PDA

View Full Version : Flamers



Sepharine
04-03-2008, 09:51
So both the Chaos Codex and 4th edition rulebook have a little section on flamers and those both say that they shoot chemicals (promethium) that ignite on contact with air. That being said, why the hell do flamers have pilot flames?

Both in fluff and on models these silly lighters are always ductaped onto the front of a flamer, surely, if the chemicals ignite when they hit air, theres little point to hold a small flame infront of them?

TheOverlord
04-03-2008, 10:04
For the sheer sake of making it look really cool?

GW's never been really good with keeping their models in line with their fluff.

Ikkaan
04-03-2008, 10:35
Saying that these chemicals ignite when exposed to air is similarly stupid as fragmenting bullets that explode when exposed to blood (so the target should explode when the bullet enters).

Ammunition is supposed to be stable and should not spontaneously explode when being exposed common stuff like water, air and dirt.

The pilot light on a flamer is the critical part that makes the difference from a promethium squirt gun to a flamer, without it the weapon is useless.

Burnthem
04-03-2008, 10:44
Ever considered that there may not be any air about? A pilot light would be needed for fighting in toxic environments/vacuum etc etc, where there would be no air to ignite the fuel.

The Judge
04-03-2008, 11:11
Promethium in a vacuum or a zero gravity situation would be awesome to see.

I really don't think the "ignites on contact with air" should be taken literally; I guess it's just one small part of the background I choose to gloss over.

Spartan
04-03-2008, 11:11
But surely a pilot light still needs oxygen as the triangle of fire states you need Heat, Fuel and Oxygen for fire.

Rirekon
04-03-2008, 11:13
Saying that these chemicals ignite when exposed to air is similarly stupid as fragmenting bullets that explode when exposed to blood (so the target should explode when the bullet enters).
Why would you not want bullets to explode when they enter someone's body? It will do much more internal damage than a normal bullet making it much more likely to stop the target.


Ammunition is supposed to be stable and should not spontaneously explode when being exposed common stuff like water, air and dirt.
Unless that happens to be the point of course... White Phosphorus being a prime example.


The pilot light on a flamer is the critical part that makes the difference from a promethium squirt gun to a flamer, without it the weapon is useless.
Except that, as quoted previously, Promethium burns on contact with oxygen so under normal conditions the pilot light is useless. However as someone else mentioned it would be used in situations where there is little, or no, oxygen present.


But surely a pilot light still needs oxygen as the triangle of fire states you need Heat, Fuel and Oxygen for fire.
You provide the oxygen mixed in with the fuel used for the pilot light, or you could just use a hot filament as you don't actually need a flame to make something burn just heat.

redyellowpinkgreen
04-03-2008, 11:24
hope this isn't too off topic but bolter shells are made of depleted dueterium, dueterium being heavy hydrogen and depleted is the opposite of heavy, so space marines shoot wisps of S4 hydrogen.

Spartan
04-03-2008, 11:24
For the pilot light to work as I stated you would need oxygen so it would need its own oxygen and fuel supply much like underwater welding so what would be the point of it being a flame if it has to have an oxygen supply, why not use the oxygen supply to ignite the promethium, a pilot light made of just oxygen if you like, this would account for the nozzle on the models but not the flames in the pics.

Ikkaan
04-03-2008, 11:48
Why would you not want bullets to explode when they enter someone's body? It will do much more internal damage than a normal bullet making it much more likely to stop the target.

Fuses that ignite a HE Payload are completely different technology. Ammunition that blows up on contact with liquids is just nice to kill the trooper carrying it. You have to take varying environment factors into account, like rain, swamps, swimming in general, damp storage.


Except that, as quoted previously, Promethium burns on contact with oxygen so under normal conditions the pilot light is useless. However as someone else mentioned it would be used in situations where there is little, or no, oxygen present.

Please...would someone say where this fluff is originating from? Promethium could not be extracted from the ground without causing large fires, could not be refined without airtight refineries (royal pain) and could not be used as fuel in vehicles without airtight engines and fuel tanks. A lot of IG Vehicles run on Promethium, so we can safely say that it is something akin to gas or maybe better.

