Warhammer World – Part 5

Continuing our look through the dioramas on display at Warhammer World today we explore the section given over to the alien races inhabiting the grim darkness of the far future. First off we have this lava board, showing the planet of Valedor – or Düriel to the Eldar – being swarmed by the Tryanid hive fleets.01At one point Valedor was a tropical paradise but, as is the case with most places in 40k that seem like they might be really nice, that wasn’t to last. First the Imperium turned it into an industrial hellhole, then the Tyranids arrived and began stripping it of all organic matter. By the time the Swordwind of the Eldar return to what had once been one of their Maiden Worlds the whole place was rather worse for wear. Eventually the Eldar activate a device known as the Fireheart, splitting the planet’s crust into the volcanic turmoil we see here.0203Both factions are really giving it their all here; the Tyranids have deployed their bio-titans (above) whilst the Eldar respond with their Phantom Titans.0405Another display I’d been looking forward to was this one; Ork Town – originally built by Forge World for their book Raid on Kastorel-Novem.010203A squad of Tempestus Scions have been shot down in Ork territory and now their allies rush to evacuate them. Apparently an ex-army store manager spent a day training the team in how to descend on ropes from an aircraft in order to capture the scene perfectly. Frankly I’m sure they could have worked it out from Youtube videos but who can blame the chancers for convincing their boss they needed a day out?040506070809Lastly for today we have the Tau facing off against their enemies in the Mechanicum. Both sides are rather fond of technology although the Tau’s habit of innovating, plus their insistence on being filthy xenos, prevents them from being friends. Plus the Mechanicum almost obliterated the Tau when the latter species was still in the stone-age, something that is bound to sour any relationship.010203A rather large Tau flyer. Probably named after a fish.04One of the Tau flying-mech-suits (which, if it’s not already clear, I’m not too familiar with) annoying a titan.0506Something I found particularly clever about these dioramas is the way in which the eye is drawn to certain angles, which themselves provide cinematic scenes. Take this Sydonian Dragoon for instance, which strides through the periphery of an explosion with the effortless cool of an action movie hero.070809Remember those Imperial Guardsmen standing grimly in their cold trenches I showed you yesterday? This is the Tau equivalent, and it’s just a tiny bit more glamorous!10This encounter perfectly encapsulates the dynamic (pun intended) between the energetic Tau and the trudging, hidebound Imperials.1112I feel there’s a joke to be made here, either about getting legless or going topless…131415The Mechanicum politely explain to the Tau that what they have are not guns, this is a gun…16Now some of you might be thinking “Hey guy, where’s Chaos in all this? I thought they were the big bad in the 41st Millennium? Don’t they get a diorama?” Oh they do my freind, they certainly do – but for that you’re going to have to wait until tomorrow…

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8 responses to “Warhammer World – Part 5

    • Wudugast

      It was another one that I was really hoping to see and it lived up to my expectations 🙂 Like the Fang it’s been updated to contain newer models (like the Scions). If I recall correctly it was built unpopulated, as a piece of scenery that the models could be arranged on to take pictures for the Imperial Armour book (Raid on Kastorel-Novem). Once they were finished with it they added in all the models currently in it and turned it into the diorama we see now.

  • Alex

    Brilliant… I can’t pick a favourite here, it’s all too damn good!

  • Marc

    nice blog, and tremendous modelling.
    but … and this is a genuine question, not a rhetorical question designed to irritate in its ‘political correctness’ … :
    do you really not see anything wrong with the orc town’s less than subtle identification with the blackhawk down incident?
    The orcs being Somalis, and the marines … er, marines?

    In these dismaying times of rising right-wing extremism, I have to continue wondering about GW’s ‘attitudes’ and imagery.
    AOS seems to have taken a step away from all the stereotypes and cliches (to a degree).
    But I mean … are coloured people allowed in Warhammer World, or are they barred (if not worse) at the door?

