Legion of the Damned #5: Rogue Trader-Era RT01 (Aly Morrison, 1988)

Legion of the Damned Rogue Trader-Era RT01 (Aly Morrison, 1988) Oldhammer

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve posted (or painted) any more Legion of the Damned models, but today we have a pair of them – finished as part of Mechanismo May (after missing the end of Armoured April). The biggest reason my Legion of the Damned has petered out so much is because I tend to have a few models from my various projects on the go at any given time, and I like to finish the WIP ones before allowing myself to start more. That way, starting the new models are a “reward” of sorts for completing the previous batch. It takes awhile, but it does work out a lot better than my previous method of just starting new models all of the time, that appears to have just given me a thousand or so neglected models to wade through.

Legion of the Damned Rogue Trader-Era RT01 (Aly Morrison, 1988) Oldhammer

So why, dear reader, did it take me so long to get through this pair? Well, the answer is that I don’t actually like either of these models very much. As much as I like the character of the old Beakies from the Rogue Trader days, my personal aesthetics go with Mark Copplestone and Bob Naismith’s renditions, and the Aly Morrison ones – with their short, blunt helmets and extra-hunched poses are a distant followup. So with that, they can be a real chore to paint, and so this pair has taken me well over a year to get done. I can’t even remember when I began on them, quite frankly.

This pair were chosen for the Legion because of their sculpted details. The skull-shoulder studs and knee-skulls on the first “Brother Morris”, and the big-ass shoulder-skull on the second. Also, being Aly Morrison sculpts, I can “hide” the soft details on their helms to an extent by freehanding skulls on them.

Legion of the Damned Rogue Trader-Era RT01 (Aly Morrison, 1988) Oldhammer

In the end, these models have come up decently, and I am now happy enough with them to incorporate them in with the rest of my Legion. It’s that thing I’ve encountered a fair bit where through the painting process, I really quite dislike the model(s) I’m working on, but once completed, I’m pleased enough with the final result that I no longer resent the models, and can even quite like them in their final form. With a Multi-Melta and Plasma Gun between them, I have the Special and Heavy weapons for a squad here, so I’ll have to check my existing painted models and work out a Sergeant and 7 Legionaries to go with them to fill out another game-friendly squad.

24 thoughts on “Legion of the Damned #5: Rogue Trader-Era RT01 (Aly Morrison, 1988)

  1. Lovely stuff mate – you made these old duffers look great, and that is some cracking freehand dude!
    I feel your pain with respect to forcing your way through painting a goofy sculpt… it ain’t easy, but as you point out, it’s usually worth it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Alex. Next up for them will be some more modern sculpts. Probably some of the later, “official” sculpts with the sculpted details on them. We’ll see if they’re anywhere near as fun to do as the freehand models.

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  2. Damn, that is some impressive freehand! I never had enough of these to learn the differences between the various sculptors, but yeah, these are underwhelming sculpts for sure.

    And don’t forget that Hand Flamer! Perfect for when the Plasmagun is Recharging 😉

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    • Thanks Alexis! Back in the day I never really took *that* much notice of who all of the sculptors were, but I knew that I wasn’t much of a fan of the “soft” sculpts, while I did like the sharper ones a lot more. Ahhhh Hand Flamers… so uselessly shot-ranged…

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  3. Heh, this was timely in a way, as Aly Morrison was the guest in last week’s Stormcast. The sculpts are pretty awkward, but the paint job is great, as usual. As others have said, brilliant work on the freehand.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks mate – I’ll have to give those a listen one day. I did try the first(?) one with Jervis, but I can’t remember if I listened to the whole thing or not. Not that it was terrible, but I sorta forgot to get back to them.

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  4. The helmets are a bit odd but I love a good Chaos Space Marine and you did a fantastic job on these two. The flames in particular really stand out as being well-done and eye-catching. The basing looks top-notch as well!

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    • Yeah that is one of the reasons I decided to make both of them into Legionnaires. By having the helmets painted black and freehanding skulls on to them it somewhat hides the wonky sculpts underneath. The fact that they have a bunch of other skills across both models also help to make the decision an easy one.
      Thanks for the note on bases as well. I wanted them to look desolate and while I don’t usually subscribe to the over abundance of skulls on everything that GW does it felt like a few skulls on the bases of Legion of the Damned fit them pretty well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The choice to freehand was a great one. I’ve been itching to tackle some models with a lot of freehanding and this conversation isn’t helping haha. Chaos Space Marines always look good with skulls as well. The bases look very realistic to my eyes which is not as easy to do with a desert base as many people think. I’ve dabbled into crackle paint but never mastered it for bases so I think the bases are certainly something to be proud of 🙂

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      • Thanks mate – the cracked desert base technique I use is heavily based on this video, though I use a mix of both Agrellan Badlands and Agrellan Earth, glue my models down in advance and also do my ricks differently. Regardless, it’s a great tutorial video and very helpful to refernce.

        These guys are actually loyalists rather than Chaos Marines, but I can see how you’d easily mistake them – https://warhammer40k.fandom.com/wiki/Legion_of_the_Damned
        Shields are a good place to practise freehanding as well – so you could easily tie freehanding in with your Middle-Earth forces using historical models (decent prices, lots of shields). My vikings particularly are a place where I typically enjoy a bit of freehand work.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the link! I will definitely check it out. D’oh, my 40k knowledge is not the best since I don’t play it and haven’t actively painted much from that universe since I was in high school (quite a long time ago now!). They do look similar to Chaos Space Marines and certainly share the cool parts of their design anyway. Thanks for correcting me! 🙂

        I’m about to order some new minis to paint and I will keep that in mind with the shields! Despite what I just said about 40k, I’ve been eyeing a box of Harlequins to really put my freehanding skills to the test! I will get some sooner or later, but not sure if I want to get them now as I’m trying to push my skills with a different project at the moment.

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      • Harlies are some beautiful models, and they can certainly be as hardcore as you like when it comes to the freehanding and all of the motley on them. I still haven’t painted a single one, despite my best intentions. If I had a local group for Kill Team, I could probably get started on them much more easily.
        You could always use them as a palette cleanser, and dip in and out of working on them as you feel like it while you concentrate on another, large project.

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  5. Terrific painting as usual, but those sculpts have really not aged well.

    I have to admit that the new (ish?) fluff for the Legion of the Damned really turned me off too; having them being like goodie Daemons just made them entirely too silly even in the context of something as inherently silly as WH40K.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I just ignore that silly shit entirely.

      Apocryphal tales, circulated by superstitious and gullible citizens of the Imperium is all they are.

      As for the sculpts, they were of dubious quality even back in the day. At least as I recall my own opinion. 🙂

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