Monday, March 20, 2017
+ Find part I here [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+] +
Basilikoi and a Legion Tactical Muster of Iron Warriors advance through the gantries, taking ineffectual potshots at the Imperial Fists.
The smouldering wreck of the lead Predator causes a bottleneck to form, with infantry scattering out of the way of heavier engines of war.
Sporadic return fire from the Fists is baffled by hard armour and obscuring girders.
...all except for the unfortunate multimelta support squad, who are reduced to two men. True to the Iron Warriors' cold logic, they remain stalwart under fire.
Stoic and grim-visage, the Imperial Fist defenders reload.
Hekaton Zodios, the Leviathan Dreadnought, pushes forward, acting as a shield for his comrades. Heavy artillery fire from the graviton cannon rapiers damages both Land Raiders.
The Iron Warriors rush into cover as the Custodes close in; both parties spit fire at each other, but no casualties result.
As the damage to the Land Raiders increases, courtesy of repeated grav-blasts from the Rapiers, the Breachers deploy and advance down the narrow alleyways.
Lehtoldus himself, Praetor of the Imperial Fists Legion, and champion of this section of the wall, deploys from his personal Land Raider and moves to join the Breachers.
Eyes and hearts aglow, the Custodes weather the Iron Warriors unrelenting firepower as they close.
Both sides push for the incremental advantage necessary in Legion warfare.
The streets become clogged with smoke and bodies.
Hyperion signals the charge, and overwatch fire pours out, baffled by the precociously-advanced Custodes armour.
Letholdus and the Breachers escape the damaged Land Raiders just in time, as Hekaton Zodios comes barrelling in to destroy them with his siege drill.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
+ inload: Minos Madrigon +
Ignoring the crew's and serf's ritual obesiance, I walk steadily through the bridge, measuring my pace. I had found myself adopting a creeping, tense way of moving about in the days after the treachery, and was determined to reassert mastery.
I don't feel comfortable here, and by the creak of the heavy black wood of the stairway beneath my feet, it is clear the machine-spirit of the Nereid feels much the same. Reaching and mounting a gantry, I keep my head fixed forward, though I am aware of the Immortal's gaze following me until my ascent takes me out of his line of vision.
I had been taught that the Astartes were a precious resource. Indeed, we are celebrated, recorded, as humanity's shining champions. I had always felt a little discomfort at the reception with which we were met on worlds after Compliance. The pomp. The parades. The crowds. Always a little... I cannot put words to it.
Isstvan, however, put the lie to that; demonstrating just how expendable we were to humanity at the end. Not the battle. Not the war. No, by the fact that the crews of the ships in orbit seemed all too hasty to leave so many behind. I couldn't know for sure, but our evacuation, scattered and unplanned, had taken less than a tenth of the time as deployment. How could two Legions – and the heart of a third – have been safely lifted?
Impossible. The retreat from the black soil of Isstvan had been a scramble – rescue boats seemed only too happy to translate away once they had what their commanders considered a suitable load.
In the more saturnine moments to which I ration myself, I ask whether I would have done differently than the Nereid's Captain? Hanging in space, unsure of whether the craft around us – let alone the soldiers we had allowed on board – were allies or enemies, would I have stood firm? Would I have done so if I suspected my lord and his coterie were dead, and confronted with a superior demanding to take command?
Hm. A suitable load. A mixed Company of Iron Hands and a few waifs and strays. Less than a quarter of the craft's potential capacity, given the now-empty cargo holds. There are still Salamanders on board, of course, but they are outnumbered nearly twenty to one by the other Legionaries. All but a skeleton crew had descended to the surface in the assault; and of the remainder, half had semi-mutinied and scrambled to the surface after contact was reported lost with their own Primarch.
Upon finding the Salamanders had all but abandoned the craft, Arrowsmith had assumed command. The Nereid's Captain – a wiry, sunken-eyed man – had seemed distracted, uninterested. He stumbled off the bridge as though mazed. His movements were stilted; like broken clockwork. I am no expert in human psychology, but the situation had been less... tense than anticipated. He had retreated here, to the observation deck slightly fore and above the bridge. Here he had stood, gazing intently at nothing, until he was gently escorted to his quarters by aides.
I do not wrestle with melancholy. I subdue it. It is in the nature of the Tenth – even one like myself – to do so. Nevertheless, In such circumstances, I am glad of the observation deck. It is not exactly a distraction as a reminder of scale. The vacuum of sorrow is made more humble – though no less unwelcome – by a comparison with the yawning emptiness of the void.
