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Officia Monstrosa – Iron Warriors


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I really like the poses on both marines and prefer the look of the MKII helmets on both. I think it reinforces the idea of the IW maintaining the armor they were assigned and maintained since being issued it when they were elevated to the ranks of the Legion. I would like to see some damage to the wounded marine's helmet and neck seal area, just enough to show that it can be a weakness in the older armor design. I think it might help to draw the eye to the head where you want the focal point anyway. It would be a great spot to add blood leaking from his armor as well.
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Just saw your wounded diorama on your blog and came to comment. Really lovely stuff. You mentioned that the marine on the right was leaning on the marine on the left, but when you look from behind, it doesn't look like the supporting hand is taking any weight. I love the idea of the diorama, and would love to see it come together. My one thought is that the wounded Marine's head is lolling too far forward - that's perhaps something you could see to?

Edited by Commissar Molotov
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I'd have to say with regards to the wounded marine pair... Mk. II definitely looks great on the supporting Marine, I love the angle of the helm... as if he's lining up the sights of his bolter to clear a path for his injured brother to safety. As car as the wounded... Mk. III may work best, you can have popped rivets, perhaps a portion of the helm itself blasted off to reveal the pained face of the Astartes beneath. You're such an inspiration Apologist, both model and narrative wise. Keep up the great work, sir.

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 I think it is a cool concept and evokes images of WW1 when you see the guys in bandages hobbling back from the front lines.


The only criticism I have is that the Marine helping his buddy doesn't look to be doing much but put a hand at his elbow. I would imagine the wounded IW would push the guy away.


I know it might be hard to do or maybe impossible for these guys, but as a walking wounded needing help I would imagine an Iron Warrior basically dead on his feet. The right arm in the air with his compatriot physically holding him up getting smeared in the blood and detritus of his colleague.

You mentioned this was tried but impossible to do, it is a pity they do not do raised/outstretched terminator arms in a suitable pose. The closest I can think of is the SW sprue with the outstretched sword arm, but that would be of little use to you


Either that or from another image I can recall from WW1 of the blind holding the shoulder of the guy in front as he is guided back behind the lines.... It could easily be done, by smashing in the helm plate of the wounded guy and raising his right arm to the backpack or pauldron of his comrade who is guiding him back to the IW lines while sweeping the area with his bolter in case of any enemies trying to take advantage.


In game terms they an either stay put as an objective marker. OR they have vital intel that the Iron Warriors need to break the siege against the Imperial Fists.

The Fists, need to get the info back and set out to capture the Iron Warriors. The wounded unit are set up in the middle of the board in no-mans land and move 3" randomly each player turn (scatter dice for direction, direct hit, they stay  put) This represents them staggering around looking for escape in the fog of war. They can be joined to either a friendly or enemy unit (retrieve or capture)and move with a squad which "retrieves" them. The squad can move no more than 6" per turn, no running etc for additional movement or they leave the rescuers unit. Left to their fate in  no-mans land. If the unit is in combat and are broken then flee the survivors are ditched, until they are rescued again.. Winner is the army with the Survivors in their possession at the end of the game or the army who gets the survivors off of their board edge before the game ends.

Edited by dantay_xv
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'Confractium! Confractium!'


The cry, quiet and distant at first, rolled down the line, echoing and building as more voices added their weight to it. A breach. The vox-net crackled and popped with overriding messages, all telling him to advance. The shrieking of supporting missile fire redoubled as he sent a last burst of boltgun fire forward before displacing. 


The world was chaos. 


High noon. You wouldn't know it. Yellow-lined nervesmoke and oily ochre clouds of pollutants provided spatters of colour to a world dimmed and black-edged by war. Shafts of hard light cut through here and there, casting judgemental illumination over the Palace's many statues and walkways. Where they fell on the red-marbled statuary, faces were warped into despair, or leering grimaces.


Gunfire reverberated, the small arms sounding tinny and eerie as it echoed, while heavier weapons provided a staccato madman's drumbeat. His boltgun bucked as he blasted on the run. His Mustermates were beside him as they thundered forward. More Iron Warriors emerged from cover; some to lend him supporting fire, others to join the charge. Return fire rose as Imperial Fist gunners redoubled their efforts. Blood thundered in his temples – and then the world in front of him exploded.


A beat.


