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Bonehead's heavily customised Rogue Trader Imperial Guard: the Ebla regiments


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Welcome to the thread: I'm hopefully going to post up a combination of my homebrew Lore for the regiment, modelling/converting logs and guides, and painted models showcases featuring troopers, officers, grenadiers and vehicles. Just to keep things on-topic, let's keep it restricted to Rogue Trader Imperial Guard for the moment.

I had imperial guard models since 2nd edition; I got into the hobby via having a copy of the old Rogue Trader 40k Compilation which had the first Genestealer cult articles and lists in it and the brood brother models made with 1st ed Imperial Guardsmen really appealed to me. They weren't available however- apparently the moulds got broken.

So I started off with some Cadian models and collected a medium-sized (at the time) force. Some time in my teens, Warhammer World opened and I was extremely happy to discover I could mail order things- even RT era things- in the shop.

So I ordered a load of the metal RT era troopers- the ones with poseable arms. Eventually I worked out which ones I liked best and narrowed down my force exclusively to the models sculpted by Mark Copplestone. There was something about the heavy look of the armour and boots in his sculpts that appealed to me.

I originally had all my RT guard painted in the same ice/urban blue-black and blue-grey scheme I'd had my cadians in, which was pretty similar to the original RT IG colour scheme. Sometime a couple of years in I decided I didn't like that any more and went with a scheme inspired by the enemy marines in the massively influential video game Half-Life; at the time I think I must have put several thousand hours into that game. There's one trooper in particular that pretty much just is the beret guy from HL.

That scheme has persisted to the present, although very few of the original models have survived unmolested: fairly early on, I decided to ditch the RT era lasguns, which is a decision I'm still happy about, as it happens, and make autoguns for the troops as similar to the MP5 submachineguns and shotguns that the HL marines had as I could make them.

This is the decision that put me where I ended up now- that is, saddled with a self-imposed directive to convert pretty much every trooper. Each autogun is converted from a RT bolter, a length of space marine power axe or chainsword handle and the magazine and barrel from a necromunda autopistol. Pretty work intensive, but not a bad go at the mp5 while still keeping some recogniseable 40k features. The shotguns are from the same necromunda weapon set as the atuopistols, but cut down a little.

Having comitted to converting all the guns, it wasn't long before I was converting all the arms too: I'd already done a lot of head swaps due to there being only four basic Copplestone trooper sculpts -and two of those needing some heavy converting just to make them 'standard'. Things just sort of snowballed from there.

I'll show some more detailed stuff about why this all is if people are interested, as well as how I do it, I guess. I reckon there's a rich vein of posts to be mined to get where I have the troops today, which is a long distance indeed from where they were.

I'm going to say right here in the first post that this will be a thread I update slowly: I don't get a lot of time for modelling and painting anymore on the one hand, and on the other I want to comment on modelling and converting individual troopers because that's the kind of thread I like best and I want to create something I would like to see myself.

Please feel free to make requests and offer comment; I'd really appreciate it. In the meanwhile, here are some 'action' shots of my guardsmen, mostly set up for Apologist's 'War of the false Primarch' collaborative blog, which you should definitely check out if you haven't.

Thanks everyone





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5 hours ago, Beaky Brigade said:

That's a wonderful collection of minis, I really like the use of the Centaurs and that they're packed with troops! 


How many of the old sculpts do you have in your collection? 

I haven't counted them, but in terms of sheer numbers, I think it's around 70 of the basic troopers, 10 rough riders, nearly 40 officers and three commissars. I'd love to get my hands on the one breastplated commissar model but I won't sweat it. I pretty much only have the Copplestone metal sculpts- I went for a consistent look. I also have around ten of the Copplestone-sculpted Confrontation Tech gangers- they'll be making an engineers squad at some point.

If you mean what percentage of the total number of different RT era guard sculpts- then it's very low. I decided to ditch all the Perry and Olley-sculpted ones for some consistency.

Thanks for the kind words about the Centaurs too- they were fun but very time-consuming to make. I'll be doing a post on them at some point, I did take lots of in-progress pictures. Not many good pictures, but I'll manage.

Edited by Bonehead
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I'll get to the lore at some point when I can sort of render it more easily presentable than the jumbled mess in my head. Perhaps a framing device.

In the meanwhile, a bit of modelling.

We'll start with my favourites: the squaddies.

Having decided to only use the Copplestone metal body sculpts, and having bought a load via mail order back in the day, and topped them off with various eBay deals when they presented themselves, I ran into one fairly obvious issue. As you can see in the picture below, there are only four basic poses, and two of them have a pretty major issue, being that they're sculpted as wounded models. They're also not terribly varied; there's one sort of advancing pose, one definitely advancing pose, one static pose and one sort of 'action' pose.


This means that making an army out of these guys is either going to be an exercise in repetition, or a big old conversion-a-thon.

Obviously I went with option number 2.

There's a lot of mileage that can be got out of head swaps, and I think I've probably got 90% of that mileage. There's also some good to be done with green stuff. The 'action pose' wounded model with the helmet only requires some very basic green stuff and filing to be rendered into the same pose, but no longer wounded; as you can see in the photo below; every trooper is based on the same model. The crouching HB trooper is a little more involved, but the original model is still the same- a few strategic cuts at the back of knees and at the hips and the legs can be bent into a crouching position. In this case, the legs are actually from the grenade launcher model, but that's a variation on the same sculpt.


