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Title: Grinding faces under their boots..
Description: My Unification Wars blog!

Pacific - August 1, 2012 09:50 AM (GMT)
Hey guys,

We had some discussion over on the Q&A section of the forum regarding the 'Unification War' era, the Proto-Astartes, or Thunder Warriors as they were also known, as well as the enemies they faced during the Emperor's quest to unify Terra.

Having just about wrapped up my previous project, in the form of a World Eaters force, and my hobby-thumbs having since become idle when it comes to large shoulder pads, I thought it was time to try something new in the form of a new modelling and army project! I'm hoping this blog will satisfy my 'hobby itch' of doing something new and a bit different, but also act as a forum for bouncing around some ideas as well as help with delving into the background for any references to the Unification Wars that have come up.

Initial Thoughts

I think it's always important to have some kind of concept in mind when starting a new force, doubly so when there isn't really much of an existing template to go from with this kind of thing. So, and I think this is the clincher, how exactly do the Thunder Warriors differ from your average, run-of-the-mill Astartes?

I think Apologist summed it best in another discussion on the subject:
As such, I'd imagine the Thunder Warriors' formations would have simply been numbered, and as Shroud says, simply armed and armoured with undecorated weaponry. The Emperor presumably knew they were a stop-gap measure, fit for purpose; and the ethos of the era was very much technobarbarian. I don't see the Thunder Warriors as orderly, well-drilled or tightly-organised compared to the Legions in fact, it's as roaming, faceless and merciless monsters, steaming in the mist; clad in steel and grimy furs and leathers that they appear in my mind's eye.

The Astartes were a perfected army for Crusade: propaganda and morale-boosters. They must have been and intended to awe the human diaspora and bring humanity together. In contrast, the Thunder Warriors were brutes smashing the Terran barbarians to the floor and then grinding their faces under their boots in a wave of sweat, blood and piss: a brutal force for a more brutal and more desperate time.

So, there we have it, and I think a suitable title for my blog! :)

Now as mentioned there isn't that much to go on as far as references to the Unification Wars go. However, there are some juicy snippets here and then, which the guys here have done a sterling job in managing to pin down. These are both presented in a couple of threads, linked below.

I'm hoping that this project thread can become not only a painting & modelling log, but can also include some discussion about the Unification Wars. About the regiments that took part, their enemies, the background to it all and even the different rules that could be used to represent them on the tabletop. So, I will try and keep this thread updated with new links as new discussions are started.
But for now the most pertinent ones:

Unification Wars discussion links

Pre-Unity Terra - References to the various empires and kingdoms that comprised Terra during the Unification Wars era, including Hy Brasil, the Yndonesic Bloc, and Ursh amongst others.

Regiments of the Unification Wars - A discussion of the Thunder Warrior regiments that fought in the Unification Wars, as well as the opponents they faced.

The objectives of the Project
I have an extremely low project completion to project start ratio, and I hope that it will help if I have at least have some kind of loose objectives in mind!

Obviously the important one is making and painting some Thunder Warriors! In terms of concept, I imagine them to be very much as Apologist described them in the quote above; brutal killers, with a lack of ornamentation and utilitarian in their aspect. In some ways, I think this goes back to the very first conception of Space Marines, and I think it's neat how the Rogue Trader-era background has been inserted sideways into this part of the background. Anyone who knows of the Dune series of books will be familiar with the concept of the Sardakur, the most fearsome fighting force in the galaxy (at least for a time.. ;) ), and I can imagine the Thunder Warriors being very similar in terms of how they are created and trained. Again perhaps similar to the general Astartes, in that you select the toughest individuals, those for whom fighting for survival is a part of daily life, and then you train them and give them a gun. Except the Thunder Warriors come without the veneer of civility that seems to have been applied to (most) of the Astartes - they are brutal killers, murderers even, without an ounce of mercy given to their opponents. As was described in the one official short story on the subject (in Tales of Heresy perhaps?), the Proto-Astartes were 'unleashed' on their fearful opponents, and there could only ever really be one outcome!

So in conclusion, I want to be able to model something that conveys that aspect. I want to keep away from the clean, uniform styles of a 41st millenium space marine, and do something far more gritty. As has been noted, the Thunder Warriors haven't had time to form a reverence for their equipment, although in the courses of their campaigns they may have accrued battle honours and elements of individuality, as is the case for any fighting unit that has fought together for any amount of time.

