Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Rogue Trader era Alpha Legion Traitor Marines.

 With all the sorting, organising, and rebasing of my Rogue Trader/Slaves to Darkness era Traitor Legions, I thought it was about time I actually painted some of them. So I chose a small, quick and easy Slaaneshi organised squad, and chose a colour scheme which I have been wishing to try out. 

I have chosen the Alpha Legion squad, but this is probably not an Alpha Legion many people would recognise now. As mentioned previously on my blog,  I am planning to organise and paint my Traitor Legions in accordance with Rogue Trader/Slaves to Darkness era information. Much of this comes from the Slaves to Darkness book itself, as well as some of the White Dwarf magazines, and information from the Space Marine game. At this time (1988 to about 1991) there was not a great deal of detailed information on any the Traitor Legions, especially those less well know ones such as the Alpha Legion. It was mainly the World Eaters, Emperors Children, Death Guard, and Thousand Sons which received more information as they were the primary Legions representing the four major Chaos Powers, and to a lesser extent The Sons of Horus.

Concerning the Alpha Legion, my main source is from the artwork found on page 166 of Slaves to Darkness. Here there is a composite artwork of the Slaaneshi aligned Traitor Legions, which at this time we were informed were: The Emperors Children; The Iron Warriors; and The Alpha Legion. With this in mind I have chosen to organise these three Legions around the Emperors Children list in the Slaves to Darkness book as it seemed to make sense. There is a generic entry in the Lost and the Danmed book concerning The Iron Warriors and Alpha Legion, but this is only as add-ons to the Death Guard and Thousand Sons army lists, and isn't very interesting. I thought it would not be as fun to assemble as a Legion assembled using the Slaaneshi list.

Painting wise, the Alpha Legion shoulder pads are shown as a mid vibrant green, with bright red trim. There are no references to the rest of the armour colours, so I made the decision that this would be the colour scheme for the legion, something I probably would have done at the time. There are a few examples of Chaos Marines painted green, but whilst these could be Alpha Legion, I don't think this was anything more than just people painting miniatures how they wished. I also chose only to have the edges of the should pads red, as opposed to any other trim on the armour. I have done this so they would
not look too similar to the way many Nurgle Marines which were painted at the time.

Anyway, the background, or ' canon' as it appears to be referred to now, was a lot less developed then and everything was a little more fluid. In the intervening years the background, armour colours, etc have been expanded and revised, but in the Rogue Trader/Slaves to Darkness era, to which I am abiding, this is what I have. For my 'of the time'* approach to the Traitor Legions, the last 30 or so years are irrelevant. I think it is kind of fun approach, and I am enjoying it.

*'of the time'- by this I mean only using miniatures and conversion parts available from the Rogue Trader era, and using the paint schemes and army lists from the time. I have allowed myself the use of some of the newer shaped bases because some basing, especially of vehicles such as bikes, was not standard and often home made bases were used. 

Enjoy :)

Page 166 of Slaves to Darkness.
Alpha Legion Squad.
The six Traitor Marines, including a Sergeant and special weapon trooper, which comprises a Slaaneshi squad. Six, or course, being the favoured number of Slaanesh. 
Sergeant, with power glove.
This miniature was listed a 'Four Arms' in the 1991 Catalogue. 
This miniature is listed as the Nurgle Renegade 'Tentacle arm and Flamer'.
In order to make the number of plastic Chaos backpacks which I have go further, for some of the Marines I am using alternatives to the backpack. I also think it gives a little more variety. For the flamer armed Marines I have converted some fuel tanks, and in this case green stuffed some tentacles around it. 
Chaos Renegade.
He is 'Bolter 13' from the 1991 Catalogue.
I like the sword like bayonet, and the textured shoulder pad.
Chaos Renegade.
He is Slaaneshi Renegade 'Bolter 6'.
I should really have photographed he left shoulder pad as it has a little Slaaneshi rune on it, which I have painted yellow in line with the Alpha legions use of yellow for markings.
Chaos Renegade.
He is 'Bolter 10' in the 1991 Catalogue.
Chaos Renegade.
He is 'Bolter 9' in the 1991 Catalogue.

Next blog update will probably be the Night Lords squad which I am working on. I have been using the original  C100 Space Marines for the Tactical Squads, to give them an old school look, and in line with a piece of Slave to Darkness artwork.

Thursday, 11 November 2021

Photography background.

 As I have been finally painting again, I have decided that it would be a nice idea to have a better background for photography than the Slaves to Darkness book. A quick skip dive (I did ask permission from the builders!) yielded a couple smaller than hoped for  pieces of wood, but which will suffice for the time being until I can make a proper and larger photography box.