The other 'wounded' model in the advancing pose has an arm in a sling modelled on- this takes some getting rid of, but once you've done that you have a fourth useable basic pose. Again, some head swaps, and careful arm choice can give you a huge variety of poses.20230305(6).thumb.JPG.7793e9a87ef46cbd80682905cdb1b253.JPG


I tend to think of the helmetless static pose as 'power stance bloke'. He makes a good foundation for a lot of variations; I'm particularly happy with the two lads on either end who make a nice paired pose either side of an open doorway. I also like how turning a model left-handed can effectively re-frame the same basic pose so that you might as well have two completely different models.20230305(8).thumb.JPG.2eab35efd40dd4af3a896da03db7dba4.JPG


And finally we have the basic 'advancing/action' pose dude: the most commonplace sculpt and the easiest to get hold of on eBay; I also bought most of this pose back in the day because I quickly saw its potential, and I wanted to have lots of helmeted heads. I still love the RT IG helmet in all its very silly glory. The thing about all of these body poses is that while they're designed (in theory anyway) for the arms that came with the plastic guardsmen, the honest truth is that none of them match those arms very well. There's only five basic pairs of arm poses and generally they don't go very well with the metal bodies. You usually have to cut a head off and pin it back on if you want the model to be aiming down the gun. Of the four examples in the photo here, none have the head in the ortiginal position; even the two with the original head have been repositioned.20230305(4).thumb.JPG.12f3ee1abbe65b80109635bf30a5699d.JPG

It's very rewarding for me how much variation you can get from just four basic poses if you're prepared to put in the hours (possibly I should say obsessive enough to put them in). You can also get a lot of work out of accessories: I've tried to include shell bandoliers for all the shotgunners, which can have the happy result of making two otherwise identical miniatures look totally different. Generally speaking, I've added lots of pouches, sidearms and grenades to the squaddies to give the impression that they're a veteran force, which is how the lore has them. I mostly started doing that just because I like the way it looks, but it definitely gives the overall army a feel of having seen a lot and having the loot to prove it.

There, that's plenty of words and pictures! I reckon next time I might talk about the various heavy weapon gunners, because that bears on the other major theme of the army- they're mechanised. More on that in due course.

Thanks for looking everyone!


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Following on from the ordinary squaddies, let's get down to the next troop type, almost as much fun to model: heavy weapon troopers.

Because I based the look of the troops on Half-life marines, they all ended up with conventional weapons rather than lasguns, and I wanted to carry that on across the whole force. Lascannons were ruled out, except on vehicles. There would be a lot of those, since I'd decided the regiment was mechanised, so that didn't worry me. And I picked up a whole crapload of the FW autocannon turret for the chimeras, so those could be skipped for the infantry too. That left me with essentially just the typical conventional weapons of modern-day mechanised forces to worry about: machineguns, rocket launchers and mortars.

Being as the force was mechanised, I wanted guns that would fit with the short-barreled vehicle friendly autoguns and shotguns I'd been giving the squaddies. Something that looked like it could be carried in the back of a chimera.

A lucky eBay win got me nine of the old 2nd ed missile launchers for hardly anything, so that was that problem solved. They do fit nicely with the RT guardsmen too, there's something about the chunkiness of them that feels very right.

For the heavy bolters, I had a harder time working out what to do. I did have a few of the old 1st ed shoulder mounted type, but the idea of shoulder mounted machinegun has never struck me as being a practical one. Too much recoil. The plastic cadian ones are too bulky, and the 2nd ed carriage-mounted ones were no good- good luck getting that in the back of an APC. I thought about the Steel Legion model- fired from prone, it looked pretty good, and I had a few I'd bought years back from mail order. Then someone gave me an old 3rd ed SM scout heavy bolter and it was an instant hit- just the right distance between the hands and no having to convert prone gunners. Another decision made, and they really do look just right on the RT guard bodies.

Each of the gunners below is a model I'm very happy with. They have just the right heft and bulk while still looking as reasonably practical for the back of a tank as any 40k model does. And the guns themselves come with pre-sculpted hands too, which makes them much easier to convert- far better to have a definite point to aim at.


The more of them I made- and I do want to have at least one three-gun squad of each, as well as individual guns in the infantry squads- the more it seemed important to me that the gunners be in practical poses, i.e. crouching. Of course I know an RPG can be fired standing, but a machinegun is definitely best used from a crouch, braced on the ground or some cover. And now we get to the reason there's only five finished heavy gunners: there are no crouching RT guard sculpts.

If this was video, the montage music would have started fading up by now.

Right. Start with either 'wounded action stance guy' or the grenade launcher model. Remove the torso: we'll be mashing together two models for this. Save the head, obviously. Drill a hole for a pin in the middle of the resulting flat waist section.


Then make a series of increasingly deep cuts to the back of the knees and the left hip; we're going to be bending these round so you actually need to remove quite a lot of material.

