My display board in 2018, “Sophie’s Garage” was well-received. I could have kept using it, but I decided I wanted to do something even better this year.
I started this year with the question: “What would a high-level bard be like in the #Warhammer40k universe?”
I figured it would be some sort of grimdark heavy metal band. That idea was galvanized around the special Noise Marine model that Games Workshop released in late 2018. But, I play loyalest, Imperial Forces, not Heretical Chaos corrupted fiends. I didn’t imagine many Codex Astartes compliant Chapters would wield electric guitars on the battlefield. But, then it struck me: The Legion of the Damned! They’re on FIRE already!
As for the rest of the band, I painted up a Sister of Silence as the drummer. It seemed appropriate; she won’t speak, but percussion should be right up her alley. And an old Primaris Psyker of mine with a fire motif is up front on vocals.
I called the band “Sophie’s Choice”. The name had several connotations: First of all, we call our infant daughter Sophie. And there’s the book and movie called Sophie’s Choice. And then there is the rather morbid decision ( the eponymous “Sophie’s Choice”) that is in the book and movie centre around.
Then I thought, this band can’t just sit in the corner of a battlefield; a high-level bard in the 40k universe would be riding on a parade-like float. Their “stage” is Mad Max-esque tank with skull icon, built-in speakers, and flame motif. It is a conversion featuring a Chimera and many parts from the Galvanic Magnavent terrain kit.
And they are performing in a packed stadium with spotlights.
But it wasn’t enough for me to just have this vehicle: It needed a whole display. So, I made a display board that would look like a stadium. It would hold an audience!
Sophie’s Choice are performing in a packed stadium. VIP’s are in the stands. The pit is packed with spectators. Spotlights are being carried my sentinel walkers.
I also entered this display as a diorama in the painting competition for Sword and Brush.
The screaming baby face is my infant daughter, who is named Sophie, after all. I wonder what she’ll think about that someday…
My family and I even wore matching shirts for “Sophie’s Choice: Galactic Tour 42019”
I wasn’t able to be there for the judging because I was participating in a concurrent tournament. When I set up the board, it got a lot of buzz. But I was a little disappointed that it didn’t get any awards. There weren’t even any photos of it on the official Sword and Brush photos of the competition.
Another change I made was to have my “Crusader” models act as the stage security. These “counts-as Crusaders” are actually heavily modified old Adeptus Arbites models carrying riot shields.
I was a bit disappointed. During the tournament, many people remarked on the flickering flame LED’s on my Hellhound tanks. I got the parts from Zinge. Since people liked them, I put them on the “Party Bus” too.
And I also added music! In the video it’s playing “Purging With My Kin” by Linkin Loyalists, a Warhammer 40k inspired band.
I entered the upgraded display board to #armiesonparade at my local Games Workshop at Heartland Town Centre, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.
I was surprised and honoured to win “Best Themed Entry” and “2nd place overall”!
I brought the display board to a local tournament in November 2019, and to my surprise I won best painted! I know my models aren’t super-well painted, but I think the concept and flashy lights impressed a lot of people.
How do I top this for next year? I have some plans already… 😉