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Cobalt Scions primaris captain conversion

This week's post is about the captain I converted for my primaris marines: Martellus Lucullus of the Cobalt Scions' Third Company. I'll start with how I went about the converting and painting, then take a deep dive into the background for Lucullus and his chapter. Fair warning, it's... a seriously deep dive. I got excited.


How & why I dun the conversion

The posing on the primaris captain mini is vintage 40K, in that it's a bald man pointing and shouting with one foot perched on a rock. You can also build him pointing with a power sword instead, but that makes the pose of his gun look awkward. The pointing hand, at least, suggests he was holding his gun normally, and has briefly let go to do some Tactical Pointing.

Tactical pointing.
Image credit: Games Workshop

Wave dem weapons, bro.
Image credit: Games Workshop


Pointy baldy man was something I'd painted too many times, and gunny swordy wavy man didn't work for me as a pose. Also the big fat bling swinging between his legs seemed... impractical. It was time to do some conversion. Besides, it's nice to have a unique commander. To the cutting mat!

The first order of business was to remove the blingwang. Whilst I couldn't be arsed to do this on my aggressors, this be my shiny boss man. The solution? Clip and slice the bulk of it off, buff it out with the mould line removal tool, then add in some green stuff.

Green stuff was also my solution to the Posing Rock he was standing on. I clipped off the spike, glued him to the base, then sculpted a green stuff slope around the rock. Once the putty had cured, the scalpel and mould line remover were used to scrape it flush with the base rim.

Originally I was going to use the crested helm that comes in the kit, but in the end I came round to the idea of embracing MAXIMUM ROMAN as suggested by Lasgunpacker in his comment on my first five intercessors. This worked out well, since I also wanted a gladius-style sword to further emphasise the Cobalt Scions' ties to their Ultramarine primogenitors. The Ultramarines Upgrade Pack had both of these things, albeit on the wrong style of helmet. I chopped off the crest and pinned it to a spare intercessor helm.

The Ultramarines sword was attached to the bolt pistol arm from the Imperial Fists upgrade sprue, while the auto bolt rifle was taken from the intercessors kit. The positioning of the gun meant I had to remove the tassles on the crux terminatus, but oh well.

How green stuff is your valley?

It's always good to pose one's minis in a way that conveys something about their personality, and doubly so when you don't have a face to paint. I tried to imply a commander who stands at the back looking performatively majestic (and/or like he might kick off a rousing speech at any minute). That said I still wanted Lucullus to look like he was up for a fight if someone got close, so the sword's been placed in a semi-relaxed low guard rather than a "wave it in the air like you're in charge" kinda fashion.

Hopefully that's how it looks to other people!


Painting

Lucullus was painted the same way as the other Cobalt Scions. I covered this in my post on the intercessors, but there have been some subtle amendments since then (to the blue, red & white), so for convenience's sake:

Blue:

  1. Spray the whole model Macragge Blue.
  2. Line in the crevices with Reaper's blue liner.
  3. Highlight with Calgar Blue.
  4. Edge highlight with Fenrisian Grey.
  5. Point highlight with a 50/50 Fenrisian/white mix.
  6. Go back over with thinned Macragge Blue. This conceals mistakes and softens up the transition from the base spray to the initial Calgar highlight.
  7. Add chips and dings with Calgar Blue
  8. Go over the top half of the chips and dings with Reaper's blue liner.
  9. Go into the middle of any particularly big chips and dings with Army Painter Gunmetal.

Red:

  1. Mephiston Red.
  2. Agrax Earthshade.
  3. Highlight Evil Sunz Scarlet.
  4. Edge Highlight Wild Rider Red.
  5. Point highlight with 3:2 mix of Wild Rider Red and a bone colour (I'm using Army Painter Skeleton Bone).
  6. Add chips and dings with Evil Sunz Scarlet.
  7. Go over the top half of the chips with Reaper's brown liner.
  8. Go into the middle of any particularly big chips and dings with Army Painter Gunmetal.

