Here it is – Vengeance Incarnate.

This diorama was my entry, as well as the first place winner, in the recent GBPC 2018 contest. Taking place during Warsaw Comic Con, it was the first Gunpla contest ever held in Poland.

Build Talk

Originally I planned to enter something else entirely – MG Buster, which I’ve been itching to build for a while now. At the time of announcement, I was still working on my GT-S though. With less than two months to complete my entry, I had to scrap the idea. I just didn’t feel capable of completing a full, contest-worthy project in such a short amount of time.

Enter plan B.

My second idea was to build a new diorama for Barbatos. Original one – basically some rocks and a cloud of dust – wasn’t cutting it. I wanted to bring it up a notch and build better, more convincing desert terrain, with a single destroyed Graze half-buried in the sand. Later on I added some more details, like the cockpit, a pilot figure and an eye hanging out from Graze’s head. Originally an afterthought, these little things really brought the scene together. Most visitors at the event seemed to really enjoy these small details as well. 

Overall, I’m very happy with how it turned out. I also had a great time at the event, meeting and hanging out with other Gunpla fans. 

I’d like to congratulate the other contestants – great builds all around. Hopefully we can keep raising our game and compete again in the future!

Vengeance Incarnate – Gallery

Not many pics this time around. Sadly, my current setup is not enough to shoot pieces this big.
For more photos, check out the Barbatos photoshoot.

Vengeance Incarnate

Writing some back story was a big point on my to-do list when I worked on Barbatos. Figured I might as well continue it here. Before reading it though, I highly suggest you check out the Project Nemesis section on the original post.

– Sand, rocks, more sand… Oh look, some dried grass, amazing! – Nines’ voice came through the speakers. He didn’t even try hide the sarcasm this time.
Lieutenant Carson understood his frustration. His five-man team was ordered to search for some rogue mobile suit prototype across five sectors of martian wasteland. Combing the desert for a single unit, what a dumb idea. Not to mention they were piloting a bunch of outdated Grazes. Three days in and air conditioning was already malfunctioning.But orders are orders.– Suck it up, Nines! – He said. – We have one sector left, then it’s back to base. Showers and AC in the barracks. Probably couple days of leave too.
– But I don’t like sand! – This time he made an effort to sound extra whiny. – It’s coarse and rough and irritating… And it gets everywhere!
– Ask for a transfer to some industrial colony when we get back. Now shut the hell up!
– So, lieutenant, what’s up with that prototype anyway? – Ortega chimed in. – Did someone steal it or something?
Carson stayed quiet for a while. This is what bothered him the most about the whole mission. Officer briefing mentioned something about AI, but all the details were classified. They had to bump his security clearance just to tell him this much. Not surprising, considering all AI research was banned for over three hundred years.
– Above our pay grade, soldier. – He said finally. – We’re running out of sunlight, prep the night vision. We’ll stop for the night in a couple hours.- He added.

Their radars went crazy right after midnight.
– Ahab wave detected! – Ortega screamed over the comms.
– ID it! Location? – Barked lieutenant Carson.
– Unknown! Reactor output is too high, it’s messing with the systems. It’s like there’s a battleship right on top of… – Rest of his message drowned in a sudden noise. Unmistakable roar of thrusters, followed by metal clashing on metal.Mobile suits, hit by a shockwave, had to take a few uneasy steps before autobalancers kicked in. Following cloud of dust reduced visibility to zero.– What the… – Carson stuttered. – All units, report!
– Ortega, reporting! Whatever it was, it broke mach one!
– Nines here. I think my ears are bleeding.
– Not now, Nines! – Lieutenant cut in. – Barret, Harris, report! – He repeated.There was no answer.As the dust cleared out, they saw them. Two mobile suits, laying on the ground. Both cut cleanly in half, right through the cockpit.

– Holy shit. He just ghosted two guys and we never even saw him.
– Nines for fu… – Carson started, but gave up with a slight sigh. – Ortega, get base on the line! Enemy contact, men down.
– No dice, LT. Ahab particles are jamming long-range comms!
– Of course they are. Goddamn it! – He paused for a while. – Alright, stim up! – He said, pulling out his medical kit. – We’re retreating from the sector, it’s gonna be a long night.

They marched through the night, avoiding using thrusters, saving the fuel in case of combat. And yet, despite radar constantly indicating enemy presence, they were never attacked. Still, they couldn’t relax and hours of staying at high alert started taking their toll. Few hours after dawn, climbing up a small hill, they finally noticed something – a reflection. 

