+ inload: When not to paint +

+ Painting Dernledger and Threack +

+ Painting this pair of 'fine, upstanding' soldiers has proven more of a challenge than I was expecting, but is a good example of the importance of tone over colour – and why sometimes it's better to stop than carry on. +

+ Comparing the two WIP figures below, you can see that Threack (the ogryn) fairly effective tonal contrast – his light trousers against the dark gloves and base, for example, help the figure to 'read'. Dernledger, meanwhile, is a demonstration of PPP, or 'piss-poor planning'. +

+ As mentioned in the previous inload, the aim was to evoke a Napoleonic-era military uniform to the model – which, on the surface, should have worked, as the figure has a coat, breeches, boots and straps – in other words, all the main features I needed. However, in diving in, I ran into problems – the legs are all-but-covered at the front with heavy armour plates. In painting these silver, I immediately lost the 'white breeches' feel. +

+ Working on the fly, I decided that the armour plates on his top half would have to be red to get the redcoat impression: they simply cover too much of the surface of the fabric to work otherwise. However, this raised another problem, in that the figure's become very monotone. It also created one of my pet peeves about painting – using the exact same hue on different materials. It's very unlikely (to my mind, at least) that the red used for the armour panels and the red dye used for the coat fabric would match exactly. +

+ So, what to do? Well, when I reach a point like this, I stop – it's far too easy to [+SCRAPSHUNTERRORABORT+] up some perfectly good paintwork by trying to fix things on the fly. Instead, I put the figures down and wander off for a cup of recaff, then come back later to look at them with fresh eyes. +

+ Tweaks to Dernledger +

+ My current plans are as follows: to repaint the straps with the same white as his breeches, and to create a different weathered white to use on his kneeplates, the armour on the back of his hands, and the scabbard on his knife (on his leg). This'll bring some more white to the figure to bring back the Napoleonic look without losing the feel of high black boots, and will help to break up the large monotone areas of red. Secondly, I'll brighten the white on the collar to help frame the face. Thirdly, while I will leave the torso and shoulders red, I'll probably add a little freehand to add detail. +

+ Tweaks to Threack +

+ Threack seemed to work a bit better owing to the less-cluttered sculpt, so for him, I think I'll concentrate on cleaning up the white a bit and finding a muted midtone for his boots and gloves. The gloves in particular are too large to look good in white, I reckon. + 

+ inload: Dernledger and Threack +

+ A brace of cards: the Eight of Cups and Four of Suns +

+ Painting Dernledger and Threack +

+ Still WIP, the plan is for these two to represent the citizenry of the regiments roaming around the burning city. I thought a messenger would be interesting – a bit more derring-do than a typical soldier of Cepheus, and making him an officer gives him a little clout. +

+ Starting from a fairly chocolate-box image of a redcoat, I've dirtied and bloodied him up. His hair is unkempt, his headdress missing; but he's kept the starched collar. Details like this hopefully make it clear that Cepheus is more than a little anachronistic. Dernledger is a man of the dark ages, equipped with a space-age ray gun and dressed in a modern-day tech update of a Napoleonic uniform. New Romantic/Punk make-up should help him settle into the grim 80s darkness of the far future, too. +

+ I couldn't bear to alter Threack, as the Bob Olley ogryns/ogres are some of my all-time favourite models. I'd love to get hold of the other club-wielding version sometime, to add to the group. +

Between the wellborne and the masses, stand the aspirant couthclass. Tradesmen successful enough to need work no more, kirkmen and women of the Ecclesiarchy, those whom fortune has propelled to wealth or influence, and the officer classes of the wellbornes' throngs.

Dernledger, Estafett of the Bekenner's Muster is chasing desperately after such status. Loyal to the Throne above the King (and as such, happy to have transferred his oath from the Cyng-in-exile to Sciriusc) and to the House of Bekenner, his regiment's sponsor and commander, below that; he is ultimately pragmatic in his pursuit of respectability.

The Bekenners, a formerly influential wellborne house with close ties to the Ecclesiarchy and dotted Cephean Missions, have found much of their base of power shifted as the Domiciler's Quarter suffered a collapse – both economic and literal – in the eighth month of the war. The Sun King was gracious in extending his patronage to the Muster, feeding and arming the impoverished soldiers before desertion wracked the Regiment. Of course, this 'generous' action is little more than an exertion of power. By subtly humiliating the House of Bekenner, the Sun King strengthens his own hand and binds yet more of the City's wellborne and their militia to his service...

Dernledger himself is a typical couthclassman, a second son who has achieved a minor role – a posting as a petty officer with little true command – and jealous of losing what little influence he has amassed, and paranoid of the surly conscript messengers under his command. He carries a precious and rare laspistol, handed down within the Muster for decades, though the war in the City has meant this has had more use in the past year than in the previous ten.

