Monday, 17 February 2014

15mm Evil Empire - The Dark Suns Alliance

At the far edge of the Wytch Star Zone lies a desolate are of space known as the Dark Suns Nebula. Millennia ago a giant O type star collapsed into a supernova of gigantic proportions. The star systems around it were bathed in the outpouring radiation, plasma, gas and dust, and several other stars went novae as a result. After hundreds of thousands of years the shock waves had passed and the systems began to settle again, aside from occasional flares and meteorite impacts from the remains of the shattered star systems.

When humanity first explored the Dark Suns Nebula they found a collection of systems that had been enriched by the multiple supernovae, vast deposits of rare metals and minerals could be found in drifiting asteroids and the scarred and cratered planets that remained. But conditions were hellish, radiation was high and almost none of the planets retained their own atmospheres. Giant industrial complexes were buit on the remains of shattered worlds, and clone-bred workers were forced into servitude.

The hellish conditions took their toll. Mutation and radiation damage began to be seen in the clones, and their level of inteligence was stunted, even as their strength was increased. Some of the clones were more resistant to the debilitating effects of the radiation and their mutations manifested in another way - increased mental capacity.

These clones demonstrated the ability to control the more brutish clones, and in a short while an uprising began. One by one the colonies fell to the mutants, who took over industrial plants, colonies and space stations. Very quickly a hierarchy formed, with the most mentally gifted of the clones at the top, dominating those below them. Some pure-strain humans remain, those depraved enough to side with the clones against their former masters, or those weak willed enough to be dominated by the mental prowess of the leaders. Some pure strain humans who had essential skills or special talents were also kept, and their offspring were born into a life knowing no masters but the mutant leaders.

Now, the Dark Suns Alliance, as they have come to be known, has reached a turning point. Their clones continue to be affected by the radiations of their suns, mutating in unpredictable ways. The clone leaders need to restore their corrupted genetic pool and they have decided that expansion into the nearby Border Worlds Alliance is the way to do it. Slave raids on colony worlds have begun, with captured colonist being sent to processing plants to be sampled for genetic compatibility with the clone banks. Those that are found to be compatible are rendered down to their base organic material to feed the clone tanks, those that are found wanting but are able bodied are sent to the mines and industrial centres whilst those that are not fit enough are sent to "work" in the protein vats and flesh farms.

In the Border Worlds, colonists now watch the skies and fear the night, as they keep a look out for the blood red ships and the faceless soldiers that spell the doom of another colony world...

Symbol of the Dark Suns Alliance
The Dark Suns Alliance are my attempt to create an "evil" antagonist force as an OPFOR for sci-fi gaming. The imagery is based loosely on the old Red Shadows from the 1980's range of Action Force action figures by Palitoy. These figures were the European version of GI-Joe, and featured some of the same vehicles with different branding. Eventually Palitoy was bought by Hasbro and Action Force was morphed into GI-Joe, including extensive stories in the Action Force comic to explain the changes in the brand.

The original Red Shadows were a WW2 German soldier body and helmet, but with a sinister face mask and coloured red. The action figure carried a bazooka reminiscent of an SA-7 Grail, but smaller. Later figures would update the body and provide different weapons, but the one or two I had were limited to the bazookas. At that time I was 10 or 11 years old, and right in the target market, but mostly I was a Star Wars fan, so the few Action Force figures and Vehicles I got wound up being folded into my imaginary Star Wars Mythology.

  My second inspiration for the Dark Suns was the first set of RUSK troopers released by Armies Armies. I got in on the pre-order for these ages ago, but they have mostly been languishing with base coat on, with just a few figures painted.

I also got an undead Nazi figure from Rebel Miniatures, I think, and he seemed to be  the ideal commander for them, adding a touch of the Red Skull to the mix.

The two large droids either side are Rebel Miniatures TOMCats, the one on the left above having been modified to include a large heavy weapon on his left arm and an extra powerpack and connecting cable on his back.

In addition to the ground forces, I also have some vehicles already painted up for the Dark Suns, the Poundland hovercraft I had previously blogged about, and the kit-bashed skimmer from the Land Booster Spirit kit.

I also have one of the old style Dream Pod9 Moab Combat Mounts, which is all metal and ever so slightly different from the one in the link. I have yet to photograph mine, but here is one painted by another, mine is in the same red and black as all the other DSA troops.


Mr. Harold said...

Really awesome stuff...

commissarmoody said...

All pretty cool. Like your idea for the Armies Army reds.

Barks said...


Michael said...

Action Force.
Such happy days.
I joined the club as a child, I was mega amazed to be told that I was Captain Grant Campbell!

Paul said...

Great stuff! Good to see more Red Shadows appearing out there, I love what you've done with the RUSKs.