Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Motorcycle justice

You thought I'd forgotten about my 'Judge Dredd' style Arbites Enforcers project, right? I know. I get it. It's totally understandable. But to tell you the truth that's just not the case. I haven't forgotten about them. Quite the opposite. The project has been on my mind for months. Eating away at me, when I should be focussing on other things. I think about it when I'm trying to get off to sleep. I think about it when I'm at work. I think about it when I'm playing with the kids. I'm thinking about it now.

So I've done a lot of thinking.

But sadly, I haven't made much progress. Two things have blocked my flow. The riot gear Judges and the two motorcycle Judges. The riot shields and batons have been sitting on my desk looking a lot less fun to build than pretty much every other unconstructed toy in the vicinity, and the bikes have simply had me stumped, not sure how to proceed.

But after all that thinking there are, at least, a few thoughts I can share.

My Arbites/Judges take their look from the Karl Urban film, but I wasn't in love with its version of the Lawmasters (or, for that matter, the ones from the old Stallone movie). So I had to look elsewhere, and the comic was the obvious place to start.

Over the last couple of years a new mark of Lawmaster has appeared in the Judge Dredd strip, and I've gotta say I'm rather taken with it.

Because it's full of badassery

Artist Ben Willsher seems to be the man behind the new design. In this page from the Day of Chaos saga he compares it to one of the original Lawmasters

I struggled to find any different angles of this machine, but fortunately, Mezco Toys have a model based on it, due for release next month, as part of their One:12 Collective range.

Exactly the design I'll never be able to achieve

But let's not stop just yet. There are a few other designs that have also caught my eye. The next two share similarities with the above, and the third is the old school original Lawmaster in all its glory. I'll probably try to draw some inspiration from all of them, so at this point I'm imagining that my finished bikes will be based mainly on the Lawmaster above, but will also incorporate influences from the three directly below.

Fan art from Dan Cornwell (find him on Deviant Art here)

Jon Davis-Hunt's excellent new style Lawmaster with the old style lights 

Mike McMahon's take on the classic Lawmaster

Now, I have absolutely zero intention of completely scratch-building two identical bikes, so the next thing I need to know is which existing model kit to base them on. There were three that sprung out at me.

Forge World's Heresy era Legion Outrider bike

Titan Forge's Terra bikes

Games Workshop's Space Marine Scout bike

The final choice was made easy, not just by way of price, flexibility and availability, but also by the simple fact that it comes with rider's legs from the same range I've been using for the rest of my Arbites. So, although the bike will probably require more work than the others, it's the bottom one, the Space Marine Scout.

But that's not to say the other two images are useless. On the contrary they both offer a tonne of inspiration for this project. There's a lot of tough, riveted armour and sleek, dangerous curves on those bikes, all of which feels very in keeping with how I envisage Lawmasters to look in the Warhammer 40,000 universe.

So there's the thinking. Now I just need to do the difficult bit. Can I replicate any of these ideas, twice, on the model bikes I promised to build? Only some serious work will tell. A little less conversation a little more action.

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