+ inload: Mustering the Iron Warriors +

+ One of the most rewarding parts of collecting an army is setting it out en masse. I like to do it every so often while I'm painting as it acts to spur me on. +

+ The Iron Warriors have been occupying most of my hobby time recently; so I do apologise for the rather monotone nature of the blog in recent days! +

+ Greenstuff +
+ To step briefly away from the painting of the Iron Warriors, I thought I'd focus on some sculpting work I've been doing. I've added a metal skull (styled after the forthcoming Iron Circle models) to the Conqueror robot:

Not as clean as I'd like, but good practise and a fun challenge for myself. +

+ I've also been working on Erasmus Golg:

Early stages

Shoulder pad and arm basics – to check the pose – plus refinement on the existing greenstuff.

Upper layers of greenstuff and detailing.
+ Not quite finished yet, but this sequence does show the benefit of working gradually over the course of a few days, and stepping away to ensure you're looking at the model with fresh eyes every so often. This is a good way to ensure you're on track with your initial vision. +

+ inload: Phalangite Bakkal +

+ inload: Phalangite Bakkal +

+ The essence of warfare may, as has been demonstrated, be reduced to an equation. This should incorporate identification of the enemy's weaknesses and strengths – whether cultural, ethnic or species-wide. Such observations can be founded on historical study in concert with modern scientific principles such as scryomancy and haruspicy. +

+ For this reason, all efforts should be made to subdue enemy specimens as soon as possible during a campaign for enlightening vivisection, omophagy and, where possible, torture. +
Attr. Lokhagos Vukovic of the IV Legion

+ The typical Iron Warrior was shaped by his Legion culture to be fastidious and focussed. In the best cases, this encouraged cool-headed reliability in warmaking, but for many the training resulted in insular, mercurial personas who struggled to connect outside of delineated tasks or roles. As a result, while the Iron Warriors sent and received members of other Legions in exchange programmes meant to improve and alloy the Astartes, the Iron Warriors rarely flourished, many returning with little beyond a sense that their knowledge – hard won through grinding suffering – was taken with little of value returned. +

+ A notable exception to this rule was the IVth's relatively cordial relationship with the Warhounds – later the dread World Eaters. Iron Warriors who were quick to read slight into the attempted cordiality of their cousin Legions found themselves at ease with the straight-talking Legionaries of the XII, who in turn found the Iron Warriors' company more agreeable than the boastful Emperor's Children or subtle White Scars. +

+ Legionary Bakkal wears a variant helm drawn from a Forge World commonly used by the World Eaters, and the distinctive patterning applied recalls the Compliance of Django undertaken jointly by the IV and XII Legions early in the Great Crusade. +

+ The remainder of his armour is unremarkable, save that considerable effort has clearly been put into integrating the antique Mk II variant with the Maximus suit. Sentimentality was seldom an accusation levelled at the Iron Warriors as a whole, but it is possible that Bakkal regards the helm as a totem piece that marks an honour done, or debt as-yet unpaid. If the latter, it is typical IVth Legion stubbornness that keeps him wearing it decades since the event. +

+ Light 'hazard striping' has been carefully stitched into Bakkal's bolt pistol holster, designating him as receiving a minor battlefield honour from his Muster Company Lokhagos. +

+ inload: Phalangite Promastis +

+ Phalangite Promastis +

+ 'Ident! Two hundred metres – heavy vehicle!' The call, from further down the rampart, heralded a fresh series of crackling thumps and chest-shaking impacts. Hearing flattened by the din, the supporting fire of the invaders' heavy auto-fire and solid rounds was reduced to a tinny distraction. Lines of red and green tracers spotted through the air, raising clouds of dust in the hot, heavy air beneath the void shield. +

+ A stray ricochet clipped a nearby wall and flipped upwards, spinning crazily. Most of its momentum was immediately converted into a series of wild flips, too fast for the eye to see, but the remainder somehow sent it up in a perfect arc. The glint catching his eye, the Janissary watched as the bullet spun, end over end, tracing a leisurely-seeming path through the dust.

+ Fixated on this inconsequential bullet, the Janissary's over-stimulated brain filtered out the rest of the assault, straining all the din away in the vain search for peace. All the roar and glare seemed to drift into the background. In what seemed like an age, but must have been less than a second, the bullet reached the apogee of its path and descended, falling directly down the open collar of a nearby soldier, who reacted as though stung – dropping his rifle and flailing madly, his mouth open in a roar, his eyes wild. + 

+ The Janissary blinked at this absurd detail. He was still prone, half-laughing, half-terrified when the Iron Warriors overran his section of wall. +


+ Kitted with a Phobos-pattern boltgun – possibly looted from Mars, but given the casing colour, likely older – Promastis is equipped in a complete and intact suit of Mark IV armour. It is likely this was issued some time prior to the Isstvan Drop Site Massacre, when the Warmaster's reasons for preferential treatment of some Legions became apparent. +