The prow of the Nereid is mounted with stylised rose-gold girders that bear away into that emptiness of the void. The lines are clean and proud; extending outwards to form the maw of a monstrous wyrm. Ostentatious, to my eye, though I admit little appreciation of artistry. It was, after all, a craft of the XVIII Legion, though no home to them now.
I confess. Here I brood. If three Legions could rebel, were they best not left on the surface of that isolated planet on which they quarantined themselves? As a man, would I have unleashed Exterminatus on the surface?
Steps behind me, measured as were mine. I tense, though make an effort to appear at ease, my arms crossed as I lean on the ornamental balustrade. I would not jump at shadows, nor admit to suspicion of treachery. Not in my brothers. Not even if they suspected it in me. That way lies madness.
"It is stylised after the Heliosan style," the other begins, settling himself on the rail a little way further along. His voice is duskily accented, and for a moment I remember Catabin, his blood wet and cloying on the black rocks. "The dragon, I mean. The prow."
Standing as I turn, I meet the gaze of a helmed Iron Hand. No. Yes.
The dust and wear of Isstvan is still heavy on black plate. This is not unusual; many – particularly the Lodge members, like Triumph – have taken terrible and binding oaths to retain the damage and patina of Isstvan until such time as it could be avenged. Childish. As though it could be forgotten. As though it can be avenged.
But his armour pattern is unfamiliar, and his iconography unclear. His clan symbol faces away from me, hidden by his bulk.
"You are thinking of the Captain." He continues, and I bristle. That the Clan-Commander was spying on me was pathetic enough. That he sent emissaries to interrogate me was worse.
"Arrowsmi-" I begin, but the other cuts me off.
"The ship's captain. Orioso, late of the Nereid," he clarifies. That shut me up. A psychic, then. Librarius. "Yes to the first, no to the second." His voice betrays a smile, though the words still sound odd. He continues. "Should Orioso – he and the Navy, that is – have argued against the Astartes cleaning house in person? For that is, in truth, at the core of the assault. There was a statement to be made. Honour to be upheld."
I narrow my eyes. I detect no mockery in his voice. Why is he asking something the Clans had debated back and forth? "Had we held back and bombarded Isstvan, we could not have reported to Lord Dorn that the traitors were brought to justice. Deployment was necessary," I said, warily. He merely nods, his gaze still outwards.
"True. Nothing could have guaranteed the Sons, and the Children, and the Hounds – the Eaters, I mean – were felled. Would you trust any malignancy to fell the Death Lord? I would not. We would have faced an eternity half-suspecting that some had escaped." He pauses. "But it was, nevertheless, a luxurious necessity."
"You object? You did not relish a chance to restore your honour?"
He snorts. "No. And nor did you."
"Librarius or not, if you are psychic, you know I have little honour in the Legion." He nods again at this, but distractedly. "You also know your 'talents' are prohibited." A pause develops. I was annoyed, placelessly. This intruder had put off my meditations. "What do you want?" He unfolded at that; stood up, as though surprised.
"Companionship?" He said, unguardedly. I hesitated, unsure if this were a question, or a test. "I apologise for the slip – I am used to my time with Medardus, who now plays Achilles, sulking in his tent, and brooks no disturbance. I merely sought brotherhood with another close to him. Nothing more. Brotherhood. There is precious little on this ship. Precious little amongst the Astartes."
I did not know what to say to this odd confession. In the pause, my martial instinct kicked in. Was he an infiltrator? "If you require guidance on morale, the Chaplaincy is wh-" He cut me off once more, and settled back onto the railing, looking forward.
"No, no matter. I mean no harm. A simple yearning for simpler times, perhaps. When there was no need to suspect those beside you." He turned that strange, archaic helm towards me, knowingly. "When we walked the storm on Terra. When we bore the lightning."
"Yes, I see you do." His voice brightens, loses that strange, wistful tone. "Brighter times, when the enemy was to your fore and the Emperor, blessed-be-his-name, was lock-step besides you." He rose once more, bowed lightly. "I apologise for any disturbance; brother."
I nod as he turned to walk away, that unfamiliar clan-sigil nagging at me. I watched him reach the stairway, place his black gauntlet on the guardrail, and watched until he passed out of sight.