Carefully bend the legs round to bring the right one underneath the body and the left one up and to the side. A little heat will not go amiss here: it really helps the metal flex. Leave the base tab attached to the left foot for convenience. During this process, the right foot will probably snap off: good. It won't sit at a good angle otherwise. Don't lose it.

Once you have the legs bent satisfactorily, glue the left foot back on- a pin won't hurt. You'll probably need to remove quite a lot of it to get a good fit, but don't worry because it's going to be 90% out of sight.

Similarly to the right foot, the right leg may snap at the knee- don't worry about that. Insert a pin and glue it back on. Done.

Next, cover up all the bad-lloking parts with green stuff, or as I did with the crouching HB gunner above, simply cover the crappy looking parts with poches, sidearms and spare ammo.

Finally, take a torso from an eBay rescue with legs so coated in paint that they're irredeemable, and pin it into position on top. it's very hard to get the original torso to sit level- it mostly ends up with the left shoulder much too high.

You can also do this conversion with the standard/advancing body, but i often find that the left leg comes out of it looking like it's been shortened. If you're going to remove the head, which I recommend if you want the trooper to be looking where the gun is pointed, do it first. The finished crouching model will be more fragile than the original, so you don't want to be sawing at it. It's easier to get the torso level though- just cut into the left side at the waist before you do anything else, and force the resultant slot closed.


Now you have your basic crouching model, it's time to pose it. This is the fun bit: line up the gun with the model, on the base, and see where it will fit best so that the arms will look reasonably natural when attached. They're going to have to be converted, make no mistake about that, so don't worry about fitting the actual arms you have onto the model. Just get the gun sitting right.20230308(5).thumb.JPG.2fc071ecff108ee9ac5acef313b33d73.JPG

This is my process, anyway. We'll get to the arms at some stage, but not today. I hope this explains why there aren't more heavy weapons in the force yet- and why I decided to go mechanised- more vehicles with heavy weapons means modelling less troopers with them.

Let me know if you like to see me finish the process modelling up one of these gunners. And I might even have a go at modelling a loader too- Previously I just gave a trooper a backpack and called the job done, but I've decided to try a bit harder. Still working out what to do for missile loaders- probably just going to cut up some 2nd ed catachan loaders and use the parts from them though.

And I didn't forget the mortars. That's for another time.



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  • 2 weeks later...

The character of the Ebla Regiments: External


The carrier jolted to a halt with the same unceremonious haste as it had started the journey.

Murden supposed he should be grateful for the speed of the ride, if not the comfort; the Centaur was certainly the fastest tracked vehicle he'd ever ridden but the suspension had no such right to acclaim.

The crew chief dismounted and threw him a salute as he stepped down past the tow hitch somewhat more slowly. The dignity of the commisariat demanded a certain deliberation in movement, an impression of certainty and confidence.

Murden returned the salute.

'Regimental commissariat's post, sir,' the man said.

Murden nodded and looked around. A dirty, nondescript plascrete bunker in a row of dozens of identical plascrete bunkers, none marked with any insignia other than a single number, the paint dried in drips down from the stencilled digits. They all looked like they could have been thrown up this week or last year.

The armoured door next to the fading '034' cracked and opened and a man stepped out. He wore the traditional black coat and peaked hat, except that the coat was missing its left arm. Murden frowned slightly as he wondered how the regimental commissar-general would possibly justify such a breach in uniform standards, before his discipline overtook his curiosity and his expression turned professionally neutral.

The senior commissar took a cigar from his pocket and lit it, then saluted the pair of men before him.

'Thank you Hengers, dismissed,' he drawled.

'You got it, commissar Frask,' the chief replied and turned to leave.

Murden stiffened, frowned in earnest and drew a breath as he followed with a turn of his own.

He felt a hand on his shoulder before he could speak a word, and glanced to his side to see the senior commissar give him a subtle shake of the head.

'A moment, Hengers,' the man called.

The chief turned back to the commissars and stepped back, throwing another salute. 'Sir?' he asked.

'For our newly-arrived colleague's benefit, name, rank and service years, Hengers,' the senior commissar requested in the same lazy drawl as before.

Hengers nodded and stood to attention.

'Sergeant-Major the late Joachim Hengers,' he stated, 'seven years.'

'And how many traitors have you given the Emperor's peace, Hengers?'

Hengers' expression darkened to a truly ugly degree.

'Not enough, commissar. Not while any yet draw breath.'

The vehemence of his statement drew Murden aback, though he took care not to show it. The man looked genuinely furious.

'May He grant that you will have yet more opportunities to redress the balance, Hengers,' the senior commissar commented- in a far more ernest and forceful tone than he'd previously employed.

'I pray it will be so, Commissar,' Hengers replied, a touch of malice infecting both the tone of his voice and the expression Murden abruptly recognised as a similar fervent outrage to that his ecclesiastical instuctors had shown during his training.

'And He will hear your prayer, Hengers,' the senior said, 'and He will reward your faith. Dismissed.'

The hand at Murden's shoulder remained as Hengers remounted his vehicle and tapped his driver's shoulder. The Centaur's drastically overpowered twin engines roared to a deafening pitch briefly as the gears engaged and then it lurched into a rapid acceleration and tore away down the row of bunkers. The hand withdrew from Murden's shoulder after gently impelling him to turn and face its owner.

