Monomolecular Edge
6th Jan, 2010

The first monomolecular edge blades turn up in the Stone Age as obsidian based prismatic blades, and later in the Atomic Age in glass scalpels used in cardiac surgery. While incredibly sharp, and even used by the Aztecs in construction of the Macuahuitl, they are ineffective at defeating metal based armours - let alone the advanced ceramics of the the 41st millennium. A sharp blade, even one a mere molecule wide at the cutting edge, can not cut through such tough materials.

The monomolecular edge really comes into it own with the development of phase field technologies and the ability to imbue phase into materials, to produce 'phased materials', also know as 'exotics'. Using this technology an advanced ceramic blade, or a metal blade with bonded diamond edge, can be phased to imbue it with unearthly abilities. The most common imparted ability is a 'power field' effect seen in the far more advanced 'power sword' (dealt with below). The power field effect is a phenomena where a material touched by the outside of the field (the blade conducts the field to the surface) is 'softened' as the bonded between molecules are drastically weakened and even negated. This allows a relatively 'fragile' blade to cut through very tough materials with ease.

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5th Jan, 2010

I really like the old Slann for the Rogue Trader era. You do not see them about much these days. They seem to have been over-written with the 'old ones'. I suppose in current background the Slann are the 'old ones', the terms interchangeable, though 'Slann' never seems to be used. The problem is that the old ones are so utterly-powerful, and the Slann being mere space frogs, that there is a bit of a disconnect. They do not really much up in concept. I quite like the idea that the Slann of the agents of the Old Ones. At time the interaction may be deeper, and the Slann Priest may function as vessel for part of an Old One's conciousness, an avatar of an Old One, or visionary. I see the Old Ones as only being able interact with reality through the Slann.

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Iron Men and the STC
21st Dec, 2009

I was thinking the Iron men would be the 'front end' to the system - the friendly face of the STC. The Iron Men would co-operate and interact with the colonists to design the systems and infrastructure the colonists wanted and needed.

It would not take much storage in future technology terms to house all the templates and standards for a new colony based on STC. Coupled with a AI to manage it all and interact.

The benefits of such a set up would be to deny humans full control of the colony infrastructure, making harder for humans to screw it up (making it idiot proof by removing the idiots :P). If the Iron men are human shaped it would mean there would be a certain amount of redundancy built into the system as a whole, as the tools and gear used by the Iron Men for maintainable could also be used by humans too - should the Iron Men hand over control of that side of things. Also all access ways, and control panels are humocentric. Some Iron Men could even by quite human looking, maybe even like Ash of Bishop of Aliens or Terminator covered in synthetic flesh, enabling expression and ease communication.

In case of an accident the Iron Men may be vital - a colony could have a single Iron Men, and that Iron Men would be the source of knowledge for their survival. The Iron Man would know how to make tools from scratch, to use them and teach others, to start building and planing for a later civilization, while taking care of the colonists immediate survival. The tools the Iron Man makes first of all would be used to build shelters etc. but later they could build more advanced tools using the tools they have already made, and keep advancing, step by step.

I single Iron Man could rebuild a civilization from scratch, though how long they last would be anyone's guess - I imagine they would at least get a colony up to the Iron Age or greater, maybe even up to the industrial revolution, or leave a lot of project plans and blueprints for future generations to go into an industrial revolution later. The Iron Man could even build a printing press and print out books.

On a full STC supported colony, with hundreds of them helping out, and STC machines and automated factories with rapid prototyping machines for molds, to build what they need, and to build ever more advanced tools to make more advanced devices (and more even more advanced tools), which in turn are used to make even more advanced devices (and more advanced tools), and so on - I suspect a colony could be quite advanced in no time 🙂

There are a lot of benefits to having the STC inside an 'Iron Man' who is human sized, proportioned, and who uses tools that humans could use too.

Space Wolf Stuff
26th Nov, 2009

David, from Bolter and Chainsword, asked if I would like to create some Space Wolf accessories for the Space Marine painter. I am a huge fan of this painter app, and if you have not tried it; I strongly recommend you give it a go! I agreed (which was a bit stupid as I have no time - but who does!) and he sent me his template file. Anyway, I had a breathing space and created this prototype wolf pelt;
Wolf Pelt
Nothing fancy, an eye candy filter (animal skin), a bit of burn and dodge tools for a bit of shape, and plenty of stylus jabs. It is not quite a regular wolf as it does have massive paws, it's more like a bear!

