Friday, July 24, 2020


Summary: Just look at this fucking shit

I want to see helmets like this constantly in fictional armor


Can you get any cooler?

It looked cool on paper


Aztec headdresses



  1. As I recall, portions of Martin's Song of Ice and Fire had a number of helmets quite as ornate - something that the television adaptation rather missed out, along with other colourful elements like the vast diversity of heraldry and the rainbow as a religious symbol.

    A d100 table consisting of or similar to the above might be rather good.

    1. That makes sense about ASoIaF; his knights are suitably proud and profligate. I bet that the heraldry is being rendered as accurately as possible in the Game of Thrones mod for Crusader Kings II.

      I suppose if one wanted to use a profound natural phenomena for a religious symbol, one could use the Northern Lights similarly to a rainbow by altering the color scheme and the shape of the lines.

      I agree about the table, if it was done with some conceptual density that would indeed be a valuable list. What makes a good helmetpiece, I wonder? Any form of statuary could be used, obviously, and would seem to exceed in ostentation a raised and painted-on flat surface, for example, however intricate the painting. We have horns, but what else could be used? Antlers, of course, that's common. A lightning bolt would look ridiculous and serve as an ill omen. How about dangerous animals, taking inspiration from the Japanese? A Western knight with a centipede on his helmet could only be a figure of absolute malignity. A platypus is poisonous but paternal.

      It seems that rapturous beauty would exceed concept in almost all cases, with color and shape being more important than idea, and there's a lot of overlap in what one might put on a helmet with heraldry; so I wonder how one would differentiate one's approach to helmet motifs compared with heraldry.
      Horns are one answer because they sit on the head. Perhaps golden halos, bronze fire from the grille, a lion's mane, binoculars that can be shifted into place.

      What about scenes? Archetypal themes like a mongoose with a snake's neck in its jaws, or an eagle ripping up a snake. A lion with its claws sunk into the haunches of a running wildebeest seems pertinent, as does a dragonfly assassinating some other bug in mid flight, or a shrike doing the same to the dragonfly.

      What about scenes atop the headpiece of an Imperial Knight? St Annais with her sword raised? You could do that on any helmet, I suppose. Maybe something involving living people? A heretic sitting in a prisoner's dock, penitent engine-style? A family lawspeaker at the bench, passing judgement on all beheld before him? To eschew a scene, in lieu of horns one could have tesla coils with electricity constantly arcing between them; perhaps coils shaped like lightning bolts to begin with.

      What about gigantic statues on the head of an Imperial Titan? The Emperor kneeling, holding up Sanguinius's corpse? Commissar Yarrick throttling Ghazghkull. The Emperor knighting the Omnissiah or some other interpretation. Perhaps a small prison could be located there and intestinal auguries carried out before battle in the case of a slightly deviant Titan crew.

      This is not even getting into all the crazy shit one could have on one's helmet as a matter of fantastic "utility"!

    2. ASoIaF also has some ornate or oddly fancy bits: the 'glass gardens' in Winterfell didn't make it into the show either. The rainbow for the Seven-in-One and One-in-Seven sort of implies that somebody soon after the dawn of the faith a) had a prism and b) came to the same conclusions about the number of colours in the spectrum as Sir Isaac Newton.

      The idea of a living, tormented crest for a house-sized bipedal war machine is decidedly grimdark. Warhammer 40k has this odd intersection of fiction, artwork and models. Space Marines (most notably) can be described as having almost impossibly ornate armour or very distinct patterns, and the art might back that up, but the models and the paint schemes for a given chapter are dependant on the sculptures of the time and (presumably) the anticipated painting skill of the hobbyist. The roughly canonical appearance of a given Marine presumably lies between all of the above. Visual canon by averages?

      The clearest cleavage between these sources I've seen would be for Peter Fehervari's Angels Resplendent, who are described as having personalised armour with the equivalent of Old Masters on their shoulder pads. Is there anyone who fancies rendering a copy of the Mona Lisa on a pauldron at 28mm?

    3. "Peter Fehervari's Angels Resplendent, who are described as having personalised armour with the equivalent of Old Masters on their shoulder pads"
      I would love to see more of this, easier said than done. For freeform painting it seems most people stick to the safer waters of banners and murals on the side of tanks. I would love to see a chapter with completely personalized armor, as in no two SMs have similar looking armor, but that's a modeling challenge impractical to levy and isn't consistent with the lore.


Art - First Run