The Iron Plague #4: Iron Warrior Plague Marines Plague Champion (1993) & Completed Squad

So here’s the final post for this lot – starting with the completed squad photo! Yes, I’ve gone for the 7-marine squad because Nurgle. I still think it was a dick move of GW to sell the new Plague Marine box with only 7 models in it, and especially so by adding three more models in the form of “champions” at clamshell hero prices. I may still pick some of them up to flesh out/vary my DI models, though I’ll wait till I find them for a deep discount.

Here’s a close-up of the Plague Champion. His right arm has been replaced by a Cybork arm from Gorka Morka which still manages to look the part of a cybernetically-grafted-on bolter. We know how fond the Iron Warriors are of mutation (not very) and so this seems a likely consequence of this fellow having sprouted a tentacle – amputation and some cybernetics attached in their stead!

The shoulder pad is one that befits a unit champion. It’s one of the Puppetswar ones that I discussed recently. In fact, it’s one of the miscast ones that they sent me, as the bottom of it is all messed up. How fortunate that years later, I’d work on some Nurgle Iron Warriors, eh? 😛

The rear views shows the cabling – originally red, but now repainted in brass. Less red on everything is often good.

This side view shows how the guitar wire I added to the Sector Mechanicus base makes the thing a little more integrated than the usual wires I’ve been adding on top. It also shows off the hazard stripes on the bolter quite nicely.

Finally another group shot – more of a line-up this time. It’ll be fun to get these guys onto the table and see how they perform!

The Iron Plague #3: Iron Warrior Plague Marine Plasma Gunners (1995)

Iron Warrior Plague Marine Plasma Gunners (1995)

The penultimate post for this first squad of Iron Warrior-aligned Plague Marines. This time, I’m showcasing the plasma gunners. Their unique selling point is really the heat discolouration on their plasma guns. It’s an effect that I’ve been playing with lately, trying to teach myself to get to a point where it looks good. I think I’m at least partway there so far – the tricky part is the transition between the brown and the blue – the purple band. It seems a little harsh on the left hand figure still.

Iron Warrior Plague Marine Plasma Gunners (1995)

A little about these figures – both are from the same range as the previous pair – the 1995 run. The right-hand figure is a single piece casting, excepting the backpack. No comments about the sensibility or realism of a wooden casing on a weapon that fires superheated plasma, please. Because… containment field? Or perhaps – A Wizard did it!

Iron Warrior Plague Marine Plasma Gunners (1995)

The figure on the left is a “regular” Plague Marine model from that line with a metal Nurgle shoulder pad of roughly the same vintage. In fact, it’s the same figure that once bore a bright, metallic-red flamer. Now, I’ve said before that I don’t like to change “finished” figures too much, but these guys were already getting a makeover with the new bases and the addition of Iron Warriors heraldry. Also (and rather importantly) Plague Marines can no longer take flamers. Sure, they get plague belchers in their stead, but they don’t look exactly like Imperial Flamers in my version of the 41st Millennium. So a second plasma gun for the squad, which obviously will have better synergy with the other plasma gun and the bolters. Plasma gun is a FW HH model (to keep it old-school) but cut down to fit properly.

Iron Warrior Plague Marine Plasma Gunners (1995)

As with the previous two pair of Iron Warrior Plague Marines, the Iron Warrior icons came from Pop Goes the Monkey via Shapeways. I’ve ordered some more to ensure I have enough stockpiled for what may potentially come, and no, I get no kickbacks for mentioning them. I knew about 3d printed shoulder pads and weapons and stuff for Imperial Knights, but stick-on chapter icons that function like 3d transfers which can be added to any model – including my hoard of old metals? Yeah, I really like that concept.

One more post in this series to go because I really need to go sleep now and can’t write up any more text to go with the final photos for the squad. 😡

The Iron Plague #2: Iron Warrior Plague Marines (1995)

Iron Warrior Plague Marines (1995)

This next pair of Plague Marine models hail from two years later than the previous batch, this time the models are from 1995. At this point they had been redesigned somewhat. Or perhaps tweaked is the more appropriate term. The helmets had been changed from the MKVII (Aquila) variant as GW started to back off slightly from the overly-aggressive retcon of all marine armour from MKVI to MKII. Their new helmets are a more unique style. The “gas mask” look was starting to creep in, influenced no doubt by the Pickelhaube-esque spikes on their helmets – which had also been toned down and were now more in tune with actual Pickelhaube spikes.

This pair are based on the same model. One that I’d painted previously, modelled doing the crotch chop (nWo, not DX) and the other, originally modelled in the pointing pose and part-painted by Matt F and acquired by me after he lost interest in a Plague Marine force, which sat in a case for 15 years before being repainted in the copper-and-black livery of these guys over the last month or so.

Iron Warrior Plague Marines (1995)

The trio of skulls on their pauldrons are of course reflective of Nurgle’s mark. The stowed bolter on the left-hand plague marine has been repainted from a metallic red, and I think looks much nicer now.

Iron Warrior Plague Marines (1995)

Their other shoulders have been updated, once again with “Iron Legion” Skull icons from Pop Goes the Monkey on Shapeways for the Iron Warriors army badge. I really do like those badges, and I think I’d best grab another set ASAP. These guys don’t get a IV Legion army badge, since they’re very likely later, post-heresy additions to the Iron Warriors.

