+ inload: Anatomy of the Astartes II: Castigators+

+ Anatomy of the Astartes II: Castigators +

'In memory of their auspicious founding, every fourteen years those companies not currently engaged in battle meet at the Sanctuary. Battle-brothers, comrades and friends are allowed to meet and honour their success together. Great trophies are brought back to the fortress monastery and relics are paraded in front of the assembled marines.'
- Index Astartes: Castigators


+ The Castigators were created by Commissar Molotov; who has been working on the Chapter's background in one form or another since 2005. It's clearly a labour of love, and the resulting Chapter has huge amounts of depth and detail, which you can read about here: [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+]. +

+ An embarrassingly long time ago, I agreed to paint up one of the marines of this storied Chapter – and have just got round to making and painting him! I'm very pleased with how he's turned out; and hope the Chapter's creator is equally happy. 

+ The Castigators are founded right at the end of the period of the Nova Terra Interregnum; so rather than reiterating Commissar Molotov's awesome background, this inload looks at some of the practicalities of how a Space Marine Chapter Founding works. +


+ The Fourteenth Founding + 

Castigators: XIVth Founding
As any scholam-child knows, Space Marine Chapters are established during the great Foundings. The Astartes Foundings are massive ceremonial affairs that serve a number of purposes beyond the purely martial. They offer opportunities for the great edifices of state, such as the Administratum, Navis Nobilitae, Adeptus Mechanicus and so forth, to combine their powers and work for the broader betterment of mankind; forging weapons that will serve to defend humanity.

At the close of the period of the Nova Terra Interregnum, the Imperium had completed its Fifteenth Founding; and the Chapters established here – perhaps inevitably, owing to the calving-off of Nova Terra from the greater Imperium, and the events of the much whispered-about Dark Founding – bore the marks of reactionary Imperial conservatism. 

The Space Marines who were created by the Fourteenth Founding were the product of the Imperial State reasserting itself. Selected from the cream of Chapters eager to demonstrate their loyalty to the Throne of Old Terra, they were soldiers of untrammelled faith and unquestioned purity – and none more so than the Castigators.


+ Pre-founding +

As recorded earlier, the bulk of Astartes Chapters distanced themselves from affairs of the Twin Imperium during the Nova Terra Interregnum, instead hunkering down in their fastnesses, or launching independent campaigns through wilderness space. Some, however, saw this period as a crisis that could only be solved through demonstrations of loyalty. High-profile Chapters of ancient provenance, such as the the Patriarchs of Ulixis, the Astral Claws and the Black Consuls declared themselves instruments of Imperium, sending Honour Guards to Ancient Terra. These Chapters were also quick to respond to the High Lords' declaration of a Founding; keen to offer petitioners and aspirants from their ranks.

Nevertheless, an Astartes Chapter is not built in a day; and the practicalities of war mean that the Great Foundings are largely ceremonial. While Chapters are officially granted their autonomy, colours and realms at the Founding, their actual origins are as varied as any other aspect of their doctrines, and often considerably less glamorous than the great parades of the Foundings would suggest. The Oblators, for example, are the loyal remnants of a purged Chapter granted a new identity following a penal crusade, while the original Hounds of Demos were a hurriedly marshalled 'mongrel' Chapter sent to act as figureheads of the Indos Crusade. Even the Castigators' brother-Chapter of the Astartes Vocates, the Execrators, were originally earmarked for another purpose before being reassigned to an independent Chapter.

Such exceptional cases as those listed are little spoken-about, and a Founding will hide many secrets. With that said, for every Chapter with a clouded beginning, there are a dozen that stride forward with nothing but a clean past and a prideful view to a future. Nevertheless, whatever their Chapter's origins, many of the Astartes that first step out on parade at a Founding will have been serving in some capacity for decades – even centuries, if sufficient political weight is not put behind a Founding. 


+ The Castigators during the Nova Terra Interregnum +

+ Engagement on Rihad +
By ancient law, Astartes Chapters are restricted to 1,000 men. Those that are regularly able to exceed this limit occasionally volunteer – or are earmarked by the Administratum or Inquisition – to have their excess aspirants or veterans form the kernel of a new Chapter. Gradually operating more and more independently, the growing group will be monitored as they expand and carve our their own identity. The Castigators are a good example of such practise. Prior to the Castigators' official recognition during the Fourteenth Founding, the growing cadre of red-armoured warriors were shadowed, supervised and supported by their sponsors: the hardline Codex-adherents, the Black Consuls.

The parent Chapter continued to closely – obsessively – monitor the purity of the Castigators until the Chapter was established enough to be self-maintaining. The Purge of Rihad in M35.985 – ten years after the official end of the Nova Terra Interregnum – is the date of the Castigators' earliest battle honour; won alongside the Black Consuls, but many amongst the eager new Astartes that fought here already bore decades of experience. Already clad in their distinctive crimson armour, the initial one hundred and fifty warriors fought under the supervision of Master Barathus, late of the Black Consuls (later to become the Castigators' first Chapter Master) and the Inquisitorial Conclave of Nishal.

