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Frankendoodle's Sons of Horus - Chieftain squad in progress

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With the release of The Horus Heresy 2.0 I've been pretty excited about all the new releases and really enjoying the buzz on the forum, so a few weeks before preorders went live I ordered some bits from shapeways and went to work on the pile of shame. 

There's no real aim here, I haven't played Warhammer since about 4th edition and that's unlikely to change any time soon, but I enjoy collecting, modelling and painting so it's unlikely I'll be building anything like a competitive army here. 

So here's the first squad of 20, 15 of these were built and painted before I got my hands on the Age of Darkness boxset, so I used a bit of guesswork based off internet comparison pictures to try and get the size of them right. Sadly I don't have any WIP photos of these guys, but it was mainly a case of cutting above the belt and adding a small plasticard spacer, and cutting the thighs of mkiv legs to add a spacer there too. They're all made from an assortment of CSM parts, mkiv, mkiii and whatever else was floating in my bits box - I really like the look of cobbled together, mismatched armour and it seems appropriate for a massive conflict like the Heresy!


Its a bit hard to see what's going on in that big group shot, so let's take some closer looks...


Most of these guys are pretty self explanatory, a mix of different armour marks and a few shapeways shoulder pads/heads dotted around. I just had to include the imperial space marine, I added spacers in the shins and waist to give him a bit of height and swapped out his funky gun for a regular bolter.


More of the same here. I had one random pair of mkv legs in the bits box which I used for the middle guy, then wanted more so tried converting mkvii legs for the guy to his right. The mkv head is actually a mkvii with a 40k terminator mouth grill and a bit of putty, an unnecessarily fiddly conversion so I've ordered a few mkv heads to save me that hassle again!


I really wanted to include some mkii armour in this squad, so I followed an OLD tutorial to convert a mkii torso from a regular mkvii, arms are from the old CSM which are close enough to mkii, otherwise he's mostly mkiii. 


By this point the Age of Darkness box set arrived and I completed the squad. I can't say I'm a big fan of mkvi, and I hate the beaky helmets so don't expect to see many of them. But with a little kitbashing these guys are nice, of note is the guy left of center, I cut his torso off at the waist and swapped in a mkiv which seems to scale just fine. Far left is a Blackstone Fortress CSM, I just shaved off some of the excessive chaos detailing and swapped his head, shoulder pad and backpack.


Here's a fun scale shot. We've got an old dark vengeance tactical marine, one of my slightly upscaled mkiv's, a mkvi and the converted csm. This particular mkiv is a little on the small side, he was built before I started adding spacers in the thighs so most are a little taller, but I'm happy to have a bit of variation across the squad - after all the blacklibrary novels make plenty of references to space marines varying in height.




So seeing as this is meant to be a WIP thread, let's take a look at what's going on next.  Neither of the new praetors really did much for me out of the box, but they have a lot of potential. The sword guy is a pretty simple kitbash to give him a powerfist and move the volkite to his other hand. I've scraped away some of the fiddly details and sculpted an eye of Horus on his knee, I've not decided what to do with his gut plate yet though. 

The Axe praetor is where things get a little silly... I've heard a lot of people mistake him for a terminator due to his sheer bulk, so I thought to myself, why not? I'm waiting on some SoH themed cataphractii shoulder pads from shapeways and he'll need a lot more work but you can see where he's heading. 




The new forum is way easier to upload and post photos from a mobile, but I've not figured out how to size pictures yet so apologies if they're massive! Likewise I wanted to hide some of the pictures in spoiler tags to streamline the post a bit, can anyone remind me how to do this please?

Edited by frankendoodle65
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Thanks all, very encouraging feedback. Nice to know the green is going down well, it's a recipe I came up with about 8 or 9 years ago (mix of sotek green, Vallejo scurvy green, Vallejo German grey and mechanicus standard grey. Then increasing amounts of mechanicus standard grey and white are mixed in for highlights and battle damage) - I've noticed games workshop now have a couple of greens named for the sons of Horus, they'd probably make my life easier but I'm set in my ways! 

@Pearson73 Thanks, the praetors almost felt a bit too 40k straight out of the box, so definitely needed a bit of work to fit in! 

