Category Archives: Astra Militarum

Disposable Heroes – Part 13

For a long time I’ve dreamed of commanding a huge Imperial Guard army, capturing my vision of what human wars in the 41st Millennium are like. Alongside an equally vast adeptus mechanicus host, a few squads of space marines (truescale obviously) and perhaps a unit or two of custodes, would march a vast horde of human soldiers. Each would be personalised, converted into a unique character. Alongside them would roll the massed armour (even though painting tanks holds no appeal to me at all) and other warmachines, towering knights, squads of ogrens and so on. However so far common sense has continued to assert itself. Rather than rush out and spend all of my meagre earnings on guardsmen when I already have a horde of other unfinished projects demanding my attention, I’ve tried to keep it small scale, building up a squad, model by model. Perhaps it’ll grow in time into a platoon, then – maybe – a second, until one day I look round and find myself with an army waiting to march on my command. A few days ago I added a couple more guardsmen and, finding that rather than satisfying the creative urge this only exacerbated it, I’ve painted up another one.

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In addition I went back to the medic I showed last year and made some adjustments, improving his paintjob and tying him into the slowly growing collection.

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I suspect that for now I’ll be setting the guard aside and turning my focus elsewhere again but before we move on here’s a quick look at some of the other models I’ve assembled who will, in time, make their way out of unpainted morass and into the ranks of the Hammer of the Emperor.

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And of course before we depart the guard entirely however there’s always room for another group shot of progress so far.

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Disposable Heroes – Part 12

Back at the tail end of last year I took my first steps into assembling the Imperial Guard regiment I’ve always imagined. Inspired by the Iron Sleet Invitational I put together a little band of guardsmen capturing the aesthetic I’ve long associated with the Guard, and yet which rarely comes across in the official models. I even waxed philosophical on the topic if you’re interested in reading more about my reasoning. At the time I made four guardsmen and, hitting something of an inspirational dry spell, rounded out the squad with a specialist agent sent to the Thorn Moons by the Imperial invaders. However that left several unfinished guardsmen sitting on the corner of the desk, neither fit to be included in the group nor ready to be cast back into the bitsbox, but waiting for inspiration to return and raise them up as fully finished models. Feeling the call of the guard once again I grabbed one of those unfinished miniatures and gave him the additional touches needed for him to join the Imperial war-machine.

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I see him as very much a devout soul who, believing he has been called to serve in battle as part of the Emperor’s great plan for humanity, has requested dispensation to leave his allotted labours in the manufactorums and join the Guard. The fellow members of his congregation, believing that his mission is a holy one, have gifted him the small icon from their church to carry into battle, hoping that this will ensure his protection until he has completed whatever task the Emperor has set before him.

Of course this isn’t my first experiment with the Imperial Guard. A while ago I put together this chap as a “proof of concept” to test the waters and iron out some of my ideas.

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Given my return to the guard I took the opportunity to give him a quick repaint to bring him into the ranks of my new squad. And yes, I know I’ve got paint on the rim of his base and, due to the selective blindness that seems to affect me whenever I do this, I overlooked it. Don’t make me go and take the photos again, just trust me that I’ll get it fixed. It’s mostly at the back, nobody will notice right?

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Whether this has been enough to cure my urge to paint guardsmen and let me focus on other projects, or if this is only the beginning of a mass recruitment drive remains to be seen. In the meantime any thoughts or feedback are very welcome.


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!


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.