+ inload: Lieutenant Holion +

'The Word Bearers thought they killed me on Calth, just like the greenskins thought they killed me on Hypon, and the Nekuli thought they killed me in the cold, cold void above Sirius.'

'It is a curious pleasure to prove your enemy wrong.'

+ attr. Lieutenant Holion, 190th Company Ultramarines +

+ A resurrection of arms +

+ I've got a couple of armies that I can play with, should I fancy it, so I'm at the happy period where I can attend to a project when I feel like it. Previously, when I was building a single army with the specific purposes of playing games, it always felt a little like hard work. As a result, various projects have lain fallow for some fairly long periods. +

+ I've been building my Ultramarines army since 2008 (yikes), and like any project, enthusiasm for them has risen and fallen over the years. This has the happy result that they contain some of my favourite pieces, which document how my painting, conversion and sculpting work has developed. The past couple of years have been exciting for me, with lots of (happy and welcome) changes in circumstances. In a small way, then, the Praetors of Calth (my Ultramarines) have become a bit special to me; I think I'm unlikely to sell them on as I often do with my other armies. +

+ Anyway, enough self-indulgence! Onto the meat of the inload: a new Centurion to lead my troops. I've never been a big fan of HQs and leaders in my armies; I've always liked to look more at the stories of the individual soldiers, as that helps me get into the mindset and attitude of the project. The army has gone through various quick HQs that have been pretty much bashed together for a particular campaign weekend, and often they haven't had much relevance to the army's background – conversions of characters written especially for the campaign and the like, instead of full members of the 15th or the 190th. +

+ Holion is a character from my original blog, which was themed around Hypon, a campaign set during the middle period of the Great Crusade. I always liked the conversion, which had him protecting a small girl called Cassie. The idea was to symbolise the Ultramarines as protectors, and it seemed to catch people's imaginations. +

+ I had the intention at the back of my mind that I'd like to follow Holion and Cassie's story through the Heresy since I first built them – hence describing him as 'Young Holion' (though this was also a nod to Ancient Greek epithets from The Iliad and Odyssey which informed the Praetors of Calth), but it's taken until now to actually get to it! +

+ The painting was intended to marry the Praetors of Calth (my old 15th Chapter) with the newer models of the 190th Company. As a result, the armour is painted with the new approaches for blue and gold I've developed for the 190th (rather than the old Necron Abyss and yellow based scheme I used for the 15th, seen in Young Holion above). However, the new model incorporates his personal heraldry – a feature I added to all my Ultramarines). +

+ I wanted to include some references to his previous models on the new one; such as the small tilt shield on his pauldron. Young Holion hailed from Talassar, and his personal heraldry reflected this. Now I'm a bit more confident painting, I've replicated his original heraldry on the tile shield, rather than the main pauldron – a fun challenge! +

+ Holion has now worked his way up from the ranks to become a line officer. I've chosen to arm him with the equipment of an Invicatius Suzerain – an honour guard reserved for paragons of the Ultramarines' way of war – and so he bears a Legatine axe and Boarding Shield. The new model will be a low-level HQ; a Centurion in-game. He's not quite at the apex of his powers (and perhaps he might not survive Calth or the Underworld War), so I wanted to save something back in case I move him on again in future. +

+ The shield is painted with a marble effect, and the cloak with a dull grey so as not to overwhelm the focal point – the head. The feathery faceplate is awesome, but potentially visually confusing. I was careful to avoid gold (which would have blended in with the should trim) and create strong contrasts here to balance the scheme. +

+ As a marker point in the army's history, I thought it was important to continue experimenting, and so the helm is also slightly experimental – I used gold leaf (left over from another craft project) to create his helmet stripe. +

+ This gold helmet stripe, along with the shoulder design here, was drawn from the notes Forge Wrold have written for the Ultramarine's heraldry in the Age of Darkness book VI. When I first started the army, I was making up the heraldry and markings on my own (great fun), and while I'd like to continue that to an extent, it's nice to marry the markings into more 'standard' ones, as that's part of the appeal of the Ultramarines. +

+ I hope the figure's an exemplar of both parts of my army, the older 15th Chapter and Newer 190th Company, and that he can lead them both to war! Don't worry, Cassie hasn't been forgotten, either – she's as important to the theme and army as Holion, so keep an eye out for what she decided to do with her life after Hypon... +

+ Love to hear what you think, and what you'd like to see me add to the army in the future. + 


  1. Gold leaf? You used gold leaf on the mini? Well that makes it tricky for other people to try out bling you for sure.

    The base model for a Suze is wonderful so I am glad to see this upscaled version. Your freehand on the shoulder pad and the tiny work on the mini shield are wonderful. Slow and steady hand for those was it?

  2. I remember seeing the original Holion and Cassie model on Warseer so many years ago! I'm glad to see there's more to the two's story. Hopefully I'll get to see more of them sooner rather than later.


+ submission exloadform +