@Brother Dallo thanks, perfect suits of matching armour might make sense for the Ultramarines or some of the other loyalists, but I've always preferred the traitor legions with a slightly ramshackle mix!

Just a quick update for tonight. I've sculpted an eye of Horus icon on the belly plate of the power armour praetor, and the terminator has seen a bit more work. Leather straps added to the shoulders (kromlech pteruges chopped up), I've sculpted the cataphractii style leg trim and carved the calves into segmented plates. All together I'm pleased he's shaping up to look like a proper terminator now! Still waiting on some 3d printed shoulder pads for him from shapeways, so I've just blu-tacked some plain ones on for now.






Thanks for looking, let me know what you think!

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Thanks @Lord La sadies, I couldn't resist when I started hearing people mistake the axe praetor for a terminator, I just had to make it happen! 


The two praetors are nearing paint time, I've just been working on a few minor details that take a bit of time but don't really make for interesting photos! 

I've also made a start on the next tactical squad.



Squad sergeant uses the mkii torso and head from the Spartan tank.



This guy uses the legs from a new mkvi, cut at the waist to take a mkiv torso and lines carved into the knees to look like mkiv.



The leftover mkvi torso was used for the next guy, with a pair of slightly lengthened mkiv legs.


This guy had spacers fit in both calves and thighs as well as a small spacer at the waist. His legs have ended up at a slightly awkward pose, but he looks sensible enough on a suitably uneven base.



And last but not least, you'll notice this guy in mostly mkvi armour doesn't have a chain bayonet - I made one guy with a chain bayonet in the first group of 20, so this guy can trade places with him.



They've all been kitted out with Spellcrow fur or tattered cloth loincloths and shoulder pads or icons from shapeways, otherwise they're all pretty straightforward kitbashes. I'm really liking the slight variation in height and proportion across my marines,  it gives a nice feel of natural variation without looking out of scale. I've heard people make a big deal about scale creep and I can't deny there's a difference, but I'm enjoying working around it with kitbashing and simple conversions.


My plan is to make this squad up to 10 marines for now, then once I've painted these and the two praetors I'll move onto the first five cataphractii or the contemptor, I've not decided which yet!

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Thanks @Pearson73, character is definitely the aim here! I can imagine the mkii tank crew being popular for conversions, hopefully GW will release a whole kit soon!

I've finished painting the power armour praetor, really pleased with how this guy looks - I've taken a lot of inspiration from the recent FW Sons of Horus praetors and I've loved every minute of building and painting this guy. 

It's really difficult getting accurate photos of the colours - I've got a very scruffy painting style that uses a lot of drybrushing, sponge weathering and washes and the camera kept doing weird things with the contrast that just made it look a bit of a mess! With a bit of trial and error with lighting I got pretty close in the end, though the gold looks a little flat here! 





Next on the list is to carry on with the new tactical squad I showed off in the last post, then I'll finish the terminator praetor before moving on to something new.... Still undecided between cataphractii or the contemptor!


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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for the comments everyone! 

@Chaeron thanks, I don't much see the appeal of building and painting the same miniature 40 times so a bit of individuality amongst the marines makes it way more fun! Not to mention the SoH always feel like they should have a bit more individual character than some of the other more regimented legions. 


There's not been much progress to show yet, but I've been having a bit of a tidy up and found a contemptor I built and painted some time around 2013 during my first attempt at building a legion force. It holds up pretty well against my new stuff so I'm happy, though I'm tempted to repaint the victim on the base... Clearly I had Istvaan iii in mind at the time, maybe an imperial fist would be more fun now? Though truth be told I haven't decided what allegiance or time my SoH belong, I'm definitely leaning traitor but probably earlier than the seige of terror. 










This contemptor is a bit of a blatant copy of one made by Sheep and posted on this forum years ago, his battle worn and gritty SoH were a huge influence on me back in the day, does he still post here? 


Finding this guy has got me really pumped to have another go at a contemptor so I think that's definitely next on the list after the current WIPs.


