Thursday, 12 November 2015

The Traitor Legions: Rogue Trader Renegades.

I love the Horus Heresy.

I love the epic feel of it all, the hordes of Space Marines battling it out over a thousands of planets, the Siege of Terra, and the mixed elements of Chaos and betrayal where both sides feel they are right. Most of all I like the Legions themselves and the design of the old Rogue Trader miniatures.

Now whilst I have enjoyed many of the recent GW books, and the Forgeworld models, my heart (and soul, which I pledged to Chaos long ago!) belongs to the Horus Heresy of the Rogue Trader era. It is the baroque and odd sculpts of the Chaos Renegades from the 'Slaves to Darkness' and 'The Lost and the Damned' era which I grew up with and most associate with when I think of the Horus Heresy, and which I like the best.

At the time (the 1980's, not 30,000AD!) I collected a few Renegades and fielded a rather lacklustre Black Legion army, mainly becuase I was waiting for ages for 'The Lost and the Damned' to be released so I could field a Nurgle army. By the time it was released, I had focused on other things, and only came back to collecting Chaos Renegades in the later 1990's/early 2000's.
By the 2000's I decided to just collect the one army, but collect the entire Detachment army list as per 'Slaves to Darkness'. I decided on a Khornate Force of World Eaters as I liked the colour palette and the straight forward no-nonsense apporach of the Legion. As always with me I changed my mind and then switched to the Slaaneshi Emperor's Children, and a few years ago (2012/3) launched a failed attempt to "just paint them all up and be done with it". This failed as I ran out of steam and I realised that this was'nt the best approach.

Now I have decided to re-visit the Horus Heresy as I felt I was in need of a project to focus on. I have decided to split up the large amount of Renegades I had collected over the years (far more than just one lists worth) and split them down into four armies, one for each of the Chaos Powers. Over the last couple of weeks I have been sorting out my Chaos Renegade collection into their respective lists, and spend far too much on e-bay picking up odds and ends.

I have decided I am not going to collect a Son of Horus/Black Legion army as well. Leaving aside the effort and cost involved in buying another 176 Renegades,  I wanted to just field one army for each of the major Chaos Powers. I might do an add-on Sons of HorusTerminator force at some point, but that will be some time away.

The four Legions of the Chaos Powers is no small project.  I can however split it up into several smaller and more managable projects, but each managable project is still a fair size. For instance the World Eater detachment list (excluding Techmarines) requires 128 Marines, whilst the Emperor's Children demands no less than 160 Marines. This current project involves the finishing the collecting, and painting, of a grand total of 352 Renegades, and 62 Terminators. That's not including any Techmarines, Jet bikes, Riding creatures, Dreadnoughts, and the tanks. I am pleased to say I am most of the way to finishing the collecting part, with approximately 25 Renegades, and 20 Terminators left to buy.

Of course, the collecting has involved getting specific miniatures, with the correct number of Heavy Bolters, Missile Launchers, Bolt Gun armed Marines, etc. Also, if you decide to upgade any of the weapons in a particular type of squad, all of those types of squads have to have. For example, replacing one of the two Missile Launchers in an Emperor's Children Devastator Squad for a Las-Cannon, means making sure each squad has one, meaning six Chaos style Las-Cannons.
For the Nurgle and Tzeentch forces in 'The Lost and the Damned' there is a different challenge. The lists themselves are open ended in that there are no maximum number of Marine squads that you can take. So rather than just randomly collecting Nurgle/Tzeentch Marines I decided to collect the seven squads for the Death Guard (seven being the the number of Nurgle) and nine for Tzeentch (nine being Tzeentch's sacred number).

Finally, I am sometimes something of a purest when it comes to painting up/collecting old miniatures. If I am going to collect and assemble an authentic army of the time, or finish off a project from the 1980's, then no modern additions. For this project that means using the proper 1980's backpacks, heavy weapons, old sized bases, and any converstions are done using old Rogue Trader items. I don't have a problem when other people combine modern items with older miniatures, but I personally like to keep things as it would have been when I was collecting at the time. So all  of the miniatures I am using are therefore Citadel 1991 or earlier, being overwhelmingly from the 1988/9 Renegades releases.
I've been listening to this to get me in that Traitor Legion mood :)
With that in mind I picked 1991 as a cut off point. This was after all of the Renegades miniatures had been released, just after the first Noise Marine and Jes Goodwin's four 1990 concept models for the later Chaos Marines, . It is also before the end of Rogue Trader where a  lot of the miniatures leant towards the 2nd Edition 40k stylings,which for me began in September 1992 with the World Eater Ravagers list and the increasing use of Mark VII Marines in loyalist forces. It is also after Space Marines finally got their Toughness 4 upgrade which is something I feel they should have had from the beginning.

So what follows is what I have been sorting out into the Legions so far. I have most of the miniatures required, except the the Thousand Sons, which are going to be an ongoing project. One final note concerns tanks and vehicles. I have lots of Rhinos, Predators, and three Land Raiders, but for the time being I am only going to focus on painting the Renegades, Dreadnoughts, and Jetbikes/riding creatures. I will allocate and paint the vehicles up later as I am unsure how many to allocate for each list.

