Saturday, 15 June 2019

Brain leaf tree

I recently finished painting this brain leaf tree & its victims, for games of Necromunda / 'Inquisimunda'.  I modeled the brain leaf tree using florist wire to create an armature on the base, with trailing wires positioned for the branch-tendrils.  As the rules state a 6" reach for brain leaf attacks, I based the dimensions on that.  Next I layered papier-mâché for the surface of the trunk.  Then I used Green Stuff putty to bulk-out the tendrils, texturing them to suggest 'bark' (or perhaps something flesh-like) with a craft knife.  Leaves clipped from a plastic aquarium plant were used for the brain leaves at the tip of each tendril - & for those embedded by the tree into its victims (an unfortunate House Orlock ganger & a scavvy mutant).

The brain leaf is a plant with a surprising instinctual intelligence & ability to transform the victims in which it embeds its leaves into slaves of its influence.  It is believed that the brain leaf plant may be native to the jungle death world of Catachan, & was transported to the hive world of Necromunda at some point in the distant past.  The brain leaf plants of Necromunda are described as having vine-like tendrils, with greyish colouring that allows them to blend with the chaotic industrial ruins of the Underhive.

Unwary creatures which approach within the reach of brain leaf tree tendrils risk being implanted with one of its leaves.  Each leaf is macro-cell which uses intrusive nerve fibres to seize control of a victim's nervous system, turning them into mindless slaves to the parent plant.  Often a brain tree will simply use such victims as fertiliser; but they may also be employed in other ways - redirecting water run-off to benefit the parent plant, or defending the plant against interlopers.  Sending hosts off & allowing their brain leaf to grow into a new plant may be how the brain leaf propagates.  It is not known how the brain leaf plant exerts its controlling effect through detached leaves - it could be bio-chemical, or perhaps a low-level psychic influence.  This could warrant investigation by the Magos Biologis of the Mechanicus, or even the Ordo Xenos of the Inquisition...

I wanted to create a bit of narrative for these miniatures, so I modeled the tree with a partial corpse at its base, with its skull cracked open - my reasoning is that this was the host of the brain leaf that became the fully-grown plant.  I may add more bones & skulls around it to justify how big it has grown since...

To root these miniatures firmly in the Underhive of Hive Primus, I made a House Orlock ganger from the Cadian sprues, & a scavvy from Warhammer zombie parts.  The scavvy also has a holstered pistol from the Chaos Marine sprue, & a Genestealer hand for a mutated claw.  The same leaves snipped from plastic aquarium plants were used for the brain leaves stuck in their heads.


  1. Cool, I like the leaves embedded on the mind controlled victims, that's a neat touch.

    This reminds me that I never posted pics of my brainleaf tree on my blog!

    1. Thanks, Dr Mathias. I'd love to see your own take on a brain leaf tree!

  2. Cracking work on all the 40k flora!

    1. Cheers, it's been fun, & there are still quite a few critters in the bestiary for me to try modelling yet.