We spent a long time within the Nereid; six months sidereal, but the experience felt more exposed than usual to me. Void travel usually felt like burial – the ships of the Tenth sealed the shutters tight, squeezing what cold starlight fell on our craft out. Not so on the Nereid. It had no shutters to close.
+ Minos Madrigon +
+ An enigmatic addition to the force, I really enjoyed putting this figure together. A few details are intended to hint at his origins – along with a couple of red herrings! +
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
+ inload: Blood Bowl playtest teams +
+ Valley Dwarf Teams +
+ Not all Dwarfs dwell in their mountain fastnesses – after all, someone's got to grow the beer-barley and tend the livestock for feasts. While most dwarf settlements in the valleys are small, insular and tied strongly to a nearby Stronghold, some have grown large and independent enough to operate as thriving market towns, inviting trade, cultural exchange and – of course – Blood Bowl. Dwarf teams of the valleys tend to play a less defensive and more mobile game; though they are still dwarfs, with the concomitant advantages and disadvantages! +
Cost MA ST AG AV Skills
0–16 Linemen 70,000 5 3 3 8 Dump Off, Thick Skull
0–4 Running backs 80,000 6 3 3 8 Sure Hands, Dump-Off, Thick Skull
0–4 Blitzers 80,000 5 3 3 9 Block, Thick Skull
0–8 Re-roll counters: 60,000 gold pieces each
+ Skill access +
Linemen G SAP
Runners GP SA
Blitzers GS AP
+ Famous Valley Dwarf Teams +
+ Bryn's End Ravens +
+ Pant-y-Gyrdl Tanglers +
+ Be-Neath +
+ Designer's Notes +
+ Less well-armoured and disciplined than regular Dwarfs, but better at handling the ball, Valley Dwarf teams have younger linemen in place of longbearded blockers. This makes them faster and more nimble, but less hard-hitting (with access to S skills only on a double) and more vulnerable to injury. +
+ Broad starting access to dump-off is their answer to lack of block – by opening up their area of play, they force the opposing coach to make decisions on where to throw their blitz – as the ball is unlikely to end-up where they want it! +
+ Valley Dwarf teams that can afford to build up their specialist players can play a strong running game, and even try a passing game in a pinch. Opponents would be well-advised to focus on the dangerous running backs early on in a league, before the Valley Dwarfs can capitalise on general dwarf toughness. +
+ Suggested starting line-up +
2 Running Backs
2 Team re-rolls
Fan Factor 5
+ Stormcast Eternal Teams +
+ Like all good-thinking gods, Sigmar is a keen Blood Bowl enthusiast. While most Stormcast Eternals are spirited away from their home-planes and reforged into mighty warriors, Sigmar also summons the greatest athletes, girding them with Sigmarite shoulderpads and jockstraps before sending them to do battle on the gridirons of the Mortal Realms. +
Cost MA ST AG AV Skills
0–16 Stormcast Impeders 80,000 5 4 3 9 Dauntless
0–2 Stormcast Precipitators 90,000 5 4 3 9 Nerves of Steel, Strong Arm
0–4 Stormcast Apprehenders 100,000 6 3 3 9 Nerves of Steel, Sure Hands
0–8 Re-roll counters: 60,000 gold pieces each
+ Skill access +
Impeder GS AP
Precipitator GSP A
Apprehender GS AP
+ Famous Stormcast Eternal Teams +
+ Celestial Bulls +
+ Chic-Cargo Beareaters +
+ Western Hammers of Sigmar +
+ Designer's Notes +
+ The Stormcast Eternals are a slow team to start up; you're unlikely to get more than one specialist in a starting team, and you'll be heavily reliant on luck to do much with the ball. On the other hand, the Impeders are excellent all-round linemen/blockers – arguably the best in the game. Similarly, the Apprehenders combine a Runner/Catcher role, while the Precipitators serve both as blockers and throwers. +
+ Initially encouraging a defensive playstyle, Stormcast Eternal teams are vulnerable to injury and letting their players get isolated. With no fast players and with so-so handling skills, the Stormcast Eternal coach must get their cage organised quickly and into the opposing half if they hope to score. +
+ As the team skills up, Stormcast Eternals' durability and strength can begin to dictate the play. With all their team having normal access to Strength skills, players with Grab, Juggernaut and similar offensive skills can begin to leverage their excellent ST stat to open up the field of play and let the Appreheders through. +
+ Suggested starting line-up +
10 Stormcast Impeders
1 Stormcast Apprehender
1 Team re-roll
Fan Factor 4
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
+ Lex Talionis – an Eye for an Eye +
Past the Immortal, upright and poised, were the Company Colours. They were suspended from the command dome, far above. They were – and were not – my colours. Familiar white and black, plus the green of a Neptunian night.