Black:

  1. Basecoat with... black.
  2. Overbrush with thinned Eshin Grey.
  3. Highlight with Eshin Grey.
  4. Edge highlight with Dawnstone.

Silver:

  1. Basecoat Army Painter Gunmetal (leadbelcher would do).
  2. Nuln Oil Gloss.
  3. Edge highlight with a light silver (I'm using the Army Painter bright silver)

Gold:

  1. Basecoat Army Painter Gunmetal (or mid-silver of your choice, e.g. Leadbelcher).
  2. Basecoat with Army Painter Greedy Gold (or gold of your choice).
  3. Reikland Fleshshade Gloss.
  4. Edge highlight with a 2:1 gold/bright silver mix. I used Army Painter's Greedy Gold and Shining Silver.

White:

  1. Basecoat with Corax White
  2. Recess shade with some thinned Dawnstone
  3. Line in the deepest recesses with thinned Eshin Grey or Reaper's grey liner.
  4. Highlight with White Scar (technically I'm using the Army Painter white, but... it's white. Same difference.)
  5. Add chips and dings to the white with White Scar/pure white.
  6. Go back over the top half of the chips and dings with Dawnstone.
  7. Add Army Painter Gunmetal to the centre of any particularly large chips.

At the end, Typhus Corrosion is applied around the boots and lower shins using the technique described in the post on the Aggressors.

Lucullus' cloak and backpack were painted as separate sub-assemblies. The cloak was primed with Wraithbone, which saved me a bunch of time when it came to getting the Mephiston Red basecoat on the cloak.

Little Red Purging Cloak.

I strayed a little from the standard red mix on the cloak, since Evil Sunz Scarlet and Wild Rider Red were just a bit too bright to use as anything other than highlights, and Agrax Earthshade was too imprecise for an area this big and smooth. As such, the vast majority of the red you see is Mephiston, with shading produced with a mix of Mephiston and Vallejo Charred Brown. The lighter reds only appear in the final highlights. The shadows in the photo look more intense than in reality, but that's the price I pay for having the light at an angle that didn't wash out the colour with reflections.

Speaking of red, one of the downsides of my original method for painting the 3rd Company knee pads was that my wife asked why they had M&Ms for knees.

It couldn't be unseen.

In an effort to avoid this hilarity with my warlord, I made the III look even more like Roman numerals, and then went cross-eyed painting a laurel wreath around it. I can't keep that up for the whole army, so the rest will probably switch from III to the squad's number, since the fact that it's red is sufficient to indicate which company they're from.

A final note on composition: since Lucullus is the captain of the Third, I was planning on keeping his crest as red, the company colour. Once I'd actually finished the mini, though, his bright red tabard was overpowering the rest of the mini. I needed to draw the eye back up to his face. To achieve this, I added the iconic white bands to the crest. This meant the tabard was no longer the brightest thing, and the lines on the crest seem to point the eye in the direction of the helmet. At least, that's the effect it has on me. The lesson I took home was this: hold the mini at arm's length, see where your eye is drawn, and ask yourself if the emphasis is right.


Origin
Le nouveau parfum. Pour l'homme bleu.

...By which I obviously mean that this post is moving on to my favourite bit: fluff! That's fluff, not fluffing. Being an astartes fluffer would be a truly pointless calling.

On a side note, fluff is one of the weirder bits of wargamer slang. The term carries a derisory note implying that it's ancillary to rules, but if it weren't for the fluff, wouldn't we all be playing chess? Unfortunately, 'background' is a whole extra syllable, and humans follow the path of least resistance.

Wait, what was this blog post about? Ah, yes.

Clears throat.

The Cobalt Scions are an all-primaris chapter created from Ultramarines gene stock. Initially they participated in the Indomitus Crusade, after which Guilliman tasked them with shoring up a region of the Segmentum Pacificus that, while relatively peaceful, wouldn't remain that way with so much of the Imperial war machine focussed on the Great Rift.