I plan to do a few more Space Wolf accessories, and perhaps some other bits and pieces for some of the other Chapters -  the Salamanders and Blood Angels spring to mind. I would like to do a lizard skin cloak or loin cloth, and some Blood Angel fanciness (Greek abs armour, mink lined cloak, various blood drop jewels). I have no idea when I can fit this in, there is no time frame, so do not hold your breath waiting on them!

I'm going to try and slip them in when I can, but they are a low priority (tacked on after all the other projects I'm involved in). It's more me having a bit of fun, and what I create for my own DIY chapters I can share with the rest of our community.

Anyway, we shall see how it all goes, and let me know what you think of the wolf pelt?

More on the 1,000 marines
12th Nov, 2009

I started an discussion over on the Bolter and Chainsword forum that has been fascinating to me. I always enjoy hearing how others interpret the universe of Warhammer 40,000, and this discussion has shown to me how different other's views of the same text can be, and how deep those interpretations can go. I thought I was 100% right, but listening to others I see once again how wonderfully fluid the background really is, and the new ideas other's views bring to the table. I still think I am correct (I would wouldn't I! As I think my view tends more towards the background's ethos and intent, but these other views are very interesting). If you have the time and are a member of Bolter and Chainsword (if not, why not!) why not pop by and chip in your own unique ideas to the thread?

The Thousand Marine Myth - corrections? [since deleted]

Basic argument can be found here

Now 720 Chapters
9th Nov, 2009

The 1000 Chapter Project is advancing and the latest update brings the total number of chapters listed to 720. This many not sound like a huge jump from 600, but Dazzo have cleaned up the list, and removed a fair few chapters. The new list has a lot better, and many of the chapters have Index Astartes (IA) to go with them. This is good new for me as I have now updated the page to match and the popup now all have clickable marines taking you to the represented chapter's IA.

As you can imagine there are 720 links to put in, so I have started a thread over on Bolter and Chainsword to collect up links for DIY chapters. If you have a DIY chapter listed in the Visual Index then head over to Bolter and Chainsword and post your links there. If you are not a member you can post them here, though almost all the DIY Chapters seem to be on Bolter and Chainsword!

1,000 Space Marine Chapters
Bolter and Chainsword Thread

My Adsense is disabled
9th Nov, 2009

This post is a massive whinge, and unless you have an interest in Adsense this is not really going to be of any interest to you. Aside from me being vexed with my account being disabled (have dare they ban me!), the other reason is that I think it is a case of really bad design on the part of Google, not only in their Adsense system but their support response. Bad support and harsh treatment is bad enough most of the time, and you can pass that off as 'business', but Google is a company who's mantra is 'don't be evil', and while this may not count as 'evil', Google has always tired to place itself as a new style company doing things in new ways, and trying to be 'good' or 'better' than the heartless old school corporations. Perhaps a mantra of 'be good' was too much to live up to? (because what follows may not be evil, but it sure isn't good!)

I got this email 15th of October;

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Red Suns
8th Oct, 2009

The Red Suns are a new addition to my DIY Chapters. They are based on Japanese culture and mythology. In essence they are 'Samurai in Space' in the same way Eldar are 'Elves in Space', so there will be a fair bit of twisting of preconceived ideas.

I've tried to get a bit of flavour into the chapter, and reimaged the Japanese culture - I want it to be fun for a Japanese fan too! I suppose I hope it will have a similar effect to how European culture was reimaged in the old PS2 game 'Vagrant Story'. Well there is only one way to find out...

The Red Suns info page

3D Head Sculpt
7th Oct, 2009

This has been added to the 3D models page. This was a lot of fun to sculpt, especially shapes like the eyes, nose and ears. There were not crafted in a sculpting program like mudbox or zbrush but instead I crafted these by pushing vertexes about and cutting cut polygons - just to see if I could: and it turns out I could! The ear wire is interesting as a piece of sculpture in and of itself - I tried to keep it all quads like the rest of the sculpt, and in turned into a bit like a 3D puzzle. It does have some triangles in it, but wouldn't take much to make it all quads (and port it over to something like zbrush to subdivide). It's not perfect but not bad for a first attempt (first attempt of sculpting a head - not used the program!)