I knew the hue of the banner was called sea-green, but that reference never had much cadence for me. On the troubled surface of Medusa, fresh water lakes were mostly young and new; inert and crystal clear. I sailed the void before I ever saw a body of water much larger than an artificial reservoir.
Teslo Comitans was the colour-bearer for Clan Kreto, a minor clan from the Arctus Reaches, to whom the Nereid belonged. Comitans was not an Ancient; he was not honoured. He was simply the poor bastard who happened to be dragging the hated thing onto the Storm Eagle when Arrowsmith spotted him.
To bear the colours of the Clan was an honour. Usually. When the Warmaster's treachery became evident, Kreto's colours were less an honour than a stain. They were evidence of an intermingling. The Clan had many ties with the XVIth Legion, having fought alongside them on a number of campaigns in the coreworlds – notably Corun and Synn, abhuman strongholds. Relationships were cordial. Their Captain, one Berabbadon, had sanctioned a binding banner, and presented it to Arrowsmith personally as a mark of respect.
At the time, Kreto were ecstatic – for Sons of Medua, at least. Comitans had told me, through the sneer that seemed to have become etched on his craggy features, that the colours had been skirl-piped around the Clan's leviathan upon their return. They had been placed alongside the most precious mementos of Kreto.
When called upon now to bear it aloft, Comitans' face twisted, as though handling excrement.
The colours hung in the darkness now, the symbols of our Legions bound inextricably together. It was stained. Pitted. It looked as though it had been ritually besmirched. Perhaps we needed a totem; a focus for our disgust.
I looked at Kreto's colours without rancour. Before the drop, I think I could have understood the shame; perhaps even joined the chorus to bear it in battle and bury its treachery in revenge. After the events of Isstvan, it was hard to put it into perspective.
+ Painting +
+ I do love a good banner. This is not the most complex design, but quite an awkward one. I introduced a new colour to the palette for this one in order to tie it into the broader theme of the army; the Battle of Dwell. +
+ The three figures you see above might form a Command squad, or might be split up into different groups. What do you reckon? +
Monday, March 13, 2017
+ By Whose Command? +
+ The Iron Hands are temperamentally unsuited to a phantom cell structure. Their way of making war is as straightforward as their Primarch. As straightforward, and as rigid. +
+ Rigidity, in war, can be a boon – the Iron Tenth's enviable record demonstrates this. Ferrus Manus' uncompromising focus and drive has made his Legion into a brute machine. +
+ It can also be a fatal flaw. A machine that meets an unmovable object will be shattered. I do not believe the warriors of the Tenth are psychologically suited to operating in any way other than as microcosms of their gene-father. +
– Analytica Tactica, Lieutenant Commander Ydris Chemosabe, III Legion. [REJECTED: identkey Maloghurst, Captain XVI]
+ Slow going over the weekend, but transfers, eye lenses and similar little bits have been completed on this little group. I've tried something a little different for the power axe – basically painting it grey, highlighting in the recessed join between generator and blade, then drawing the colour out in short feathered lines. Not quite sure of it at the moment, but I think it could work, with a little more care and attention. +
+ The Immortal is coming along nicely, too. This stage is, to all intents and purposes, game-ready. However, the final details, weathering and addition of pastel powder goes a long way to adding interest and colour without compromising the starkness of the scheme. I thought I'd pop these up to show the contrast with the finished piece – which you can see (hopefully) in the next inload. +
+ I shortened the right arm a little – never be afraid to continue working on a piece if it's just not working for some reason. Better to bite the bullet and make the change before you really get stuck in. +
+ I'm in two minds about the shield. The other Breachers have received a braod white stripe, but the Immortal has been stripped of all his markings save the Legion symbol. Perhaps I ought to work the moulded symbol up in white? +
+ The banner bearer – I do like Mark V helms. There's something so brutal-looking, and they really evoke the Heresy for me. +
Friday, March 10, 2017
+ inload: Six Months On +
The corridor is dank stone – Venus-built – and dim, erratically lit by lumno-sconces that draw power from the damaged reactors. That there is light at all is a luxury Arrowsmith has only grudgingly afforded the armsmen.
