Legion of the Damned #3: Rogue Trader & 2nd Edition

We have another trio of my old Legion of the Damned models today.

The first of this trio, from WD 102 in June ’88 is from the RT103 Space Marine Heavy Weapons set, sculpted by (I believe) Mark Copplestone, as he and the other sculptor listed, Aly Morrison had distinctively different sculpting styles of marine helmet. This one was simply “Gunner 2” and he’s armed with an early model Lascannon, from the relaunch of Imperial Army as Imperial Guard, from a year or two later. Of course, with Index: Imperium 1 being designed entirely around “Models currently available for sale”, the Lascannon option is technically illegal, as LotD can only have Multi-Meltas and Heavy Flamers. I guess I’ll be prying apart my classic model that’s been painted for a deca.. I had you there, huh? Fuck no. I’ll just work out the points difference between the Melta or Flamer and a Lascannon and run it like that. I don’t play in tourneys or even PUGs in game stores, so I don’t have to worry about people being TFG.

Anyway, lots of bone on this guy and a complete lack of flames. A freehand skull on one shoulder, and a ribcage on the other, because why not?

The middle guy here is an official Legion of the Damned model from their first official model release in 3rd Edition, 1998/9. They’re from the days of metal models with plastic arms. The Legion are essentially the late-Rogue Trader (1.5) edition metal-bodied space marines with skully and firey bits sculpted on. I think I managed to purchase them all, yet this guy is the only one of them that I’ve actually painted. Once I get the Minotaurs and Dark Angels I’ve got on the go out of the way, I’ll try and rectify that.

I found this one to be a particularly nice model, I chose to paint it because I really liked the sculpted ribcage. No true freehand on this guy, either. The flames, crossbones and the shoulder pad’s detail are all sculpted.

The final model of this trio is a “Death Eagle” Space Marine, from 1989. These three were released with no real explanation of what a “Death Eagle” actually was. A new chapter? An armour variant? A unit type? What we can see is that Mark Copplestone’s trio are the forebears of MkVII Aquila Armour, predating even the 1990/91 exploration into Archival and Artificer armour variants by a couple of years. Anyway, this guy got inducted into the Legion and like several others had his backpack replaced later on with one from the ’98/99 set. All of his flames and most of his bone work are freehand – with the exception of the bone eagle on his left shoulder – which was the main reason he was chosen for the Legion – and again, I’m quite happy with the ribcage that he wears, this time on his left greave.

I do have a (un)healthy collection of Legion of the Damned models from the various releases through the years still sitting around in boxes, from 2nd Edition through to the newest ones – which admittedly aren’t especially new anymore unless you’re an old grognard like myself. Once I’ve finished rebasing and touching up my old/painted LotD models (there’s 3 more unfinished old-school models on my painting desk right now), the collection will give me another set of models I can paint a few more of from time to time for interest and enjoyment. Who knows, maybe at some point in 8th they’ll become an independent force again, as they briefly were in 3rd via a Chapter Approved supplement? But I guess that would only come alongside a new plastic kit, so less likely than a whole lot of other things…

16 thoughts on “Legion of the Damned #3: Rogue Trader & 2nd Edition

    • Thanks mate – once I’ve got a bunch of the others in the queue done, I’ll be dipping back into LotD properly. Luckily I’ve got a few of these guys in the current queue as well…

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  1. Pingback: Legion of the Damned #4: Sgt. Centurius and Legionnaire. | Azazel's Bitz Box.

  2. If someone would ask me to alter a painted model for the sake of WYSIWYG or asked me to buy another model I feel a new opponent is needed.

    The three guys are, as always, excellent. I am normally not that keen on the “Skullz” aesthetic, but here it works fine and is a coherent theming element. Per usual I was drawn to the basing and think it is very well realised: Skulls, cracked ground and some dry brushes really set the scene without overshadowing your miniatures.

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    • Agreed on a good way to vet opponents there 😀 . I try not to go too over the top with the whole GW “skulls” thing, though I enjoy a bit of knowing self-parody from time to time, I can’t go all the way with it across everything, even in jest – but LotD are one of those things that transcends it for me, as I first encountered them in the original WD99 article as the coolest thing ever, and so I retain that fondness for them. Which is why these guys pretty much have the unique distinction out of all my models of consistently having skulls all over their bases. It fits their background, and maybe the skulls appear when they do, and disappear when the Legion does? 😉

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        • Haha! I actually agree with you in terms of keeping it thematic vs overdoing it.
          The “are they real or are they spectral?” thing is how I justify the silly number of skulls on their bases as a group to myself when compared to no skulls on similarly-based models. I like to have a logical reason behind my painting and modelling choices, even if the logic (as in this case) pretty much boils down to “because magic“, which is pretty much the same as “a Wizard did it!“.

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        • I think the same way: What would be reasonable in a given fictional universe? A wizard may have elemental resist spells, but instead of being always half naked may go for a warm cloak instead etc.

          Hologram skulls are actually a cool idea. They are projected in battle to confuse and intimidate the enemy.

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        • Hm.. holo-skulls could be an interesting project. Especially if one could find skulls with really defined/un-cleaned-up 3-d printing layer artefacts for a real low-fi Star Wars effect…

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