Not much to this really. Two pieces of wood nailed together at a right angle. The ground part painted with Citadel's Agrellan Earth, in line with the bases for the Traitor Legions. The sky was based loosely on the Galaxy decoration on shoes and bags, and was only really a few colours. There are tutorials online on how to do it, mainly aimed at painting Converse shoes. 

Enjoy :)

The two pieces nailed together.
Base coats.
Painted! It took my about half an hour to paint after the base coats had dried.
Close up details of the galaxy sky.

A C100 Space Marine moves across an alien landscape. The Marine is a WIP, and has been painted up as a Rogue Trader era Horus Heresy Night Lord Marine. I just need to paint the shoulder pad symbols and double check the rest of it. More on these later...

Next update will be the Rogue Trader era  Alpha Legion Marines which I have already painted. 

Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Rogue Trader / Slaves to Darkness era Land Speeder Traitor Legionaires.

More assembling and basing of the Traitor Legions, although I have finally started painting something again!

I have always been intrigued by the idea of mounted a Chaos Marine squad on vehicles, and not just upon the more ordinary jet bikes and chaos steeds. In the Slaves to Darkness book there is a section which details how one can mount entire squads on bike and sidecars, and on Land Speeders. I thought Land Speeders would be very Rogue trader, so I set about picking up the odd Land Speeder here and there over the years. Of course, doing this presents several problems.

Firstly are the number of Land Speeders involved. Each Land Speeder requires a Tech Marine who is required to be a co-driver. This means in practice that in order to field a squad on Land Speeders you require one per Marine in the squad. For the Sons of Horus that would be ten, World Eaters eight, and Emperors Children six. This is no casual undertaking. Of course, if one wanted to field a single or a couple of Land Speeders, personalities can be mounted with a Tech Marine co-driver. However, there is something quite old school epic about fielding a full Land Speeder squad. With this in mind I chose one the Slaaneshi Legions* to be the host of a Land Speeder squad, thus 'only' requiring six Land Speeders.

Secondly is the points cost. Land Speeders are 200 points each. Six Land Speeders are therefore 1,200 points. Six Tech Marines (with Bolt Guns). One Tactical squad of Slaaneshi Marines (with the Sergeant upgraded with a  Power Glove) 168 points. The total for the whole squad therefore being 1,488 points. This is quite pricey, even for a Rogue Trader era squad, although as they are part of a larger 10,000 point Legion I think that some expensive squads such as this can be purchased as part of the larger whole, with cheaper units balancing out the Legion.

Finally, there is actually finding the Land Speeders. Not being 1988, it is more difficult to purchase some of the Rogue Trader era items now. On e-Bay Land Speeders are usually quite expensive, and so patience (and a little bit of tactically deployed disposable income) has been required, although I already owned three from 'back in the day'.

As an aside, Nico has constructed a lovely World Eater Land Speeder, as well several other World Eater items, and can be found on his blog below:

*A note on my Traitor Legion organisation:
I am assembling the Traitor Legions in the style and manner of the Rogue Trader era. With this concept in mind I am making the assumption that the Iron Warriors and Alpha Legion are Slaaneshi Legions, and so I will base their army lists on the Emperor's Children list. Conversely, I shall base the Word Bearers and Night Lords on the Khornate World Eater list. The justification for doing this is the Traitor Legion illustration and artwork on pages 167 and 168 of the Slaves to Darkness book, which I have included in the blog below. I am also using the colour schemes mentioned here too for them. I think this adds a little bit of variety and fun.

Enjoy :)

