+ inload: Brotherhood of the Lost II – Iron Bear +

+ inload: Warpathman Dohmnall Sakima of the Iron Bears +



+ As outlined in an earlier inload [+noospheric onlioadlink embedded+], the Bolter & Chainsword has a group that is developing an alternative universe Horus Heresy-style rebellion, called the Icarion Insurrection. This is the second marine I've built for the project – the first can be seen here [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+].  +

+ The poster Chief Captain Redd came up with the Iron Bears, and they're a complex Legion; blending a number of influences. +

+ The Iron Bears +

Numeration: The VIth Legion 
Primogenitor: Daer'dd Niimkiika
Cognomen (Prior): The Sixth, The Giants 
Allegiance: Fidelitas Totalis  
Where Space Marines stand tall, the Iron Bears stand taller. A byproduct of their gene-seed, along with their lengthened implantation process, the Iron Bears are transformed into giants always standing twenty to thirty centimetre higher than their cousins, their physical statures enhanced by their good-natured bravado. A legion of mechanics, the Iron Bears are infamous for their habit of tinkering with their war machines, adding new or unusual features to their mechanical beasts. 
Together, the Iron Bears and their oversized fleet of heavy tanks, form a steel tide that washes over their enemies. Daer'dd, tallest of the Primarchs, leads the legion with his arsenal of warhawks, a figure larger than life on and off the battlefield. In the end, the Iron Bears will be tested to the limit by the tragedy of the Insurrection, as they will suffer one of the greatest losses a legion can suffer.

+ Theoretical +

+ As with the Grave Stalker Legionary made for the same project, I wanted to make sure the figure reflected the background fairly. On the face of things, it'd be easy to see the Iron Bears as a sort of Space Wolves/Iron Hands mish-mash, but the Legion draws as much from Native American (specifically the Ojibwa people) and Celtic societies as it does from Norse. +

+ With such a rich range of areas to draw from, it's easy for a figure to become over-complicated or too busy, and not work as a finished piece. He also had to read as a 'Space Marine', so I didn't want to cover him in bits and bobs. By keeping the silhouette clean, he doesn't read as an odd-coloured Space Wolf. +


+ In terms of modelling, I went for a bare head with a neat beard (the plastic power armoured Librarian) then sculpted on some short hair. This gave the figure a slightly Nordic feel without stepping on Space Wolf imagery. I played around with this by using a relatively dark skintone and dark hair; which gave a good background for some warpaint. + 

+ Note also the dags on the shoulder trim and knife sheath, and the chevrons on the bolt pistol. I introduced copper green to the overwhelmingly metallic palette in order to bring a cool contrasting hue, and used terracotta as a toning colour on the casings. This kept the palette warm – which naturally makes the figure read as energetic and inviting; characteristics which fit with the genial peacetime nature of the Legion. +


+ Armament is a good way to introduce character; and 'power tomahawks' are mentioned in the background. I couldn't resist adding one, using the Justaerin weapon pack. This shot also details the Legion and Clan symbol – a bear's paw (top) surmounting a stylised deer's head. +


+ The dags continue on the pouches, and the faceplate of his belted helm is also terracotta. Note the red-washed runic inlay on the forearm; I thought this was a nice chance to add another flash of colour. +


+ The Legion symbol is repeated on the left shoulder, on a broad white stripe. This shot also shows the warpaint on his face; another distinctive touch that was a [SCRAPSHUNTERRORABORT] to paint. Fun, but it was a pain to balance it against the bearded head. If I were to do another, I think I'd go for stronger colours (yellow and red, perhaps?) but use a cleanshaven and bald or topknotted head to give the greatest area to paint. +


+ Perhaps the most challenging part of the conversion was getting the Bear's stature. They're described as larger than typical Astartes, so in addition to some extra height introduced to the legs and waist, I bulked out the torso more than usual. This shot shows him next to the Grave Stalker – no titch himself, the Iron Bear still looms over him. +

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