Tuesday, 28 July 2009

How to represent Pre-Heresy World Eaters within the Warhammer 40,000 game system?

For anyone thinking of creating a force of Pre-Heresy World Eaters, and wanting to go beyond a modelling project and assemble them on the tabletop, this has to be one of the most important questions. It's certainly an issue which appears frequently within the forum community, and was one that I spent a great deal of time deliberating over! So, I thought I would share some of my experiences here, and offer the best advice I can in order to choose an appropriate codex or set of rules.

First of all, perhaps the most important issue concerns what exactly constitutes 'Pre-Heresy', as this is a carte blanche term which can cover a great period of time that saw many changes within the Legion. Are you setting your force as the one which took part in the Great Crusade, and helped create the Imperium as we know it, or the blood-maddened psychopaths of Angron who took part in the assault of the Emporer's Palace? Do you want to represent the 'War Hounds' as a newly created regiment, or perhaps something in between? The character of the Legion varies widely over the 200 years + which constitutes this period, and so perhaps the most apt method is to categorise the World Eaters into the various stages and mark its transformation through the ages.

The information for the summary below is taken from the IA: World Eaters, the Horus Heresy book series (various) and the Horus Heresy Collected Visions books.

Early-Mid Great Crusade
Which Codex?
Codex: Space Marines
Prior to the discovery of their Primarch Angron (which did not happen until much later in the Great Crusade) the World Eaters (or War Hounds as they were then known) were a Legion much like any other. Although they had a bias towards assault, they were still comprised of Astartes who filled other roles within the legion, such as tactical and support troops. From the evidence we have of the Legion at this time, Codex: Space Marines will allow you to field the legion from this era with some accuracy. It is possible to represent the assault-orientation of the Legion through use of veteran assault units (Vanguard) and motorised units, and even special characters using the 'counts as' rules. I would also recommend this rule set for unification-era and very early Crusade War Hound forces.

Late Great Crusade
Which Codex?
Codex: Blood Angels
This period is characterised by the discovery of Angron and the changes he began to bring to the Legion once he was instated as Primarch. As such, although the Legion still had a role for generic marine units, there was more and more emphasis put into close assault units. The Blood Angels codex is ideal for this for several reasons: It allows you to represent the notorious World Eaters Berserkers, marines who had neural implants added (counts as BA Death Company), while still using standard marine units. It also allows a large amount of assault troops (which are a 'troops' choice in Codex: BA, unlike in Codex: Space Marines), and some hideously powerful characters (such as Dante, Lemartes and Corbulo) which will boost the assault power of your units still further. Obviously, these characters should not represented as their Blood Angel namesakes, but simply use the 'counts as' rules for special characters as I have here for World Eater Captain Sevruk (who is 'counts as' Lemartes). If you are a player who enjoys creating narrative and fleshing out your force, this will also give you a great chance to flex your imagination!
This is my personal favourite period, and one which I would recommend, as it allows you to not only field a distinct pre-heresy force with the character of the World Eaters, but also one which is differentiated from the post-heresy Khorne legion.
Alternatives? Codex: Chaos Space Marines or Codex: Space Marines
The World Eater Legion was not in one place during the Great Crusade and was spread throughout the galaxy as part of various expeditions. You might decide that a Company or Chapter of Marines of this era were separated from the Primarch at this time, or perhaps had a Terran commander who was not enamoured with the use of neural implants, and so the Astartes there still resemble the Legion of old albeit with more contemporary equipment. Remember that Angron had to 'iron out the flaws' in the Legion at Istvaan in the same way as the other traitor Primarchs, which indicates a certain level of resistance to the direction the Legion is taking. Similarly, there might also be components of the Crusade that take on Angron's new initiatives wholeheartedly, committing all of their marines to the psycho-surgery; in this case, Codex: Chaos Space Marines would be more appropriate.
Another Alternative! (Many thanks to Raptor1313 for pointing this out) Codex: Black Templars
There are several character traits of the Black Templars which would suit a post-Angron World Eater force perfectly. First of all, the Righteous Zeal special rule represents the WE wanting to get to grips with the foe shooting them and similarly being fearless might be characteristic of the legion. However, its the Black Templar 'vow' system which can give a great semblance of the World Eaters in combat - specifically, Accept any challenge, which forces units to charge if able to, and then gives them the 'preferred enemy' special rule (now very powerful in 5th edition). Even Suffer not the unclean to live might be useful in that it could represent relatively slower but more savage attacks.
Some of the special characters could also be converted into WE special characters with only a bit of imagination. Finally, I think the only other point to consider is that not everything fits - the BT neophyte/initiate system for example, but as always its up to the prudence of the collector to use their own initiative as to what is viable!

During the Heresy
Which Codex?
Codex: Chaos Space Marines
We are told by the IA: World Eaters that eventually nearly every marine within the Legion had the neural implants fitted, turning them into raging lunatics on the field of battles. As such, a themed Khorne Berserker army would seem ideal to represent this. This has the added bonus of characters such as Kharn (who was surely as formidable in his pre-heresy guise) being usable.
Alternatives? Codex: Blood Angels, Codex: Black Templars
One of the main difficulties with the Chaos Marine Codex is its lack of wargear and vehicles when compared to the loyalist Marine Codices. A themed army list from Codex: BA will allow you these choice while maintaining the assault-orientated theme of the army. Looking at the rumours for the new Codex for Flesh Tearer Chapter Master Seth, apparently he will give the entire army the Furious Charge and Rage special rules! If you like spending time moving your miniatures, he might well be a good option!

What other Options are there?
Creating an army which matches the background narrative
There are alot of 'do's and 'dont's' when creating a pre-heresy army, such as knowing which vehicles which were not in use, and which extra ones are. The list is far too comprehensive to print here, I would recommend looking at this section of the Great Crusade forum to obtain more information. Much depends on how accurate you want to be - certainly, its possible to attain frightening levels of banality if you are prepared to spend many man hours studying the source materials!

