Wednesday, February 26, 2014

New Insane Project - Legional Lunacy

Resin - the new crack.  Perhaps we can convince the government to give it away for free under the guise of "harm reduction"?
Say what you will about the pricing (no, really - we do elsewhere in this blog, so you should too), but Forge World seems to be last redoubt for 40k sculpters and designers that "get" the story.  The main GW studio still has its hits (like the pending new Imperial Knight - super cool) but seems to release a lot of turds as well (like this, and this, although perhaps these models grow on you after a while - that Marine flyer seems like it might work with some conversion). The Forge World team seems to have a good grasp of the real pulse of the 40k background, and nowhere is this more pronounced than their ever-growing list of Space Marine Legion stuff to go with the Horus Heresy. And so a New Insane Project for 2014 - Space Marine Legion forces for the Horus Heresy.

I know the FW books are super pricey, but this is probably the best FW book I've seen - worth it just for the fluff and pictures
Between reading Dan Abnett's books in the Horus Heresy book series and seeing a copy "Horus Heresy - Book One: Betrayal" I have been getting more and more inspired to do a Legion project. The opening salvos of the Horus Heresy on the world of Istvaan III provide a lot of inspiration, and Forge World sculpts are truly beautiful - and the range is very developed, as they have been adding new models and vehicles for years.  I remember working with the Elysian models and being very frustrated.  It's not perfect, but the castings seem to be a lot nicer now.  These Legion figures are a lot of fun to work with so far.

Mark IV Space Marines WIP - early assembly stage
There is quite a variety of armour types to choose from for your Legion Marines - from Mark II "Crusade" all the way to the Mark VI "Corvus" (which most would recognize as "classic beakie" armour). The packs are quite compatible with the existing plastic Space Marine bits and arms etc.  I have ordered some Mark IV armour suits & shoulder pads to represent both "sides" of the initial conflict on Istvaan III.   I also have a few Corvus armour sets as well.

I am thinking I will leave the Corvus armour to represent the loyalist Legions. The Corvus suits are not, strictly speaking, "Legion wear" as the armour is meant to be later along in the timeline...but I like to imagine the new suits getting churnred out just as the Heresy broke out, so only the "good guys" got much of it.   The Corvus armour is the armour I remember from that original "Space Marine" game, so it should be in there somewhere, as far as I'm concerned.

Mark VI "Corvus" Marines in production

I first came to the Horus Heresy storyline with the "Space Marine" game, and that vision has always resonated with me.  I like to imagine Horus and his traitors as more of an actual pseudo-political rebellion, in the sense that the supernatural aspects (demons, nurgle stuff etc) did not immediately appear, and the conflict was more of a brother-against-brother theme. Having Space Marines turn on each other is bad enough - why do we need to add a bunch horns and tails?

The Chaos Space Marines today are so spikey and skull-covered that they border on self-parody in my opinion. (YMMV - and let's face it some painters and modellers out there do amazing stuff with them, so what do I know, right?).  The Horus Heresy to me offers a chance for a more interesting "civil war", where the Emperor's pride and joy - his Warmaster, his very own Legions - turn against him. His Great Crusade is stopped cold. The Imperium of Man goes from unstoppable growth and expansion into a kind of plateaued, slow, stubborn decline as the worst war imaginable is fought across countless worlds, the Imperium split nearly in two, the Emperor nearly killed. Cool! Leave the demons to whisper in Horus' ear - they don't need to be on the table for this.

Remember these guys from the original RT rulebook? The Blood Angels looked awesome without wings and bonkers artificer armour etc. I've always loved this picture, particularly the dude with camo armour!
My plan is to start with some troops from the Sons of Horus, the World Eaters and the Emperor's Children, with the latter two being small units that can either represent the (doomed) loyalists on Istvaan III, or combine together with the Sons of Horus to represent an allied traitor side in a game against loyalist forces in some other games.

Blood Angel marine WIP beside a completed-but-not-primed figure - both in "Corvus" armour
Lunacy loves company (is that right? I'll go with it) and I'm pleased to report that Byron has also tilted into the Legion Lunacy as well.  He has some Death Guard slowly taking shape - hopefully he will share a little bit of it on the blog too.  The great thing about the plot developments on Istvaan III is that the Legions were fighting within themselves - Horus was purging the "unreliables" - so you can mix and match whatever faction for whatever side you like.

Crappy photo - sorry - you can see the decal for the chapter symbol (a bit)
The Space Marine Legion army list is kind of off-the-charts bonkers. 30-man tactical squads, anyone? I'll say this - it does a fabulous job matching the vision of the Space Marine Legion - where a "Chapter" is just a small sub-force in an organization with thousands and thousand and thousands of Marines! In this context, whole ten man support squads armed with lascannons and other scary stuff (Volkite blasters, rotary cannons etc) seem to make sense.

But I'm not really getting into this to play within the context of the sixth edition rules - in fact Byron and I are conspiring on how to use Chain of Command for our Horus Heresy games.

I love that studded shoulder pad...

Anyway I've only painted a single figure for now - a test figure of a Blood Angel.  I find the Blood Angel background to be a trifle nauseating (oh, woe is us, we're so perfect and yet cursed, and our primarch has wings!) but on the plus side red is a favourite colour on mine, the Blood Angel Legion was at the forefront of the war against Horus' rebels, not least the seige of Terra and the Emperor's palace. And I always loved the photo of the Blood Angel models from the original Rogue Trader rule book (see earlier in this blog post).

So that's one loyalist ready....
It will take weeks, more like months, before these are ready for the table in any useful number.  But I'm hoping to bring the Horus Heresy to the Fawcett Avenue gaming tables this summer. Stay tuned!


Lillian Charles said...

I do wish you'd just stop bothering with GW, since you obviously hate them so much.

Greg B said...

Hi Ian! Thanks for visiting.

Dallas said...

Yeah Greg. Since your hate for GW apparently causes you to give them copious amounts of cash, please start hating me too.

Anonymous said...

Muust admit that I liked some of the old GW trolls, though the more recent ones leave me a little cold.

Would like to hear about your tweaks to Chain of Command.

ByronM said...

I am right in there with you Greg. Don't worry, I will get my stuff together and going soon. I just need to get the last few (dozen) things done for Curt's Painting Challenge and then they will be on the painting table.

Your's look really good so far, can't wait to see how a whole squad turns out

Curt said...

I'll be right there with you as well Greg, though 'my vision' of the 'GW Hobby' (TM) is even more abrasive - so cover your eyes Ian!

'Love the Story - Hate the Game'