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I've been having fun lately painting base discs up as planets and moons. Hard to have too many of those for space pulp backdrops.
Also! here's Princess Auriate, from Bombshell's Babes line. The elaborate headdress and boots, plus the saber, make her a perfect fit with her imperial sisters Azeemah and Khoshta.
Turnaround, but not in great focus, sorry.
Here are the sisters together:
An Imperial Princess lives a life of extreme luxury, but not one of ease. She must be prepared to prove her superiority over any subordinate humanoid (trivial) or savage beast (depends on the beast).
This is a challenge: a poisonous Desert Worm. It's also venomous!
Couple of bonus shots:
(Now a 2022 WIP)
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:
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) 2/27/22: Too busy; cut 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) 2/27/22: Too busy; cut Gremlin Units 11 and 12 (trip line pair, broken cable across chest, possibly falling over from sudden jolt) 2/27/22: Too busy; cut Gremlin Unit 13 (ECM unit, some large radar dish looking thing) EDIT: Maybe use older model (2018 or 19 ReaperCon entry) Gremlin Units 14, 15 and 16 (cargo units, loaded up with stolen supplies and headed out) 2/27/22: Too busy; cut Gremlin Units 17, 18, 19, and 20 (gun units) 2/27/22: Too busy; cut Gremlin Units 21, 22, and 23 (missile units) 2/27/22: Too busy; cut Gremlin Unit 24 (large gun unit) 2/27/22: Too busy; cut Gremlin Unit 25 and 26 (junked units; scavenged for parts?) 2/27/22: Not going to be a permanent camp, so no junkyard Gremlin Unit 27 (2nd style missile unit) 2/27/22: Too busy; cut Gremlin Unit 28 (personnel carrier unit) 2/27/22: Too busy; cut
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 2/27/22: No longer a permanent encampment 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
Irresistible fellows, these. Shaggy, bulky bodies like a ROBOT MONSTER or a moa; long, bendy necks; beaks somewhere in the hornbill-flamingo-shoebill-Skeksis-vulture range. From CP miniatures. They came in 3 packs: Soldiers (4 riflebirds plus a squad leader), Diplomats (3), and Auxiliaries (3 riflebirds with hats). The skin color scheme was based on blue, red, and yellow boobies; the beaks were inspired by a number of large birds. I added some headgear for fun and in homage to the dandelion-headed Looney Tunes "Instant Martians."
I get the idea they are of a highly organized bureaucratic culture with expansionist tendencies, unlike the tribal Venerian Amazons (Hydra Valkeeri).
The Hydra Imperials, below, are also from an expansionist imperial culture, but the Terror Birds are less centralized and more impersonal in their cruelty.
They get around. Seen here with Hydra's Slishans, who have little culture and almost no technology but DO know from mineral resources.
And seen here engaged in diplomatic negotiations with the highly-cultured Andromedans/Neirans. Both species have a great appreciation for the arts and for manipulation. You wouldn't call either culture "decadent," because of the railguns, but 'Baroque' might be appropriate.
Notice that the Bombshell Neirans are towering statuesque specimens. Vavoom to a point that makes the Venerians look puny.
Trade talks with a chieftain of the Mole People from Sirius B.
and theological disputation with an Exalted Proselyte of the Yoggs.
The Brain Squids are an esoteric lot and require a delicate touch.]
A disputed claim of precious nuclear resources on the border of the Robot Hegemony. The Robots are prohibited by First Law to harm humans, but your beaky bois here do NOT qualify.
A Martian delegation, bearing the wisdom of aeons of progress and aeons of rust. A culture this antique requires more than one specialist.
The Krodox are one of the few spacefaring species to outmass a Terror Bird, They are willing to trade ceramic goods for new and exotic meats, and respect bigness in a fellow-sentient.
Humans are not known for their bigness, but are slippery customers. Tricksters and clever dodgers.
Lastly, a diplomatic summit with representatives from most sentient, spacefaring species.
As always, C&C welcome! What do you think their alien avian civilization is like?
A barren, frozen planet. A pristine icefield, burnished and cleared by constant katabatic gales. Graven in elegant Old High Martian glyphs a meter deep in the never-thawing ice, a mathematical proof of such beauty and elegance as to make a genius weep...and a series of universal planetary coordinates. No advanced species could forbear to investigate further!
These are the work of the Neh-Thalggu, more commonly known as the Braincrabs. Know them. Fear them. Do not trust them.
Rugose and four-limbed, the first instar is little more than a brain-shaped crustacean beast. (Little Nolzur's Intellect Devourers, came with the Alhoon or Illithilich.) They are shed when the parent has a surfeit of brains and wishes to jettison lesser ones to make room for greater.
Most perish, being less clever than their prey. But if one can bring down a sentient creature through luck and stealth and devour its central ganglion or brain...it begins to grow, absorbing the knowledge and cunning of its prey, much as some sea slugs repurpose the stinging cells of their prey and make them their own.
After absorbing a few brains, the instar grows into a juvenile. This involves generating more frontal eyes and a pair of brutal skull-cracking pincers. Recently-added brains are sequestered into thin-shelled bubbles, an adaptation to make sure other, stronger Braincrabs do not kill them when marauding.
The juveniles are very dangerous, acting as psionic predators with the strength of a tiger and the intelligence of three or four sentient creatures, all brought to bear on the problem of obtaining more brains. Depending on its previous history, it is very likely to outwit the average sentient being.
A Braincrab that has assimilated more than eight brains again metamorphoses, this time into a mountainous, many-limbed hulk, a spiny rugose colossus with a first-class think tank worth of neural tissue working for it. Psionic power abounds, and the elder Braincrab can create immersive illusions at-will or psychically dominate lesser wills.
The really unpleasant bit is the way it will out-argue you and succeed. It can make an excellent claim to being a Utility Monster, better at experiencing both reality and pleasure in the cosmos than us single-brained chumps. And what gives it the most pleasure, on the level you and I could never experience? (for so it claims, and has data to back it up--is the data faked? if so, it's too good for us to be able to tell!)? Why, devouring and assimilating more sentient brains! Do you have inconvenient brains in your society? Antisocial or sociopathic ones? It can redirect those energies! Oh, it's a persuasive monstrosity!
The Martians fear and detest them, of course, having as they do great juicy brains practically dripping psionic energy.
But hunting something that is hunting you, while your strongest weapon is their favorite prey--it's not easy!
A Martian High Intelligencer can outwit all but the eldest Braincrabs, but the gamble is a perilous one indeed. You do NOT want a braincrab with the powers of a High Intelligencer. That's how you get a planet converted to a brain farm, which in turn leads to Great Old Ones. Not even once!
Oddly, the best defense against the Braincrab is a hive of the insectoid Mandibulate Commonweal. One has the intelligence of a beast, two of a slightly smarter beast, five of an average human...and a whole hive can rival a supercomputer. Their individual brains are not worth a Braincrab's attention, and yet the hivemind can outmaneuver it intellectually as easily as the workers can swarm and savage it physically.
The Commonweal will not gain knowledge from the reclaimed brains, though. Only nourishment.
Below, how to make a juvenile Braincrab.