Below is John Blanche's concept work for how he imagined the Thunder Warriors to be:

user posted image

I'm not quite sure how much to take on board from this pic, in that he looks too much recognisably like a 'Space Marine' for me, and the armour looks perhaps a little too ostentatious. However, some components, such as the furs and lightning bolt motives I think might transfer well.

Anyway, as an opening post this has gone on for far too long! I've got some other material which I will post over the next couple of days, ideas about rules and settings etc., but would really value any comments about what people would like to see in this kind of project, or any ideas they may have!

Most importantly, I've just ordered various bits that will hopefully serve as a good base for the modelling to begin (and the interesting bit!)

Any comments very welcome, and thanks for reading if you got this far! :)

malika - August 1, 2012 10:11 AM (GMT)
This sounds super interesting! Definitely keeping my eye on this one.

cobra6 - August 1, 2012 02:14 PM (GMT)
Sounds like a great project! I know what I want to see - a converted model for Narthan Dume!

Gagoc TheAncient - August 1, 2012 02:45 PM (GMT)
Your description of the ThunderWarriors brought to mind the scots from Braveheart.

But this is tempered by the fact that both the Custodes and the Astartes grew from these warriors.
So maybe some were more disciplined than others.

As for the armour, I have pics of the classic Mk I armours (I'll post them below).
These seem pretty close to what Thunderwarriors wore, based of the descriptions I've read, maybe less with the helmet and chestplate and arms being the same.

user posted image

user posted image

user posted image

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I hope these help.

Pacific - August 2, 2012 11:13 AM (GMT)
Thanks a lot for the comments guys!

Really exciting, and some bits have just arrived in the post to get me started! user posted image

Gagoc, thanks a lot for posting those mate I know those models well! That's definitely the kind of look I want to go for. More of an 'archaic' style heavy plate. I'm presuming the armour must have had some form of basic power system, as even for a gene-hanced giant they wouldn't want to be lugging around half a ton of metal under their own power. So it's going to be difficult I think to get the contrast between technology and something more dated and utilitarian in terms of its style.

Gun wise, I suppose I have the option of just doing some basic boltgun conversions?

I know what I want to see - a converted model for Narthan Dume!

That sounds like a great idea mate! Any ideas about how he might look, or what kind of character he is (other than presumably being a complete bad-ass?)

malika - August 2, 2012 11:32 AM (GMT)
Get your hands on some older looking FW patterns? Or perhaps get your hands on those old Ork bolters from the 2nd edition or GorkaMorka...

Ilmarinen - August 2, 2012 12:53 PM (GMT)
As I've said before, in the classic Emperor vs Horus by Adrian Smith, the guys standing with the Emperor are wearing antique-looking steel-coloured armour, with apparently unsealed helmets, the Emperor's own symbol (the single golden eagle on a red field), with ancient boltguns ...and their eyes are red!

I know, I know, Adrian Smith said they're Custodes but silver because it contrasts better with the Emperor ...BUT, that's clearly rubbish and they're obviously the last of the Thunder Warriors! :P

The 14th Expedition - August 2, 2012 01:22 PM (GMT)
The Outcast Dead novel makes it seem that the Thunder Warriors were bigger than Marines, but less genetically stable - age bought on problems for them, as in the case of Dume, who had blood-shot eyes in the extreme. Although it's possible that he tried to alter his genetics to survive and so it caused some extra mutations.
I would imagine them as smaller than Custodes but still stronger than Astartes.

the damned artificer - August 2, 2012 07:02 PM (GMT)
I've read as much as I could find in regard to the famed proto astartes, and some of the traits of their "Mk I" suits, which aren't actually coherent enough to be classified as a single mark of armour but rather as a large group of different armours with some similar traits, is that for most of the suits of armour they wore were only powered from the waist up, as they absence of many of the later discovered STC's meant that weaponry was bigger heavier and generally cruder and therefore the suits all incorporated at least a powered torso and fiber bundle enforced arms. Legs were for the most part unpowered and many only wore light armour on their legs. Helmets were open and the suits did not incorporate a sealed environment for use in vacuum or other zero gravity/airless/toxic environments. Heavy weapons seems to have been rare and generally campaigns were more close quarters fighting than ranged firefights and there's not many references to tanks being used either.

