+ inload: Hope is the First Step on the Road to Betrayal +

 + Followers of a False Primarch +

+ I want to know. That's at the core of any good tease – and I think it accounts for pretty much the entire appeal of the Lost Legions/Primarchs. Any answer, no matter how well-planned and executed, is going to be a big anticlimax, as it collapses the waveform of possibility into a final, definitive – and necessarily limited – answer. +

+ No, adding questions and leaving doubt; that seemed much more 40k to me. +


+ ... and another thing that's very 40k is integrating older material with a new spin (or as it used to be called, graverobbing). To that end, the off-shoot blog + Some Things Are Best Left Forgotten + (STABLF) [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+] will update with a new article on Friday, detailing the Marines Vigilant. +

+ One of the Vigilant +

+ I'm trying to keep STABLF more tightly focussed on lore and organisation than on painting and real-world influences, and so here's a great place to look behind the scenes. The Vigilants are a Marine Chapter that I've come up with for the project that had to fulfill a few different points:
  • To indulge in some winsome nostalgia;
  • To be part of the explanation for how five Chapters defeated eleven;
  • To allow me to paint some one-off marines;
but primarily...
  • To allow anyone to get involved.
+ To that end, I envisaged the Vigilants as a sort of Deathwatch equivalent. Like the Deathwatch, the Vigilants are a militant group of Space Marines drawn from different Chapters that work under the auspices of the Inquisition – in the Vigilants case, the Ordo Astartes; the group tasked with ensuring the Space Marines don't go all rebelly again. +

+ I didn't want them to be a directly correlative group to the Deathwatch – that seemed a bit derivative – and the best way I've found for doing that is to draw a few threads from older material and weave them into the new. In this case, I styled the markings on the Rogue Trader-era Field Police, a concept that has fallen by the wayside; and added a few hints of the retconned older Mentor Legion Chapter background – namely that they use esoteric equipment and work variously in detail and in larger groups. +

'Master' Enoch, one of the upcoming Dramatis Personae, and a member of the Ordo Astartes.

+ The background is, effectively, an excuse. One of the things that most disappointed me about the Deathwatch – an otherwise very cool concept – was the fact that all the amazing heraldry and pageantry of a diverse group of Astartes was painted black, save a single shoulder pad. With the Vigilants, I've inverted that, with the Chapter heraldry of each miniature intact save for a red plate with a yellow and black hazard stripe. +

This member of the Patriarchs of Ulixis shows a red helm with hazard stripe and the old RT Field Police symbol on the hip plate.

+ This simple approach means that anyone who has a single marine can instantly get involved in the project, simply by painting a hazard stripe on them somewhere. I hope that this draws more people in to getting involved – after all, collaboration and discussion is really at the heart of any project. +

+ Before moving on, I just wanted to draw attention to the downside of writing background before trying things out on a model. Trying to paint the complex symbol of the High Lords of Terra (effectively the Other Side of the War of the False Primarch) on a shoulder pad was fun, but a challenge. +

+ I didn't want to make this a stumbling block or excuse for people not to get involved, and so wrote out the idea that all Tactical markings on a marine seconded to the Vigilants were replaced with this symbol. Instead, there's the option for a simpler triangle symbol; or nothing at all. There's the lesson, than – paint the model first, then write your background! +


+ Sundries +

+ STABLF has been monopolising my blog writing time – apologies; though I hope you're also enjoying the material that pops up there. Here are a few pictures that I've been taking, along with some rather off-the-cuff thoughts and notes. I hope they're of interest. +

+ Little more than a test of using a white backdrop, this picture's a nice scale comparison of a Space Marine and unaugmented human. Working from home means that I've got much nicer natural lighting than usual, and that in turn meant I couldn't resist snapping a few things. +

+ A little preview/work-in-progress of the Silver Stars, this 'sample' has quickly expanded into a thirty-man army, complete with tank. I've drawn the line there, for the moment, and am making a pledge here that no further stuff for this lot until they're all painted! +

