Monday, February 24, 2014

40k Vostroyans

Imperial Guard Vostroyan Squad
Apologies for the couple of weeks off-line.  Work, life, etc. was getting in the way.  But I thought I would try and get back on track with another submission to Curt's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge - a squad of 28mm Imperial Guard "Vostroyans".  These were a Christmas present from my lovely wife.  

Vostroyan rankers - those lasguns are really something

The figure are metal beasties -no "Finecrap" here. An NCO with a pistol, a two-man heavy bolter team and a dude with a flamethrower.  The rest have laser rifles. I think the range was originally released sometime in 2006 or 2007, and as far as I know it is one of the very last "themed" metal Imperial Guard ranges GW ever released. You can still find them in the odd corners of GW's web site as they sell down the remaining stocks (or just wait to have them melted down).

Guy on left was painted like seven years ago; guy on the right painted recently - they match OK

I painted two squads and a command group of these figures back when they were first released.  I maybe used them on the table once...20 guardsmen is not very many figures for a 40k game, so they mostly just stayed on the shelf more as a collector-type thing. I tried to match the original paint jobs with these new figures.

Love those crazy bearskins - and what's with the "bayonet"? That's huge...

I think in the fluff we are meant to see the Vostroyans as paying dire penance through service - the planet has to send all of its first born sons to serve in the Imperial Guard as punishment for denying the Imperium some manner of tithe during the Horus Heresy.  The ornate equipment of the troops is meant to symbolize some level of extra commitment to this cause, I believe.

Officer tripped out with trinkets

Is that really a dark fate? Considering the Imperium's rather grim approach to "governance" - entire planetary populations are often wiped out, or conscripted, or both, and rebels are hunted through the generations and the worlds that support them are pounded to dust - it's hard to feel too bad for the world of Vostroya. I would just assume any world refusing to help out during the Horus Heresy would have been subjected to the "Istvaan Treatment", accompanied with a note along the lines of "since you like Horus so much..." but I digress.

Lots of detail on these sculpts
These figures provoke strong views. People either love them or hate them. I'm obviously in the first camp - to me these castings really capture the dark, dystopian spirit of the Warhammer 40k setting.  Even though they are (relatively) contemporary sculpts, they very much capture the feel of the original Rogue Trader game, much more than any of the other conventional Imperial Guard figures available today.

Flamer-equipped special weapon trooper
Clad in bearskins, bits of medieval style armour, armed with rifles that look as large and ornate as pole arms, to me they are spooky and beautiful.  The faces that are visible are drawn, worn and dark. It's like someone gave a picture of an Austrian Grenadier from 1809 to John Blanche and said "go nuts".  These models are kind of bonkers, in an awesome way.

The spent shells are a neat touch that comes with the heavy bolter team
These seem to me a very fitting portrayal of a "regular" force army that would be assembled in the setting of the Rogue Trader rulebook, either to defend the planetary governor, or slog through a horrible military campaign somewhere in the "grim darkness of the far future".

Many people loathe these same design features, particularly if they already dislike the GW style and the 40k setting. I don't share that view, but I see where they are coming from. At any rate I don't think they will last much longer in GW stock, if for no other reason than I suspect GW will just want to move on at some point and leave these in the ether of history.

So I have about 30 of these guys painted now, and a rummage through the horde has turned up more, including a few heavy weapon teams and other assorted bits.  These were a lot of fun to paint, and I look forward to adding more of them through the year. 

4 comments:

Michael Mills said...

Loved these from the moment I saw them on the challenge. You've done a cracking job with the Greg!

Dallas said...

Super work dude!

Byron said...

Awesome work Greg. Now you need them on the table so that my Nurgle force can corrupt them :-)

We will have tentacles growing out of them in no time!

Phil said...

Great work, very impressive!