Monday, 2 September 2013

Of the fabulous hydra it is said, cut off one head and two will grow in its place!

To do this - I need to go to the beginning - all the way. This post is part one of three reports of Legion reaching Army size. Second will be more musings, close ups on armor and three new Marines, and third my grand plan going forward. Before (or perhaps after) you dive into looking at the pictures, please grab your favorite Warhammer 40000 Codex, Rulebook or Art book. This should be the frame of reference as much as the other painted miniatures you see in the inter webs, or perhaps more so.

Thanks. And Sorry.

Founding (2009)

Of the fabulous hydra it is said, cut off one head and two will grow in its place” - antique proverb

Prelude - Ten Millenia of Memories

Rhisinne, great equatorial plains, two years after the Heresy.

The utter silence tuned into a screaming crescendo smoothly like a curtain unveiled before the act.  Fourteen Chimera Personnel carriers sat on the dry ground, their cargo perfectly lined up in front of them. The Stormbird touched down briefly. Clouded in dust it rose again and took away the crescendo. Silence. The dust settled and revealed five figures, two giants in  midnight plate, a Het of the Geno Chiliad, a robed man and a frail, incredibly elegant character. A sharp clasp sprung as 166 Elite Geno Guard snapped into attention with near inhuman precision behind the General Governor, Geno 4-4.

The fate of the system was decided between this conclave, with only the desert as the witness. No written or other document would ever reference this event. The true rule was established and the trials of  Vipera were initiated. “The Tacit” an elite military formation was born that day, but their history makes no  mention of their forming, and verbal account does not cumulate in a unit of mouthless men. 

41st Millenium

We are Legion (2008, the original story from Jade Vessel =I=munda campaign)

They needed to find him and find him they did. Didn’t feel that way now, did it. It was fething cold, the humidity of the earlier thunder rains was whisked around by the brisk sea wind flowing through the forgotten docklands. The full moon cast a pale, icy glare that froze the shadows of the stand off. 
There he was, in rugged civilian clothes, armed with a brace of pistols, Sgt. Jargassor, whom all needed to find - the least of their concerns now. 

The entire hunt team had their retinas transfixed on the massive being next to him. A dozen weapons of different make pointed at him for what little difference it made. Standing two and a half meters, a god of war, clad in a huge suit of armor the color of night, the giant stared back, immoveable like a statue, yet radiating explosiveness like an unstable flux core reactor. 

The wind turned only to punctuate the stalemate.

‘I am Alpharius, We are Legion‘ The giant announced in a distinctive, flowing, silky, yet authoritarian voice.

A Band of Brothers  (2009)

Rhisinne, great equatorial plains, 999.M41

Bone jarring grind engulfed the wadi, Wrath of Vulcan, a Storm Lord and two Baneblades: Steel Dancer and Equilibrium powered forward in triangle formation, followed by two companies of Leman Russ Vanquishers, tiny in comparison. The plain on both sides was a hell storm of fire and smoke, as the 2-2-1 Artillery blanketed the approach invisible. Forty-two Chimeras followed the main battle tanks into the wadi, carrying the 3-7 Renor Grenadiers.

In the huge border county hive, a squadron of Valkyrie screamed thorough perilous support beams and hab structures. On board squads of the Tacit sat in silence, meditating the battle plan. Each could feel the stream of data in their comm implants, as their rides banked from side to side to navigate the tight approach and avoid the intense flak. 

Sgt. Jurg of 3-7 double checked his watch, briefly revealing a hint of dark blue tattoo. A symbol bearing clear resemblance was also found on Colonel Rafs’ Chest, underneath the ballistic cloth that the Storm Lord crew wore to work. Comissar Grennel wore a signet ring with a snake around two crosses. Each and every one of the Tacit had a burn brand XX on their left pectoral muscle. Then there were the Stealth Cells, like Effrit, who wore much more developed and hidden brands.  All told, over a thousand man or women preparing for war, training and training were “Legion First”.

Rhisinne, Ultima Segementum  (following extract thought to be a current draft of Ordo Hereticus fact file: re: Rhisienne) (2009)

A bastion of Imperial might, Rhisinne, it’s twin guardian moons Vipera and Pythan and 3 satellite worlds Quntus (agri world), Renor (geo mineral world) and Falkh (Cardinal World) together form an empire  of indomitable attrition against the fury of Maelstorm and the countless Xeno foe in the eastern Fringe. The System is gaining respect and referenced with the Likes of Abdus Prima and Gelt, even Ultramar, in productivity and model of Imperial Creed. 

Rhisienne’s illustrious history draws close to the annals of the Heresy and it’s aftermath, but the founding of the mythical and elusive Blades of Laerna (Gene Seed unknown) chapter in M36 chartered an age of growth and strength in the region. In particular the pacification of Xenos hostilities in the region was profound. 