Founding
Guilliman's major concern about Cawl's artificially indoctrinated primaris marines was their lack of real combat experience, so he decided to form the Scions' senior leadership from veterans of the Ultramarines' 1st Company. A call for volunteers went out.

Encouraged by Calgar's survival of the Rubicon Primaris, Aelius Justarian and his squad stepped up. Their idea was that each of them would be a company captain, forming a group of officers who already knew and respected each other. Guilliman, Calgar and Captain Agemman accepted their proposal, and the ten brothers eagerly submitted themselves to the process, nodding confidently as the risks of the process were explained to them.

In their optimism they hoped they might all survive; the process was becoming less risky with time, but in reality, six brothers died. Sergeant Justarian was among them.

The four survivors had known it was possible some of their brothers might not survive the process. They had lost brothers in the past. Astartes are indoctrinated to process the grief when a brother falls in combat. If anything, it strengthens their resolve. But the survivors learned that losing a brother in combat and losing an uninjured brother to the operating table are two very different things. This new form of grief ate away at them.

The chaplains tried tending to the brothers' spiritual wounds, but old Cassius refused to let them languish in mourning. Success, he told them, is meaningless without adversity. Still despondent at the loss but obedient nonetheless, the four brothers prepared for their voyage across the galaxy to rendezvous with their new chapter in the Sol system. They sought guidance from Calgar, Agemman, and other senior Ultramarines while their new armour was forged. They spoke to political leaders and logisticians, shipmasters and tech-magi, trying to learn what they could, still lamenting the loss of wise Justarian and the others.

When their new Mk.X armour was ready, they entered the Fortress of Hera and donned the unpainted suits for the first time. After so many decades as Ultramarines, it was a strange thing for them to see each other wearing unpainted armour. As they stood there exchanging uncertain glances, they were approached by Sinon, Captain of the Ninth and Master of Relics, who presented them with four master-crafted power swords in honour of their service with the Ultramarines. It was a welcome and tangible connection to their past.

On the journey to Sol, they occupied themselves by debating how they might go about organising their new chapter. Quintus Tarentian and Gaius Fabian favoured adhering strictly to the updated Codex Astartes, while Tiberius Drusus and Martellus Lucullus argued that it didn't map well onto purely primaris chapters.

Unable to agree on how far to stray from the wisdom of the Codex, they turned their attention to what they thought would be the less contentious question of naming the chapter. They soon learned that much rests in a name, and many names are unfit for purpose. Nothing sounded right. At one point, Tarentian confessed that after days of considering monikers for the new chapter, even the honoured name of the Ultramarines sounded foolish. "It is a pun!" he exclaimed, agast. "Or perhaps a declaration that we think ourselves above other chapters." The other three looked at him, appalled by this heresy.

"On the contrary, brother," Drusus replied, "I believe Ultramar to be a word from Ancient Terra describing an empire that stretches across an ocean. In this instance, the void is the ocean, the Five Hundred Worlds the empire. The suffix -ines must simply indicate that we are men of that great empire. Surely, therefore, the word Ultramar preceded the word Ultramarines? You're putting the artillery train before the tractor."

 "Let us pretend I said nothing," Tarentian said, clearly troubled.

It was Lucullus who spoke next. "If we should decide to break with some edicts of the Codex, it would seem all the more important to remember our point of origin. A new chapter has no history, but the Thirteenth Legion and all its successors have ten millennia of it. What if our heraldry echoes that? Our chapter symbol could be a cobalt fist, as if to show one of the Gauntlets of Ultramar."

"That is not a name, Martellus, that is a badge," Fabian said. The others laughed.

Never one to enjoy a joke at his expense, Lucullus doubled down. "It's the idea I'm driving at. Make a point of upholding our identity as scions of Ultramar."

"The Scions of Ultramar is quite the mouthful," Tarentian said.

"The Cobalt Scions," Drusus said. The four of them were silent for a moment. Tarentian, for whom everything now sounded wrong, opened his mouth to speak. Fabian cut him off. "I like it," Fabian said.

"As do I," Lucullus added.

