1. What is Warhammer 40,000?
In 1987, inspired by the success of their tabletop warfare game 'Warhammer Fantasy Battle,' Games Workshop released a Sci-Fi tabletop game sharing many of the same attributes as Warhammer Fantasy Battle, titled Warhammer 40,000.
Set in the 41st Millennium, Warhammer 40,000 (a.k.a. Warhammer 40K) pits the totalitarian Imperium of Man against a host of interstellar races, from the savage and bloodthirsty Orks, to the graceful and ancient Eldar, to the massive swarms of the Tyranids.
Warhammer 40K has been growing in popularity since its release, not only on the tabletop, but in other media as well. In 2009, Games Workshop released a 70-minute CGI movie, 'Ultramarines,' which, besides being the first feature-length movie based on the 40K universe, used revolutionary facial-mapping technology to render more realistic characters. (More about the Ultramarines movie can be found here.) The Dawn of War computer games brought the tabletop to the computer screen in a large scale RTS game franchise. The sequel franchise, Dawn of War II (such a creative name, don't you think?) narrowed the game from larger-scale battles down to squad-based combat. With the recent release of Space Marine, a third-person shooter, the focus of the games was narrowed even further, to that of a single Space Marine. Speaking of which...
2. What is a Space Marine?
Within the Imperium of Man, there are two main military forces. The first is the Imperial Guard.
The Imperial Guard makes up the bulk of the Empire's military might. Ordinary citizens are conscripted, trained, equipped and sent to distant battlefields. Some live. Most don't. Such is the fate of the Imperial Guard.
And then there are the most iconic figures of the Warhammer 40K universe: the Space Marines.
Few in number, Space Marines are genetically modified and enhanced super-soldiers. Clad in suits of power armor and wielding weapons of unimaginable destruction, they bring the Emperor's wrath to the enemies of Man wherever they may threaten the Imperium.
Much as I would love to go into more detail about Space Marines, I don't really have the time or the data storage space. If you want to read more about Space Marines and the Warhammer 40,000 universe in general, you can check it out right here.
(An interesting side note: while many games and movies, such as Starcraft, Halo and Gears of War have adapted the 'power armored space marine' concept, Warhammer 40K's Space Marines did it first. Anyway, moving on...)
3. Why in the world are you doing this?
Because I can.
Okay, so that's not entirely true (well, it's partially true, but there is actually another reason for this whole exercise.)
This is the main reason:
CONvergence is a general sci-fi convention held each July in Bloomington, Minnesota. And I've never been.
I've only been to one other small 'convention' (ReCon. Check it out) and that was really just a day of playing various games in an American Legion Basement. Fun, but not really a conventional, con-badges, rent-a-hotel-room, TV-star-question-and-answer-period convention.
So, I want to go to CONvergence. But I'm not about to go in street clothes. What kind of sci-fi nerd would I be if I did that?
I've wanted to build a set of Space Marine armor for a while, and I specifically wanted to build a set for CONvergence 2013. But when I heard that the theme for 2013 was 'British Invasion,' it was just too perfect to pass up.
4. You do realize that, by doing this, you'll pretty much guarantee that you'll never have a girlfriend again?
5. Why a year?
Well, as I said, CONvergence happens every July, so I want to have the suit finished before July 1st. Now, this is a massive project, and I have a small work space, so I need the extra time.
Besides, in between now and then, there is one small event that I have to attend to...
6. What are you planning on making this out of?
Ah, now that is one heck of a question. It's so much of a question, that I'm not going to answer it. Not yet, at least. It'll have to wait for its own post.
Until the next post, I leave you with these words:
The Emperor protects. Though, a loaded Bolter never hurts.