The Comm Guild Maelstrom's Edge

Artwork: Sabotage Ship


Posted on Tuesday Nov 01, 2016 at 05:00PM in Artwork


With powerful shields, protective armour and effective weapons, taking out a defensive installation or enemy craft in space is not a trivial undertaking. For those like The Broken who have limited structural capacity, the sabotage ship is a dangerous and powerful tool. Stripping a ship bare, and filling it with explosives and cybel containers, and either a remote pilot, or a skeletal crew who have nothing to lose, sabotage ships are frequently used to gain access to restricted cybel gates, or as leverage in negotiations for resources, people and craft.

Artwork: Interstellar Hydrogen Harvester - Alternate


Posted on Tuesday Oct 25, 2016 at 05:00PM in Artwork


We previously shared the Interstellar Hydrogen Harvester, in the form of a film-based harvesting device. That is far from the only way interstellar hydrogen is harvested, and the above craft shows an alternate method in which hexagonal magnetic fields are used to trap interstellar resources. While this is more energy intensive than the film-based harvesting of the other IHH craft, it has the advantage in that debris does not risk damaging the harvester, passing harmlessly through the rings. The downside is that the energy required to operate the craft dramatically reduces its potential yield.

As mentioned before, a handful of IHH ships can massively extend the practical range and viable capacity of an evacuation fleet, and are therefore extremely valuable to all of mankind. Countless fleets have been destroyed in combat over the smallest rumour of IHH possession.

Artwork: The First Karist


Posted on Tuesday Oct 18, 2016 at 05:00PM in Artwork


This piece of artwork is very important to us, as it was our first completed piece. It also served as the initial concept and reference for sculpting the Karist troopers. You'll spot a few small differences as we made the model in plastic, notably on the chestplate. This pose has popped up quite a few times in our conversions when we've played around with the sprue as tribute to this original piece of artwork which launched the rest of the range.

Artwork: Scarecrows Attack


Posted on Tuesday Oct 11, 2016 at 05:00PM in Artwork


Other than our box art, we were suffering from quite a lack of scenic artwork featuring Epirian robots in action. This piece was commissioned to show two Epirian Scarecrows in the middle of securing an area at full force. From the railrifle firing a magnetically focused shot into the distance, to the chemical haze in the air around them, biological opponents have little hope!

Artwork: Scout Ship


Posted on Tuesday Oct 04, 2016 at 05:00PM in Artwork


In a lot of Maelstrom's Edge fiction we discuss small craft, tunnelhuggers, and similar. These craft can breathe air and operate in space, so are generally a bit more streamlined than larger ships. The craft above is capable of transporting 8 people for a considerable length of time, and is heavily armed with solid mass weapons that can operate in atmosphere or in vacuum.

Artwork Analysis - Refinery Ships


Posted on Tuesday Sep 27, 2016 at 05:00PM in Artwork


We've previously covered the aquisition of resources with interstellar hydrogen harvesting and mining ships, but those raw resources need to go somewhere! Refining such a large volume of material can be done at any scale, but the largest and most stable fleets of craft have dedicated ships for the purpose.

The refinery ship is a very energy intensive craft, capable of processing extreme volumes of materials. Traditionally, they were used to maximise delivery speeds when moving materials from one world to another, but post-Maelstrom, they are used by the richest and most powerful groups as part of their great nation fleets. Most commonly seen amongst Epirian franchise HQ fleets, refinery ships grant almost unlimited range within the galaxy, and therefore represent that most precious commodity - long term safety.

Artwork Analysis - The Karist Ark


Posted on Tuesday Sep 20, 2016 at 05:00PM in Artwork


Karists often have to get as close to a world as possible without being seen to allow their forces to build up free from the view of those in power. A fleet of spacecraft is easily seen from across a system so is not the ideal way for an insurrection to establish itself on a world. Instead, the Karists use huge, natural asteroids, hollowing them out and installing a spaceship inside. These are known as Karist Arks. Small points are fitted to the exterior to allow cybel shielding, enabling transit of the cybel network, though arks will always try to leave the network before the final gate, spending months and even years travelling silently through deep space to get to their target unseen.

The image above shows the interior of one such Karist Ark, with a commune ceremony occurring as some of the populace go about their daily lives. The blend of natural and organic architecture gives Karist Arks a much more human feel than most other spacecraft, though this benefit is tapered by it being frequently dim and dark due to the requirements of low energy usage and low energy wastage over long periods of secretive travel towards a destination.

Artwork Analysis - Mining Ship


Posted on Tuesday Sep 13, 2016 at 05:00PM in Artwork


When travelling at speed away from the ultimate destruction of the Maelstrom, the need for constant resources is always there. We've covered this with interstellar hydrogen harvesting and automated crop ships, but there is another key piece of the puzzle.

