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…

RT101 “Brother Holt”, Fallen Dark Angel – 40k Rogue Trader (1988)

RT101 "Brother Holt", Fallen Dark Angel - 40k Rogue Trader 1988, Oldhammer

I’ve always found the background of “The Fallen” of the Dark Angels quite an interesting one. While some seemed to treat them as just another flavour of Chaos Space Marines, I always preferred the angle of them being fugitives from the Dark Angels, but still basically loyal to the Emperor and Humanity, of not the Imperium proper. One of the positives that came from The Gathering Storm series (aka 40k End Times) was the release of Cypher and a bit more of an exploration of The Fallen as a tabletop force beyond bland CSM, with rules and a bit of fluff explaining how they pretty much fall on all points of the spectrum – from loyalists to die hard chaos worshippers.

RT101 "Brother Holt", Fallen Dark Angel - 40k Rogue Trader 1988, Oldhammer

This suited me well. I’ve got a lot of the old metal Rogue Trader-era Space Marines, though most are earmarked for other projects, but there’s a few of them that I’ve always wanted to turn into Fallen. Something about Brother Holt (so named in that first catalogue from 1988) always struck me as being a perfect Fallen Angel. The damaged, incomplete armour, scarred visage, and just something about the overall sculpt just placed him there for me.

RT101 "Brother Holt", Fallen Dark Angel - 40k Rogue Trader 1988, Oldhammer

So like so, so, many other models in my collection, he sat barely started for a solid decade or more until recently. Spurred by reading through The Gathering Storm books and once again – the imminent (at the time) coming of 8th edition, I went looking for this guy in my old figure cases, got him out, rebased him and finally got him finished. Well, completely repainted him from the little that was barely started. I went for original Dark Angels livery, but scratched up, weathered and damaged in the extreme of the Forge World style that I usually eschew in favour of the cleaner look, which I did retain on his bare skin.

RT101 "Brother Holt", Fallen Dark Angel - 40k Rogue Trader 1988, Oldhammer

I will build at least a squad of Fallen Angels, and possibly/probably a small “warband” style “army” that can run in smaller 40k games, and serve as an ally to non-DA imperial forces in larger games. I like the idea that they would openly declare themselves to be a mobile, Crusading force of Dark Angels (sometimes joined by Cypher) when assisting human forces/IG/PDF or even other Marines – and given their clear stature as Astartes, livery and gear – generally speaking, who would know to question them more deeply?

Legion of the Damned #2: Second Edition

Today we’ll look at a trio of the often-maligned 2nd edition, MK7 “Aquila” Power Armoured models, painted as Legion of the Damned.

2nd Edition 40k Legion of the Damned, Death Company

The first model on the left is the 2nd Edition starter box Space Marine trooper. A simple, push-fit model made of the same three parts (bolter, backpack, everything else) that even the most recent of his kind, the marines from Dark Vengeance 6th/7th edition are. These guys are looked down on today mostly because of the rather static pose and the complete lack of variation in their pose. Yes, all 14 of the basic troopers were identikit models, the specialists were the same model again with a flamer instead of a bolter, leaving the two sergeants and two missile launchers for “variety”. Truth be told, I quite like the Missile Launcher guy, and think that model stands up quite well even today. The trooper is pretty workmanlike, and I feel can most effectively be used as a single model mixed into squads of other marines that have a lot of MK6 in them. Like this Minotaurs squad that hosts two troopers and a Missile Launcher from the 2nd Edition box.

Anyway. One guy in my LotD. I gave him fingerbone gloves before they were cool, shaved the skull off his forehead (little skulls were hard to get back then!) and went with an all-bones, no flames motif on his armour. I think the freehand skull I painted on his shoulder looks cooler than the sculpted one on his battle-brother, though!