+ Another marine for the STABLF project, this was an experiment in making properly accurate Mark VII armour (and apologies – I realise that the 'how to make Mark VI' tutorial is still languishing. Promise I'll get it done once I find the damn WIP!). He was also going to be the 'case study' Vigilant, but his pose weighed against him. I like the fact he's sighting down the barrel, but while realistic, it obscures too much of him. He's a good example of a good gaming piece, but a challenge to photograph or showcase effectively. + 

+ The chap next to him is an anonymous scribe at the moment. Whether he'll end up of the side of the orthodoxy or Partisans is uncertain. Fun model, though. +

+ To close, a Silver Star – and in stark contrast to the figure above, he's been deliberately designed to allow close examination of all the bits and bobs that make the Stars what they are. Keep an eye out for a future inload! +

+ inload: [REDACTED] +

+ Conceptinload: Silver Stars +

+ Honestly, I'm impressed with how long I went in this project before giving in to the temptation to have an inload called '[REDACTED]'. The figure above is one of the Dramatis Personae for the Silver Stars – and likely the nearest thing the Legion(?) Chapter(?) will have to a public face. +

+ I've deliberately kept the lids of the other Silver Stars on, in order to make them as anonymous and mysterious as possible. I want to provoke the reader to question 'what's underneath?'. The more questions I pose, without providing definite answers, the better: at least for this early stage. +

+ So why show this figure's face? A number of reason; not least of which is the simple fact that I like painting faces. After completing Volncoscere's own (oh – we haven't seen that yet, have we?), I wanted to play around with the skin mix I'd used. This character's skin is slightly different to the possible-Primarch's, but in the same wheelhouse. The Silver Stars have some Hawaiian/South Pacific island touches, and it was fun to try to bring that out by using more cream and orange in the mix than the yellow and white I would for caucasian tones. +

+ Secondly, this figure is slightly unusual in being a combination of two very old concepts – a Unification Wars model I built a few years back, but never painted, and Ulixis the Black [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], an Ultramarines' Captain based on the legends of Odysseus. I loved the idea of Ulixis as a wily commander, but on consideration, he didn't fit very well within my Praetors of Calth. He has a much better home here, in a possible-Legion surrounded by so many questions, and in a project that is concerned with lies and truth in the 40k setting. +


+ Building and painting the Laka'i +

+ The legs and torso are unmodified – as with all the Silver Stars bar a couple made from Plague Marine bits, he's based on Txarli Factory's definitely-not truescale Crusade Armour [+noosphericexloadlink embedded+]. The arms are from the original model I had made for the Unification Wars; based on a Forge World Centurion (though I swapped out the power fist for a Mark III gauntlet). I also brought the groin-guard across from that figure, too. Although there are some South Pacific hints about the Silver Stars, I want them to be just that: hints. I've never liked the flanderization of the Space Marine Legions, and like my marines to be marines first and foremost: the cultural touchstones of each should be subtle. +

+ That goes double here, as the Legion needs to retain some level of mystery and anonymity. They need to be identified primarily as 'marines with curiously ancient armour', and so littering them with extras would dilute that very quickly. +

+ It's also worth noting that I find the best army archetypes are those that combine disparate, seemingly unrelated ideas to get a good fusion of influences. I find it helps to prevent an idea becoming kitsch, or worse, offensively stereotypical. To that end, the markings aren't a constructed South Pacific script (indeed, until relatively recently, Hawaiian had no written form), but rather combine alchemical symbols – familiar shorthand for 'esoteric' and slightly sinister to most Western audiences – and cuneiform script. Diligent readers might be able to translate the symbols and numerals about his person – but whether they read into them is entirely up to them... +

[APPENDEDIT]+ I wrote about combining disparate ideas to create a fusion concept a bit more in this inload [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], for those interested. +

+ The Chapter/Legion symbol is the 'Silver Star' itself; an intentionally simple icon. In trying to create a Legion that could conceivably have come from the same well as the existing Legions, I wanted to use simple terms – like 'Luna' or 'Night' or 'World', 'Silver Star' has vague astronomical hints, and is also a simple phrase. That's what (well, hopefully) gives it an iconic ring to it. +