Stopping off to manually harvest asteroids and other space detritus is a slow, energy intensive and hazardous affair. One of the most important post-maelstrom ships is the mining ship - a huge vessel which flies at the head of a fleet, ingesting physical matter from space and performing some basic processing of it.

Larger material that would not fit in the intake is usually blasted by flanking assault craft so that as much as possible can be consumed for the long journey towards the galactic rim.

Forward Guidance - The Epirian Master Handler


Posted on Sunday Sep 11, 2016 at 05:00PM in Artwork


Today's forward guidance is a nice preview of an upcoming Epirian model. Next week we'll discuss some of the options and features of this model, but this week we just wanted to share the image!

The model will vary slightly from the artwork as it will be entirely plastic and as a result, some design restrictions (with angles of the guns, shaping of the feet/legs, etc) cause some modifications to be necessary, but the final sculpt is pretty close to the artwork as with most of our models!

Artwork Analysis - Automated Crop Ship


Posted on Tuesday Sep 06, 2016 at 05:00PM in Artwork


In the Maelstrom's Edge universe, massive numbers of people are forced to flee ahead of the ever-expanding galactic explosion that is the Maelstrom. We've previously shown one of the ships used for energy and resource acquisition, but converting that energy into food to keep the population functioning is another challenge all together.

While the majority of vessels are equipped with simple algae and fungal vats which can provide a balanced, if unappetising meal, there is a huge amount of variance in space travel cuisine. Many, such as the majority of the Broken, give over entire floors of their vessels to livestock to introduce more options to their food choices. The Epirians tend to produce large volumes of food that can be stored indefinitely, travelling with generations worth of supplies on their largest craft.

The most desirable food source are the Automated Crop Ships that traverse the galaxy. Traditionally they were not widely utilised outside of distant terraforming excursions, but the Maelstrom has caused them to be in massive demand. They are a pure luxury which increase the satisfaction of a fleet's populace immeasurable. A constant supply of fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts and more is possible with even a single Automated Crop Ship in a group of survivors, and it is relatively common to see populated ships sacrificed by a fleet if there is a chance to save their crop production facilities when resources run low or dangerous circumstances arise.

Artwork Analysis - An Epirian City


Posted on Tuesday Aug 30, 2016 at 06:00PM in Artwork


Today's artwork is one which we have not featured too heavily in our literature to date. We are very keen to show as much daily life as we do warfare, and this image is one of the central pieces around that theme.

Click the image above to view it as a larger size.

This city is a typical Epirian city like Pike's Basin on Zycanthus. When the Epirian Foundation starts to terraform a world, it needs a presence on that world. Settlers usually arrive before the atmosphere is fully supportive of life, and so in the early decades of terraforming, settlers live in giant habdomes the size of a small city. As the atmosphere settles, these domes are removed or at least no longer maintained. Being the point of influence for much of the planet, cities grow in and around the original settlements. Often, as shown in the image above, huge buildings spring up through the remains of the original terraforming habdome - something which is left as a reminder of mankind's dominance over the planet.

A handler and two scarecrows watch over the city, silhouetted in the foreground as life goes on, the Maelstrom a distant but ever present concern for its inhabitants.

Artwork Analysis - The Interstellar Hydrogen Harvester


Posted on Tuesday Aug 23, 2016 at 05:00PM in Artwork


In the Maelstrom's Edge universe, massive numbers of people are forced to flee ahead of the ever-expanding galactic explosion that is the Maelstrom. Evacuation fleets require large amounts of energy, both for travelling long distances through space and to support the many lives aboard each ship on those long journeys. Over time, fuel and other resources inevitably become scarce.

The scientists and engineers of humanity have had millennia to consider solutions to resource optimisation in space. One of the most prevalent is the Interstellar Hydrogen Harvester, or 'IHH'. This relatively small ship has a huge set of harvesting films affixed to the front of it, which allow it to grab every possible scrap of interstellar material that it can. This material is then redirected to a storage hub at the rear of the craft which is periodically emptied into the purpose built storage ships in the fleet.

Harvesting is dramatically more efficient in resource rich areas of the galaxy, such as nebulae. However, objects of large mass tend to attract the Maelstrom at a greater rate than open space, so diverting a fleet for more efficient resource collection is never a decision to be taken lightly.

A handful of IHH ships can massively extend the practical range and viable capacity of an evacuation fleet, and are therefore extremely valuable to all of mankind. Countless fleets have been destroyed in combat over the smallest rumour of IHH possession.