With my budding work on Tyranid Scenery from scratch coming along, I was asked by some friends in Toronto to breathe some Tyranid life into their table build for Games Day Toronto 2008. These guys had been bringing original tables to Games Day for a couple of years, and the previous year their extensive trenchwork table had been beaten out by a PC speaker and a smoke machine. This year they were determined to bring the pain to their long-time table nemeses.
The meat and bones of the table were actually constructed by the original build team and took the form of a cityscape with a canal running down the center, and me, Accommodator, and our creative ilk were given free reign to add some flare to the cityscape by transforming it into one that was in the beginning stages of a full-blown Tyranid infestation. I jumped at the opportunity to have a focus for my until-now-largely-aimless Tyranid scenery building.
We built the table up from pink foam and some ruins, plotting out fields of landed mycetic spores and strange, stonehenge-looking Tyranid fortifications protecting colonies of atmospheric processors. We also took a page out of Starcraft's book and spread a Tyranid goop made from tissues and PVA glue (Hydra's formula) over much of the city.
Much to my chagrin, I was forced to actually paint something, and the niddy terrain actually came out pretty nicely:
The rest of city and much of the creepy tissue and glue material was painted by other friends on the build team. We gave the creep a slimy-looking finish by hitting it with some floor wax.
The mycetic spores wound up looking just as I'd hoped they would. Remember this?
Well, this is pretty damn close to what I was imagining, and it makes me smile:
Hydra over in Germany sent us a converted warrior that he called Bob the Scuba Nid or something, and it inspired us to do a little more with the board's canal in the form of some hapless Imp Guard and a wet Tyranid surprise.
We dubbed the board "The Infestation of Casavant Prime," but the choice of the name "Casavant Prime" was not arbitrary. Back in the distant mists of time (or, you know, 2003), a selfless dude by the name of Michael Casavant gave birth to the Tyranid forum warpshadow.com all of his own accord. I mean, it wasn't yet called Warpshadow, but it was the first Tyranid-specific forum ever created, and Mr. Casavant (also known as "Phage") did it all under his own steam: taking care of the web design and hosting out of his own pocket. For years, he took on the lion's share of maintaining the board while myself and the other Gestalt member, Teatime, mostly watched. Eventually, Phage handed things over to the very capable hands of Ross Nickle/Accommodator, and the creator's involvement in the day-to-day runnings of Warpshadow became minimal, but he still pops in from time to time, making sure that the lights are still on and the discussion is still happening.
So, as some small token of gratitude for all of Phage's work over the years, we decided to name the Warpshadow table project after him: dubbing our planet "Casavant Prime" and even going so far as to name the green, starcraft-creep-like-goo we spread across the city "Phage."
We were able to finish the table just in time for Games Day Toronto 2008, and it was a huge hit (another member of our staff running the table informed me that Jervis Johnson even came by to check it out while I was deep in conversation with someone else and completely oblivious!), and we had folks gaming on it all day. Although the scenery was nice I credit Ross/Accommodator for dragging us in so very many people with his genius idea to embed LED pucks in the board to give us some creepy, green lighting effects:
In the end, all of our hard work was rewarded when the table took the award for Best Table at Games Day.
But it didn't really matter. Though at the time I was still stressed out by all of the work of the table build, now, looking back on it some three years later, I'm kind of amazed at all that we accomplished. It is often the case with modeling projects that, when you look back on them, you can become desensitized to what you have accomplished as you've been forced to watch the thing grow from nothing into the finished product. You notice the mistakes you made and the things you'd like to do better next time, and you are blinded to your own successes. However, when I look back on the table we all made together, I am still damn proud of what we created, and I still think it may have been the most fulfilling project I've ever had the fortune of being involved with.
Here's the Casavant Prime: Games Day set on Flickr.
And here's the build thread for the whole thing from Warpshadow.