'Commissar-general Frask of the Ebla 45th mechanised,' the senior introduced himself, 'and you are the Commissar Murden I have been promised in the last cycle's dispatch.'

Murden nodded. 'The honour is mine, Commissar-General,' he replied.

Frask acknowledged him with a tilt of his head.

'Come inside the post, Commissar, and I will give you your assignment and debriefing.'

Inside the bunker Frask led the way to his office and directed Murden to shut the door behind them with a gesture. As he turned back to face the room, Murden's earlier curiosity was answered as he saw a full armoured sleeve and power fist and its harness and power supply hanging in an equipment rack. Counting the power sword he'd noted in its sheath at Frask's waist, he imagined the man must be truly fearsome at close quarters. Murden approved. Nothing better for the troops' morale, in his opinion, than the enemy being ten times more afraid of the commissars than the troops themselves. Though he'd noted absolutely no fear in any Eblan's manner toward him as he'd joined the regiment that morning.

'Who were you posted with previously, Commissar? Frask asked him.

'The Yantar 11th infantry,' Murden replied.

'Ah. May He bless their souls and keep them,' Frask commented. 'A hundred and something survivors, wasn't it?'

Murden fingered the scar on his cheek. It still stung on windy or cold days.

'A hundred and sixty eight,' he replied, 'and an honourable discharge to Yantar. The name and number of the regiment was retired.'

'And how many by your hand during the final action? During those three weeks?' Frask asked. His expression had become very hard.

Murden was surprised; both that Frask knew so many details of the Wolves' last stand and that he asked at all about summary execution. It was almost taboo even among commissars.

Before he could answer, Frask continued.

'It doesn't matter. I remember the debrief. The 11th claimed a three to one casualty ratio in their last stand.'

Murden nodded. They'd used every speck of cover and every round, shell, grenade and power pack until they were relieved. Half of the survivors hadn't even had a knife left by the end.

Frask fixed him with the same hard expression as before.

'I have served with the 45th mechanised for twelve years. We have a confirmed ongoing casualty ratio over eight to one,' he stated. Murden couldn't help it this time; his eyebrows shot up as if magnetised to the ceiling. He blinked rapidly. That was approaching some of the less renowned storm trooper outfits.

Frask leaned forward.

'I have executed precisely zero men in that time,' he added. 'If you have any sense, you'll aim for the same total. I expect you to. These men know how to kill traitors and xenos and require no motivation. Look to their faith as your responsibility, not their discipline. You understand why I asked Hengers what I did? Their faith is their shield and their sword, as it should be. Give them your trust and they shall give you their devotion.'


The Ebla regiments are noted among the commissariat as unusually easy postings: the strongest aspect of the Eblan guardsman's character is his or her faith. It is not unusual for an Eblan regiment to have as little as a third of the usual complement of posted commissars in their ranks. Cynical observers have noted that Standard Eblan tactical doctrine mounts platoon command sections in Centaur carriers, which are so low in carrying capacity that they effectively prevent a commissar from accompanying junior officers. Such observers are certainly not wrong, but they are also somewhat missing the point: generally an Eblan Burseg, or junior officer, will not need a commissar to reinforce their discipline.

Observers would probably also note the general arrogance of the Eblan troops' character that this doctrine displays and certainly the many and storied Eblan regiments have universally given such an impression to their fellows on the line. Eblans are without exception unpopular on the ground wherever they operate. Eblan regiments tend to be given derisory nicknames by their fellows in arms in a variety of scornful manners; typical examples are 'the high and mighty 91st,' 'the 8th glory boys' and 'the 50th saints'. The third mechanised are known as the 'Leadheads,' a title which is an unvarnished insult in no uncertain terms.

Eblans do not improve these relations by frequently adopting official regimental nicknames directly from the mouths of their detractors. The 45th mechanised, during the Ferric worlds campaign, proudly rode under the name 'the Ramrods' taken from a notorious piece of graffiti in the 8th army headquarters latrine. This is an expression of one aspect of the Eblans' character not recognised by their peers and several that are all too well seen and understood. Eblans recruited to the guard allow themselves the vice of a completely bone-dry humour that is very easily taken for a sardonic, mocking attitude to everything and everyone. Few of their comrades in arms will understand it at all, not least because the Eblan regiments' tendency to survive in-theater long past the average means they are almost always effectively fighting alongside new allies who have not had and probably will not have time to develop an understanding. The more obvious problems are that the Eblans are an elite force in almost any company, and they know it; and they are also extremely well equipped by any standards and furthermore mounted in vehicles. Eblan Bashars, or senior officers, readily accept or even volunteer for punishing assignments and the troops offer no complaint; not only is this pious attention to duty almost unrelatable to the average guardsman, the Eblans also tend to actually succeed despite the difficulty. No-one likes to be shown up, especially by a bunch of tricked-out, self-regarding zealots riding in relative comfort instead of footslogging. Eblans also refer to unmounted infantry as 'crunchers.'

