Warhammer 40,000 captures the imagination with a backdrop rich with narrative possibilities. Little wonder then, that you’ll find everything from novels to video games to a surprising number of fan animations telling stories in the grim darkness of the 41st milennium.
Fan-made artwork and stories are a time honored tradition. If you like a thing, and like it long enough and hard enough there comes a point where you just want to express your enjoyment via a creation of your own. Most of the time this takes the form of fan-fiction and gets relegated to an archive of our own or something. Or it winds up on a deviantart or tumblr somewhere–but then there are fans who bring their fandom to life.
Or at least motion. There are some truly spectacular and ambitious fan animations out there, featuring a wide variety of both stories and sketchy justifications taken to avoid showing the human face. Here are five of our most recent favorites.
This is one of the best in the genre that I call “Space marines show up and everyone dies.” You can find a whole bunch out there that showcase Imperial worlds in trouble until everyone’s favorite beefy battle bois show up to kill the chaos/traitors/xenos and they do so with aplomb. In this case, some hapless guards are attacked by T’au until the Blood Angels show up to take care of business.
The Lord Inquisitor
This one is massively ambitious. The animation is gorgeous, though there are some slight issues when it comes to showing the whole body moving, and faces are hard to do in general–but with voicework and some pretty spectacular set pieces, the Lord Inquisitor is a prologue to a larger story that is, presumably somewhere out there in the aether.
Death of Hope
Speaking of gorgeous animation. Holy cow. This one is a beautiful, action-packed look at the Horus Heresy.
The Fortress Monastery
This may be some of the best and most 40K-evocative landscape work I’ve seen in any of these. Excellent voice work as well–the story of a fortress monastery, which is something different from what we’ve seen in a lot of these. I love how patient this one feels.
And of course there’s Helsreach, which is incredible. An animation set to the audiobook of the same name. If you haven’t seen it, you’re missing out.
And of course, don’t forget, Helsreach also syncs up with Take On Me.