+ The backpack is the giveaway detail for the issue date, being an older pattern of Mark IV, since superceded. Promastis' armour is only lightly damaged, and he holds a full complement of grenades. +

+ One detail of note is the small kylix at his belt, beneath his ammunition pouches. These chalices were used in Iron Warrior Lodge ceremonies, and its presence on the battlefield, while unusual, may have had some ritual significance for the Phalangite or his Mustermates. +

+ Promastis was marked missing following the Siege of Terra; though whether reduced to his component atoms by volkite beam, or simply buried in rubble is impossible to determine. +

+ inload: Phalangite-ordinary Kingdom Ixander +

+ Phalangite-ordinary Kingdom Ixander +

+ Tallarn had left him with a twitch in his index finger, an all-but-impercetible limp, and the slightly scaly skin that was the mark of a chem-attack survivor. It had curdled the soldier into a brawler, a murderer, a monster. +

+ A rad-grenade is belted at Ixander's waist, alongside the standard krak grenade. Such armaments were only slightly unusual during the Siege, as both sides armouries were emptied to provide their warriors with any advantage. +

+ Clad in prototype armour later folded into the Mark V category, Ixander's helm, torso and shoulders are heavily reinforced with molecular bonding studs; likely a result of the poorer quality raw materials used in its manufacture. +

+ The power pack is Martian manufacture – of recent manufacture – and the presence of Armorum Ferrum greaves suggest Ixander has had the pick of plunder from the fall of Mars. +

+ Specific muster identifiers are lost under the bonding studs on Ixander's pauldron, though the broad yellow vertical stripe marks him as a member of XIX Muster; showing the advantage of simple geometric designs for identification. Note also the hazard markings on his boltgun – while common as honorifics across the Legion as a whole, the 242nd were notable in their restrained use of the decoration, reserving it for acts that benefitted the Duty-muster as a whole. +

+ inload: Didn't they do well, folks?

+ Phew! A big painting push last night has seen the fourteen Iron Warriors on the bench all but completed. Like the others, they need a few additions here and there (mainly Legion symbols), but they're certainly ready to make themselves known on the battlefield now. +

+ The new additions include Basilikoi, Phalangites and Euthytonoi (or Veteran Legionaries, Tactical Legionaries and Heavy Support Legionaries, to give them their in-game titles), and we'll be looking at them here on Death of a Rubricist over the next few days. Quite a mix, but I think this now gives me a fieldable army. I'll have to double-check tonight. +

+ The walking wounded mini-diorama is also essentially complete. Certainly good enough for an objective marker, but I'd like to go back and refine the face and blood; and to touch in the purity seals. +

+ inload: War on Terra I; short story+

+ War on Terra I +

+ A short piece of colour text for my Officia Monstrosa project. +


I am bound not by fetters, but simply by the knowledge that the figure opposite me, injured as he appears, is capable of killing me. We are squatting in a trench dug – maddeningly – into a soaring buttress over three thousand feet in the air, which itself is deep within a distant wing of the Palace. I am not sure why I am alive. The Iron Warriors, when they marched into the local square, were unopposed.

The Palace is so vast, and the horrors of the invasion so widespread, that it is possible this area was forgotten or overlooked. I tell myself this to bring sense and comfort to my heart. The alternative is that the Emperor, and his generals and his mighty armies – that have spanned the galaxy, yoked worlds by the thousands and driven out all enemies, have decided that this place is simply not worth defending – an area of little strategic worth.

With little else to do, I have plenty of time to think in the trench.

My thoughts churn and curdle in the unhealthy atmosphere. There is another possibility. Perhaps they cannot defend us. The Warmaster's title is said to be more than mere pomposity. Indeed, it is said to be a tautology – that Horus defines warfare. Never mind this down-at-heel district of his Palace; in the face of his perfect creation, can the Emperor even protect himself?

The Iron Warriors entered the square uncontested, but not unmet. Over fifty thousand souls – scribes, servants, charwomen and the like – had gathered to watch the grimy procession. It was a peculiar parade. The tanks had whispered in, some form of sound-muffling technology masking the advance of even the largest. The Space Marines had followed, marching in perfect lockstep, as silent as cats. Even the heavy artillery gun carriages had been silenced by padding – discarded clothing? – to muffle the noise of the great metal wheels on the cobbles. There were no cheers. Somehow the creeping way the soldiers arrived was worse than a crashing, crowing triumph. 

Worse than the stomach-knotting thought of being conquered was the uncertainty. Even then, we were uncertain whether these troops marched for the Emperor, or for the Warmaster. The kernel of hope made the fear colder in contrast. I do not know what happened to the crowd. Someone, perhaps overwhelmed at the curious quiet, panicked, tried to fill it. The crowd bucked as though vomiting, pushed, cried out, fled. I do not know how or whether – the Iron Warriors reacted. Suddenly there was pressure and sweat, and the stink of urine. I was trampled.