The Adeptus Terra allow for considerable leeway in the dealings of planetary governing bodies, when the tithes are met and regiments raised. Rhisienne has been exemplary on both accounts, but the behavior, and in particular refusal of the Blades of Laerna to fight together with other Chapters, has warranted two Inquisitorial investigations on their conduct and position of power within the system. No conclusive findings have been made, but nor has anyone been allowed on the twin moon bases of the chapter. Four different Inquisitorial Conclaves have argued the issue. The Chapter seems to have a veto of sorts within the inner chambers of Ordos Ultima Segementum.  Not so with the Astartes. Infuriated Captain Sicarius of the Ultramarines, normally the image of calm and tact, has reported his apparent disgust at a Blades of Lerna veteran, who outrageously introduced himself as _Heretic Name Scourged off records_, before disappearing without trace during recent operations against the upstart Tau Empire. This is but one of several shows of disrespect and bravado, or outright non co-operation. Some less taciturn chapters have threatened with open hostilities.

Rhisienne System can boast with two legendary Imperial Guard regiments, the Renor Grenadiers and the Elite Tacit. Furthermore the Rhisienne PDF is a top tier military formation, it’s Guard regiments in high demand across the sector and beyond. 

The system is a very model of Imperial values and strength, determined and resourceful. 

The VI Edition (2012)

A matrimony of flesh and engine, a one in a million mechanicum body for a uniquely gifted sentient gasped violently. Like a diver bursting from depths for that first animalistic inhale. The noosphere sifted, fluid, organic, but binary.  The sift caused a flurry of responses, the system sensing its new gift, feeling its tremendous potential. 

That gasp echoed in eternity. A thousand sinister and sadistic beings reacted with what would be best described as surprise. But that surprise was followed by feelings that would savage planets and devour populations. 

The test flight was a success. 

It was monitored by several cloaked Pegasus Surveillance kites, and other less impossible craft, all connected to the noosphere. The mechanical man in his ballistic grave trailing cables as thick as an Astartes thigh would have smiled had he not lost that ability aeons ago. 

That was not the only smile on the bridge of a massive displacement of nothing in high anchor over Ragoos. If someone had the means to reveal its nature and decipher its name, it was called Gamma, a hugely powerful subsystem. Two gigantic Astartes Captains shared a grin before addressing the others. It was quite the ensemble. So unorthodox and specialized that only the 20th Legion could muster and master such. 

When the God Emperor created his demigod generals and their Legions of super warriors he made them adaptable and all powerful, but he also designed each to perfect an aspect of warfare and to fulfill a unique role and character. The Imperial Fists would build his forts and surrender no ground,  led by Dorn genius of war architecture. Perturabo and his Iron Warriors would be his siege lords, assault destroyers without peer, able to crack open any defense. Leman Russ was the Emperor’s executioner. His loyal wolf pack that would hunt down everyone and anyone who needed to die.

When the Emperor had carefully considered all aspects of military strategy and tactics, theoretical and practical, he had one role left for insurance. The Rogue Agent, The XX. They would be the Emperor’s Special Operations Forces, full-filling the final gap in the perfect army. The most physically fit, independent, secretive, clandestine, unorthodox and creative of all of his Legions. 

What was set in motion in the Rhisienne system exemplified all of those qualities. The Emperor’s design was flawless. 


It all started 20 years ago. A young kid found the mysterious world of 40k through Space Crusade and then 2nd Edition.

Playing the game with other kids my age, I was naturally the most able with technique, but one of the kids was really doing his own thing. While all the others were admiring the freehand flames on my Dark Angel Captain’s cape, I was in awe of these bright green, loosely painted marines mixing parts from RT era and other model kits and doing the unexpected. 

By the 3rd Edition, I had left and come back, and got hooked so I would not leave again. I also once more met a friend with ability to produce such genius originality that that it made me reconsider all of my own work.

Stupendous amounts of hard fun and work later - a fun Necromunda campaign with solemnly Inquisitorial twist changed things for me. We called it =I=munda.

During the campaign and reading the Legion book, I just had to try portraying GW art and Legion the book, in a single concept Marine. Painted for impact not technical perfection. Something I had been searching since the start of the hobby. I finally found the space where I like the work I produce and it resonates originality and freedom in my own possibly biased opinion. Despite the growing up business, the hobby remains an unrestricted canvas were I can just have fun, explore and enjoy, without the pressures and budgets of real world. 

What I remember very fondly from second edition was the mix and match of imperial allies. Marines and guard standing side by side. So the allies rules have obviously been the best news with the new edition. The first Leman Russ demolisher kit was just released when I got in the hobby, so that will also feature... But more importantly, the second edition has had a seminal role in inspiring this project.

