Friday, January 18, 2019

Fifth Painting Challenge Submission - Vostroyan Officer and Special Weapon Troopers

Vostroyan Officer and Special Weapon troopers, metal 28mm figures from GW. 
My fifth submission into Curt's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge included more metal goodness from GW days gone past.  The setting switches from Middle Earth to the grim darkness of the far future, GW's Warhammer 40k.  These figures are special weapon troopers for the "Vostroyan" Regiments of the Astra Militarum Imperial Guard.  They are 28mm metal castings from GW. 

Vostroyan officer - power fist and laser pistol (and feathers!)
A view of the detail on the casting - love the buckles, the, these are cool and fun figures.

The Vostroyans first appeared as a box set some time in...I want to say 2004? I can't recall exactly...but it was a while ago.  I fell in love with them at the time.  They have a bizarre, baroque look that, to me, meshes just so well with the dark artwork of folks like John Blanche. The Vostroyan troops look like some manner of 19th Century Grenadier, with a grim-dark-tech touch that is done very nicely, giving them an utterly dour and ominous appearance. Other sculptors have tried to fuse the various notions of black powder-era soldiers and sci-fi (particularly GW's grimdark sort), but I have never seen it done better than with the GW Vostroyan castings. 

Plasma gunners - blue feathers on this bunch to distinguish themselves. 
The look, of course, is not for everyone.  This style of sci-fi is a bit of a specific look, and I find people either love it or hate it. Certainly I love it. I started painting a few up "back in the day" when they were first released.  This initial painting output covered most of the force from one of the starter boxes - two 10-man squads and a command squad - not very many for a game. Over time GW's product lineup has "evolved", and the Vostroyan castings (and all other metal products) became harder to find.  Before they faded from view completely, I did use some Christmas money to assemble a final addition to round out the force into something useful for the tabletop. I even painted one of these squads back in the 2013-14 edition of the Painting Challenge

Some different colour for the feathers on these fellows. 
Rear view showing (probably very dangerous) power supply for the weapons. 
But since then...well, I haven't touched the fellows! The project went into hibernation - still something that "I'll get around to soon"...LOL!  Which is unfortunate - at 30 troops (plus a few commanders) strong, it is a small force (although they have seen a lot of action on the tabletop over the years). In fact, even though my painted force of Vostroyans is small, they have been used a lot, usually as an allied detachment of some kind, or playing a smaller role alongside a larger force.
But if I just bulked them up a bit, painting more figures, they would make a fine overall (or more complete) force of Imperial Guard for the gaming table - after all, the vehicles do most of the work in an Imperial Guard force, so why not have nice metal sculpts to serve as the dismounts.

So, for years I have been meaning to dig out my precious little metal reserve of Vostroyan castings and paint them up. Like...well, at least five years I have been telling myself "hey, I'll do those next." Clearly my painting interests get easily distracted.

Troopers with "flamers" - squad-level flame-throwers. I would not have though a flamethrower could appear baroque, but here you are...
It is always fun during the Curt's Painting Challenges to see long-stalled efforts get some renewed energy. It is a common theme from many of the participants, and I find it inspires me to do the same, to finally tackle something that has been sitting around for a long time. I resolved to start with these fellows who had been waiting - base-coated and all - in the "pending" pile for quite some time now. Having found the will to get back to them, I did, however, encounter another Challenge...I could not remember the colour sequence I used back then...

Rear view of the flame troopers. 
So...well, I did my best to match the look of the figures I had painted...14 years ago.  I don't paint the same way I did in 2004 - or even 2014 for that matter. I like to think it is mostly for the better, as I have been able to improve with experience, as all of us do, but there are some aspects that are more about an evolution in style than a strict improvement.  As I said, I tried my best to match the look of the previously painted models, while allowing for a new touch here and there. 


Rear view of the trooper with the grenade launcher. 
There is one officer and seven troopers with special weapons - four with plasma guns, two with flamers and one with a grenade launcher.  These will give some variety to the regular squads, who otherwise come equipped with only flamers.  The plasma guns in particular are quite useful in the game, as they offer some hope of bringing down heavily armoured opponents (not much hope, but some).   The extra officer will give a bit more command flexibility too.  But most importantly, hopefully I can run more of these figures through my painting table and get that "small" initial force from 2004 to a larger level.

These figures were good for another 40 "points" toward my goal of 1200 points worth of painting through the Challenge period.  The submissions continue to pile up at Curt's blog, with a wide variety of subjects and projects trucking along from participants all over the world.  I encourage you to take some time (or just kill some time at the office) and check it out!


Codsticker said...

I have to admit that the Vostroyans never did catch my imagination but I can understand the appeal of them and you have done very nice work with them.

Dallas said...

Great work dude. Love the masks on those models.