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Thanks @Pearson73, I don't have anything solid in mind yet, but I'm intrigued by the fury of the ancients rite of war, the idea of a contemptor dreadnought HQ is exciting so that's where my brain is at right now. I don't play the game (at all, I don't even know anyone else interested!) So I don't know or care if that's an effective rite of war, I'm just in it for the modelling and painting!

So I had planned to finish the WIP marines I showed earlier before painting the terminator praetor, but that plan didn't exactly work out... 

This is where I'm at with those guys - I totally forgot to take any photos before painting started, but you get the idea. 



However, the Terminator Praetor kept staring at me on my desk so one thing led to another and here we are...






And here are the two praetors together, I'm really pleased with how they've come out and how different they are compared to the original base models. I'm particularly pleased with how the new guy reads as a terminator - I only really swapped the arms and stuck part of a terminator torso on his back, but it totally changes the look of the model and says something about how strong the cataphractii design is in the first place that it's so recognisable!


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Thanks for the comments and likes everyone. 

@Skidman and @Surreal Cruelty my bitzbox is such a chaotic jumble but havoc's sounds about right - the hand is a bit small for a terminator arm but luckily it's mostly hidden under the extra armour plate! 


I've just got myself a cheapy lightbox from Amazon and had a play around with it. I'm well impressed with the improvement in photos, though I'm still a little limited by what's possible with my phone and I'm not about to invest in a DSLR camera... 

Here's a new shot of the terminator praetor and one of my favourite tactical squad guys, the photos are almost a bit too good and show up some of the roughness in my paintjobs now!





I've also made a start putting together the contemptor dreadnought, clearly I'm too easily distracted because I'm meant to be painting tactical marines! 

As I said in my last post, I love the idea of an HQ dreadnought, so I'm going with the classic tactical rock pose,  the base I have for him even had a convenient pile of rubble! I've glued and broken this guy apart too many times now so he's starting to get a bit rough, but I think I'm happy with the pose now. He'll have a lot of iconography sculpted on, chains and skulls etc. To really make him feel like a character.


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Finished the 5 guys shown off earlier as WIPs. There's nothing new on the contemptor yet, but now I can focus on him without distraction.




My cheapy Amazon lightbox has built in LED lights, which are great but can give a little glare... I probably need to tape something over them to diffuse the light, I'll have a play with that next time!

So since late May that's 30 marines and 2 praetors done, that's pretty good going for me! Anyone who ever saw my old 40k thread will know I seem to work in fits and starts, sometimes with long breaks in between but I'm feeling pretty enthusiastic about the Sons of Horus right now and I'm trying to make the most of it! 

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Thanks @Pearson73, motivation can be a fickle thing sometimes... I think the excessive trim and elaborate details on every chaos model got me a bit burned out and overwhelmed on my 40k stuff... I love kitbashing and converting, but I hate having too many unpainted models lying around so I was forcing myself to paint stuff I wasn't enjoying! It's really satisfying flying through these heresy marines, even with my added trinkets and doodads they're still pretty straightforward to paint.


And speaking of trinkets and doodads, I've made some progress on the contemptor! 




I had 40k Abaddon's trophy rack lying around, so with a few little tweaks it fits in pretty well here. I tried to trim the primaris helmet to look more mkiv (it's subtle, mainly around the ears!) And replaced the genestealler skull with a human skull.

I've also made a start on sculpting some details onto him, I've got pictures of the FW SoH contemptor, Praetors and Justaerin up on my phone for inspiration. The funky little shield doodad on his chest was roughly copied from the FW terminator praetor, I'm planning to feed some cables around his torso to join in around the shield. 

I want to include a few cataphractii inspired elements, so I've sculpted the trim under his right knee and I'm thinking he'll have pteruges and possibly straps hanging under his shoulders. There'll be chains and skulls too! 

Any thoughts and suggestions welcome! I've been scouring Google for good SoH contemptors for inspiration but haven't found much (besides the excellent FW model) so if anyone knows of any great conversions out there I'm all ears - I bet there's a few right here on the forum that I've missed over the years!

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I completely get you with 40k Chaos and all of its trim, used to drive me mad... 

I'm a big fan of the trophy rack and the extra armour on the helmet, the former ties him into the Praetor too. I like the idea of creating more links to Cataphractii armour too. Will there be any bonding studs? 

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