppable.  14377: Templar Knight Warrior may be a reasonable option here.

 

I'm not sure what Ava's stance conveys she's doing.  Is she slowly pressing the advantage?  Assuming she is, would she be a good candidate for the fight in the middle, fighting, say, 50048: Eden, Cybertech Heroine?

Edited by Xiwo Xerase
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Overall, a very good basis for your start! I would also use a very precise script on the wall, as Dues is a computer. Perhaps some "rebel" graffiti  scrawled there too. And maybe consider a slight overhang to give the impression of the roof. Would also give a more confined/trapped feel without inhibiting your views.

  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a mockup with one mini added per side and an exchange between Ava and Grace in the middle:

732889387_20191024MockupQuarter.jpg.66812e0f582312ba27fdaed380c82b24.jpg

 

I feel like this is a little busy on the runner side.  Maybe they should only have three.  (If the runners get four, I wouldn't use Stone.)

 

Here's another mockup with only three runners and the last inch on the right vacant (and cropped):

44819205_20191024Mockup2Quarter.jpg.1ff7b3d6e8b42b89626db1e62a60bb12.jpg

 

Which do you think looks better?

 

11 hours ago, Corsair said:

I would also use a very precise script on the wall, as Dues is a computer.

All of the official script will be very precise.  I'm tempted to print decals of the text and use those, as well as the actual Renraku logo.

 

The various graffiti won't be as precise.

 

(Also, before someone else points it out, the writing wouldn't say "Seattle Arcology".  It would say SCIRE (Self-Contained Industrial-Residential Environment, what Renraku actually called the building.)

 

11 hours ago, Corsair said:

And maybe consider a slight overhang to give the impression of the roof. Would also give a more confined/trapped feel without inhibiting your views.

That's a good idea.  I'll see if I can come up with something.

 

 

One thing missing from the mockup is a chair rail on the wall, because this is, after all, a corporate building.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I vote for the se ond mock up. I do think the front crusaders is a bit too static in stance to be fighting (unfortunatedly most minis is made in quite static stance).. Or the girl in front of him could be shooting him in the chest and he is kind of falling backwards...but that might not fit into the story of retreating.. 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a massive fan of the Genesis Shadowrun game, there are a few things that crop up to mind.

 

What does the backdrop scene represent? Corporate office space, like a conference room or a server room? A corp hallway? An alleyway in the arcology? If inside a corporate building, there could be motivational posters, office chairs, plants, and glass panels (likely shattered at this point). I like the idea of that corporate beige color though.

 

Shadowrun is a very high-tech/low life dystopian setting ala Bladerunner. If we are keeping that theme, then I think the walls need bullet holes and shell casings...copious amounts of them. Bits of blownout drywall. If just fantasy, then perhaps scorch marks, but likely both guns and spells if SR is the setting.

  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm currently thinking 14604: Joeliyn, Sisters of the Blade Warlord for their leader, with at least one weapon swap.  I'll run this by my wife because she has a better idea about such things than I do.

 

The staff looks like it's molded into her robe so I may be stuck with that.  (Lop off the top of the staff, add a banner or flag with the crusader symbol?)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, LarsM said:

I do think the front crusaders is a bit too static in stance to be fighting (unfortunatedly most minis is made in quite static stance).

This is definitely a problem with the crusader minis.  Many of them are in defensive poses and would be wonderful as the cliff on which the zombie/orc/whatever horde will crash... but not so much here.

 

03828: Crusader Champion is in an attacking pose, so he might work better than Ava.

 

4 hours ago, Al Capwn said:

What does the backdrop scene represent? Corporate office space, like a conference room or a server room? A corp hallway?

I'm not sure yet!  Currently, I was thinking an office hallway, or maybe the space between elevators and a shopping area.  One thought would be to make it a ruined shopping area, but then I have to model broken glass and so on.

 

One of the great things about the arcology is it was essentially a self-contained city, so you could set any sort of scene there.  It even has its own amusement park!  (Hm, that's an idea.)

 

4 hours ago, Al Capwn said:

If we are keeping that theme, then I think the walls need bullet holes and shell casings...copious amounts of them. Bits of blownout drywall.

The walls definitely need damage, in addition to the blood spatters.  There should be debris on the floor too.  I'm not sure how to model that yet.