+ The colours are unusual for Space Marines. Rose, white and turquoise were chosen to give a vaguely Pacific region/Far Eastern feel – but the placement on the figures is intended to evoke the simple block colours of the 'canonical' Legions. +

+ As a closing note, someone on Instagram commented that the unpainted model looked a bit like Keanu Reeves. I couldn't help seeing it afterwards, and it still makes me grin! Unintentional stuff like that is always fun – and why is a big of why I enjoy sharing my models. Thank you all. +

+ inload: White tutorial: Painting the Silver Stars

+ Painting Silver Stars + 

+ Some things may be best forgotten, but how you paint a uniform isn't one of them. I thought I'd exload my approach to painting the cool white I'm using for this mysterious possible-Legion of Space Marines. +

+ Silver Stars Astartes: painting white +

+ Whether the Silver Stars are a Legion of marines or not, they seem to favour Mark II Crusade Armour. The bodies and legs are from Txarli Factory [+noospheric exloadlink embedded+]; the remainder of the figures from a variety of GW and FW kits. As always, this proves the benefit of a deep bits box: I bought the Crusade Armour bits used here years ago, intending to use them for my Praetors of Calth Ultramarines. One side project after another, I decided that it was a shame they sat languishing, so I dug them out, and was pleasantly surprised to find I had a decent little pile of them – some twenty in all. +

+ Painting Silver Stars +

_1 Assemble your marine as normal. The bases I've used here are from Unreal Wargaming [+noosphericexloadlink embedded+].

_2 Prime using Halford's Grey Primer.

_3 Paint the base colours. I block in the metals with black (though note I've used Dryad Bark for the gorget, which will be gold. You can use them fairly interchangeably, but I think I'll proceed with brown for gold, and black for silver). I've used Sotek Green for the blue-turquoise, which seems to be nigh-identical to the old Hawk Turquoise.

4_I've used 'Mummy Robes' from The Army Painter's Warpaints range [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], a lovely smooth warm white. This takes two layers to get a smooth surface. Once dry, I overlay it with Apothecary White, one of Citadel's new Contrast range of paints. This is a lovely quick way to get some initial shading it – and perhaps more importantly, to help you identify where to pick out later.

5_ From here, it's essentially refining. This is a bit of a jump from the previous stage, I confess! Here, I've gone back over the white with more Mummy Robes, adding Vallejo's Off-White for highlights. I've also used Daler-Rowney's Payne's Grey acrylic ink, diluted with flow improver, to line the stronger shadows. I've used the same combination of colours to add weathering and scratches to the white armour – I suggest you do this sparingly, and don't make them so high contrast as you would on darker hues: white paint is obviously very high in value, and so marks look much more striking and obvious than on a low value hue.

The blue-turquoise highlights are simply Sotek Green with increasing amounts of Off-White. The gold is Balthasar Gold followed by Shining Gold, washed with two layers of Seraphim Sepia, with touches of Leviathan Purple added wet-in-wet. The two washes are also used over Iron Warriors (the modern Boltgun Metal equivalent) for the silver areas like the boltgun and backpack.


+ inload: Behind the scenes of The War of the Lost Primarch +

+ Make new blogs, but keep the old +

+ New exciting projects always take up focus; but it's always good to keep an overview of things. Otherwise it's easy to end up a bit swamped and disenchanted after the chrome wears off (an image quite fitting for 40k...). I wanted the new site, Some Things Are Best Left Forgotten [+noosphericexloadlink embedded+] to be as immersive as possible. As a result, it's very story-focussed, with little, if any, out-of-universe material like modelling or painting planned. +

+ Fortunately, that's exactly the sort of material I can put here (alongside the usual material) – and I hope these behind-the-scenes inloads help to shed some light on the project. +