When I awoke, it was to the reverberation of an Astartes' voice, reciting what seemed like a catechism or meditation. I am sure he knew I had awoken. I am told that their senses are finer than the rest of us. If he did not detect the change in my breathing, he might have heard my heartbeat race. 

'Saramanth, I was there.' Unconfessional, the words had the air of a legal statement, given with little emotion. 'Dheneb, I was there.' The statements were accompanied by the sound of a whetting knife being drawn slowly, repetitively. The scraping was so quiet that my ears, quite unconsciously, began to pick up the myriad other sounds of the trench. The crackle of a smokeless, lightless chem-block fire. Occasional trickles of dust as distant ordnance fired off, setting the hurriedly-dug trench walls trembling. Dead soil settling.

'Tallarn, I was there.' I do not think the litany of planets was for my benefit, though I had heard of scant few he mentioned. Distant worlds, unheralded, unmarked. Certainly none of interest to me. 'Compliance – hm. I was there.' This last campaign was punctuated differently by the Legionary. I could not be sure whether the warrior had coughed, hesitated, or given a mirthless laugh. He paused, and I tensed, and then he continued sharpening his blade, and I relaxed.

Perhaps that is the wrong word.

My name is Kingdom Anatol Charas, and I am a captive.


+ inload: Painting the 'Footsore' 242nd +

+ Batch painting. I find it dull, monotonous and frustrating; so what better legion to apply it to than the Warmaster's pre-eminent siege practitioners, the Iron Warriors? +

+ This shot shows the current painting pile getting ready for our visit to Warhammer World in May. As you can see, there's quite a bit to do! Fortunately, the way I paint Iron Warriors [+inloadlink embedded+] works well with a production line, as it relies on big pools of paint on the palette. +

+ In addition to these chaps, I've been building other stuff. I was the happy recipient of a Domitar automaton from my pals in the PCRC for my birthday. I think Forge World have started using computer-assisted design and 3D modelling for some of their stuff, and – assuming it's been used here – it works very nicely for robots and similar mechanical things, presumably being part of the reason for very tight tolerances in the fiddly pistons etc. +

The bits
+ The sprue layout for this kit is good, hiding vents and supports where they're least likely to be seen (apart from the forearms, where they pretty much stick straight up, so be careful to cut and clean carefully here), and it all goes together well. The design includes some fairly fiddly bits like thumbs and pistons, but they're integrated well with recessed contact points, so I think it'll be a relatively resilient model, good for gaming. +

The partly-built robot.
 With the exception of the arms, which I really ought to have pinned, this was a nice quick build. I still have to choose between a closed carapace or the missiles peeking out from behind his head, as well as to add the cables running from the generator to his gravity hammer weapons. I've left the mask unglued for the moment, as I'm tempted to try sculpting on an Iron Warrior-style skull, a bit like the upcoming Iron Circle. +

+ The Domitar is an update/homage to the Rogue Trader-era Conqueror robot (see below). Many moons ago I used to have one of the originals; painted with as much enthusiasm as you might expect a teenager might have for an awesome robot. He's long gone, but I'm very glad to have this chap as a replacement! + 

+ The colour scheme here is very, very tempting... What do you reckon? Legion colours, or keeping the heraldry of a part of the Legio Cybernetica? + 

+ inload: A Return to Glory +

+ Most of my hobby time recently has been gobbled up by my Iron Warriors, the 'footsore' 242nd of Officia Monstrosa. However, seized by inspiration, here's Centurion Holion, an update of an old favourite of mine, to celebrate eight years of my Ultramarines' blog. +

+ The original Young Holion: +

+ ...and the WIP update, showing him as an honoured Centurion during the Atrocity on Calth: +

+ Very pleased with him so far, thought he'll be waiting a while to see paint. He's built from a Grey Knight terminator torso, Invicatrius head, power pack and forearms matched to Terminator arms, and the legs from the Cataphractii Praetor set. I'm not sure where the cape is from, though the piece across the shoulder pad and front is greenstuff. +

+ inload: Ultramarine Centurion +

+ inload: Ultramarine Centurion +

+ A commission piece, this figure uses a lot of the newer approaches I've taken for my figures. It's also the first time I've been able to take a proper scale shot, as I've bought Betrayal at Calth, and so have a proper marine to measure one of mine against. +

+ The figure is built from a broad range of kits including Master-Crafted miniatures shoulder pads, Grey Knight Terminator legs and a couple of FW kits. The pteruges/loincloth and belt details are from Betrayal at Calth (the box is full of great bits like this), though I've bent the straps back to fit more with the pose. It's important to pay attention to fabric and soft parts of a multipart figure, as they can otherwise add a subtle 'wrongness' to the finished piece. +

+ This figure's destined to be used as Captain Ventanus of the Ultramarines, so I was careful to include his power sword (scabbarded at his waist) even though I wanted an open hand, which helps the flow of the pose. +