Monday, April 8, 2024

30k Praetor for Imperial Fists

"So the guy walked in with a sword..." - Praetor for the Imperial Fists.

The procession of new 30k character models continues. Today we have a Praetor for the VII Legion Astartes, The Imperial Fists. This is a multi-part plastic figure from GW's "Age of Darkness", the rules and model range for the Horus Heresy setting. This figure was originally released with the big "Age of Darkness" box set, and is also now available on its own. 

Nice Volkite blaster to participate in the shooting fun with his friends...

The Space Marine Legions of the Horus Heresy setting copy many features of the old Roman Legions from history - for example, the senior officers are "Centurions" and the many specialist characters are found under the umbrella of "Consuls". In keeping with this theme/inspiration, the senior command figures of Space Marine Legions are known as "Praetors". Whereas the Preators of antiquity were not necessarily warriors, in the Horus Heresy setting the Praetor is an even scarier, tougher and more capable super-human Space Marine warrior. This type of character will commonly represent the core command/HQ element of a given Space Marine force on a 30k tabletop.

Love the WWE-sized decoration on the "belt" at the middle segment of the armour.

When GW issued the new "Age of Darkness" game, they included two new plastic Praetor designs. I nicknamed one "The Axehole". This is the second Praetor design, and for reasons that are probably pretty obvious, this figure tends be known as "The Sword Praetor" - not as catchy, I guess, but it delivers.

If you are particularly sharp-eyed, you might say "hey, I think that figure is a re-paint!" and you would be correct. I had originally painted this fellow up in Sons of Horus colours, but have come to see his weapons, pose etc. as more appropriate for the Loyalist side. Besides, the Sons of Horus has "The Axehole", and already have a large assortment of other officer-type figures, whereas my Imperial Fist collection was a little light on command characters. I also really wanted to have this model in a game sometime, so he has been updated to fight for The Emperor. 

Or maybe he is just an Alpha Legion operative...? Anyway, I wonder what dice karma this figure will experience on the table...

Gotta have a nice cloak, right?

Sword guy here has, well, an insanely large sword - so large, in fact, I don't even think he could sheath it and still carry it around. That is a pretty nice match, though, for the insanely large cloak! And for fun, he is also carrying around some manner of Volkite-type blaster, to deal with opponents who are not worthy of his bladecraft...

These new Praetor models - both "The Axehole" and Sword Guy here - are great fun. Where the new Mark VI "beakie" Marines are modest and plain, these Praetor figures are over-the-top characters - big blades, big guns, big cloaks and big attitudes that set them apart well from their more common charges. It all comes together so nicely - I just see a lovely homage to the original 6mm figures from the original "Space Marine" game all those years ago...

Another VII Legion Astartes group photo from my shelf...the collection is continuing to grow!

My only quibble is the terrain piece that comes with the model - I hate infantry models with built-in terrain, and dislike how that trend appears to be accelerating in the GW design studio. But that is pretty small beer - overall, these whacky plastic fellows are a fine addition to the diverse assortment of Horus Heresy character models. This fellow, with a giant sword, huge cloak, scary ray gun and a defiant pose stands ready to defend The Emperor, his Palace on Terra, or any other Important Place (tm) in the wars of the Horus Heresy.

That's all for today - thanks for reading!

Saturday, April 6, 2024

30k Sons of Horus Consul and Apothecary

New additions to my XVI Legion Astartes collection. 

We continue the mini-parade of Space Marine Legion Officialdom in this post, featuring a sinister friendly "Dark Emissary Consul" and an Apothecary, both painted in the lovely colours and symbols of the XVI Legion Astartes, the Sons of Horus. These are 28mm multi-part resin figures from GW/Forge World, part of their "Age of Darkness" Horus Heresy setting.

Dark Emissary Consul

"Let me be clear about the Warmaster's intentions here..."

