Saturday, 19 March 2016

From GregB - Raven Guard 30k Command - And Thanks! (30 Points)

Hi folks - here is my final submission for the Sixth Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge - a command group of Raven Guard, loyalist Space Marines from the XIXth Legion in GW's 30k Horus Heresy setting.  I apologize for all the blather in this post, but you know, I'm just like that.  So here we go.

The figures are a mix of kits and accessories from GW and Forge World, including some spare plastic bits from the "Betrayal at Calth" box set, some Mark III armoured Space Marines from Forge World, and GW's basic plastic Space Marine Command set from the current 40k figure line.

Up first is a "Praetor", a senior command figure for the Space Marine Legion.  He is wearing the bulky Mark III armour (my favourite variant), embossed with extra fancy features owing to his status within the Legion. This is a figure from Forge World.  I should comment on his wee pistol - this is an "archeotech pistol", a nice little bit of fluff buried in the Forge World 30k rules supplements.  I do enjoy how the pistol appears to be so small and out of step with the rest of the Commander's ominous armoured bulk, and when you know the background on these "archeotech" pistols, it really fits.

So what's with this pistol? The standard (if you can call it that) in the 30k/40k setting is generally that "older is better", and that even though the technology within their reach is far ahead compared to our contemporary world, to them it is a time of slow and gradual decline.  In the perspective of the 30k/40k human denizens, very old armaments, bits of tech etc. are from a prior age of unimaginable technological ascendancy - even to them, never mind us - and lost to subsequent dark times.  This little pistol is from those older times, so even though it looks small, it can probably blow away a tank.

And of course rather than seek to innovate or explore how to replicate such a device, the Space Marines and the Imperium they serve treat it instead as a dark and dangerous relic, to be trusted only to a senior officer until it breaks down or is lost. Anything else would be superstitious silliness. I love it! To me, the Praetor is standing there with his bonkers pistol drawn, staring down some implacable rebel Marine or alien abomination, saying "Quoth the Raven, motherf***er..."

Then we have a standard bearer from the XIX Legion.  This sort of anachronistic silliness (a standard on a dark future battlefield) is absurd, and I just love it.  I've done one for each of the Legions I have started to collect so far, and I generally love having them on the table.  Given the involvement of the Raven Guard in the "dropsite massacre" I particularly wanted to have one for them to gather around and mount a final defence...

There is a small group of bodyguard marines to go with the standard.  These fellows are wearing the bulky, ominous and heavily segmented and riveted Mark III power armour.  It looks spooky and medieval, and I just love it.  Two of these chaps are carrying plastic "combi-bolters", spares from the "Betrayal at Calth" box set.

Up next is a "Legion Champion" - really just another fellow in fancy armour, a noted and highly skilled combatant ready to bash some heads at the side of the Preator.  He is a blend of plastic 40k bits and 30k Mark III armour bits.

Neither last nor least is the "Apothecary" - the medic.  I love having these models for my Space Marine forces as they underscore the dystopian nature of the times portrayed.  A medic as we might imagine them, even a combat medic, is there to provide care, to save and preserve lives (at least those of his or her comrades).  The Space Marine "medic" is there to extract genetic bits from fallen Marines in order to make future ones - and any Marine so judged ready for this "treatment" who might still be alive receives a bolt straight to the brain first.  All of the odd ball kit on this figure is there with this goal in mind - extraction of genetics, not preservation of comrades.  But of course, the Marines don't care, as they are all out to die for the Emperor regardless...ah, I love the 30k/40k setting... 

I thought I would do a little group shot of the Raven Guard painted so far in the Challenge.

There are a total of six figures for this submission (there is a seventh model there, but he was painted back in November of last year as a test model to work out the colour scheme, so he doesn't count).  This should give me a final 30 points for my total.  It's always nice to exceed your goal! It also rounds out the very basic core elements for a force of Raven Guard troops for the gaming table - two troop units and some HQ guys, the bog-standard 30k/40k of many years (or at least it used to be).  While there is of course much more to be added, I'm hoping the lads at the Fawcett Avenue Gaming table will be up for a scenario where these figures make some manner of pointless and bloody last stand during the Istvaan drop operation. I can imagine that Praetor blowing the bad guys away with his whacky little pistol to the bitter end...

I had hoped for some more furious last-minute painting, but even with Curt's generous time extension, it's just not in the cards due to work and some other commitments.  And so here I must concede in all of my side duels from this year.  David, Jamie and Byron - I look forward to painting something for you.  I have been bested by some excellent brush warriors! Be sure to get in touch and I will make preparations for my "shamegeld" to be delivered prior to next year's edition of the Painting Challenge.

A final thank you to all the participants for your encouragement and inspiration.  A special thank you to my great friend Curt for organizing the whole gong show, to my fellow minions for their assistance with arcane witchcraft such as "spreadsheets". Finally, THANKS to the great group of Friday folks.  It was a real treat to share your talent with everyone and I looked forward to seeing your lineup of incredible work from all over the world every week! Curt will tell you I was more than a little proud (perhaps "smug") about how awesome all the Friday stuff consistently was...

Cheers everyone, and happy painting and gaming!  

A stonking final entry Greg. As I've mentioned on the blog before, we are both on the same page regarding the 30K/40K universe. It is a game that has it's roots set firmly in Thatcherite Britain.  It's just so marvelously f*cked up that you just can't help but smirk, shrug and embrace it.
I really like the Mark III armour as well. It has a great, quasi-baroque esthetic about it. I think my favourite of this batch of great figures has to be the Praetor with his 'history eraser' pistol.  He looks like he's giving his sword to his weapon caddy (servitor) and saying, 'A greater Khornate Daemon? Hmm. Hang on to this a moment while I short this out...'
Terrific work Greg. Thanks again for all your help and support during the Challenge. You and your Friday crew were fantastic and a great inspiration to us all. 


  1. Nice bit of 30K work there to mix things up a bit, Greg - always good to see!

  2. Great stuff Greg. I've enjoyed seeing your work through the Challenge, and thanks for handling my (very occasional) Friday entries!

  3. I see all these space marines and I think I may be missing out! I like the look (and the name) of this chapter very much indeed. In fact next show I go to with a decent bring and buy and I will recall the image of these troops and probably put my hand in my pocket.

  4. Fantastic. This is exactly how I think 40k figs should look

  5. Another inspiring entry Greg, I must thank you for the drive to get my stuff done during this challenge. The grey for the Raven guard really works and these guys are the business. Shame the pesky Atlantic precludes my forces facing off against yours, but facing an army that nicely painted would be awesome.

  6. Awesome take on their armour! From my perspective Raven Guard often end up looking a little boring but you've managed to really make these models shine. It was a joy to follow you through this years challenge Greg.

  7. Ace! Very gritty Raven Guard with their jazzy banner

  8. Greg - top job- this is how these things should look to my eye!

  9. Great finish to the challenge Greg! Many amazing entries throughout the three months! And some masterful Mionionship!

    I have a feeling we'll both be tuning in to the same game in about half an hours time :) Let's hope the Jets can get a win out of this one.

    1. Thanks Samuli! Of course the Jets still found a way to lose, but here's hoping for that top draft pick!

  10. They look smashing,Greg!
    My favorite of the original chapters too! Your work has pretty much guaranteed that I'm going to get the Calth boxed game. My force for 30k will be the survivors of the dropsite massacre too. An excellent excuse for a varied force of Royally Ticked OFF Loyalists! ;)