The Loyalists

And finally, the loyal opposition arrives, one little brother in tow!

I was never away from miniatures for the long gaps that Ian was, but I have still had a slow decade or so with the hobby. During that time, Games Workshop began their excellent Horus Heresy series, and I was immediately in love. The aesthetics of the game are absolutely enthralling, and Forgeworld have done a great job of making the marines in the 30K universe feel like the halfway point between the ordinary soldiers of yesteryear’s 40K and the space-knight superhumans of modern 40K.

Even though I wasn’t really playing anymore when the Heresy series launched, I couldn’t help but order a few marines and some shoulder pads. I also got myself and Ian a copy of the first campaign book at that time, nefariously hoping to sucker him back, but he just wasn’t ready at the time.

Those were lonely days, as I would piddle with this model or that, paint a dozen or so figures a year, and dream about having a solid gaming partner again. The first batch of guys I ordered were Emperor’s Children; I had always liked them, and liked their pre-heresy versions even more. However, Forgeworld did not yet have the current selection of torsos and heads for the Emperor’s Children, and so I was left feeling unsatisfied with my first handful of little dudes. I thought about using modern power armour chestplates with the aquilae, but that just wasn’t right, so my first tiny batch of Heresy stuff went into the drawer.

Then, a year or so later, I was smitten with the Heresy hobby again. This time I made another small, modest order, but nabbed some Sons of Horus bits. I even painted a few of them up. Again, though, these were lonely days, and the project was just a bit of a distraction between other distractions.

When Ian finally got back into miniature gaming, I decided to be a cleverer pusher than before. And so I bided my time, waited for his rekindled addiction to reach a fevered pitch, before I decided to bring the Horus Heresy stuff back up. Things were different now! There were plastics to get you started at a reasonable price, and most of the legions had a nice supply of kits. I made my pitch to Ian on the porch one night between smokes and beers, and let him look things up online himself.

And it worked! Ian was sold, and I was ready to embrace my own passion for the Heresy aesthetic. Once Ian settled on Word Bearers, I had to decide what to do about my force. I thought about continuing with my Sons of Horus, but I wasn’t entirely thrilled about having two renegade factions fighting one another; yes, yes, it would have been easy enough to claim that my Sons of Horus were loyalists, and I think that is a perfectly respectable route, but I thought that it would be better if I went with an actual batch of loyalist marines. You might just see my Sons of Horus pop up anyway at some point, however.

After a brief flirtation with Ultramarines and Imperial Fists, I settled on choosing one the Angels legions. For some reason, I am not at all fond of 40K Blood Angels, but quite like their Heresy counterparts; I think that the modern 40K version of the chapter has suffered the fate of so many of GW’s factions, becoming caricaturish versions of their original concept. The 30K Blood Angels were much more up my alley. 

In the end, though, it was the Dark Angels that won me over. They had always been one of my favorite chapters, and I love painting robes and cloaks. And in the Heresy, just as with the Blood Angels, they were not yet the overdone theme, run straight into the ground of absurdity. Here, they were still the First, the Emperor’s Legion, the bearers of ancient technology, in addition to being awesome space knights. There was also a certain justice, in my mind, to taking my brother’s favorite legion for most of his life and using them to crush his Word Bearers.

The photos of my completed miniatures are already taken, so soon, very soon, I will unleash the images of my legion on the Porchhammer Blog.

Image result for dark angels chapter badge heresy