Enjoy :)
The World Eaters.
World Eater Tactical and Devastaor Squads.
The legion has eight Tactical Squads and two Devastaor squads, all of eight Marines each (eight, and it's divisions/multiples being sacred to Khorne).
I have about half dozen Renegades the post via e-bay, so I am about complete for these.
Two of the four required Assault squads (who are subject to frenzy due to their devotion to Khorne). They will be equipped with 1980's Marine Jump Packs, of which I have quite a few (see the photograph further down this update).
The other two Assault squads are to be mounted on Jetbikes, and 'Chaos Steeds' (see further below).
A selection of the World Eater Officers.
Both the World Eaters and Emperor's Children require 16 officers. I have two more Juggernaught riders in the post (told you I have been shopping on e-bay!).
A selection of the Khornate Marines.
As with all of the Legions, I have tried to use the appropriate renegades for each of the Chaos Powers, with a spinkling of generic Renegades and the odd Chaos Warrior and odd looking Space Marine.
I will be painting the World Eaters a mix of red, black, and brass, the colours of Khorne, rather than to any uniform scheme.
Assault Renegade on 'Chaos Steed'.
World Eaters Assault/Tactical Squads can be upgraded with Chaos Steeds (which don't have to be taken by all of the same type of squad in the army).
Orginally the mounted Renegades were supplied on big plastic horses, but I thought I might use the Limited Edition riding Lizards from 1987. I have ten of these, and was going to use them for my Fantasy Slann army, but I think they look better here.
I have enough Renegades to mount on the Riding Lizards.
The other Assault squad is to be mounted on eight Jet bikes, the Mark 14 Bullock Jet Cycles .
I have nine of these, so one of the Officers will get a bike too.
It;s interesting to note (well for me!) that it is the Mark 14 Jet Cycles which are listed as the upgrade rather than any other Jet Cycle.
I though I would equip the Word Eaters with the older Mark 14 Bullock Jet Cycles as I envision them with the older and trusted equipment. The Emperor's Children are to get the snazzy 'new' Jet bikes from 1989.

The Emperor's Children.

Pictured here are all six Devastator Squads required by the Legion, and nine of the required twelve Tactical Squads. Each squad is six Renegades strong, six being the sacred number of Slaanesh.
The remaining three Tactical squads are mounted Renegades who will be riding Mounts of Slaanesh (see further down).
As you can see I did attempt to paint the all The Emperor's Children in the purple colour scheme. However they will now end up in a riot of mixe colours in the style of the 1980's renegades, with only perhaps the occasional piece of purple amour.
Four of the six required Assault squads, they too will be equiped with Jump Packs.
Of the remaining two Assault squads, one squad will join the three Tactical Squads riding on Mounts of Slaanesh, whilst the other squad will take to the skies on Jet Bikes.
A few of the The Emperor's Children officers.
Twenty four Mounts of Slaanesh.
They will be split down into four squads of six, and each unit will have Mounts painted in similar colours to tell each squad apart.
Thirty six of the mounted renegaes.
I have another five in the post, and aim to convert up a few footslogger Renegades. I am about up to number for the required mounted renegades, might need the odd extra two or three once I have sorted out all the odds and ends.

The Death Guard.
Over the weekend I painted sixteen Death Guard Marines, although I still need to check the detailing, varnish, and base them.
I have have gone for the old Rogue Trader Death Guard/Nurgle colour scheme of white/green armour with red trim.
As per the list in 'The Lost and the Damned', the Death Guard Marines are organised into squads of five. 
I am pleased to have been able to use the Grenade Launcher option for the Marines, as it was supplied with Heavy Weapon Renegades, but could only be used by character models in the World Eater and The Emperor's Children lists.
The rest of the Death Guard Force on the painting table: fourteen Death Guard Marines, one Dreadnought, one beast of Nurgle, and twenty one bases of Nurglings.
I did spread the Nurgilings out a bit, four of five per base, as I think they look better like that than too overcrowded.

The Thousand Sons.
I don't, as of yet, have a lot of Thousand Sons Renegades.
At the time I never really collected them, and have only now started to sort out an army. I was never really drawn to Tzeentch, but after spending time looking at the miniatures and reading The Lost and the Damned again, I am warming to Tzeentch and the Thousand Sons more., but that's probably part of Tzeentchs scheming! ;)
The plan is to have nine squads (the sacred number of Tzeentch) of five marines.
I will be painting the Thousand Sons last as I need to collect them first! I will however probably paint the odd one now and again...
... and with that idea, here's a test model I painted (still WIP).
I wanted to give a blended colour to the armour, something I will be doing on all the Thousand Sons, using blues and purples of various shades.
I plan to keep the shoulder pad red, with the 'M' roman numeral on it, signifying the Thousands Sons.

