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'May You Live Forever' – A Company of Bitter Iron

Iron Hands

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#51
Luna707

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Beautiful and very inspiring! Fantastic work the red targeters
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gallery_84811_11476_9558.jpg

 

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#52
apologist

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In Which a Primarch is Sighted 

 

IMG_4154.JPG

 

The roar of battle is overwhelming, deafening and constant. Small pebbles and dust jump and move around our feet, as though impatient, as though waging a war of their own. Catabin waves us on. Now we know where we are to fight, the uncertainty washes off us. I feel my breath tightening in anticipation; can detect the nervy pre-battle excitement that infects every man. I feel part of the Iron Hands, part a Legion of retribution.

 

There is no fear as we approach the edge. That sullen, fogging confusion has been replaced with clarity. If I have shown helplessness and uncertainty in my leadership, it has been boiled away by practicality, drill and duty.

 

Artillery shells, missiles and rockets crest the lip of the Depression, distorted by a hot wash of air and smoke streaming up from below. My breathing is heavy and loud, muscle-hot and sweaty as it escapes the edge of my damaged rebreather. Sweat and ash prickle my brow as we jog upwards, the black soil tinkling and crackling under our heavy tread.

 

Ahead, I see Catabin pause. He has reached the edge. He stumbles.

 

+++

 

Look down.

 

In casting your eyes downwards, your head tips involuntarily. Casting your eyes downwards creates biofeedback. The heart rate slows. Breathing becomes slower, but shallower. It is the root of the bow – a movement of respect.

 

+++

 

One by one we reach the lip of the Urgall Depression, a huge sunken plain, and stumble to a stop. The noise. Without the lip of the Depression blocking it, the sound is a physical force.

 

Half-stooped, bent before the roaring wind cascading over the lip, I become aware of the plates of my armour thrumming. The finer columns of my bionic arm and hand are vibrating, giving off a continuous high-pitched chime. War-song.

 

The battle is like nothing I have ever seen. The opposite side of the Depression is lost in roiling smoke and whipping fire. A churning mass of bodies, war engines and debris seems to cover the space entirely. A roiling blanket of of red-edged steam, choking black smoke and smouldering green fog hovers like marsh-mist, eddying and twisted in places where weapons fire or movement stirs it.

 

+++

 

Humanity has instinctively looked downwards when challenged, defeated or dismayed.

 

If one allows one's back to bend or knees to buckle, the respect in the gesture becomes supplicatory, craven. Shoulders cave in, defensively. A sign of weakness.

 

+++

 

The fog looks almost sentient; a malevolent djinn-fire that lazily turns one of its many heads when gouts of fire or rocket-streaks puncture it. Mostly it squats, thick and almost green in its blackness, in the centre; though where it meets the walls at the edges of the Depression, it is forced upwards by the pressure of the air changes.

 

Such is the scale of warfare below, the Legiones Astartes have altered the weather.

 

I had half-expected lines of tanks and infantry connecting nodes of Titans and super-heavy engines, wings of air support, pockets of drop-bunkers, but there is no shape. It is too complex. There is no pattern my post-human eyes can find, and the Iron Warrior-led battle-network is still down, so we have no noospheric sight, either. Tracer fire looks like stitches in a monstrous coverlet; with no source-profiler overlays appearing. Ugly burps of matter cannons and vape-rays punch random holes in the fog like gasping fish in stagnant water; and no reassuring runes offer clarity. There is no shape to the war. This is raw madness.

 

It is bewitching. Only the physical pressure of the wind and roar sweeping up the edges make it feel real.

 

"Look!" cries Coalstan, gesturing. "Avernii! The Primarch!"

 

I look down. He is right. At last, some sense is stamped on matters. Sanity coalesces around my father, my Primarch. Even from this distance, I see a wedge of armour pushing itself inexorably forward and inwards, like the arc of an adze, towards a peak barely visible from here.

 

+++

 

I look down into a black sea of uncertainty, I lead a group of eight. There is not a moment's hesitation.

 

Neither man nor machine will block the Iron Tenth from the Master of Medusa.

 

"For the Primarch! Advance on the Avernii's position!"


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#53
CaptainHelion

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Oooosh. That's not going to end well for them.



#54
Isengrin

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Yeah, their impending doom is almost tangible. Also, good call on the added markings, I like them a lot. It's amazing how quickly you've built and painted that squad, considering the conversion work and all. 


