Abandoning all ties to the Imperium the Hawkmoths have instead adopted the Nomad-Predation pattern of campaigning, hounding the Beasts of Ruin into the darkness of uncharted space. Recruits are selected from young survivors of their raids and the tech-barbarian tribes of ruined rad-worlds.
The nature of the chapter and their restless crusade offers little time to spare for the exhaustive training regimes favoured by other chapters. Following the most basic induction new recruits are hurled into a violent baptism, their skills measured and judged in real combat. Gladiatorial battles between squads are used to hone the skills of the scouts and weed out the weak so I chose to modify my Scout squad with faceless helms and extra armour.
I enjoy reading through the online rumours about forthcoming releases, even though a lot of them – even those lauded as being from good sources – turn out to be fictitious, they are also often highly imaginative. Many people who take their rumours seriously bash “wishlisting” as a time-wasting nuisance but I’m happy to admit I’ve got some of my best ideas from rumours that proved to be false. It can be disappointing to get your hopes up about something that then turns out to be fake, but you can always try to make it yourself. Before the Blood Angel’s codex was released plenty of (supposedly reliable) sources claimed to have seen post-apocalyptic themed Scouts representing the Space Marines being recruited from the feral tribes of Baal. As it turned out these models never appeared (some might uncharitably say that’s because they never existed) but I loved the idea and tried to replicate it in my Scouts – especially their Sergeant (below).
A rear view shows the scouts kitted out for life in the wilds, conducting covert operations behind enemy lines.
“…his men went without mailcoats, and were as frantic as dogs or wolves; they bit their shields and were as strong as bears or boars; they slew men, but neither fire nor iron could hurt them…” – Ynglinga Saga, 6
Finished at last (after two attempts) Magok Bloodcaller, once a sergeant of the Hawkmoth’s Assault Company but now dedicated to Khorne and commander of the berserkers known as “The Bloodbeasts”.
I’ve always liked the sense that Khorne is not just a god worshipped by frothing maniacs who’s only interest is in how much brutality they can dish out, but also a god of martial pride. His warriors may be fierce but they are also honourable, when they can control their bloodlust that is. The Hawkmoths recruit primarily from the tribes of feral worlds and place a great emphasis on gladiatorial combat within and between companies, plenty of opportunity for pride to take root and then undo them as they fell to chaos and became the Beasts of Ruin we know today.
Two (rather old) berserkers. In spite of touching up the paint on them I do think they’re showing their age so I’ve got some (hopefully better painted) reinforcements currently in-progress.
This one’s even older, although I think he’s held up rather better (but perhaps I just have a soft-spot for the old monster).
Another of the Bloodbeasts – the image on the right is a work-in-progress shot showing the miniature’s face and part-finished gore on the axe, the one on the left is the finished article (complete with some unfortunate Imperial Guardsman’s viscera no doubt).
The most recent of the berserkers to be added to the squad (although there’s two more on the painting desk). As soon as I saw this head (from the Fantasy Warriors of Chaos Forsaken) I knew it would be perfect – it’s so full of character, the armour of this proud warrior cracking and flaking away to reveal the snarling face of the daemon beneath. To my mind it rather sums up the losing battle that is the tragedy of Khorne’s followers, their honour and martial pride becoming ever thinner with each battle as the battle-fury which once made them strong slowly consumes them.