The then-nameless warriors are known to have fought alongside the Black Consuls against the orks of Gozer's Star, a resurgent threat near the Obscurus Fleet's naval base of Cypra Mundi; and are rumoured to have been involved in the Cataclysm of Un, intended as an extinction-level purge of the Ryssith species. 

By the close of the Nova Terra Interregnum, the Castigators were preparing for their Founding; and looking forward to beginning their existence as a fleet-based Chapter. Their zealous anti-xenos actions during the dying years of the Interregnum served as a symbol of the reunited Imperium's ability to find common ground through purgation of outsiders.


+ Building and painting the Castigator +

[spoolbreak: addenda]
+ The following musings on the colour scheme are largely taken from Commissar Molotov's extensive uniform notes, which proved fun to follow – and the red-on-red proved challenging. Any in italics are his; any in roman are my commentary. +
[interimfeed re-established]

'The Castigators' primarily wear vivid dark red coloured power, said to symbolise the blood sacrificed by the Emperor for the sake of Humanity. [The Imperialis or Aquila on the chest guard is also dark red in colour.] The trim of the shoulder pauldron is coloured black.'

Fairly straightforward, but trying to get the red chest eagle to 'read' against red was a challenge. I ended up using a similar scheme to my Blood Angels on the chest eagle, and VAllejo's Black Red for the basis of the rest of the armour.

[+APPENDEDIT: I've since been informed the red chest eagle is a copypaste error on the Wiki; and that it should be dark grey or black – the servitors have since been scourged!]

I've nodded to this marines' origins as a Black Consul aspirant with the honorific on his knee. I also painted the wax of his purity seals with blue-black. Not only does this stand out better against the red, I thought it was a fun way of further hinting at the Consuls' and Castigators' relationship.

'The Castigators' Chapter badge is a white coloured muscular arm holding a coiled scourge. This potent symbol represents the punishment inflicted upon the enemies of the Imperium, but also shows how the warriors of the Chapter drive themselves on relentlessly.'

A cool Chapter symbol goes a long way; and this has all the best elements of an icon. I had been slightly dreading painting such an intricate logo, but it was actually pretty painless. The artwork and models I've seen has the orientation of the symbol vary – I chose to have the fist of the arm pointing forwards, which seemed to suggest scourging the enemy.

'Unlike other Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes, the Castigators designate what company a Battle-Brother belongs to, by utilising Company markings that comprise a single symbol worn on the left poleyn (knee guard) of their Power Armour.'

+ This white stripe on blue marks the marine out as part of third company. The chainsword is cased in bare steel, decorated only with a little manufactory warning symbol. Adding a touch of freehand like this can help to make it clear that the decision is a conscious one. In this case, I didn't want to distract from the red, black and white scheme. It's already quite muted and toned-down, and flashy details like a contrasting chainsword case would draw too much attention from the rest of the model. +

+ The model is based on a Primaris marine, lightly converted to look more appropriate to the M35/36 era. The helm is replaced with a modern Mark VII, and the backpack is a classic 2nd edition one – a bit of a wry nod to how long it's taken me to build him! More subtly, I've squared-off and filled in the ankles to remove the Mk X ankle bits. +

'A white coloured squad specialty symbol (Tactical, Assault, Devastator and Veteran) is indicated on the right shoulder pauldron.'

+ The markings were fun to do, and the clarity of the notes meant I could simply follow the instructions. As usual when painting white, I mixed a little paint in to dirty it (in this case, Prussian blue to add a cool grey quality). Note the chain holding the boltgun up in place of a strap. It suggests a certain Spartan quality that goes beyond self-discipline without being out-and-out self-flagellation. Details like this can hint at character without Flanderizing it. +

+ Note the plain steel casing for the boltgun and boltpistol. Like the chainsword mentioned above, I wanted this marine's equipment to look 'out of the box'; as though freshly issued. Commissar Molotov's background has lots of info on relics and honoured equipment, which adds depth and interest to the Chapter. I wanted to instead suggest the rawness of a newly-founded force, with a destiny to fulfil and a history to write. +


  1. Great fluff and marine! The red on red turned out nicely, even if it was slightly eronious. (maybe the Imperial Eagle was red painted in honor of the campaign of the Blood Eagle, and the marine pictured was a participant in the same)

    Where is the bolt pistol he has in his hand from?

    (as an aside, it also illustrates how the "pistol"/"Bolter" dichotomy is rather limiting, in any other setting that would surely be a sub-machine gun of some sort, and the pistol in his holster is already quite large)

    1. Cheers LGP – and yes, I think I'll leave him as-is. As you point out, mistakes can create character inadvertently, sometimes suggesting their own story.

      The bolt pistol is from this Forge World Character Conversion set: https://www.forgeworld.co.uk/en-GB/Space-Marine-Character-Conversion-Set

  2. Wow, that's really a nice piece. Outstandng paintjob!

    1. Cheers Suber – hope to see some Nova Terra Interregnum stuff from you soon :)


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