Eblan regiments are raised from veterans of the Ebla PDF; on that huge and troubled world conflict with rebel houses is a constant menace to exports. The mechanised convoys of the PDF that escort the prodigious output of Eblan manufactories through the volcanic haze to the few reliable starports are in constant danger of attack. Each man or woman recruited to the guard will be a seasoned killer and many times proven under fire. Some regimental nicknames reflect this stark and ruthless readiness: the '26th Stonehearts' and the 'Unsmiling19th.' Sounding like a bunch of try-hards is probably the worst sin of all to line troops.

Eblans' piety is matched, oddly, by a reverence on the battlefield only for capability. Eblan troopers will offer no respect at all and often open mockery of pious allies who profess a certainty of victory through faith alone. As far as an Eblan trooper is concerned, you win by killing the enemy, not by being on side of righteousness. The fact that they are also very obviously certain down to the marrow of their bones that they are indeed on the side of righteousness is maddening and frustrating to their allies. Being called a 'starry-eyed idiot' or 'chapel chaff' for your faith by men and women who are themselves very obviously extremely pious sours all interpersonal relations.

It is for this reason, and others like it, that Eblans do not possess a generally good reputation among high command. Eblan regiments perform best when working with other Eblan regiments, or elite formations such as stormtroopers. It is a fatal flaw in the Eblan character that they assume a similar level of initiative and motivation exists in their fellows as does in themselves. Eblan regiments, being universally mechanised, have aggression as their central strategic and tactical principle. An Eblan Bashar at company, brigade or regimental level will be constantly looking out for a battlefield advantage to exploit and will jump wholeheartedly at one that presents itself. The problem is that they assume their peers will also recognise such and react to them; despite millenia of experience, this problem persists. Eblan regiments' notable failures are almost universally due to leaving themselves dangerously exposed, or simply overreaching their supply lines' capability as they seek to press their advantage and assume their fellows will do the same. Again, being mechanised, their supply lines are unusually important.

Commanders who aknowledge these flaws will wisely employ Eblan regiments where they will perform best: en masse as aggressive formations to break enemy lines, in reserve as a mobile and shocking counter assault force, or split into elements as convoy protection details, small-scale assault spearheads and extremely reliable field police. Less insightful commanders treat Eblans the same as more typical line regiments and are frequently frustrated by their failure to match pace with their fellows and the consequences of their overconfidence.

No Eblan has ever been promoted above regimental command, as far as records can be shown, except in those rare instances when a regiment is granted a feifdom on a world newly brought into compliance. Again, as far as records can determine, no Eblan has ever complained of this state either. Many Eblan regiments have long and distinguished service histories: some do not, put bluntly.

The Ebla regiments can be summarised, in service, as an extremely well-made hammer that will drive one particular kind of nail better than any other, but possibly smash the wielder's thumb when used on any other type.




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Eblan Officers and Tactics



'Burseg' Jennet and command section, early stages of the Augustine crusade, year unknown. Dismounted from their transport, the typical Eblan loadout is in evidence.


Eblan command structure broadly follows that of a standard regiment: at the lowest level are the Squads or 'Sections,' next the Platoons or 'Troops,' then Company, Battalion, and the regiment as a whole. So far, so relatable.

Where the Eblan regiments differ from most other regiments is their officers' rank. Eblans recognise only two ranks in their own officers: 'Bursegs', or junior officers and 'Bashars' or senior officers. Each platoon will have a Burseg, but so will each company. Each battalion will have a Bashar, but so will the regiment as a whole. Whereas most regimental headquarters would be lazy with Lieutenants, Captains and Majors in logistics, records and intelligence roles, an Eblan HQ consists entirely of Bursegs subordinate to one Bashar each in the fields of Supply and Intelligence. Relative superiority in rank is considered entirely fluid; if one Burseg is known to thoroughly understand matters of fuel and ammunition consumption, then their advice will be sought. Reports where required are filed directly by company or battalion officers to the regimental commander and then immediately to high command; the only records kept are of stockpiles and manpower both of which fall under the 'supply' section.

The situation would be appallingly frustrating to all commanders and administrative staff who deal with Eblans were it not for one simple concession made by every Ebla regiment: to cut paperwork as drastically as possible, not a single member of the regiment draws pay. With this one change, half of the regiment's required administration vanishes. The Ebla regiments simply report manpower and draw sufficient rations, fuel and materiel to keep them fighting. In theory.

In practise, Eblans often overreport their requirements and then engage in massively resource-intensive, firepower superiority-based tactics. It's usually easier to ask for forgiveness after a successful operation than permission before one.

Despite their successes, the Ebla regiments would never be able to get away with their behaviour were it not for their one major advantage: Ebla the planet and system is a massive producer of munitions for the Astra Militarum and the navy. Ebla the planet is wracked with vulcanicity at the continental borders thanks to its two moons and molten iron core; the atmosphere is thick, heavy and moist on an unusually large proportion of its vast surface. There are vast swathes of land where the useful components of explosive propellant can be found in abundance. The Eblan houses manage these with fanatical attention to ensure their continued productivity. Meanwhile Ebla the system is extremely rich in heavy elements used in much war materiel: Iron, silicon, tungsten and adamantium are mined on a huge scale and show no tendency to expire.

