Category Archives: Astra Militarum

Disposable Heroes – Part 11

Having painted four Imperial Guardsmen for the Iron Sleet Thorn Moons Invitational the fifth and final model to tackle the Thorn Moons is someone rather different. Stuck for inspiration amongst the ranks of the Guard I took on an Imperial agent, a shadowy, mendicant figure, tasked with enacting the Emperor’s will without support from the greater Imperial war-machine.

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…And yes, I’ve not drilled out the barrel because that would have almost certainly broken the gun. Am I proud? Not a bit of it!

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Of course, all this leaves for us is to delve into the background of the regiment – the Sarkisian 7th.

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When the Imperium called for troops to join the crusade the Sarkis system, one of the closest along a stable warp route, was a natural choice of recruiting ground. Raised from the densely packed hive streets of Sarkis V, the men of the Sarkisian 7th were naturals at fighting in the narrow crawlspaces and elaborate trench works of their homeworld. Alas the forests of the Thorn Moons, so similar on paper to the hive-warrens, proved disastrously different once they made planetfall. Against the deadly forests of those hell-worlds the Sarkisian 7th were soon whittled down into small bands of survivors, each attempting to find their way to their own lines after their initial triumphant advance.

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All manner of unclean creatures assailed us beneath those terrible trees. Emperor preserve our souls! Have we failed?

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Even against the foulest of heretics we fought on, whilst the dank forest closed around us like a fist.

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We needed leadership – someone who understood those twisting forests as well as the enemy, someone who could guide us to our dreamed of vengeance.Invitational Convert Or Die (9)

She will not tell us where she comes from but, in contrast to our struggling, blundering steps, she walks the forests of the Moons like a native. Was she born here I wonder, beneath these hungry boughs? Did she run through a childhood spent amongst these glades and thickets? It is hard to image her as an innocent, just as it is hard to imagine a childhood spent upon these strange worlds with their all devouring forests. Give me my hive streets once more, the warrens of mankind’s great cities rolling beneath my feet! What foul death-world first spawned such unclean xenos things as trees?

I do not even know her name, nor her rank or duties. It does not seem to matter however. She has led us, when the forest grew darkest. Without her this nightmare world would have consumed us long ago. If we endure here it shall be by her actions and the Emperor’s will alone.

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Once again huge thanks to the team at Iron Sleet for putting the Invitational together and to all the other hobbyists who’ve been involved. If you’ve not already do take the time to head over to Iron Sleet and take a look at the showcase of work they’ve been building, a treasure trove of inspiration awaits!

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Disposable Heroes – Part 10

I am summoned. The Emperor speaks to me. It is the preacher’s breath that forms the sounds, his vox-horns that cast them into the incense-heavy air of the chapel, but he speaks with the Emperor’s voice and it is His words that call me to war. No longer can I remain here whilst His realm is attacked by the heretic hordes without. No more can I contain my spite for the xenos that dare to walk amongst His stars. I have requested permission to leave the place of my labours and take up the lasgun. I embrace the duty of war.

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We are all that is left now. Three harsh days on the surface of the Moons, three days weathering the storm cast against us, the armoured giants, the hereteks and their foul trees, the shrapnel storm that gutted our ship before we even reached the surface, the remorseless killing that came after. Of the thousands that left Sarkis IV at my side we may be the last. We seek others to join with, to band together until, perhaps, we have the numbers to strike back, and die with glory. I know the ghost of Colonel Idris is driving me onwards. We shall not fail our Emperor.

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Disposable Heroes – Part 9

I never knew that space could be so loud! The caged roar of the engines, the pounding of the great ship-heart, the creaking of the vessel as the Warp buffets us, the howling of the sirens that call us to assemble, to drill, to eat, to sleep. For a son of the hive like myself, it is like coming home! 

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The Thorn Moons loom ever closer. Another hive-born serf takes up arms in defence of the Emperor’s realm.


Disposable Heroes – Part 8

Work continues on my contribution to the Iron Sleet Invitational with a second soldier joining the squad. For those new to the Invitational the talented crew at Iron Sleet have called upon hobbyists everywhere to submit five models by the 1st of December to act both as a seed of inspiration for their own work and to involve as many people as possible in the crusade to retake the Thorn Moons (which itself follows on from the Pilgrymage event featured at Warhammer World and in White Dwarf). Needless to say the opportunity to get involved in such a global event (currently involving at least a hundred other hobbyists) was too good to pass up.

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Following the feedback I received last week I also returned to the Company Commander, adding battle damage to his chainsword and the squad designation to his shoulderpad.

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In my opinion the best thing about events like this is the chance to share inspiration and ideas with other hobbyists. With that in mind, and given that I’m aiming to make these as good as possible, I’m keen to get your feedback so if you have any thoughts at all now’s your chance to share them.


Disposable Heroes – Part 7

Forward men of the Imperium! Let the guns of the enemy bite you! Let their blades taste you! Let us face their foul hunger and choke them with our righteousness! Onwards! Onwards until the last of us has fallen! Onwards until we stand before the Emperor himself, and when we do let us hold our heads high for we have carried the enemy before us into Hell!

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I’m trying to decide if he’s done or not but either way I’ve been looking at him so long I’m starting to go in circles. Going to work on the rest of his squad for a bit then come back to him with what will hopefully be fresh eyes. In the meantime feedback is more than welcome.


Disposable Heroes – Part 6

Over the last week work has continued on my nascent regiment of Imperial Guardsmen for the Thorn Moons Invitational. This event has been put together by the talented hobbyists at Iron Sleet and, according to a recent announcement, now includes a hundred regiments, making for a spectacle truly on par with the scale of warfare described in the 40k background.

Of the five models I showed off last week I’m happy enough with three of them to start painting. This chap however still needed a little greenstuff to help blend his gasmask into the rest of his hood.

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Then there was his squad-mate who’s been charged with carrying the skeleton of a glorious Imperial martyr into battle. Here’s how he looked this time last week.

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I was already keen to do a little more work on him – specifically to remove his incongruously cheery grin – but all the feedback I received encouraged me to also install a gothic rig to support and articulate the dead hero on his back.

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All in all I’m pleased with these two now, by my eye they’re ready to join the others for a coat of paint but, as always, any last minute feedback is more than welcome.


Disposable Heroes – Part 5

I struggled to come up with another guardsman, I really did, but whatever creative wellspring had informed the previous four clearly ran dry at this point because nothing I produced seemed to work. It was all either too obvious or too damn obtuse and the more I struggled the more irked I became. Eventually, in an artistic temper tantrum, I swore off guardsmen altogether and turned my attention back to the original guidelines posted by the Iron Sleeters.

“Study humanity in the eternal war – the imperial guard and its many regiments sent to bring the moons to compliance, their rogue brethren set to burn all, the Thorn Moons twists in their corrupted millions and Green Mechanicvm and their planetary defense skitarii in desperate defense of their realms, the human foot soldiers of the inquisition in their esoteric glory…”

An Imperial Agent then. Amongst the tens of thousands of mortal soldiers descending on the moons there would be those out with the Guard’s chain of command. Feared and respected by the common soldiers, they move amongst the ranks in pursuit of their own mysterious agendas. A new vein of creativity had been tapped! Cue delving into the deepest corners of the bits box, tearing unloved and unlovable models from the shelf of shame, breaking apart the unpainted and half-forgotten to create this, masked and unknowable woman.

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What brings her to the Moons? What cause does she serve? Who’s agenda does she act to further? What secrets lie hidden behind her mask? Does she serve our cause, or the enemy’s?