Storing something that has the same energy value as high octance gas but combusts on air contact....well, if it really was like that everyone would skip that dangerous promethium stuff and use regular oil refineries to get access to nonvolatile fuel.

Tommygun
04-03-2008, 11:57
hope this isn't too off topic but bolter shells are made of depleted dueterium, dueterium being heavy hydrogen and depleted is the opposite of heavy, so space marines shoot wisps of S4 hydrogen.

Dueterium is heavy water, so space marines are shooting big squirt guns?:p

By the way, when I saw the topic was Flamers, I thought this thread was about angry posters.

Sepharine
04-03-2008, 15:46
Please...would someone say where this Fluff is originating from?

Well I said it in the first post, 4th ed rule book and newest codex CSM, pages are respectively 35 and 83. As the rulebook suggests, promethium is not 1 substance, its a combination of multiple chemicals. Meaning that they probably mine the individual chemicals.

heretics bane
04-03-2008, 16:48
But surely a pilot light still needs oxygen as the triangle of fire states you need Heat, Fuel and Oxygen for fire.

Welcome to 40k fluff, similarly bolters wouldnt work in vaccums as well.

It was just the guys at GW who watch to many films about how flame carrying troops back packs explode if thy got shot,but in real life just wouldnt happen.

Malforus
04-03-2008, 16:59
The only issue is that though flame thrower men when shot didn't explode. The contents which were pressurized sprayed everywhere until they found an igniter, mind you a lit cigarette could trip it off or something as simple as an electronic device (sorry to break it to you folks but most devices have arcing in there somewhere, specially ruggidized equipment). Meaning it usually didn't take long for that gush of fuel (liquid or gaseous) to find a reason to ignite.

Lots of people died using flamethrowers for just that reason, also we must remember there is a certain amount of flourish in our literature. Science fiction is fun cause its whimsical and not grounded in reality (elves in space, dwarves in space, bugs in space, robots in your factory waiting for you, and the list goes on) If it gives an impactful image go for it, but lets forgive them for their vernacular and scientific debasement. They are after all writers and buissinessmen, not scientists.

Writers make science interesting, cause its not naturally interesting unless there is already interest, writers have the ability to grab you.

...just makes sure that when they do its appropriate.

TheSonOfAbbadon
04-03-2008, 17:24
Perhaps the idea that it ignites on contact with the air means that it reacts with the air to create fire?

As for the pilot light, well, suffice to say some chemical reactions don't take place at low temperatures, the light would provide the energy needed for the reaction to take place.


hope this isn't too off topic but bolter shells are made of depleted dueterium, dueterium being heavy hydrogen and depleted is the opposite of heavy, so space marines shoot wisps of S4 hydrogen.

They're not made of depleted deuterium, they CONTAIN depleted deuterium.

How do you deplete deuterium anyway?

Ivan Stupidor
04-03-2008, 19:46
hope this isn't too off topic but bolter shells are made of depleted dueterium, dueterium being heavy hydrogen and depleted is the opposite of heavy, so space marines shoot wisps of S4 hydrogen.

I'm more concerned about the physics behind flamers spewing promethium (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Promethium). How do they heat it up enough to get it into a liquid state?

Alternatively, "promethium" and "deuterium" in 40k are not actually the elements, but rather some other compounds that share the same name.

Epicenter
04-03-2008, 21:46
Promethium is basically a generic term in 40k to describe petrochemicals. Aircraft and vehicles are fueled by promethium, it's shot out of flamers and so on. Everything else is just 40k writers trying to sound cool.

I'm convinced depleted deutrium cores are one of those things that guys at GW still groan about and wish had never made it into print. Andy Hoare or whomever is probably like, "Okay, this never makes it into print again."

Ivan Stupidor
04-03-2008, 22:30
Promethium is basically a generic term in 40k to describe petrochemicals. Aircraft and vehicles are fueled by promethium, it's shot out of flamers and so on. Everything else is just 40k writers trying to sound cool.