Sunlight reflecting off a mobile suit.

It stood motionless, right in their way. Easily two heads taller than their own units, with a giant sword, bigger still, held casually over its right shoulder.

– LT, this silhouette… Impossible… – Started Nines. – Isn’t that…
– It is. Gundam Barbatos. Looks different, but it has to be. – Replied Carson, grinding his teeth. – White Devil of Tekkadan.
– Is this what we were chasing? – Asked Ortega. – No wonder the whole mission was classif… – Before he could finish the sentence, Gundam’s eyes flashed red and it charged straight at them.
– Flanking formation! Nines, left! Ortega, cover him! – Interrupted Carson.

Both Grazes jumped in front of command unit. Nines charged in for a melee clash, while the other soldier banked right, unleashing bursts from his heavy rifle. Right as the Nines raised his sword to strike, the Gundam suddenly stopped, enveloped by a cloud of dust. He felt the tremor, as the white mobile suit slammed its own sword into the ground, using it like a shield. The instant the attack bounced off, it swung around the giant weapon, delivering a powerful kick, which knocked Graze down. Continuing the assault, Barbatos reversed its grip on the sword, bringing it over its head and down onto the smaller suit. The blow nearly split Nines’ unit in half, crushing armor like paper and hammering it into the ground. The clash lasted less than three seconds.

Ortega lost his target in the commotion. While the final strike cleared the dust cloud, he barely had time to register Nines’ demise. The Gundam turned around almost instantly and charged straight at him, dragging its weapon and, for a while, the destroyed Graze, behind it. Screaming over the comms, he switched his rifle to full auto and pulled the trigger. And yet, Barbatos didn’t even slow down. Suit’s left arm became a blur, its small shield moving with blinding speed to meet incoming fire. As if the pilot could predict the trajectory of hypersonic bullets. 

– No human can do this! – Thought Ortega, as White Devil closed the distance separating them. Suddenly, Gundam stepped to the side, just as another Graze – Carson’s unit – dashed by. 
Trying to use this moment to his advantage, Ortega brought up the rifle to enemy’s chest. Before he could pull the trigger though, Barbatos knocked it to the side with his shield. He felt a vibration going throughout his suit, as its right arm stopped responding. He noticed it on the ground, sliced off at the shoulder. White suit’s shield was now sporting additional sword. It must have flipped open like a switchblade, disarming the machine with the same motion that knocked his rifle away. Before he could react, the Gundam used it to unleash a flurry of quick cuts.

By the time Carson could bring his mech around, Ortega’s unit crumbled to the ground in pieces.
He swung wildly with his axe, forcing the enemy to slowly back off. Barbatos, still holding a giant sword over his right shoulder, suddenly brought it down, wedging it behind the blade of Carson’s axe mid-swing. As they clashed, the momentum knocked the weapon out of Graze’s hand. White suit instantly grabbed the outstretched arm, while folding the blade on its shield with a loud clank. Simultaneously, it slammed the flat of its sword against the smaller unit. Metallic noise filled the air, as the material gave in and Graze’s right arm was ripped from its body. 

Carson, seemingly unfazed, continued his assault, trying to punch the enemy with his unit’s remaining arm. The Gundam took a couple hits, before diving down towards the ground. Instantly, the switchblade sprang open once again. Vibrating blade went through Graze’s leg like it was butter, slicing the foot clean off. Immediately, the suit sprang up once again, using its right shoulder to tackle Carson’s unit. Smaller mech lost its balance and fell down. 

Air escaped lieutenants lungs, as his suit hit the ground. Breathless, he reached for hatch release, but there was no response. He felt a sharp pain in his shoulder and noticed blood running down his pilot suit. His Graze shook once, then again. And again. He could feel it being hammered into the ground. Then the monitors went off. He reached for a photo of his wife and daughter, taped by the main console.
– Pilot or not, this thing really is the Devil. – He muttered with a hint of laughter. Suddenly, a sharp light flooded him. – Guess I’m dead. Doesn’t feel so ba… – He stopped, noticing the Gundam standing over him. The armor plating was shattered, opening more than enough to squeeze through. 

Trying to ignore the pain, he pulled himself out of the cockpit and made his way down the shoulder armor. The suit shook again, as the white machine stomped Graze into the ground once again. Carson landed face down on the sand. It was nearly black from spilled oil and hydraulic fluid. He started crawling away, then rose to his feet and kept walking, limping.

As he looked back, he saw burning red eyes staring right at him.

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