Size wise I got the impression from the outcast dead that the thunder warriors were both broader taller and stronger than both astartes and custodes, at least the Babu (Arik Taranis) was :)

This thread looks like it could turn out really awesome, I'll definitely be following this closely :D

Pacific - August 2, 2012 09:28 PM (GMT)
Thanks a lot for the comments and suggestions guys, it's really useful ! user posted image

The Damned Artificer raised the point about the size of the Proto-Astartes, and I think this is pretty important for me proceeding from here. What do people think about it? On the one hand, as has been pointed out, Babu was massive. But, how about the general proto-astartes? Was Babu just an 'Alpha Male' example, who had managed to live for that long, and risen to the top because of his phenomenal size and strength? Or were all Proto-Astartes like that, and essentially the equivalent of the Androids from Blade Runner, and the proverbial 'light that burns twice as bright burns half as long?' i.e. massively strong and aggressive mutations that were only designed to last for a handful of years?

In any case, I think it is important to establish one way or the other before starting, and to set some kind of scale when I start modelling? In my own view, I'm having trouble envisaging them as being significantly bigger than the Astartes. Certainly, you have to imagine the Emperor would have refined his genetic engineering techniques before creating the Astartes, and bearing in mind the horrors that awaited in the galaxy (surely levels above anything on earth) then the Astartes, if anything, would have to be better equipped to face them. I'm not sure making a smaller (yet more economical) model would be the way to achieve that.

@ Malika - That's definitely an idea! I'm loathe to spend too much money at the moment, but I'm probably going to see what I can splurge some bolter bits together. There's also a bits site I have found with some 'custom' models, so if those aren't too expensive I might try those!

@ Ilmarinen - Now that's a thought! Perhaps we will find out that is the case in time? Although I'm not sure how keen those guys would be to fight for the Emperor after the rest of their kin had died? "What's happened to Dave?" "Erm.. he got sick.. dead I'm afraid" "You joking! That happened to frank, steve and Rodney also!" "Yep! Really, really unlucky, they all got sick and died as well! No idea what was wrong with them.. guess it's just that bug that's going round at the moment! Sorry!" .. Although I'm guessing they would be some kind of 'hybrid', and not drop dead after x number of years or something? :D

@ The Damned artificer - Thats some interesting ideas! It is definitely a problem that there hasn't been much written about the Unification Wars, but on that basis I probably wouldn't want to exclude anything just because it hasn't been mentioned. I think it's possible to 'fill in the blanks' to some extent. Heavy weapons, some form of APC, or even an ability to fight in poor visibility/atmospheric conditions; these have been essential in modern warfare for almost a hundred years, and I can't imagine a war taking place so far in the future (and with that level of technology) where they weren't present. As for what form those things might take, that I think is the open question (and actually some of the elements I am looking forward to tacking the most!)

Regarding the nature of the early powered armour again, taking real world examples of what our own industry has produced so far, it is counter-intuitive to have only the upper body powered. It would mean that the legs are having to carry all of that extra power-generating equipment, as well as the weight of that armour. if anything, only the legs would be powered if it was between one or the other I think.
Although I'm not sure that where the armour is 'powered' makes much difference practically! But, I'm hoping to make the armour look like more of a disparate collection of different styles, and perhaps tie in with the whole 'techno-barbarian' idea. I hope that it will make a distinctive kind of style, and something that is instantly recognisable as being different from a 40k-era marine, or even a Pre-Heresy one for that matter.

Thanks a lot for the comments guys in any case!