Ebla is usefully able to curry favour with the fleet of its home segmentum and enjoys the unusual benfit of its regiments recieving direct, navy-supplied reinforcement, and a ten-year home retirement policy. Few of its troops see that retirement, but any number greater than zero is significant. The political advantage of supplying munitions in huge quantity also gives the regiments unusual leeway in behaviours that would otherwise be considered disrespectful or even insubordinate by high-ranking commanders.

Having earned this elbow room, no matter how backhandedly, the Ebla regiments put it to use by employing an adaptable command structure and tactical doctrine that less diciplined or experienced units would struggle to cope with. The regiments retain the right to appoint their own commanders and do; even sometimes during a campaign. If a strategic situation clearly suits one particular bashar's skillset, then that bashar is appointed commander by their peers. High command must learn to adapt, at least grudgingly. The much maligned 'Ebla accord' assures it.

For all their stubborn nature and pig-headed idiosyncrasy, Eblan regiments are essentially tolerated due to their goals aligning entirely with the nominal goals of high command: to make the enemies of the Emperor into dead enemies of the Emperor. Eblans are abrasive and arrogant on a personal level but at a regimental level, they are professional and obedient with a keen sense of duty. While not fatalistic and morbid to anywhere near the same degree as, for instance, the Krieg regiments, an Eblan bashar will accept a desperate rearguard assignment or punishing frontal assault far more readily than the average colonel.

Eblans practise a meritocracy in military affairs so a regimental bashar will have been, at one time, an ordinary squaddie (the official Eblan rank is trooper, but no-one uses it) and earned their rank the hard way. As such, they understand the character of their own line troopers better than many officers from more typical academy or nobility-based career paths, and know they will readily accept a hard duty as a point of both professionalism and pride, and probably a degree of fatalism.

So it follows that at platoon or company level, a Burseg is even closer to the squaddies of the line- and enjoys the willing obedience of troops who know their superior has earned their position and authority.

Eblan tactical doctrine depends on this relationship at all levels. The regiments treat the company as the base-level strategic unit in exactly the same manner as an overwhelming majority of guard units, and tactics from that level down depend on strong commanders and committed troops. A good way to understand this is to look at typical company composition.

In each company, there are three specialist platoons and a number of line platoons. The specialists are the Command platoon, the Grenadier platoon and the Logistical platoon. The Line platoons are standard infantry units, albeit heavily armed and armoured, and all are mounted in armoured carriers. A typical operation will have the scouts and sappers of the command platoon determine enemy postions and terrain, and seek to control the terrain where possible through limited demolitions and sap work. Once the course of action is determined, the Grenadiers, armoured in full heavy carapace and equipped with the most powerful weaponry will lead the assult or bolster the defence, backed by the Line platoons. Command will act as a mobile reserve of concentrated heavy firepower and specialist equipment and the Logistical platoon's engineers will stand by as vehicle recovery and heavy demolitions specialists.

This is also repeated at a smaller scale in the individual platoons: The Line squads and Grenadier squads will employ massed automatic firepower of exclusively conventional, old fashioned powder weapons such as high-caliber autoguns, heavy stubbers and shotguns, combined with heavy bolters and missile launchers on the Line platoons. The comparative noise and physical impact of slug-throwing weapons and explosive bolts is preferred to las weapons for shock value. Meanwhile the platoon command section will usually be deployed as a fast moving reserve in a Centaur as opposed to a slower Chimera, communicating with company command and equipped with Melta weapons to provide limited anti-armour capacity in the short term.

Support will be assigned at company level in the form of tanks and mobile artillery to operate either as a heavy spearhead or counter-assault force.

The intent is to concentrate as much firepower as possible on one individual section of the enemy line in order to break it as quickly as possible; typical mechanised doctrine, taken to the absolute maximum possible extreme in any given situation. The chief objective is that the enemy will in the best possible scenario come under simultaneous armour, infantry and artillery assault, all at a disorientating, deafening volume. The chief drawback is that it is massively resource-intensive. Where Eblans fail, they usually fail by running out of supplies. As is normal for mechanised units, Eblans are rarely deplyed in simple line-holding roles except by inexperienced or desperate commanders.



Jennet again during the Augustine crusade, this time mounted in his unit's Centaur carrier. This vehicle is known to have served for over ten years and be named 'Liar.' Eblan naming conventions are not well understood. The vehicle displays ample evidence of the typical Eblan aggresion in all actions: barely any paint remains on the front as a consequence of the vehicle's employment as much as a battering ram as a transport. Eblans prefer Centaurs for small unit transports as they are intended as artillery tractors and powered as such: when laden only with troops they are extremely fast for tracked vehicles and disproportionately capable of making their own way by ramming and overunning terrain.


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On 3/24/2023 at 1:46 PM, Nicodemus Doloroso said:

These are some fantastic conversions, I really commend you for such effort and attention to detail. Also nice to see the old school IG models. Nice painjob!

Thanks, I appreciate it! I find it very meditative to get converting- all your worries float away. Also all your time. I'm not sure how many hours are in the project, but I'll just call it 'lots and lots' and not worry about it.

On 3/24/2023 at 1:09 PM, duz_ said:

Impressive work on the minis and lore. 