2nd Edition 40k Legion of the Damned, Death Company

The next one of our little friends, in the middle is one of the first multi-part plastic marines since the venerable RTB01 box. Space Marines: Warriors of the Imperium was released in ’93-94 and was the direct precursor to the 3rd edition MK7 multiparts, and therefore, to all modern Space Marine infantry kits and even the Forge World HH infantry kits. Basically, six models made of one repeated torso, two leg sculpts – again repeated, and a couple of the 2nd edition metal marines’ Backpacks-and-bolters-and-shoulders, and arm sprues. Pretty bloody simple, but well enough for making some troopers. I only got one of those boxes from memory and never even painted them all, but one of them is here. I replaced the left shoulderpad with a “proper” Legion of the Damned one after that boxed set was released during 2e (pried the old one off his arm) – so the scroll and skull are sculpted, but the “kill” is freehanded onto the scroll.

This guy in the middle has much more extensive bonework on him than many of the others, I’m still very fond of the long spinal pattern that runs the length of his left leg.
2nd Edition 40k Legion of the Damned, Death Company

The final model of this second triptych of the Damned was originally a 2nd Edition Death Company marine. Released in late ’92 or early ’93, I never got around to painting or using any of them as Blood Angels. Instead a couple of them, with their death iconography got drafted into the Legion. Some blood drops carved away and others repainted as bone charms. In the second picture you can see that the skull on his right shoulder is a little different. A nod there to the Legion’s past, and specifically the one that appeals to me the most. The right shoulder on two of these guys is an attempt at a flaming tactical arrow, again a nod to their past. The break-up of the upper triangle’s shape may have been too much and rendered them a little too subtle, which is why I bother to point it out here.

A big part of updating my old Legion of the Damned has been rebasing them onto 32mm bases. Their previous 25mm bases were in my usual “brown dirt and static flock” style, and so I wanted to go a bit more extreme with these ones. A bit of slate, two types of GW “cracked earth” paints, drybrushed and washed and some tufts. I also went to town with skulls on almost all of their bases. I usually try to avoid the overuse of skulls everywhere, as I typically find it rather silly and more than a little camp in that GW way.

In the case of Legion of the Damned though, I felt it appropriate. Perhaps their sheer presence on a battlefield somehow adorns it with the skulls of the truly damned, their past opponents, or those who have died before on those same battlefields. Do the skulls appear when the Legion arrives, only to disappear when they suddenly depart? Well, these skulls do.

 

Legion of the Damned #1: Rogue Trader-Era

I thought I’d share some more of my older paintjobs today and over the next while – only now “updated” in the past few weeks with new 32mm bases. Specifically, three of my old Rogue Trader Space Marine models painted as Legion of the Damned. As can be seen, these models are from the days before everything was covered in sculpted details, and ironically, before 90% of those details were skulls. Hence, all of the flames and skulls on this trip are entirely freehand. Oh, and I know that their flames “should” be yellow at the base and red at the ends, but on my models it depicts paint on armour, not actual flames (as sometimes retconned in Black Library). I don’t care what was written in an eBook or short story in 2015 or 2016, my guys have a direct lineage to White Dwarf 99.

Legion of the Damned, Rogue Trader, Oldhammer

The first model, on our left has 1987 on his tab, as well as “Medic”. It’s based off of “Brother Harris” from WD 99 in March ’88. The range in this particular advert are listed as having been sculpted by Michael and Alan Perry. Amusingly, Brother Harris in this particular advert is painted as a Legionnaire of the Damned, but I declined to do so myself as he had his helmet off. This model obviously predates the Medics that came later, as it completely lacks any medic gear or even an embossed caduceus on his pauldron, though interestingly there was a designated medic model (via sculpt, as opposed to the ones defined by paint that everyone just copied) from the very early RT01 Imperial Space Marines batch of sculpts.

Legion of the Damned, Rogue Trader, Oldhammer

The central model of this trio is one of the initial range of Space Marine Chaplains, circa 1988/89. Three of the initial six Chaplains had what we know as the Crozius Arcanum, though the other three did not. One having a Bolter and (crazily thin) Power Sword, one with a Bolt Pistol and Chainsword, and this fellow, with what I presume was/is an early combi-weapon. Note the “gatling”-style barrels behind the “regular” bolter detail. His armament, early skull-helm and especially his nifty shoulderpads got this guy drafted into my Legion of the Damned, where he has served as the squad’s sergeant for many years.

