Sunday, 1 April 2018

Mood Boards - Swimming with ideas

Greetings Sinners!
Today I want talk about Mood Boards. If you're new to the term it's basically a type of collage of images, texts, ideas and materials related to a subject that facilitate the exploration of an area of interest or idea.......or basically, it helps set a mood.

I think that most people into the hobby have a more artistic bent and like to explore ideas....or maybe you're just a moody get who enjoys his own company like me ;-)

I don't go to the effort of making an actual mood board in this digital age. Instead of all that effort, I make Mood files. For example, while resurrecting my old Necromunda gang the Voodoo Dolls, I saved images to a file that helped me set the scene and inspired me.




Now many of these images aren't possible to replicate on a 28-32mm miniature but they do help to convey the feeling or mood that I was looking for. From these images came the idea to use browns, blacks, creams and muted reds (what I think of as the John Blanche colour palette scheme, everything has a sienna/Agrax Earthshade tint to it). From this mood board came Madame Brigitte........

......and the colour scheme for the rest of the gang.

So hopefully you can see how a Mood Board (file) can help to influence and inspire the direction of a project.

My latest Mood Board is focused on the Necromunda Underhive.
For quite a while I pondered on what the Underhive would look like. It's quite an alien concept to us really. A Hive city that almost touches the stars where the vast majority have never seen the surface. A building so vast that that it could contain entire countries and eco-systems.
The Underhive is only as limited as the imagination. It can be a sprawling industrial landscape, an ash-swept derelict wasteland or sewers infested with rats, gators and tentacled mutants. Each district, level, dome or settlement could be completely different to its neighbour.
There are many great terrain pieces out there, from GW's Sector Mechanicus kits to scratch built works of art. Many of them are industrial complexes or concrete edifices that feel more Uphive than Underhive to me.

I'm eager to to explore the Underhive where my Voodoo Dolls dwell and want to expand upon their imagery. An image of a Sump swamp has inveigled it's way into my imagination and it will stay there, firmly lodged until I explore the possibilities.

Sump Swamp

Spanish Moss

Iron Work

Girders Not Trees

Stagnant Water

Flora Fights Back

Neil 101's excellent scatter terrain

Hive Quakes


....or as I like to call him, the Master of Atmosphere




                Sunken Archeotech

These are some of the images that I have floating around in my head as I ponder how to mash them together and invoke the mood of a Sump Swamp. Just like my Voodoo Dolls mood board, my sump swamp won't look like any of the images, but I'm hoping many of the ideas will show through as I build and paint it.
I don't usually share my mood boards with people (although I do bounce ideas around with Rob) but hopefully, this post will give you some ideas for your own projects......Until next time, may Our Lady grant you her number ;-)


  1. Lord Adiatun Varunn1 April 2018 at 14:41

    Thank you for sharing all this with us. You gave me something to ponder ... It's always a pleasure to "dive" into a facet of the hobby and you just opened a door really gigantic. Thank you very much indeed

  2. You're welcome mate.
    I wasn't sure if anyone would find this interesting, so it's good to see that someone enjoyed ;-)

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Gaz gives use plenty to ponder on ourselves

    1. When i think what you are going for gaz i think shaven lair?

  4. Brigitte looks awesome. Well done using the influences and adding character to her. Wait, when did you start doing NMM? I like it.

    I'm sure what you devise for the swamp-like aesthetic will look great. Is it for a table or another display board?

    1. Cheers buddy.
      The sword is how I always paint my power weapons. Unfortunately it isn't staying because I will be replacing it with a Stiletto sword now that they've fixed the rules for them.

      The Sump Swamp will be a 2'x2' gaming board using four of my gaming tiles. I want them to be interchangeable with my Four Sisters tiles (otherwise known as Grubber's Heights) as well as each other, so it's taking some working out.....but at least I have a feel for them thanks to my mood board ;-)

  5. By the way gang is looking sweet. I like the one with the silver mask given me a idea for my cultists; -)

    1. Cheers Dyl.
      Still lots of work to do on them, but they're at the stage where I'm happy to game with them.

  6. Interesting and definitely moody! A more organic look will create a nice contrast. It will be interesting to see how you interprete that in the hive style

    1. Cheers Rob.
      Despite the Hive being a man-made structure I can imagine flora springing up and trying to reclaim the concrete and ironwork. Mosses, grasses, algae & vines flourishing under the florescent lights and extracting nutrients from the scummy waste by-products found in the Sump. It might not be the lush greenery found in the Louisiana/Bayou swamps but life is tenacious, despite the best efforts of mankind to eradicate it.
      Leaking sewer pipes, wildlife (rats, gators, Snakes, Ripperjacks and humans) would all add biological matter to the tributaries that run into the Sump (and there was talk of a Sump Sea at the Necromunda Weekender).

      I'm hoping my Sump Swamp will accentuate the Man-made aspect of the Underhive rather than detract from it, but time will tell.....besides we need somewhere for the Gators and Ripperjacks to live when we have our Monster Hunts ;-)

  7. Your mix of metal and biological in your Sump Swamp moodboard reminds me a little of Mirrodin from MtG. Altho there, the metal is natural and semi-biological, too, so it's not quite the same. But still, some of the imagery from the Mirrodin arcs (particularly the black cards) might well fit in nicely there.

    1. Oh I'll have to google that and see if it gives me some ideas.
      Cheers chap!