+ inload: Restrictions and inspiration +

+ Centurion Zariçus Cjarn +

+ 242nd Company, IV Legion Iron Warriors +

+ Part of the struggle of putting together a themed army is trying to work out what to include, and what to leave out. Restrictions are often seen in a negative light, but they can be useful. Necessity is the mother of invention, as the old saw goes, and you can enrich your army's background and find surprising new angles by bouncing off something else. +

+ My Iron Warriors army is set up as an opposition army to those of my friends grahamgilchrist's and Bob Hunk's Imperial Fists, both of which are themed around the Siege of Terra. As a result, I had a basing scheme and time period in place. In addition, that casts my army in the role of the baddies. +

+ The Horus Heresy can be seen in black-and-white terms, but I find it more interesting to explore the 'pathetic aesthetic' of 40k, and look at the factions in more morally neutral terms. Those who follow Horus end up as monstrous villains in 40k, but in 30k, there are far fewer differences between the sides than it might appear. + 

+ So, riffing on that theme, I was struck by the idea of a well-intentioned Iron Warrior who had made bad decisions while trying to come up with an idea for my leaders. Essentially, what if straight-laced Loken (the protagonist of Horus Rising) had decided that his loyalty was to the Imperial Truth, rather than to the Emperor as a figurehead. It's easy to see that an Astartes raised to believe in secular truth and told that the Emperor had strayed from the path might have misgivings. If his misgivings were nurtured by those loyal to the Warmaster, we might see his take his first steps towards rebellion – or in his eyes, ensuring the continuation of the Imperium, with a new, more worthy leader on the Throne. Zariçus Cjarn was thus envisaged. +

+ Perhaps the most obvious part of this figure is the twin axes. One, held behind him, represents his loyal Imperial side – this is in the past, and held more loosely. The other axe is a twisted chaos blade, held aggressively in front of him, and painted with eye-catching warm colours. This represents his future. In addition to the axes, I added an Iron Halo, but inverted it and attached it to his torso as a collar. He is destined now to become a slave to Chaos – a fallen angel. It's also a nod to the classic Franzetta-inspired spiky bits aesthetic of the Chaos marines. +

+ Other than the axe and collar, Cjarn could easily pass for an Imperial officer. His armour is slightly more elaborate than a regular marine (the lower half is Forge World's Lufgt Huron, his right arm from the Minotaur's Chapter Master). I followed this through on the painting scheme, keeping it stripped back and sober, as befits an Iron Warrior. + 

+ Returning to the theme, his name was suggested by the Polish knight Zawisza Czarny, a model of virtue who came to a sad end captured by his enemies. This is a subtle little nod to the Siege, with a twist – the real Czarny was an ally to King Sigismund of Hungary. Sigismund is also the name of the Imperial Fists' First Captain, who was noted as having slain a number of Chaos Champions during the Siege. I thought it would be fitting to have Zariçus Cjarn have some sort of connection with Sigismund – rival, friend or noted duellist, perhaps. I'd like to explore this in his background, and Centurion Cjarn is thus fated to fall on Terra to the Emperor's Champion. Hopefully we'll see this happen in-game sometime! The cedilla in his first name is a bit of a retro nod to the mëtäl ümläüts and similar accents that often turn up in Chaos names (like Khârn the Betrayer). +

+ I was half-tempted to remove the Imperial Eagle on his arse-flap (probably not the technical name), but decided in the end to leave it in place. It reinforces the idea that Cjarn is misguided rather than evil, and hopefully adds to that sense of moral greyness over the whole army. +

+ Of course, it's important not to make the villains too relatable. Cjarn is still a monster, even by this point. I wanted to hammer that home with a face streaming with blood and distorted by a terrible howl of rage. Fittingly – and with a hint of situational irony – the Imperial Fists' Breacher squad provided the head. He is grim, and horrible: a twisted mirror for the noble Sigismund, just as Perturabo is a mirror for Dorn. +


Anonymous said...

Beautiful work! One thing that strikes me is the off-hand, or "Imperial" axe. The colors you chose make me think it may have once belonged to the Emperor's Children. Does this axe have any tie-ins with the events of Angel Exterminatus, or am I jumping to conclusions?

apologist said...

Cheers. I hadn't thought of that link, but it's a nice one – thanks! The reason for the purple is that I've used that colour elsewhere in the scheme (mainly in the washes) – purple's a nice complementary for the yellow used on the markings and axe highlights; and should look effective in battle against the intended opponents' yellow armour. As a result, it doesn't overcomplicate the palette.

Beyond that, I use purple for my Ultramarines' power weapons, so it should tie in there. I do like the idea of it being a gift or similar from another Legion. I'll have to have a muse on that. I would like to include a couple of other traitor Legionaries in the army eventually (to hint at that 'warband feel' of 40k Chaos), so an Emperor's Children marine would be cool :)

Joe B said...

Amazing work on him. Your muted Iron Warriors colors look great, especially the battle-work gold trim. You even go one step further with his awesome story. I also saw his back hand ax as an Emperor's Children weapon and totally thought of the same story - they are arrogant twits after all and needed an Iron beating.

Lasgunpacker said...

Great work, but that head is absolutely perfect. Pity the "regular" 40k heads can not be so evocative.