The liberation of humanity - indeed, the entire galaxy - from the tyranny and oppression of the False Emperor is a big job. While of course we know Horus Lupercal is up to this challenge, he is still a team player, and to help ensure the sheep his big-tent coalition can keep moving forward in the right direction he has a band of sinister ideological enforcers trusted assistants to help ensure his loyal followers keep their "eye on the prize"... 

Skullz dipped in gold. A totally normal thing to carry around with you. Right?

Many of the new specialist figures released for the "Age of Darkness" range are faction/Legion-agnostic, this fellow is clearly designed with the look and feel of a single Legion in mind. Given his role, that makes sense...thus we have the "Eye of Horus" displayed prominently on the armour, and on the backpack, and on the staff, and on the..."chain-bound-hand accessory" obviously know who this fellow speaks for when he talks! That staff will get your attention...even if he has to strike you with it...

What a striking accessory! The chain really makes it easy to carry around, no doubt...

We see a lot of the "Cthonia" themed elements seen on the Sons of Horus on this figure too - the skullz (taken from defeated enemies, dipped in gold and kept as trophies), and the coins (also markers of...defeated enemies). Sense a theme here?

While the armour is amazing and ornate, one thing he is not wearing is a helmet. I almost always opt to put a helmet on a Space Marine figure, because space and war are dangerous and Space Marines should wear their damn helmets! But in this instance, I went with the helmet-less head. After all, the Warmaster understands the importance of a personal connection with his subjects, and he will expect his Emissaries to meet the same standards. No helmet shall be a barrier to his message! It's all about the personal connection, right?

Apothecary in Mark V Armour

Is that Mark V armour? A new Apothecary for the ranks of the XVI Legion Astartes.

We've covered the lovely fun of the Apothecaries in the 30k setting many times in the blog, so not much to add here. This is the second half of the new Apothecary set GW released last month. 

You can see all of what one might call "the tools of the trade": the chainsword (useful in a fight, to be sure, but also helpful for larger scale, um, "battlefield surgery"); the "narthecium", an armoured-appearing gauntlet boasting yet another saw blade as well as several other bits and bobs useful either for patching up Space Marines, or extracting the key gooey bits from the fallen ones which will be necessary to create replacements; the helmet with extra lenses; the lamp over the shoulder; he various "fluid" containers and drips on the belt and pack; the blood-splattered tabard/cloth; and of course the medic symbol on the shoulder and power pack.

A view of the detail on the power pack...a lot going on back there.

What was most notable about this figure for Horus Heresy fans was the armour variant he is wearing - the so-called "Mark V" plate. The lore around the armour worn by the Space Marines of the Horus heresy has been fairly fungible - changing, it seems, depending on what kits GW is seeking to sell - and I am OK with that. Seeing that there is a sculpt in Mark V for the current range inspires hope/speculation that we might one day see plastic Mark V armour kits? Who knows? That is probably silly speculation - but that kind of speculation is the most fun after all! 

You can't miss the studs on the Mark V plate...

The Sons of Horus in my collection can count on a pretty-well-staffed Apothecarion detachment at this point - which only makes sense, as naturally the Warmaster would ensure his forces are well-provisioned. Given the sorts of hijinks the Apothecaries have provided on our gaming tables over the years, it would be fun to deploy the full lot of them in a game some time!

That's all for this one - thanks for reading, and watch for more in the coming weeks!

Thursday, April 4, 2024

30k Imperial Fist Consul and Apothecary

New specialists for the VII Legion Astartes!

Well, another edition of Curt's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge has come and gone! While my own production levels were significantly down from prior years, as a group the Conscripts once again stepped up to rack up some incredibly impressive submissions and point-totals - well done team! I encourage everyone to browse through the Challenge, or just check the posts on this blog for the past three months, to see some truly awesome stuff. 

