Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ninth Painting Challenge Entry - Solar Auxilia Lasrifle Section


The Solar Auxilia, 28mm figures from GW's Forge World
This submission is a Solar Auxilia Lasrifle section.  These are 28mm resin figures from Forge World, the small subsidiary (or division or whatever it is these days) of Games Workshop. These figures are some of the most recent releases from Forge World's every-expanding (for now, at least) Horus Heresy range of figures.

I call this groundwork combination "Autumn on Rijel 7"
Introduced in the most recent Forge World Horus Heresy book, the Solar Auxilia are meant to represent impressive soldiers who are nonetheless still well short of the strength of ability of the Marines.  In this sense they are the precursors to the Imperial Army, the standing force that would represent the bulk of the Imperial armed forces. The Marines would do the rough work, taking out whatever recedivist/alien/heretic/democratically elected regime was in the way, and forces like the Solar Auxilia would follow and take up garrison and patrol duties, and defend in any attack, holding out until Marines came to help. 

Section command - officer in front, comms trooper at the back on the right, and vexilla at the back on the left
Comms trooper with helmet raised - that doesn't seem like a good idea in the Warhammer 40k universe, but I like to have one or two open helmets when the figure options allow, and you get a couple of these types of head in the package

Still a bit of a bend in a couple of the laser rifles...oh well...
The rules call for them to deploy in sections of 20 models (!), so they are sold in packs of 20.  This submission is a single pack, and with Forge World the quality of the casting is hit and miss, but fortunately more "hit" than "miss" in this case (I only had to straighten about five of the rifles under hot water).  There is one officer figure (with a sidearm and a sword), a figure with a comms-set on his back pack, and a fellow mounting a "vexilla".

Volley fire in the grim darkness of the far future...

There are a number of small little wargear blips and special rules for the Solar Auxilia, designed to incent the player to keep these units in large line formation blocks, firing away with their laser rifles.  It's sort of nice that they tried, but a "super charged" lasgun is still really just a lasgun and I don't see that these would be effective in any serious way on the table top.  A Solar Auxilia army will depend on vehicles to achieve anything, and in this way it is identical to 40k Imperial Guard force.


The fellow on the front right is reloading his rifle
The Imperial Army/Imperial Guard of Warhammer 40k is a long time favourite collection of mine in this hobby going back to the Rogue Trader days.  As I worked on my Legion project, I was waiting and watching to see when the "army" might appear in Forge World's Horus Heresy efforts. I have to say I was quite excited as soon as I saw these - a total dork about it, in fact. 

I love the bonkers back packs on these figures
The designer, Edgar Skomorowski, hit these out of the park in my opinion.  They seem part Victorian Sci-Fi, part Dr. Who, part Captain Nemo shock troop, and of course part Imperial Guardsman, all in the right balance.  They are armoured and impressive, but still appear slightly awkward.  They are futuristic and baroque. The laser rifles have a flintlock-style cut to the stocks.  The backpacks have some manner of bonkers pulley/bellows/system.  I love these figures!

Another shot of the packs...you can sort of make out the pulley/bellows thing on the back - ridiculous - I love it!

Example of a single trooper - you can hopefully see the grenade dangling from his left hip.  The uniform is a sort of space suit with padded/quilted sections, and armour plates hanging over
You can kind of see the elegant, baroque curves on the laser weapon - very lovely
 
The backpack has some manner of pulley-bellows contraption - I love the look of it.  Respirator maybe? Who knows...
There is a lot of excellent detail on these figures, and only a few skulls to boot! They are a lot of fun to paint.  Assembly was not quite so easy, even with only two "parts" - the body and the weapon - it was not always easy to get a clear match at the "cuffs", so there are a few figures where hoses mysteriously stop etc. because I made a mistake or was over-enthusiastic while trimming.  But those mistakes mostly hide in the mass of the 20-man section.
 
"Hey, those Space Marine guys can't be that tough, right?"
In the actual game these figures will be torn to pieces in no time at all, particularly if they go up against Marines.  But I don't worry much about that. I am very much enjoying painting these and I am planning to have a chunk of them ready to play in some games set during the Horus Heresy.  More have been primed, so I hope to see quite a few more finished during Curt's painting Challenge.

5 comments:

Michael Mills said...

Wonderful stuff Greg. Looking forward to seeing more of these!

Stuart S said...

Fantastic never played 40k but could be tempted if they all looked like these.
Cheers
Stu

Michael Peterson said...

These figures were a great entry. As you note, a really crazy and delightful mashup of steampunk and W40K, painted really well. Love the gold and bronze look.
Best,
Michael

Nicholas D.C. Wansbutter said...

Fantastic work on these lovely figures. Would you be willing to share the paint recipes you used, especially for the armour? I've been inspired by your work here and have had a hankering to buy and paint some Solar Auxillia of my own and might use your recipe. Thanks!

Greg B said...

@ Nicholas - thanks very much. If you are interested in the paints I used you can drop me a line through the blog contact or at greg dot burch dot mb dot ca at hotmail.


Cheers!