House Rules
For those lucky enough to have a close-knit gaming group which tolerates the use of house rules then really the only limit is time, money and imagination! There are troop types and vehicles represented in various pre-heresy sources which are not present in any codex, and so would require the creation of special rules to run them. Perhaps you want a squad of jetbikes, a support squad of marines all armed with flamers and with jump packs, or even special character rules for someone like Dreagher or even Angron?! Making house rules for these characters is an ideal way to create a more characterful and accurate pre-heresy force.

For some examples of using house rules, please check out the following:

Bell of Lost Souls: Age of Heresy V2.5 -
Excellent mini-dex, is slightly out of date now but offers special character and specific pre-heresy weapon rules. Also includes an apocalypse formation as well as themed campaign battles to try out.

Tempus Fugitives Campaign Pack -
Extremely detailed house rules for the Tempus Fugitives own campaign weekend! Have rules for both Crusade and Heresy era World Eaters, as well as a plethora of rules for special units such as new vehicles and units! The professional looking PDF document is well worth a download, although you will need to register with the site first.

A Final Note
Although the suggestions I have posted thus far might seem quite set in their ways, one of the beauties of Pre-Heresy modelling and collecting is that it is far less rigid in its outlook than its 40k counterpart! Despite the recent influx of material on the events of the Crusade and Heresy, much is still unknown and we have been left a rather large void for our imaginations to fill. So, if you like the idea of frothing berserkers during the Crusade, or a force of stalwart tactical marines assaulting the walls of the Emporer's Palace then go ahead and make it! The above is only my own supposition and interpretation of events, and after all the Heresy happened over 10,000 years ago so who is to say what exactly is the truth? :)

The most important thing is having a force you are happy to spend time making, and are then proud of when it can finally take its place on the tabletop!

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Product Review: Maxmini Helmets & Jump Packs

I recently received some of Maxmini's (www.maxmini.eu) 'steam knight' heads and jump packs, both of which are ideal for pre-heresy conversions. I decided that both of these items would be ideal for making up an assault squad.

First of all, comments concerning the heads below (picture courtesy of Maxmini)

Within the head set are a variety of different types - I'm not sure who the Steam Knights are, but they obviously wear armour of exactly the same type as Marines during the Great Crusade! There is a head ideal for Thousand Sons conversions, one that looks very much like an Ultramarine pattern mk3 helm, one which looks just like that worn by Kharn in Collected Visions, and perhaps most useful of all a standard mk2 and mk3 design. The helmets, like the jump packs, were an excellent quality cast - I had to do very little cleaning to make them ready. As for the designs, they resemble accurately much of the source material. My only criticism - they are a fraction too large. Although this is a common complaint with marine sculpts in general, I think a barebones tactical marine in an undramatic pose may look a little top heavy.
Overall though for the price they are perhaps the easiest way to get hold of mk2 armour (we are no longer at the mercy of the exaggerated prices of ebay) and the mk3 helm offers a more detailed version of the Berserker helm often used for constructing that type of armour.

For the pre-heresy modeller the Maxmini jump pack is surely one of the most useful releases in recent years . Forget the aerodynamic, slimline equivalent found on the basic assault marine; this giant, turbofan version is far larger and far more dramatic. Yes, I appreciate this might place you at a disadvantage on the tabletop considering the 5th edition Line of Sight rules, but this is a small price to pay for such a head turning addition! The jump packs also come supplied with a small 'flame' add-on. Personally, I imagine this to be far too puny for how much energy this jump pack would expel, but the option is there for those who want it. Once again, the cast quality is excellent - At one point I accidentally used a plastic glue with one of these pieces, which in my opinion is testament to the high standard of both the resin used and the condition of the cast.

Below is the first member of an Assault squad I have constructed utilising both a mk2 helm and jump pack:

Previously I had constructed an assault squad wearing mk4 armour exclusively, sourced from one of several pictures within Collected Visions (click here). However, while one might view those marines as perhaps a recent addition to this World Eater expeditionary force, sporting the new mk4 armour and a smaller (more efficient) jump pack, the marine above would definitely have been their predecessor and would still be a more common component of the legion.

This marine wears the now quite dated mk2 armour, one renowned for its fearsome image, with the front plate and shoulder of the armour augmented (represented by the studs). I think the use of chainmail cements the more barbaric appearance of this armour. The thick frontal protection offered by the mk2 suit seems vital as the marine has a fair amount of gunfire damage to the front of his armour. However, in the same vein mk2 did not offer the same maneuverability of later armour marks, and I have tried to represent this with a fairly understated pose.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Index Astartes: The World Eaters

Here follows an abridged version of the article first published as one of a series focusing on the history of the various Marine Chapters and Legions, sadly now long out of production. Although much of it relates to the World Eaters following their descent and betrayal, there are some highly interesting nuggets of information concerning both their Primarch and on the ethos of war that pervades perhaps the most bloodthirsty of Legions to take part in the Great Crusade.

Kept chained within the deepest dungeon of the Library Sanctus on Terra, the bloodstained pages of the Liber Malum records the fate of those who have trod the path to damnation. To even mention its name is to risk madness. Many are the blasphemous heretics and tyrants whose names sully the pages with their treacheries, but foremost amongst these damned souls is the name of Angron, Primarch of the World Eaters Space Marine Legion.

The legend of Angron is incomplete and there is much that is not known, or so shrouded in dark legend that the true facts are impossible to discern. How Angron came to be separated from the Emperor so soon after his creation and the name of the planet he eventually came to call home, is unknown. Indeed where this planet was or even if it still exists is uncertain. Carpinus' Speculum Historiale speaks of Angron's world as technologically advanced, (though does not name it), ruled over by a caste of wealthy elite who lived in decadent opulence while the populace of their cities lived in abject poverty in the slums surrounding their walled palaces. To distract the populace from their daily woes, the rulers of this world held regular death games in colossal arenas with cybernetically enhanced gladiators who battled in mortal combat to satisfy the bloodlust of the people. It was on this world that the Primarch Angron was eventually to be discovered, but how he came to be there is unrecorded.

