Wednesday, 22 September 2010

GW Warhammer 40,000 Temple

When I ran my ATZ scenario "Riot!" recently, I included a building that was not one of my WWG card models. It was this model - a temple that I made for Games Workshop's Warhammer 40,000 game. To be honest, it has never been used in a game of WH40K. It's been sadly neglected and just gathers dust. To tell you the truth, I have become more and more disenchanted with GW and their games. I'm not going to start an anti-GW rant here - they make some very nice figures and scenery but there is so much I despise about them nowadays.
This building is based on the Sanctum Imperialis model, with additional elements from the Basilica Administratum model. I bought the large Imperial Sector boxed set when it was first released, so I had quite a few sprues to play with. Most of the WH40K buildings you see using these models are ruins or empty shells. Looking at the components, I saw that if you wanted to, you could make a fully intact building. This is what I came up with. The above photo shows the front of the temple. The doors do not open and shut and are glued in place. If this had been a card model, I'd have made sure that they did open and shut!
The beauty of these models, and the Manufactorum, which was included in the Imperial Sector boxed set, is their versatility. This allows you to mix and match components from all three models, a great boon when designing something as original as this. This photo above shows the left side of the temple.
Here, you can see the back of the temple, with its single entrance to the ground floor. The base it is on measures 12" by 12," and it is mounted on a sheet of corrugated plastic. My dad is a stamp collector and whenever he sends away for a new set of stamps he receives them in a large envelope sandwiched between two sheets of black corrugated plastic. He asked me if I'd have any use for the corrugated plastic. I saw lots of modelling potential for it and so whenever he gets a new set of stamps, I get the packaging, Being made of plastic it is a lot stronger than corrugated cardboard. I covered the edges with masking tape to hide the corrugated sections. I stuck 25mm square pieces of thin card around the perimeter of the base to represent paving slabs.
This photo shows the right side of the temple, which mirrors the left side. With such a large area to paint I bought a 500ml can of blackboard paint to undercoat the model and use as the base for the walls and upper floors. A pot of GW Chaos Black holds 12ml, so God alone knows how many pots I'd have had to buy for this project. What I love about blackboard paint is that it dries very matt. I've used it a lot for under-coating many of my scenery projects.The gold ornaments on the temple are painted using GW Shining Gold and were given a brown ink wash. The walls were drybrushed with GW Chaos black mixed with progressively greater amounts of GW Codex Grey.
In this photo, I've taken the top floor of the temple off to reveal what lies inside. The hole in the floor is wide enough for me to get my hand in to place figures inside, although to be honest, it is a bit fiddly. There is a 2" wide balcony running all the way around the first floor (or second, if you're an American). I pondered long and hard whether to have the first floor detachable from the ground floor but eventually decided I could live with them being glued together. The only piece of furniture in the building is the sarcophagus that you can see in the centre of the floor. Access to the upper floors is via ladders and you can see the exit points are the two trapdoors at the top and bottom of the photo.
Here are two close up photos of the sarcophagus that I scratchbuilt using assorted components from the sprues. The two sides walls are made out of mounting board with two small squares of thin card glued in place. It is roughly 2" wide by 3" long. The base is an offcut of mounting board.
When I was setting up my board to play my ATZ "Riot!" scenario I was left with a 12" square gap at the top right hand corner of the board. I was wondering what to use to fill the space when I glanced at my temple model. It resides in the dining room, where I do all of my gaming. It was a lightbulb moment when it struck me that its dimensions were exactly what I needed to fill the space. I knew that there was virtually no chance of anyone entering the temple so it fulfilled the need of being a decorative piece of scenery and at long last, it made its gaming debut.
I'm very proud of this model and I'm glad it has finally been used in a game. It'll probably crop up in my ATZ campaign again but I'm dubious about staging a fight inside of it simply because it is so difficult to photograph the interior.
Just out of interest, all of the other buildings that I made from the Imperial Sector boxed set are ruins, one of which, is four storeys high and may appear in a future game of ATZ. I do have another large intact GW model building that I'd like to show you sometime and that is a power station, whose walls are made up of the plastic wall sections that came with GW's Necromunda game. Look out for it soon.


  1. A really beautiful piece, Bryan. It looks awesome.
    I've wanted to do some of these, but I always have a hard time getting the minis done let alone the scenery. The sarcophagus looks great, too. Better than anything on the market today.

    I have problems with GW too, although they do make a lot of lovely stuff thats for sure. I still cant give up my 'nids, lol.

  2. I hear you, Roger! My biggest WH40K or WH army is my Tyranid army and without doubt my favourite GW army. I've spent too much time and money collecting my GW armies to just abandon them. If I can use them in other games, especially those produced by THW, I will.

    I'm glad you like the sarcophagus. It was a really easy scratchbuild to make.

  3. I guess this temple is the place where the vampire masterminds who started the Z-Apocalypse reside. Waiting in darkness for their return After The Horsemen have changed the world as we know it.

    Or is this just the HQ of the evil empire of the tabletop gaming industry (TM) in Nottingham?

    Great model!

  4. Oliver, either one of your suggestions is perfectly feasible, although of the two, I like the idea of the temple being a hangout for vampires. I will certainly be introducing vampires to my campaign at some time. Werewolves will also appear. Big Ass Worms will definitely not appear. Which reminds me, I'll be reviewing I, Zombie on Sunday. Then we can all chat about the new rules.

  5. If I recall correctly After The Horsemen will include stuff from All Things Horror. There may be leeches and lupines inside.

    QUOTE: "Then we can all chat about the new rules."
    That looks like a 30+ comments topic.

  6. The short lived All Things Horror rulebook included rules for ghouls and minor vampires. 5150 has rules for a race of lupines, so it would be easy enough to come up with rules for them all now. That said, I'm sure that they'll appear in After The Horsemen, more fleshed out than at present.

    Yep, I'm expecting some lively debate about the new supplement. I wish it was Sunday already!

  7. What a surprise when I loaded your page and saw this monster! At first I thought your blog had been hi-jacked. As with everything you touch, this a a great looking piece. And it does have Vampire written all over it. If I was walking down the street minding my own business and came across a building like that, I would immediately think to myself "Hmmm, I bet Vampires live there, better not go snooping."

    My main computer is down and out for probably a couple of weeks. Not only is it going to kill me at work but I will have blogging withdrawals. The good news is I can get my fix over here.

  8. Thanks, Willy. With its Gothic look and predominantly black colour scheme it would make a fine hangout for vampires. Oliver made the same suggestion.

    Aaagh, how frustrating to have your computer go down! Mine went down for a couple of days early this year when the power supply unit died. It was the longest two days of my life as I waited for it to get repaired! Still, as you've proved, at least you can still get your fix elsewhere. I hope you get your own computer back sooner rather than later.

  9. Very impressive piece of scenery !

    I very much enjoyed reading through your blog and I will be visiting often ... probably "borrowing" an idea or two here and there ;-)


  10. Hi, and welcome aboard, Andy. It's always nice to hear from newcomers, so thanks for posting. Please feel free to "borrow" anything that takes your fancy. This site is all about sharing.

  11. Fantastic and i love the way you painted it