+ In the Emperor's footsteps: building a Primarch +

+ At the end of last year, lunax7070 offered me a cast of his awesome Mark II Crusade marine. When it comes to truescale, there aren't many bigger! It's a fantastic kit, with full poseability. It wasn't going to fit in any of my forces, but then inspiration struck – I could use it to build a Lorgar to face off against my version of Guilliman. +

+ Spool on a few days, and when I sat down to build, I just couldn't help thinking that I could use it for something else, and ideas started to percolate. To cut a long story short, I ended up combining some very old ideas to come up with a new setting to explore; a bit like the Alien Wars of M36 [REF: tab at top]. +

+ Foremost amongst these were the Silver Stars of an abortive Unification Wars project [+noosphericexloadlink embedded+]. I had really enjoyed exploring the period and playing with a different way of writing, but it had proven just too broad to give a decent result in a sensible amount of time. +

Seeds sown in late MMXV

+ Learning from that, and which bits of the Alien Wars that people seemed to like best, I hit upon theming it around the War of the False Primarch – one of those brief mentions in GW's colour text that always seems so ripe with potential. +

+ The text is very brief, and basically involves five named Chapters wiping out eleven. It's an intriguing idea, and so I went about contacting hobbyists who had already done some work on the named Chapters. Amongst them are the_midnightmare, count.hodo, the_iron_within and biohazardmodels –  I thoroughly recommend you check out their awesome work. +

+ With some talented allies on board, I started putting together some introductory text and having fun creating maps in between updating the Silver Stars. After all, if I was asking people to contribute their marines to oppose or follow a (supposed) Primarch and his (supposed) Legion, then I thought it was only right that I put my money where my mouth was! +

...and his big brother, six years later.

+ The first new marine popped up here a couple of inloads ago; and at some point I'll take the chance to talk through the updates and changes made. For the moment, though, I hope this gives some idea of where the idea for a collaboration comes from – and, more importantly than that, I hope it encourages you to get involved! +


+ A call to arms +

+ This blog is blessed with a readership hugely talented in modelling, painting and writing. I'd love it if you would consider getting involved. The invitation to the project can be read in full on Some Things Are Best Left Forgotten [+noosphericexloadlink embedded+], but in short, if you want to help explore the M34 setting, then please do get in contact either via the comments section below, or via the + Death of a Rubricist + Facebook group [+noosphericexloadlink embedded+]. +

+ Like the Alien Wars, it's a huge palette; which can make it a bit daunting to pick where to start. Pretty much anything will fit – and the broader the take-up, the richer the setting will become. However, I know some people prefer a narrower focus to give them a lead-in, and to that end, if you're a Rubricist who wants to contribute but doesn't have a clear point of inspiration, then I encourage you to turn your hands to one of the following options, in order of urgency:
  • A Vigilant Space Marine (see below).
  • A Space Marine from the Partisan Chapters, detailed here.
  • A Battlefleet Gothic model.
  • One of the Death Eagles (and whether you prefer the black and white modern scheme or pink and white originals, both will be fantastically useful).
  • A Space Marine from the Silver Stars (pictured above)
  • A model to represent Imperial Guard or Naval forces operating in the area.
  • An Inquisitor or Inquisitorial team.
+ All will be used to illustrate articles on the new blog, and I'll preview those articles here in the hope that it'll inspire you talented so-and-sos to paint up some figures we can use to illuminate them. +


+ The Vigilants +

+ The Vigilants are a concept I've created to make getting involved as easy as possible. I think a lot of people like the idea of invitationals, but are worried that they're 'not good enough'. I'm very keen that this project is as open as possible and want to break down any 'hobby gates'. +

+ To that end, the Vigilants are a Chapter of Space Marines that operate like the Deathwatch – individuals and small groups are seconded to the Inquisition's Ordo Astartes. They keep their original colouring, but supplement it with a red armour panel (usually the helm) with a yellow and black stripe. As I put it on the War of the False Primarch discussion group:

There’s an article going up this weekend (basically as soon as I have a figure painted). Vigilants are marked out by a red armour panel with a yellow and black stripe. This is usually, but not always, their helm. Other than that, they wear their Chapter colours.