However it came to pass, it is known that Angron was discovered by a slaver who chanced upon the bleeding figure of the Primarch, surrounded by scores of alien corpses, high in the northern mountains. History does not record to what race these aliens belonged, but many Imperial scholars believe them to have been Eldar, perhaps attacking the Primarch with some foreknowledge of what the future held for him. Angron had been grievously wounded, but was alive and, seeing that all his wounds were to the fore, the slaver realised that Angron must be a formidable warrior. Taken as a slave, Angron was nursed back to health and bio-neural implants were surgically grafted to his cerebral cortex.

Relics from the Dark Age of Technology, these would boost a warrior's aggression and strength in battle and turn him into a frenzied killer. Angron was taken to the planet's capital where his obvious potential as a gladiator was soon realised and he was bought by the largest and most patronised arena in the city. The cells below the arena were home to several thousand cyber gladiators, and Angron now took his place amongst them.

After only a few months, Angron had gained a bloody reputation as a proud warrior of fearsome skill with a strong sense of martial honour. He killed hundreds of warriors, in single and multiple combats, but those who fought well, he spared. Angron was a firm favourite of the baying crowds, and while he appeared to relish the life of a gladiator, he was always plotting ways to escape his life of slavery. He was a troublesome slave, with an instinctive anti-authoritarian streak and several times attempted to break out of the arena's dungeons. The fighters were held under extremely heavy security, with hundreds of heavily armed guards constantly on duty, and every attempt met with failure.

Within a few years, his fame had spread to every corner of the globe and his reputation as a fearsome killer was well established. Thousands flocked to watch Angron fight and, under his tutelage, the gladiators became deadlier and deadlier until no other arena's warriors could stand against them. Following another failed escape bid, Angron finally understood that he could not succeed alone. His unbending warrior's code and training methods had made him a well respected leader amongst the gladiators and, with the largest death games on the planet rapidly approaching, Angron began planning his most daring escape attempt yet.

For these games, Angron was permitted to stage a vast display of battle involving every one of the arena's gladiators and, at its height, as the crowd drowned the arena in cheers, Angron's followers turned on their guards, butchering them and fighting their way free. Against soldiers armed with guns their casualties were horrendous, but nearly two thousand managed to escape into the city, stealing what weapons and supplies they could before battling their way into the mountains. Angron's army took refuge in the highest reaches of the northern mountains, close to where he had been discovered by the slaver many years ago. The rulers of the planet immediately dispatched a force to destroy the escapees, but woefully underestimated the capabilities of Angron's slave army. Within days, a few pitiful survivors was all that remained of the once proud host, stumbling back to the city, their weapons taken and comrades slaughtered.

For the next few years, many such forces were sent against Angron's slave army and each one was defeated, cut to pieces by the psychotic fury of the cybernetically enhanced warriors. But attrition and hunger were taking their toll on the slaves and soon they numbered less than a thousand. On a mountain named Fedan Mhor, as darkness fell, Angron was finally surrounded by no less than five vastly superior armies and it looked as though the slave rebellion was finally over. Not even the Primarch could stand against such numbers and the following day's battle would surely see him dead.

It was around this time that the Emperor came to this world, drawn by the psychic aura of the Primarch. The Emperor had observed Angron in secret from orbit for some time, watching with pride as he led the slaves in battle. Now he descended to the planet's surface, offering Angron leadership of the World Eaters Space Marine Legion and a place at his side. But, to the Emperor's surprise, Angron refused. His place was here, with his fellow slaves, and he would die before deserting them. Angron and the slaves dug their graves during the night, a signal to their enemies that they would fight to the death rather than surrender. The Emperor knew that even though Angron was a Primarch, he would perish in the coming battle and, bringing his ship into low orbit, teleported Angron away from Fedan Mhor. Without their leader, the morale of the slaves was destroyed and the following morning they were slaughtered by the combined armies of the planet's rulers. In space, as the Great Crusade continued, Angron eventually took command of the World Eaters, but never forgave the Emperor for his abduction from the planet and what he saw as a betrayal of his martial honour.

Knowing how effective at boosting a warrior's prowess the psycho surgery could be, Angron ordered the Techmarines of the World Eaters to duplicate the process, using the implants in his head as a template. However, the art of this technology's construction had long since been forgotten and the early attempts at reproducing it were unreliable, often triggering uncontrollable and unstoppable psychotic episodes in the recipients. Eventually, the Techmarines were able to construct working implants that heightened aggression and strength, grafting them to whole companies of World Eaters Space Marines. Initially, the enhanced companies were highly successful, quickly gaining a fearsome reputation as terror troops. No mercy was offered by the World Eaters, only bloody death at the end of a chain-axe. The Liber Malum speaks of whole systems surrendering wholesale rather than face the wrath of the World Eaters. But it was only a matter of time before the Legion's use of psycho surgery on its recruits became widely known. Following the infamous Ghenna Scouring, where an entire planet's population were butchered in a single night of bloodshed, the World Eaters were censured by the Emperor and commanded to cease the use of implants.

Angron paid little heed to this and ordered the work of the Techmarines to continue, until almost every Space Marine in the Legion had undergone the ritual surgery. Blood rites became an increasingly important part of the Legion's heritage as their slaughter continued across the galaxy, and it became common practice for Space Marines to compete in the number of enemy skulls they could take in battle. Many of Angron's brother Primarchs voiced their concerns to the Emperor, and now the Master of Mankind made a fatal error. He dispatched Horus, the most trusted of all the Primarchs, to confront Angron and bring him back into line. Horus was a master psychologist and, unbeknownst to the Emperor, had already been corrupted by the Chaos powers. In Angron he saw a warrior consumed by bitterness and resentment and it was a simple matter for Horus to feed that bitterness, emphasising the Emperor's betrayal, painting him as a weakling in need of replacing. He told Angron exactly what he wanted to hear and, when Horus eventually betrayed the Emperor, beginning the first galactic civil war, Angron's World Eaters marched beside the Sons of Horus.

