In part 1 of the March to Terra, our authors set themselves a clear goal – to paint up a 1000 point force for the Horus Heresy, and specifically for Zone Mortalis games. With the new White Dwarf rules for this game mode that came out in late June, we know what we’re aiming towards – now we just need to actually build and paint it! As a reminder, here’s which Praetor is taking on which Legion:
- MasterSlowPoke: III Legion – Emperor’s Children (Sir Not Appearing In This Update, with some feeble excuse about “ordering the paints” and them only arriving yesterday. Perhaps he just didn’t want to post before already achieving perfection)
- Soggy: V Legion – White Scars
- Bair: VII Legion – Imperial Fists
- Rockfish: VII Legion – Imperial Fists
- Jack: IX Legion – Blood Angels
- Liam: IX Legion – Blood Angels
- Beanith: X Legion – Iron Hands
- Lenoon: XIII Legion – Ultramarines
- Contemptor Kevin: XIII Legion – Ultramarines
- Serotonin: XIV Legion – Death Guard
- RichyP: XVII Legion – Word Bearers
- Lupe: XX Legion – Alpha Legion
We’ve also been joined by Magos Sockbert this month, who will be painting the IV Legion – Iron Warriors!
Let’s see how everyone’s gotten on since last month.
The last month of the school year is always crazy in Teacherland, so I painted my contribution last month “just in case”. First up, I repainted Argel Tal to better fit in with the darker crimson of my new scheme.
Next up, and because I was super desperate to paint it (even though I really don’t like painting anything larger than a regular infantry model) was the Kratos. The tank is lovely, and brush-painted up nice and quickly with some cheap Amazon make-up brushes and lots of thinned Contrast washes.
Using a combination of bits from the Axe Praetor, the Vehicle Sprue Mk II head and a WHFB chariot adornment, I kit bashed another Praetor along with an Ultramarine base decoration using the left-overs. For this guy I wanted to keep the Crimson and Gold, as well as bring in the bright green that serves as my tie-in colour for the army (used on weapons, helmet plumes and lenses etc.., and a darker version on cloth)
For those keeping track, that’s 4 HQ (Argel Tal, 2 Praetors and a Diabolist), 1 Elite (Old plastic Contemptor) and 1 Heavy Support (Kratos), so obviously I need to paint some Troops. Which I did not do, instead I painted another Contemptor (complete with additional Ultramarine, of which I have more troops than Word Bearers at this point).
The additional green glowing effects on the “lascannon” and on the Praetor’s Axe represent Warpfire Weapons and Tainted Weapons respectively, so the Lascannon is actually a Warpfire Cannon as I’m running this guy as a Mhara Gal Dreadnought. In the next instalment I hope to have some Troops painted up, either some Gal Vorbak, Catephractii, either/or using the special rule to make them troops and potentially some actual Marines. As it’s the summer holidays starting this week I might even be able to get a game in at some point too.
I doubt this is that surprising to anyone at this point, but I have in fact been painting. Since the last shot I did a squad of Terminators, a Kratos, a Rhino, a Castellan, and two five model Support squads.
Now, something you might notice about the stuff that has appeared since last months article is that rather a lot of it won’t actually fit into Zone Mortalis, to which I say: Oops. I am as usual following my painting whims as opposed to what would be good in a list, but you gotta admit the Kratos looks neat!
I did do some models which are probably applicable to ZM like all these termis, but it kinda looks like I will end up circling back when they get more plastic support for melee units and stuff like that.
Just to mention some other stuff I thought turned out well, you might have seen this Castellan in the Kitbashing Axe Praetors article. Given how little experience with bashes I have, I feel he turned out pretty well!
These Missile Support models were a bunch of fun too!
Oh man do I have to go after RichyP and Rockfish? I have absolutely not painted as much, at all. A lot of this month has been thinking about the fluff of My Guys(TM), and how they fit into the wider Heresy. I didn’t want purely Roman-inspired Ultramarines, and I want to explore the knock-down-drag out war against the Word Bearers and the rage-filled reaction to Calth. Inspiration came with looking through Second Founding Chapters, who I reasoned were all spun off from Chapters within the wider Legion. Within that, the Mortificators – brooding, death-obsessed, ancestor worshipping, skull-taking Ultramarine successors – stuck out as the best possible choice.
