Salamanders I (Horus Heresy – Legio Astartes) 2016

You come seeking our father, but he is not here. I searched for him on the field of battle until they struck me down with a sword of flame that scorched the very heavens, and yet I did not die. I searched for him in the endless vaults of the dead where the crushing blackness tore at my very soul, and yet I endured. I was tested once again through the crucible, and I tell you this — Vulkan does not walk among the dead!


There is no cooler character in the Horus Heresy (at least from my brief readings of the Forgeworld source books) that Cassian Dracos. The idea of an army being led by an unkillable robot warrior-monk, burning with the flames of zealoutry, is just far too cool to pass up.

The Salamanders are a very under-represented Legion in the Horus Heresy scene and I never understood why (without bringing up the “race” issue that somehow always gets brought up by some hobbyists). I mean, they’re the most “human” legion, but also the most heavy metal (perhaps second to World Eaters). PURGING FIRE AND FLAMES! BRIMSTONE! ARTISAN WEAPONS! DRAGONS!

I have a feeling my love for the green guys comes from my previous Witchhunter project and my various other green armies. I’ve also had a continuing love for “techy” armies and for zealous heroes. Most of all, I just thought the Sallies needed more love… And I’m a massive Warhammer Hipster who wants to do things that not many people have done before.

It was, as I’m sure most of you would know from experience, a really hard choice to settle on a Legion. Out of 18 iconic forces, only one could lay their colours on my expensive bare plastic and resin. I ended up making the choice, at Nottingham, to buy the coolest looking Primarch, Vulkan, and the coolest Dreadnought, Cassian Dracos. And so, my XVIII Legion force was born, following The Dragon Revenant into the fires of battle, unto the anvil of war.

My Salamanders are (perhaps) going to be part of a larger “Shattered Legion” or allied force (alongside either Space Wolves to match my old Iron Wolves or perhaps even loyalist Emperor’s Children). They are members of Xiaphus Jurr’s “Disciples of the Flame” and the crew-members of the Ebon Drake, led, of course, by Cassian Dracos himself. Though I’m still to start painting Xiaphus, before leaving for three months overseas I managed to paint up a Tactical Squad, a Support Squad and Cassian to prove the colour scheme. I was a bit hesitant at first, thinking “ooh, have I picked the right Legion?”, but after finishing this portion of the army, I’ve fallen in love.

This is an ongoing project, so look out for updates as they come! Also, keep your eyes peeled for a guide on painting this green armour, fire and Salamander skin. VULKAN LIVES!

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The Salamanders regroup after Istvaan, with fires of vengeance burning in their hearts

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The Thirteenth Horseman (Warhammer – Conversion) 2016

The dead do not rest peacefully along the tainted borders of Praag. The city long ago became a distended hive for daemons and other warped creatures. The walls wail with the souls of the trapped and butchered. The graveyards and churches are now haunted by beings not quite living, not quite dead and not quite sane.
 
But still there are noble souls in the city, or at least something like that. 
 
Stomping, grunting and galloping up and down the length of Praag’s great walls are thirteen horesemen, knights of an unknown order who stand in eternal vigil. Twisted and broken by the powers of Chaos, these beings know no rest. 
 
Whether they be daemon, undead or some almagamation of both, no one can be sure. Some bear the arms and armour of Norse Marauders, others the ragged colours of Empire knights. One amongst them even carries Elder blades and wears a phoenix helm. Whatever their previous allegiance, it is obvious that they now serve a greater, more mysterious master. Repelling invaders and looters from the Northlands, mountains and great cities alike, they are silent guardians of the entombed city. 

The Thirteenth Horseman was a fun little conversion, made largely from the bitz-box of my local hobby store. I remember spotting a cute “skeletaur” conversion in one of the very first Golden Demon publications (all the way from the 80s). It’s really liberating and enjoyable to challenge yourself with “complex” conversions for the simple sake of creating, instead of hacking and pasting weapons for WYSIWYG gaming.

The most challenging parts of this conversion were those involved in making the Horseman look like he was “leaping” over the barricade. I had to do a bit of cutting and greenstuffing around the back legs to make the plastic horse skeleton to “rear up”. It’s quite simple to do this, just follow the contours already in place as designed by the modeller, cut into them and then fill the space with greenstuff. It can be painful to watch it slowly droop and fall apart as the greenstuff dries, but just hold it in a neutral position so that the weight does not pull it down. Look for more of a tutorial on this in the future!
The painting style was very much inspired by the recent influx of “Blanchitsu” warbands and, in particular, the blog Ex Profundis, one of my favourite hobby websites ever!
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The Triumph of Death – The Thirteenth Horseman

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