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Officia Monstrosa – Iron Warriors

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Phalangite Ërnach Koinos



During the battles of the Horus Heresy, Hyoidites (communications specialists) of the Iron Warriors were assisted by a Second. These individuals were non-specialist Phalangites, who had received no additional training. Their role was to record transmissions and relays, serving as a back-up in case of the Hyoidite's injury or death. 



This pict-capture shows Koinos bearing a farscope, forearm-mounted calculatrix-apparatus and a head-borne occulix. These were used for arithmagick and info-loading; creating raw data for the Hyoidite to utilise and transmit to command. While non-specialist, such seconds were still Astartes, and would have received communications and command/control training. Often such individuals were being groomed for further training; but such was the Iron Warriors' instinctive proclivity for mathematical talents, there was never a shortage.


Many, like Koinos, bore equipment on behalf of the Hyoidite. This served the dual purpose of unburdening the Hyoidite, and giving him a responsive and mobile scout from which to refer. Rather more grimly , this made the specialists harder to pick out, at the expense of the Phalangite second.



The Phalangite has removed his helm. The pict-capture might be thought to show him in a non-combat situation, but close inspection shows the popped rivets on the Mark III helm's reinforcing 'brow'. Perhaps damage has rendered the autosenses unusable. Fortunately for our purposes, this reveals the underhelm. Commonly formed synthseal like the rest of the undersuit from post-Terran Mark II onwards, earlier versions designed for fighting in the opening years of Unification were made from pseudo-leather – or even stuffed horsehair in some archaic examples from Thunder Armour suits.


The underhelm is a common but optional part of the flexible bodyglove an Astartes soldier wears beneath his plate. It provides comfort, a small measure of additional protection, and helps to clamp corpo-cables in place, speeding up integration with the plate. In later marks of armour, the armour cables are drawn into the ports on the Astartes' head and spine as the underhelm is slips over the head. This allows greater Communion with the armour by projecting the armour's runic display on the wearer's retina, giving them aid in the visual fields. This is referred to as 'bringing up the armour's hood'; a term believed to have ritual significance for those instructed in technomancy by the adepts of Mars.



This image highlights another of the non-standard elements of Koinos' battledress: the heavy segmented section of armour between the legs. This was more commonly seen worn by artillery crew and engineers, where the 'apron' helped protect bystanders from accidental detonation or shrapnel during mine clearance. It also lowered the Astartes' centre-of-gravity for additional stability – which is likely why it is used by Koinos here.




The amount of equipment borne by Koinos begins to make sense here, as the vox-comms unit integrated into his backpack reveals he is also operating as the unit's signalman. It is unusual for him to be performing both roles, and this is likely owing to battlefield circumstances. Perhaps his armour's machine spirit integrates particularly well, or perhaps he is simply precociously capable? The answer will likely never be known, as Koinos was decapitated by an Imperial Fist mine during the closing stages of the Siege.



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Gah, I love these guys. How do you manage to make each model have a personality of is own, and also with the back stories, you an go from a personal story about the trenches to almost a documentary style narrative about each Warrior, outlining the armour, certain characteristics decoration etc... Its phenomenal.


Is this a writng/modeling style which comes naturally or do you do research before you start? I am really curious and would like to learn.

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Thanks chaps! Hope you enjoy the upcoming material as much, and thanks for your comments – always lovely to hear feedback :)

Gah, I love these guys. How do you manage to make each model have a personality of is own, and also with the back stories, you an go from a personal story about the trenches to almost a documentary style narrative about each Warrior, outlining the armour, certain characteristics decoration etc... Its phenomenal.


Is this a writng/modeling style which comes naturally or do you do research before you start? I am really curious and would like to learn.

Coo, thanks very much. In answer to your question, it's a little of column A, a little of column B. For some models, like the Centurion (see below), I plan quite a lot in advance. For others, like Koinos, I tend to build what I think looks cool, and let the model start to suggest ideas as I go. That will often result in ideas that tie in or build on seeds laid earlier, suggest an alternative path to follow, or provide inspiration for another model.


In terms of writing, I think the most important thing is to enjoy it. I'm always very pleased when someone says they like my colour text! The best advice I can give is this, I think:


1) Give the reader something new. The details of the 30k/40k universe are endlessly enjoyable, and there's definitely space for looking at details like specific patterns of weaponry etc. Equally, you can assume most readers here will already know a lot of the basics, so don't be afraid to credit your readers with a great deal of insight and intelligence.

