Friday, January 17, 2014

Rogue Trader Roughriders

So let's hope the Emperor Protects while we charge home...
 This is a fun Rogue Trader project to share! A squad of ten 28mm Imperial Guard Roughriders from the Rogue Trader era.  Many of us have projects or collections that go on and on for many years, but for me this one is special - I've been working to get this squad together since 2007! This unit was a submission for Curt's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.

WIP shot - drying in the base "goop"
It was in 2007 when I first started to acquire some surplus boxes of plastic Rogue Trader-era Imperial Guardsmen - a major nostalgia interest for me.  There were some really great eBay scores for me that year - whole boxes of 36 plastic guardsmen, some unpainted officer figures etc. In the midst of these was a set of three Roughrider torsos. As I worked to assemble and paint my other troops (see here for an example of them in action), I resolved back in 2007 that I would keep my eyes peeled to eBay to try and assemble enough spare parts to put together a Roughrider squad.

These were a little awkward to assemble.  I miss the old Rogue Trader figures, but they were not the easiest models to work with...
Little did I suspect just how long it would take to put together a proper 10-man unit…


Sergeant in the middle, and a lascannon gunner (not exactly a "classic" cavalry weapon) beside him
The roughriders were basically an option to mount an Imperial Guard tactical squad on horses.  After all, the horse would surely still be part of many worlds and cultures among the numberless, teeming masses of the Imperium of Man. Some of these horses would be used in the Imperial military.  
Good view of the excellent lance arms from Victoria Lamb
The Roughriders were armed identically to a tactical squad - lasguns, one grenade launcher, one lascannon - but with a twist.  They carried lances equipped with exploding tips.  I think an actual exploding lance tip would be daft for a real cavalryman, but it fits well in the 40k dystopia.  In game terms, it gives these troops quite a punch when they charge - for one turn, at least :)
You can see a couple of the bush hat dudes here
The Roughriders have carried on in the GW fluff over time, and I think they are still an option for Guard players today, although the models are now OOP. The Roughriders became space huns - the "Roughriders of Atilla".  The Tallarn-style guardsmen (desert themed troops) also got Roughrider models.  Ultimately Forge World took the baton - the grim Death Riders of Krieg are quite marvellous figures (if you can afford them), while the Tallarn troops got alternate Roughriders who essentially rode space camels called "Mukaali".  I don't think many current GW players bother with Roughriders as a selection for the table.
Another view of the bush hats...what a crazy combination of themes...very Rogue Trader
When I set out to get a squad of Rogue Trader Roughriders together in 2007, I didn't think it would take too long.  I was wrong! The Roughrider bits - special legs and torsos, including a special dude with a Grenade Launcher, and some guys wearing bush-cap style headgear - did not pop up very often on eBay.  It would be a torso here, a few legs there…and sometime I ended up with the wrong part.  Did you know GW had two separate types of "rider" legs - one for horses, and one for motorcycles? Me neither…found out the hard way after an eBay acution. Anyway it was not until late 2013 that I got enough bits together to do the proper squad - almost seven years after I started collecting the parts. 

I like this guy, about to stick the exploding lance into a target - I'm sure that will work out safely...
The lance arms are courtesy of Victoria Lamb. Thank goodness for her awesome products, as the GW originals did not actually have proper lances (much less cool ones with exploding tips) and I wasn't sure how I was going to swing that. Victoria Lamb's stuff is amazing. Consistent with my other Rogue Trader guardsmen, I slapped a "current" lasgun into the back stowage of the riders.  It would have been cooler to sculpt a strap for the guns - but I'm no sculptor…
Another view of the Sergeant - that's supposed to be a "122" on the number plates (122nd Regiment), but due to my freehand painting skills it mostly resembles a scrawl of crud
Even getting the horses together was a challenge, as GW's horse sprues have changed over time. The current plastic horses are too large (and a bit too silly). Again, I had to watch and wait on eBay for the parts to come up.
The perfect cavalry weapon - a 40k grenade launcher
Once I had all the bits together, it took a little while to put them all together. I started building them in November last year, and finally painted them for the challenge. Even with the excellent Victoria Lamb bits, these are not particularly glorious figures - they sit awkwardly on the horses, no natural riders among them, that's for sure. A cavalry enthusiast will find these to be just awful! But it is a genuine nostalgia thrill to have these fellows finished.  
Hopefully they will pop off some of Dallas' Rogue Trader Orks the next time we play some old school 40k. 


Grenzer John said...

I've always had a soft sport for the helmeted Rough Riders. Very nice!

Stephen said...

This. Is. Awesome.

I salute you! I have been in the game since RT days and have just gotten back in after 9 years away from the hobby. Thank God for ebay!

DeanM said...

Wonderfully painted troops - not familiar with them, but they look great.

Moiterei_1984 said...

Great work! Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Simon Quinton said...

Sheer Awesomeness in this post.

Great job and great looking unit.

Kevin Holland said...

Great work, Greg!

Always liked the old, RT era stuff!

Alan M said...

Oh they take me back! Loved the idea of rough riders but GW certainly had some fascinating ideas about how you control a horse during this period! You'v really brought them to life nicely here.