Land Speeder Squad, destined to be part of my Rogue Trader era Alpha Legion army.
I have based them on round 60mm Citadel plastic bases to give the more stability and I think they just look better bases. Throughout the squad I have kept a mix of the old Mark VI crew, and mixed in a few of the mounted Renegade miniatures to give that Traitor Legion feel.
Sergeants Land Speeder.
For the driver I have used a loyalist Mark VI bike crewman with the goggles. I had to bend the legs together and remove the bolt pistol on his right leg to make him fit onto the seat.
Sergeants Land Speeder, right hand view.
I have replaced both of the crew. For the sergeant I have used one of the mounted Renegades legs and body, but have replaced the bolt gun with a plastic RTB01 Power Gloves. I had to bend the legs a little to make him fit onto the seat. 
Land Speeder with a Bloodletter Renegade head. Although this will be a Slaaneshi Legion squad, I find that some of the renegade miniatures are interchangeable between Chaos Powers. This one looks very H.R.Giger inspired anyway, so I'm not too concerned.
Another Renegade body riding shotgun bolt gun.
A head swap for this original Mark VI crewman. I was going to use a horse skull, but I have already converted a couple of miniatures with those already, so thought I would try a human skull instead.
The final pair of Land Speeders, still with their original Mark VI crew.
The Slaves to Darkness army list entry for mounting personalties and squads on vehicles.
The artwork of a hover board riding Renegade on page 258 of Slaves to Darkness...
...which inspired me with the idea of creating it. The artwork already matched a Renegade miniature, albeit facing left instead of right. So I picked up a Citadel Judge Dredd range hover board and here is the miniature. Not really much of a conversion, but a nice idea. He will end up with the Alpha Legion as well. 
Page 167 of Slaves to Darkness. This illustration, and the entry below it, detail the Slaaneshi Legions, with the names of the Legions, banners, armour colours, and a little background. It suggests that the Alpha Legion wear green armour (maybe with some red trim), whilst the Iron Warriors wear a mid blue, and the Emperor's Children a mix of colours (also detailed in the rest of the book). I will be paint the Legion like this as they meant to be in the 1988 to 1991 approach, rather than how the Traitor Legions colour schemes evolved in the background over the years since. I will do a blog update about my approach to all the Legions at a later date.

Next update will be more Traitor Legion stuff, and maybe even with some painted!

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Rogue Trader style Chaos Dreadnought fan sculpt.

Just a quick update to show something I purchased off of e-Bay. I will be posting a proper update later in the month.

As many of you are aware, I am currently sorting through my Rogue Trader era Chaos Space Marine Legions with an aim to have a 10,000 point army for each of the nine Traitor Legions, taken from the Slaves to Darkness and Lost and the Damned books, as well as relevant White Dwarf articles of the time. I will be only using miniatures from the time, although I am using some of the more modern bases as I was never happy with some of the bases at the time, and some of the basing was also a little erratic then.

Whilst browsing Twitter I read a tweet concerning fan sculpts, and saw a fan sculpted Chaos Dreadnought, sculpted in the same style as the original Citadel one from 1989, originally sculpted by Alan Perry. The fan sculpt was sculpted by Drew Day Williams, who has sculpted some items for a small company named Troll Soup  https://www.trollsoup.com/ . He also has sculpted a some resin tributes to the original (non-Chaos) Space Marine Dreadnought, the Imperial Robots range, and a metal sculpt based on the Siege Robot artwork from the Rogue Trader rulebook, all of which seem to sadly be no longer available. I purchased the Chaos Dreadnought from a seller on e-Bay whom I have dealt with on many an occasion. Here is the link:

The miniature is made of a good quality resin (no Finecast nonsense!). Size wise it is a lot larger than the original (see the photographs below), as were the other of Drew Day Williams resin sculpts. It does make for a very imposing miniature. The detailing and closeness to the original is superb. It is a very similar looking sculpt to the original, but with crisper and clearer casting. 

Quite what I am going to do with this lovely behemoth I'm not sure. As I am planning to have the Legions composed solely of 1987 to 1991 miniatures (except for the bases) then it doesn't fit, but it is nice have, and will be fun to paint. I am considering selecting one of the nine Legions to include this and the fan sculpted Siege Robots, and well as anything else I might acquire. Alternately, I might use them as the basis for a tenth 10,000 point army, perhaps representing a composite Legionary force, or one based on the late rogue Trader era  'World Eater Ravagers' list.
Enjoy :)

Chaos Dreadnought fan sculpt.
It is mounted on a Citadel 60mm round plastic base.
Size Comparison with the original Chaos Dreadnought and a (converted) Chaos Legionary.
The original Chaos Dreadnought is mounted on a citadel 50mm round plastic base.
Left side with the claw.
Rear view with the very organic looking exhaust/power pack.
Right side with the heavy plasma gun.
Pre-assembly size comparison with the original Chaos Dreadnought sculpt.

Next update will be more basing and showcasing of the Chaos Legions. I am still not getting around to any painting at the moment (I'm still renovating the house and working), but I am basing up a lot of Chaos Legionaries. Last week I based scores of Chaos Daemons, and the week before over 100 Rogue Trader era Chaos Terminators. This week I am working through their less armoured Power Armoured brethren, as well as Jet Bikes/Cycles, and Chaos Steeds.

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

A few more Rogue Trader era/Slaves to Darkness conversions

 I am still in the process of sorting out my Rogue Trader era Chaos Space Marines into their respective armies. I am looking to revisit my Rogue Trader Traitor Legion project which I started way back in 2015/2016 (well, in 1988 if we want to go way back!).