That's pretty much my point. Promethium is obviously (from context) not elemental promethium, and everyone accepts this. So why does everyone get hung up on deuterium, which is just as clearly not the hydrogen isotope?

icegreentea
04-03-2008, 22:50
That's pretty much my point. Promethium is obviously (from context) not elemental promethium, and everyone accepts this. So why does everyone get hung up on deuterium, which is just as clearly not the hydrogen isotope?

I think its the 'depleted' part. "Depleted" materials refer to ones that have had a certain isotope 'depleted' (thats what depleted uranium is. uranium that has the 235 isotope removed in order to create enriched uranium). Since plain hydrogen is the common isotope, the valuble part (that part that would be depleted in any case) would be the deuterium. Thus why depleted dueterium makes no sense.

And this is just ignoring the silliness of using hydrogen (in any form) as an explosive in a bullet.

Rirekon
05-03-2008, 08:55
Points of note;
1. Hydrogen burns, quickly. An explosion is something burning really really fast, you can make baking flour explode, causing a localised increase in pressure.
2. "Explosive" bullets don't necessarily explode in a "BOOM" kind of way, they just need to burst open so the shrapnel - travelling at stupid speeds - rips through the target.

icegreentea
05-03-2008, 21:47
Points of note;
1. Hydrogen burns, quickly. An explosion is something burning really really fast, you can make baking flour explode, causing a localised increase in pressure.
2. "Explosive" bullets don't necessarily explode in a "BOOM" kind of way, they just need to burst open so the shrapnel - travelling at stupid speeds - rips through the target.

Absolutely true. The problem with using hydrogen has an explosive, is that it needs a separate oxidizer. In order to ensure that bolter rounds have a usable self life, that means the oxidizer and hydrogen must be kept apart until right before detonation, and then mixed to ensure something close to optimal burn. I imagine that the mechanism needed to make that happen would be more complex than a simple time delayed fuse from a collapsing nose cone, and that the potential energetic gains is more than outweighed by the increase in difficulty in large scale manufacturing.

This IS the Imperium we're talking about. Common tech isn't best tech. Even amongst Space Marines.

Back to flamers. Does any one recall if there's any fluff saying that hand flamers through out burning liquid (stuff that can stick to stuff, bounce around corners and what not), or if it's just a nice giant plume of fire?

freelancer
05-03-2008, 22:09
What if the pilot light is now redundent?
We all know the Admecs adherience to continuance of the STC's and the belief that changing them is an affront to omni-god, but what if flamers used to use a diffrent chemical that required a pilot light to ignite. But with the discovery of promethium and how more effective it is at adhearing to surfaces and generally burning really hot.
But with the Admecs backward approach to technology and their belief in omni-god that removing the pilot light would be an affront to omni.
Besides lighting your cigarette (or lho-stick) on the pilot light makes you look badass. Plus its an exelent source of light for tunnel fighting.

freelancer

Almost Fearless
05-03-2008, 22:36
Plus its an exelent source of light for tunnel fighting.

Not too convinced about that - ever tried to use a candle to light anything? They're rubbish.

Maybe the pilot thing isn't actually a flame, it just sprays a jet of oxygen to help the promethium ignite (particularly where the atmosphere isn't entirely Earth-like)? That might even result in a little flame on the end of it if some of the seals aren't perfect, but it doesn't actually "light" the fuel as such. Just a thought.

Burnthem
06-03-2008, 06:45
Besides lighting your cigarette (or lho-stick) on the pilot light makes you look badass.

Freelancer wins the thread!! :D

Wraith
06-03-2008, 08:21
So both the Chaos Codex and 4th edition rulebook have a little section on flamers and those both say that they shoot chemicals (promethium) that ignite on contact with air. That being said, why the hell do flamers have pilot flames?

Both in fluff and on models these silly lighters are always ductaped onto the front of a flamer, surely, if the chemicals ignite when they hit air, theres little point to hold a small flame infront of them?

Because flamers as STC designs are capable of using all sorts of different fuel.