He blinked. Picked himself up. How had he-?


The world rushed back – gunfire; shouting. Screams. Clouds of red dust were falling across the area, along with larger chunks or rosestone marble. An immense missile had smashed the breach wider. His Mustermates and other Iron Warriors were charging past him, keen to tear at the Imperial Fists' exposed underside. Tallisus was at the front, charging up the stairs. He had a combat blade drawn.


'Protenus, frater! Mortem ad Mendicator!'



Phalangite Tallisus



The only variation from Mars-pattern Mark IV armour on this Legionary's plate is the helm. Even the heavy reinforcing plate on the front torso – often stripped to provide raw ceramite for other plates – is present. Whether Tallisus is well-placed or simply fortunate to have held on to a full suit is unknown.



He is equipped with an older pattern of boltgun based on a template from the Forge World Umbra. It is unusual for the 242nd, and may be a replacement or trophy weapon; or possibly scavenged from the battlefield.



These image were taken from the Rosestone Massacre, a battle fought between elements of the 242nd and defending Imperial Fists. 








Really pleased with this guy – perhaps my favourite so far. He just seemed to come together nicely, and I like the armour on him. 


Thanks for all your very helpful thoughts and advice on the casualties – much appreciated. In fact, I've had so many ideas (both here, via PM and on my blog) that I think I'll have to have a go at some more casualties!

Here they are at the moment, on the new base. The heads are still unfixed.

Love the game ideas, dantay_xv, and thanks for the critique – it's much appreciated, as it helps keep me pushing on. I'll have another go at some marines in the pose you suggest. I'm sure there's some way I can do it; and if not, it'll be a noble effort :)

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The 'Corpse Grinders'


Early in the Crusade, the IV Legion became renowned for their cold-blooded strategies. Undeniably effective, their frontal assaults tended to result in huge numbers of casualties. Unflattering nicknames like 'corpse grinders' and 'mill men' became common currency amongst the allied Imperial Army forces.


With the benefit of hindsight, these appellations are not simply accepted at face value, but positively encouraged by those members of the Imperium who are privy to the secret history of the Horus Heresy. It is flattering to Imperial archivists, historicians and recordists to portray the traitor Legion as monstrous from the first – as though their Heresy was an inevitable cancer, clear with hindsight.


In truth, almost all the Legions pushed the Imperial Army beyond its capabilities – not through malice or forethought, but simply because Astartes Commanders could not account for the soldiers' frailty or need for rest. This became so obvious by the middle decades of the Great Crusade that as Astartes' ranks swelled to numbers capable of shouldering the burden of Crusade alone, Imperial Army units were generally turned into reserve forces. It is thus a quirk of timing as much as anything else that saw the Iron Warriors take the brunt of the accusations of heartlessness and wilful cruelty during the period between the Early Crusade and its middle years.


Grand plans

Following the Unification Wars, recruit assignations were weighted in favour of the older, more established Legions – a pragmatic step implemented to ensure the more junior Legions could build up their officer cadres' experience without overloading them; and to ensure the older Commanders could make the most of their hard-won battlefield acumen. The IV Legion's numbers, though larger than the junior Legions, were thus slightly fewer than the I and II Legions.


A few scant years after the close of the Unification Wars, the Legions could be seen in three main groupings: the I–VI, who were receiving considerably larger numbers recruits than the others; the VII–XIV, and the remaining five Legions, who were being temporarily starved of recruits in favour of the older legions. On hearing this plan, Horus is said to have jokingly named the Grand Council's plan as turning the Legions into 'Senior, Junior and Reserve' forces.


This view of the groupings sprang from the strategic deployment of the Legions as envisaged before the completion of the Astartes project itself. The 'Seniors' were to be on the forefront of Crusade; the 'Juniors' tasked with ensuring Compliance on smaller systems, or systems whose principal worlds were already broken by the elder Legions; and the 'Reserve' deployed in specialist isolated operations, or in concert with other Legions while their numbers were swelling. 


Unfortunately, history is never as neat as planners might wish. While the two oldest Legions were of sufficient size to operate without Army Support by this point – as were the XVI, owing to the prestige and genestabilisation of the discovery of beloved Horus – the III and VI were unfortunately suffering from separate geneseed problems, which meant that they were unable to operate as Imperial Grand Strategy had foreseen. This left the IV and V Legions with awkward 'growing pains'. Tasked with gaining the same results as the I and II, but with fewer Astartes, the two Legions bulled ahead with Auxiliaries and Expeditionaries filling in for Astartes – with predictable results.


