Dreadtober 2017 Completion #2: Mentor Legion Dreadnought

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Today we have the second (and last) model I finished for Dreadtober 2017.

Mentor Legion Space Marine Castraferrum Dreadnought, Mentors, Rogue Trader, 40k 2nd Edition Dread

When I restarted on this model for Dreadtober, most of the basic work was already done. Long done in some parts, and then piecemeal during the various times I’ve tried to make myself complete the model over the years, but it had been a real albatross for a long, long time. My Dreadtober work, then – was a bit of final cleaning up, shading, highlighting, de-skittling parts of the model, and then of course adding in the iconography. There are some Easter Eggs here for those who recognise them as well.

Mentor Legion Space Marine Castraferrum Dreadnought, Mentors, Rogue Trader, 40k 2nd Edition Dread

The model is the old, 2nd edition Metal Space Marine Dreadnought with a Plasma Cannon converted from the Multi-Melta and a metal Space Marine Plasma Cannon, because none of those parts existed when I built this model – not even the resin Plasma Cannons from Forge World. The arm is magnetised, and all that metal is why it droops a little. I’ll add back in a little bit of blu-tac which will reinforce the magnet enough to hold itself up for long periods

Mentor Legion Space Marine Castraferrum Dreadnought, Mentors, Rogue Trader, 40k 2nd Edition Dread

The Mentor Legion were my second “proper” Space Marine army, following my Rogue Trader Ultramarines and the mess I made of them when the latter part of 2nd edition hit – which I will discuss some other day. I started the Mentor Legion when 3rd edition came out. “New Edition, New Army” wasn’t really a thing back then – certainly not as a marketing term, anyway – but it’s what I chose to do at the time.

Mentor Legion Space Marine Castraferrum Dreadnought, Mentors, Rogue Trader, 40k 2nd Edition Dread

One of the things that put me off from finishing this model for the longest time was the lack of Mentor Legion transfers or Iconography available. Back in the 1990s, when I used a Mac (G3/233), I created a transfer sheet with Mentor Legion decals, along with many Aquila, and all sorts of other icons that would be very useful for wargaming. I purchased a sheet of decal paper, and ran it through my Inkjet. Looked amazing. After a wait to allow it to dry, I then sprayed it with a fixative as the instructions stated, and it ran and was ruined. And that was the end of that until the 30th of October 2017 when I finally tried again. Because I really wanted to add the chapter number (888) of the Mentor Legion to the model.

Mentor Legion Space Marine Castraferrum Dreadnought, Mentors, Rogue Trader, 40k 2nd Edition Dread

Of course now, in my home office, I have a really quite good quality colour laser printer. I’ve had unused decal sheets for a few years, but again – it took the completion of this project and the deadline inherent with “Dreadtober” to get over that particular hump. I also had some 3-d printed “owl” icons made by a nice fellow on Shapeways. I’ll update the post in a few days with his details once my next order has been sent as GW has been a bit litigious with this sort of thing lately and I’m a bit tired of things I like that aren’t really enforceable being ruined by C&D’s from big corporations lately.

Mentor Legion Space Marine Castraferrum Dreadnought, Mentors, Rogue Trader, 40k 2nd Edition Dread

The rear-facing number on top of the sarcophagus was inspired by police and similar vehicles that do the same. It’s not really at a proper aircraft recognition size, but it still looks decent. I’ve gone for a “Dreadnought number” rather than using the company number of my Mentor Legion. Mentor Legion, I should point out – circa White Dwarf 98/ – as distinct from the red-raptor headed “Mentors” that they kind-of retconned the chapter into, though with such little detail that it doesn’t matter. I consider them a successor chapter, or perhaps a sub-chapter in my own head-canon. I might write it up one day, or perhaps not. Either way, there’s so little written about them post-WD98, and what came later is contradictory enough that there’s plenty of Tabla Rasa space there, so I’m sure I could write up some fluff that incorporates it well enough and would probably make more sense.

Mentor Legion Space Marine Castraferrum Dreadnought, Mentors, Rogue Trader, 40k 2nd Edition Dread

So there we are then. I guess I’ll need to get to work on the rest of the unfinished Mentor Legion sometime soon enough, but I’ve got other stuff to clear out first before I re-start that project in earnest. It might even be a 2018 one.