Like his men, the Estafett finds himself daily poorer, grubbier and more unhealthy as the war drags on. Tasked with delivering orders and news through the roughest areas of the city, he and his men have become experienced urban fighters, able to work mounted or unmounted, and utterly ruthless. His experience is typical of those without independent means, and unwilling to accept that he has hit the doldrums.

His discovery of the fact that the majority of the messages and missives are simply scrawled notifications of deaths amongst the muster has done little to soften his saturnine demeanour.


Dernledger is usually accompanied by his Necessary, Threack – the name is a Cephean diminutive meaning 'force'. Unusually, his service tattoos indicate he is an ex-guardsman auxiliary from the Somatos system [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+] – likely one of the many Regiments Brachyllas has produced over the centuries. How he has ended up in the City is anyone's guess, but it is likely he was an indentured gift given to the House of Bekenner by a visiting General or local Priest. Despite tribes roaming the distant Cold Flattes, ogryns remain rare and popular novelties amongst the masses of the City, and having one 'on staff' is a feather in the cap of the Bekenner Muster.


+ inload: Meanwhile, on Cepheus +

+ This inload continues the Court of the Sun King project. If you're a newcomer, or want a refresher, this is probably the best inload to read to get an idea of the atmosphere [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+]; but please do follow along on the dedicated blog on the Ammobunker forum [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+] +

+ Childeric is continuing his investigation into the identity of Sciriusc the Sun King, bearer of the false Cephean Warrant of Imperial Commandery and Planetary Governance. The underscribe Ferlinghetti, one of his companions, takes up the story: 

Childeric and Ferlinghetti arrive on the scipping-rigge.

We had reached the scipping-rigge three months previously, after a long coach-trip took us out of the City. The coachman was... convinced not to sell our whereabouts; but in any case Childeric had altered our plans immediately on reaching the coast. We spent a shivering three days clambering over and picking our way through the coastal ruins, before buying our way onto an unlicensed fishing boat and bullying the ship's master to dropping us, via an awkward wrecker's route, on Mastermann's Islet; an abandoned and storm-tossed outpost. We laid low in the shadow of the Blac-lichthus for a week before finding ourselves, as Northgrass had suspected, not alone. 

The Sun King's agents were predictable only in their perseverance. Unexpectedly – at least to me – the Owlingmanne had not come himself. It is unbecoming to eavesdrop, but such is my wont. In situations such as that in which we found ourselves, manners leave men like me dead. It was the – tacit – opinion of Northgrass and Childeric that the Owlingmanne was not under the King's influence at all. That raised unpleasant implications for me. At best a second party was interested in confronting Childeric; at worst the Inquisitor's identity was already unfurled, and one of the few advantages I had been counting upon was lost.

Our pursuers slipped. They were little more than distant, scuttling silhouettes on the foreshore as Northgrass lit up their location. The wildlife did the rest.

So we continued. An occasionally gruelling, but mainly reassuringly dull voyage on a cash-in-hand hauler took us to the rig overseen by the Mechanicus.

Manderghast, as is typical of the priesthood of Mars, had played his cards close to his chest. Wisely; for no Inquisitor can truly be said to have friends in any real sense; and the Magos knew the power of leverage. Still, once his manhound was down; and with all of us nursing bruises, Manderghast and Childeric reached an agreement. No Inquisitor can have friends, but Childeric could certainly have confidantes. 

...And thus we discovered the identity of Sciriusc, the Sun King. Little did we know that, back in the City, Sciriusc knew our names too...


A champion of the Cyng-in-exile confronts Orphan Arcimboldo, the King of Collars. The meeting is brief!

+ inload: Return to Cepheus +

+ Return to Cepheus +

+ The sleep of reason brings forth monsters +

+ The sleep of reason brings forth monsters +

+ The sleep of reason brings forth monsters +

+ The sleep of reason brings forth monsters +

+ The sleep of reason brings forth monsters +

+ The sleep of reason brings forth monsters +

Vanya de la Oawadh watches astropaths from across the City being escorted to the Sun King's Palace.

Magos Manderghast and his manhound confront Childeric and the Underscribe.

Thorna Tempest amd her troops, under orders of the Sun King, search for [REDACTED]

'Cuius est solum eius est usque ad coelum et ad infernos, Ferlinghetti. And this planet belongs to the Emperor.'

+ inload: Muster LXVII +

+ Muster LXVI: Designate Bogazkazen +

+ Small groups called Basjibazuk were deployed broadly by the Iron Warriors in many campaigns. Analogous to Seeker Teams, they operated as ranging units, operating semi-independently of the Grand Companies. +

+ Each unit was hand-picked and tended to operate together until reduced beyond reasonable operational capacity. Most started as teams of sixteen or so Astartes, and would fight until reduced to two or three. +

+ Bogazkazen, Muster LXVI, were formed prior to the events on Isstvan, where they served as part of the hunter-killer teams that scoured the planet after the Dropsite Massacre. Just four members remained by the Siege of Terra, a petty officer called Barca Karthagos, weapon specialist Panormus, the hulking marksman Eryx, and the intelligence-insurgent Hippacre. +