Home World
The home world of Angron remains a mystery to this day. No known record exists of where the Emperor encountered Angron and none of those histories scanned by the scribes on Terra appear to match the description given in the Speculum Historale of Angron's world. Scholars postulate that Angron himself may have returned to his home world upon the outbreak of the Horus Heresy and destroyed it to avenge the death of his fellow slaves. It is certainly true that the World Eaters destroyed a number of worlds seemingly at random on their bloody advance to Terra, but whether one of these was his home world is a riddle that only Angron knows the answer to.

Many suspect that Angron's gene-seed was corrupt from the start and the World Eaters were damned the moment they were created. Others point to the known history of Angron and insist that his Legion could have been saved had the signs been noticed earlier. Whichever is correct, the Space Marines of the World Eaters have a physical need to shed blood and kill, a driving imperative that sends them into a berserk fury of unrestrained bloodthirsty psychosis. So strong is the desire to kill that the World Eaters will turn on one another to satisfy their bloodlust should no other foe present itself.

During the heady days of the Great Crusade, the boundaries of the Emperors space were continually being pushed back by his Primarchs. Many worlds welcomed the arrival of the Emperors armies, while others foolishly resisted. Ariggata was a technologically advanced world that had been isolated from the Imperium for many centuries, and when Imperial envoys arrived bearing word of the Emperors return, they were executed in a bloody gesture of independence. The military might of Ariggata was formidable and thus the honour of its pacification fell to warriors from no less than three Legions, the Luna Wolves, the Ultramarines and the World Eaters. The Emperors Warmaster, Horus, was in overall command of the force, and under his masterful generalship, the armies of Ariggata were quickly subdued until only the Basalt Citadel, seat of the planet's rulers, remained in enemy hands.

Imperial forces laid siege to the citadel, but the pacification was taking too long for Horus' liking, he wanted to be away from this world to seek further glory. To quickly end the siege he bombarded the mighty walls of the citadel from orbit, ordering Angron and the World Eaters to storm the breaches created and slay the enemy leaders. The walls of the citadel had been forged during the Dark Age of Technology and, despite a week long orbital bombardment, only a single breach was made. Roboute Guilliman counselled caution, but nether Horus or Angron were willing to wait. Angron threw the World Eaters at the walls of the Basalt Citadel, a firestorm of lasers and bullets wreaking bloody carnage amongst their ranks. The World Eaters were undaunted, a ramp of corpses allowing them to finally crest the breach and, once within the citadels walls, the battle-maddened Space Marines slew everything that came within the reach of their chain-axes. The ancient halls echoed with terrified screams for a day and night as the World Eaters rampaged through the citadel, and when Angron finally led his warriors from the charnel house, not a single soul remained alive within.
When the Ultramarines moved in to secure the citadel, they were horrified at what they discovered. The chambers and vaults of the citadel resembled a madman s abattoir, dismembered corpses lay where they had fallen and the stench of death was an almost physical thing. No-one had been spared, every living thing had been butchered in the World Eaters fury. By the time the appalled Ultramarines left the citadel, the World Eaters and the Luna Wolves had already departed, leaving the Ultramarines to garrison Ariggata until the Imperial Army arrived. Before Guilliman was able to confront his brother Primarchs regarding the massacre on Ariggata, the Heresy erupted, both Horus and Angron spitting on their oaths of loyalty to the Emperor, and Guilliman`s worst fears were confirmed.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Pre-Heresy Terminator Sergeant

This is the Sergeant of my Terminator Squad, the rest of the squad is almost complete so photos of them all together will be coming shortly!

Terminators are one of the most distinctive pre-heresy units, and a great way to give the army character. My target for this miniature was to make it both representative of a pre-heresy Terminator (which could be acheived through the shoulder pads), but also make it instantly recognisable as a World Eater. For this, I added a few small embelishments; The chainmail hanging from the armour and the studs dotted around the armour are two examples of this. The sergeant is unique within the squad in that he is weilding a stormbolter or stormbolter prototype - these weapons were just becoming available, and I think it matches the character of the Legion that the sergeant should be the one carrying the weapon.

Chronologically, my World Eater force is set perhaps two thirds of the way through the Great Crusade, and just after the discovery of Angron. As such, although I removed much of the chaos iconography from the original chaos terminator model, I left the odd spike here and there, perhaps just to show the tiny changes that were beginning to take place within the Legion (or perhaps had always been there lurking beneath the surface....)

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Mk5 Armour Tutorial

Here is a tutorial to make mk5 Heresy armour in a relatively cheap, easy and pain-free (almost!) way. I think the most important thing is that very little additional material is required, and those which are needed are readily available and won't break the bank!

First of all, this tutorial
only applies to the specific mk5 components of the armour, so you will need to join the dots with the other, generalised components of the marine.


