The (re) Building of a Black Legion Warband
This Thread ~ In the future, this thread might get folded into my blog here at B&C. I want to document these projects, but at the moment the blog is concentrating more on the actual tools and techniques I use in building my army. This thread will show some W.I.P. of the things I build, using the methods shown in my blog. I won't show as much technique here, just results.
I want the army itself to be a balance between some fluff and being effective on the table. (As effective as the current Chaos Codex can be) To that end, I won't be 'min/maxing' all of the squads, and a few points will be 'wasted' on some things. Once the Black Legion core has enough raw bulk, I'll be adding forces devoted to each of the Dark Gods. Each of the five blocks will have one or more center-piece model/s that I want to make really over-the-top. Some of those projects are already in progress, but those are future entries.
Edit: I wanted to mention something here at the beginning, since I know it can be hard to find information in a long thread and this has come up a few times. Taken from later in this thread: All my ideas, plans, and musings are put out there to teach and inspire. Anyone, please feel free to take what you see and run with it. Once I get some more articles done I will even share some of my work and designs, and might even consider commissions someday. Word of mouth is a good thing, and if you want to show appreciation, just give your inspiration a little credit. That's all I'll ask. Any designs shown in this thread are CAD software files that have been exported to JPG files, and re-sized, so I doubt they will print to the right scale without a lot of trial-and-error. You are still welcome to try, but I will consider how I would like to share accurate files and designed in the future.
My Inspiration & Theme ~ In honour of the 1st-of-the-9th Air Cavalry from 'Apocalypse Now' (Charlie... don't... surf!) the working title for my force is;
Long: 1st-of-the-9th Black Crusade, Heavy Armoured Cavalry - The Black Hand of Horus - War Guard of Tithonus the Unending
Short: 1st-of-the-9th, Heavy Armoured Cavalry
To emulate the terror tactics from Apocalypse Now, most vehicles will have a place to mount a Dirge Caster. (Ride of the Valkyries, anyone?) Most vehicles will also have the ability to mount a Havoc Launcher plus a third mount point in many cases for even more options. I use Rare Earth magnets, so Casters will be more for show, and swapped out on the table. As another tip of the hat to Apocalypse Now, at some point I want to build some Air Cavalry. But, the grunts get the work done, so they come first.
Known for employing 'Scorched Earth' tactics, the 1st-of-the-9th will be based with an Ashen Waste scheme punctuated with jagged rocks - very simple but effective. In an effort to keep the army looking 'cold' and ruthless looking, I am avoiding 'warm' colours in general, and trying to stick to lots of blues, purples, greens, and greys for accents. This will even go so far as to change the Eye of Horus icons from yellow to blue. I'm still deciding if helmets will have 'classic evil' red eyes, or follow the theme with blue or green. I prefer red for Chaos eyes, but it breaks my own theme. However, being some of the only red in the army would make them stand out. Hummm... decisions decisions.
I'm going to lean heavily on a few things I feel are accurate within the current Warhammer 40,000 fiction, but I'm not too worried about being overly strict. First, the 13th Black Crusade is currently at its height. The Cadian Gate has not been broken, but the forces of Chaos have struck hard are dug in deeper than ever before. The balance can still tip in either direction and both sides are not pulling punches, committing everything to the effort. Second, the forces of Chaos do have Forge Worlds. Time travels in strange ways in the warp, and I can only imagine the effort those Forge Worlds would have put forth for the 13th Crusade. That combined with many decades of raids and preparation, has the Legion as well equipped as they can be. Spoils of war have been turned on their loyalist foes, and many dark engines of war have yet to reach the battlefield. I hope to build a few of those Chaos War Machines.
Since I can get a little... distracted... with all of my different projects and ideas, I need to make things a bit more focused. I'm going to break my current army into blocks and concentrate on finishing each block. That's how this thread will be structured. I'll introduce a block, and document its progress.
First block up, a simple 10 Marine Attack (Tactical) squad, their Rhino transport, and Predator support.
These marines are at the highlighting step - They have an Aspiring Champion and Heavy Weapon on the way, but this is just the basic squad
I'm going to change the Plasma 'cell' to a blue colour, to better match the theme. I've decided to be more strict with the cold-colour theme, so it will mean changing some details on several in-progress miniatures. But I'm willing to lay in the bed I've made. I really enjoy swapping horns and changing their position to add variety to my rank-and-file troops. Combined with other small conversions (Bayonets and top-knot swaps, for example) and kit bashing, so far no two marines are exactly the same. I don't want to spend too much time to go really over-the-top on troops, but a few simple changes goes a long way.
Before ~ The plans of the first of three (to start) Rhinos designed by me
I was never happy with GWs, 'Just Add Spikes' solution for many Chaos vehicles. I want my chaos vehicles to have the same look and feel as the Power Armour that the marines wear. So, with some inspiration from the internet and some trial-and-error I designed my own Chaos 'banding' for my vehicles. Once I had the base angles and measurements, it's been easy to change the initial design completely, and create unique vehicles that still feel cohesive.
I'm also not completely happy with the stock Havoc Launcher, and I plan to scratch-build something else in future, but for now they'll do. I've left them loose so I can switch them out later.
After ~ Freshly primed and waiting for some paint - See some 'before primer' pictures in my Gallery if you like
Magnets make even the humble Rhino completely customizable
Next up is my first of several Extra Armour Predators, and my inspiration for the weathered effect I've started to use...
I started this Predator several years ago, but it needed to be set aside for awhile - Tomorrow it finally starts seeing paint!
Happy accident - I think the damage on the corner looks good considering...
Funny story; my toddler son innocently pulled at a piece of paper on my desk, and it happened to have a corner under this (freshly primed) Predator which was sitting a bit precariously. Naturally, it managed to fall, landing on its corner on a hard floor, leaving a big dent. Frustrated, I just let it sit and worked on some other things. I didn't want to completely fix the corner with filing and greenstuff, but what choice did I have?
Then it sunk in. I'll be adding weathering and wear to the vehicles while painting, why not add some mild physical damage to the model? The plastic is soft enough to use a simple metal tool as a 'dent-and-scratch maker', and so that's what I did. I know I'm not the first to do this, but I had not planned on doing anything like this and was inspired to take a little more time to give something different a try, all by an annoying accident. (The Dark Gods have their ways...) The damage was smoothed down some and now blends in nicely. On the metallic banding, I think the effect will add to the desired feel. Once washes start going on, the effect should really pop.
Well, that's it for now. I'll post some progress shots sometime soon. Keep an eye on my blog if you're curious how I actually plan and create these things. Over the coming weeks and months I'll be talking about all sorts of things, with a lot of pictures along the way.
*The Basement Troll turns his gaze to his work bench...*
Edited by Subtle Discord, 14 February 2017 - 07:18 AM.