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#55
apologist

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IMG_4165.JPG

 

We scramble down the steep slope to the roiling plain, descending with inadvisable haste. I didn't care. Black scree and pebbles bounce and clink against one another as our feet skitter and slide, the sea-roar of battle overwhelming the sound.

 

I have plotted our path. An intercept route that will take us down the edge of the plain, then on in the wake of the Avernii.

 

Halfway down, Medardus falls. Missing his footing, he lands heavily on all fours and begins to slide. His gloss-slick armour provides little drag on the rocks. Coalstan lunges for him, but too late. Scrambling furiously for a solid foothold, Medardus gathers pace, the scree loosening and building into a minor avalanche. He is spun and finds himself spreadeagled.

 

We watch, helplessly, as he is carried ahead of us, slowing briefly on an outcrop. His motion is arrested just long enough for him to dart a look back up the slope at us before the comet-trail of scree catches up with him and carries him over.

 

I hear him cursing over the vox-net, before distance carries him out of range. A knot in my stomach, I glare at Triumph, almost willing him to condemn Medardus to the dead with his morbid intonation so I can punch the thought out of him – it would be a release. He remains silent, head down.

 

None of us speak, concentrating instead on our footing. We advance more cautiously, frustrated by the pace. Speed is of the essence, but it's not going to help if we arrive quickly and dead.

 

+++

 

We reached the outcrop, and then ground level, with no further problems. Better still, we found Medardus alive. The fall had torn open his hastily-patched injuries and he would fight no further today, but he was alive. He had landed heavily within an encampment, which had caused a number of mortal gunners no small consternation. One had voided his bowels – though whether at the unexpected arrival, or simply in some primal reaction to the cataclysm erupting in front of him, I could not say.

 

"Things dropped on our heads, I had expected." she says. "To be flattened by falling Ishtari? This I did not expect." We stand in a staging post erected by the Raven Guard and crewed by a force of Ctsebian Combat Engineers. The artillery officer's quip was oddly jovial. Her eyes were round, with a hint of mania about them.

 

"We need transport." I state, over the roar of the guns. Even bellowing, I have to repeat myself three times. She is bleeding from her ears; an affliction that I spot is common amongst the mortals here. The Ctsebian pulls a face. She has called in a med-evacuation craft, but that would be overflowing. Even with three Legions driving forward, she explains, the battle is heavy going, and casualty reports are rocketing. I shake my head. "Do not mistake this for a request. I need transport."

 

Flustered, she gives an elaborate bow, and hurries away. The six of us stand, impatient and wary, for the few minutes until she returns. Overhead, I spy a wings of flyers in the deep stone grey of the Word Bearers, and I rejoice privately. Our reinforcements are arriving. Casualties or not, four Legions cannot stand against seven.

 

"Of transports, Ishtar, I have none to offer." Seeing my brows darken, she stumbles over her words in her haste to appease me. "Vehicles, however, I have." She gestures to a graveyard of tanks; a mix of broken wrecks presumably drawn back from the vangaurd drop zones. Most are clearly beyond repair; mere shells – but others perhaps offer more promise...

 

+++

 

It is damaged, but it runs. Already we are closing on the embattled Avernii, and nearly out of the Raven Guard's primary drop zone. We have joined a column of Loyalist Imperial army vehicles advancing to stiffen the line of battle as the vanguard forces push towards the Warmaster's lines. I rap a brief tattoo on the Whirlwind's ailing engines to encourage the machine spirit. Alone amongst the wrecks, this artillery piece offered us the means of transport, and so it lives again as a makeshift transport. I feel a burst of pride that it is the lone Iron Hands vehicle that still runs – albeit fitfully.

 

Five of us are hunched on top of it, holding on firmly as we are bounced around. Miredan drives, and he sits alongside another Iron Hand, one of the few of the insular Clan Felg, a minor Clan whose entire strength had been subsumed within the same Order as our own. A Seeker by disposition, Sergeant Vaarhun had deployed at the advance of our primary drop site, and pushed ahead. His squad was obliterated by raking megabolter fire as a renegade Titan maniple stalked over them.

 

Falling back, he had ended up linking with a force of Kraton Fusiliers, and had immediately taken command, directing them forward in support of Avernii. He bears the Seal of the Eye of Vigilance on his shoulder, an honorific that now stares out accusingly. He is recalcitrant to explain his reasoning in keeping the hateful logo, but he is our brother, even as a member of another Clan company.