The bits have arrived! user posted image

user posted image

Gagoc TheAncient - August 2, 2012 10:25 PM (GMT)
It is definitely powered torso's to make them better in close combat.
As for the legs, well they were genhanced.

the damned artificer - August 2, 2012 10:56 PM (GMT)
I really like your idea of filling in the blanks :) I do however think the one flaw your plan have is that you imply logic and reason to the mix, it is the pre-imperium after all and the effects of the age of strife would have wiped out anything complying to "modern day science" and "logic", and also as Gagoc states the proto astartes were genehanced. They would in all likelihood be immune to almost any environment possible on Terra where enemies could also survive, if you look at astartes they can even survive in a vacuum for some time unprotected, and since that is pretty rough and doesn't really occur much inside the atmosphere it is likely that the emperor have engineered the proto astartes to be tough as hell and the absence of powered leg armour is probably more likely to be in priority of raw CC strength as a result to limited materials :)

Just my thoughts :)

Pacific - August 2, 2012 11:45 PM (GMT)
But, you know even if their body could be engineered to somehow survive the pressure differential of vacuum without all of your blood vessels rupturing, you would be blinded (and therefore essentially a casualty) by the water in your eyeballs instantly freezing.... ? Ah.. forget it.. :D

I can see now that any logical explanation of anything is going to be answered with the word 'genehanced' so I won't bother ! ;) :D

Just got going tonight with some bits and pieces, I'm thinking perhaps about a 10-15% size increase over a regular Astartes?

Hopefully should have something to show over the weekend at some point!

the damned artificer - August 2, 2012 11:56 PM (GMT)
That's the beuty of GW fluff ;) Besides it wouldn't be any fun if this stuff was realistic, then none of the marines vehicles would work and orks would just be tossing around their own pooh :lol:

Back to business, I think the 10-15% size increase sounds good :) Looking forward to lovely pics :D

Pacific - August 3, 2012 01:26 PM (GMT)
A WIP of what I have done so far !

user posted image

I'm going to go for a mix of plate and chainmail armour.. the arms I've used are bare (although with those rather cool looking cable things coming out of them), but I'm probably going to have some more chainmail coming out from underneath the shoulder pad.

I'm not sure whether to try and put on some kind of pendants or other ornamentation on his chest plate?

Finally, there is still the power pack to add, and I'm also toying with the idea of trying to add some kind of wolf pelt going over his shoulders.

The white stuff on the joints is something that formed when superglue hit greenstuff, so I will remove that before the next stage. That photo has also shown some pretty bad mould lines which need to be removed !

Azkaellon - August 3, 2012 02:44 PM (GMT)
great start, are they Anvil parts? ive had a mixed bag in terms of quality from them.
(some bad mold lines or parts missing but customer service always very good)

i would add lightning bolts to the chest piece and maybe the leather kilt/skirt if you were thinking of ornamentation.

excellent work mate

Pacific - August 3, 2012 03:38 PM (GMT)
Yes mate they are. I couldn't find any imperfections on them at all, although it shows how carefully I looked considering the mould-line in the photo! Perhaps it is highlighted a little after being run through photoshop.

Thats an interesting idea about the thunderbolts, and thinking about it really they should be a distinguishing feature on the miniatures! Found this pic, I might try something similar with the lightning bolts coming off of the greaves/pauldrons etc.

user posted image

Incidentally does anyone know where the material for the Thunder Warrior wiki page comes from, and who wrote it? Just having a look here:
Thunder warrior information wiki

Undoubtedly useful, but there are a few questionable bits in there, such as part about the Emperor culling the proto-Astartes, and specifically talking about this as if it were certain? After reading The Outcast Dead, I always thought this was hinted at rather than confirmed, but please let me know if I'm wrong! :)

Gagoc TheAncient - August 3, 2012 04:05 PM (GMT)
Most of that information in the Wiki seems to come from the novel The Outcast Dead.

malika - August 3, 2012 06:09 PM (GMT)
Try to stick with the info from the novels, official background and your own gut feeling. 40k wiki generally isn't that good.

Pacific - August 3, 2012 06:14 PM (GMT)
Yes I recognised that some of the character names (such as Baba) had come from there, and I think there is also a fair bit from the formative armour article, but I wondered where the whole 'the emperor killed all of the Thunder Warriors' bit had come from!