Mortify – to discipline, harass, humiliate, kill, deaden, humble or depress
And there we had it – the Mortificator Chapter of the Ultramarines Legion. A formation created by Guilliman to not just hurt the Traitors hanging around in the 500 worlds after Calth but to kill them brutally, embarrassingly, to grind them into a bloody pulp. These are Ultramarines who lost their damn minds after Calth, survivors of broken companies armed with what they can scavenge on their crusade and aimed like a filthy, hooked blade into the guts of the traitors as they flee from the revenge of Ultramar towards Terra.
Taking that idea as inspiration, I’ve done a lot of freehanding of individual John Blanche style heraldry, with classic GW inspired skulls, script, chequerboard and bone-coloured panels. Every marine so far is individual, a choice which I will no doubt come to regret, and I’m using some older marines (with added nail art hemispheres for those tasty mark V studs) to add in a more raggedy appearance to each squad. This first squad and a half of tacticals will be my solid backbone, added to my Space Crusade Terminators and Old Contemptor to make up the majority of my ZM force. With my Praetor finally fully painted, I’m nearly at the 1k ZM goal! Another month or so, and another big dead marine and it should all be in place.
Contemptor Kevin’s Mix of Units
The month of July 2022, for the early part, proved to be relatively mild. Sure, there were a few hot days here and there, and going into the 4th weekend in July it’s set to finally get hellishly hot. But having temperatures only hit the mid-80s with decent humidity meant that I was able to get a number of units from the Big Box built, primed, and painted.
Over the past month, I have completed a total of four units (Word Bearers Tactical Squad, Word Bearers Axe Praetor, Sons of Horus Despoiler Squad, and Ultramarines Master of Signal), while three more are built and primed for the next month!
The Word Bearers Tactical Squad is the Mk IV Squad, with the Forge World Helmets and Shoulder Pads. I also used some various bits from the Chaos Space Marine kit to spice up the unit. I gave the Sergeant a Warpfire Plasma Gun, because it’s scary and cool.
The Word Bearers Axe Praetor is the Mk VI Praetor from the Big Box. I gave him a CSM head and shoulder pads from the Mk IV kit. I painted him with a tainted axe.
The Sons of Horus Despoiler Squad is a mix of the following kits:
-Mk VI Tactical Squad
-Mk IV Tactical Squad
-Chaos Space Marine Legionarries
-Forge World Shoulder Pads
I’d like to spend a minute to talk about the Ultramarines Master of Signals.
This is a kitbash from the following kits:
-Mk III Tactical Squad
-Mk III Command Squad Upgrade Set (resin sprue for the helmet and Nuncio Vox backpack)
-Mk III right arm
-Mk II Left Arm (from the Spartan sprue)
What this kit is *not* is that it is not the Forge World Master of Signals.
Shortly after I completed the unit, Games Workshop released the primer for the Horus Heresy Narrative Event in Chicago in October. One of the lines in there mandated that if Forge World sold the unit, you had to use the Forge World model to represent the unit. This is language taken directly from the 40K primers, which is likewise taken from the Warhammer World event packs.
I submitted my Master of Signal for GW to approve, as it is a kitbash of several other minis to represent a mini that Forge World sells. GW soon thereafter approved my unit for use, while offering me a complement on it.
I bring this story up because I think it offers excellent guidance to all of us who want to let our imaginations run wild in bringing units to the tabletop – as long as you can demonstrate that you poured love and dedication into the unit, GW is probably going to let you bring it to their tables.
I also painted a Skyshield Landing Platform.
Next time, the goal is to paint one more Heresy unit….and paint a Fortress of Redemption. While going to Comicon AND while trying to get my house renovated. It’s going to be fun!
I’ve been unusually productive this month and have managed to paint my very first 1000 points. I’m feeling rather good about it. There’s something about painting Death Guard that has just clicked for me, and I feel like I’ve been knocking them out at a great rate of knots.
Since our last entry I’ve painted a Praetor, 5 Tacticals, 5 Heavy Support, 5 Grave Wardens and a Contemptor and enjoyed every moment of it.
I’m even about to have my first game of Zone Mortalis. It will also be the first time I’ve got my 3D printed Zone Mortalis tiles to the table.
