My first update in a while, a result of having to try and get everything painted for AoTE II which is only 9 days away! The special character 'Bale' is part of the Tempus Fugitives Warmaster campaign Pack, a wonderful set of rules which give the opportunity to come up with some characterful pre-heresy modelling!
For the time being, here are photos of Bale, with a story referenced from IA: World Eaters and the Tempus Fugitives Campaign Pack:
Bale is made from both the Loyalist and Chaos dreadnought kits. I favoured a single chain-weapon and powefist, rather than the usual two chain-weapon approach; This was partly to differentiate it from the post-heresy Khorne dreadnought, and also because personally I like to think that the dreadnought can manipulate objects with its fist, and is not forced into Edward Scissorhand-like incompetence when trying to do anything other than kill things!
I did toy with the idea of building a more recognisably 'pre-heresy' dreadnought, such as those featured within Collected Visions but I had to weigh the ability to get this model finished in a limited time frame against it. Perhaps next time, although I have to say I do love the FW World Eater Dreadnought and have wanted to get my hands on it for some time.
I attached the arm with rare earth magnets so it can be rotated, and removed if necessary. The fist also rotates, in the way that the Blood Raven's Dreadnought demonstrates in the DoW intro.
This is just a small diorama which has been added to the base. At first glance it looks fairly innocuous, but pause for a moment and consider what kind of weapon could do that much damage to a power-armoured marine? Was it simply a massive explosion (perhaps an anti-tank mine or some such like) or an exotic energy weapon? Or was it in fact something far more sinister? I leave you to decide...
Below is a short story, the Tale of Bale if you like, referenced from the IA: World Eaters article, and the Tempus Fugitives narrative of his character (with my own embellishments added):
A veteran of the Unification Wars and and Commander of the XII Legion before the coming of Angron, Bale successfully led the War Hounds for several decades at the forefront of the Great Crusade. But, it was during the attack on the final fortress of the world of Arigatta that Bale would lead his final assault.
Arigatta was a heavily fortified world with military technology that dated back to the dark ages of science, and as such Horus had committed no less than 3 legions in the form of the Luna Wolves, Ultramarines and World Eaters to bringing the world into compliance. A successful campaign had forced the withdrawal of the forces of Arigatta until only a single location remained in enemy hands in the form of a mighty citadel. Day and night the walls were bombarded by artillery and from orbit; but the walls held, and only a single narrow breach was made in it. Wasting no time Horus ordered Angron and the World Eaters into the narrow defile.
The screaming roar of the World Eaters as they charged was lost in a maelstrom of cannon fire and exotic energy weapons. Bale was one of the first to fall, recently installed neural implants ensuring that he was at the forefront of the attack, his artisan armour (a gift from a commander of the Blood Angels) no defense against the hyper-technology of the defenders. His body was rent asunder in a criss-cross of laser beams and he collapsed screaming in rage. Bellowing his name and that of their Primarch almost 3 entire companies charged the fortress, a ramp made of their own dead to reach the occupants within. When the defense of the final fortress of Arigatta finally buckled, over 200 Astartes lay dead or seriously wounded, but the toll which they exacted on the withered defenders of the fortress would go down in infamy in the history of the Legion...
Bale was still somehow alive, but was on the point of death. Unwilling to lose one of his most able commanders Angron ordered him installed within a dreadnought suit. Whether due to the expiration of his mortal coil, or the presence of the neural implants, Bale was no longer the Astartes of before. Gone was the calculating and brilliant commander of the 12th Legion, and with it replaced a being of insatiable hatred and bloodlust. Confined within an adamantium cage Bale howled at his containment, relishing the moment he would be released to crush and tear at its enemies once more.