Having first nailed the marine in a way that presents the legion character and the Astartes physique “correctly”, I was happy to find away with the humble Imperial Guardsman. A regiment that would typify some of the crazyness of 40k in comparison to modern military. The original plan for IG was to be:

  1. a mass canvas bringing out the marines and esoteric agents
  2. good on their own
  3. fit in with the existing palette
  4. not be too drab and sink in terrain totally like my previous guard.

The army is now at gaming strength, aiming for tournament strength, and after the latest forays to the gorgeous new Dark Vengeance boxed set, and the Dread Knight Venerable Dreadnought, the plan is simple. Find the stamina to do Guard in numbers, and ignite the forge world to produce tanks!

I do have one sincere ask for GW. A new plastic guard regiment or two, please. Those are looooong over due.

Stay tuned.


  1. I love the tanks, they look like second edition 'evy metal vehicles that have been dragged through a months long campaign through the desert .

    1. Thank you very much! It's exactly what I was aiming for. Second edition had a distinct crazyness to tanks - but lacked gothic horror of 40k warfare in the paint jobs.

  2. Extra special all this and so good to see such an individualised army - another hobby landmark and an inspiration - I wish I could devout the time in doing similar .....

    1. Thank you sir! So glad that you like it. I am left wondering how did I have the time with this crazy life, but the answer is 4 years, and little by little with utmost focus. I have maybe a 10th of the time to put in the hobby compared to what I had before 2009.

  3. Quite an achievement Migs! It´s a very impressive and characterful army.

    I`m especially fond of the gritty tanks and the Legion marines of course. You truly are the master of truescale!

  4. Fantastic Migs. So white and wonderful, gritty and sharp.
    I really like how you have used the white and spot colours to make the individual models pop visually on the board. There are way too many dark armies out there. A truly inspirational army.

    1. Thanks! Too dark/drab/matching to terrain is a mistake I've done with a few of my own armies - so it really was a goal not to repeat that. Yet keep it in character to "Grim darkness of far future" and my moon light theme.

  5. A wonderful army, truly a marvel to behold all assembled. The individuality of all the models is quite an achievement, but they are all held together with the dusty paint job, really befitting of Adnett's vision he laid out in Legion. It is wonderful to see someone with your talent add more life to the Alpha Legion. They are one of the most intriguing and exciting of the Founding Legions, in my opinion at least!

    Good job finishing the tanks too!

    1. Thank you. I feel like they just hang together as a group. The big push going forward is to paint a full platoon of Imperial Guardsmen to tie the dynamic together nicely. But I am hoping GW is going to address the only real remaining gaping hole in the core miniature imagery - the lack of Tallarns/Mordians/Valhallans in plastics and 21st century design.

  6. Spectacular! Great to see all the different pieces coming together as an army. Thanks for sharing your journey, I hope you get the opportunity to play some games as well.

    1. Thanks. The way I feel is that the Journey is just about to start :) So much to learn, so much to do and tons of amazing miniatures on the way from GW I'm sure. And yes, hopefully games very soon and a tournament or two each year.

  7. Hi Migs

    Its been a pleasure to have seen this grow over the last few years. Your motivation and dedication to this project has been a massive inspiration.

    The new Apharius look a quite a bit brighter than the original?

    The Twins and Desert Alpharius' squad are my favourites. Though you have managed to make tanks look interesting.

    The group shot and the battle board have been well and truly worth the wait. Looking forward to seeing your moonlit Eldar allies.... I hope the next unit of rangers take a nod to your original paint scheme.


  8. Hi Peter,

    Thanks. Its' been a pleasure and areal motivation to have some of you honorable gentlemen follow and support this project, and inspire it to new levels with your own work.

    Currently there are 3 different types of Alpharius paint (4 including the Desert Ultramarine) and with the addition of the new three that should be 5. In the fluff there are mentions of darker stealth armor on certain Alpharius and I've been experimenting within an envelope that is hopefully close enough, but with individual variety.

    My own favorites are the 1st Alpharius and Jargassor, the Mechanicus cyclops and the IG sergeant.

    What comes next is not Eldar, but the models are ready for their slot in the future plans. I think initially they will be introduced as advisors within my units.

  9. I stumbled across your page via Dave Taylor's website. I really like your modelling skills and your painting style is interesting and novel too. There is a real cool Enki Bilal look to many of the figures; especially your vignette of the two Marine Scouts in the ruin.

    1. Thanks sir! Enki Bilal comparison is a massive compliment. I am a big fan of his style, yet I totally haven't thought about some of the similarities in hue/line/feel.

      Welcome to my Blog! And thanks to Dave once again. He remains one of the biggest sources of incoming traffic.