I am extremely impressed by your willingness to hack up and convert old metal minis! That's some dedication! Looks great though :yes:

I'm lucky really- I bought most of them when they weren't all that old or valuable so my cavalier attitude -that horrifies some people in the Rogue Trader FB groups, hehehe- is just familiarity. They're just my old models in my way of thinking, not rare collectables.

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On 3/28/2023 at 7:07 PM, Jud Cottrell said:

Oh how I miss the humble Centaur!


Fantastic work on your army mate, really hits you in the nostalgia button.


 Thanks for sharing and hope to see more of the Ebla Regiments!



Much appreciated Jud. There will be more, don't worry. I think I might do a photo gallery of a line platoon next. Lots of converted models, that's the way.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...

My lord, he's actually done a thing? Someone call the guards!

Yep. Found myself distracted by the second other force of dozens of humans for a while there, but it turns out I just needed a really boring zoom meeting to turn me back to the loyalists. Well, this flavour of loyalists anyway. I'm deliberately not looking at the 90-something Victoria Miniatures guard I got distracted by in the first place.

Here we've got some grenadiers coming a long nicely; three troopers and an officer. Once these are done I think I'm going to work on basing everything I've got done up to this point. Nearly 70 models, it could take a while.20230822(3).thumb.JPG.a439d3039a038b6a235722d4d354c961.JPG

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I was so happy to get the four guys in the last post under some paint that I was inspired to build another.

I want to get three squads of grenadiers done in the end- and I have the models to do it so it should be just a matter of time and inspiration. I need to finish one gunner and build another and also a radio man for the grenadiers' command section and hopefully I'll get them done while the energy's here.

In the meanwhile, here's a halfway photo of the guy I built today:


As you can see, there's more than a little bit of work in it, but I find it so relaxing. Except when I drop tiny parts, anyway.

So in this case, I started with a sergeant model (top rwo, far right on the page through this link: http://www.solegends.com/citcat1991a/cat1991ap038impguard-00.htm).

This dude came to me without the base tab, so that saved me the trouble of cutting it off. Since I did my force of Victoria Miniatures guards I've been converted to the church of making nice bases. I sort of started putting these RT lads on homemade urban bases but never got round to finishing more than one of them- a crouching HB gunner featured previously- but I did successfully manage a load of the same bases on my horde of baddie cultists that I've recently started. Find them here:

So you can see what the bases look like. The cultists are all on street or sidewalk bases because the idea is that they're an urban problem, but they'll be the ones herded into the streets to face enemy fire while the traitor guard will also be in ruined buildings and better cover; my RT lads will be in cover and on the streets, so they'll get road, sidewalk, rubble, catwalks, all kinds of bases. It kind of makes no sense for a mechanised army to be on urban bases, but I really wanted to do urban camo so here we are.

Returning to the theme, here's our man assembled. Needs some greenstuff at the neck and right shoulder, but I'm very happy indeed with the pose. It's not massively dynamic, but it just looks dead right to me.


And from another angle:


He's going to get some shoulderpads just to bulk out the silhouette and sell the heavy armour a bit more, but the basic pose is done and he really works, I reckon.

He also needs a pocket on his upper left arm to match the right, but that's no problem. I'll do that when I load him up with a sidearm and some ammo pouches.

Finally, here he is pinned on his base:


Standing over the kerb and eyeing up the next cultist he's going to blast. There's just something about an assault rifle with a grenade launcher on it- in video games, it's usually a ticket to fun times. Due to my purchasing of a bunch of redemptionists as base models for my cultists, I've got a load of these now, and the grenadiers are going to be armed to the teeth.

On to the radio man now then. I do have some arms holding up radios from Victoria Minis and from Anvil. Hopefully one should provide enough inspiration for a pose.

Cheers all




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When inspiration hits you, use it quickly!

Yeah, forget that, this takes forever. Only for the patient, this type of converting. Metal models give you a lot of advantages in that it bends a lot before breaking, allowing you to make pretty large changes to a model without cutting it up, but sooner or later you will have to cut them up to get the pose you want, and then you'll be in the mire. It's a time-sink.

But it's a fun one, and very restful. It's very good for de-stressing, I find.

Ok, so I got an idea for what to do about the radio man for the grenadiers platoon command section. The standard medic model comes with a breastplate and a tech-looking backpack, so that's a good start. But I didn't feel like having yet another model in that pose, so I needed to put the medic's torso on some new legs. So, two models required:


And with a little editing via a razor saw, we can pull the old switcheroo:


Another two of the same models for reference. The medic's legs are posed with the feet much closer together than the standing trooper -power stance bloke- so they make for a much better Centaur gunner. He'll crew a recon section's Centaur in due course.

Back to our radio man. To join the torso and legs securely, they need pinning. Paper clips provide plenty of pins that'll be more than strong enough for the job. You can see in the next photo that I've already drilled the pin holes for the arms and head too, as well as for the radio aerial. This saves doing it when you've started to glue the model together, which will put a lot of stress on the new joints.


