I mentioned yesterday that I had been inspired to join the Iron Sleet Invitational, to – as they put it – “study humanity in the eternal war”. Many of you will already be aware of the Invitational and the Thorn Moons crusade, but for those who are not the Thorn Moons event builds upon the Pilgrym event (and if that’s news to you then where have you been?!). The participants’ aim to take the inspirational world-building and miniatures of the Pilgrym event and apply it at an army sized level, something which I’m sure a great many of us (myself included) will be watching very closely indeed. Rather than try to describe my interpretation of someone else’s project however I urge you to take a look at the Iron Sleet website if you’re not already. Suffice to say that when the opportunity arose to contribute my own vision of the 41st Millennium to the event my response was a mixture of delight (naturally) and trepidation (after all I was about to place my work alongside that of some of the finest convertors and painters currently at large).
Throwing wide the creative gates the Iron Sleet group have called on hobbyists everywhere to join in their enterprise. The brief – simply to portray the humble humans sent to fight in the Thorn Moons, the mere men in a universe so often dominated by monsters and supermen.
“Build and paint five human sized models that beautifully and fittingly describe the humble human in the galactic war and show of your original ideas and understanding of the Warhammer 40000 universe.
Story is king.”
We shall be several weeks under warp before we approach the Thorn Moons. Our time is to be spent training, readying ourselves for the battle to come. None of us have seen combat before. Our training officers tell us that does not matter. After so many centuries of isolation the enemy will be weak. They have never faced the wrath of the Imperium – never been tempered by foes such as us. The first bombardment will shatter them. I shall not fail my Emperor.
I’ve already discussed the philosophy behind my contribution in great depth so let’s launch straight in with the first couple of models. Neither of these is completely finished yet – and I’ll add that this probably applies to everything else I’m hoping to show over the next few days – but that further tweaks and adjustments will come once I’ve heard some impartial feedback (that’s your job by the way). Please excuse the fact that these models were all pre-owned (and pre-loved, if that doesn’t sound too Slaaneshi), the old, cracked primer predates my ownership. There’s still a little work to do on both of them before they’re ready for paint but the second model especially will need more greenstuff before he’s truly ready to go. His rebreather has also slipped a little (something I overlooked whilst taking the photos) and will need adjusting.
In the 41st Millennium practicality is rarely a concern. What matters is appearance, the pomp required by those who serve the Emperor, and a rigorous adherence to tradition. When soldiers advance they do so to the beat of a drum. It stirs their hearts for battle and it makes up for the fact that there hasn’t been enough time to teach them how to march before launching them into combat.
It is the stars that I shall remember, when I am old. We do not have them in our cave cities you see. The officers laugh at me when I speak of this, in a way that makes me wonder if they are being cruel. The other men tell me that to see the stars one must first gaze upon the sky and on our world only a few dare the surface and they see only glimpses of the hive-spires through the smog. To think that all this glory has been circling above our heads for all these centuries and we did not know. Every one of them, every point of light is a world belonging to the Emperor! I wonder which is Terra, which Cadia, which Macragge? I read of these worlds, I coveted every story that told of them, I dreamed of them as I laboured in our city beneath the ground. To think that now I shall see them all! I wonder if I shall meet the Emperor?