Another update:

user posted image

This is now the basic framework of the model, and I can start adding a few more details! If anyone has any more ideas about what to add, please let me know!
- Some more of the 'thunderbolt' motif on other parts of the armour. Possibly the legs and chest, although I may leave the other shoulder pad blank for a regiment mark, or perhaps some studs. I'm deliberately leaving the GS detritus on there which I hope will add more of an imperfect look to the armour when painted.
- A big thing to add (and I'm not sure if my skills are up to it!) is some kind of wolf pet over his back and shoulders. Perhaps with the wolf head over one shoulder, and the rest leading around the sides. I think at the moment the gap between the power pack and back is quite noticeable, and I could fill that and bulk-up his upper body at the same time.
- Accessorise him! I'm torn between some basic grenades/knife/pistol etc. or some perhaps some 'space wolf style' ornaments hanging from the armour, maybe even chains hanging? I'm also weary of gilding the lily and making him look like Arnie in Commando, when he is holding about 100 different weapons!
- Finally, yes/no on a top knot? I've always hated them on helmeted models, but not sure if it might work here?

If there are any suggestions I would be very glad to hear them! This is very much a concept model, and I'm really open to new ideas and criticisms!

Fridericus Imperator Romanorum - August 3, 2012 07:26 PM (GMT)
This project is coming along very nicely indeed!

A couple of things, which came to mind:

I think, the addition of a pelt is a must, as is a pair of weird-looking spectacles (difficult with this particular head, I notice). Personally, I'm not sure SW-style ornaments fit in with the techno-barbarian theme, which sounds more post-apocalyptic than tribal. To reflect the more primitive armour manufacturing, why not add some power cables (guitar string or some such product)? Along similar lines, might I suggest a larger power pack? The one you have now seems more compact than the one Space Marines carry around, which may be somewhat anachronistic. I seem to remember a description in one of the short stories (The Last Church?), where the backpacks are described as rather large (huge, in fact) and venting steam or smoke. Surely, a large-ish chimney on their backs must make the Thunder Warriors more imposing...

Anyway, greatly looking forward to seeing more!

the damned artificer - August 3, 2012 11:59 PM (GMT)
Great concept model so far :D I think the idea BL were trying to give was that the emperor didn't exactly kill the last thunder warriors in cold blood as much as not preventing them from dying out :P

This little company called dragonforge does pewter cast cables which are much easier to work with than guitar wire, just a thought if you wanted to include more cables.

In general I think pelts could work in a limited degree, meaning that it should maybe be more of an officers touch than on every model, and not necessarily wolf pelts either, there's other furry animals that could make great pelts like lions or bears or something dangerous... Not bunnies is what I'm trying to say XD

And then more lightning symbols would work, and then loads of rivets :D

Gagoc TheAncient - August 4, 2012 01:41 AM (GMT)
The power cables under the arms is a must for this type of armour.

Also if you look at the art and the pictures of the models I posted you will notice that there's two types of lightning bolt on the armour.
So you you might want to add one or tow of the other type to your model.

As for the helmet I would like to point out that with the classic models one has the 'Topknot' type of adornment whilst the other has a Greco-Roman-type Horsehair 'brush' crest.

Pacific - August 4, 2012 06:33 PM (GMT)
Thanks a lot for the comment guys!

Fridericus Imperator Romanorum (thank god for copy/paste :D) + Gagoc, yes thanks I think I might try and introduce some more power cabling.
I completely agree about having more of a 'post-apocalyptic' look, but how do you think that would differ from 'tribal' specifically? I'm going to try and do some of it with the paint-job; of having a dirty, industrial and utilitarian look for the armour (as well as a factory/brickwork resin base). Perhaps rather than a necklace of teeth and runes, a necklace of human ears? :)

But yes, I'm trying to keep the idea of 'post-apocalypse' in mind; of Mad Max, Fallout etc. even while at the same time giving it some link to the 40k world.

I've hummed and hahhed a lot about the backpack. I did initially try a CSM backpack with some modification, but I found it overwhelmed the model a bit. To be honest, it's one of the things where I have to think the overall aeshetic of the model has to trump something being completely accurate to the background. Fortunately, descriptions of the Thunder Warriors are sparse enough for me to be able to make it look enough of a mix between Barbarian and Astartes (which really they were), and recognisably something like that, and not for anyone to say.. "well.. I dunno, the backpack on them is too small!")

QUOTE (the damned articifer)
Great concept model so far  I think the idea BL were trying to give was that the emperor didn't exactly kill the last thunder warriors in cold blood as much as not preventing them from dying out

In general I think pelts could work in a limited degree, meaning that it should maybe be more of an officers touch than on every model, and not necessarily wolf pelts either, there's other furry animals that could make great pelts like lions or bears or something dangerous... Not bunnies is what I'm trying to say XD

And then more lightning symbols would work, and then loads of rivets

On the first point I'm inclined to agree. Although the use of the word 'culled' on the wiki would seem to indicate they were actively wiped out.