Tarentian frowned, then shrugged. "I am pleased this task is done."

A chapter icon is born.

After much debate the four brothers also agreed on their roles. Someone with a willingness to embrace the unfamiliar would be needed to form a new chapter, and so Tiberius Drusus would serve as chapter master. It helped that he was the most learned among them. To keep Drusus grounded, the traditionally-minded Tarentian would assume command of the 1st company, and Fabian would take the 2nd. Martellus Lucullus, Drusus' fellow advocate for new ways, would helm the 3rd.

To find the other seven captains, they would have to screen Cawl's unnaturally trained creations to see if any among them had the wit for independent thought.

When the four brothers eventually reached the Sol system they found a fleet of unnamed ships waiting for them in Mars' crowded dockyards. Inside, a chapter of new marines slept in stasis. Neither ships nor men bore heraldry. Drusus and his brothers had understood the scale of the task ahead in theory, but found the reality somewhat daunting. They were veterans of combat, not leadership. Who were they to step into the shoes of their betters and start from the very beginning?

The four brothers toured the fleet and its crews. They went to see the stasis chambers, and the marines inside. An army of techpriests, artisans and servitors awaited Drusus' signal to begin.

Drusus wanted the chapter to wake up to some sense of heritage, so the artisans were set to work first, applying heraldry to empty racks of armour. Ships were named. The four brothers met with the fleet's human officers, many of whom were decorated volunteers from the Imperial Navy.

When all was prepared, Drusus gave authorisation to wake the chapter.

They soon learned that the indoctrinated marines had names from their previous lives, but all were uncertain how many of their memories were real, and how many implanted. They all thought they remembered lives in Ultramar, and so the four brothers found some common ground with them. Even so, the marines knew little of the modern Imperium. Some spoke of the secular Imperial Truth promulgated in the days of the Great Crusade. The four brothers realised that bringing these men into the 42nd Millennium would involve significant culture shock. Worse yet, they had been indoctrinated to fulfill a single role, rather than having the flexibility of a marine who had worked their way through the ranks.

In the short term, Drusus and the others would simply have to accept Cawl's inflexible progeny and work with them as best they could. The Cobalt Scions fleet began its maiden voyage out of Sol and towards the nearest prong of the Indomitus Crusade.

The Cobalt Scions in the Indomitus Crusade
Over the next century or so, the Scions slowly morphed in the direction the four brothers intended. While in transit between warzones, squads were trained in other methods of warfare. Hellblaster units learned to use bolt rifles, Intercessors learned how to move in gravis armour, and so on. Like many of the all-primaris chapters, they took higher casualties early on in the Crusade. After a century of constant warfare the chapter had been reduced to half its original strength, despite occasional reinforcements from the Unnumbered Sons and freshly awakened marines from Mars.

While the Crusade continued to spread out through the galaxy, it was decided that the time had come for the Scions to go to the world that had been assigned to them by Guilliman: Thonis.

A new homeworld
When it was designated as the Scions' homeworld, Thonis was far from any active warzones. Situated in the Eridani Sector of the Segmentum Pacificus, it was Guilliman's intent that the Scions would further strengthen a relatively stable part of the Imperium. Some whispered that it was further evidence of Guilliman ensuring the Ultramarines' ascendancy, particularly given the cultural ties the First Four had sought to maintain.

Either way, none could gainsay the Lord Commander of the Imperium, and so the Scions' fleet made for Thonis. Drusus and the others knew relatively little about Thonis beside some centuries-old information about its major exports and government, but it seemed reasonable to assume the locals would be grateful for the protection of an Astartes Chapter.

The Scions fleet returned to Mars first. While ship repairs got underway, Chapter Master Drusus met with Archmagos Felicita Morleio, the fabricator-general Cawl had assigned to the chapter. She had been tasked with designing and overseeing the construction of the Scions' fortress monastery, and then remaining with the chapter for the rest of her life, tending to the fortress' manufactorums and forges. She seemed at peace with the notion that she would get to create this one great structure and then be relegated to its maintenance. Drusus, however, was far less willing than Cawl to waste human resources. He suggested that if she showed aptitude for architectural design and understood siegecraft sufficiently, there was every chance she could embark upon an indefinite number of projects across Thonis and the wider Eridani sector as the Scions established themselves.

