Fresh from the workbench, sha-BAM!
Captain Higgenbotham scowled into the swirling dirt and debris. His greatcoat flapped wildly as the air churned with bulk lifters and smaller craft spooling up for takeoff. Holding on to the hydraulics of his Valkyrie’s loading ramp, he took in one last deep breath as he surveyed the horizon far out across the plain. From here you could barely tell what was happening all around the planet, the sky still egg shell blue and the trees verdant green. But he knew it was a world aflame.
Watching yet another flight of Landspeeders overtake the staging field, he thought for a moment about the Space Marines. Clinically he understood. The entire Kingbreakers chapter was fighting to create space and time, to evacuate and preserve as much as possible before the inevitable. He and all of the corps would no doubt be dead already without their countless untold sacrifices. But he didn’t actually understand. Forestway was lost. Had been lost. And yet they warred on, more than just a fighting retreat, but less than a winnable battle. A lost cause. But still they died, and died, and died. For what? For pride? For revenge? For the emperor? Higgenbotham understood the words, but not what lay behind them. He and all the surviving Forest Guard would leave, now, and fight again on other days, on other worlds. Turning into the craft he slapped the ramp controls, shaking his head. Forestway was dead. There was no need to stay here looking for war. From now on, no matter where they went, there would be only war.
This is the first squad for my long planned IG detachment, the Forest Guard. They’re a mostly Cadian-patterned Imperial Guard regiment, initially mustered from Forestway, also the original chapter planet of the Kingbreakers, long since burned exterminatus as fallout from the endless machinations of the Legio Apex traitor marines.
These particular guys will swing back and forth between company and platoon command depending on need for the foreseeable future. In the no-FOC PAGE December Apoc game they’ll probably be a platoon lead and I won’t bother with an IG HQ. Not a lot of thought went into the armaments and unit. Their primary upcoming use is that Apoc game, so I’m not super concerned about having the most efficient load out ever. I’ve also got a bunch of regular Guardsman sprues on the shelves still plus one or two more command squads, so later if I need something I have plenty of options to build it. Here I was just putting together whatever looked cool and might be useful, like the radioman and medic. And plasma never goes out of fashion.
All in all I’m happy with these guys. They looked ok, looked ok, looked ok, and then I started putting on washes and they looked great. In hindsight it’d make more sense to start prototyping colors on more generic, easily replaced, and less prominent dudes, but it turned out ok this time.
The one thing I’m not super excited about is the banner. I just got lazy with it and should have at least done it up in more colors like the GW exemplars. That guy’s likely to wind up demoted or even an objective marker once I make up some fancy custom banners, or to have his current banner snipped off and replaced. Ditto on the banner guy’s power sword, it’s pretty weak. In general I’m not happy with how I do them, so I’ll have to work on in. Sometimes the process I used here works well—one of my Librarian’s force swords came out really nice, as did a Sternguard power axe—but often it just kind of comes out flat.
I was explicitly trying to go for a simple, fast process here, both to contrast with my fairly laborious Kingbreakers color scheme and style, and just to deal with the reality of having to do up tons of models to have a viable IG force. The washes thus are doing a ton of work. There’s no edging, very little drybrushing, and actually very few colors overall.
I like this scheme and it’s reasonably fast so I’ll probably stick with it. But if I was going to do a ton of these guys, i.e., a primary army, I would almost certainly spray prime in either the armor or pants colors, probably ideally the latter as it’s more recessed and just slightly slower to paint. As at most an allied force and probably just an Apocalypse supplementary army though, I don’t feel like getting an expensive can of primer for just that color or being limited to those color options.
Notably, I’m pretty committed to not doing decals on these guys. The Kingbreakers’ custom decals look fantastic and bring a lot to the custom look of the army, but here it just doesn’t balance out high enough on payoff versus effort to decal a million guardsmen. Maybe some vets will get the treatment once I have a proper logo drawn up and acquire some more decal paper. The latter’s actually a hassle to get and print; it’s not super widely available, shipping costs more than the paper itself, and it seems like it breaks down over time sitting unsealed on the shelf (printed decal paper is sealed, just the same as a painted model).
Compared to the Kingbreakers I also went much simpler on the bases here, just base coating and flocking, again thinking about optimizing the process to churn out dozens of these guys. Instead of fresh basic flock though I did use my cup of scrap, literally a cup into which I brush off all the excess flock, grass, gravel, etc., after I’m done working on models. That gives some nice little textures here and there as random bits and types of flock get mixed in. On the Kingbreakers I usually wash even flocked bases to create a dark, decayed, wasteland look as well as blend with my heavily washed dudes, but here I skipped that so the flock would keep more color and bounce.
The color scheme came out more Cadian than I was hoping, but that’s not the worst thing ever. Ultimately the standard Cadian scheme is pretty good looking, and jives with my preferences for more muted and vaguely more realistic colors. At a minimum though these guys are darker and more grey than a lot of Cadian forces out there.
I originally mocked up the color scheme on Bolter & Chainsword’s Imperial Guard Painter. That was very useful to play around with ideas. Many of the more colorful schemes I was originally leaning toward wound up looking more like Blood Bowl paintjobs that I wouldn’t be happy with en masse.
From that sketch I wound up dropping a color, following the mantra of fast & easy. It looks great in the image above, but separate colors for tunic tops and bottoms was going to be a huge extra hassle. The dark grey armor would undoubtedly also just blend in with the granite top anyway, particularly as on an actual model the armor covers more surface area. Low payoff for lots of effort so the scheme got streamlined down to two primary colors. The basic paints for these guys are:
- Primer: White (Privateer Press spray primer)
- Tunics and pants: Steel Legion Drab washed with Agrax Earthshade
- Armor, helmets, and boots: Skavenblight Dinge washed with Nuln Oil
- Guns, comms gear: Abaddon Black, heavily drybrushed Codex Grey, washed with Nuln Oil
- Faces and hands: Khardic Flesh (Privateer Press paint) washed with Ogryn Flesh
- Belts, holsters, straps, packs: Scorched Brown (no longer available), washed with Nuln Oil
- Blades, canteens, other metal bits: Ironbreaker washed heavily with Nuln Oil
- Aquilas and insignia: Gehenna Gold drybrushed with Ironbreaker and washed with Nuln Oil
- Bases: Vermin Brown (no longer available?)
One nice thing is that all of the colors are thick, solid paints, and largely all new GW Base paints or older Foundation colors, so one coat could be passable under a wash, and two coats is smooth.
I’m not sure what’s up next in the painting queue. Another Kingbreaker Predator? Drop Pods? Various top secret, Inquisition-redacted projects? Piles of Guardsman? Time will tell!