I'm just working on the pelt now using some Space Wolf accessories - to be honest there aren't going to be 'officers' as such yet. I'm being realistic about how many minis I'm going to be able to complete, and a whole 40k army probably wouldn't be finished until I retire and Black Library have long since released a series of 'Unification era' books! :D

So, this project is just going to be a maximum of 10-15 models, perhaps some character and vehicles, something like that.

Fridericus Imperator Romanorum - August 4, 2012 08:56 PM (GMT)
Well, I'm not at all well-versed in the ways of tribal cultures, so everything from here on in can, at best, be considered an educated guess. It seems to me, that nature worship accounts for a lot of the bits you'll find swinging on chains and necklaces (talisman &c.), which I find rather out of place with a post-apocalyptic nightmare.
Then again, conventional (whatever that may be) post-apocalyptic hellscapes are preceeded usually by a modern, technologically advanced society, which, in the case of the universe we're discussing here, has disappeared rather a long while in the past. This lost society would be the context, in which the devastation of a particular world is perceived by survivors, and, as a now lost perspective, could become a cultural point of reference (and thus feature prominently in any personal decoration).
So, in light of this temporal difference with our example, it's perfectly reasonable to assume, that, despite a certain level of technology being available and some thoughts being directed to the glorious past, nature worship could have been resumed on Terra. Other forms of worship certainly were around at the time of the emperor's conquest.
Also, ears on chains are never a bad idea :lol:

On the matter of the backpack: Quite contrary to the impression obviously created by my last post, the reasons for my prefering a larger backpack were of an aesthetic nature and not rooted in a dogmatically construed view of the HH background. So, if you didn't like larger versions, I certainly won't ostracise you on grounds of infidelity to the source material. My idea was very simply this: A towering structure on the back would have made the Thunder Warrior look even more brute-ish and have fitted in nicely with the whole techno-barbarian motif.

Be that as it may, anxious to see the first finished conversion!

Pacific - August 5, 2012 12:01 AM (GMT)
Thanks for the thought provoking post Fridericus Imperator Romanorum ! That's an interesting aside about the use of talismans and worship, and what would have persisted on Terra at that time. Would the Emperor's strictly secular society have begun at this early point, and extended to the training of the Thunder Warriors? Would those brutes even have had an exposure to the kind of cultures that might have given them some kind of belief structure? We don't really know how they were made: whether they were grown in vats, or just raised from Children (perhaps with accelerated growth) in the form of something like the Kurt Russell movie 'Soldier'? Perhaps feral children taken from around the cities of Terra, or some combination of the above?

In any case, I think it's possible to assume that even though the Thunder Warriors wouldn't have knelt in front of a priest in Mass, quite often soldiers create their own relic-type items, their own totems against the gods of fate, as a result of repeated exposure to death (there are no atheists in the foxholes as they say!) Zoroastrianism formed in that way, a religion for soldiery in ancient Rome, so perhaps the Thunder Warriors could have something similar? In the same way that a sportsman might have a lucky shirt, soldiers carry lucky items, and I can imagine the more seasoned Proto-Astartes to have perhaps behaved in a like manner. I'll have to have a think about it in any case! :)

On the modelling front I have been busy tonight and got a bit more work done!

user posted image

I've added some more studs to his front plate. Hid midriff was also look a bit sparse, so I've put on a couple of belt clips, some grenades and some shell-type things.

user posted image

The wolf pelt is a mix of a Space Wolf sergeant cloak (god knows why I have that, as I've never collected Space Wolves!) and green stuff. You can't see it well, but the other paw is hanging down the back of the marine. I'm guessing I'll also have to paint the face and ear of the wolf looking a bit singed, don't think this guy has thought that much about health and safety :)

user posted image

Showing the wolf head in a bit more detail.

This is probably about 90% complete now, I'm wary of guilding the lily and spoiling it by making the model too busy. Probably the final addition will be a top-knot; I'm a little worried it will make him look too much like a White Scar, but I think it will help the balance of the model, and also I guess the White Scars are rather barbaric in appearance in any case!

Would be really interested to see if anyone has any more suggestions, and any C&C would be greatly appreciated before I add the final components :)

Brother V - August 5, 2012 12:19 AM (GMT)
This is shaping up nicely, I recently finished 'The Outcast Dead' and the way the Thunder Warriors were portrayed in that was exactly what you seem to have captured, crude, massive, and brutal enough to beat the piss out of veteran astartes. I'm looking forward to further posts. I have always been fascinated by the Unification Wars and the fact that the fate of the Thunder Warriors was a shadow of the fate that awaited the Legionnes Astartes, though they didn't know it.

Calgar 2.0 - August 5, 2012 12:22 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Pacific @ Aug 5 2012, 12:01 AM)
In any case, I think it's possible to assume that even though the Thunder Warriors wouldn't have knelt in front of a priest in Mass, quite often soldiers create their own relic-type items, their own totems against the gods of fate, as a result of repeated exposure to death (there are no atheists in the foxholes as they say!) Zoroastrianism formed in that way, a religion for soldiery in ancient Rome, so perhaps the Thunder Warriors could have something similar? In the same way that a sportsman might have a lucky shirt, soldiers carry lucky items, and I can imagine the more seasoned Proto-Astartes to have perhaps behaved in a like manner. I'll have to have a think about it in any case! :)

My Uncle's unit in Afghanistan would beg to differ about that statement. ;)

Excellent use of the Anvil Industries kits, now make 50 more. :D

Dogbert - August 5, 2012 01:01 AM (GMT)
Blown away, he looks awesome! Wish I had GS skills to do some of that. Really can't wait to see paint on him. Also, I vote for some top knots!

Fridericus Imperator Romanorum - August 5, 2012 12:50 PM (GMT)
This is getting better and better!
There's just one tiny thing that's been at the back of my mind, since I first saw this prototype: For some reason the position of the head seemed odd to me. Now, I think, I know why that is. He looks upward slightly, which makes his stance appear less imposing and threatening, maybe even slightly quizzical. While I'm sure there are many practical reasons, why it's perfectly alright for him to look up at something, it really shouldn't be. Thunder Warriors always look down on the things they've just trodden on (cf. thread title). :P

Also, I really like the additional studs on the breastplate and the bits and bobs on the belt.

Your points regarding personal items are well-taken. Seeing as the emperor was pretty keen on his version of secularism, maybe one should dispense with the idea of good luck charms, talismans, &c. altogether and just think of these objects as reminders of vanquished enemies and glorious victories, devoid of any metaphysical connotation. It would fit in more nicely perhaps with warriors, who never really left the emperor's presence and due to their limited life-span (at least that's the suggestion in Outcast Dead IIRC) probably never had sufficient time to develop a distinct culture of their own (quite in contrast to the Astartes).

malika - August 5, 2012 01:36 PM (GMT)
How big is the fellow compared to a normal Space Marine model?

If you are going for the post-apocalyptic vibe, don't forget the leather straps and spikes!

Pacific - August 5, 2012 01:59 PM (GMT)
Thanks a lot for the comments guys! :)

now make 50 more. :)

How long have you got? :P Seriously though, I want to spend time on each mini for this and not batch-build. Realistically I doubt I will make more than 12-15 of these guys.

Fridericus Imperator Romanorum - thanks mate, yes I completely know what you mean about his stance. I kind of wanted him standing there at ease, like the kind of illustration you see in a Forge World book, perhaps with the wind blowing through his top-know ;) (OK.. not the last bit..) Partly this was just to get something made, a template if you like for the further models. The next guy will be a bit more aggressive looking!

Those are some good points about the totems and trophies from defeated enemies (who have been crushed, driven before him, followed by lamentations by their women.. :D ) At the moment I'm thinking of adding this at the painting stage, as I'm concious of making the model too crowded.

How big is the fellow compared to a normal Space Marine model?

If you are going for the post-apocalyptic vibe, don't forget the leather straps and spikes!

He is probably about half a head taller than a standard marine (measuring from the feet), and again about 10% wider. I will post some comparison shots when I have finished the top knots.

Good point about the spikes, not sure I'll be able to do them on this one but perhaps the next attempt!

Thanks a lot for the feedback and comments guys, it's really useful, will post the final pics soon!

malika - August 5, 2012 03:23 PM (GMT)
You might want to add more savagery in the other models, they were really crude and nasty fighters the Emperor used but needed to get rid of afterwards (kind of the same as how Legions such as the Night Lords and World Eaters were censured).

Include shrunk skulls on chains and spikes, maybe ever raid some Dark Eldar bits to get the right feeling.

The top-notch of the Abaddon model might also be a nice touch for one of the "officers".

Will you also be including other stuff besides the 12-15 models, such as vehicles, allies or maybe even pre-Unity Emperor and Malcador? :ph43r:

the damned artificer - August 5, 2012 08:49 PM (GMT)
Please correct me if I'm wrong as I've been reading a lot of HH books lately and it can get confusing sometimes on the small details, but I seem to remember Arik Taranis/Babu Dhakal having a small flashback to his childhood in the outcast dead, which gives me the impression, if I remember it correctly of course, that they are modified/genhanced humans, as in born human and then transformed :)

The model is coming together very well, and I'd do the topknot if I were you despite my normal dislike for topknots, but they just really fit in well with the "techno barbarian" feel :) The "" is because in spite of them being crude compared to astrtes they aren't really techno barbarians, they kinda extinguished those :P

And I second the idea of leaving any form of religious symbols and charms out of the project and making them trophies instead as it seems wrong to fight a war against religion on Terra and still allow it in ones own ranks :)

Keep up the great work :D

Pacific - August 7, 2012 02:17 PM (GMT)
Thanks for the info damned artificer !

Have finished the top-knot now, and as requested here is a size comparison pick to a regular Astartes:

user posted image

Accounting for the raised base, he is about half a head taller than a regular marine, although his proportions are somewhat different (with a smaller head and hands).

Next up, the paint job!

I'm really torn here for what kind of look to go for. At present, I'm thinking a flat grey-ceramite style colour for the armour, with an edging of tin bitz/boltgun metal as though the paint has chipped off.

But I'm concious of getting some colour in as well, and not making it look too grim and drab.

Does anyone have any thoughts on the matter? :)

Apologist - August 7, 2012 03:53 PM (GMT)
Colour-wise, I'd go for classic red, orange and brass, with black and white details (dags, chequers etc). Red's a colour that instantly evokes brutality and aggressiveness. It's also got connotations within tabletop wargaming of being slightly old-fashioned, which would fit in nicely.

I really like the conversion; that's a great pose.

malika - August 7, 2012 04:21 PM (GMT)
If you can pull off the freehand stuff definitely include the chequers in there!

As for the other models, these guys are supposed to represent inhumane and arrogant killing machines. Try to show that in the poses of the models. Standing arrogantly, not caring for cover. Or maybe looking down on some foe begging for mercy. Stuff like that give the models that tiny extra touch that will make them truly amazing!

Dogmeat - August 7, 2012 06:50 PM (GMT)
Thats an awesome model.. Minus that strange chain-stick-weapon.. either make it a spear/halberd or a chainsword! there is no in between IMO :)

and the lightning bolt on the shoulder plate.. you must center it.. it looks at bit sloppy

but again, great build, oozing character

malika - August 7, 2012 07:42 PM (GMT)
I disagree about the chainblade. I would imagine there are many different types of chain weapons out there: swords, rapiers, axes, halberds, glaives, maces, bayonets, knives, etc.

Pacific - August 7, 2012 11:30 PM (GMT)
Thanks for the comments again guys!

Yes about the Chainblade, an important part of this project is that I can try and do something that doesn't conform to a standard 40k template.

There is so little known about the Unification Wars, so little already done, and that was a strong reason for wanting to make this guy. I know having adherence to plans and canon is important, but I really dislike when such considerations are put in front of aesthetic ones - Unification Era (at least for the moment) is like an open book at the moment, with nothing written in it.


user posted image

Yes.. I know it is so horribly dated now, and so cheesy by modern standards.

But, there is something about the character of that picture, the feeling it gives.. I'm thinking about what Apologist has said about using a red colour, and wonder if there is any way at all it can be transferred onto the model..

Maybe a little bit of camouflage pattern, and some checkered patterns. Could it work? I will try and thin the paint as much as possible in case it doesn't.. :D

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