I wanted to come up with a snappier title than that—I truly did. But whenever I hear the word, I immediately think of Jack Johnson’s song by the name and I got lost bopping around to the music in my head. For those of you who haven’t had the privilege, you can find a link to the song on youtube here.
But the intent of this post isn’t to focus so much on the smooth acoustic stylings of Big Hats, but rather to talk about posters in 40k.
I’m not referring to full size posters that you might hang in your garage or your bedroom or 40k motivational posters, though those might also be cool to have. Rather, I’m talking about miniature sized posters scaled down for use in terrain.
If you can’t tell, this is a continuation of my terrain theme that I’ve been on as of late where I go over the buildings I completed recently.
Years ago, I stumbled upon some clever ideas for posters to be used in building terrain and wound up saving them off to a folder on my computer that I use for inspiration for future projects. Honestly, I have no idea how long these have been collecting dust in that folder, but I’d say it’s easily been a decade—as I’ve long since dreamed about owning nice terrain, but I only recently got off my arse and did something about it.
So, when I did finally get my terrain assembled and painted, I went right to that folder and dug up the posters. Sadly, I didn’t have as many as I thought I’d did, but lucky for me Google has grown by leaps and bounds since I originally saved them, and a search for 40k scale posters came up with some great ones. I won’t bother collecting them all and posting them here for fear of claims of copyright infringement, but I have all of the ones I managed to find saved in an email for future use should they somehow disappear off the interwebz one day.
It looks like the posters break down into a few categories:
- WW1/WW2 era posters reimagined for the 41st millennium
- Generic safety/caution signs (eg. “Bomb shelter)
- Imperial notices/proclaimations
- Humorous Notices (not to say the ones above can’t be humorous, but this includes references to completely other genres of games or pop culture)
I tried to include all these different facets in my posts. Sadly, there are far too many good posters available on the Internet for me to use them all without covering my models in them. So, I wound up using them sparingly so that they added a little effect, but not so much that they dominated the terrain.
As a whole, I find that I prefer the WW2 propaganda style posters the best. Not the ones where they’ve simply scaled down the original posters, but the ones where they tweak them a bit to work in the grimdark universe that is 40k. Things like “Farm scrap builds DESTROYERS” or “He fights for Mcragge!”
Damn, even now I’m finding pictures that I would’ve loved to have used. Recruitment posters for the “Brotherhood of Ymgarl,” man that’s genius! I may have to go back and add some of these to my buildings.
But I digress…
- A recruitment poster for COBRA (featuring a hooded commander in the classic “Uncle Sam” pose with the phrase “COBRA wants you!”)
- An advertisement for the real-life Ultramarines movie (though I’m not sure this made the final cut)
- An advertisement for Rekall (The futuristic “vacation” provider from the movie Total Recall)
- A recruitment poster for the forces of NOD (which is probably lost to any of you whippersnappers out there, but in the original versions of the video game “Command & Conquer, NOD was the name of the bad guys—before we decided to just call them Russians).
- Some Gork/Mork ’08 campaign bumper stickers
Once I had the posters I wanted identified, the process was rather simple. I just sized them up within a Word document and printed them out. One thing I noticed was that if I printed them on photo paper, they came out looking a bit nicer and I’m hoping that they’ll hold up a little better to the abuse that terrain will inevitably face.
When they were printed, I went ahead and loaded my airbrush with black paint and went over the edges of most of the posters to give them the effect of wear. Now, many of the posters you’ll find online already have this effect applied, so I don’t know how necessary this step really is, but it did help on the finished product. Part of why I did this was that I avoided many of the pre-weathered posters because they had rips and tears (or burn-marks in them) which would’ve made cutting them out all the more difficult—and, in some cases, it might look weird to see the weathering on the posters but not in the surrounding area of the building (particularly in the case of blood or spray paint).
I let those dry and then cut them out and sorted them into categories from “these must be included” to “not a chance.” And then I started affixing them (with super glue). When possible I took from the more desirable piles, but substituted in more appropriately shaped posters for tight fits later.
Like I said, I was quite happy with the overall effect, though I may still go back and add a few more. There’s got to be some spaces there that I can squeeze some more into without getting things too cluttered…