You will need the following equipment:

A) SM assault trooper torso. These don't have many applications, so are usually fairly easy and cheap to get hold of from bits websites.
B ) Grandt Line railway rivets. These are available in large quantity from places such as Antenocetti's workshop or SBmodels.net (if you don't mind the minimum £10 order). Either the '#154' or '#153' if you want them a little smaller are fine. Note these are from the UK, but as Grandt Line are an American company they should be fairly easy to get hold of in the US. T
hey come in packs of 100 so a single pack should do several marines.
C) Standard mk7 marine legs, again if you've done much converting in the past you should have piles of these things lying around!
D) St
andard mk7 shoulder pad, again the kind of thing thats very cheap (I've seen them as cheap as 7p each from bitsandkits.co.uk!) to get hold of from bits websites if you don't already have them. Its also possible to use Chaos Marine shoulder pads, but they will need filing down so the less detail on them the better!
E) Rubber tubing. I've used the brake hosing you get with Tamiya car/bike model kits, but anything which is roughly 1-2mm, flexible and cutable is ok. Bigwill (check out his Heresy Workshop) a
lso says that Dragon Forges White Steel Cable makes a great alternative to this, which has more detail!
F) Standard mk7 head. If possible, this should be the one with the 'double wires' which come from the grill and looks more like the mk5 helm, rather than the other one. Fortunately, these helmets tend to be so cheap from bits websites you can order a batch of them f
or almost nothing and get the correct ones.
G) Modelling drill. I use an 'archimedes drill' which is available from most hobby shops, and fitted with a 0.8mm drill bit. However, you should be
ok with a 0.6 or up to about a 1.2mm bit assuming you use the grandt line rivets.

The Conversion

1) Clean up the components:
This includes:
- remove the Imperial Aquila from the Assault chest, and if you prefer the skull from the centre (I personally think it looks better
with this removed). - Remove the purity seals from the legs, try and make as smooth a finish as possible with this. - Trim the rim from both shoulder pads so that it is smooth as possible. - Trim the stabiliser/ridge from the top of the mk7 helmet, so it looks like a completely smooth, bullet-head.

2) Adding the rivets:
This is probably the hardest part of the operation, you need to add rivets to the head, a single shoulder pad and both legs. First of all is the drilling phase. Use a craft knife to mark where you want to drill - the important thing here is to be as consistent as possible with the spacing, and not to try and cram too many rivets on. I have several lost marine legs which occupy the 'Frankenstein's failures' parts of my bits box because I became frenzied in my drilling. In total, I found 16 rivets per leg and 10 on the left shoulder pad is enough.
When drilling, try to drill only deep enou
gh for the rivet and perhaps 3-4mm of the rivet length to go inside for a secure fit. Some of the legs will have pockets of air inside, and you will suddently find yourself drilling through the opposite side of the leg if you go too far! When attaching the rivets, clip off a few mm length of the rivet with clippers, and dip the non-rivet end in an already prepared pool of plastic glue. You only need the tiniest bit of glue, too much and it will squirt out from the side and make a mess! To be honest, this is the hardest part - I lost many, many rivets with my first ham-fisted attempts, the damned things seem to dissapear the moment you drop them. Here is an example of a completed shoulder pad, with the rims removed and rivets added (its possible to make a much more accurate job than this):

Its worth taking the most time making sure the rivets are evenly spaced on the head - if they are not, it will stand out far more than had it been on another part of the model.

3) Creating the Torso: Simply add the tubing from front to back. You can double this up as I have done, or add even more if you want to more accurately portray some of the pictures which show mk5 as very cable-heavy. Be careful however not to add too much thick cabling which might then prevent you attaching the arms!

Frontal shot showing the completed trunk in more detail:

Finally, examples of some completed marines:

I hope this is a useful tutorial for making perhaps one of the most distinctive pre-heresy armours! If any part of my description has been too obscure, please let me know and i'll try and reiterate it!

Here are the direct links if the pictures do not appear next to the captions:

Modelling and Painting

A menu for all posts relating to painting and modelling the 12th Legion.

Mk5 'Heresy' Armour tutorial

Product Reviews and Information:
Product Review: Maxmini Helmets & Jump Packs

Units, Characters and Scenery:
Terminator Squad Wavranka
Bale, Berserker Dreadnought
World Eater Bastion
Veteran Unit 'Linebreakers'
Land Raider conversion 'net of heads'

WIP Section:
WIP Terminator Sergeant, Heavy Support Marine & Jetbike
WIP Assault troopers

Monday, 20 July 2009

World Eater Support Marine

The 12th Legion were not always the army of frothing berserkers that we know (and love?!) today. For most of the Great Crusade, and certainly before the discovery of their Primarch, the World Eaters operated in a similar way to many of their brother legions, albeit with a bias towards assault troops.

Although I didn't think a squad of marines armed with Lascannons particularly fitted the character of the World Eaters, the ground assault would still need some heavy weaponry support, and for this I thought a squad of marines armed with heavy bolters would be ideal to keep their enemies heads down while the assault troops charged!

The influence for this trooper is this card from the Horus Heresy CCG, depicting Support Squad Skane gunning down a Sons of Horus trooper! I hope to eventually have an entire support squad (4) of these guys painted up, for use in 2000pt plus games.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Moments from the Crusade Part 2

Despite the Marine Commander of the expedition requesting a show of force as a prelude to diplomatic negotiation with the planet of Konos III, the considerable influence and standing of diplomat and Itinerator Sabastien Thul required that military power would only be used when all else had failed. Konos III would be welcomed into the Imperium without a drop of blood shed.

"But surely a display of military might would be a warning?" Argued the Commander, "Several of our new Thunderhawks, along with a company of my men? They must know what they face if they do not comply."
"Nonsene", retored Sebastein Thul, "A dozen or more worlds have been swayed by my words, let the blood of the sons of Angron saved for a more obvious foe. Do not forget that our great empire is built upon a foundation of the furthering of mankind, and a gentle hand on the shoulder, more than a bloodied fist, must turn them to this way of thinking."

After received a barrage of initially confused and questioning com-signals, the orbital relays of the fleet transmitted the standard greeting of the Emporer and of Terra to all the major powers of Konos III. The planet was not a unified whole but instead consisted of many kingships, unions and republics, and its atmosphere and blasted landscapes were testament to their various feuds and disagreements. Although several of these nation-states offered a consultation of some sort, it was the Etat Union which, as Thul was later quoted as remarking, "seemed to have a similar disposition to our own". A meeting time and place was agreed, and preperations for the historic repatriation of another long lost branch of humanity were made.