 

It is entirely possible that this diorama is beyond my skill set (both hand, i.e. technical ability, and eye, i.e. seeing, art criticism, that sort of thing).  We'll find out!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have an in depth look at the miniatures proposed later on a bigger screen, but just wanted to say, that even if it is a challenge, you can only come out with more knowledge and skill. 

 

I also enjoy this thread and discussing scene composition and general ideas. 

 

I like the idea of a theme park background, but a weathered corridor or eerie office space is a cool setting, too.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is what I have right now:

1174634338_20191026MockupQuarter.jpg.ada0dda89f3a708ac224b43a3f22e4f3.jpg

 

I believe conveying Natalia as being threatened will work out better than having a fight in the middle.  Crusader Champion isn't doing a very good job of that (even with his shield arm removed).  14380: Elven Deathseeker or 14287: Strach, Overlords Hero (with a weapon in place of the fireball in his right hand) might be a good option for that spot, but I don't have either mini.

 

I like the idea of using an amusement park background.  However, there are four visual elements I want to keep:

  • The Renraku logo.
  • Something identifying this as being part of the arcology.
  • The computer terminal with the picture of Deus.
  • The "Deus Vult!" graffiti.

I'm also concerned an amusement park background would distract from the action in front by being too bright or saturated.  On the other hand, it's going to be dingy and damaged, so maybe that's not a concern.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, the idea of it being a brightly lit and pretty environment could be a nice juxtaposition to the scene depicted.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In terms of miniatures it might be an idea to try and source some old Rackham Griffon minis. Some of the poses are quite dynamic and convey "attack". 

 

Another idea may be the Frostgrave Sigilists.

 

If you want to stay Reaper I think Joeliyn is a great choice.

 

I am not too sure what exactly the female agent is doing pose wise, but an idea I had was to alter her weapon arm in such a way, that she is basically jumping and shooting, but It may require to cut of the head and turn it slightly.

 

I would also suggest - and I think you intend to - remove all the oversized weapons and replace them with something more reasonable. 

 

I think an office space might be a nice juxtaposition, complete with filing cabinets, desks and dead room plants. Maybe even a skeleton sitting at a console or something.

 

Making the diorama a bit shorter is a good idea. A cool idea might be to have a corridor branching off in the middle, only to turn again 10 cm in. So you add a bit of width and more interest in the middle. Then you could also have miniatures approach from the back.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Valandar
      So, a local store had a painting contest - entrants drew a random number from a jar, and that number equated to a Reaper Bones mini we had two weeks to paint and got to keep. I was remarkably lucky, and got the Dracolisk, by the incomparable Julie Guthrie. Since the rules said no more than 75% of the model could be obscured, I felt somewhat open ground with some stumps and some broken statues would be best.
       
      There will be two prizes - one from customer voting, and one from Staff Judging. Wish me luck!
       



    • By Joshinminn
      I ordered the new wraiths that were just released that were part of the Bones 4 KS. I thought they were going to be opaque (that's how they were first posted), and was bummed when they arrived as translucent. Mostly because I have never painted a translucent before. So I ordered up a couple other green guys to try out some technique.
       
      After botching up the Spirit figure with AP green quickshade, I moved on to this Grave Wraith. I used Muddy Brown on the ground, Mountain Stone on the gravestone and Bronze Dragon on the sword. I liberally used AP strong quickshade as a base on the wraith, and then highlighted with the Green Clear Bright. I think it looks pretty good. Any suggestions or comments welcome. I really want a creepy Nazgul look on my B4 wraiths, and this turned out better than I thought it might.

    • By Pegazus
      Yes, a 2020 ReaperCon WIP! And a massive undertaking at that. I'm trying very hard not to nerd out and put this whole project into, er, Project. There's just so many pieces to keep track of, that maybe I'll just use this first post to keep track of things.
       
      Some background stuff, starting with a quote from the "Paint a giant robot! Group WIP" where I wrote some of what's planned:
       
      You can read the rest of that post here: Paint a giant robot post and a second one to see where I'm going with this: PLA print post in same topic
       
      Biggest takeaway is that, while useful, my PLA printer can only do so much. I have a resin printer backed on Kickstarter, but considering it's now 3 years late, I don't think I should hold my breath on it ever showing up. Especially when I can get a new Elegoo Mars resin printer with more capability for relatively cheap (<$300). The PLA machine was bought with both hobby and household goals in mind, and it's served well. But the resolution just ain't there! More on that down the posts.
       