Now we come to the part of the year where Challenge participants have a few projects that were "meant for the Challenge" - minis and models you prepped, and even started to paint, during the AHPC but you did not finish in time. My Painting Challenge run was interrupted by a house move, so my assortment of these kinds of projects is rather larger than usual now that spring of 2024 is here. Time to start moving along on those - and here we have a couple of them. This is a Loyalist Champion Consul and an Apothecary for GW's Horus Heresy setting. These are resin 28mm figures from GW/Forge World (which is the same thing, but somehow still of different...whatever...).

Loyalist Champion Consul

"Anybody up for some sword practice?" - Loyalist Champion Consul for the Imperial Fists.

In the "Age of Darkness" game the Space Marine Legion players can access all sorts of specialized characters under the heading of "Consul". These range from medical specialists to communications experts to...well...what you see here - a guy with a big sword, fancy gun, and something of a menacing air, even by Space Marine standards. This is a "Champion Consul".

It's not all blade work...fancy combi-bolter is on hand too...

Even amid the incredible tumult of the "Age of Darkness" battlefields, where ranged weapons of every imaginable size, type and calibre/power level rake the ground, the Space Marines are still big into finishing off their enemies in close contact. The "Champion Consul" takes this to the next level, running around and issuing challenges to enemy Champions and other officers, slaying them and moving on their next you can see, he has a Great Big Sword (tm) to assist in this role.

View of the sword, the holstered bolt pistol, and a handy grenade is also on his belt.

Even though the sword is the focal point, he can still join in with the shooting fun, as he is also carrying a combi-bolter, which features a nice little melta gun. Slagging some enemies with deadly melta blasts will help conserve energy for the next really important sword fight...

This sculpt is faction/Legion agnostic, although in name it is intended for the Loyalist side of the conflict, and the looks of the figure, with the sword, the tabard etc. would support this. I have painted him up for my growing collection of VII Legion Astartes, the Imperial Fists - although given the prominence of the sword I opted for more black armour, aping the Templar Brethern look, as I can see him hanging around with those fellows between duels.

This kit comes with options for either a helmet or (of course) a bear-head. I opted for the helmet, as I nearly always do, because space is dangerous, war is dangerous, and Space Marines should wear their damn helmets - especially if your job is to run around fighting duels on a Horus Heresy battlefield! I just love that it is a "beakie" style helmet too - always want to support the "beakie" renaissance!

This is a really, really nice sculpt and I enjoyed painting him up. As a newly painted figure, I'm sure he will not do well in his first duel on the table top - in fact, I can imagine him getting hit with a macro cannon or something prior to even getting close enough to duel anyone...but all the same, it's great to have him in the collection. I'm sure the Templar Brethern will be happy to have him!

Legion Apothecary

"Anybody call for a medic?" - Legion Apothecary for the Imperial Fists.

Ah, the Legion Apothecary! Where would the Space Marine Legions be without these hard-working chaps? As noted above, the battlefields of the Horus Heresy are awash in the fire of terrible weapons - and if one of those doesn't get you, some nut case with a large sword might! Yes, of course The Emperor has created you as a science-fiction super soldier, but even if you have a backup hear, a spare lung, and all sorts of other Dark-Age-of-Technology enhancements, you'll get hurt at some point...when that happens, enter the apothecary!

It's not all's gooey fluids too!

Not only will he heal your wounds - no, he does so much more! If the prognosis is severe, he'll make sure you can still serve. And if the wound(s) is/are really, really, really severe he'll provide you with "The Emperor's Peace" to ensure no lingering pain or time for contemplation. It's all about "wellness", Age-of-Darkness style!

Is that all? No! There is more! He also helps with recycling! Once a mighty Space Marine falls in battle, the Apothecary ensures that gene-seed-bits used to create him are recovered and returned to the Legion, ready for use in a new recruit. In that moment where some kind of Volkite ray slices a Space Marine in half, he will expire knowing a new recruit will take his place in service of The Emperor, all thanks to the Apothecary!