In that moment, he won Morleio's undivided loyalty.

Everything that would be needed for the fortress monastery, save the stone and rockrete itself, had already been loaded onto Morleio's kilometers-long fabrication ark. The fleet, now repaired, broke orbit and made for the Eridani Sector.

Arrival in Thonis
The Imperial governor on Thonis had been told decades ago that a chapter called the Cobalt Scions were coming to live on the planet. That was it. No details, no instructions to make particular preparations. Simply that they were coming.

When a fleet of Astartes ships arrived claiming to be the Cobalt Scions, no one had any reason to doubt them.

The fleet moved straight through the Eridani sector and on to the Hasmides system in the neighbouring Achernar sector. There had been some civil unrest; bombings and the like. It was assumed the Scions intended to terrify the populace into compliance.

In reality, the individuals aboard the Astartes fleet had created the uprising. They were not the Cobalt Scions at all. They were the Word Bearers, six hundred of them, acting on the orders of Khairon. If Guilliman's sons were coming, the Word Bearers were keen to preemptively tarnish their good name and make it clear the Scions' very arrival would only bring suffering.

Hasmides offered little challenge to them.

A thousand light years away, the Scions' fleet approached in blissful ignorance.

With Hasmides' government and infrastructure in tatters, the Word Bearers returned to their ships to prepare their next blow. The Scions might not have been there to prevent the atrocity, but the wider Imperium did not leave it unpunished. As the Word Bearers fleet made all speed for the Hasmides system's Mandeville point so as to escape into the warp, they were intercepted by the full might of Battlefleet Achernar.

The ensuing battle cost both fleets dearly, but ultimately the Word Bearers' fleet was so badly damaged that, while most of their Astartes survived, their ability to prosecute a full naval engagement was, for a time at least, nullified.

Side note: Jon and I actually fought this battle as the climax of the latest BFG campaign I ran for him, and while the battle went well for Jon, his flagship got boarded by the Word Bearer's flagship. This in turn spawned a somewhat bracing Inquisitor scenario in which our Inq28 players had to try and capture a ----ing space marine for interrogation during the boarding action. Said players were appropriately traumatised by the experience.


Broadcasting false Cobalt Scions transponder signals, the Word Bearers battle barge Monarchia rams Battlefleet Achernar's flagship Dammerung during the Battle of Hasmides. The Word Bearers strike cruiser Morningstar can also be seen maneuvering to board the stricken battleship on its starboard flank.


Ironically the Navy's victory at Hasmides was politically bad for the Cobalt Scions. Not only had their impending arrival attracted dangerous foes to a peaceful place, it wasn't even the Scions who saw them off. Furthermore Thonis' incumbent planetary governor, Lord Aderbal, was well regarded by his subjects. There was little appetite for change.

When the true Cobalt Scions fleet approached Thonis, they were bombarded with security questions, and requests that they remain at a distance until their identity could be verified. It was hardly the welcome the Scions had hoped for. Eventually, Thonis' modest orbital platforms cancelled their firing solutions and stood down. A lone Overlord-class gunship bore the first delegation of Cobalt Scions down to the verdant surface of their new homeworld.

Chapter Master Drusus expected Aderbal to unquestionably accept the Scions' clear right to rule the system. Drusus informed him that there would be a brief transition phase followed by significant reforms in which Aderbal's official title would change from Planetary Governor to Locutor of the Senate: a position Drusus assured him would be very important in the new regime.

Given the choice between no power and some power, Aderbal was forced to accept Drusus' offer.

In his address during the ceremony in which the Sceptre of Heracleion, symbol of the capital, was to pass from Governor Aderbal to Dictator Drusus, the governor's wording carefully managed to remain obedient while subtly emphasising Drusus' status as a newcomer to an old world with a well-established culture.