2) Vary things. Change the tense in which you're writing; or change the story to be first person. Write it in the style of an onlooker's report, or a letter to a loved one.

3) Leave bits out, and hint at more. If you can give the reader a little grin because they've read between the lines and picked up something you've hinted at, they'll feel good.

4) Work out what you're going to say, and check you've said it in your writing. Often I write a huge screed, then realise that it doesn't actually do what I want it to. Scrap it ruthlessly – start again.

5) For realism, remember that there are no protagonists and sometimes bad things happen pointlessly. The narrator will likely think of himself as the 'good guy', but so will the other characters in the story. A knight will always win the princess, but an Astartes might well die isolated and alone, for no good purpose. To put it another way, unless your space marine is exceptional, he's as likely to be killed by his opponent as he is to kill him.


For every battle honour, a thousand heroes die unsung and unremembered.

Edited by Apologist
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Cheers guys. This post should shed a bit of light on more planned figures. Hope it's of interest :smile.:


Centurion Zariçus Cjarn, 242nd Company, IV Legion Iron Warriors



Part of the struggle of putting together a themed army is trying to work out what to include, and what to leave out. Restrictions are often seen in a negative light, but they can be useful. Necessity is the mother of invention, as the old saw goes, and you can enrich your army's background and find surprising new angles by bouncing off something else.


My Iron Warriors army is set up as an opposition army to those of my friends grahamgilchrist's and Bob Hunk's Imperial Fists, both of which are themed around the Siege of Terra. As a result, I had a basing scheme and time period in place. In addition, that casts my army in the role of the baddies.


The Horus Heresy can be seen in black-and-white terms, but I find it more interesting to explore the 'pathetic aesthetic' of 40k, and look at the factions in more morally neutral terms. Those who follow Horus end up as monstrous villains in 40k, but in 30k, there are far fewer differences between the sides than it might appear.


So, riffing on that theme, I was struck by the idea of a well-intentioned Iron Warrior who had made bad decisions while trying to come up with an idea for my leaders. Essentially, what if straight-laced Loken (the protagonist of Horus Rising) had decided that his loyalty was to the Imperial Truth, rather than to the Emperor as a figurehead. It's easy to see that an Astartes raised to believe in secular truth and told that the Emperor had strayed from the path might have misgivings. If his misgivings were nurtured by those loyal to the Warmaster, we might see his take his first steps towards rebellion – or in his eyes, ensuring the continuation of the Imperium, with a new, more worthy leader on the Throne. Zariçus Cjarn was thus envisaged.




Perhaps the most obvious part of this figure is the twin axes. One, held behind him, represents his loyal Imperial side – this is in the past, and held more loosely. The other axe is a twisted chaos blade, held aggressively in front of him, and painted with eye-catching warm colours. This represents his future. In addition to the axes, I added an Iron Halo, but inverted it and attached it to his torso as a collar. He is destined now to become a slave to Chaos – a fallen angel. It's also a nod to the classic Franzetta-inspired spiky bits aesthetic of the Chaos marines.

Other than the axe and collar, Cjarn could easily pass for an Imperial officer. His armour is slightly more elaborate than a regular marine (the lower half is Forge World's Lufgt Huron, his right arm from the Minotaur's Chapter Master). I followed this through on the painting scheme, keeping it stripped back and sober, as befits an Iron Warrior.




Returning to the theme, his name was suggested by the Polish knight Zawisza Czarny, a model of virtue who came to a sad end captured by his enemies. This is a subtle little nod to the Siege, with a twist – the real Czarny was an ally to King Sigismund of Hungary. Sigismund is also the name of the Imperial Fists' First Captain, who was noted as having slain a number of Chaos Champions during the Siege. I thought it would be fitting to have Zariçus Cjarn have some sort of connection with Sigismund – rival, friend or noted duellist, perhaps. I'd like to explore this in his background, and Centurion Cjarn is thus fated to fall on Terra to the Emperor's Champion. Hopefully we'll see this happen in-game sometime! The cedilla in his first name is a bit of a retro nod to the mëtäl ümläüts and similar accents that often turn up in Chaos names (like Khârn the Betrayer).




I was half-tempted to remove the Imperial Eagle on his arse-flap (probably not the technical name), but decided in the end to leave it in place. It reinforces the idea that Cjarn is misguided rather than evil, and hopefully adds to that sense of moral greyness over the whole army.