In addition to the Renegades in the Slaves to Darkness lists, GW published an add-on list to include Chaos Terminators.
The add-on list specified four squads of five Terminators, and one Terminator Captain, making twenty one. I have collected one of these lists for each of the two Slaves Darkness Armies, making forty two Terminators, as shown above.
Concerning the Death Guard and Thousand Sons, their Terminators are'nt drawn from this list, but are intergral to the lists in The Lost and the Damned, which are slightly different in their compostion. I will over time add a couple of squads of Terminators to the Death Guard and Thousand Sons, but only two squads as I am collecting smaller armies for them than the World Eaters and Emperor's Children.
Big pile of Terminator arms. I have enough arms for all of them.
The Terminator add-on army list, published in White Dwarf #116 (August 1989).
Four Chaos Dreanoughts.
These are great, organic and Chaos looking sculpts, which suit the Renegades well.
Please not I found a claw arm for the one on the left after I took this photograph.
I also have some bits of a Chaos Dreanought I am going to convert up into a Tzeentch Dreadnough with fungoid body.
I want to add more Dreadnoughts to armies over time.
Lots of Jet bikes...
...and lots of Jump packs for the Assault squads.

 I have already started painting the small Death Guard deetachment, and hope to have them finished in the next week or so. I have started with them to get me started with the painting, and because it's a small project to start. So next blog update should be on the Death Guard.


Just as I was preparing to post this blog update the postman arrived with reinforcements!
Two more Champions of Khorne on Juggernaughts; two Tzeentch Champions; and a Snakeman who will I am going to convert up into a Slaaneshi Champion, taken from an idea by Mark Elster on 'The Emporium of Rogue Dreams' Facebook Group.


  1. I'm in awe, and in shock, and jealous, and stunned...
    It's taken me some time to collect all RT chaos models and it got me to about 70 models but you're on a totally whole olther scale here. This is madness.
    Your project is excellent though and I'm convinced no other man can you could come up with such a plan AND complete it.
    All my support is for you Lee.

    1. Thank you, and you're right JB it is a mad project to undertake!

      I've always wanted to properly collect and paint up a Chaos Renegade army. I like the background to the Horus Heresy and have been inspired by 1980's artwork of the time. The look and design of the miniatures helps too as they are unsual and have more of a Chaotic feel to them than perhaps some of the more modern miniatures.

      There's been and element of luck for me collecting Renegades.
      I started off in the 1980's collecting a few here and there, and so was able to start collecting at the time of Slaves to Darkness. When Citadel changed over the Chaos Marines range in about 1994/5 I bought a load in ones of their sales. After that I added gradually over the 1990's, and knew a couple of people who dealt in second hand miniatures, and so that helped.

      In the 2000's I was able to buy a lot more on e-bay before the prices went to high. I started collecting to create a larger army about 2007/8 and managed to collect so many Renegades that it made more sense to split down the collection into seperate armies and then work from there.
      Recently, everything is more expensive on e-bay, but I am still adding things here and there.

      It's going to be a big but enjoyable project. It will be good for me to focus on something and get it done, and to finally have a Chaos Renegade force as they would have been in the Rogue Trader era of my youth, for each of the Chaos Powers.

  2. What Asslessman said. Beautiful collection, I especially like the dreadnought pack, I've not seen that many in one shot!

    1. Thank you,
      I do like the Chaos Dreadnoughts, they really fit in well with the Renegades. I do have a few spare bits for a fifth Chaos Dreadnought, mainly the torso and arms. I am working of a conversion from these parts to build a Tzeentch Dreadnought with a fungoid body.

  3. Delightful!! Wow, this is absolutely amazing, I'm shocked! Wow, you have some work ahead...

    1. Yes, lots of painting ahead, but I think it will be worth all the effort in the end. I was painting up Nurglings for the Death Guard last night which was fun!

  4. An incredible, awe-inspiring project you have set for yourself, Mr. Goblin Lee! Amazing. It will be glorious watching these forces come into being. And I already love your Death Guard! Perhaps, once the project is done, a no-holds-barred, epic four-way battle as a celebration for such an astounding accomplishment?!

    1. It is a very ambitious project. Glad you like the Death Guard. I have had the day off work today and been painting more of them, including the Nurglings.

      I like the idea of a four way battle as a celebration, however I have another thing planned. After painting the forces of Heresy are completed, I have a couple hundred loyalist Marines to paint up (probably as Ultramarines), so in about a year to 18 months time I might organise a vast battle of the Horus Heresy.

  5. Absolutely amazing project lee!! I love these models! I will be watching this grabs project with great interest!!

    1. Thank you, I share your love of these miniatures.
      I think they are a great range and really remind me of the Rogue Trader style of the Horus Heresy I grew up with. I have largely finished the Death Guard and so will be posting photographs of them next.

  6. Great stuff! I also just got started with the Renegades :)
    Like your mix with e.g. Chaos Champions and normal Space Marines. This will be fun to follow!

  7. I thought that mixing in a few Chaos Champions would add that extra Chaos to the armies, as well as make the Officers a little different from the massed ranks of the Legion. Glad you like the idea.

    I like your Nurgle Renegade, really unusual colour scheme.