Thursday 31 August 2023

Praetorian Imperial Guard/Astra Militarum test models.

 I have recently been re-reading a few of my books on nineteenth century British colonial wars, and this, coupled with a conversation on the Steampunk genre with a friend of mine, had got me thinking on my old Warhammer 40k Praetorian Imperial Guard (now Astra Militarium) army. So I decided to revisit the army.

This was an army which I always liked and wanted to collect at the time, and back in the 2000's I finally assembled and painted an army. However, I was never pleased with the result, and last year I paint stripped the whole lot!  When considering their re-painting I was always torn between the classic Nineteenth Century British and iconic 40k Praetorian Red Coat look (think of the films Zulu, and Zulu Dawn, as well as a lot of Steampunk and nineteenth century art), and the later nineteenth century khaki colour (more the films Young Winston, the Four Feathers (1939 version), Khartoum, and the whole Edwardian 'Boys Own' era of illustrations). I decided to go for the khaki, as it would be easier to paint, less cliched and Zulu war looking than the red, and also I like the look. But after looking at Google photographs, and watching Youtube painting videos, I thought I might try out a couple of red coated chaps out of interest.

...and then I ended up going for the red coats.

By following a couple of Youtube painting guides, it turned out that the red coated look was not as difficult as it seems, nor as complicated it was when I painted them the first time. They also looked quite good, not Golden Demon standard, but good enough for gaming, which is the plan. I am enjoying using the painting guides for a change, and also following GW's suggested sets of colours, which I am finding quite useful.

So anyway,  I am going for the red coats scheme, with blue for artillery troops, and rifle green for  special weapons. I do still plan on painting a platoon of Praetorians, and a heavy weapons squad, in the khaki, just for variation.

Below are the links to the Warhammer/GW Youtube videos, (just ignore the rather silly conversions of  'Praetorians' they used!).

My plan at the moment is paint a couple of platoons, a few Las Cannons teams, a tank, and a few odds and ends, just to make a start. I am looking to start either a 1980s Iron Claw Goblin project or a Mithril Miniatures Orc project soon, and so I am not too concerned about completing the Praetorians yet. I want to dip in and out of this project, and as I am planning to replace my old tanks with newer ones, and I am looking to do this gradually rather than spending a lot of money on tanks for an army for 40k which I might not be playing for a while at the moment.

Enjoy :)

Praetorian Infantry Squad.
Sergeant and Grenade Launcher.
The lighting was a little bad (English Summer!) and so they look a little darker than they actually are.
Rear rank Lasguns.
Front rank Lasguns.
Heavy bolter.
I don't really like the gun shield on the heavy bolters, and they are a bit of a faff, so I left them off. Also, they are slightly reminiscent of the nineteenth century Maxim gun. 
A couple of random test miniatures, a bugler, and flamer. I wanted to pick a colour for flamers, and so I selected yellow and decided to see how it looks, which I like.
Las cannon.
As mentioned above, I have opted for a Royal Artillery blue uniform for the Heavy Weapon teams which are not part of infantry or command squads. To tie-in with the rest of the army I have painted the epaulettes and jacket cuffs the same red as the infantry tunics, and the same off-white for the belts/pouches.
Rear view.

Special weapon squad Melta gun.
To add a little more colour and nineteenth century Britishness to the army, I wanted to have some troops in a Rifle Green. I thought having the Special Weapon squads might fit as they fulfil a light infantry role on the battlefield. As they are small squads, and small in numbers, they should not detract from the whole look of the army.
Rear view.
I went for a more muted look, with black for the epaulettes and belts, and a more subtle use of red on the cuffs just to tie-in with the rest of the army (which was also used in for the British Royal Rifle Corp in the latter part of the nineteenth century).
Khaki test model.
I was going for the Sudan 1898/Boer War look with this, with a khaki uniform and white belts. I also painted the Lasgun khaki because it just seemed to fit.
I used Vallejo Khaki for the uniform, shaded with Nuln oil, and re-highlighted with khaki.

Rear view.
A close up of the base.
I have used a lot of GW's Bracken and human skulls on the bases. I chose the bracken to give a harsh terrain and scrubland feel to the bases, rather than a plain desert look. 
The actual bases were a three stage process:
1. Citadel Colour Technical Armageddon Dust.
2.Citadel Colour Contrast wash over the above.
3. Dry brush of Citadel Colour Layer Ushabti Bone.

The next update will be more Praetorians, As mentioned, I am looking to start either an Iron Claw Goblin, or a Mithril Orc project soon, and so I am also sorting out both of those as well.