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40K: Aesthetics of the Ad-Mech

3 Minute Read
Sep 3 2017

There’s a new Ad-Mech book coming, so let’s take a look at everyone’s favorite gross robotmen.

The Skitarii are soon to be released, and doubtless we’ll soon see what rules they’ll get, and wish that the models didn’t cost as much as they do, either in actual money, but especially points–because the Ad Mech is one of the coolest looking armies out there. So, let’s sit back, get a little weird and philosophical, and talk about what these cool looking robo-horrors represent. Strap in–and, I wanna know what you think, so let this article serve as a jumping off point.

They embody what lies at the heart of 40K. In order to face conflict and survive, you have to give up your humanity. That’s sort of the central precept of 40K, whether in the massive costs of lives in the Guard, or the literally monstrous, no longer human Space Marines. But nowhere is the cost of survival/”progress” more evident than in the mechanical bodies of the Mechanicus.

They’re obviously inhuman. You can see they retain a little of the shape, but, ultimately they’ve been changed beyond what we’d consider a person. They’re maybe coated in lethal levels of radiation, or have replaced parts of their face with machinery, which, in other sci-fi properties is an overt symbol that you’re a villain. Literally losing your humanity.

But then they also represent the fact that space is cool. Though they’re beset by this horrific theme of the price of advancement, there’s an optimism to their aesthetic. Their robots, in particular, look newly made. They’re emblematic of new discoveries, of that almost foolish optimism of the 50s going into the 60s. Which is why it’s fitting that they also have this retro sci-fi aesthetic. They are an homage to that Era through the lens of 40K’s lens.



In that futuristic vibe we even see a little of the “frontier.”

Their rangers, in particular, look like something out of a Moebius comic.

And his artwork was often apocalyptic–about finding humanity in the ruins of the world. Where the everyday is this harsh reality, but it makes humanity stand out all the more. Similarly, the Ad Mech make humanity stand out by its absence.

That does leave the question though, if the ad mech are lost humanity–who represents people finding it? Does that even have a place in 40k?


Author: J.R. Zambrano
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