      I also had the chance to gain some experience on  paper plants at ReaperCon (Main post for that in the Terrain section post here: Vellum Paper Plants - Alien Jungle (WIP)
       
      Basically, I have the scrap booking machine to make my own alien plants:
       
      Which now leads me to this WIP. This is going to tie all those pieces together. The robot WIP will still be to get a good camo scheme, but that print job is not going to be used for the final diorama. Instead, that will be the resin printer's job. So, let's break down the WIP work that I can see so far, and will be edited later to add things and mark completions.
       
      Tasks to be completed:
       
      Figures Needed
      Wight (being pulled down backwards, caught by hidden lines) Gremlin Unit 01 (stole a supply crate and ran; actually just bait to get the larger CAV to follow) Gremlin Units 02 and 03 (trip line pair, successfully snagging Wight across the chest) Gremlin Units 04 and 05 (trip line pair, successful across another part of the chest) Gremlin Unit 06 (burner unit, cut Wight's left gun in two) Gremlin Units 07 and 08 (trap door unit, hiding entrance to jungle path with camo doors strapped to them) Gremlin Units 09 and 10 (trip line pair, successful across right thigh) Gremlin Units 11 and 12 (trip line pair, broken cable across chest, possibly falling over from sudden jolt) Gremlin Unit 13 (ECM unit, some large radar dish looking thing) Gremlin Units 14, 15 and 16 (cargo units, loaded up with stolen supplies and headed out) Gremlin Units 17, 18, 19, and 20 (gun units) Gremlin Units 21, 22, and 23 (missile units) Gremlin Unit 24 (large gun unit) Gremlin Unit 25 and 26 (junked units; scavenged for parts?) Gremlin Unit 27 (2nd style missile unit) Gremlin Unit 28 (personnel carrier unit)  
      Wight Conversion
      Right Leg: cut from pelvis; reposition Feet: cut off both feet and swap positions since the tread is only on one foot Base: cut away from right foot, possibly keeping full base around left foot Left arm (maybe): cut gun into two pieces, having one falling to the ground after being cut by a heat lance/chainsaw rope  
      Details to be included
      Camo doors at front leaving marks on the dirt path, but hiding the ambush from the main trail Pieces of old broken larger CAV units around Wight gun cut in two, maybe showing inner details. May have to 3D print an add-on piece Dust being kicked up by the stolen crate (going to try using dyed cotton) IN WORK One cable snapping dynamically, with several bends and twists (superglue on thread?) Multiple vehicle tracks around camp Campfire and tents for people A latrine Other camp details (laundry, chairs, sports equipment, bored carvings, etc)  
      Jungle Plants (V=Vellum cuts, B=bought, S=Sculpted, F=Found, P=Printed)
      Large lotus flower like plants, but dry land and maybe odd colors with a large conifer cone growing from the middle (V) Jester hat plant (balls on stems around a central point) (V) COMPLETED Spiky yucca like plant (V) Jagged leaf plant (V) Tentacle plant (V) Tripod trees (three spoke trunks) (V) Large palm fronds (S) Coral like trees (P) Horn tree (lots of horn shaped leaves from a central trunk) (P, V) Ball vine (like ivy but with odd leaf shapes) (V) Cabbage-like jungle plants with large wrinkled leaves (V) Fuzzy vines (thin wire coated with static grass) (S) Anything I can buy from N/HO scale train setups and painted alien-ish (B) Reaper figures that can be clipped and painted to be plants (B) Odd trees with strange leaf shapes (onion shaped) (V) IN WORK Random grass-like jungle plants (V) IN WORK Stem ends from mandarin oranges (seriously, pull one off and look at it, stem towards the ground) (F) Anything and everything else (VBSFP)  
      Base mounting system
      Design and print modular tiles with bristles on top (basically, Bristle Block toys) Allows mounting of all the above jungle plants Fill in around plants with thinned plaster via a syringe to create the ground surfaces
    • By SGHawkins09
      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. 
       

       
       
  • Who's Online   35 Members, 1 Anonymous, 31 Guests (See full list)

×
×
  • Create New...