August might be a trickier month for me with family commitments, but I’ve got quite a pile building up. Obviously I’ve got the plastic Spartan and Contemptor to do from the Age of Darkness box, and some more MkIII Tacticals, but I’ve also got my hands on some MkIVs in order to do some mix and match look Veterans. However what I’m most excited for is that I’ve just taken delivery of an Arquitor Bombard. It looks so perfectly Death Guard and it of course is going to be firing phosphex every chance it gets.
Last update from me had a single test model for my White Scars army, since then I’ve painted a few more and listened to a good amount of the Siege of Terra audiobooks to get me in the mood.
I was away for a week from my painting desk, but did take the books with me to start figuring out how this system works. At this point I think I’m still painting things that look cool rather than what is really practical.
By next month I hope to have picked up some bits from mates to convert a Stormseer or two and will do a small Forge World order to grab the White Scars Caterphactii Praetor and some Ebon Keshig as they look soooo cool.
With any luck I might play a game and realise I need something other than terminators.
With my ZM force ready to play, I moved on to fleshing my army out to a full crusade force, with 2000pts being my goal. I had a bunch of things I wanted to add but first up, tonk:
With that beast out of the way (absolutely loved painting this, one of the most fun vehicles I’ve done to assemble and paint) I moved on to a whole bunch of infantry.
This brought me up to around 2000pts with some options. I really enjoyed painting the Lernaean Terminators in particular, as well as my two Moritats and a Herald.
However, I now have a serious deadline for painting. I have a weekend of Horus Heresy games booked in for September and I, in my foolishness, have agreed to field 4000pts in a game against a doubles pair. As such, I need to get a heck of a lot on the painting table in the next couple of months.
I’m going to get a melta support squad out of the way next, and then a recon squad with nemesis bolters or two, but then it’s march of the ancients: three more contemptors and two leviathans.
Magos Sockbert’s Iron Warriors
I am, as you may have noticed by the name, a bit of a fan of robots. My primary 30k army from last edition was Mechanicum, my largest 40k army is Adeptus Mechanicus, and I’m currently romping around Australia getting my shiny metal butt stomped playing Imperial Knights. I wanted to take a break from all that and play something completely different, so I present to you today… my Iron Warriors.
While I’ve since come up with some neat lore for my force (loyalist Iron Warriors who were part of the Great Angel’s expeditionary force, trapped at Istvaan V and through the fog of war blooded against the Loyalist legions, fleeing in their shame and despair) I really only picked this Legion because I love my metal recipe: Vallejo Metal Dark Aluminium, and Nuln Oil Gloss. That’s it. While the Great Nuln Gloss Disappearance of 2022 has certainly put a dampner in my plans to expand (if you have any in Australia, shoot it my way!) I’m not about to be left behind on the March to Terra.
I wanted to build my force a bit different from your typical Tyrant Siege Terminator heavy list, so I went with the Exemplary Battle unit of Dominators, using the old Iron Warriors Cataphractii pauldrons, the plastic Cataphractii from the Age of Darkness box, and a whole tonne of bits from the various upgrade sets. Thunder Hammers abound!
Try as I might, I couldn’t resist adding just one robot to the force this month, so my first Iron Circle automata marches at Navarch Duran’s side, keeping a watchful eye on him. Iron Circle remain aggravatingly out of stock at time of writing, but hopefully I can get him some buddies next week.
I don’t have any vehicles at the moment, in large part because the Valejo Dark Aluminium + Nuln Gloss combo works wonders on craggly models (MK III in particularly look beautiful with it), but it pools awfully on large flat surfaces like the Kratos and Spartan I’m occasionally picking at. I’ve not found a solution to this yet, but hopefully I’ll have an update next month, even if that update is just “screw it, flat metal panels it is”.
I wanted to paint this force as a lot brighter than your usual grimdark style, and hopefully that’s come through. I’ve also had a crack at painting daddy Perturabo himself, though you’ll have to wait for a HTPE for that fine fellow…
Well fuck… I made an Zone Mortalis army list so surely that’s worthwhile sharing alongside everyone’s “I read the brief about creating a Zone Mortalis force, now witness us rocket past that goal post”?