The address set the tone for the months to come. The Scions were too terrifying for anyone to risk obvious dissent, but any request made to the government by an Astartes would mysteriously require more paperwork and bureaucracy than the same request made by a native official. If asked for an explanation, people would claim they were taking extra care that they did a good job, or would say they had heard Guilliman's sons encouraged detailed paperwork. The Scions came to be seen as a source of problems by the general populace. With no experience of nuanced public relations, Drusus and his captains were at a loss as to how to win their people over. They went on speaking tours, endeavouring to rouse the public with stilted recollections of their great victories in the Indomitus Crusade, but received only polite applause. They made suggestions to improve the efficiency of institutions, but were told said suggestions would reduce productivity even when it seemed clear this was not the case.

During those first few months, some of the Scions grew restive. They felt the battles they had fought deserved the respect of any Imperial citizen, and talk grew of taking a harsher line with the recalcitrant public. Tarentian in particular advocated for a more direct approach.

Lucullus disagreed. He argued that the harder they pushed, the harder the people would resist. Some would fall into line, of course, but there would also be dissent and perhaps even the fomenting of heresy.

Drusus, politically inexperienced, was indecisive as to whose approach he would implement, and changed his mind regularly. This in turn created a rift between him and Captain Fabian, who proclaimed that he didn't care which side Drusus took, only that he committed to a course of action. Fabian went to far as to suggest that if Drusus couldn't make such decisions, Fabian was happy to take his place. Fabian's insubordination outraged Tarentian, Lucullus, and the other captains. The argument served a purpose, at least. Drusus was at last moved to choose. He took Lucullus' cautious approach.

The construction of the Fortress of Syrnum
While the Scions struggled with the political landscape, Archmagos Morleio worked on her designs for the fortress-monastery. It was to be built in the hills above Heracleion, and would require surprisingly few homes to be demolished. Strangely, the news that five hundred families were to be given the honour of having their homes bulldozed for the fortress monastery wasn't met with the sort of gratitude the Scions expected. Citizens of Ultramar, the Scions reflected bitterly, would have been proud to give their land for such a purpose.

Morleio estimated the project would take three years before it would be usable, and more than that before it would reach its full potential. Work began to prepare the Syrnum hills as Morleio and Drusus spent many long days drawing up plans.

Yep, this was definitely necessary.
Image credit: a combination of PlanetMaker and Photoshop.

Expanding the docks
Work also began on enlarging Thonis' modest orbitals. In time, they would need to serve a full fleet of warships in addition to providing efficient trade berths. Where the Scions had failed to gain any political capital thus far, the trade-focussed Thonicians were keen on the idea of increased docking facilities and reduced piracy. Sensing an opportunity, Drusus made a series of speeches promising that within fifty years, Thonis would enjoy the protection and commerce of vast orbital facilities. Finally, the Scions had said something popular.

Naturally this meant the native politicians, still angry at their reduced autonomy, argued for increased influence in the design of the orbitals to ensure the opportunities for trade were maximised.

Political reforms
The nobles' request for greater influence was an overt challenge to Drusus' competence in terms of trade, and public perception was very much that a space marine couldn't possibly have the same expertise as the great trading houses of Thonis.

In a move that shocked the Thonician nobility, Drusus responded to their challenge with his first sign of political deftness.

Drusus declared that if the native politicians wanted a say in the Scions' construction projects, then apparently they had accepted the chapter was here to stay. It followed, therefore, they were ready for the political reforms Drusus had promised.

A senate was formed from the heads of the fifty most influential noble families. The senate's role would be to advise the Scions as to how they should proceed in matters of commerce and governance. One senator would be first among equals, and would present the senate's suggestions to the Dictator. This individual would be known as the Locutor, a position that would initially be taken by Lord Aderbal. Upon his death or dismissal, another senator would be elected by their peers to take his position.

