The Scythes website : Retrospective

Scythe Scouts in close quarter fight, Space Hulk Expansion.

Quite a time, thirteen years. (1998 – 2011). From HTML text based websites with tiny, pixellated images to high-resolution layouts and WordPress trickery. The Scythes website has changed quite a bit. The latest incarnation now online, I thought some of my long time visitors and those new to the Scythes should have a chance to see The-Scythes.com from the very beginning. So, what started it all? Images in the Advanced Space Crusade. Desperate boarding actions against the implacable and merciless Hivemind.

The lone Scythes of The Emperor Chapter taking it to these monsters from deep space, fated to be near destroyed. Evocative stuff for a teenager. I was sealed on what I was wanting to do Marines wise for sure now, so I set out to paint up the Scythes and from there settle the score with these homeworld munching, xeno scum; the Tyranids.

thescythes_web_1999

I hosted on Geo-Cities for about a year (1998-1999). Now back in the early years of websites, we didn’t have Myspace, Facebook, Twitter and a myriad other networking sites, we had “Webrings” and “Networks”, each with their own graphics that you added to your site with some setup HTML and boom, you were part of a click and browse phenomena. I signed up to the 40k Webring and GW Gateway.

web_ring

Armed with one of the new Canon digital cameras coming out before 2000; I took photos of my paintwork, conversions and battles. This delighted visitors and I kept up a steady stream of imagery with each update. I soon edited the images with gunfire and explosions, using MS Paint (I know, shudder).

In late 1999 my friends amongst The Taken (Of Apocrypha 40k/Astronomi-Con fame – Christopher Allen, Christian Augst, Mike Major, Darryl Trainor, Nick Itsou, Erick Kilmer, Geoff Kemp, Mike Shwtizgebel, Jimmy Murphy too name a few) gifted me www.the-scythes.com as a birthday present. Not waiting about, I burst onto the internet proper. Naturally I updated the look and feel of the website. Additionally, Nick Itsou sent me a packet full of Scythe decals, created from my own artwork and produced on an industrial decal printer. I still use these decal sheets today.

thescythes_web_2001

Around 2001 I received an email from Games Workshop wishing to have me aboard as the one of the first twenty websites to be listed as a Warpgate member site. Pretty darned cool, my small Space Marine Chapter page was right up there with the best webzines and warhammer sites on the internet. The Scythes had certainly reached a long way. Below is the Warpgate members badge GW sent me. In essence it was their own “Webring”.

Warpgate badge

 

I was distracted for a time by studies and moving between Brisbane and Melbourne Australia, but by my return in Brisbane in 2004 I was itching to try out some Flash based designs and decided to experiment on The-Scythes.com with a fully animated and rendered flash site. It was fun but woeful to update. It only really lasted about a year before I canned the design and coded a new one. Looked great though, animated maps, world images etc. View the interface shell in action :

2004 Scythes Site (Opens in New Window)

thescythes_web_2004

thescythes_web_2006tauWhilst quite nifty, I settled for a more horizontal website, which was to set the trend for my future layouts from this point on. Also, by 2005 my Tau collection was gaining notoriety (I had picked some Tau up for the Scythes to pose with due to their shared history) and shortly after was featured in the White Dwarf Australia, US and Canadian versions over 2006.

I would have to say this did take the light off the Scythes for some time. The very next site was no sooner up, then the intro page for the Scythes shared the limelight with my Tau collection, promoting Shas’El Tael and his newly amassed cadre. The Scythes site style was incorporated into my tau site Eastern-Empire.com shortly after. For a while, the Scythes languished in pastel greys and horizontal white.

thescythes_web_2006

 

Late in 2008 I began painting some non-tau models, converting some Truescale marines and eventually began working on Stavus and Ardan for the revisited Tenax story line. At the same time, Andrew Taylor had been revisiting his Scythes force after a similar hiatus. His fiction and background had dominated the internet as canon history for the Scythes and when I returned to rebuild and get word out the Scythes were back, there was an actual community of Scythe players now! Shortly after I discovered Andrew’s work and within a few emails we began collaborating on the Factual History PDF.

thescythes_web_2009

 

Black was back, yellow text and even a nod to my Third edition Imperial Eagle motif, recreated in lineart; a minimalist site. The Scythes : Redux indeed.  I also began hosting Andrew’s models, producing a dedicated page for both the Tenax and the Heart of Sotha storylines behind our modelling endeavours. The site also served as the repository for The Scythes : A Factual History. The PDF proved very popular and Andrew’s research was near flawless. Combined with my graphic design know-wots (told you, this hobby thing led me there) the document ended up in the hands of Richard Williams, the author of “Orphans of the Kraken”, the first piece of GW fiction based completely on the Scythes of the Emperor. I even got a cameo as Master Sebastion, advising on anti-Tyrannic techniques! Even Andrew’s ‘Heart of Sotha’ Battlebarge was put into the story, talk about result!

And now.. here we are. WordPress based format for advanced blogging. Andrew has his dedicated section and the two of us are modelling away and posting our creativity on www.the-scythes.com, thirteen years since I began. Completely brilliant. Suffice to say, there is more yet to come and I’m sure I’ll be adding to this site history in future. For now enjoy some extra antiquities I’ve found in my archives :

Several Banner Designs I have used in each iteration. I think the 3rd Edition era banner is slightly obvious.

Scythes Link Gif 1999 Updated Scythes link to site gif

 


Animated Gif I created to promote the Scythes website back in the late 90′s, then second is 2001.

scythes_banner_new

Dawn of War banner, many a digital Ork has died trying to remove it.

Throughout all these various websites I have continually received emails about what people thought of the website. Its been great and really kept me going for all these years. Thank you for reading the background to the Scythes websites, look around and enjoy the largest amount of articles I have ever shown on the website before.

your fellow Sothan,
Sebastian Stuart
‘Shas’El’Tael – Advanced Tau Tactica, WargamerAu, Dakka & Warseer.

 

 

About Sebastian

Site owner and creator, Sebastian has been updating and maintaining the Scythes of the Emperor webpage since 1997.