Over on  the Troll Forged Miniatures website there has been a lot of chatter about rapid prototyping, and I thought I would add this model to my site. I would be nice to have enough time to sculpt up some Space Marines heads, or AFG (Artificial Flesh Golem) heads, along with armour and such in 3D and rapid prototype them?

Marine Power Armour Stealth tech
30th Sep, 2009

This has been added to the Tactical Gear page of the main site. It details the marine's steal technologies, both evasion and detection. I wanted to introduce some ideas for tactical options when out in the field, especially is caught in the open. Active camouflage is something modern militaries have been working on for a while, though how useful it would be against IR sensors etc. is debatable (hence I also threw in IR suppression tech.)

Active Camouflage

The armour is covered in coating which adapts its colour to it's surroundings. Depending on the coating types the surface of the armour can alter it's appearance, colour, luminance and reflective properties to allow the marine to blend into his surroundings. The camouflage is used by the marine when out in the open (not within STC like structures/ Ecorium) and allows them to close with enemies that may fee the Emperor's justice.

  • Dark Age technomancy: A mythical cloaking device. A marine wearing this disappears and can not be detected.
  • 'OLED' based AC: The armour is coating in a form if 'organic light emitting diodes' only more complex and technically 'alive'. The armour collects video data of the surroundings an maps it onto the surface of the armour, and can match most luminance levels. It is not perfect, the marines can still be seen, and any movement really gives the game away. If stationary the marine is practically invisible, though 'unnoticeable' would be a better description, especially in complex and detailed environments like jungle or rubble.
  • Pigment based AC: A simpler form of AC similar to 'e-paper'. It lacks luminance, and can not match ambient light levels.
  • None: Some Chapters do not have this function, or refuse to use it. The armour is locked to chapter colours, or painted over.

Some radiation is harder to suppress like infra-red. To deal with this the armour's cooling system is routed through heat exchangers to power up 'Thermoelectric cells'. The takes all heat and converts it to electricity and is mainly a power conservation system. Combined with the ceramite insulation properties of the armour, the conservation system as the side effect of dropping the IR signature of the marine to virtually nil. The marines can still be seen, the outline etc. but they blend in with the background temp perfectly. However if they stand in front of a heat source their body will block it and they can be seen. Positioning is important when utilizing IR 'invisibility'.

Use of this AC function allows marines to suddenly appear from nowhere and get into the thick of melee causing havoc (and uses the local enemy as a 'meat shield'). Once in close the armour flashes to their Chapter colours as they butcher the enemy. If the enemy is ruthless and fires on their own kind in an attempt to kill the marines they find that marines are quite hard to kill and such actions can be detrimental to morale. This 'sneak and explode' style of combat is the hall mark of marines, but they also use sniper tactics and will often take out artillery and other snipers before getting into the thick of it (they do not assume the enemy command will respect the lives of their own side). The marines are less famous for this tactic but only because they are so good at it - as often the enemy has a clue where or who the sniper is.

Eye system

The auto-sense system includes two front mounted (stereoscopic) vid-sensors in the helmet. These sensors are surface mounted into a recesses, so that behind the eye is solid armour. The sensors are linked to the Convent, which in turn is linked directly into the marines's visual cortex. The auto-sense system bypasses the marine's natural eyes. The eye sensor has a number of interesting technologies.

  • Wide spectrum: The sensors can detect a wide spectrum of radiation, including infra-red and ultraviolet (black light). All the information is processed by the Covenet to render the image the marines will see. Often non-visible light is used by the Covenet to figure out what object are, and outline and mark them with icons.
  • Non-stick: The eye lens of the auto-sense system is hydrophobic and naturally resists water, and other fluids. It is a form of non-stick surface, like Polyester (teflon), only better. Fluid and gore may simply not stick and is repelled.
  • Eyelid: In reality the non-stick coating is not 100%, and some sticking occurs; scratches or acid damage would give some purchase. It is almost impossible for the marine to use his armoured gauntlets to wipe his eyes as they are too hard, even the padded grip tips do no yield enough due to their solid backing. To clear the lens of contamination a mechanical lid, made of a tough transparent membrane, is used. It is housed in the upper part of the eye armour.