Right, moving onto the middle section of the build: posing the arms and head. I took the head, sculpted in the act of shouting, from the sergeant model that was the basis of our previous conversion and matched it with an arm from Anvil that's holding up a radio handset. I feel they work very nicely together:


And now we're into the final stage: fitting on all the less important details, like equipment and so on, as well as giving him the less important arm for the pose. I mean, it's still important, but the one with the radio is the critical one. Because there's no pocket on the left arm, I cut off and smoothed out the one on the right arm. I didn't have any handy to glue on, so I guess this guy's jacket is a replacement from a different pattern or something. Irregularities like this are thematically appropriate for a veteran unit anyway.

Here he is, finished and pinned to his base. Well, except the radio aerial, I forgot that at first.


The important thing about the extra equipment, grenades and ammo pounches, is that you use them to cover the joins between the parts.

This one won't need any green stuff, which is great.


There we go, another one done. The command section just needs another gunner now.

Thanks for looking folks!

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You're not wrong there, I've already seen some people making IG out of the free cities models; they fit the 40k 'space fantasy' theme pretty well. As for doing some RT guard: do it! I'm not saying you have to be as obsessive about it as I am, but there's barely anyone painting and posting RT IG, and plenty of models out there on sale. Bit pricey, but so is everything in this hobby at the moment. Getting hold of the arms and guns seems to be the big challenge, but there's plenty of 3rd party stuff out there.

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There are some cracking conversions going on in this thread... great work :) !


It's brilliant to see the old Guard getting spruced up and prepared for modern gaming :) .


Are you set on just the metal models because I find the plastic ones much easier to convert (if you can get them)?


I look forward to more progress :) .

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Thanks Inso, much appreciated. Especially from a real master of the art.

I'm just using the metal ones because that's what I have. At some point decades ago I decided I was only going to use the ones that were sculpted by Mark Copplestone, because they just appealed to me more in some way or other. So I did a bunch of swapping and eBay hunting and ended up with a pretty consistent set of models. It helps that Copplestone did all the officers and rough riders: that way I get the most potential.

That was years ago and now I've started painting and modelling again, these just became basically the default choice. It's cheaper than going out and buying new ones, and I've got the hang of it now!

Of course, there's been a few advances since the old days. 3d printing lets you do all kinds of fun stuff:


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Now I've been over the whole process of picking parts and pinning them together a few times, we can skip that and go straight to the part where I talk about somthing else.

This time, how to fit models with tabs onto custom made bases, without leaving a bunch of nasty holes in the base detail.

Basically it boils down to making a nice little slot in the base, then trimming the tab down so that you can slide the model into position. if you cut the slot carefully, you can completely hide all evidence of it with the model's feet.


This is a bit tricky in some cases, so I've opted to have one of the feet be in the gutter, so that any mess is just crap in the gutter. Bosh. Now I don't have to fix it. Just the kind of result I like best.


These two will fill out the grenadier platoon command squad, along with the radio man I finished building earlier in the week. The officer is under paint and the medic is already finished, although he needs a base.

Obviously they will be wanting heads, so:


There we go. Shoulder pads on and job done. The one on the left needs a little green stuff, so that'll happen at some point, then it's onto the painting desk for these.

The idea with the heavy stubbers is that they are the ebla equivalent of the 'whatever it is volley guns' that storm troopers get. Rapid firing guns with a higher armour penetration value or whatever it is. Armour piercing bullets exist, so it's fine. Or at least, I'm not going to worry about it.


It's very moderately annoying that I had to use Victoria Minis arms for both of these guys but there really wasn't much of a chance that the standard ones would do the job.

The chainsword also doesn't make a hell of a lot of sense, but the lieutenant model was the one with the right leg pose when inspiriation hit so it does the job.


Final verdict: not too shabby. Cheers

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Grenadiers Inbound

Time for some finished models for once!

Bosh. Grenadiers.


The word 'finished' is used in a euphemistic sort of way. The more I look at them, the more unfinished bits I see, mostly on the plasma gunner. And yet he's the only one with a finished base. Whatever. They aren't based because I ran out of spray varnish, which needs to go on before they get fitted to their bases or the paint just comes off with the handling. The finished base show off how the 'sidewalk' bases are going to look when they're done. Not at all shabby, I feel.

I remember being very pleased with the burseg (officer) when I finished bulding him. Gettign the gun to rest in his hand was a total pain, but it worked out really well, I think.20230906(10).thumb.JPG.71cecd4986b9eb5ffb93dbd633de44e6.JPG

The arm has a new hand carefully cut, filed and pinned in, and then the gun itself got a little editing to fit right. Very happy with the result.

The grenade throwing bloke is a Rough Rider sergeant's torso on a grenade launcher trooper's legs, with the head swapped and a cadian grenade hand added. I reckon he came out really well too.

I mean, I'm not unhappy with any of them, but those two are just bang on what I was aiming for, which makes me very chuffed.


This view shows nicely how all the extra pouches and gear contribute to the veteran look I'm going for. Despite coming from different sets all over the shop, once they're painted up they sit together fine. I try to give every trooper at least one suitable mag pouch, but I only have so many, and I had a lot painted before I hit on the idea, so I'm just doing it as I go on for the moment.

Enough rambling. I hope you like them.

Hopefully I'll get some decent shots of them on some terrain soon, and once the command section is done I'll do some more lore crap.


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