Legion of the Damned, Rogue Trader, Oldhammer

Finally, the model on our right. He is listed as Brother A Skull in the advertisement for the RT01 range of Marines from White Dwarf 98 in September ’87, back when they still gave models interesting names. He’s also called “Brother Dixon” in the February 1988 RT01 Flyer, obviously names after Colin. I chose him to be a LotD figure because of his unique, skull-like helmet. Years after painting these guys, I came across the sculpted LotD backpacks from the Second Edition squad box, and so pried off several of the original backpacks that some of my LotD had, replacing them with the skull-sculpted versions.

Aside from the backpacks, Brother A Skull and the Chaplain’s old-school helms, and obviously the Chaplain’s sculpted shoulders, the rest of the skull, flame and bone detail on these guys is all freehand. Even today I’m particularly proud of the pauldron-skulls and the skull-helm that you can see here. And yes, I know that the colours in actual flame work the other way, but here it’s based on contrast and rule of cool. Some of the more recent writers and artists have taken things like the flame iconography way too literally.

Jokaero Weaponsmith!

Citadel Jokaero Weaponsmith

For anyone not around at the time or otherwise not aware, the Warhammer 40,000 of Rogue Trader days was fucking nuts. One of the many, many weird ideas of the time were the Jokaero. Essentially super-smart space Orangutans who were the creators of the much-sought-after “digital weapons” available to some heroes of various types. Or Jokaero Digital Weapons, as they were then known. The “digital” this was in reference to wasn’t zeroes and ones, but our digits – fingers. Basically, we were talking ring-lasers.

Finger-Bang, Rogue Trader style…

Citadel Jokaero Weaponsmith

While the Games Workshop of the last couple of years has done a good job of recognising and bringing back old, neglected parts of the lore, like Deathwatch, Genestealer Cults, Tzaangor and so forth, the Jokaero were brought back(?), well, into the game with an actual model back in 2011 with the 5th edition Grey Knights Codex. I know they’d gotten a mention with the earlier Necrons Codex, making it 15 years before being mentioned again after RT, and 24 years before getting their first model. Will 8th Edition give us a second Jokaero model? Only time will tell, but I can’t see them investing in plastic tooling for something like this unless it’s included on a sprue alongside a plastic Inquisitor or some such.

Citadel Jokaero Weaponsmith

I gave him pinkish flesh for his hands and feet, mostly because I forgot to check out reference photos of either actual Orangutangs or GW’s model before painting that part of the figure. Ah well, still looks good! I pretty much copied the official GW scheme for the electronics. I went over the white/grey of the accessories with a pearlescent paint, giving it a nice, subtle, shimmery effect that can be seen in hand and not at all in photographs.Citadel Jokaero Weaponsmith

Something pretty cool is that the upcoming indices for 40k 8th edition are going to feature rules for all of their currently-produced/available models, which includes this guy. This means there’s a decent chance that this model will actually hit my table at some stage in the near future. Who’d’a thunk it?

Minotaurs Space Marines – Group Shot!

Minotaurs Space Marines, Minotaurs Space Marine Dreadnought

Over the past few months, people in various places have asked me for some group shots of my models. Last weekend, I finally got a chance to take some photos, so here are my Minotaurs.

Minotaurs Space Marines, Minotaurs Space Marine Dreadnought

Yeah, I know. I need to get some command units finished since the force is technically leaderless at this point. I’ve got that Librarian who is WIP still, and a Captain who is mostly blu-taced together.

Minotaurs Space Marines, Minotaurs Space Marine Dreadnought

At least Dreadnoughts look to be as effective as they should be in 8th Edition. I should get moving on the other Ancients as well. Oh wait, “Ancient” means something else, now!

Minotaurs Space Marines, Minotaurs Space Marine Dreadnought

All in all these guys add up to a Power Rating of 25 under the 8th Edition rules, so it’s pretty safe to say that they’d get their shiny brass arses kicked by the Iron Warriors right now. So what am I working on? I’ve started selecting/putting together the models for a third Tactical Squad and a Devastator Squad. I probably “should” be working on more exotic stuff and things like transports, but there you go…

Iron Warriors Chaos Space Marines – Group Shot!