Mentor Legion Space Marine Castraferrum Dreadnought, Mentors, Rogue Trader, 40k 2nd Edition Dread, Iron Warriors Hellbrute, Chaos Marine Dreadnought

We’ll finish with a shot of the pair of Dreads that Dreadtober motivated me to finally complete. Both finished, finally. After so many years. It feels bloody good to get this pair of monkeys off my back.

C100 Space Marines “Capt. Huron Grimm”, Fallen Dark Angel – 40k Rogue Trader (1988)

C100 Space Marines "Capt. Huron Grimm", Fallen Dark Angel - 40k Rogue Trader (1988), Oldhammer

The third member of my small collection of Rogue Trader Marines in the heavily-scuffed livery of the Original Dark Angels – to be used as Fallen Angels in modern gaming. This chainsaw-wielding lunatic with the wild hair was first sighted by myself in Chapter Approved: The Book of the Astronomican, back in the day. As The Fallen are old. Really, really old, despite the machinations of time within the Warp, I mixed grey in with the brown of his hair, and moreso on the highlights. I also had those old “Motörhead” facial hair pictures of Andy Chambers in mind while painting his hair.

C100 Space Marines "Capt. Huron Grimm", Fallen Dark Angel - 40k Rogue Trader (1988), Oldhammer

His helmet got the appropriate old-school treatment of a red stripe, though I left the eye lenses dark, as the helm is obviously not going to be active while it’s mag-locked to his hip. Despite only having painted three of these guys, I’ve really enjoyed doing each one of them (once I forced myself to finally get going on the long-started-and-stalled Brother Holt, anyway).

C100 Space Marines "Capt. Huron Grimm", Fallen Dark Angel - 40k Rogue Trader (1988), Oldhammer

The old-school-inspired palette combined with a bit of the Forge World-style penchant for weathering makes these guys really quick and simple to paint, while still looking great. Of course, there are more modern touches such as weapon casings not exclusively being drybrushed silver and the basing (I might add some powders to them once the entire force is complete for consistency). I’ll keep this style unique to this force which will keep them visually distinct from my other forces, and I have concerns that if I were to use the “dark & scuffed” look on too many other forces, they could easily start to look samey. There is another force I’ll be working on in future who might get weathered and scuffed armour, though the armour certainly won’t be black or near-black as these guys are.

C100 Space Marines "Capt. Huron Grimm", RT101 "Brother Napier", Brother Holt". Fallen Dark Angels, 40k Rogue Trader (1988), Oldhammer

Here’s the trio so far. One of the hardest parts of this force is finding figures that will fit in. I’ve only got a limited number of the old metal RT marines around, I’ve got very specific places that some of them are destines for, and on top of that – sometimes they go missing, such as another trio I’d planned to add to The Fallen. I could easily add some plastic RTB01 marines, I suppose – though I don’t want to overdo the use of those here, either. Maybe a couple of them can fit in, I guess – though I’m (apparently) going for more of a close combat oriented squad here. I do plan to drop in some modern DA parts mixed with older armour marks, Calth marines and some Forge World DA parts down the line, but I’d much prefer to finish off some more of the old metals first.

Orktober 2017 #3: RTB02 Space Ork Raiders Discipline-Master Thrugg Bullneck (1988)

RTB02 Space Ork Raiders Discipline-Master (1988) Kev Adams Rogue Trader Orks

I know, I know. The title “discipline-master” makes it seem like this orc should be the one armed with the whip and not the other Ork I posted up. This guy, known as Thrugg Bullneck (thanks Alex – I couldn’t recall his name despite looking for it) is the commander model from the very first Space Ork boxed set (and the second 40k box set ever) RTB02 Space Ork Raiders. In (the original volume of) Chapter Approved: Book of the Astronomican, this model and the other like him were the example models for Discipline Master (Sub-Chief) who had Ork Hero level stats. While he’s not huge compared to modern Brian Nelson Orks, he stands high over the rest of the models from the Space Ork Raiders box.

