+ inload: Honour to the Dead +

+ Sergeant Aquila and Brother Septival +

'Hope is but the first step on the road to disappointment, brother. You can fight for hope if you wish. I will fight to bring honour to the dead.' 
Sergeant Tulian Aquila – from Honour to the Dead

+ I spent a pleasant – if occasionally frustrating – evening finishing off the Ultramarines detailed here [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+]. +

+ A bit like my Mark of Calth [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+] and Horus Rising dioramas, these are an homage to Gav Thorpe's short story Honour to the Dead, available as an audio drama [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+] or as part of the Legacies of Betrayal collection. These are slightly different in execution, as the others were based on Neil Roberts' artwork, whereas these have no artwork associated with 'em. +

+ This created its own challenges, as there was very little detail on the Ultramarines (who are, in fairness, playing second fiddle to the Titans and civilians in the drama). Aquila is mentioned as having dark hair, and you got a bit on their weaponry, but little else. As a result, I decided I'd use these marines as an opportunity to try out some ideas that I've wanted to explore, but that may not have fitted in with my existing army. +

+ Sergeant Tulian Aquila +

+ A project like this is an enjoyable excuse to re-read books and scour them for little hints that catch the imagination. A little research from Horus Heresy V –Tempest gave me some ideas on the standard Ultramarines markings. These weren't around when I started my marines, so it's nice to apply them 'from the book' for a change. +

+ As mentioned above, there wasn't a huge amount of specifics on the appearance of the characters. The challenge then became making figures that are identifiable as the characters, rather than being generic. I contacted Gav to ask whether he had any preferences and, lovely chap that he is, he came back with some helpful and interesting notes. In short, he'd intentionally left them fairly open, but was happy for me to pick a Chapter, which he'd add to his personal 'head-canon' – great to hear! +

+ Tempest gives some information about the Legion's disposition at the time of the attack on Calth, including which Chapters were where on (and off) the surface. Of relevance here, it states:

  • 17th Chapter, 18th Chapter, 23rd Chapter and 4th Chapter comprising those chapters whose order of battle included large numbers of armoured vehicles, especially the 4th, known as the 'Aurorans'. These chapters were assigned to muster in the largely uninhabited continent of Ithraca.

+ Given the location of the story – Ithraca (which Gav tells me was included in Tempest as a nod to Honour to the Dead, showing the inter-connected nature of the setting, along with the mutual enthusiasm and support of the writers) – it seemed that one of the Chapters above was the best bet, so I was all set to paint. However, the next paragraph gave me pause:

  • 20th Chapter and 21st Chapter - known informally within the Legion as 'The Eagles' and 'The Hawks', the 20th Chapter having trained extensively for void combat and the 21st being renowned for the skill of its pilots. These two chapters were assigned to security duties among the orbital platforms and docked warships in Calth's local orbit.

+ Tulian Aquila is also mentioned in The Returned, a 40k-era short story by James Swallow, in which it turns out he becomes the first Chapter Master of the Doom Eagles successor chapter. This was too good a detail to ignore, so I decided that the 20th were the final choice – the name made it too good to pass up. My rationale is that Aquila and his men were part of the 20th's shuttle security; conducting monitoring duties between Ithraca and the space docks, when the attack occurred. They thus got stranded on the surface, where the tale begins to unfold. +

+ As a reference to this, I incorporated the Doom Eagles' heraldry – a skull-headed eagle – into Aquila's armour as an honorific on his bracer; which you can see above. +

+ This rear shot shows the all-silver backpack, a Rogue Trader-esque element I wanted to incorporate. I think this looks pretty good; and subtle enough that I might extend it to some of my 15th/190th marines. +

+ Just to hammer the identity home, I added the sergeant's name on his pauldron. He is, after all, still a fairly anonymous figure. Note the use of the most recent tactical markings, detailed in Tempest. I've used a variant of the 40k-era markings on my other Ultramarines, so it's nice to have the opportunity to do something more official (for whatever that's worth). +

+ Brother Septival +

+ 'Ain't got time to grieve.' +

+ Ah, rotary machine guns. Is there anything simultaneously more awesome, more 80s and more impractical? I think not. Septival was, in great part, the motivation for this mini-project. I had no great desire for a squad of rotor cannons, but a one-off was too good an opportunity to miss. +

+ Whirr-dakka-dakka-dakka-dakka-dakka-dakka! +

+ Largely standard otherwise, Septival was a nice chance to use some of the new Heresy-era plastic bits – the head and forearm here are spares from the Betrayal at Calth and Battle for Prospero boxes. Expect to see more of these in future builds; they're really useful and considerably cheaper to source than the FW bits I usually use. +

+ Again, a nice silver backpack. The design of the Forge World Mark IV backpack is a nice homage to the common plastic ones I remember from my earliest games. +

+ To match the sergeant, Septival shares the same tactical markings and Chapter numeral; along with his name beneath. +


+ What next? +

+ These two were the simplest of the set. It's going to be a lot harder to convert Gaius the third marine, Varinia the mother and Pexilius the baby, but that should make them all the more rewarding. If anyone's got any clever ideas for base figures for any of these , please do feel free to let me know in the comments. +

1 comment:

  1. Really like the Ultramarine break from the darker marines of late, really shows off the conversion parts and adds extra bulk to the models. Lovely stuff as always! :)


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