+ inload: Cavalry and tanks +

+ Recon in strength +


Onnagh flicked the lho stick up in a long, long arc through the dreadful, endless rain that had set in since the invaders had touched orbit. It was like the planet had got a stick in its eye and was trying to wash it out. The corporal and I watched the tumbling stick trace a graceful path to its zenith, then descend to land unceremoniously in a murky puddle a few yards away.

We looked back.

"Do that again, and I'll stick you myself." I said, warningly. "Do you want the green bastards to find us?"

She leaned back against the wet concrete and grinned broadly, eyes glittering. Stimms? Possibly. Then again, Onnagh was always the sort of lunatic that relished an argument. The invasion was probably the best thing that had ever happened to the stinking old criminal.

"You're late, anyway."

I grunted in reply. Late for what? As far as we knew, we were the last damned humans on Arcturus – though the crackling gunfire at least implied some of the PDF were still out there. We'd made a tactical retreat – which is to say, that Onnagh and I had belted it after the young corporal the second she'd soiled her breeches and legged it during the first firefight. She was still twitching; still wide-eyed. Onnagh and I, re-drafted regulars from the first Plateau War, had seen it before. Jumped at a noise and never came back.

'Course, that was against those dirty raddlers from the northern jungle and their weird pamphlets; not against these lunatic greenskinned aliens. Both fought like nobody's business – but then, maybe I'd do the same if I believed a big eye in the sky was watching me.

"There's word them off-worlders are coming through here soon. We should make it look like we was fighting."

Connagh pulled a pack of lhos – blessedly dry – from behind her webbing somewhere, stuck one in her mouth and half-heartedly gestured it to me as the Corporal shivered, her eyes trained on the wet road outside.

As I put the stick between my cracked lips and held the chem-blaze to the tip, I had another thought.

I guess the greens didn't believe the Emperor was a god, either.


+ Rough Riders +

+ Rough Riders are one of those things that makes 40k a gothic dystopia, rather than a sci-fi space opera. I love the contrast of 'ruffs and laser guns' in the setting, and horse-riding soldiers charging hovering battletanks and scuttling alien beasts is an image that I think fits perfectly. It's a sort of 'anti-sci-fi' image that provides contrast and reminds you how advanced and alien the glittering gauss beams of the Necrontyr or fluted wraithbone ammunition of the Eldar would appear to the Imperium's military. +

+ There's an inherent Imperial pragmatism to the concept too; far easier to maintain horses than badly-understood technology; so just like the Romans adapted technology from the lands they conquered, the Imperium is happy for its forces to equip themselves to fight as they're best able to do. +

+ Quite apart from that is the modelling and painting opportunities. Horses (or whatever steed you pick) are living creatures, and thus benefit from a bit of variety. In turn, that gives you something interesting to paint to relieve the tedium of uniforms. The squadron above includes a palamino, a bay and a chestnut, amongst others – and they allowed me to try some interesting techniques such as wet-in-wet stippling (for the dappled grey on the right). +

+ Freehand opportunities abound; the markings on this horse were taken from a holiday snap. +

+ Matching the colours and getting the 'borders' between areas of colouring was a fun exercise. +

+  The models themselves are relatively simple conversions; mainly kitbashes. The rider is made up of legs from the Empire Pistoliers (the layered armour was smoothed down into flak-style plates) mated with an Elysian upper half. Again, the only conversion work here was scraping away detail from the torso and removal of the tubes that run down the side. The rest is a kitbash similar to the Lamb's World infantry, using a Cadian head with respirator from FW. +

+ The horse is from the Wood Elf range; with the armour slightly reshaped. The addition of some packs (from tank sprues and the same upgrade sprue as the rider's head, I think) helps to fit the horse into the universe. +

+ The Rough Riders are one of my favourite parts of my army; I've got the bits somewhere to make five more, so perhaps I'll expand this little group. +


+ Not so subtle +

+ Main battle tanks are much more popular than horses with most guard players – understandably so; what's not to like about cool model tanks? – but I struggle to enjoy painting them unless I can find some way to give them a bit of character and human interest. This example, E-118, has a Lamb's Worlder hitching a lift on the back. +

+ On the other face, another of those anti-sci-fi touches: a 'requisitioned' cow. I wanted to get the idea that the Leman Russ is an all-in workhorse; likely used as much as a bulldozer and tractor as it is a weapon of war. +



Chris Buxey said...

I have to agree with your thoughts on "anti-sci-fi". Your Rough Riders are some of my favourite Lambs World models. :)

Gretchin said...

For me, an Imperial Guard army just isn't complete without Rough Riders. And whilst the Attilans give that ethnic flavour to a normally homogenous group (Tallarns aside), I've always though the Rough Riders add something distinctly Napoleonic to an otherwise highly futuristic sci-fi army.