  • Marc

    I should perhaps qualify my post above, as if nothing else I come across as a bit of a humourless arse (particularly with the last bit), which is the last thing you’re blog deserves.
    I’ve enjoyed reading a number of your blog pieces now – you’re obviously well into the GW grimdark stuff, but you leaven it with just the ‘right’ (imho) kind of humour and attitude, so please don’t think in my first post I was having a go at you personally or your enjoyment of the hobby.
    You’re conversational writing style is beautifully done too (imho again!).

    • Wudugast

      No worries man, I didn’t think you were a humourless arse and I like a challenging question. With this blog I’m always looking to promote thoughtful discussion of the issues raised so do feel free to come at me with any difficult questions you want to raise 🙂

      You’ve also rather neatly hoisted me by my own, probably obvious, environmental and (crudely) left-leaning political persuasion. That being the case I’d like to start by agreeing that I too am very concerned by the rise of right-wing politics around the world and I’d never want to do anything which might be seen as supporting or condoning that. Nor is it my intention to defend GW, they’re big and ugly enough to speak for themselves, only to explain why the issues you’ve raised don’t particularly cause me to lose sleep over my own involvement in the hobby. Certainly, and I know you were being somewhat sarcastic on this point, I didn’t see any coloured people being turned away at the doors of Warhammer World (although I confess I didn’t notice many non-white faces either). I’ll also add that it’s no place to go if you’re vegan (or even vegetation) – as almost everything served in Bugman’s is meat with meat on it, stuffed inside some meat. I do wonder however, if GW might have similar concerns about how they are portrayed, and that the switch to AoS is intended in part to facilitate that. The logo over the entrance is now the AoS symbol rather than the 40k one (which was apparently causing local taxi drivers to refer to the place as “Nazi HQ”) for example. I’d also note that, although I love fantasy and sci-fi miniatures, historical settings leave me cold – there’s just too much real world baggage associated with them.

      I actually wrote a post on this and related subjects shortly before the Guilliman release but have held back from posting it as I found it was generally very angry, bitter, overly personal and generally not that entertaining. However I may return to it at some point with a clearer head.

      Regarding the Ork Town scene I could pontificate about how it is the modelling in it that impresses me, about how I was a fan of it – perhaps even preferred it – back when it was a blank canvas of terrain used by Forgeworld for photoshoots, and about how I’ll always cheer for the Orks over the filthy Imperials any day. Ultimately though that would be an excuse, and a fairly weak one at that. It is what it is and pretending otherwise does a disservice to ourselves. War is never about good guys and bad guys; it is about flawed human beings, cruelty, tragedy and violence, the poison that comes from high ideals and the arrogance of those who’s ambition leads others to their deaths (and who are inevitably a long way away when the bullets start flying). Without doing too much melodramatic guddling around inside my head I gain some satisfaction – and you’d have to ask a psychiatrist if this is healthy or not – from the overblown, caricatured violence of the 41st Millennium which helps me to deal with the horror I see in the real world.

      Something I dislike intensely is when war is presented as heroic, with all the elements liable to cause controversy taken out. Ask the people of Aleppo, or any other warzone around the world; no golden armoured heroes are descending from the heavens to save them, dispense justice and protect the weak. Thus, for me, AoS is a little too clean cut, sanitised and safe-for-kids (it’s also why I hate the Salamanders with a deep and intense passion). 40k, with its lack of any good guys at all, has managed to remain – in my opinion – on the right side of dangerous, and the proof of that is the way it can provoke discussions like this one. I sincerely hope that this is allowed to continue into 8th and that no efforts are made to clean up or tone down the backstory. By pretending that war is clean-cut and heroic we devalue the suffering of those caught up in it and take away from the true horror that they face. War should be shocking and upsetting and ultimately, 40k’s wars shock me in a way that AoS’s do not.

      I hope that satisfies you as an answer, if not please let me know why, I genuinely enjoyed thinking through my ideas regarding this and would be interested in your response. Glad to hear you’ve been enjoying my other posts as well 🙂

      • Marc

        thanks for your reply – very much in keeping with the quality of your blogsposts (love the ‘vegetation’ quip)!
        much of what you say resonates with me, while some aspects still ‘concern’ me, so, at the risk of overstaying my welcome, I will respond in turn at greater length: hopefully upon the ‘morrow…

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