Iron Warriors Chaos Space Marine Army

Happy 40k Day! With the release of 8th Edition today, I’ve got a few pics of my completed Iron Warriors force so far. Nominally 43 Power Rating right here (I’m short 3 cultists and 1 Obliterator to “properly” be 43). I haven’t looked into “proper” points values of the force yet. That will come later on.

Iron Warriors Chaos Space Marine Tactical Squad

The “First” Squad of my Iron Warriors is the “Tactical” Squad. I used to have names for all of these guys written down, so I’ll edit them in if and when I ever find my old lists. These guys are PR9. And yes, I am working out the “simple” PL value of this army as I write the text of this post! 😉

Legions of Steel Nightmares, Iron Warriors Cultists

These “discount terminators” are a bunch of Legions of Steel “Nightmares” that I painted earlier this year. I figure they look like perfect Chaos Cultists for an Iron Warriors army. Obviously less “cultists” than “automatons created by an allied Dark Mechanicus Forgeworld”, they fit the IW aesthetic and are a portent of some other WIP stuff yet to join this army. They’re PR3 for 10, so I’ll combine the leftovers with the ones that you’ll see in a little while. There’s one with a chunkier weapon, so that can be the squad’s Heavy Stubber, and I’ll probably have to glue a skull to one of their bases to mark the “champion”. Or find a slightly fancier looking robo-skellyman from somewhere to lead them. So the skull for now.

Iron Warriors Chaos Space Marine Obliterators

The Obliterators. Sorta-illegal at this point, they’re now purchased in units of 3 for 10PR. So it’s simply going to be a matter of finding my other models, and getting at least one of them painted in the same manner as these guys. And then deciding if the others become Iron Warriors or go to a different Legion from my long-term plan… In the interim, I’m sure friendly games will happily let me run them at 7PR.

Iron Warriors Chaos Space Marine Lord

For the time being, my former Exalted Champion becomes a PR5 Iron Warriors Lord. I guess his “Thunder Hammer” gets to “officially” be a lowly Power Maul, though I’m also sure that friends and casual opponents will be fine with letting me use the TH stats.

Iron Warriors Assault Chaos Space Marines

My second Iron Warriors squad appears to be illegal now, due to the presence of two power weapons – the sword and the fist. That’s without even considering “Tempus Malleus” might have a Thunder Hammer rather than a Hydraulic Hammer (aka CCW – though in this case I think they’re all “chainswords” now). I’m fine with that.

Oddly, because of the extra Power Weapon, it seems that the way to run this unit “legally” is simply to split it in twain. Instead of one 10-man, PR9 CSM “Assault” squad, I now have two 5-man PR5 CSM “Assault” squads. Again, that’s easy, so I’m fine with it. I can bump them “both” up to 10 later by building and painting more models. Simply looking at the figures I’ve got completed, perhaps I’ll visually lean one more towards “Chaos Marines” while the other will lean towards “Horus Heresy Traitors” in terms of armour makeup.

River Horse Terminator Genisys

What’s this? Terminators of the Arnie kind rather than of the Space Marine kind? Yes. These guys are from River Horse/Warlord’s Terminator Genisys game. Why are they here? The same reason that the Legions of Steel Nightmares are, of course. Proxy “cultists”. I’m not sure which one is the “champion”. The one with 2 skulls, probably. I’ll convert up a TG heavy weapon down the line and that can then fill in their Heavy Weapon slot. Another PR3.

River Horse Terminator Genisys Crawlers

These Terminator models are obviously feeling a little under the weather. Obviously without any ballistic weapons, these are the ones armed with an autopistol and brutal assault weapon. Just squint and I’m sure it’ll make sense! I’ll add them to one of the other “cultist” automaton units, along with the pair of extra Nightmares for +3PR.

There’s still a lot to add to this force. More Warriors, Chosen, Havocs, Raptors, Khorne Berserkers, a Warpsmith, Sorcerers, Obliterators, Terminators, Dreadnoughts, Contemptors, a Vindicator or two, transports, FW tanks… The army may have been born over a decade ago, but This Tale of Iron has barely begun…