|For a thousand years I spurned the flesh change |
But I had lived as half a being
Until the celestial tides wrought our metagenesis.
Late last year, shortly after Iron Sleet announced their second Invitational
, we began work on some Imperial Guard to defend the Thorn Moons
, the remnants of the Imperial Army that originally explored the Crataegus Fragmentum during the Great Crusade. For the Guard, we wanted to create soldiers that were a little more grounded in reality than most of Games Workshop’s human warriors, eschewing bulky breastplates, rubberized mining suits, and heavily starched robes. To do this, I started to greatly modify Forge World Elysian Drop Troops. In the last few months, I have not had too much time to work on them, but am pleased to say I am now going to set my full attention on them again! I wanted to use this post to show my recent progress on them.
|We wanted some of the Guard to be wearing rebreathers, and were happy to find that the Sicarian Ruststalker heads are a good size! We plan to do a little more sculpting to differentiate the rebreather from the standard Mechanicum ones. |
|Their lasguns are based on the Elysian style ones, but have been trimmed down dramatically to be better scaled to the soldiers. Care was taken to add front and rear sights along with a rail for additional modifications.|
|The beginnings of a grizzled veteran with a tattered bandana.|
|Special efforts have been taken to design and convert a believably sized pistol with an accompanying holster that it could be housed in.|
|After discovering that Games Workshop’s Escher models had woefully undersized heads, we had to look to other sources for female heads for the Guard, such as these Statuesque Miniatures ones. |
All of the above models are still very work-in-progress, and will be taken apart so that silicone molds can me made of the pieces. Therefore I would love to hear any comments or suggestions for them! Is there anything that you think should be represented in such an Imperial Guard force?
- Adam Wier
brilliant 'green stuff' work there!ReplyDelete
Thanks! It has taken quite a while, but I am happy with it. If I can make some good molds for them, the time will be well spent!Delete
These look amazing, Adam. Especially the gas mask head - it looks like it was made for that body.ReplyDelete
Are the Escher heads small in comparison with the Elysians? They must be tiiiiny. The Elysians are really slight models.
I am really happy with how well the ruststalker heads fit with these models (and the Elysians in general actually). As for the Escher heads, they are really just that tiny, even with the slight Elysian models. Unfortunately, the Escher heads don't really work well with many of GW’s models due to their size (and I would argue they even look too small on the Eschers themselves).Delete
These are sick, so so good. Looking forward to seeing them further down the line.ReplyDelete
We have a lot planned for them! I cannot wait to share more!Delete
Do you worry that at a certain point the models stop being 40k models, and just become generic soldiers? To me these three could be anything from Cold War Russians up to Aliens' Colonial Marines, and anything in between. The elements that you recognised - the gothic plate and flowing robes, combined with the industrial sci-fi look of the 70's and early 80's - are such integral themes to the 40k aesthetic that to completely strip them away risks stripping away the shared identity that the universe bestows.ReplyDelete
Are you planning to add more of the typical 40k affectations at a later stage? Skull motifs, inelegant bionics, random tubes and plugs sticking out of body parts, these kinds of things would help to bring them back in-universe. And I'd be tempted to look at the lasguns some more. A weapon (or suit of armour, alien, spaceship, or whatever) should be easily recognisable by its silhouette. The defining characteristic of a lasgun is its chisel-shaped muzzle, so without that those guns could be anything.
I was surprised myself at how tiny the Escher heads were. I tried jamming one of them on an Orlock last night and it wasn't working at all. I would have thought they'd work with the Elysians though, seeing as they're so teeny themselves. If you're looking for GW alternatives, maybe Drukhari Wyches or Hellions, or the Blood Bowl Elf team? Even the male heads are androgynous enough to pass for female.
But in terms of achieving your intentions, I think you've done a great job. They certainly have that realistic, modern feel to them, and the weapon scale is more accurate than heroic scale. I love the head on the veteran; it has that Delta Force/SEAL Team Six beardy spec-ops look that's prevalent in games and movies these days. And your detail sculpting is fantastic; the knee pad on the female trooper and the webbing on the back of the rebreather guy are lovely touches.