Ah, Arrowsmith. Clan-captain Arrowsmith. A hard man to like, which makes it all the easier for him to lead. I owe him my life. The memories of Isstvan are raw, and the near-flawless memory my altered state has engendered, means they remain unsoftened by time. It has been six months, and still I see the fateful moment of defeat as though it were happening again, over and over. My sleep patterns are disturbed, my waking actions are agitated and distracted, and my fieldcraft is affected. My plate 'jects me with counterstimms to degrade excess hyperadrenaline.
We are all like this. Like this at best. Decades of experience have taught me that it is not always the best that remain standing; have taught me the arbitrariness of warfare. Of my meagre command on Isstvan, most are counted amongst the happy dead. Medardus, Triumph and myself. We are alive, but I hesitate to call us survivors.
Medardus has retreated into himself, shunning all company. Triumph has similarly isolated himself; communicating only in platitudes and Lodge rote. It is hard for Arrowsmith to enact discipline, particularly with we three on board. We are held in a peculiar mixture of contempt and awe. To have witnessed the Primarch's dea–
To have witnessed the event, we are unusual. The warriors of Sten, who make up the bulk of Arrowsmith's Recon company, seek us out. Some are sceptical, saying our account silver-tongued; others belligerent, as though by bellowing and posturing they can alter the events of the past. Others still are muted, mewling. That I find sickening.
So, one hiding, one in denial, and me. I wander. Perhaps it is easier for an outsider to remain outside.
Ah, one other. I forget. As the armsman salutes and waves me through, the portal to the bridge opens, and he is silhouetted. The Immortal. Hmm.
It is hard to take his oath seriously now. Have we not all failed the Legion? He intimated as much to me during the escape. As we reached atmosphere, I heard a vox-click. A private channel. I was focussed on the flight – anti-air fire has a wonderful effect of narrowing my view – and so I bore it no mind. I do not know how, or if, the Immortal overrode my plate, but I heard, above the roar of my own blood, five words that cut through my turmoil.
We are all immortal now.
+ Warriors of Sten +
+ We rejoin our narrator on board the Nereid, a Venusian starcraft pressed into service to serve the Shattered Legions. He, and a lucky (well, arguably) few have become attached to other survivors from Clan-company Sten. +
+ These are work-in-progress, but I thought I'd pop 'em up for your thoughts. +
+ An injured veteran (that trailing arm is smashed up, and he's missing a couple of fingers as a symbol of the damage done to the Iron Hands) alongside a marine who might not be quite what he appears... +
+ Banners! Who doesn't love a banner to rally round? Clan Sten's banner will be sea green, a gift from the Sons of Horus in better times, which has taken on a very different tone now. Not sure if this chap will be a Herald or a company standard bearer, but he's got a little servo skull with him. +
Thursday, March 09, 2017
+ inload: Leviathan Dreadnoughts +
+ Strapping a mortally-wounded hero into a chassis of steel and pain for an eternity of war is pretty much the Ur-example of 'grim darkness'; and Dreadnoughts have always been a big favourite of mine. I don't think I've ever done a Space Marine force without one of the big stompy brutes. +
+ Leviathans take the concept of Dreadnoughts and crank it up to eleven – and then keep twisting until the dial falls off. They're huge and clanky and stompy, and I think they're awesome. +
+ Brother Zodios +
+ Hekaton Zodios is the Leviathan from Officio Monstrosa. Equipped with a storm cannon, siege drill, forward-facing volkite calivers and a phosphex launcher, this chap is almost stock; the only conversion being a little greenstuff reinforcing on his helm. +
+ I think the base took longer to put together than the model, if I remember correctly – the manhole cover (actually a decorative embellishment from Hobbycraft, I think) was placed on the base, then the Leviathan, and then cork tile was used to build up the base to the right level. This recessed the manhole cover and 'sank' the Leviathan in to give a sense of weight. Pumice texture gel was used to fill in the crevices, and static grass tufts added after the painting. +
+ The posing was – fairly typically for me – understated. I don't like Dreadnoughts that are too dynamic, as for me they should be relentless rather than racing. +
+ It's a very simple colour scheme; identical to the infantry – gunmetal, silver and grey. On reflection, perhaps it's a little too simple. There's muted and understated, and then there's dull. +
+ In action on the Space Hulk-style board at Warhammer World, when we visited last year. This shot better shows the effect of the silver ink I add to my metallics, which gives the paints greater reflectivity. Not quite mirror-effect, but enough to give them some 'zing'. +