This model is part of a new two-figure apothecary set released by GW as they continue to round out their "Age of Darkness" range. Fans were pleased to get an apothecary wearing the Mark VI "beakie" power armour, and the sculptors did a wonderful job with the figure. The Imperial Fists on my shelf will be pleased to have another healer/helper on hand as they prepare to defend The Emperor's palace on Terra.

My collection of Terra's doomed defenders, awaiting deployment at their assigned staging area on the shelf... 

As you can see above, these two fellows have taken their place amid the yellow-and-black armoured ranks of my collection - and they await further reinforcements! More to come on that in the weeks ahead. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Steel Legion Stormblade

 Over the painting challenge I finished that last units for my Steel Legion Imperial Guard. The crown jewel of the challenge was supposed to be the Stormblade. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to complete it in time, but better late than never. This model isn't actually the Forgewrold one. I found a file on Thingverse for a plasma blastgun and mount to go with the GW stormshadow kit. It took some work to make it fit, but it came out better than I expected it would. The model also includes a few engine pieces and generators from Blood & Skulls Industry. The plasma blastgun probably draws a lot of power so I upgraded the engine to look like some sort of sketchy nuclear engine with associated dynamos. Blood &Skulls bitz fit pretty, but do need some clean up and green stuff work.

I went with yellow lights as it suggests the reactor is heating up, but we're not sure by how much. It'll probably be fin.

Below are the other Steel Legion models I did manage to complete for the painting challenge.

Heavy weapon team from Victoria Miniatures

GW Steel Legion lascannons and heavy bolter

Steel Legion Commissar

Death Korps kill team veteran squad

Thanks for visiting!

The Emperor vs. Horus - Homage to Mike McVey


If you're over 40 and played Warhammer 40K I bet you recognize these models. Back in the days of second edition, one Mike McVey headed up the painting crew at GW and what a talent he was. One of the amazing projects he undertook for the Studio was a diorama based on an Adrian Smith illustration, "The Emperor vs. Horus" from back in 1990. I've put a pic of the illustration at the end of this post.

So ever since then I've wanted to have these models to paint for myself. This desire was only reinforced when I saw the original diorama at Warhammer World in 2019. Unfortunately the models in the diorama were one-offs converted and sculpted by McVey - he said in an article in White Dwarf #183 that the Emperor model had parts from eight other models and some sculpted detail too. Horus was similar.  I even tried my hand at a Horus conversion myself, so desperate was I.

Fast forward to this year. I'd seen some 3D prints of models sculpted by a man called BigMrTong, a fellow who's also an enthusiast of the Golden Age of GW. In fact I bought a set of amazing Rogue-Trader-style skeletons in spacesuits (wielding RTB01 bolters no less), and needed to know more. So I joined his Facebook group...

...and nearly lost it when I saw this model, painted by one of the group's members. I hoped it was a 3D print but was quite deflated to learn that it was a metal sculpt produced (along with Horus) in a limited run by BigMrTong. He picks up the story of their origin: "a guy was finding all the parts used in the original conversions and I found the final few bits and then tracked down all the original parts, then resculpted the custom parts, finally casting up a few sets with that base for display." 

Sadly (and unsurprisingly) they quickly sold out, but after I reached out to him, BigMrTong came to the rescue by offering to sell me a set he'd held onto himself. I couldn't get out my wallet fast enough, and after a week or so the parcel arrived with the Emprah, Horus, the 3D-printed diorama base, and a smaller bit of stair for the Emperor to stand on. 

What can I say about these models? They're fantastic and were super-fun to paint. I'd always wanted a set of these models and BMT made it happen.


Freehand here on the shoulder pad and power fist [pats self on back]

Here's Horus, looking mean and moody. A word about the painting. Having only a fraction of Mr. McVey's skill, I painted the armour in straightforward red and white. However, if you've seen the original models, you know that McVey painted the armour in a very detailed freehand filigree style, it just looks stupendous but like I said, well beyond my skill level.

