|A new Legion for my collection - meet the "Iron Hands" from the 10th Legion...|
For my second submission to Curt's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, I felt it was time to return to a setting which I am quite passionate about, yet somehow was not present in any of my entries during the prior edition of the Painting Challenge - the Horus Heresy. This submission includes the beginnings of a new force of Loyalist Space Marines from the 10th Legion, known as the "Iron Hands". There is a 10-man veteran tactical squad, a senior commander ("Iron Father" - oh the names...) and a "Contemptor-Mortis" Dreadnought.
The Iron Hands and the "Shattered Legions"
When The Emperor unleashed his Space Marine legions upon the galaxy during his "Great Crusade", the Legions all started off with a number before they had a name - these Marines were from the 10th Legion. In the Horus Heresy story, the writers strive to give each of the Space Marine Legions some sort of relatively unique character or approach to war to set them apart from their, um, let's call them "colleagues". For the 10th Legion, which became the Iron Hands, their defining characteristic is an affinity for technology and weapon manufacturing that was unusual by the standards of the other Space Marine formations. Perhaps not the most exciting back story...
But what makes the Iron Hands kind of interesting is the part they play in the Horus Heresy story. I mean, it's not an awesome one for them - they are nearly wiped out at the Drop Site Massacre on Isstvan V, led into trap and betrayed. Their stupid Primarch, Ferrus Manus (think Paul Bunyan with power armour), is killed (one the few to actually be definitively killed), beheaded by Fulgrim (Primarch of the 3rd Legion) his former ally and friend. Manus' 10th Legion is almost completely slaughtered all around him. Ouch.
|Veteran Tactical Sergeant with a plasma pistol, a thunder hammer and a bit of an attitude problem...|
But "almost" isn't "100%". Some of the Iron Hands troops escaped - either because they had not yet deployed to the Isstvan drop, were detached elsewhere in Imperial space on other operations, were part of a garrison on the Iron Hands home world - or they had a combination of insane toughness, bonkers motivation and some luck to escape the massacre at the drop site itself and live to fight another day. These remnants (as with the remnants of the other betrayed Legions at that event on Isstvan V, the Raven Guard and Salamanders) would become known as the "Shattered Legions". This is where the fun comes in from a playing and game plot perspective...
While they retained their nominal loyalty to The Emperor, the Space Marine forces in the Shattered Legions - forces which could still muster several hundred or even several thousand Marines - were mostly driven by desire for revenge. The Iron Hands in particular lost their marbles a bit after their Primarch was killed. Bitter, focused and very well-armed and equipped (because they do, after all, have quite a capacity for maintaining equipment) Iron Hands detachments waged a bitter campaign of revenge against Horus Lupercal and the rebel legions who betrayed them. Sure, these efforts assisted the Loyalist cause, but that was just a fringe benefit, almost a coincidence - the surviving Iron Hands were out to kill every single Marine that betrayed them and their Primarch, and any who aided and abetted them. In truth, many of them cared little for The Emperor - after all, where was he when they needed him the most?
Sounds like a fun bunch! I like the idea of gaming with some "Shattered Legion" forces - and I did paint a few Raven Guard back in Painting Challenge VII. So...here we go...but one thing I decided to change up front for the Iron Hands was the colours. I already have Marines in very dark/almost black armour, and wanted these fellows to look a little different - so in place of the common black/silver seen in the GW books and among other painters, I have used a dark blue/grey for their armour, with metal and silver accents...it's an experiment, but I'm pleased with the look so far...we'll see how this plays out...
Veteran Tactical Squad
|Heavy Bolter on the right, regular trooper on the left - you can see the embossed shoulder pauldrons.|
This is a 10-man squad of Legion Marines in Mark III powered armour. They are sporting bolt guns and chain swords, supported by one Marine with a melta-gun and another Marine with a heavy bolt gun. There are some bits from Forge World on these fellows - decals, embossed shoulder pauldrons with the Iron Hands symbol, and components to create a communications trooper.
|Another view of a regular veteran Legion Marine from the Iron Hands...|
I figured if anyone was likely to survive the Drop Site Massacre, there would be some "veterans", right?
|View of the Vox-casting equipment on the comms-trooper.|
I love the plastic Mark III figures - they are fantastic kits from GW. I could paint these things by the dozen every day...which is a big part of my near-addictive fascination with this setting!
Senior Commander - "Iron Father"
The Iron Hands are of course hard-hitting Space Marine warriors, but are reputed to have a particular affinity for technology more reminiscent of the Mechanicum faction. A lot of the Iron Hands troops sport bionic enhancements and replacements for limbs - some required due to wounds in action of course, but many actually sought these out on a voluntary basis! This is particularly common among the senior officers of the Legion, who take to machine modification as part of their improved command abilities.
This is a senior officer, a Praetor, but known as an "Iron Father". He is wearing Cataphractii Terminator plate armour. The big wrench stuck out of his back is a "servo arm" (usually seen on so-called "Tech Marines" to repair vehicles and heavy equipment). He has a big axe to, um, "repair" various things (I'm thinking mostly attitudes). His side arm is a Volkite Charger.
|A view showing the "servo-arm" equipment on the back of the armour...you can also see the pistons on the legs...|
Both of his legs are bionic replacements - you can see pistons where the knees and shins used to be under the leg greaves.
I think he is meant to be menacing, but the effect is somewhat geriatric...this fellow will surely ruin your day, but only if you stand around and let him...still, he has a unique look and it suits the Iron Hands well.
|"Someone called for a BBQ?" - twin multi-meltas will slag almost anything on the table...|
Dreadnought armour is a common support option for Space Marine Legions. Somewhere in there is the remains of a Marine who was grievously wounded, but did not die...so his comrades popped him into this armoured vessel, where he can keep fighting! Hooray for the Imperium!
|Somewhere inside this is a nearly-dead Marine...|
This is a Contemptor Pattern Dreadnought armour unit - known as a "Mortis" variant because it has mounted two of the same heavy weapon. These weapons are multi-meltas - relatively short range weapons useful for slagging heavily armoured opponents/structures. It is a plastic kit from GW, and it has been modified by its previous owner, who assembled it but did not paint it, opting to sell it to me instead :-)
I am participating in a "side duel" during the Painting Challenge this year - a group of us are racing to paint the largest number of figures/models from Games Workshop. This entry helped me get started in that little race, while adding something like 70 points toward my overall target of 1200. Stay tuned for more!