Of course, it's important not to make the villains too relatable. Cjarn is still a monster, even by this point. I wanted to hammer that home with a face streaming with blood and distorted by a terrible howl of rage. Fittingly – and with a hint of situational irony – the Imperial Fists' Breacher squad provided the head. He is grim, and horrible: a twisted mirror for the noble Sigismund, just as Perturabo is a mirror for Dorn.

Edited by Apologist
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Excellent!! This is definitely my favorite miniature on this site! Absolutely amazing! The amount of thought that went into this piece is truly inspiring, I love the background especially with the names. Even without the background, the posing can still iterate your intentions of his nature without being too blatant. Great job!
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guy you're dedication to truly beautiful models and amazing fluff is an insperation you are like hero to me the double axe guy is unreal and this thread is do in depth and full of character I just love it when I see it's been updated


Bravo sir you keep my hobby batteries charged at full capacity thanks for all the work you put into this community

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Many thanks, all – much appreciated. Here's a little blurb about the organisation and history of the force, along with some pictures of the army as a whole at the moment. 



The Footsore 242nd



Forming part of the 4th Grand Battalion, the 242nd Cohort (sometimes termed the 242nd Grand Company) was raised – as with so many others – as an amalgam of other formations ravaged to the point of near-extinction during the Isstvan Campaign. As a result, the Iron Warriors of the 242nd exhibited a dizzying array of specialisms, equipment marques and loadouts; its ranks including combat engineers, recon teams and breachers. By far the greatest numbers were made up of line Legionaries; blank-eyed killers hollowed out by decades of grinding warfare in some of the most backwater worlds of the nascent Imperium.


The potential advantages of this grouping – flexibility, adaptability and lower support requirements – were largely outweighed by the complexity of resupply, inter-muster rivalry and conflicting regimes, protocols and beliefs. The Iron Warriors were a gritty and determined Legion, but the alloy created at Isstvan was sometimes brittle. The more fractious or antagonistic members of the Legion might once have faced punishment or chastisement, but Horus required every Legionary at his disposal; and impressed upon Perturabo such a request.

The 242nd served as a dutiful (if unremarkable) Cohort, with elements serving at some of the major conflicts of the Horus Heresy including the Tallarn, Dheneb and Cygnus campaigns. They were, along with virtually the whole rest of the Legion, also present during the dark days of the Siege of Terra.


Congnomen and sub-groups

The 242nd, as a newly-drafted formation, had no official designation beyond their number. By late in the civil war, some had taken to calling themselves the Immisericordia – roughly transliterated into Low Gothic as Pitiless; though the name 'Footsores' – a faintly derogatory term placed on them by rival Grand Companies – took up wider recognition through the Legion. The term was drawn from the lack of transport vehicles and shuttles issued to the reserve battalion, which meant that they were either frequently overloaded, slow to embark or simply forced to advance on foot.


Some veterans of now-extinct Grand Companies of great heritage chafed against the supercilious taunts of their peers, but the name became firmly associated with the Grand Company after the Dheneb Campaign, where the 242nd were deployed against a stronghold fortified by the Iron Hands. Huge minefields stretched for countless miles around the broken ground, which resulted in ruinous numbers of casualties caused by injuries to the lower limbs.


Taking a perverse pride in the insult, the commanders of the 242nd petitioned the Trident to permit an alteration to their heraldry, adding a tripartite leg element to their quartered bull's head and fish standard, as a symbol of their tenacity.


Legionary Tallisus, pictured during the Rosestone Massacre during the Dheneb campaign


The Cohort struggled to bond and enmesh during the initial campaigns following the Isstvan Massacre, a failing put down to poor leadership and the conflicted spirit of the Legionaries. This was to change during the Battle of Phall, when the Footsores – spread across a number of ships – began to demonstrate the advantages of their bullish, inward-looking behaviour. United by hatred and spitefulness towards the Imperial Fists, the 242nd began to fight in a more cohesive small-unit manner.


While never achieving anything beyond mutters of approval within the Legion, the 242nd's small unit drill became something of an unofficial specialism; with groups detached for duties as wide-ranging as recon, assassination and simple sentry duty. It was during the Siege of Terra that this mode of employ would prove of greater interest to the Legion, as Perturabo himself tasked the 242nd with a dreadfully onerous – some might say monstrous – duty.