You bring up an interesting point about when a model stops being a 40k one. These model certainly do not have a lot of the “grimdark” elements that many GW models have, and could easily be seen as any sort of modern soldier. Personally, I don’t really have much of a problem with this, preferring the “Abnett” style realism (Tanith First, Eisenhorn, etc) over the more “traditional” 40k dystopia. The universe is a large place too, allowing for all sorts of Guard, from incredibly fanatical and religious, to pragmatic warriors. Certainly GW’s IP is most known for the more fantastical stuff, but there is a large precedence for more “normal/generic” military stuff too, like all the Perry brothers’ 2nd edition Imperial Guard. Honestly, even the new Orlock model really have very little elements that make them “40k” models and not simply modern day motorcycle gang members. Ultimately, I feel everyone has their own preferences for what is 40k to them, and that is part of what makes it so great! Having said all this, I will likely add some more traditional elements to the models when they are finally build, but wanted to leave them pretty clean that this stage to help in the casting process.Delete
We were pretty surprised about how small the Escher heads were too. Knowing that the Elysians are fairly small, we felt certain they would be okay, but it was not to be. We hope to have a post on the blog talking about them soon, but upon quantification, the Escher heads are about 27% smaller than the standard Genestealer Cultist heads (despite the bodies being roughly the same scale). The Hellion heads are bigger (we used them on some of our Pilgrym models actually); we will have to look into the Blood Bowl elf team, thanks for the suggestion!
Imperial guard have 2 unifying elements across the original metal range- the lasgun and the Imperialis. The pauldrons of the cadians are present on the tallarn and can be considered a contender for IG iconography but are absent on catachan, mordians and valhallans and the later steel legion/vostroyans.Delete
The lasgun and imperialis transform any given period solider into a guardsman and the kriegers/steel legion/vostroyans/ and to a lesser extent, catachan get away with changing the base lasgun to a period one. Only the las emitter remains constant.
You are right to drop the Imperialis as these are not loyal guardsmen and it hadn't been adopted until the heresy. The weapons don't even need to be lasguns, as the army was equipped with whatever was at hand.
I really love the work on the guns but I would like to see something to ground them in the 41st (or even 30th) millenium. The distinctive lasgun powerpack does this but without the las-emitter the overall silouette of the gun doesnt pull the model out of modern or near future sci-fi.
You could potentially paint their fatigues to be in skull-print fabric, to realistically be camouflaged in this universe. That'd make them solidly 40k. :DDelete
You know, as much as I like my ridiculously sized guns and unrealistic equipment, it is always a refreshing joy to see your work on the Guard. The sculpting is amazing!ReplyDelete
I am glad you like them! Oversized weapons have their place form time to time, but more realistically scaled ones certainly have a dramatic effect on the look of a model, and one I really prefer.Delete
I think Ross has some good comments, on what makes something "40k". If you drift too far from that, in some areas the figure can still pass, but at a certain point you have created a whole new Sci-fi. For this reason I think that the masked head reads as being 40k most clearly.ReplyDelete
That being said, I like quite a bit about these figures:
Realistic sized pistol and lasgun (although I agree that the tip needs to have the barrel shroud)
Overall size and posing are of course excellent. The green stuff work you have done is superlative.
Suggestions for other additions:
-some armor plating, such as shoulder pads and tassets, which are in keeping with the contemporary solider look, but could also be a tie back to the 40k look.
-more gear, something that GW figures often struggle with. Where are their water bottles (or hydration packs?)? Where do they keep spare magazines and gunsmithing tools?
-a helmeted head. What is the 40k version of the FAST helmet? (Probably something with a face visor or a crest)
-NCO/officer bitz. What do these look like? Breastplate? Gorget? Cadian pattern laspistol with a stock?
-SAW version of the lasgun, and other special weapons.
Again, great work, and I am really looking forward to seeing where you go with these.
