Mars is dying...

Mars is dying...

Not through fault or neglect or wicked reason, not even because of the Gods; though some would say this is so. Mars is dying because it is old.

For time beyond count, our world has floated with the orb of the sun god, basking in the everwarmth that it provides, the Martian brothers sailing around giving constant company.

The Ancients warned the death of Mars might be so. Long, long ago; before the Storm. It is said the Storm lasted for an age or more: I for one, do not believe this to be true even though the clan elders warn me against foolish words.

There are still some Ancient writings in the deep deserts for those who wish to learn and are willing to brave sandstorms and the creatures that live there. Most of our knowledge from before the Storm comes from stories told around the clan fires, told again and again, embellished ever so lightly with each clan teller so who knows what is true and what is not.

With each storm season, the Ancient houses and temples disappear and reappear so fast that is easy to loose them completely, Gods know how large their cites were or what final secrets they contain. Three whole clans have been lost searching for the chief city with no sign or call from them these long years past.

But now we have new troubles and concerns. The Earthers have come to Mars: to steal and pillage what they can and to take it away to their blue world. Curse them to the Gods! They have no right, no honour and no need to be here. Like parasites they come here destroying whatever they touch and leaving mayhem in their wake.

They must be sent back across the sky ocean to their blue world.

They must be stopped.

It must happen now!

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

City Martian farmstead

City Martian farmsteads.

As mention previously, the city Martians have adapted well to the conditions of the red planet using underground aquifers to supply the subterranean irrigation network.

The farms usually consist of one or two family buildings that extend underground and allow limited access to the irrigation system and also help protect the occupants during fierce storms. There are also the crop fields that are protected by screens against the harsh Martian winds. Fortunately, these winds always seem to blow in the same general direction so the screens can be permanent structures.

The main crop is a hardy leaf covered 'vegetable' which looks like bark but once prepared for food it softens and becomes quite palatable. This crop is also bi annual and can be dry-stored for several months. This is useful as if a particular heavy storm season comes then a single yield can be wiped out.

There are also pens and corals for the beasts of burden (more of which later). Simple stakes from the Ous'kaah tree, a thin, straight plant from some of the smaller canyons that have a water supply. This wood isn't the strongest but the beasts are generally docile and easily led.

For the model a vertical card core was made and the angles worked out for the sloping sides. The tube is plastic with a hemisphere on the top and all the corners were blended with fine surface filler. The whole dwelling was coated in textured masonry paint and left to dry. The enclosure to the side was simply made using wooden skewers that were drilled into position with random spacings, there were then painted with a light wood colour and drybrushed.

The building was given a heavy drybrush of white with some pastel shading in the corners and the base was coated with sand, inked and then drybrushed to match the rest f the terrain. The awnings were the last addition and used skewers again with industrial hand towel for the material. The was given several washes of brown ink and drybrushed with a generic tan. 

The coral used the same skewer method and small bits of cork were added to give some height and interest. The awning was constructed in exactly the same way as the house.

The field used raised beds cut from 2mm card blended with filler and little holes were drilled to locate the plants. The plants themselves I've had for a long time and I don't actually know whence they came or what they are but at least I have found a use for them. Again, the awning utilised the same construction as before along with the base itself and there is enough room between the rows to allow figures to move freely.

Thank you for reading :-)