Archive | 2012-11-30

Your armor, I do not think it works like you think it works.

So anyway, our culture over the years have been influenced by the military of different time periods, from the distant past of history, to the far future of science-fiction/space fantasy.
And one thing I can’t get away from with all these designs is “how the fuck is that supposed to work?”

I’ll jump straight to Warhammer 40k, for no other reason than it’s a prime offender in this whole WTF syndrome.
So, supposedly your archetypal space-marine is of extraordinarily enhanced physique.
They’re essentially taller, wider, with more mass etc etc etc.
This means they should be covered in muscles, and well muscles need to move, contract and what have you.
This means they need space to do all this.

There is no way in hell in all the depictions shown, and with the various scale miniatures released, that they could possibly have space in their for their muscles. And moving them? no way in hell.

This of course is really great if you don’t intend to do anything except stand there.

Of course people will say “look, they have ribbed joints, they can move.”
Take a strip of some cloth, tie it around your upper arm while it’s straight, then bend it.
Pretty tight eh?

Now you can manage it because material can move, it can contort, it can deform.

Now picture that material made from some really really hard metal composite that doesn’t exist.
It’s meant to be able to resist bullets, explosions, lawn-chairs, what have you.
The stuff is really hard, the stuff can not deform and still accomplish it’s job.

There is no way in hell that’s feasible unless you provide maximum internal space for movement and expansion.
Look at depictions of space-marine arms, nope, they don’t have that sort of room available.

That’s just the arm, I’m not even going to start on things like the legs with greater muscle bulk.

So let’s move on to something else, this is best demonstrated by Khârn the Betrayer.
It’s also shown by various other classic khorne figures.
He has a bare arm, it’s totally bare, covered in all those muscles touched on above.
Now, based on the wonderful design of the breast and back plates (which are seemingly one thing, even though it’s nuts) the whole through which the arm goes is more or less perpendicular to the ground.

The reason this is bad is because it quite dramatically limits the motion of his arms to back and forwards with minimal sidewards movement.
This style of course is prevalent in a lot of cases.

That’s just the shoulders, and well when you’re swinging swords and axes around the place is makes sense to be able to swing them all around the place.

So, to put my money where my mouth is I’ve been planning out a redesign of the space-marine armour concept, up-scaled beyond heroic 28mm to demonstrate how I really believe it should be.

Of course I got totally side-tracked with 1:1 scale guildwars 2 vigil armour for potential cosplay.
I do think the two could work well together in terms of investigating the biomechanics underlying the issues.

I’m not even going to start on the ridiculous nature of terminator armour completely deforming the human skeleton in to something an ape wouldn’t recognise.

So, for my plans I’m going to aim for something like a 1/12th size sculpt.
Not the most efficient use of my time, but I should learn a lot about working with hard edges.

First step, sketches to create an armature.
Second step, to create the armature.

Off to break out the pencils and paper and start researching.