Glad you like how they are coming along, and thanks for all of the suggestions! Many of your thoughts are thing I am currently working on! I want to make a bunch of different special weapons, including some sort of light machine guns (SAW equivalent) and some other special weapons. They certainly need a lot of gear (GW is certainly bad with this like you said), but it was something I left off of them to aid in the casting process (all of these models were already taken apart). I will experiment with shoulder pads and other armor plating too. I hope to build some different types of squads, each which can have some slight variations.Delete
Gorgeous work as always Adam! Those Bullpup rifles and that pistol are stupidly good in particular. Really like the grizzled beaded guy and can’t wait to see where you go with the rebreathers!ReplyDelete
I have been wanting to use that old bearded head for a while now, and am really happy to have finally found a place for it! I really like the look of the Ruststalker heads, but need to distance it a little from the original model.Delete
Inquisitor Cixus Caldrex of the Ordo Scriptorum would like to inform you that the "defenders of the 73rd moon" are sceduled for decimation, on account of the following offensesReplyDelete
-Issuing officer-grade respirators to guardsmen
-Heretically few numbers of holy symbols present on battlefield uniforms
-[insert reason here]
Thank you for your complience, and we wish you to remain faithful to the emperor throughout these trials
(Seriously, they look amazing)
The defenders of the Thorn Moons are still loyal to the Emperor of Mankind and His vision for the galaxy! They question what the Imperium has become after the Emperor was entombed in the Golden Throne.Delete
Skulls were a staple iconography of the Crusade-era Imperium- so much so that the (then loyalist) sons of Horus were initially suspected of being chaos warriors by another human civilisation with knowledge of chaos iconography.Delete
Failing that, the aquilla, lightning bolts, wings.
I'm interested to see this project develop and especially interested to see if any of the female troopers are identifiable as such at arms length!
Great stuff--these are brilliant. I would also echo a lot of Ross and Lasgunpacker's comments and hope that you 40K them up a bit when building the final versions. Can't wait to see more! ;)ReplyDelete
There is still a lot of work that needs to be done on these guard. Since I will be making a mold of all of the components I have had to keep off a lot of the gear they will eventually have. So there will be plenty of opportunities to make them look at home in the 41st millennium. :)Delete
Superior modelling ._ stuff to aspire too. The van saar oop metal heads and the oop goliaths fit the Elysians as well.ReplyDelete
I really need to try and get my hands on some of the old Necromunda models. I think some of them could be used for lots of conversions. Thanks for the suggestion!Delete
Really good sculpting, as always! It shows that you know a thing or two about soldiers.ReplyDelete
40k and realism don't go together seamlessly, but that makes your stuff so interesting. Kind of a laboratory here :)
GW should bring out a box with only heads in it. And hands. That would be awesome!
Thanks for the kind words! One of the things that makes the universe so interesting in my mind is how broad it is and how it can accommodate so many different themes.Delete
GW really should start releasing sets of heads (or hands) for conversions. It would go a long way in the hobby. Maybe there is some hope for such a set since they released that set of plastic skulls? We can only hope. :)
I think the moc-up you had with the Escher Head actually looked better than the Statuesque head, but I also like slightly goofy oversized weapons.ReplyDelete
It can be a tricky balance to get head size correct on models. The Statuesque head is a little on the large size. When I finally start assembling some of the Thorn Moon, I will probably use one or two Statuesque heads and a collection of others from different ranges with varying sizes. After all, not everyone has the same head size! :)Delete
Thanks for the comment!
While taking a glance at these lil bippers, I noticed something that seems a little goofy. The one holding the pistol in her hand has another pistol in their holster. Where does the one in her hand go? is she holding one for her buddies? does she keep one to throw away when it runs out of bullets, like in the matrix?ReplyDelete
All of the models shown in the post were quick mock-ups (the one with the pistol should have had an empty holster). They have since been taken apart so the individual pieces can be used to make a mold for casting. I have converted an empty holster for the models too. When I finally do assemble some, rest assured any holding a pistol will have an empty holster. :)Delete