Loud Ninja Games will be releasing in late November though 15mm.co.uk brand new codes at the core of which are the fantastic Tavshar Archon mecha in 15mm scale. This article by Eli Arndt gives you an introduction to the concepts and story behind the mecha and how they came to be. The sketching here was done by Sam Croes who is a big fan of LNG and who has also painted up an Archon too. See Loud Ninja Games HERE. Take it from here Eli...
The Story of the Archon
The Yan’drassi (YD) Archon mecha started out as an idea for how to add some heavy firepower to the existing YD range. So far, the range includes several infantry option and a light vehicle that has some firepower but not enough to take the fight to an opponent’s medium to heavy vehicle. While tanks and other vehicles are definitely in the realm of possibility for the YD, I felt the first release since the Kickstarter really needed to make a statement and mecha certainly make a statement.
For the design, I contacted sculptor Sean Bullough who had sculpted the original Yan’drassi range and who I knew was a huge anime and mecha fan with a broad frame of reference for the genre and various design aesthetics. I had seen his work with ClearHorizon miniatures first Kickstarter and the great work he had done on their mecha design and so I was confident in his ability to deliver a quality model.
This is one of the first projects I have done where there was no concept art. Sean and I talked about design elements I wanted and drew mostly from references drawn from other existing mecha. The process was a lot of back and forth with me giving some design points and sending and image and Sean sending me his own thoughts and additional reference ideas. Sean has a vast collection of mecha pictures that he was able to draw from so we quickly found our stride in design process. For me, the key was to make a design that looked like it fit in with the existing Yan’drassi aesthetic. This meant rounded shapes. As the Archons are piloted be the YD’s elites, the Tavshar, I also wanted the Archon to resemble the Tavshar Primes. This second element meant making them look like a warrior’s armour as much as a battle ready machine.
For weapons, I wanted the Archon to have a good number of choices. I wanted all versions of the Archon to have missile support so a pair of vertical launch missiles pods was added. The original three weapon options were a basic Shredder rifle, a sword/shield combo and the powerful, lance-like Singularity Cannon capable of launching micro black holes across the battlefield. After these the model had been molded and Gavin and I started talking about release plans, it was decided to add an additional three weapon options to the Archon to provide greater depth and variety to the design. These new parts were designed by Sam Croes and would include a new more powerful Plasma Rifle, a missile launcher version with several add-on missile pods, and a massive Ripper Cannon with an attached combat blade. This brought the total options to six, making the Archon a versatile and unpredictable opponent. There are six different Archon mecha single codes.
The final model does including a lot of individual parts, regardless of which weapon configuration you choose. This was a by product of trying to minimize the number of individual parts that needed to be made, allowing us to then re-use many parts by making the model mostly poseable. This makes the Archon a more advanced model and one that will take a bit of attention with a fantastic reward.
So, where does the Archon fit into the Yan’drassi force structure?
Archons are elite war machines, piloted by Tavshar that have reached the rank of Prime and shown their prowess in battle above other Primes, making them the elite among elites. Archon is not only the name of the mecha but also the new rank of those who pilot them. Each Archon selects its weapon load based on its mission or sometimes the preference of the individual Archon where command edict does not override personal choice. A mix of weapon types is common, allowing Archons operating in force to counter unexpected threats. Archons are most often tasked with providing heavy support to lesser troops alone or in small groups, but may be used as strike teams by themselves.
For general combat Shredder Guns and Plasma Cannons, supported by Heavy Ripper Guns are the most effective, combining withering fire with powerful long-range plasma fire. For heavier targets Singularity Cannons and Missiles are best. On the rare occasions, where assault in necessary, there is nothing better than the combination of a powered blade and shield for wading into enemy formations.
We hope you enjoyed this read and you can find Loud Ninja Games range HERE. There will be one more big article on the Tavshar Archons which will show you all the codes, the poses, the bundles and reaction forces which are being released late November.
Thanks for Reading,