One of the first threads we did when I got back into the hobby some four years ago, was a pretty well-received effort entitled "Vox Stellarum: True-Scaled Horus Heresy". It's exactly what it says on the tin. An array of Horus Heresy Astartes , Auxilia , Agents of the Sigillite , and other more esoteric miniatures done by myself and my longstanding collaborator, Umbral. Now, since then, we've developed a whole lot. And I don't just mean my actual painting and conversion skills [Umbral's were already pretty ace to begin with]. I also mean in terms of our ability to *actually present* our efforts in thread form, as well as the narrative for the area of space our efforts take place in - which now spans roughly eleven thousand years ...
So it seemed high time to go back to the Heresy , and re-present for a hopefully broadened audience , some of our work in that light. With better photographs.
With that in mind - here's the first few of my Heresy-era truescales .
To begin , the four Space Wolves I've done relatively recently :
Space Wolves were the first force I did even semi-properly as a young lad , and as with many people of Scandinavian heritage ... the Vikings In Space element has always had a strong appeal. Even though my professional area of expertise (Indo-European theologian , with rather strong Nordic incorporations ) means I occasionally wince a bit when GW art or official miniatures mix up various different Runic scripts etc
With these Wolves, I was looking to convey a sense that they were 'hunters', 'trackers' - hence the pointing, the auspex, and the misericordia . And also the highly mobile look of what might otherwise be static-appearing gunners.
In terms of truescaling method, we use terminator legs. *All* the terminator legs! Which occasionally presents a bit of a difficulty, because frankly ... some of them just aren't posed especially dynamically - or there's so many we've done with a particular set of five that it becomes a challenge to work out how to do a 'novel' pose rather than yet another repeat. The Grave Warden legs are a particular problem in this regard, because while many of them are really quite cool - and certinly help spice things up in the Mk.III department relative to more 'ordinary' looking Cataphractii .. there's one or two legs in there that are just standing still, in an excessively wide leg stance that's .. difficult to work with. Still, I like to think I've done a reasonable job even here.
Detail shot - showing the Misericordia ... and also the Raptor Imperialis pad. I figured that as this particular Astates was acting as a direct agent of the Throne in hunting down whatever it was that these chaps were pursuing, it made a certain sense for him to be carrying a Custodes blade for the purposes of personally administering the Emperor's Sanction. And, given the pad, it really drives home the loyalties and the authority of the pack. The Headhunter bolter's also good for the 'stalker' theme.
Next up .. the 'Oddballs' - which is not a designation, just a characterization.
Umbral had an idea awhile back for a 'Dungeons of Terra' sort of campaign, wherein various Imperial forces would be fending off the undermining incursion salients of Traitor forces into the eponymous dungeons during the course of the Siege. The campaign never got off the drawing board ... but I nevertheless wound up building a few miniatures in general service of the concept. They may show up elsewhere in our storylines.
I say 'oddballs', because each one was a bit of a twist or a subversion on the more usually expected characterizations of given Legions.
This is partially because each one was suffering in some fashion from 'Post-Human Traumatic Stress Disorder' - that particular form of mental illness which appears to have afflicted many Astartes during the Heresy due to .. well .. their established and comfortable loyalties and allegiances and place in the universe going out the window in an immense way; and alongside that the particular traumas of betrayal, the witnessing of horrific spectacles of the mass-mortality of their brethren (in the case of the Shattered Legions), and in some cases even their Primarchs ; and, in the case of the loyalists from Traitor Legions, the losing of their brothers and their own former lives in an entirely different way.
But on with the show -
As applies the Night Lord - Indraj - this is one of those aforementioned loyalists of a traitor legion origin ... and is showing the 'subversion' theme by being an incredibly direct and pulverizing combatant rather than a 'strike-from-the-shadows' sort in terms of his armament. There's nothing subtle about a thunder hammer and a rather large shield; and I like to think that the posing, with the raised head and gaze indicates that he's going after something rather larger than himself - the direct opposite of what we usually see from the Night Lords deliberately choosing to prey upon those weaker than themselves.
Now, in terms of the name ...
Felt I should highlight the Raptor Imperialis .
The Salamander, meanwhile, is a bit of a tribute / injoke to the third man of Vox Stellarum, who's also a longstanding collaborator with my academic / theological work . Hence the heavy flamer [due to the meme that's gone around for ages around getting the flamer .. no, brother, the *heavy* flamer] , and also the thunder hammer - which is a rather more ... curious theological reference.
This brings us on to the next two ...
First up, a *very angry bird* - an XIXth Legionnaire who's quite clearly rather furious. As in, has eschewed the more customary caution of the Raven Guard in order to be blatantly throwing himself at the enemy whilst wielding a rather large axe. It seemed the best way to get across that he's expressing his trauma through rather incautious rage ; as opposed to the more studious approach of some other XIXth forces post-Isstvan , who favour their Legion's own habitual modus operandi of stealth and conservation of force given their limited numbers.
Next , a Son of the Emperor :
Now, the idea with this chap is that he's a demolitions expert. Hence all the grenades and other explosives he's got on his person - as well as the hand-held gadget that seemed ideal for a detonator. Signal'll be broadcast via the comms antenna on his backpack. In the actual Dungeons game, I'd intended to have tonnes of the Necromunda sprue grenade-piles and suchlike, as traps that he could remotely detonate to frustate the advance of the Traitors. Hence also his pointing posture - he's gesturing to where something is about to become rather more heavily geographically distributed.
The bionic leg may, perhaps, suggest that he's run afoul of ordnance in-the-flesh earlier in his career - and is a tangible mark of his own , i guess you could say .. imperfection. Both in terms of physical form, but also in likely terms of tradecraft to lead to the injury in the first place.
The more interesting thing about him, however, is that he was a close friend of a now-deceased (blown apart, in fact) Xth Legionnaire ... and feels that loss quite keenly. So much so in fact that he's effectively absorbed and started expressing some of the dead Marine's personality traits - giving voice to the dead , almost as if the spirit of his former comrade had been blown into him during the detonation.
Certainly, the rosary of prayer-beads about his wrist speaks towards an Astartes who has moved in a rather more overtly religious direction than many in response to his trauma.
Meanwhile, the ballistic apron [from the Iron Warriors tyrant siege terminators] seemed apt for a marine with his combat specialization - as it would absorb shrapnel etc. from things going off in front of him etc., help protect his fellows.
There is one nod to the more 'traditional' IIIrd legion vibe, however (other than the bejeweled shoulderpad) - these two paired master crafted power-blades, which he'll be fully capable of utilizing as a matched pair of dueling weapons. Perhaps that's how he got that fine scar across his face, Prussian style.
Anyway, that's the first eight of my Heresy-era Truescales posted ... there's 22 Astartes to go , plus a whole range of other miniatures from the same period [the Auxilia , Agents of the Sigillite , a rather impressive truescale Custodes , etc. etc. ] .
And then there's Umbral's various efforts ...
I'm hoping that a fresh start log will help me get some motivation back to do more in this era.
And perhaps do some writing a la what I've managed for the Adamanticores [ Hara Barazaiti ] and Haunting Harii of Hvergelmir .
Really 'bring things to life' and tie up a few ends for your presentation and enjoyment.