A day later a small landing craft, carrying Thul and only a small 5 man squad of marines (selected on the basis of temperament) made their way down through the atmosphere to the landing zone. There, landing atop a massive building decorated with podiums of polished marble, many types of fauna and rich tapestries, and infront of massed ranks of neatly arrayed infantry of the Etat Union, first contact was made.


Sabastien Thul had smiled and nodded at the one named Homish, the appointed representative of these people, as yet more terms and agreements were discussed. Behind him the giant Astartes had stood immobile at attention before their transport shuttle, their bolters pressed up against their chests, and their armour polished to a brilliant white (something Thul himself had insisted upon), seemingly unperturbed by the fearful glances and whispered conversations of Homish's entourage.

Negotiations were indeed moving along well- Introductions had been made, and further meetings had been planned under more comfortable conditions. So well infact that Sebastien Thul almost complained when the Astartes to the right of him raised his boltgun and fired, blowing the Union representatives head apart in a shower of gore. His suprise had almost turned to anger at the Astartes who had dared to bahave in this manner, as a gauntled hand grabbed him by the collar, and wrenched him around and towards the shuttle. Words chimed over his earpiece in the thick accent of the 12th Legions homeworld, "we are betrayed."

Then all was lost in a barrage of white noise, and a wall of sound as the five marines, standing shoulder to shoulder, unleahed their weapons on full automatic into the still suprised looking soldiers. Obscene flowers of blood blossomed from the bolt impacts and dozens of soldiers and civilians alike were litterally shredded where they stood. Although shocked and dismayed by this horrible violence, nevertheless decades of war had made the militias of Konos tenacious fighters, and within seconds the air sang with the machine-noise of their projectile weapons.

Thul cradled his head in his hands. As he stumbled back towards the shuttle, he turned to see one of the marines fall, his armour dented and torn by the hail of incoming fire, blood fountaining from a hole in his eye piece. Another marine moved behind him and put his arm around his waste, attempting to shield the Diplomat's vulnerable body and usher him into the vehicle. But, as the shots winnied and twanged from the carapace of the marine, dragging him to one knee, Thul realised that all was lost. The fuselage of the shuttle, intended only for light transport duty, was dented and torn. The marine lurched forward, and Thul fell infront of him, his delicate rebreather pipe spilling its cargo of incense onto the red carpet beneath him. What had gone wrong? Why had his honour guard begun this hopeless battle and condemned them all to death? He squirmed around and looked at the battle behind him.. somehow over the incredible din of bolter fire and screams of the dying a roar sounded, that made the ground shake and the building they had landed upon tremble. Just as those marines standing turned to look upwards, an incandescent flame came down towards them. Thul looked up in wonderment, and barely had time to gasp before the building and everything within several miles was annihilated in an expanded ball of nuclear fire.


Commander of the fleet Borya slammed his fist down on the view screen. He had given warning to his men the moment the incoming missile had been detected, but from studying the data pict he had known that there would not be time for Sebastien Thul nor his honour guard to escape.

The display on the monitor revealed the expanding msuhroom cloud of the missile on the government building below. Although only a small yeild weapon, it was obviously more than enough to ensure the instant destruction of anything within several miles of its impact point. To Borya, it did not matter that a rival state had sought to sabotage the meeting, nor that those just attacked might be innocent, just that the open hand of Terra had been bloodied in an act of unprovoked cowardice.

The bridge crew stood in silence as the commander turned to them. An almost imperceptible grin played accross his features as he spoke.. "tell the fleet to prepare, and the make the landing craft ready. These people will learn how the 12th earnt their name."

Moments from the Crusade Part 1

Here follows information relating to the glorious path of the 591st Expidition, whose forces comprised of the Mighty 12th Legion, the Imperial Army of our Emporer, and his allies of the Mechanicum. Here they did strive to bring another lost branch of mankinds lost children into the shining light of the Imperium.

+++ Warp translation complete.. transit time 96days14hr..+++
+++Data Probes launched--Initial transmissions received, Standby++++

.. .. ...
+++System identified..+++ Konos system.. Data received displaying ++++

+++Negative heat or energy distortion proximity reading.. defense status reduced to Gamma+++
+++Konos I// Class B/Molten..Asteroid yield potential 65%+++
+++Konos II// Class F/Low atmosphere pressure/No life detected/High metallurgy content/Mechanicum contacted.. Additional resource probes launched+++
+++Konos III///
@@WARNING@@ Fleet enter defense pattern Beta/Epsilon @@WARNING@@
+++Human life detected (p. 99.87%)+++ estimated Population 2billion..@@ Fleet Alert Status Alpha +++ Standard Imperial greetings transmitted all frequencies ++
+++NEGATIVE transmissions received+++
++SUMMARY: Atomic(+/-) technology level//+++
+++Fleet moving into upper orbit approach. ETA 68days4hrs. Reconnaisance probes launched..+++

Continue to Moments of the Crusade Part 2..

Thursday, 16 July 2009

World Eaters 2nd Company Captain Sevruk

These are updated rules for Captain Sevruk, utilising the 5th edition Blood Angels Codex.

For gaming purposes, Sevruk counts as Astorath the Grim from the Blood Angel codex.


Sevruk was one of the first Captains of the 12th legion from the recruitment world of Bodt to have reached the rank, as opposed to the existing Terran ethnicity of many in the legion. Over the years he carved a name for himself as being utterly ruthless, often at the forefront of any attack and, even amongst the others of his legion, was regarded as being a shining example of ferocity and mercilessness.

