Monday, September 23, 2013

Ferrus Manus: The Gorgon Primarch of the Iron Hands

Glory to the Tenth Legion!
Perhaps I should stop being surprised by it,  but every time Simon Egan releases a new Primarch model (or any model for that matter!) I am stunned.  The level of seamless detail he is able to achieve, without weighing his figures down, is astounding.  This is only magnified in an age where so many miniature companies are transitioning into designing their models completely via computers and 3D printing the results.  His newest model is no exception to his excellence, and could quite possibly his best Primarch to date, which is quite a statement considering how magnificent Angron and Fulgrim are.  Now the Gorgon Primarch of the Iron Hands, Ferrus Manus has a model!

Perhaps the most striking element of the model is his armour, a merger of power armour and terminator armour.  In some sense, he is the first “Space Marine” Primarch in terms of the general Astartes aesthetic that has been built over the years (particularly the illustrations of Karl Kopinski).  Thick layered armour plates, studded and segmented, and laced with skulls, cogs, and legion iconography.  While the other two primarchs were refreshing in that they eschewed some of this for thin graceful armour that supported finesse and speed, it is equally refreshing and comforting to see a return to the hulking brute force of a Space Marine. GW has had a bad track record with making Iron Warrior models in the past, so I had been a little worried they would make him a little spindly and thin (somehow a recurring theme with Iron Hands/Iron Warrior models). Thankfully, Ferrus is the stalwart giant of adamantium and muscle he deserves to be.
The grey resin Ferrus is cast in draws out the incredible detail in the model; it is hard to not stare for a while!
His face also captures the the essence of one of the Emperor’s Finest, with close cropped hair framing regal, yet scared features.  I am pretty pleased to see that he is not yelling, an exceedingly common “trait” of space marines, and something Egan has a tendency of doing (much better than most admittedly).  This marks his first Primarch that is not bellowing at the top of their lungs, something that fits his stoic and reticent character.
Ferrus has an impressive backpack of slender mechanical limbs, and a neat little bolter clamped to the side.
I admit, when I first heard they were thinking of having a model for Ferrus Manus sculpted, I was a little worried about what they were going to do with the Necrodermis covering his arms. Mixing bare arms with power armour is tricky business, I have seen many an example where it falls flat on its face.  Luckily, Egan was up for the challenge and opted for simplicity and left his arms and hands virtually bare, emphasizing his powerful musculature.  To add a little more flair to them, Egan included a pair of studded bracers that match his baroque armour perfectly.
I think it was a wise choice to just leave his arms and hands basically bare, allowing you to use paint to convey the Necrodermis.
One element that I feel will be decried by avid readers of the Horus Heresy novels by the Black Library, is that Ferrus is wielding Forgebreaker.  In the iconic duel between Ferrus and Fulgrim, each used the weapon they had, hundreds of years back, forged for the other in competition.  Ferrus brought the longsword Fireblade, crafted by his own iron hands, and likewise Fulgrim brought Forgebreaker wrought by his own hands.  I feel Forge World consciously decided to give Ferrus Forgebreaker because it was the weapon he took to battle for at least 200 years, before the sad events of the Heresy.  If they wanted to create a model that represented him both for regular battles, in addition to his duel with Fulgrim, it makes sense why they would have chosen the mighty hammer.  And while it would be neat to have seen Fireblade in some form with the model (like if they gave you the option to use either), I think it would have restricted the pose chosen for Ferrus.  When seeing how well the two look together, Ferrus swinging Forgebreaker is a crushing arc, and Fulgrim lightly leaping away, raising his sword, I am very satisfied with their final decision.
I like how the spirit of the Emperor's Children is subtly conveyed in Forgebreaker, particularly in the aquila on its head  

Together these two Primarchs make one of the most exciting and visceral dioramas seen in all miniature gaming.  
Those of you lucky enough to attend the UK Games Day this weekend (Sept 29th) will be the first able to get their hands on the new Primarch.  I suspect he will be released to the rest of the world in a month or two, so we should not have to wait too much longer.  I imagine I will pick Ferrus up at one point, and will be sure to do an unboxing post, and likely one of his assembly.  Now to wait and see which of the mighty Primarchs is tackled next!

- Godwyn Fischig


  1. I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on this model for my burgeoning Heresy-Era Iron Hands. Pretty much agree with you down the line on your comments on the model - I wish they would have included Fireblade as an option, but overall I'm well pleased that he decided to go with Forgebreaker. It's much more iconic of Ferrus overall even though it's not 'historically' accurate for the confrontation diorama.

    Great overview!

    1. Yeah, I cannot wait to get the model myself. The Primarch models amaze me, all of them are infused with so much character and diversity. Just looking at them is inspiring, which is why I felt compelled to write this overview, even though it really does not provide any "new" information. Models like this make it clear to me why I still love this hobby as much as I do!