Right on the coattails of Brother Xbal being complete are my last four marines for my first deathwatch team!
From left to right: Brotherhood of the Midnight Sun, Blood Drinkers, Minotaurs, Salamanders, Red Templars.
Got a bunch of pictures to show today, starting with Brother Ek Chak of the Blood Drinkers:
The planet San Guisaga, known as Azca to the locals, is a pre-industrial Feudal world known for its blood-red skies and dense jungles which cover the majority of the planet’s single massive continent. The many ruined cities the pierce the jungle canopies are now battlegrounds for the tribal kingdoms that call the planet home, who fight amongst each other for resources, farmland, and captives for human sacrifice. The Blood Drinkers chapter are seen as the gods made flesh to the native Guisagans, who both offer sacrifices to them in their own temples, as well as tithing a portion of their population to the marines themselves once every cycle of 52 years. The living offerings are taken across the Inland Sea in watercraft to the Temple of Blood, the massive fortress-monastery of the Blood Drinkers. Those deemed fit for service are inducted into the ranks of the marines themselves, those that are not are never seen again…
Marine Name: Brother Ek Chak
Duty Position: Intercessor armed with assault bolt rifle
Chapter Name: Blood Drinkers
Successor of: Blood Angels (Second Founding)
Homeworld: San Guisaga (in high Gothic), Azca (in native language)
As you have already figured out, I am a big fan of Mayan history (hence why WHF Lizardmen are always going to be my true favorites) and was excited to include some Mayan and other Mesoamerican influences in some of my deathwatch marines. The Blood Drinkers seemed like a perfect candidate to put some of this influence into a more established, higher-profile chapter. I had plans to make an army of these red power-armored warriors with a Mesoamerican flavor, but that never materialized, so for now they will be included in my deathwatch force.
I was very much inspired by this marine I saw a while back on coolminiornot:
In turn, this marine looks like he is inspired by Aztec war costumes, as depicted in manuscripts dating back to the Spanish conquests of Mexico.
I used this inspiration when tweaking the Blood Drinkers chapter symbol, which also harkens back to the Rogue Trader version of the olden days:
It goes without saying that none of the lore or backstory for this particular model is in any “official” wiki. In my head-cannon, the Blood Drinkers and all the names used in official 40K documents are what is recorded in the “Gothic” language used in universe, but in reality they have a whole separate language used for day-to-day activities inspired by the culture of their homeworld, hence San Guisaga/Azca.
A fun project, would make a great 40K force all its own!
Next is Brother Diodorus of the Minotaurs:
Where once they were known as beserkers and savages, the Minotaurs today seem to have mastered their former curse. Equipped with the finest arms and materials the Imperium can provide at the hands of their mysterious benefactors, they are at the forefront of several campaigns across the galaxy to enforce the will of the Imperium.
Marine Name: Brother Diodorus
Duty Position: Hellblaster, armed with assault plasma incinerator
Chapter Name: Minotaurs
Successor of: Unknown (Cursed 21st Founding)
Homeworld: Fleet Based
Not much to say on this guy. I love the model of their chapter master, so I wanted to include a Minotaur within the ranks. I also like how they are rumored to be under the direct authority and orders of the High Lords of Terra, and also possibly the descendants of loyalist Iron Warriors.
Took a long time to decide if I wanted to use the old chapter icon or the more updated, “Spartan” look of the new one. In the end the transfer I used and the metal shoulder pad frosted over a bit during the matte-varnish phase, so it doesn't look as great as it did before. Looks a tiny bit better in person at least.