Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

This Warhammer 40,000 Animated Short Series Is Unbelievably Gorgeous

Not only is this fan-made short series really well edited and put together, it’s got an art style quite unlike anything you’ve seen before from the grim dark future of Warhammer 40,000's setting.


Animated by Richard Boylan, Helsreach is a multi-part adaptation of Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s 2010 novel of the same name, which follows the exploits of the Black Templar chapter of Space Marines as they race to defend the Imperial planet of Armageddon (cheery name for a planet, that) from an impending Ork invasion.

For extra authenticity, Boylan’s series uses narration from the book’s audiobook release to tell the story, but what really sells it is the visual style he uses for the whole piece. It makes it look like artwork ripped out of the pages of an old Warhammer rulebook as much as it does an animated series, and gives the whole thing a stark aesthetic that almost makes it look like old film reel footage of a war—even if it’s one between huge, power-armored enhanced humans and giant green orcs with guns the size of their meaty torsos.

There’s a part 4 on the way soon, and after seeing these, we can’t wait for more.


[Aaron Dembski-Bowden, H/T Alan Vermeer]

James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!

Share This Story

Get our newsletter



Absolutely tremendous. Richard Boylan amazing work!

GW, you have an amazing opportunity here, give this man some money, a story to work with and unleash him.

I remember reading Helsreach back in college, what was great about that book was how little time it took before storming straight into the action of the siege. Aaron Dembski-Bowden is a fantastic writer and is coming to rival Abnett or McNeil with his work.