TL;DR - going off the beaten track is a tremendous amount of fun on a personal level, I'd massively
recommend dabbling in it for your own forces.
@Dragonlover & Graysparrow - Yep, spot on with the Sister of Silence head. The challenge of the kit bash was pretty minimal - the only difficulty was in adjusting the neck to fit the neck-socket properly, and even then it wasn't especially difficult. The shoulder pad plays nicely with the Custodes arm.
I've not determined a huge amount of background for her - though I'm sure it'll come in a more forthright way now that I've exhausted myself in defining the main cast of the Watcher Keep/Bolthole Station! (I would never have believed how difficult it is to come up with satisfactory and vaguely distinct 'random names' for toys...!)
In passing, though, I'm leaning towards the idea that for any of the marines who aren't blatantly male or female, there's a down-the-middle 50:50 mix in them. I hobbled myself by not naming in that vein - but then you gotta start somewhere.
With regards specific
background relating to Ithika, I've held a very firm retcon in my head for a while, though it's a much more general point than her herself:
But I digress.
I had a lot of fun with the home-brew on this. As said with the names, it's ruddy difficult. Of the things that stuck prominently in my head when doing all this, two ideas featured prominently.
The first is that it's very
easy to fall into the Noun Angels trap. Well, it's not a trap. But you get the idea. There's a corollary to that, of course, that it's not really
a trap. Some things will be entirely fashionable - there'll be trends, some names will be prominent whilst others fade through time - either by association or just by being viewed as archaic.
Secondly, one of the really lovely details about the Thousand Sons and Word Bearers 'internal details' was their love of the esoteric in their naming conventions. If those records have been expunged, the desire to go for overly-arch, long-winded or outright peculiar names for chapters will have free reign to return. Well, not completely free reign, there'd be a lot of vetoing going on from the Ordo Astartes, I'd imagine, but the general principle is right.
As such, I was keen to go for the odd 'Noun Angels' ones, like the Iron Talons - not a far cry from existing 'big' chapter names, but goofy enough to be both plausible and blatant and
totally fitting. And on the flip side, the Scions of the Labyrinth at Khapik was just getting into the territory of overly-arch 'proper names' without going down the route of the Space Sharks (Carcharadons Astra is a brilliant 'rescue' of the name, but I didn't want to steal it as I admired it a bit too much!).
Anyway, it's something I've really
enjoyed playing around with. I've a vague plan to do an all-dreadnought Killteam at some point too, using the larger size of the models to be a bit more forgiving in doing freehand Chapter iconography, but it remains to be seen whether my skills are up to it.
@Ibris - I get you on the helmets front. I was keen to have a near-all-helmeted force (of late I've come to really admire it in others' forces), but was immediately scuppered in my efforts by the Deathwatch Veteran's Mk8 gorgets. The indecent interplay with other helmets is vexing. Nevertheless, if I add in more Marines, I think it'll likely be some MkX 'Primaris' (as DW
vets) with their stalker boltguns, or picking up some MkIII/MkIV suits for variety.
Vets kit is lovely, but it's just awkward enough with the older kits to be loved without reservation!