Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Fifth Challenge Submission - The Alpha Legion

The Alpha Legion arrives on my painting table
My fifth submission to the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge features a new Legion for my 30k collection - the 20th Legion, known as the Alpha Legion.  The Alphas have one of the more entertaining back stories among the numerous legions featured in GW's "Horus Heresy" setting.  The other Legions have elaborate histories - some noble, some bloody, nearly all grim, and all with long service in the endless wars which abetted the rise of the Emperor and the establishment of the Imperium.

Veteran Sergeant on the left, Chaplain on the right
Back view of the officers
The history of the Alphas, on the other hand, is not well known, and this was on purpose.  They started off as a black ops, special forces-type organization, used by the Emperor and his senior officials for specialized activities of the sort that archivists were not meant to record. Eventually the demands of the "great crusade" were such that this force was elevated to the status of a Legion itself, and they became the 20th - and final - of the Space Marine Legions. One of many decisions the Emperor would likely come to regret...

Vexillary on the left, and a communications trooper on the right

Rear detail on the communication and vexillary models
The last Legion established, but taking the name "Alpha", is a contradiction action that fits well with how the Alpha Legion rolls.  Where the other Legions strive in the shadow of their elaborate histories to pursue greater causes and honour their ponderous histories, the Alphas just seem to be trolling the galaxy.  The Alpha Legion is all about wheels-within-wheels, schemes, plotting, subversion, spying...like a Space Marine Legion-sized version of the CIA, complete with its own military industrial complex to sustain its machinations. They can do all of the standard, scary, appear-in-orbit-and-destroy-your-world Space Marine stuff.  But before they would bother, they will probably have wrecked on the pension funds, crashed the property markets, illegally seized the leases for resource extraction and rigged the elections.  If all that wasn't enough fun, then fine - orbital assault.

The Alphas built a galaxy-spanning network of informers, agents and contacts, even infiltrating the other Space Marine legions.  They spun endless webs of information and misinformation, mixing freely and spreading them widely. As such, they were disliked and distrusted by their brother Legions.

In particular, they had problems with the Iron Warriors (or just seemed to provoke the worst in them).  I know Dallas is toying with doing an Iron Warriors force, so I hope this bunch might spur his project along at some point...

Some Alphas in Mark IV armour

The embossed shoulder plates are from Forge World...an expensive addiction, but I love how they look
The outbreak of the Horus Heresy was almost a happy coincidence for the Alphas - I suspect they were planning to just run around a blow sh!t up, whatever the Emperor and then Horus ordered.  Although they sided with Horus in the Heresy, the Warmaster had difficulty controlling them.  The Alphas would interpret orders as liberally as they liked, and had so many schemes going they were just as likely to fight the rebels as the loyalists.  Their main operational motto is "no witnesses".  With a bunch like this, there are a lot of possibilities for fun scenarios!

Mark VI "Corvus" power armoured figures from Forge World - the Alphas are often portrayed employing these classic "beakie" armour suits, much more so it seems than the other Legions

As an aside, if you are a Space Marine dork like me, you will fine no models to be more fun to build than these Mark VI suits from Forge World - the price is eye watering, but these are faithful to the original RTB01 plastics - you will love them

The other reason I wanted to collect this force had to do with their colour scheme. They are often seen in a blue, or blue green, with a metallic sheen, the colour of a sports car.  The downside to this cool look is that it almost always seems to involve an airbrush, a general deal-breaker for me. I tried for a couple months before the Challenge started to find a way to come up with that cool metallic blue without an airbrush, but just couldn't make it work.  So I came up with a different blue-green approach - it's not a cool, metallic-looking finish, but I'm still pretty pleased with how it is turning out and there is no airbrush involved.

Chaplain for the Alpha Legion...given their approach to the universe, I expect this guy would be into irony more than anything else
This model will do as a command figure for the Alphas until I can get some more command troops
Can you feel the "faith"?

These models were a ton of fun to paint.  They are a mix of plastics from the "Betrayal at Calth" box set, with some upgraded bits from Forge World, and some resin Mark VI power armour marines from Forge World.  The Chaplain is the "Kurtha Sedd" plastic figure from the "Betrayal at Calth" box set, painted to be an officer/command figure for the Alpha Legion.

This submission has 11 28mm infantry models, but two of the models were test paints from before the Challenge so they don't count, so this netter another 45 points.  Almost at 200 points now, and still planning to bend the brushes with more 30k stuff...

No comments: