Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Perturabo, Primarch of the Iron Warriors: Impressions

'From Iron cometh strength; from strength cometh will; from will cometh faith; and from faith cometh honour.'

Any of you who have been following this blog for a little while know that I get pretty excited whenever Forge World releases a new Primarch model. I was particularly impressed with the fantastic Guilliman release, and would have been content to wait a while before the next.  But Forge World was feeling generous, and during their Open Day earlier this month (July 5th), they revealed their next, the Hammer of Olympia, Perturabo of the Iron Warriors.  Even more amazingly, in less than a week he was already up for sale on their website!  Perturabo marks the 10th Primarch released by Forge World (they are over half way done with all of the Primarchs!?), and the third (and possibly final) one sculpted by the talented Edgar Skomorowski.

Perturabo stands triumphantly atop the ruined chassis of a Cerastus Knight titan.

I must admit, of all the Primarchs released up to this point, I probably know the least about the Sire of the Iron Warriors.  Perhaps this is fitting, because as a character he is reticent and taciturn, preferring to harbor his thoughts and let ill-will fester.  Unlike to his brothers, the Great Crusade was simply a sworn duty he had to uphold, nothing more, as he felt no reverence towards his father.  But this would come to no surprise to anyone that ever had any association with the man, as he saw the world through a cold, calculating mind, one not hindered by morality or mercy, but instead ruled my logic and mathematics.  The end justified the means, fitting words for a warlord with a callous indifference towards life, leading to his legion reportedly suffering the highest number of casualties of any legion during the Great Crusade.  Such was his genius, however, that the death toll never diminished the fighting strength of the legion.  Although it is not certain what ultimately pushed Perturabo towards betrayal, the seed is thought to have been his existance of loathing, barely contained spite, and paranoia.  For such a hatefulled being, it is not surprising that Chaos would find a foothold within him. Despite his defection, he held his brothers who embraced the mutations of Chaos (Fulgrim and Lorgar) with contempt, preferring the cold purity of iron (something I always liked and find fascinating).

As you can see, Perturabo can go to war without Forgebreaker, relying completely on his customized suit of terminator armor, Logos.

When talking about Perturabo, one really cannot start anywhere but with his impressively wrought suit of armor: Logos, forged by the Primarch’s own hands.  Logos is a highly customized and massive suit of Cataphractii terminator armor, complete with the characteristic broad and layered adamantium plates, reinforced with studding.  True to the Iron Warrior spirit, many elements of his armor have the caution stripe chevrons cast directly into them.  Like modern terminator armor, his suit has the same “hunched-back” design, which towers over the model’s head, upon which is mounted a host of targeting arrays and other bionics.  Fitting with the longstanding questionable anatomy of Space Marine Terminators, Perturabo’s arms might be a little too high, his chest a little too broad, and arms too long to make sense. But nothing about the model screams out of place, and the anatomical peculiarities are not something that stand out without careful consideration.

Logos has a pair of built-in chain guns that have a impressive fire rate.

Another notable feature of Logos, is its built-in weapons system, two wrist-mounted, four-barreled chain guns.  Each is surprisingly compact, with a short barrel extending out past his fist, complete with a muzzle break.  Thoughtfully, each barrel has its own ejection port, sized appropriately for the shell casings that litter his base.  Notably, the brass cases are actually necked rifle bullets, something I have been wanting to see for years on a GW model (rather than the stubby straight pistol cases seen on all their other weapons, Bolters or otherwise).  Refreshingly, the guns even have a suitable ammunition source, coming from long armored chains snaking from two hoppers integrated into the back of his terminator armor.  His right hand comes in two forms, one empty, the other clutching a heavily modified version of Ferrus Manus’s Forgebreaker.  After Ferrus’ death at the hands of the Fulgrim, Horus gifted Perturabo the thunder hammer, where he made his own modifications.  This explains why the hammer looks so different from Egan’s rendition of the weapon. Speaking towards Perturabo’s character, the modified hammer looks utilitarian, resembling a standard 40k thunder hammer, with the bulky power generator. This contrasts the more ornate and unique look of the original that Ferrus masterfully wrought and carried.

Forgebreaker has changed a lot since exchanging hands, gone is its elegance and beauty, replaced with pure functionality.  

No matter how awesome the rest of a model, if its face is weak, the entire composition can fall flat.  Thankfully Skomorowski was in top form with Perturabo.  Haloed by a seething mass of cables, Perturado holds a scornful and confident visage.  His features are twisted into a mocking sneer, his madness held on a knife's edge, as he brings about his sense of martial justice.  The torrent of cables almost overcomes the entirety of his face, as if their encroachment were an allegory of the creeping doom of his paranoia, the slow realization of the futility of existence, and the constant reminder of the baleful glow of the ever-watching Eye of Terror.  The ability to get such insight into the nature of each character by looking at the tiny sculpted faces has been one of the primary joys of the Primarch series for me, they surpass the trite and tired screaming Space Marine heads, and offer something of real worth.  And I am pleased to say that Perturabo is Skomorowski’s most expressive face yet.

The maniacal rage that wells in Perturabo's heart is evident in his terrifying visage. 

As Forge World releases more and more Primarch figures, their bases seem to get more and more extravagant.  Starting with Angron, we got a reserved base that only had a few dead Space Marines. Now there are models like Horus with an entire dilapidated staircase, and the Night Haunter stealing up a crumbling window arch.  With Perturabo we get the most extravagant base yet, with him standing atop the ruined chassis of a Cerastus Knight.  He stands triumphantly atop the dilapidated war machine, foot propped on a skyward shoulder plate, bullet casings strewn everywhere.  It makes for quite a magnificent scene.  Some might not like that he takes along a piece of terrain everywhere he goes, if they wish to use him in games of 30k.  This has been a problem for a lot of the Primarchs, but was often mitigated by the ability to removed the model from the larger display base.  Like the other Primarchs, Perturabo is also on a smaller base that slots into a larger one, it however does not really do much to reduce the bases height or size.  At the end of the day, he is still standing on a Knight titan (and one of the larger FW ones at that).

Even removed from his larger scenic base, Perturabo's small base is still huge.

It is interesting to note that Skomorowski supposedly sculpted Perturabo digitally, using Zbrush.  It has become increasingly apparent that FW has been sculpting some of their models digitally, namely their larger tanks and titans.  Perturabo is the first character size model that I have heard used digital software.  This is the future of modelmaking, I suppose, one that is hard to argue with it when it is used to such good effect as it was with Perturabo. But even still, I am slightly saddened to hear that traditional means were not used to create him.  The Primarch series has always been something that I could point to as a paragon of sculpting, one that was achieved without the aid of computers and 3D printers.  At the end of the day, however, if the models are good I will not complain.

Word from the Forge World Open Day suggests that Perturabo is going to be Edgar Skomorowski’s last model for Forge World.  This is sad news, as he has graced us with a number of fantastic models over the years.  It is a small blessing that his last is quite possibly his best ever, cementing an impressive legacy.

-Eric Wier


  1. Cheers Eric! Always love these thoughtful reviews. Picking out details like the necked cases is something it's easy to overlook from the photos on the Forge World website, but such minutiae is what can push a good miniature into greatness. Excellent point on the 'not-so-small' base, too.

    1. Glad to hear you enjoy them! I admit it is pretty fun to write about the Primarchs. It is not often you see such fantastic looking models being released, ones oozing with character and emotion. Now, as ever, to wait until the next one is revealed!

  2. Your detailed articles on various releases are something I like more and more. Cheers for taking the time, very appreciated :)

    1. Thanks! It is nice to hear someone finds value in my ramblings ;)