+ In the forges ++ With one for the Iron Warriors, I felt it only right to have one for the Iron Hands – for whom entombment is less a duty as a reward. This chap, who takes more than a pinch of inspiration from 2000ADs ABC Warriors, has been converted with a lead Command Head from the Adeptus Titanicus upgrades that GW used to sell for their plastic Warlord Titans. +
+ While Zodios is a brawler who prefers more reliable, relatively low-tech solutions, I decided to equip the Iron Hands' Leviathan with far more advanced and experimental weaponry – a melta lance and grav-flux bombard. +
+ A particular note of thanks to Luke from Forge World customer services at this point – I had bought the arms from Warhammer World directly months ago, and thrown away the receipt before I came to open the blisters. The elbow joint was sadly missing, but FW came up trumps and sent out not just a replacement elbow sprue, but a whole new Grav-flux bombard! Thanks to the team's understanding, the Iron Tenth have some heavy support and a very happy customer. +
+ I'm looking forward to getting some paint on him. Perhaps I'll try something a bit more creative than the Iron Warriors one. +
Tuesday, March 07, 2017
+ inload: Of the Nine Winds +
+ Of the Nine Winds, what can be said? They were not made to be tethered, but circled about the axis of the world, driving the weather and bringing gladness to the beasts and birds. All was well in the vault, 'til the Eye of the Hawk rose and pierced the veil between the land of the spirits and the land of men. Then the Nine Winds were disturbed, and lashed about with the thrill of true freedom. +
+ So great was their strength that the World Pillar itself trembled as they rushed about in gladness and celebration. This would not do. The Great Eagle descended from its eyrie. She saw that the Nine Winds had grown vigorous and headstrong since they had been made, that they would no longer be content to circle the realm as she had wished them. With flashing eye, she pronounced that the Nine Winds would henceforth be loosed to travel the world and bring their eyes and mouths and appetites and interest to every corner of the world-bowl. +
+ The winds rejoiced, for they were lusty and keen. However, the Great Eagle made one condition, to which the winds must agree. They would be yoked in turn throughout the year, each taking its turn to drive the weather. +
+ The winds conferred, and agreed to share. In turn, the gentle east wind and the wind from the south and the summer wind set themselves to the yoke, driving the weather, and all was well. When the time came for each to be freed and pass the yoke, the driving wind was released joyfully, to explore the land and sky once more. +
+ And so it continued, with the sunning-wind and the wind of the mountain water and the north wind taking their turns. And then it came to the youngest wind, the wind of the year-turn. The wind of the year-turn was gentle and compliant and revelled in freedom, and the Hawk spoke with it. The Hawk planted silver words in the wind of the year-turn's ear, and told it that before his turn to drive the weather, he should explore more, go further, find more. And so the wind of the year-turn did not return at its alloted time. +
+ Drunk in freedom, the wind of the year-turn gadded and flew about in the deepest corners of the land and the highest corners of the sky, and all men and beasts and birds were gladdened by its innocent joy. All save the north wind, whose shoulders were chafed and back was barked with driving the weather... +
+ Jetbikes +
+ I'm far more known in my gaming group for infantry than anything else, and so jetbikes are a bit of a departure for me. I built some years back for a Horus Heresy campaign weekend run by the Tempus Fugitives, but was a bit dissatisfied with my conversion. +
+ The new (well, relatively new) Scimitar jetbikes are great models – combining classic hotrod action with a slightly snigger-inducing profile; brilliant for the oblivious Astartes. Not everything has to be po-faced, after all. +
|'Compensating? I don't know what you mean.'|
+ Jetbikes are a classic sci-fi trope, and in 40k terms are really evocative of the Horus Heresy, when whole companies could be mounted on them. Of course, I couldn't just use regular riders (pilots?), and so I set about converting an Astartes to fit on top. +
+ As you can see, he's a big chap. I've had to sacrifice his backpack to fit him in (though looking again, the official model also is sans backpack – maybe they plug into the bike and draw power from that?), but I'm relieved to see that the posture is still convincing – I was a bit concerned he'd appear cramped or squashed, but there's enough space for him to fit nicely. In fact, I think he seems to fill that space of the (enormous) jetbike pretty well. +