The VII–XIV Legions, being slightly smaller than the first-rank Legions, were deployed in dispersed groups of Astartes heading Army groups; an inversion of the IV and V that meant the Expeditionary Fleets operated mainly under the command of men and women who understood the limitations of the Imperial Army, but buoyed by the deadly power of Astartes strikeforces. The difference in strategic terms was huge; and while the 'junior' Legions' Fleets saw horrendous casualties suffered by the Imperial Army and Navy, the Astartes themselves were fêted and celebrated as 'those few heroes'; rather than as a dominating force.


Deadly rivalry

This led in turn to the second reason – inter-legion competition. Unable to compete with the I or II Legions; the IV saw just one Legion as its direct peer. The IV were driven ever-onward by their ruthless Legion Master, eager to claim more victory laurels than the V, whose own master was more sanguine; content to allow his subcommanders to follow their idiosyncratic – but effective – approach. As the decades continued and more Primarchs were found (resulting in geneseed stabilisation and increased recruitment speed) the IV began to find their pace of conquest being outstripped by junior Legions, whose officers and warriors were not subject to the unceasing – and largely self-inflicted – grind of warfare at the forefront of the Crusade. For a Legion that thought of itself as senior, this was a bitter pill to swallow; particularly as Imperial edicts now meant that the Legions were now almost all operating independently of baseline human support... with the notable exception of the IV; whose continual requests for reinforcements meant that they were now being supplied with new human armies as a matter of course. 


Bitter Fruits

The IV Legion were caught in a hell of their own making. Throwing themselves – and their human armies – into battles few could hope to survive, the IV increasingly outreached themselves, finding victory only beneath banners of blood and destruction.


It was at this point that Perturabo was found – and his judgement of the Legion's grand strategy is well-known...

Edited by Apologist
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I really like your work on those Iron Warriors, it is really creative and original, and the minis got a real personnality, well done :mellow.: 


They're even better than your Ultramarines, the IW helmets fits perfectly the rough aspect of your true scale suits, and the grim and brutal mood of this Legion.

It fits also you're painting style, you're a very quick painter with a plethoric production, which reminds me the John Blanche's approch of the painting and conversion of miniatures, with guts and dirt and pure genius.


Thank you for your blog and all your marvellous conversions, it feeds my own creativity to see such unleashed work, far from all the conventionals army and conversions.

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That's some good fluff reading man! :smile.:

I enjoy your tenacity to keep this project moving.

Cheers –  I'm hoping I can keep up the pace, though I'm fast running out of bits... I guess this is how quartermasters must have felt like during the Siege ;)


I love this thread it's like a little piece of Christmas every time I see it's updated

Ha ha – thanks! 


Very nice write up, brother. The way that is written, Apologist, I'd be inclined to think you share emails with Alan Bligh. :tongue.:

Heh – an intriguing possibility, but sadly not.


I really like your work on those Iron Warriors, it is really creative and original, and the minis got a real personnality, well done :mellow.:


They're even better than your Ultramarines, the IW helmets fits perfectly the rough aspect of your true scale suits, and the grim and brutal mood of this Legion.

It fits also you're painting style, you're a very quick painter with a plethoric production, which reminds me the John Blanche's approch of the painting and conversion of miniatures, with guts and dirt and pure genius.


Thank you for your blog and all your marvellous conversions, it feeds my own creativity to see such unleashed work, far from all the conventionals army and conversions.

Very much appreciated, and I'm certainly enjoying modelling and painting the IV. To get comparisons with JB's modelling is a great compliment – thank you. He's certainly been a great inspiration.



Another beautiful nugget of history of the legion. Keep em coming man

Your wish – it is my command. Hope you like it!

Next up – tanks.



Phalangite Polimistes

Tresantes. Coward. Nothing is a worse insult to a Legionary of the IV. The Iron Warriors' central philosophy came to be built around interdependence and subservience of the individual to the group. Perturabo intended his legion to work like a single organism – a machine that was an extension of his will. To betray this through vainglorious individuality was judged poor form – though tolerated if it brought success – but to turn and flee was anathematic.


