On the final day of the Realms at War 2017 narrative event, the games shifted focus to the Realmbeasts, giant creatures that dominated each multi-player game. Today we look at two of these models, the Matreearch and the Sandstorm Genie, each constructed from scratch by NEO Steve Foote.
As a response to the rampaging leviathans (aka the previous day of gaming at RAW17), the Realm of Life awakened the Matreearch.
Meanwhile in the dessert regions of Shyish, the Realm of Death, the Sandstorm Genie formed.
The Realmbeasts dwarf any kit that Games Workshop has ever produced, and Steve made the decision to build them from scratch. It was necessary to consider how much space they would take up on the table, as the player’s models still had to be able to move around the board. As we can see from early sketches, the Sandstorm Genie was designed to be about 40 inches long and 24 inches across. The Realmbeast can be put on a 48-inch wide table and allow about a foot on either side for models to approach, or perhaps to run past and set traps. These Triumph and Treachery games had eight separate forces on the board, so Steve planned to let stationary leviathans get locked in combat without denying the rest of the board!
It was also important for the Realmbeasts to be interactive. As a half-way point between monster and scenery they had to accommodate other models being placed upon them. This meant flat or gently sloped areas on the Realmbeast where other bases could rest, preferably snug enough not to topple off as the beast was gently slid across the table!
The Matreearch began life as a collection of dried natural wood that began to suggest a humanoid form. Steve used wood screws to assemble the body, finding a stable pose that accommodated the players. The pile of wood wasn’t a tree-woman until Steve sculpted a face from clay, although he took pains to make it indistinguishable from the wood around it! Note how the outstretched hand and flat area on the head allows room for models like flying Leviathans to rest. The wide base of the Matreearch compensates from the random contours of the wood to make the piece playable as well as beautiful.
The Sandstorm Genie was mocked up as a 3-dimensional card stencil while Steve considered the space. He started the hill with cardboard to fill space, control weight, and engineer the spiral ramp of the sandstorm. The torso was roughed out with foam, and ample consideration for flat spaces was given to allow models to rest on the crossed arms and presumably try to stab a sandstorm in the face! At a certain point a deconstruction of this technique fails: Steve sculpted a believable torso out of a set of foam blocks, and was able to do so because this isn’t his first rodeo. The Sandstorm Genie is an amazing piece: it’s a titanic humanoid form that also works as great Warhammer terrain, able to hold an army on its various surfaces!
These are only two of the six Realmbeasts features at RAW17. For more information, see our post from Day 2 of the event, and check back for more retrospectives on 2017’s premier AoS narrative event!