 

+++

 

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Edited by Apologist, 30 June 2016 - 12:38 PM.

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#56
Noserenda

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Oooh now theres a bruiser :D Am i terrible for wanting to see the Whirlwind in model form now? :P

#57
Soric

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I second that notion. It would be awesome to see the Whirlwind with Legionnaires riding on top of it, kind of like the old IG passenger models you use to be able to buy from mail order. However that is a big ask though. The rest of the Iron Hands are looking awesome smile.png


Edited by Soric, 30 June 2016 - 04:59 PM.


#58
apologist

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Ah, excellent - then I expect you will be pleasantly pleased :)
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#59
CaptainHelion

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Such promising words! I look forward to being 'pleasantly surprised'

#60
apologist

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IMG_4176.JPG

 

The artillery tank bounces and lunges across the cratered, debris-laden ground. The noise –  not to mention the struggle to cling on – makes conversation impossible; though brief blurts score the squad comms-net as Miredan warns us of sudden changes of direction.

 

One such swerve nearly unseats me. Cinnamon grabs my wrist and steadies me. I nod brief thanks, then continue looking about me. The Kraton Fusiliers' vehicles are advancing more steadily than the Whirlwind; Miredan has to push our overloaded vehicle to its limits, and the single functioning engine is belching unhealthy-looking black smoke. I am sympathetic to the machine's pain. It is reliable; unlike our treacherous enemies.

 

Triumph pans the multi-melta back and forth. The Avernii have left the soil of Isstvan carpeted with purple and black bodies – more Emperor's Children than Morlock, I note with a certain satisfaction. Our earlier skirmish with Fulgrim's Seekers has purged me of hesitation or a sense of brotherhood towards these oathbreakers. Their reasons are shrouded to me, but ultimately irrelevant. I will not hesitate to fire first next time – even at Astartes; they are no longer my fellows.

 

At least, I hope it has purged me. I take a sidelong glance at the Blood Angel. We nearly gunned him down, and it was only Blindhelm who made us see that we were fighting on the same side.

 

I raise an eyebrow at my thoughts. A little heavy-handed, I smirk.

 

+++

 

Even amongst the catastrophic warfare raging around me, Catabin's armour strikes me as unusual. Such details jump out during the breathing spaces between fighting. I have felt it on a hundred worlds – a distinctive heady scent of an alien vine, or fractal patterns formed in trench-soil as I dig, or a striking hue in the sky. Irrelevant to warfare, but inescapably at the forefront of my mind. I have wondered idly whether it is a personal failing, or whether my comrades also notice such minutiae.

 

I have not consulted them. Small talk does not come easily to Iron Hands.

 

Catabin's armour: I cannot place the pattern, but given the number of Forge Worlds, vassal manufactories and variants, that is not surprising. It is a rich, warm, red; simultaneously a warning and welcome; fitting for the IXth, who I am told are as famed for not fighting wars as they are for their righteous fury when their invitations are declined.

 

It is also heavily artificed – more so than even the armour of the Salamanders I met on One-Five-Four-Four. There must be something in the geneseed of some of our brother Legions that they value visuals so greatly. Perhaps such variation is what allowed corruption and treachery into the IIIrd?

 

A shell lands nearby, and we duck ineffectually as black dirt rains down on us. One of the Kratoni tanks is smouldering, and another founders. We cannot wait. They are left behind; to catch up or perish.

 

Catabin turns back, having whipped around, and I see the Baalite glyphs on his pauldron. I cannot read them, but presume them to be a rendering of his name.

Irrelevancies. All of it. If the Angel stands beside me while we fight with our Primarch, he is as much brother to me as the black-clad. Ferrus will have his revenge; Fulgrim will rue the day...

 

+++

 

IMG_4176.JPG

A very fun figure to paint – I've tried to combine the bits I liked best of Rogue Trader, Second Edition and modern iterations of the Blood Angels. Why not see if you can identify the artworks I've used as reference, if you fancy a bit of fun?

 

IMG_4175.JPG

'Cinnamon' is the first Blood Angel I've painted for about twenty years. Having some one-off figures like this is a great excuse to try something new and stop yourself getting into a rut.