The underlying concept is a reimagining of the Military Police from Rogue Trader – a militant wing under the auspices of the Ordo Astartes that allow the Inquisition to fight fire with fire. 
Set up during the Scouring, many of the original members were made of Blackshields that sought to rejoin the Imperium after Horus’ defeat. 

Two thousand years later, it’s now a position of honour for many Space Marine Chapters, with implied ties to the long inward-looking Adeptus Custodes, who use them as an intermediary (a relationship which eventually leads to the Vigilants being disbanded in a later period).

The Vigilants are really well-equipped during the War. They receive priority equipment and specialist weaponry in order to best their peers – lots of the weird stuff like conversion beamers, graviton weaponry and eradication rifles.

+ Long-time inloaders will know that I like to involve retrohammer touches, and so will probably have already divined that the visual inspiration for this is from Rogue Trader's Field Police:

+ The idea is simple. If you have a marine sitting around, you can get involved simply by repainting his helm. If you do so, please let me know either via the comments or on the Facebook group – I'd love to have as many examples as possible for the article. +


+ inload: The War of the False Primarch – Some Things Are Best Left Forgotten +

Behold, I come with five thousand of his angels at my back, to execute judgment on all traitors; and to convict all the apostate of all their subversive deeds that they have committed in such a subversive way; and of all the subversive things that such sinners have spoken against Him.

+ Master Aramis Enoch, Inquisitor +

I want to know +

+ inload: Legio Sumer-Nikator +

+ Reaver Battlegroup +

+ My Titan Legion, The Sons of the Temple [CROSS-REF: Legio Sumer-Nikator] have received some reinforcements in advance of the upcoming release of the new Warmaster Titan. I'd pop some pictures of that up here, but to be honest you'll get a better view direct from GW's own Warhammer Community website – go have a look, I'll wait. +


+ Cool, isn't it? Like the Warbringer, my initial reaction is cautiously positive rather than glowingly excited, but I suspect that it's a figure which has a lot of presence. I'm looking forward to seeing one in-hand. +

+ Reaver Battlegroup: Serpens +

+ In the meantime, I'd better get painting. I snapped up a bargain of three partially-built Reavers, and have used them to give myself a second battlegroup. That will allow me to field a full strength Corsair group (that is, five Reavers), alongside an additional reserve Reaver. +

+ I've temporarily glued the weapons in place – with three magnetised, I thought I'd make a few more dedicated options. The first is this as-yet-unnamed close-in Reaver – a Vandal, to use the old terminology. Alongside a melta cannon and chainfist primary weapons, I've given him a Vulcan megabolter on the carapace. This selection keeps him relatively cheap, and allows the Princeps to focus his reactor on getting him safely across the table with shields alight. +

+ The Vulcan Megabolter is from Vanguard Miniatures [+noosphericexloadlink embedded+]; sadly out of stock, but a snip at £4 for two. I think Forge World's 'official' one is perfectly serviceable, but at £11 for one, I couldn't really justify it. +

+ The one criticism I have with the Reaver Titan kit – an absolute favourite of mine – is the lack of head options. Sure, there are three different mask, but they're all fairly similar. I'm hoping that Forge World (or an enterprising third part) come out with a head similar to the old second option. In the meantime, I've bashed my own: 

+ The top, rear and 'eyes' are from a Warlord head with the detail trimmed down and replaced. The front is from a 40k scale Knight, again trimmed to alter the proportions slightly. The grille is from one of the spare Reaver masks. +

+ I also tweaked the second Reaver's head; though that was very minor, simply cutting back the 'tusks' of the standard kit. This head sits atop a Goth class Reaver – the old term for a long-range 'heavy' Reaver. I just couldn't resist a dual Volcano Cannon option. +

+ Far from optimal, I suspect he'll spend a lot of time trying to cool down, but the visuals and rule-of-cool override all else! Perched on top is the Forge World Warp missile, making this Titan a long-range threat to enemy models whether they have shields or not. I hope that he and his Vandal brethren will work together well; the long-range Titan herding the prey and slowing them down for the other two to close in. +

