Friday, July 19, 2013

Jovian Leviathans : The Galaxy's Most Fearsome Monsters: Also a Tyranid BFG Fleet

When dinosuars walked the earth the ground shook under their weight and mammals hid in fear.

When man braved the seas their sturdiest ships were broken by the backs of the great cetaceans.

As the intelligent races of the small rocky worlds escaped their homes' gravity wells feeling themselves to be undisputed masters, winners of evolution's race, they found they were once again insignificant.

For the Jovian Worlds hold true terrors: Leviathans.

Leviathans, often called 'living space ships' since they rival the largest vessels ever built, are native to the gas oceans of worlds which dwarf the rocky inner planets of the countless stars.  Some say they are no more than very large cattle, but others believe they have a long and ancient intelligence which has spanned the galaxy, inhabiting nearly every gas giant. To make matters more dangerous, they can travel within the vacuum of space, and are fiercely territorial.


For a very long time I've wanted to convert up a fleet of 'living ships' for general space ship gaming or to use as a Tyranid fleet in Battlefleet Gothic. The minis that GW made were alright, but it's a lot more fun to make my own. Besides, I wanted to have a lot more variety. Different species, some more abstract, and others more recognizable as a 'creature' to a human eye. 

I always liked the idea of Moya from Farscape:

Though Moya is a 'living ship' that's been genetically engineered to function as a ship for small terrestrial beings like us.  What I was after was something a bit more natural and primal.

I used the Tyranid BFG fleet construction rules as a guide, in case I ever want to use them in that game, but in a more general sense I also wanted to have Small, Average, Bigger & Big to count as Class I, II, III & IV for War Rocket.

I've written my own fleet rules for 'Jovian Leviathans' to be compatible with the War Rocket rules, because I think they'd be very fun in that genre. One of my favorite things in MOOII (Masters of Orion II) was the space dragons & space eels that guard good planets. So why not?  Seems just as appropriate in the fun flash & pulp of War Rocket as it does for the Doom & Dark of BFG.

I'll share the fleet rules in another update soon.

I've worked on this fleet on & off for while, and it's nearly finished. But I didn't want to wait any longer for painting before I showed them ;)

Hive Ships

So you saw the preview Leviathan in the last two updates and the first picture here.  This is a 'Hive Ship' for BFG or a Class IV (actually it will be a larger 'Class V' in War Rocket) or just a very big battleship in any other system.

I also built a very different species but also a Hive Ship or Class IV:

This species is more of a 'Torpedo' shooter and a slicer, while the first one, Miloam, relies on claws and hail of shooting shots. I took inspiration for this one from the Shadow vessels of Babylon 5. 


The next class down: BFG Cruisers or War Rocket Class III:

I built two of this species. The Tiger of the Jovian Seas.  A decent far striker and a deadly dorsal slicer, to rip open the ever more massive jellyfish-like floaters. 

Another cruiser.  A stalker: short range lance-like weapons and heavy jaw-claws to crush prey. 

The last of the Cruisers / Class III species. In BFG a torpedo vessel. All of the Cruisers / Class III species have a dorsal slicer as a common trait. 


Kraken with battery fire in BFG or Class II in War Rocket

Kraken (Maybe Vanguard Drone?) with Feeder Tendrils / Class II

Watch out! Coming to get you!

Kraken with Lance-type weapons / Class II

Escort Drone with Lance-type weapons / Class I

Escort Drone with battery-fire / Class I

Some more green-stuff work & bit of filing to be done still, and need to make fighter & assault craft still.

But for the most part the fleet is done.  More than enough for some good games of War Rocket, 1500 pts or more in BFG and lots of options for whatever other system I might use. 

I'll probably have to paint them before mounting on flight stands, since I'll probably use clear acrylic stands with hex bases, so I could use them easily on battlefields in both space and over alien worlds. 


Sheep said...

I wasn't even close with my guess haha.

They look great mate, a really good combination of parts and ideas. being able to use them in multiple systems is a great idea too.

Look forward to seeing you paint them.

Laughing Ferret said...

Oh I don't know Sheep, you just had the wrong medium for him to swim in. For that one my inspiration was very much aquatic, just I imagined it swimming in a sea of Jovian Gas, and sometimes through deep space ;)

Michael Awdry said...

Outstanding! Great conversions and ideas to boot; I actually woke in the night thinking of this project and could't get the phrase, 'Ship's Bis-suid' out of my head!

Barks said...

Nice stuff!

Anonymous said...

Fantastic idea LF. I'm totally digging this Leviathan fleet concept. I especially like that 'Hive' torpedo ship, but your work on Miloam really takes the cake.

Tim Kulinski said...

Nice work man, I had a buddy do the same thing years ago when I used to play BFG. In fact a lot of your ships look like his, especially the smaller ones.

Great work as always!

Simon Q said...

Superb! I love how your imagination works its brings out some incredible results from parts I wouldn't of dreamed of using in a million years. Looking forward to seeing the rest painted up and preparing to chomp the galaxy

Mattias Darrow said...

Very nice! Makes me want to try something like this, something along the lines of eight-finned, mecha-dendrited, space whales. Inspirational!

Anonymous said...

The only disagreement i have is where you said "The minis that GW made were alright," and i think that was waaay too generous to the 1st version BFG Tyranids. I liked the old Space Fleet Tyranids, but hated the first BFG Tyranids and the 2nd re-design BFG versions while a big improvement still didn't manage to motivate me to buy them. I longed for the elegant tentacled whorled ammonites of the early tyranid ship artworks, or at least something with enough design commonalities to feel right as tyranid creatures and I have some half-made ones of my own that need finishing (none of my friends got into BFG or i'd have finished the ships years ago) and a tiny handful of the space fleet minis i was able to stumble upon before i had the net and afterwards from ebay.

Now, old tyranid fan rant over, i love your pieces. Way better than the commercially done ones. I'm very much looking forward to seeing what colours you do them in and they should look fierce and scary on the table!

They'll look very cool in games of war rocket so when you give them a whirl please get some in-game pics to share! And of course i'm quite interested to see what you've come up with rules-wise for them :)

Matt Leahy said...

They look great. Nice modelling work :)

Anonymous said...

Wonderful work!

Laughing Ferret said...

Michael: Causing u to wake thinking of it? pretty cool :)

Tim: yes, probably reinvented the wheel in some cases, only so many possibilities and some options just look more appealing than others

Mattias: Can't go wrong with space whales :)

Batty: thanks :) I'll admit I like mine better than the GW ones ;) I'll have to see if any of the programs I have can be used easily to make some of the cool Hex & fire arc guides like War Rocket uses, otherwise I may have to do it by hand or just describe, but I'll put up the first draft of the fleet soon

Thanks all, really do appreciate the feedback!

Scott said...

Clever work Ferret, I hadn't anticipated an interstellar sojourn...

Axtklinge said...

Love the idea and the converts!
And firmly believe I'll love them even more after the paint job!

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