 

IMG_4177.JPG

 

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I've rendered Cinnamon's 'atroatican' name (Phaenuel) in Enochian [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+], an occult 'language of the angels'; quite a fun challenge to add the glyphs. The '-el' means 'of the group of', so it's on a separate line to 'Phanu'.

 

+++

 

IMG_4180.JPG


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#61
Elzender

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I'll have to add my voice to the chorus, both the text and the miniatures are excellent, and the Angel supposes a great contrast to the Iron Hands, looking forward to future releases of their chronicle.

 

Regarding the artworks used for him, I'm not too familiarised with blood angels, but I'll take a guess and say that bolter is inspired by the 2nd edition cover of Wh40k box set.

 

http://3.bp.blogspot...d Angel Art.jpg


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#62
Luna707

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Beautiful! I especially like the yellow stripe and subtle squad marking on the left knee, they compliment the red nicely. I love that group shot, it really exemplifies the difference in the two legion's personas. Which colors did you use for the red?

gallery_84811_11476_9558.jpg

 

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#63
Soldier of Dorn

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eek.gifeek.gifjawdrop.gifjawdrop.gifthe-clap-o.gifwub.png wub.png

 

All right, I think that summarizes my reaction to seeing the painted Cinnamon pretty accurately. For not having painted a Blood Angel in so long, he's turned out really well. I like all the references to the 2nd ed box art, like the bolter as Elzender pointed out, the blue blood-drop and the flames on the leg. Also, retro Legion badge is retro (and awesome!) He presents a lovely, warm, contrast to the monochromatic and cold Iron Hands and yet he manages to fit right in! Beautiful work all 'round! thumbsup.gif

 

As a sidenote, the use of Enochian is fascinating. Generally, for Blood Angels I would utilize the Hebrew alphabet for honorifics and names, due to many traditional angel names coming from Aramaic, whose alphabet Hebrew is a derivation of, but using an occult angelic language is definitely a awesome idea.


Edited by The Psycho, 03 July 2016 - 08:11 PM.

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gallery_78067_11287_41024.pnggallery_78067_11287_2164.pnggallery_78067_11287_16564.png

For the light of Sol, and the earth of Terra, we stand. For the oaths we made, we stand. For the blood in our veins, we stand.
For the stones laid by our ancestors, we stand. For the days that have passed and the days that shall come, we stand.
For the living and the honour of the dead, we stand.


#64
DuskRaider

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Apologist, my friend... you've outdone yourself. The bright, bold colors of the Angel stand out so much against the Hands that he makes them look monochrome in comparison, it's awesome.


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#65
Isengrin

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Damn son.

 

...I don't have much else to say. (Well, except awesome 2nd Edition throwback!)



#66
Soric

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While all the 2nd edition honorifics are amazing looking, I think my favourite part of him is the narrow eyed helm. It evokes a mysterious, guarded aspect to the character that contrasts with the bold colour scheme.

#67
Bob Hunk

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Amazing work as ever Apologist! cool.png I think this is one of your best miniatures to date. :) Others have beaten me too it, but I was going to comment about recognising the black flames around the base of his leg from the 2nd edition cover art BA Captain. A constant reminder of the corrupted earth of their homeworld, no doubt. ;)



#68
CaptainHelion

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...Woah

#69
Brother Pheidias

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Perfect representation of the IX. Legion there.



#70
The Observer

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Oh my, Cinnamon looks amazing! I too try and integrate some BA iconography from the ages of yore into my forces, but this is awesome!


People like to whinge and moan about "the good old days," when things "were cool" and now somehow aren't.
One would think that this energy would be better invested in pursuing things one finds more to one's liking.
Then again, common sense doesn't seem to be all that common.


#71
STC Logisengine

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WOWSERS!

 

 

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#72
Jackalwolf

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Woah, that Blood Angels character is amazing. The pieces mesh so well together!



#73
apologist

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Coo, cheers all. Looks like Cinnamon's stolen the show! I'll have to try double-hard with the upcoming Iron Hands :)

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#74
Xin Ceithan

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Serious Retro vibe on the Angel there! Love it!
But I guess the Whirlwind is going to surpas this easily :P
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#75
apologist

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+inload redacted+
(Apologies all - trying to post a pic via my phone. Will continue attempt)
Edit: nope; will have to post tomorrow. To prevent this being a complete loss, a brief note: I always thought Ferrus Manus should have Fireblade as an option.

Edited by Apologist, 21 July 2016 - 12:20 AM.

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