It was on the barren and unforgiving landscapes of Talmasci IX that he would cement his rise to captain amidst a welter of blood and offal. Surrounded by the corpses of his slain cohort he faced the brutal orcish overlord of that world, a behemoth even by greenskin standards, atop a crude but towering orcish fort. With bestial cunning the orc declined Sevruk's challenge of combat, and instead raised his primitive flamethrower and doused the exposed chest and face of the marine in promethium. Sevruk's cried in agony as his skin boiled and eyes burst in their sockets, and the orc warlord, snickering all the while, turned to his horde to howl in triumph. But his victory cry proved premature as Sevruk, somehow still alive and guided by some innate sense, flung himself at the orc, and in a single motion raised the orc above his head and cast him from the battlements to shatter on the ground far below. The body of Sevruk was recovered by the legion apothecaries, and despite all predictions he lived, a complex bioneural interface from the mechanicum of Mars ensuring that he would see and fight again.

As a native of Angron's own homeworld, Sevruk was among the first to encourage the use of neural implants within the legion, and this is shown by his personally selected guard who always have the modifications made. Although his accompanying marines usually suffer massive casualties in being the first into the breech, such a posting is seen as a great honour. The sight of Sevruk and his beserker guard howling in rage with chainaxes spinning as they charge is a fearsome sight indeed.

Special Rules


6 5 4 4 3 5 3 10 2+

Honour of the Legion: Withdrawing from the fight is simply unthinkable for any marines fighting alongside Sevruk. Any World Eater squad he is part of is fearless.
Horrifying Violence: Sevruk exemplifies the ethos of the world eaters. The impact of a cohort of marines charging into the foe is akin to an express train, as the marines hack and slash with unremittant fury. Any World Eater squad he has joined may re-roll to hit on the turn that they charge. If Sevruk is leading his berserker squad, they may also re-roll to wound.
Blessed: Despite spearheading countless assaults, and suffering wounds which would have killed even other Astartes, Sevruk has somehow managed to stay alive, something which unfortunately can not often be said for his guard. Some call it the blessings of the gods of battle, others just blind luck, but whatever the cause Sevruk has survived far longer than he has had any right to. Confers 4+ inv. save (equivalent of Rosarius).
Shadow of the Primarch: Units which are part of Sevruk's assault plans are hand-picked for their fearsome melee abilities and aggression, and even tactical and heavy support cohorts have been known to assault the enemy at close range. If Sevruk is in the force, all units will use the 'Red Thirst' rule on a 3 or less, rather than the usual 1 on a D6.


Artificer Armour, Bolt Pistol, Jump Pack, Frag & Krak Grenades, Chainaxe
Chainaxe: Sevruk has extraordinary strength even for a marine. Although he has weilded the same weapon since becoming an astartes, his phenomenol strength means that it cleaves through the thickest of armour, literally hacking apart anything that stands in his way as he swings the weapon 2-handed in a giant figure of eight. Counts as a 2 handed power weapon that strikes at Str 6, successful invulnerable saves against the weapon must be re-rolled.

Final Notes

I wanted Sevruk to be a proper attempt at the 'counts as' rule, and for people to look at the miniature and understand why he confers the bonuses of the 'Astorath the Grim' character, offers no armour save, and is hard to kill!
With the new Blood Angels Codex, Lemartes (the previous ruleset utilised for Sevruk) has seen a slight change in rules, but most importantly he no longer counted as an HQ unit. As a Captain and therefore in charge of his own contingent of marines, I felt that the rules for Astorath would be more fitting. His force of troops would act as the 'Spearhead' of a World Eaters assault, featuring the most aggressive and fearsome assault troops and smashing into the enemy without pause, as is the World Eater way :)
For his unit itself, combined with a squad of Berserkers (Blood Angel Death Company) they inspire great fear on the tabletop for anyone who has ever faced a charge from them in a game, potentially one of the most powerful close combat unit in the game! I think this ties in nicely from what we know about Berserkers in the background information of the World Eaters.

A new HQ unit

Reading through the Blood Angels Codex, the basis of my Pre-Heresy Codex force, I've been thinking for a while about a new HQ unit. I have already completed Captain Sevruk, a 'counts as' Lemartes who leads the Berserkers into battle, but wanted another Captain who would be similarly assault orientated and would be used as a 'counts as' Dante.
After a long time trawling though GW's webpage looking for a suitable basis for a conversion, I've settled on this guy...


Although I'd toyed with the idea of making him from a standard commander kit, as someone whos going to be as powerful as Dante on the battlefield (and potentially the centrepiece of the army) I really wanted him to be as dynamic as possible. The antique look of the chaplains armour just sealed the deal for me!

Now then, t
he next bit is going to require a bit of imagination..

Imagine this model with the purity seals and other small chaplain-badges removed. Replace the crosius with a hefty, double edged chain axe and the bolt pistol with some kind of exotic melta-pistol weapon. Then add a little battle damage, a larger turbo-fan Pre-heresy jump pack and replace the head with this one:

Now this is going to have to be 'toned down' somewhat (I will have to lessen the ridges on his brow for example), but that snarling teeth faceplate can easily become a design on a metal mask - equivalent of Dante's death mask perhaps? You can imagine how fighting against something like that would impose the -1 WS and BS in any case!

I'll most likely be ordering the bits for this Captain later on today. I'm also planning on constructing an assault squad in mk2/3 armour (representative of Terran veterans) who he will lead into battle. I've got hold of the heads for those guys, and just need some other components to begin work on them.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Battle Reports

An admittedly very small section so far, now covering the battles of the Gedren Prime weekend!

AoTE 2: The Horus Heresy, Battle report 1

Gedren Prime Campaign: Battle 1
Gedren Prime Campaign: Assault on Gedren Prime
Gedren Prime Campaign: The Final Battle

They Were Legion

A menu for all posts relating to the background of the World Eaters, and thoughts and comments on various aspects of the legion.