+ The third is currently another Vandal, though I might tweak him to a more generalist role. I think I might swap the chainfist for a Power fist, as I think I have one spare; and possible substitute the melta cannon for a gatling blaster. +


+ Warlord +

+ No great progress here, but I have managed to lay my hands on a 3D print of a fan-made Lucius-Alpha head. As soon as it arrived, I got it primed and popped it in place – very pleased, and looking forward to giving it a coat of paint. +



 + [/.../]ceiving? Is this thing on[/..../]+

+ Ah, much better. Apologies for the vox-silence recently; as you'll all likely be experiencing, things in the real world have been a bit complicated recently! While my hobby time has been substantially curtailed, I'm happy to say that all is safe and well in the Rubricist's quarters. +

+ Many happy returns; and while the annus horribilis that was 2020 staggers onwards, zombie-like, into the new year, I live in hope that things'll get better. What's that 40k line? Hope is the first step on the road to... Huh, maybe I won't invoke that, then! +


+ Minimal time; maximum breadth +

+ With time and energy at a premium, I've got a little area set up so that I can work for a few minutes whenever the urge hits me. That proved a great way to keep my spirits up in the last lockdown, and so far it's buoying me up now, too. +

+ Thus, it's been a year of oddments so far:

+ Exhibit one: an extremely large miniature, and one that I definitely can't get away with pretending isn't a toy. So far Brother Caban here has turned up all over the house, having various adventures. I'm planning to paint him up as a Gatebreaker, but need to get him primed and prepped. +

+ Next up was polishing off a techpriest; one I picked up from Anvil Industry's kickstarter. Lovely little model, and a fun testing ground for Contrast paints. She's sat half-completed for a while, and a half-hour stint got her here. Nothing particularly of note except for the sigil on the paper – that of an extremely mysterious figure... +

+ Back on solid ground, a hefty techpriest and his servitor, along with a strangely archaic marine. Those of you who've followed my stuff for a while might rememeber the [REDACTED], which I'll be [REDACTED] this year so I hope that [REDACTED]. +

+ [/.../] Ah, c'mon, I can't post that and then not reveal [REDACTED], can I? Oh, it turns out that [REDACTED]. Who knew? +

+ Best of luck for the new year; and remember – Some Things Are Best Left Forgotten... +

+ inload: Painting Inquisitrix Barbari Kills +

+ Inquisitrix Barbari Kills +

 There's subtlety in the application of the Emperor's will – just as there's good hard work in interpreting it. 

'Righteousness, willpower, divine grace... You'll hear them all used as justifications for why you should do as an Inquisitor says; but right now, the fact I've got an n-point discharge derringer pressed to your forehead is all I need.'


+ Well, all painted up and ready to wage a one-woman war on the Endworlds – I'm pleased with how Barbari Kills has come out. My notes on building the conversion are here [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], so I'll concentrate on painting in this inload. +

+ The first thing you'll notice is the drab scheme. The plan was for the poncho to be a muted brown leather, with a bright inner lining – the idea being that this anonymous-looking figure suddenly threw back her cloak to reveal a big gun and bright colours. In the end, I think I got a bit carried away with the detailing and washes on the lining, so it's more muted than I had intended. +

+ The heraldic ermine pattern has got a bit lost, and has ended up looking a bit blurry... but them's the breaks when you experiment. I'm still pleased with the result, which has plenty of impact and contrast, if not precisely how I'd planned it! +

+ The face came out well, I felt. I've experimented with a lot of different skintones in the Gatebreaker project, but with the marines I'm guaranteed a contrasting tone near the face owing to the quartered bright yellow and dark green scheme. Not so here, so I had to work carefully to make sure her dark skin didn't get lost against the fabric. Note the embroidered details on her collar (touches of freehand help to identify something as non-skin), and the use of the brighter inner lining of the cloak near the collar, too. +

+ A few flashes of colour are dotted around the figure to make things slightly less realistic and more obviously sci-fi: the orange band on the gun; the gold Inquisition symbol on her loincloth; the red rubricising (see what I did there?) and bookmark ribbon on the book; and – of course – her blue hair. +

+ Typically, eye-catching 'hot spots' are bright, warm colours; but as long as they contrast with the overall scheme, they can be any colour. The scheme here as a whole is a warm sepia-yellow tint; almost nicotine-stained. Blue (or green, or pink) would all work to contrast. +

+ The image above shows the skin best, too. Subtle spot-glazes of red applied to the lower lip and cheeks are all that are needed to give a healthy complexion. Kills doesn't strike me as a striking make-up sort of girl. +

+ Another little flash of red; the Inquisitorial sigil of the Ordo Propter. Again, hidden beneath the cloak until the dramatic reveal. Note the profusion of pouches and webbing; I wanted Barbari Kills to look prepared for anything. This shot shows the ermine decoration on the cloak a little better, too. +

+ The basing is similar to most I do; a warm brown highlighted up with cream, then dotted with a mix of flock tufts and scatter foliage. +

+ ... and here she is pictured alongside Castaway, Coriolanus and Septival. She's starting to build up a little entourage. I must return to Haim and Brunski soon. +

+ inload: Gatebreaker infantry +

 + Another step closer +

The claviger-wielding Rift Team had come through here; as evinced by the heavy percussion fractures in the solid plate of the deck and walls – and the aerosolised gore still hanging in the microgravity. 

Member-Cardinal Boegnor picked his way over the brittle bodies of the Sa; the rest of the sweep group following in his footsteps. His face was puckered into its usual scowl as he took in the dead; his unflickering eyes set deep in creased, leathery skin. 

'Just dead Stilties,' he growled, 'Nothing of salvage here. Move on'. He waved his squadmates forward, two fingers of his bionic hand indicating the route.


+ Five more Gatebreakers polished off; which makes for three ten-man squads ready for the field. As before, these are a mix of easy-build Assault Intercessors with bits and bobs from various other kits; all with the aim of suggesting the Gatebreakers' poor supply lines – and looking cool, of course! +

+ I quite like incorporating asymmetry – like this Mark III helm – into this army, as it adds to the hodgepodge, salvaged feel. While this force's bases show scrubby plants and soil, this sort of look also helps to reflect the Chapter's void-boarding specialism. +

+ Use of reliable close-in weapons like flamers and snub-bolters help this group fit in with the background, too. Besides the equally low-tech grenade launchers, this is the only special weapon in the army so far. Not sure whether to embrace the reliance on small arms, or scatter a few special weapons in. What do you reckon? +

+ Mark VII helm, pauldrons reinforced with molecular bonding studs, and a backpack covered with extracts from the Tenets of the Ten Divine Princes. Again, nothing hugely remarkable, but little variations and details like this add up across the army. +

+ I've deliberately used pieces from various different Chapter and Legion upgrades. The main advantage is giving me access to loads of cool bits; but it also stops the Gatebreakers from looking like they owe too much to any one particular Legion or Primarch; which in turn hopefully raises some questions and makes the army more engaging visually and conceptually. +

+ The flip side of using such a wide range of material is that you need to be careful to make it a bit more neutral. This White Scar helm, for example, has has the cheek decorations trimmed away, the radio ridge on top squared off, the topknot plucked, and generally been tidied up to make it less distinctively of the Fifth Legion. I find converting pieces like this quite fun – you're basically cutting away the bells and whistles to find the form beneath. +

+ ...and last today, Member-Cardinal Boegnor; one of the officers of the Gatebreakers Ninth Strikeforce. I've used an arm from the Space Wolf Primaris upgrade spread here, though you'd be hard-pushed to tell: the stock component is completely lacking any features that would identify it as such. +

+ This is the other nice part of expanding your eye to look at other ranges and sub-factions when building your models; you realise that there's frequently nothing beyond the label that identifies a particular component as 'belonging' to a particular group. It's easiest to see on Space Marines, but the principle applies across the GW range – and beyond. +