The idea is to have a 10,000 point army list for each of the nine Traitor Legions taken from the Slaves to Darkness and Lost and the Damned books, including the Chaos Terminator list from White Dwarf number 116, as well as additional tank rule entries (Vindicator, Sabre, etc). This might seem overly ambitious, but by the time one adds 3,000 points of Daemons, at least a 1,000 points of Terminators, and a few tanks (750 points for a Land Raider!), then you're quite way there already!

Anyway, as I am tinkering with things, but alas not painting, I thought I would share some of the conversions I am doing as I go. There aren't major conversions, but they are done to add some of the more usual weapons from the army lists to miniatures, or to just add a variety to the army's look. I am also adding milliput to all of the bases to give them a little texture and a less flat feel.

Enjoy :)

Chaos Renegade Character with Displacer Cannon!
In the Heavy Weapon Charts for characters it's is possible to equip characters with all sorts of Heavy Weapons. One of the weapons you rarely see outside Eldar forces is the D-Cannon, so I thought it might be nice to see one. I used the gun section from the RT404 Eldar  D-Cannon set, and drilled and pinned to his hands. 
Chaos Renegade Character with a Grenade Launcher.
Again, not a standard issue weapon but this weapon was part of the Chaos Renegade Heavy Weapons releases, so I thought it would be nice to include one.
Rear view.
I added a spare loyalist Space Marine pack pack with cloak to give that extra bit of style. I think it goes well with his visor shades!
Chaos Renegade Character with a Heavy Webber.
Citadel never made a Heavy Webber model, so at the time I converted this one from the old metal Las-Cannon, and two plastic should pads from the 'Strike Force' box set. It was originally wielded by a Loyalist Space Marine character, which I have now paint stripped, and so, with a little modification, I decided to recycle it into a Traitor Legion.
This a simple head swap conversion, swapping the skull helmet head for a Flesh Hound head.
Another head swap, again swapping the skull helmet, but this time replacing it with a plastic undead horse head. I have also added a Juggernaut equipment lance in place of a backpack for use as a standard bearer.
Rear view (although the standard looks a little bend, something I didn't notice whilst photographing).
Chaplain with Daemon or Chaos weapon.
This is a Loyalist Chaplain miniature, but unfortunately the thin sword he had snapped off. So I replaced it by drilling and pinning a Chaos Terminator Captain's  Daemon Sword in it's place. I also added the Chaos backpack to give him that extra Chaotic look.
I plan to use him as a Major Hero Chaplain in the Word Bearer Legion, although arming him with a Daemon Sword would push his points value up to 996 points!
A Medic conversion with Chaos Weapon.
Again a broken old model, this time a Chainsword missing, which I replaced with a plastic Skaven blade from the Warhammer Regiments box set.
A second broken Medic, again missing a Chainsword and again with a Fantasy Regiments Skaven blade.
A head swap Character, using one of the skull helmet/heads from one of the head swaps above. I have added a Juggernaut equipment Chaos Sword in replacement of a backpack.
Rear view.
Not much of a conversion really, I have just moved the renegades legs a little to give the impression of movement, and added another Juggernaut equipment lance.
Rear view.
A simple arm swap for a Chaos Terminator Captain.
I just swapped his bolter and Daemon Sword for Lightning Claws. As with all my intention for all my Terminators, I have placed him on a Citadel 32mm base, which I think gives them a little bit more room. I have never thought the 25mm bases suited them, but also considered the 40mm bases a little too large for Rogue Trader era Terminators.
Emperor's Children Possessee.
Not really much of a conversion, but I wanted to show what I plan for Traitor Legion Possessees. This is just a normal Slaaneshi Renegade, with a  Juggernaut equipment sword on his back. I have mounted him on a 40mm round base, and built up the milliput a little, to give him that extra battlefield presence. I have used the Slaaneshi miniature which is closest to the one in the illustration in the Emperor's Children army list entry in Slaves to Darkness.
Rear view showing the Juggernaut equipment sword.
Head swapped and reposed Slaaneshi riding beast. I have several of these without heads, and so plan to add undead plastic horse skulls from the Skeleton Army box set, and then use the mounts for officers.
Not a conversion at all! I just waned to show what he looks like on a slightly built up 32mm base. With a little milliput and on the bigger bases they do have a greater battlefield presence and really brings out the relative size in relation to power armour.
These are just a pair of Paranoia range bots which I have had for years, and thought that they would work nicely.

Next update will be more Traitor Legion preparation work.