I cheated a bit on the freehand here, the base was a decal from "Chaos Decal Sheet 1" from the 1990s. I painted the white around it and the colours on the eye.

As you can see here I've actually magnetized these too. I ended up sinking one small neodymium disc magnet into the bottom of one foot on each model, then putting a somewhat larger disc magnet in the appropriate positions on the diorama base and 32mm round bases.

That way Horus and the Emprah can actually take part in a tabletop game if we want - however unlikely that is.  

Supposedly the original head here was a part from the old Leman Russ model, with the hair carved off. Looks scary.

Here's a pic from the White Dwarf of the original diorama, just in case anybody needs a reminder of how good it was. 

And here's the picture it was based on. So good.

I know that the world of GW has moved on some in the last 30 years, but I miss metal models and the original lore, before everything got so serious. Let us not forget that the "Horus Heresy" was only invented because Space Marines were the only models made for the Space Marine (epic scale) game and there had to be some reason that Space Marines were fighting each other. But that was before there were 200 books published telling the story of the Heresy. Whatever.

Anyway I had such fun painting these models. Gotta say a big thank-you to BigMrTong for the sculpts and for selling me these models from his personal collection. If you like RT-era GW please check out his stuff (Facebook or Google works) and support his work. You'll probably see more of it on this blog!


Thursday, March 28, 2024

30k Imperial Fist Assault Marines

Conformists with jet packs, chains swords and pistols...what could go wrong?

There are always a few efforts that were meant to be included in an edition of the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, but did not or could not make it for whatever reason. Here we have some photos of just such a project - a squad of assault marines for GW's Horus Heresy setting, painted in the sharp colours of the VII Legion Astartes, the Imperial Fists. These are multi-part plastic figures from GW. 

He's just looking for someone to punch...

While GW is certainly still capable of creating frustration among fans, there is no question that, on the whole, there has just never been a better time to be a fan of the Horus Heresy! These new plastic assault marines, wearing glorious Mark VI "beakie" powered armour were released in 2023 and I was super keen to get my mits on some for my collection. Naturally, the forces of the Warmaster received their reinforcements first...but at least I got there eventually for the Loyalist side. 

Standard issue assault marine...a bit of extra armour across the chest (not that it will save him from the Warmaster's righteous wrath...)

It has been a while since I was last working on Imperial Fists, and I had kind of forgotten exactly how I had landed in terms of taking an approach to painting the yellow. It took a little experimenting to refresh my memory, but I figured it out eventually, and here it is as a reminder for next time - a black base coat, then a thin layer of "Zandri Dust", then thin coats of "Yriel Yellow", edge highlights with "Flash Gitz Yellow", a recess wash with Vallejo Sepia Wash and finally some spot highlights with "Dorn Yellow.

Great poses on these models. 

Fancy jet packs anyone? Love the crazy jump packs on these fellows...

In particular I wash really, really happy with the Vallejo Sepia Wash. This was recommended in the comments section following one of my many posts lamenting the decline of GW's previously-amazing "Agrax Earthshade". The Sepia Wash product is not an exact replacement, but it is much, much, much better than the current edition of "Agrax Earhshade", and it really came in handy painting the recess wash on the armor for these fellows. 

Plasma pistol for fun, because "assault marine" is not a dangerous-enough job already.

In my original post about these figures, I was raving about how awesome they are...and that all still applies. I love these guys. They look amazing. They hit all of the nostalgia zones for the old "Space Marine" game perfectly, and are great fun to assemble and paint. It is just a matter of time until I add more, maybe to reinforce the squads I have done so far (they can be up to 20 models, after all) or even just to have them on the shelf or see how they look in the colours of a different Legion?

Our plasma-wielding friend, joined up with squad, ready for a final stand...

At any rate, these lads are all set to jump into action for the loyalist cause - so polite of them to jump closer to Horus' forces, saving them the trouble of chasing them around in order to cut them to pieces...thanks for reading, stay tuned for more!