Smoothing out the curves and cutting the corners

What is it about science fiction and cutting corners?

toilet paper on bsg


Toilet paper aboard the Battlestar Galactica

I’m a huge fan of the Horus Heresy range. I would own it all given the disposable income and own quite an army despite a lack of disposable income. The latest releases have been niggling at me. I mean look at these:





There’s something not quite right about the lines. Look at the Thunderhawk, the Land Raider, the Rhino and the Stormraven; they’re essentially boxes with tracks/ wings. I’ve heard it said that a Stormraven flies by punching physics out of the way; however, I’m not a scientists so couldn’t postulate on that hypothesis.

The new releases are curved- they’re doing away with angular corners and how do I feel about the result? Well, it’s a mixed reaction. Look at the pedigree of the Landspeeder for example:




The new Forgeworld incarnation is nice. It’s a vast improvement on the first one- the poor pilot and gunner have nothing protecting them from getting a face full of las/plas/bolt action; but the old versions fit with the boxy Space Marine aesthetic. I think that’s my issue, these models are great, but they’re a step away from what we’ve known. The curves might be the product of more sophisticated model design process or inspired by a specific designers take on the Space Marines of the 30000 millennium but to me they look like Marine-Tau hybrids.

The new speeder and the Tetra have a very similar feel. Where is the marine tendency to bellow into the wind resistance, thrusting it aside with your unrestrained piety and fanatical zeal? These may be marines but not as I’ve known them. Saying that I’ll still probably get some speeders…

  • Dave

    My issue with the new look tanks etc is that they look more futuristic than the 40k iterations. Not to take anything away from the models themselves as the sculpts are lovely, but they look more advanced than ‘current’ gear – I know technology has stagnated in the 10k years between HH and 40k, but some of FW’s stuff make too much of that.
    The FellGlaive is my biggest bugbear at the moment – a gorgeous looking tank, but it looks like something out of Starcraft, not 40k.

  • Border Prince

    It’s probably because the designs are trying to distinguish from the 40k look, but staying relatively close to it. They seem to be doing that by going on a nostalgia kick – the old (RT era) 40k models are being reinterpreted as 30k. The new Whirlwind launchers are like upscaled versions of the missile launcher that came in the original Mk6 plastic kit; the bike is a development on the original 40k marine/guard bike. It’s the same with the predator – the original had a smooth, curved turret, like Forgeworld.

    I suspect that this is a deliberate choice to point at the 41st millennium as technologically more backward – the solution in 40k is to fix armour plates to a box with tracks/wheels/anti-grav etc; in 30k it’s a little more sophisticated.

    The parallel to the Tau may also be more deliberate. The Tau are a relatively young species which in many respects are more technologically advanced than the older humanity. But in 30k it would be legitimate to refer to humanity as a relatively young species with quite advanced technology.