Design Philosophy
Index Astartes: The World Eaters
Moments from the Crusade, part 1
Moments from the Crusade, part 2
Defending Ground: World Eater Bastion
Gedren Prime Narrative

Characters and notables of the 591st Expedition

Other Information & Legions
Fan Fiction short story collection

Design Philosophy

From a background perspective, there are several reasons why I chose the World Eaters. Firstly, the fact that they eventually fall to Chaos. I love the kind of tragic undertones which are implicit in the Horus Heresy story, and there are few narratives more powerful than that of the fallen hero! Secondly, for me the WE are the most accurate representation of what marines were back in the days of Rogue Trader. There is none of the 'knights in space' business or tales of heroism and fighting for the betterment of mankind, the WE are pure and brutal killers, with their point of view explaned at the end of a punch or a headbutt!

In RT its written, "the space marines are usually the first troops to arrive at the scene of a conflict, and they are used to mount strikes, raids and suprise attacks. Their reputation for savage ferocity and complete lack of mercy has earned them the nickname Angels of Death"

There is also a great bit in the main rulebook about Assault troops, and this is the main philosophy behind how I imagine the World Eaters to be:
"Space marine assault squads are equipped with hand-to-hand combat weapons such as chainswords, power swords and bolt pistols. Entry into buildings, or through the reinforced hulls of space craft, is gained using a las-cutter or phase-field generator. As the first wave of attackers goes through, casualites are always very high. The first troopers into the breach are almost inevitably shot dead instantly. Inclusion in an assault squad is a great honour. There is never any shortage of volunteers for suicide missions such as this."

In purely subjective terms, its also how I imagine marines would be in reality. The battlefields of the future would be so deadly, that there would be little room for chivalry or personality. Any special forces or chock troops such as marines would be a hammer-blow fighting force, built to impact on the enemy with overwhelming ferocity and with little thought to their own safety, and despite achieving their objectives would usually suffer massive casualties as a result.

So, in real terms this means I will most likely reduce the amount of personal identification and heraldry. Rather than modelling in 'parade ground' form of polished armour, I intend to model them as during or after battle, with used and damaged armour and no doubt a lot of blood!

I also think this reflects the Astartes more in their game role, as opposed to how they are often portrayed in the background information. A Black Library novel which portrayed the effectiveness of Marines as they are in purely game terms would definately go against convention!

WIP Terminator Sergeant, Heavy support marine & Jetbike

A terminator sergeant, support marine and jetbike in various stages of undress!

Terminator Marine Sergeant. Although I've already completed several terminators, I took a photo of this one for the WIP section. The conversion is a combination of loyalist and traitor terminator. I've removed as much of the chaos iconography as possible, without making the model too clean looking - the extra blades and embellishments on the armour I believe add to the ferocious look of the terminator. I added studs to the shoulder pads (which are sadly no longer available) - use Dreadnought shin components or Tamiya oil drums from their scenery kit as an alternative. The look of a terminator is one of the key ways of making your army look distinctly pre-heresy, so its a good idea to spend some extra effort on them I feel!

Heavy Support Marine in mk5 Heresy armour. Conversions include adding studs to all the relevant places of the armour, and extra cabling along the torso. A tutorial for making mk5 armour will be added at some point in the future.

1. Jetbike. A conversion based on the excellent work of Elijah7 on B&C, the full tutorial can be found here: Bolter&Chainsword Jetbike Tutorial

In changes from the model shown in the tutorial, I've removed some of the superflous stuff which made it look too bulky (IMO the jetbike would be as lightweight as possible), and ive added some extra exhausts as well as the main 'jet' for extra speed! These are parts from an old demolisher-mounted multi-melta. The air-intake grill is just a bit of textured plasticard.

Finally, I replaced the bolters with a single autocannon from the IG tank sprue (so it looks a bit more pre-heresy and in similar style to how eldar jetbikes mount their weapons, I guess it will just count-as the normal twin linked bolters in games) and I've used a couple of tiny rare-earth magnets on the base to make it a bit easier to move!

I don't agree with the way GW has its special weapons held by the marine. Imagine, riding something like this at 100mph while trying to fire a rifle type weapon with a single hand? The only one capable of doing something like this is the Terminator on his Harley!

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Miniatures Gallery

Last Updated: 12/04/11

A complete collection of miniatures, including basic minature shots as well as those including themed and photoshopped backgrounds. These are listed in reverse chronological order, and will be updated as more pictures are added!

32. Techmarine Kovacs and servitors

31. Land Raider, equipped with promethium flame units.

30. 'Linebreaker' equipped with las-cutter, for cutting through bulkheads.

29. Assault squad 'linebreakers' equipped for ship-boarding action.

28. Heavy Support squad in Bastion.

27. Commander Leonid with veteran assault squad honour guard.

26. Berserker Dreadnought Bale

25. After the battle is won..

24. Heavily battle damaged Berserker!

23. Member of Veteran Assault squad, terran veteran.

22. Closeup of Sergeant Wavranka

21. Heavy Support marine

20. Terminator Squad Wavranka

19. Army at 1000pts completed, including individual units not yet formed into squads.

18. Close of Captain Sevruk and Diplomat Sebastien Thule

17. Close of Veteran 'Linebreaker' squad and Recon Marine

16. Land Speeder, armed with belt-fed Autocannon.

15. Completed Assault combat squad. All equipped with mk4 armour, shown as recent recruitment into the Legion, referenced from Collected Visions.

14. Berskers charge!

13. Objective markers; Melted Marine and pile o' skulls

12. Recon Marine, shown in Konos III camoflauge pattern.

11. Jetbike, ridden by Marine in mk4 armour.

10. Assault marine in mk4 armour

9. Marine in mk2 armour on garrison duty

8. Captain Sevruk, 2nd Company

7. Imperial Diplomat Sebastien Thule (special character and objective)

6. Veteran Marine 'Linebreaker'

5. Mk5 armour varients shown deploying from a Rhino.

4. Tactical Squad Ignatov

3. First completed Berserker and use of resin jump pack conversion:

1. First completed Tactical mar, tactical squad:

1. First completed miniature (other than a couple of complete failures!), wounded marine: