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 Development Notes: Notitia Astartum
Posted: Sep 25 2010, 06:47 AM


Group: Champions
Posts: 150
Member No.: 21
Joined: 15-January 08

There have been some very helpful comments and questions about my "Notitia" threads, so I thought I'd start a brief entry here in the "general" section for the Space Marine Legions in order to discuss my thoughts, plans, progress, etc.

1. General Concept -

The "Notitia Astartum" will be a basic handbook introducing the Twenty Legiones Astartes as of the Horus Heresy Era. It will include a very brief introductory history of each legion to include contemporary views of the Legion in question, information regarding armor types and unusual units identified within each legion, notes on livery and insignia for vehicles and personnel, a list of notable personnel from each Legion as mentioned in canon sources, and (eventually, it is hoped) photographs and or illustrations depicting some of the more interesting schemes. (That was the motivation for the "Visual Codex Project" two years ago.)

I had originally intended to write this from a perspective of the 41st mil., but this has proven difficult, as it's meant to be a guide for everyone - from the HH-geek who's trying to increase his knowledge with some light, interesting reading, to the newbie intrigued by the concept of the Horus Heresy but unsure where to begin. As such, I've switched to a more "historical document" approach, using the information we have to construct a general picture, and including helpful hints I've picked up from painters/modelers/etc. along the way.

This was originally motivated by beginning the hobby but being unsure where to start - and finding little help on other major forums. Lately, my desire to do this has been increased by the very common habit of blatant misidentification of any item prior to the current incarnation of the Warhammer 40k universe as "pre heresy" (most commonly 1st and 2nd edition miniatures), but in truth, the main objective here is to collect the knowledge of various hobbyists and get it into one, easy to access, place. I believe that there are plans to do a Heresy Era Wiki at some point, and I hope to include the Notitia with my contributions.

2. Sources -

Although I occasionally mention interesting information from older sources, I am trying to keep the statements of fact to sources from what I call the "New Chronology" - the material established by the Horus Heresy Cardgame and the novels and short stories that followed, as well as a few bits from the newest codices. Any material that is interesting but generally considered unreliable or defined as "non-canon from an official source" is referred to as the "Old Chronology."

I am particularly strict with visual references, largely because I have often seen them misinterpreted, and they play the most important role in our attempts to model/paint the Legions for Pre-Heresy/Heresy Era gaming. For example, I never take the captions in Collected Visions at face value. They are frequently wrong, or unsubstantiated. Many Astartes are identified as being part of one Legion when they are obviously part of another, or only vaguely named, with no legionary iconography available to positively identify them. This doesn't mean I'm always right, but it does mean that the subject of an illustration has an interesting set of armor, but no clear legion markers, I'm not going to immediately call him a "World Eater" because part of his armor appears to be white.

For the most part, I have also avoided unusual color schemes seen with characters. While these are very interesting, they do not, as a general matter of course, provide useful informatinn for the researching/building/eventual painting of the Legions!

3. Layout -

Still experimenting with this. Trying to keep it as simple as possible. Eventually all of the entries will be put together in a master document, but for now, I've split them up into each Legionary section, so that folks interested can see the works in progress, add their own notes, make contributions, etc.

4. Contributions -

I am always grateful for contributions to the Notitia - to include snippets of information, useful images, even photographs of Astartes you've painted in their appropriate historical schemes. Ideally, for example, it'd be great to have a well painted example of each of the many paint schemes for "<Insert Legion Here>" so that a new painter can look at these and draw inspiration.

I also hope to have other folks contribute by writing entries. There are some Legions about which I will know considerably less than others. For example, the Dark Angels fascinate me, but I never really did much with the HH Dark Angels books, so I'd probably defer to someone else who'd be willing to write that entry. I'm sure the same could be said of others. The same could be said of the Emperor's children. I didn't care for Fulgrim, therefore didn't finish it; someone out there who did finish Fulgrim probably has a lot of more useful in formation on the Emperor's Children, as well as the other troops at Istvaan V. I'll chime in where I can, of course, and ultimately, I'll proofread our entries before the final document is ready.

As always, input is welcome and warmly appreciate any help/input/advice you're willing to provide.

More as this develops. But thanks again for your time and indulgence,


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