Monday, 9 September 2019

Deathworld Flora and Fauna Part 3 - The Catachan Brainleaf

Another Gribbly!

So here is part three of my irregular series where I make models that hark back to 1992 when I first discovered the Rogue Trader rulebook. Back then modelling supplies and tools were in short supply as all I had was cardboard and a damp cellar. So after the semi-infamous splats of craters incident, I pretty much ceased making terrain. Fast forward to White Dwarf 242 when an article was created to instruct unwashed gamers on how to create these wondrous items.

The White Dwarf article.

One of favourite abiding memories of the original Rogue Trader rulebook was of the death world creatures that would populate games if the GM was in the mood. Of those one of the creepiest alien plants was the Catachan Brainleaf (or I think in the just plain old brainleaf) Previous attempts at populating my table with vicious plantlife can be found here and here. The Brainleaf basically drops on an unsuspecting lifeform and buries planty tendrils into the central nervous system effectively taking over the host. This results in a gamesmaster taking over the model for the rest of the game. Great for hilarious japes where trooper Boggis suddenly stabs trooper Fuggler because a plant made him do it. Not a very believable story for the court Marshall* but one that resulted in an acquittal in the people vs Schmeck case also know as the infamous 'footsnipper incident'. 

The Creation Process

For those who think that they too would like a brainleaf on their own gaming table here's how to do it. First, coil some wire into whatever approximates an alien plant to you. In a fashion that screams out deadly and innocuous in equal measure. Then make some leaves, the original WD article had quite large leaves made out of card, pasted together, this makes little sense to me as the leaves were huge and would probably result in a broken neck for the unfortunate lifeform in landed on. I made mine with a chance cock up when I was doing something else. I was using my tentacle maker from Greenstuffworld when I accidentally made a serated leaf shaped object, This made me think of the clump of wires I had stuck to a base then lost interest and then attached them to my new vicious alien plant. Some pink, terracotta and green paint later, a plant is born!

The brainleaf in it's natural habitat (my garage).
The brainleaf holds the best parties, as the other members of the Deathworld Floral Society will testify.

So my list of alien killer plants grows longer, I now have a Miral Catcher, Catachan Mantrap, Strangleplant, and many, many Spikers. As far as evil xenos vegetation is concerned, I have started a Venus Mantrap** that is still very much in the 'working out how to make it stage'.  I will soon be in a position to populate a table with exotic plants to make my Catachan Jungle Fighters feel at home. 

* Less successful defenses were Corporal Balthasar Smeg's insistence that a dataslate regarding lasgun maintenance when read backwards was a message from the Emperor to 'Smash Sergeant Bolce's face in!' and ordnance supervisor Minyard Dilth of the 12th Necromundan auxilary company's insistance that he dropped two basilisk shells on his command group 'for a dare'. 
** In the early days of imperial exploration humanity first discovered the Venus Mantrap, then they discovered Catachan with it's much better Mantrap. This has caused quite a lot of friction between the two plants and a small fortune in litigation fees regarding copy write infringement and intellectual property. 

Thanks for reading.


Frank O Donnell said...

That's very good Jason, GW was a very different company back in those days.

Jason F said...

Yes it was. Some of the things they're creating nowadays are pretty fantastic though.