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This is really great! Amazing models (from the tru-scaling modelling perspective, the details, and from the painting), and amazing backstories to the whole army, to the characters, right down to their equipment: not only is are the stories interesting and informative, they are also quite thrilling and really well written!


Iron Within, Iron Without !

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I swear these models look better every time I visit this thread. The yellow/orange stripe on the black shoulder guard is so vivid yet worn it perfectly conveys (IMHO) the IV Legion's way of war. I particularly love everything about Zariçus Cjarn, especially the Minotaurs shoulder pad.


Keep up the amazing work, brother!

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+ exloading gratitude +

A sincere thank-you to everyone – a discussion forum like this really helps keep up my enthusiasm and helps me up my game, so thank you again for your comments and suggestions. I'll do my best to keep up the pace :smile.:


If you've got any bits and pieces you think should be included, let me know – always nice to have the pot of ideas turning over :smile.:




The black soil of Isstvan V claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Astartes; the single largest loss of Space Marine up to that point in history. Three loyal Legions – the Raven Guard, Salamanders and Iron Hands – suffered ruinous, catastrophic casualties. However, they did not sell their leaves cheaply. Even given the advantages of surprise, encirclement and foreknowledge, the Traitors were bloodied. After all, the enemy were Astartes, and they do not die easily. The bulk of the Iron Warriors fought on the Eastern part of the Urgall Depression, the low valley selected as the now-infamous drop site. Here they were met by the X Legion. Many thousands fell on both sides as the sons of the Gorgon met the staunch warriors of the IV Legion. 

Casualty markers

Casualty markers offer the chance to show another side of the Space Opera conflict we see; and add a sense of consequence and drama to the unfolding battles we play. They are perhaps a little morbid, but I find creating a convincingly injured figure a great exercise in posing and structuring. The slumped shoulders, staggering gait and similar postures are a world away from the combat-ready poise of most figures, and modelling battle damage is a great challenge.


Because the armour is often badly damaged, it's a good opportunity to try out your sculpting work or new painting techniques. If it turns out a little rough, there's no harm – these figures are more for atmosphere and background than anything else. That said, they do make excellent objective markers; so you might like to think of them as terrain. I find that takes any pressure or expectation away from them.


Work in progress

I'm working on an unusual casualty type at the moment – walking wounded. The bulk of the structure is there, though some tweaks are still likely, particularly on the torsos. Both sets of legs are from the Space Hulk set, which provides for some unusual and dynamic poses. Oddly enough, I've found running poses often much better for converting into the slumped or resigned postures of the injured. In this instance, the injured marine is leaning on his comrade, so his trailing leg has little weight on it. As a result, the other marine has to have a strong centre of balance.


Mark II 'Crusade' helmets



Mark III 'Armorum Ferrum' helmets



Detail of the greenstuff hooping at the back of the legs


I'd love to put them on a combined base (perhaps one of the new small ovals), as that'll give some space for some more interesting rubble and reinforce their connection. I'm in two minds about which heads to use. I've had a little play around with different heads (including bare heads), but I think I want to emphasise the similarities and should use as many bits which link the two as possible. Which do you think looks best?

Edited by Apologist
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I think the oval base will really tie them together well, looking forward to seeing what else you put on the base. I know you said you wanted to tie them together but I honestly think the mk2 on the supporting marine and the mk3 on the wounded guy look best, maybe showing the mk3 guy has had to lead the breach with his reinforced armour, and now the mk2 armoured guys are helping them to keep going/continue the push forwards.

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Yes, like a good rug, a good base will really tie them together :) I'm not planning on huge amounts of other material on the base – probably just some rubble, and possibly a broken armour plate or something – as with two figures it'll already be quite a complicated composition. I am half-tempted to change the pose of the supporting marine so that he's looking behind the two of them, but that'll require me changing the gun arm. 


I like the implied narrative of your idea, Spafe – I'll have to play around with different helms. 



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Ah, speaking about blood exiting the grille...



Tolga's lungs felt like crispy paper bags. He breathed out raspingly, a pink cloud of aerosolised blood emerging from his helmet's vent-grille. That answers that question, then, he thought ruefully – his armour had let in some of that gas after all. No time to find the pharmakon – and in any case, the apothecaries had more on their plates than a bad cough. After that last drive, most of the third Line Company had come limping back with shattered limbs or shredded internals – or dragged back limp and unconscious in recuperative sus-an states by their comrades.