The Iron Plague #1: Iron Warrior Plague Marines (1993)

Yeah, I know that the Iron Warriors aren’t considered especially hardcore, or even enthusiastic when it comes to worshipping the Chaos Powers, though we do have strong precedent for cult troops within the Iron Wariors’ ranks in Graham McNeill’s Storm of Ironwhich features Iron Warriors Khorne Berserkers.  I’ve also had these plague marines painted for some time, though I’d never gotten around to doing more than the single group of five of them.

With the release of 40k 8th edition, I’ve been building up forces to play with, and the Iron Warriors have actually seen the table several times, so I recently started picking parts to create a squad of the aforementioned Berserkers. At the same time, the Death Guard release has been happening, with new figures released on a weekly basis. They’re lovely looking models, but quite different in both size and aesthetics to these Older-School Plague Marines from the early 90’s. (These two models date from 40k Second Edition.) What’s more was the fact that I liked the models I had painted, but was not so keen on doing an entire Death Guard army in the beaten copper that I painted these guys in.

Sometime after that point, I had a bit of an epiphany while browsing the new CSM codex in bed. I’d just use the Plague Marines in my Iron Warriors force. All they’d need would be a rebasing, and they’d be golden. After all, Storm of Iron is all the only fluff justification I need. Pair that with Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s rather excellent piece on what’s it like to be a Chaos Space Marine Lord and I have no problem going with it. I know you can do whatever, obviously, but I do like to create forces that fit in well with the game’s background, and when I was looking around for examples of Iron Warriors Plague Marines I found some rather vociferous arguments again them having any kind of cult troops. I figure that these guys are either Iron Warriors who turned to Nurgle at some stage, or they might even be Renegades from another Legion or Chapter – or even a squad that splintered from the Death Guard at some point in the past.

Naturally, the conversion from their older state was more work than anticipated. Not simply swapping over their bases. I repainted the wooden bolter stocks on these two from red to a worn-wood brown, like my old desk. Pouches went from the original green to a dark red, to match those on my painted IW. I’d have gone with black, but they already have a fair amount of black armour panels and I didn’t want them to disappear completely. Hose-looking cables were changed from pale green to pale tan wile others went from red to brass on their backpacks. Armour remained the same with the exception of the shoulders that once bore chaos star decals. I replaced those with 3d printed, glue-down “Iron Legion” insignia from Pop Goes the Monkey on Shapeways to proclaim their new allegiance.

Of course, these guys aren’t the only Plague Marines being updated. They’re just the first pair I managed to finish. I should have some more finished and posted in the next week or so, hopefully even the entire squad over the next few posts. I need to do some more varnishing when I get home from work tomorrow…

Minotaurs Space Marines – Apothecary Heliodorus (2e, 1995)

Citadel Space Marine Minotaurs Apothecary 40k2e Oldhammer

I’d planned to finish three specific models this past weekend, but as it happens I got distracted by cleaning the house, sorting miniatures, mowing the lawn and watching the Mae Young Classic with Marouda, so in the end I only managed to complete a single figure – this Apothecary. Despite buying this model (and all of his contemporaries) on release back in the mid-1990’s, this is the first post-RT apothecary that I’ve painted, and boy, is he one fiddly model! I thought the Dark Angels Veteran Sergeant that I finished a couple of weeks ago was saturated in detail, but this guy puts him to shame.

The model itself is an Apothecary circa 1995 or so, with a metal arm with power sword from the 3rd edition Death Company box from 1999 pinned on. Not the first of the contents of that box that have popped up in my other units… The shoulder pad is a Forge World Minotaurs pad with a cloth draped down the arm, which looks good on one hand, but obscures a bit more detail than I’d like on the other hand.

“Clean” white is a notoriously tricky colour to get right. I can see why painting dirty white (Death Guard) and weathered white (World Eaters) is so popular. Still, I thought it best to keep his armour to the traditional white and keep the accents to red with a touch of gold and silver – keeping him tied in fairly strongly with the rest of the Minotaurs.

His Narthecium was a right bloody pain in the backside to paint. There are a lot of fiddly elements on it, and wanting to achieve a neat and clean look to it while picking out all of the distinct parts took a toll on my patience.

Similarly, all of the vials on his belt (and those on his backpack) also added to the over-fiddlyness. I chose to paint his spotlight lamp in silver tones to represent it being unlit, rather than the more commonly seen bright yellow. Between the vials and lenses all over this model and the wreath on his shin and the bluish tinge of the power sword there are already quite a few colours on him and I want to avoid the “skittles” look that Space Marines (particularly HQ specialists) can sometimes start to have. That’s also why I kept the vials on his belt and backpack to a couple of tones of red with a little yellow for the sole variation. We don’t need blue and green on the vials as well.

In the end, I’m very happy with the final product, and I’m aware that I need to sort out an Apothecary for the Dark Angels as well, but I’m not massively enthused by the thought of doing another one of these guys particularly soon. I might have to give the DAs one of the Forge World sculpts instead to keep it interesting…

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.