The reforms went further still. Ten commoners would be chosen to represent the labourers. These ten Tribunes were to keep the Dictator and Senate informed of how their legislation was being received by the commoners. More importantly, if all ten Tribunes agreed, they had the power to veto new legislation. The veto could only be overruled by the dictator, or in the absence of the Dictator, by one of the chapter's lieutenants, all of whom held the honorific of Praetor.

Being a Praetor incorporated two main duties beyond an Astartes Lieutenant's combat role. One was to act as a diplomat or ambassador for their captain when on campaign, and the other, as intimated above, was to arbitrate on disagreements between the Senate and the Tribunate when at home. In this way, lieutenants gained extensive political experience in preparation for becoming a captain.

Captains, in turn, held the honorific of Consul. Being a Consul meant having the Dictator's blessing to instigate reforms of a planet's government if it was militarily advantageous to do so, up to and including its annexation. The wording of this rule was vague enough that neighbouring planetary governors began to issue complaints to the Adeptus Terra. Guilliman's sons were laying the illegal foundations of their own empire, the governors said. Months later, Guilliman provided a curt response: "Then do not give my sons cause to annex your planet."

This further stoked speculation that the Lord Commander took issue with the modern Imperium, but as yet no one was willing to risk secession.

While the heavy-handed reforms were obviously taking power from the ruling class and handing it to the Cobalt Scions, the nobles also realised that they were now competing with each other for places in the Senate. This broke their unity and revealed their selfishness for all to see, and the mere existence of the Tribunate empowered the bulk of the population far more than the previous regime, even if this was representation in name only.

Tiberius Drusus finally had the political situation working to his advantage.

Initial engagements on the tabletop included this comedy before and after situation.


Initial Engagements
The Scions soon learned of the Hasmides atrocity, but were reliant on the Inquisition for further intelligence as to where the Word Bearers might strike next.

In the interim, they had two priorities: rebuilding the chapter, and dealing with any lesser threats in their immediate area. Neighbouring systems, particularly those bordering the Scyrian Expanse, were suffering from frequent greenskin raids. The Scions set about crushing these lesser orkish warbands with relative ease, and cleared out several remote human pirate strongholds, all of which was well received by the Eridani Sector's border colonies, but was of little relevance to the people of Thonis.

As for rebuilding the chapter, the Scions embarked on a major recruitment drive in Thonis. They asked for volunteers only, but the financial support they offered volunteers' families meant that a noticeable percentage of the adolescent aspirants clearly had no desire to be there.

Despite these issues, the Scions soon had a good number of scouts in training, and with at least half the chapter stationed at Thonis at any given moment there were always plenty of instructors available. A major difficulty, of course, was that most of the instructors had never been scouts themselves. Many of the initial recruits were pushed too hard, or were simply not trained effectively, and it took some time before the first generation of aspirants - those that survived - started to make good progress.

Chapter organisation
The Cobalt Scions follow the Codex to an extent. They argue that it follows the codex in spirit, just not in detail. The 10th Company is the scout company. When a scout becomes capable enough to fulfill a different battlefield role, they are moved to the appropriate reserve company. They will then move from one reserve company to the other, slowly mastering different roles, until they are competent in all of them, at which point they are ready for promotion to a battle line company. If they can survive for long enough, they will eventually be honoured with a place in the 1st Company.


  • 1st Company: the veterans. Squads from this company are often attached to other forces to share their experience and aid with further training for their brothers.
  • 2nd-5th Companies: the battle line companies. All members are expected to know how to operate as intercessors, vehicle crew, hellblasters, aggressors, inceptors, or in Phobos armour. The company captain decides on the mixture of 5 and 10 man squads.
  • 6th (Reserve) Company: 100 intercessors
  • 7th (Reserve) Company: ~50 intercessors and ~50 marines adept with gravis plate (inceptors and aggressors).
  • 8th (Reserve) Company: ~50 hellblasters and ~50 marines with the skill to operate a vehicle.
  • 9th (Reserve) Company: 100 marines used to operating in Phobos armour in various roles.
  • 10th (Scout) Company: scouts. Numbers vary. Usually several hundred.