The latter group were especially fortunate, the Iron Warrior mused – he would have left casualties in the field as a matter of simple expediency. He was all too aware of the Imperial Fist recon teams' and Mechanicum vis-strike groups' quickly-established tactic of immobilising live casualties and making corpses of any forces attempting to retrieve them. Extracting fallen comrades had essentially become suicide. This Siege will make monsters of us all, he thought gloomily.





Phalangite Tolga


Mark IV plate was readily available to the traitor legions owing to the Warmaster's forward planning. As a result, many amongst the Iron Warriors had inherited a new set of armour, though far from all. Many held on to older customised suits, while others had simply adapted to the peculiarities of their Mark II or III plate. Further complicating this was the high attrition rate of the Isstvan campaign, and the dwindling supply of the advanced materials required for the correct maintenance of the new armour mark. As a result, many suits, Tolga's included, utilised older parts. In this example, both the lower legs and the pauldrons are drawn from Mark II. Judging by the heavy damage to both, they may well be taken from Tolga's own old set of plate. 



While not completely interchangeable, the various marks of power armour were (and remain) largely compatible. The adaptation and refinement of armour to personal preference was particularly marked in the IV Legion from the very first, and Tolga is pictured with additional plates to help cover the exposed soft armour of the undersuit at the hip joint. Legionary warfare was a famously close affair, and the covering of a potential vulnerability such as this could make the difference between life and death.



Tolga has sustained heavy damage to his right pauldron, with a clear shearing stroke – likely made with a powered blade – cutting through the plate and rim of the shoulder pad. The benefit of simple markings becomes clear, as the bold vertical yellow stripe still marks him out as a member of XIX Muster. 



Tolga's trailing leg bears an honorific Legion skull and scroll on the knee area, marking him out as a veteran of the Rock of Judgement campaign. He bears a standard Tigrus-pattern boltgun, an advanced and compact boltgun whose only minor drawback was the relatively short magazine, which bore just twenty-five bolt rounds.



A treatise on Mark IV 

Although some Legions, such as the Luna Wolves, had been using Mark IV extensively even before Ullanor, the mark was still relatively new by the outbreak of the Horus Heresy. The armour was intended as a complete replacement for all Astartes – a new beginning following the hard years of Crusade that would benefit from the hard-won knowledge of the Unification of humanity. Mark IV incorporated all of the innovations retrieved by the Mechanicum over the course of two centuries, and performed better in almost every respect to earlier marks, even taking into account specialist suits such as the tunnel-fighting suits of Mark III.


In addition to practical matters, Mark IV was to be a propaganda tool. From Ullanor onwards, the vision was for all Astartes to wear gleaming, uniform Mark IV, whether serving as a tactical squad member, breacher, recon, assault or artillery specialist. From one spiral arm to the other, Imperial Maximus armour was set to become iconic imagery known by Imperial and Xeno alike. 


To this end, Kelbor-Hal, the Fabricator General of Mars itself, issued a Bull that all Mark IV was to hold a uniform visual pattern design, regardless of the Forge World from which it was commissioned, or on what planet it was manufactured under license. Such was the control that the Imperium commanded over galactic communications immediately post-Ullanor that the new armour mark saw fewer variations than any other, even taking into account its short existence. 


The superior nature of the engineering and materials used in its manufacture mean that the Mechanicum could follow the standing orders and disguise changes under the standard chassis, maintaining visual uniformity. The advances and rediscovered knowledge from the lost Forge Worlds returning to the folds largely meant that this was possible, though it added considerably to the complexity of the armour and made its manufacture slow, particularly in galactic backwaters and far-flung Forge Worlds. 


As a result, shipments of the plate were only gradually replacing the earlier marks in use by the Legions – including the more bespoke variants developed by individual Legions, such as the Ultramarines' Praetor-pattern plate, or the Sing-pattern recon suits of the White Scars – as hostilities began during the Horus Heresy. 


The dream of galactic uniformity amongst the Astartes' was never realised. At the time of the Isstvan III atrocity, barely half the Astartes Legions had received shipments. Even amongst those issued the advanced plate, the complex work caused by the adherence to a visual design meant that it was somewhat over-engineered and difficult to repair and maintain. As a result, local versions of the suit sprang up almost immediately. These bastardised versions, often made from inferior locally-sourced material, or backwards-engineered and jury-rigged from existing supplies were jokingly referred to as 'Mark V' suits. The appellation stuck. 

Edited by Apologist
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