+ Here's a picture of the component parts – the torso and legs can be separated to allow some more variety in posture, but the basic shape is solid. The hands and forearms came from the original rider: I prefer to use normal size hands and heads for my larger marines, to help with the scale. +
+ The sculpting's far from finished – the upper legs in particular are only basic bulking, and I'll be refining and smoothing them out to finish. +
+ So the inevitable question, what are these for? Well, stay attuned to this comms-channel to find out more of the Nine Winds... +
+ inload: In Which Our Narrator's Name is Revealed +
So also golden-throned Eos rapt away Tithonus who was of your race and like the deathless gods. And she went to ask the dark-clouded Son of Cronos that he should be deathless and live eternally; and Zeus bowed his head to her prayer and fulfilled her desire. Too simple was queenly Eos: she thought not in her heart to ask youth for him and to strip him of the slough of deadly age. So while he enjoyed the sweet flower of life he lived rapturously with golden-throned Eos, the early-born, by the streams of Ocean, at the ends of the earth; but when the first grey hairs began to ripple from his comely head and noble chin, queenly Eos kept away from his bed, though she cherished him in her house and nourished him with food and ambrosia and gave him rich clothing. But when loathsome old age pressed full upon him, and he could not move nor lift his limbs, this seemed to her in her heart the best counsel: she laid him in a room and put to the shining doors. There he babbles endlessly, and no more has strength at all, such as once he had in his supple limbs.
I would not have you be deathless among the deathless gods and live continually after such sort. Yet if you could live on such as now you are in look and in form, and be called my husband, sorrow would not then enfold my careful heart. But, as it is, harsh old age will soon enshroud you—ruthless age which stands someday at the side of every man, deadly, wearying, dreaded even by the gods.
And now because of you I shall have great shame among the deathless gods henceforth, continually. For until now they feared my jibes and the wiles by which, or soon or late, I mated all the immortals with mortal women, making them all subject to my will. But now my mouth shall no more have this power among the gods; for very great has been my madness, my miserable and dreadful madness, and I went astray out of my mind who have gotten a child beneath my girdle, mating with a mortal man. As for the child, as soon as he sees the light of the sun, the deep-breasted mountain Nymphs who inhabit this great and holy mountain shall bring him up. They rank neither with mortals nor with immortals: long indeed do they live, eating heavenly food and treading the lovely dance among the immortals, and with them the Sileni and the sharp-eyed Slayer of Argus mate in the depths of pleasant caves; but at their birth pines or high-topped oaks spring up with them upon the fruitful earth, beautiful, flourishing trees, towering high upon the lofty mountains (and men call them holy places of the immortals, and never mortal lops them with the axe); but when the fate of death is near at hand, first those lovely trees wither where they stand, and the bark shrivels away about them, and the twigs fall down, and at last the life of the Nymph and of the tree leave the light of the sun together. These Nymphs shall keep my son with them and rear him, and as soon as he is come to lovely boyhood, the goddesses will bring him here to you and show you your child. But, that I may tell you all that I have in mind, I will come here again towards the fifth year and bring you my son. So soon as ever you have seen him – a scion to delight the eyes – you will rejoice in beholding him; for he shall be most godlike: then bring him at once to windy Ilion. And if any mortal man ask you who got your dear son beneath her girdle, remember to tell him as I bid you: say he is the offspring of one of the flower-like Nymphs who inhabit this forest-clad hill. But if you tell all and foolishly boast that you lay with rich-crowned Aphrodite, Zeus will smite you in his anger with a smoking thunderbolt. Now I have told you all. Take heed: refrain and name me not, but have regard to the anger of the gods.
+ Hesiod, Hymn V (To Aphrodite) +
+ A return to May You Live Forever, my more narratively driven project. It's been six months since I've worked on these chaps in earnest, and there's lots bubbling under the hood. However, I realised I never actually told anyone the name of the narrator, our Iron Hand outsider. It's Tithonus. +
+ Or rather, Lieutenant Tithonus, since we're now six months down the line and heading for Dwell... +
+ There'll be a bit more from Isstvan, as we tell the story in hindsight, but we'll also be meeting a new narrator. He's a scion of the Nine Winds, instead. Who are they? +