|Destroyer Squad from the VI Legion Astrates, the "Space Wolves". |
Something very strange has recently happened to our climate here in the Canadian prairies. A blazing orange globe has appeared in the sky, causing the sh*tpiles of snow to finally melt, and we are now confronted with all manner of strange growth appearing in lawns, gardens and forests. Warm temperatures make it possible to be outside of the house without multiple layers of coats and clothing. One can even sit outside for an extended period without freezing. Experts claim this phenomena is known as "spring"...hey, it's weeks and weeks late, but better late than never!
|Pistols and grenades all around...but the one fellow is carrying a rocket launcher that can use some pretty terrifying ammunition.|
So, my painting rate has slowed with the arrival of nice weather, but I never totally stop painting - I'm kind of obsessed with it :)
My paintbrushes are still locked very much on Horus Heresy subjects at the moment. In this spirit, here is a small addition to my loyalist forces for GW's Horus Heresy setting. This is a "Destroyer Squad", five Space Marines in Mark IV powered armour, equipped with jet-powered jump packs and a variety of nasty weapons. They are painted in the colours of the VI Legion Astrates, the "Space Wolves". The figures are from Forge World, and the decals are from Forge World and GW.
|A view of the "jump packs", they let the Marines jump in, get the job done, and get clear. |
What is a "Destroyer" squad you might ask? After all, "destroy" a basic function of all Space Marines. What could possibly set this unit apart from the others? It's true - much about The Emperor's Space Marines are scary - they are terrifying, genetically-engineered instruments of total war. They show up in orbit, and the fate of your world is sealed...the brutality a matter of degree. They either destroy your government (Raven Guard, Imperial Fists, Blood Angels), issue a press release while doing so (Ultramarines), or destroy your capital city, (Sons of Horus, Emperor's Children, Iron Hands, Dark Angels), or destroy every city on your world (Death Guard, Word Bearers, Iron Warriors, White Scars), and maybe kill everyone while doing any of the above (World Eaters, Night Lords), and possibly steal all of the pension funds too (Alpha Legion). Seriously - what war function could possibly cause this bunch any sort of unease?
Yet even among the ranks of the Space Marines, "Destroyers" are something of a breed apart, because they are equipped with terrifying radiation and gas weapons that your average Space Marine Commander - even a very cold, uncaring and jaded one - is reluctant to release into battle - any battle. These fellows carry "rad grenades" and "phosphex" grenades and missiles, in addition to bolt pistols and their nasty demeanour. Assignment to the Destroyer units is not considered much of an honour, and the officers and marines put into those units seem to be ones that the Primarch and the other senior commanders in the legion don't much care for.
|A view of the shoulder pauldrons...you can also see the extra layer of amour plated on to the shin guards. |
In the 30k setting, "phosphex" is a kind of WMD - can burn right through any armour, even the power armour of the Space Marines, and will also burn the marine alive as well. If it can do this to power armoured troops, think of what it would do to everyone and everything else on the battlefield? Not a practical weapon to unleash, unless you are really desperate or really mad at your enemy...
|This is the officer leading the squad...no fancy comb for his helmet (would just get burnt off by the chemicals), but I threw a decal on his chest plate to give him a bit of distinction from the other members of the unit. |
Anger and desperation - that is why I painted up such a unit with the loyalist side of the setting. The Space Wolves are The Emperor's executioners, and when they were sent to Prospero to tune up the Thousand Sons, they used every terrifying weapon they had - Horus even "helped" to make sure they could. So the VI Legion put their Destroyer units into the battle.
Later, Once Horus' rebellion started, Legions like the VI were caught on the back foot, ambushed and betrayed...the loyalist commanders were both desperate and really, really, really mad. I can see them shouting down the vox at their underlings - "The prohibited stuff. Get it from the magazines, and get it ready. NOW." In the race to stop the Warmaster and his plans, everything was on the table.
|I painted the grenades really bright yellows and reds, trying to emphasize the extra-scariness of these scary fellows. |
Of course, it is a perfect 30k twist that the Space Marines would deploy these terrifying weapons in in a relatively up-close-and-personal fashion, arriving on jump packs, releasing their grenades, making sure the job is finished before clearing out, hopefully before any substances they released destroy their own armour. The pride of the Vylka Fenryka
is such that they would be reluctant to unleash these weapons, but once provoked by betrayal and driven by revenge, I'm sure the The Rout would not hesitate...
Thanks for reading, and stay safe everyone!