RTB02 Space Ork Raiders Discipline-Master (1988) Kev Adams Rogue Trader Orks

For his camo I’ve given him Desert Auscam, and attempted to give his gear some contrast to his skin by using reddish leather trim and brass/copper/bronze for his bling and scale armour – but without going all the way to actual red. Rather than going with the traditional old-school red for his plasma pistol, I went with a more muted dark turquiose. It still (sort of) stands out from the rest of his gear, but without being garish against his camo and overall more muted tones.

RTB02 Space Ork Raiders Discipline-Master (1988) Kev Adams Rogue Trader Orks

Looking at this model even then, but especially today the closed pose of it really stands out. Arms and weapons folded around the Ork’s torso, yet it still manages to look like a badass that you would not want to mess with. As with most Orks of the day, rather than boots, he’s got puttees wrapped around his feet from his toes almost to his knees. This was Kev Adams’ style on the fantasy orcs that he sculpted in those days, and something that directly carried over to almost all of the original Ork line.

RTB02 Space Ork Raiders Discipline-Master (1988) Kev Adams Rogue Trader Orks

This particular model is one I’ve had for decades, since I was a young teen first discovering the original Rogue Trader. One of the first 40k models I ever collected. The rest of his original cohorts were sold off many years ago, but he was one I kept out of fondness. He’s been painted (in enamels) then stripped, then boxed, then bagged, then boxed again into storage. With a lot of years in each of those. After so many years, he’s back, rebased on a 32, and most importantly painted and ready for the table again!

RTB02 Space Ork Raiders Discipline-Master (1988), Ork Mek, Mekaniak, Rogue Trader Orks, Kev Adams

And for good measure, here’s the three old-school Rogue Trader Orks together. I hope to get some more of these guys done this year, but the painting queue is pretty full, so I’ll make myself finish more of the other Orks I started years ago before I begin any more old-school Orks from scratch!

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

RT101 "Brother Napier", Fallen Dark Angel - 40k Rogue Trader (1988)

I’ve recently painted the second of my “Oldhammer” style Fallen Dark Angels. “Brother Napier” this time – as named in the old catalogue. Unlike many other models, this guy wasn’t really started. Having some black on the model doesn’t really count as part-painted, unless I’m doing a drive of “only finishing models that have been started in some way”, but either way I needed to re-prime him anyway.

RT101 "Brother Napier", Fallen Dark Angel - 40k Rogue Trader (1988)

For his markings, I’ve applied some really old (RT-era, natch) transfers. I could have tried to freehand, but I do like my chapter iconography to be perfect. He’s rocking the old-school RT-sergeant’s stripes on his pauldron, which I did colour-fill from the transfer’s original plain white. Full chapter bade on his (understated by today’s standards) powerfist – power glove in those days!

RT101 "Brother Napier", Fallen Dark Angel - 40k Rogue Trader (1988)

Something I really noticed on this figure is just how easy it was to paint. Seriously. Black armour, a grey lining, then careful sort-of drybrushing on wear points and the odd thin line for scratches over the armour. Really quick and easy, and it looks effective. Just got to keep the messiness looking neat and focused rather than like the model’s simply been randomly drybrushed with silver. I likely will continue to keep most of my marine models “clean”, but I’ll retain this colour scheme across all of my Fallen and it should be a doddle to get the painting done while giving them a unique look amongst all my power armoured models.

RT101 "Brother Napier", Fallen Dark Angel - 40k Rogue Trader (1988)

What’s not old, scratched-up armour is a dark brown leather. A less-glowing skin tone with some scar tissue and requisite 5-o-clock shadow, and black-to-greying hair completes the look. The greying sides is a particular note to the original Brother Napier.

RT101 "Brother Napier", Fallen Dark Angel - 40k Rogue Trader (1988)

Since I only have the pair of these done so far, I thought a 2-shot was in order. Both of these guys have rather hunched postures, something that was common to the original RT-101 line. I’ve got a few other original metals to allocate here and there. The hardest part is working out which ones to use in which army. I’d love to set up a full squad of RT-101 marines for The Fallen, but I’ve got a couple of them earmarked for Legion of the Damned and Iron Warriors, as well as my RT-inspired Crimson Fists project. There’s just not enough to go around – I need some more old metal beakies!

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.