Beanith worked really hard on this list
Legion: X: Iron Hands
+ HQ: +
+ Elites: +
Terminator Cataphractii Squad
+ Troops: +
Tactical Squad: Tactical Sergeant, 9x Legionaries
Tactical Support Squad: Tactical Support Sergeant, 4x Legionaries, Rotor Cannon
Tactical Support Squad: Tactical Support Sergeant, 4x Legionaries, Volkite Charger
+ Heavy Support: +
Deredeo Dreadnought Talon
Tempting as it is to see if just posting a list makes it past the editors, I did actually manage to track down my very own copy of Age of Darkness recently which means I now have the models necessary to bring my terrible list to life.
As pictured, I have managed to assemble and prime both the Tactical Support Squads and my Lord of Pre-Contagion. And yes, that is a lot of special weapons I know but I have a plan… And that plan is to use all the new Mark 6 models to build all the fun new and exciting weapons options I don’t own already using the various Special & Heavy Weapons Upgrade kits.
Instead I will be digging deep into my collection and busting out my much older small lads, clean them up, whack on some base rings and then slap a fresh coat of paint on them. This particular batch has only just come out of a 48 hour Simple Green bath and scrubbed with a toothbrush. Next step is to get in there with the scrapper and files to knock some more paint off before hitting them with more primer… or give into Peer Pressure by also assembling my Kratos Heavy Assault Tank?
Most of this month has been working on list tinkering with some stuff I already had painted. After my first ZM game I realized one of my biggest lacks was having enough Line units, particularly more durable/mobile ones. I’m planning on having at least 3 in a list, possibly 4 depending on game size. One will be a command squad, as the standard bearer gives them Line and they’re a much more effective combat unit than a tactical or assault squad.
I also painted up my first small squad of Dawnbreakers. I’ll be expanding this squad out some to make sure it’s big enough to absorb casualties, and converting up a herald to go with them and make sure they’re Line as well. I think having a couple assault units that can score will be very useful, as not only will I push my opponent off an objective but I’ll be able to score it myself.
Painting-wise it’s been a slow few weeks for me, though I did manage to get two more Tactical Marines and the first Cataphractii painted. Building-wise I’ve powered through the Age of Darkness box however, with two 10-model Tactical Squads, a 10-model Despoiler Squad, and 5 Tactical Support guys with rotor cannons built, as well as 7 Cataphractii, the already-painted Contemptor, the Spartan, and the Praetors. I’ve also built Dominion Zephon, a Kratos, and Sanguinius, so I have a surprisingly chunky amount of stuff ready to hit the table, even if most of it is just primed right now. When I can finally find a break in my schedule I will be heading over to Serotonin’s house to play on his ZM board.
My main Heresy problem right now is not building or painting but storage. I keep all my stuff in cabinets – the better to see it all and remind me of what needs paint applied to it – and as you can see, I hadn’t really anticipated adding a full 30k army to my collection:
They’re currently jammed in wherever there’s space, which isn’t ideal (the gap behind the tiny Storm Eagles there will soon house the other two Xiphons and a Thunderhawk). I do have room for one more shelf in each of the cabinets I have, so adding those has to be a priority, just to let these poor guys breathe a bit. Though they’ll really need at least two, since the Spartan and Kratos alone take up a ton of room, and they’ll be far from the only vehicles this army ends up with. For now though I’ll just focus on painting what I’ve got, primarily the other 5 Tacticals and 4 more Cataphractii – though I expect Zephon will jump the queue, since he’s cool and also neatly self-contained as a project.
I got basically no painting done this month. But I did do a LOT of building and finally some spraying after the UK heatwave passed. For the yellow I’m using Colourforge’s version of wraithbone spray and then army painter’s daemonic yellow, which works fine over the light primer but never spray straight over bare plastic. This isn’t even all of it yet either, I still have 2 more rhinos to build but stopped when doing the 4th here for a How to Build article for the Deimos Rhino. I never thought I’d be in a position where an article on how to build a space marine rhino would actually be useful. I’m also using the FW MKVI heads on all of my MKVI marines because they just look so much better than the stock heads. Oh and obviously I had to convert my Praetor to have a boarding shield.
I dearly want to be playing games with a fully painted army but realistically that’s going to take time to get them to a level I’m happy with and isn’t rushed, and I dearly want to play games. So, I’m settling for sprayed for the most part for the beginning as I slowly work my way through my units.
I just wanted to highlight that I thought mid-build on my Kratos I was being clever by putting a marine crew member somewhere other than the top hatch…..until I put the main turret on it. It does clear his head, but I really hope that helmet has some sound dampeners at least.