So far, so unremarkable. Warriors through the millennia have shunned those in their ranks whose courage failed. The post-human Iron Warriors took this ideal beyond normal boundaries of endurance, elevating conspicuous stubbornness to the status of a virtue. In the context of the Olympian historical traditions, this virtue took on a quasi-religious form, which survived – distorted and twisted – in the Iron Warriors' own traditions.


Thus the term coward was not simply a sting in the Olympian tradition. It carried with it connotations of oath-breaking, unfaithfulness, a rejection of every group ideal, and left the individual bereft of support; both externally (from soceity) and psychologically. For an Astartes, whose entire life was winnowed down to a tight focus – unleavened by spiritual, marital or moral comfort – it was unbearable. Honour was all. Iron was all.





Little documentary evidence remains of Phalangite Polimistes in the Great Astartes Librarium on Terra. Unfortunately, this means it is equally difficult to say whether this was an accidental loss of information – all too common in the years following the Horus Heresy, or a more deliberate excision from Legion history. This possibility is raised by a number of intriguing hints about these pict-captures.



Judging from the powerpack (often the best identifier) His armour is mostly Mars-pattern Mark IV, but has clearly suffered some extreme damage at some point, as the torso and helm are unusual and non-standard. Polimistes' combat blade – an easily-unsheathed trench knife – sits on his hip, opposite a Coron-pattern helm, an unpopular and little-used variant which was bulky, prone to autosense-failure, and had exposed piping. It was part of the group of prototypes relegated to replacement and training; and not intended for front-line combat – part of the mongrel plate later classified 'Heresy Armour'. That it is being used here indicates the pressing need for all available Astartes to be in the field.



The standard XIX Muster tactical markings are present, which belies the possibility of censure; though it is equally likely that these markings have been added later. The Coron-pattern helm is more obviously visible here, along with extensive corrosion on the lower legs – possibly rad-damage. Barely visible on the thigh is an oathpaper. While black pseudoleather was commonly used amongst the Iron Warriors (to reduce visibility during trench warfare), these were usually written with white ink. The pure black of this oathpaper might indicate that it has been deliberately obscured – dyed or written over as a mark of penance.



Ultimately, the truth will likely never be known, but the combination of such hints is tantalising. Repentant coward? Twice-traitor? Or simply a soldier fighting with second-class wargear? The contemporary viewer must make up his own mind; and draw their conclusion from the unclear evidence above and – perhaps – the look of furious desperation etched into his features.

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Ta! I've also had some time to play around with the injury vignette, too. I think this fits in with the 'pathetic aesthetic' a lot better: these aren't defiant heros, but warriors struggling to survive. 








I think the piece works much better in the round, too – it works from more angles now; and hopefully conveys a sense of uneasiness and loss of confidence.

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Yes !!! That is a really nice piece ! I particularly like the position of the less wounded Warrior, looking back over their shoulders, as if he's "afraid" of something that might be coming after them. Anxious to see these painted :smile.:

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I like the scene in its present form. I'm imagining the lead Legionary returning to aid his wounded brother and retreat to safety. He looks back over his shoulder to survey the oncoming threat that fell his mustermate, and it's then that the realization they both might not make it sets in.


I hope this project is still just beginning. This has already proven to be my favorite 30k log, serving to be as informative as it is inspirational. The color writing is so vivid. You've set the bar really high, man.

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Yep I like it too, staring over his shoulder looking for danger while he helps his buddy along.


Secretly though keeping his buddy between him and the enemy as a convenient shield ;)


After all they are Iron Warriors :D

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I worked some more on the injured vignette last night, so here's the finished piece. Thanks very much for all of your thoughts and contributions – much appreciated. I've added a larger write up on Death of a Rubricist, if you'd like to know more about the thoughts behind the final pose I chose.












I know I promised tanks, but the Traitor's tongue is fat with lies! :D

Joking aside, I'm working on the write-up, but here's a pic or two:







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Heh, think of it as Cuban heels for the tanks - helps 'em fit in with the marines!


It's the first tank I've ever based, and the more I think about it, the more sense it makes - particularly with the great new range of bases available. I remember the good old days of lead Dreads on 40mm squares - perhaps one day I'll remember unbased tanks in the same way ;)

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