At last, a viable patrol detachment! And it's only taken four... no, five months. Jeff painted about 3000 points of Genestealer Cultists in that time, and I've done nine marines. Well the joke's on you Jeff, because the slower you paint, the more cost-effective the hobby is. So nurr.


Martellus Lucullus, Captain of the 3rd Company
Martellus was born to the wealthy Luculli family of Nova Thulium in the Macragge system. While his elder siblings could look forward to inheriting various farming estates, assuming they demonstrated the aptitude for it, young Martellus was always getting into fights, and tarnishing his family's name with unruly behaviour. Eventually his parents suggested that if violence was all he wanted, he could perhaps join the Ultramarines and repair the damage he'd done to the family's reputation.

Martellus could tell his parents didn't want him to go, they just wanted him to start behaving himself, so he called their bluff. The very next day, he added his name to the aspirant slate in his scholam. His parents, who had never shown any interest in military affairs, were horrified. In Martellus' young mind this seemed like a victory.

Whilst Martellus would never regret what he became, and took great pride in making it through selection, he did regret the hurt it caused his family. At the same time, it frustrated him that other families in Ultramar boasted for generations if one of their relatives had been accepted into the Adeptus Astartes.

Over the coming decades, Martellus Lucullus would gain (and lose) a great many brothers. He marveled that he should happen to be alive when the primarch was returned to them, and horrified by the damage visited upon Ultramar by the Plague Wars of Mortarion. He moved through the ranks, eventually joining the veterans of Captain Agemman's First Company.

Few ever survive long enough to wear terminator plate, but even that wasn't enough to satisfy Lucullus. In his desire to become a legend of the chapter - something hard to do in a room full of legends - he had dedicated himself to mastering every weapon in the Ultramarines' arsenal. This flexibility and devotion was one of the things that had earned him his place in the First, but eventually he accepted that to be a true legend, being a warrior was not enough. He needed to become an officer. It was Lucullus, therefore, who suggested to his Sergeant, Justarian, that the squad should volunteer to help found the Cobalt Scions. It was, after all, a cunning way of jumping himself ahead of the competition to become a captain, even if that meant swallowing the bitter pill of leaving his Ultramarines livery behind.

Of course when Justarian and the others died, Lucullus' grief was heavily coloured by guilt. But for his ambition, they might have lived on. No matter how much he knew they had accepted the risks, he swore he would never again allow his own ambition to lead others into danger.

After a century of leading marines in battle, Lucullus' demeanour is almost entirely alien to the boy he once was. The mistakes of the past have made him cautious, slow to anger, and patient. In conversation he will always seek to learn everyone else's opinion before revealing his own. He earns the loyalty of his brothers by valuing their counsel. On the rare occasions he has attended the senate, he speaks pragmatically and with no obvious bias, infuriating senators with his intractability. He is known for having a strict moral code and arguing against any wayward behaviour, whilst self-deprecatingly acknowledging that he says this from the position of one whose mistakes have cost him.

His inflexibility lands him in trouble on occasion, as does his lack of initiative. By default he prefers to adopt a defensive strategy then counterattacking as soon as he sees a weakness in the enemy's assault. This is an approach he takes both militarily and socially, and does so with such regularity that he is considered predictable by those who know him.

For all his talk of service and virtue, Lucullus remains obsessed with his legacy and how he will be remembered. This leads some to see him as vain, a perception not helped by his willingness to be sculpted, painted, interviewed, profiled, or written about. It is hoped, therefore, that he will not be tempted to abuse his power as Consul to annex Imperial worlds for the glory of his chapter. His admirers deny this possibility, pointing to his strict moral code, but his detractors observe that with limited room for promotion in a chapter, he would gain plenty of reputation if he were to pay unwelcome homage to the Five Hundred Worlds.

Given how recently the Cobalt Scions entered the Eridani Sector, it is as yet too early to tell whether Lucullus will cleave to either of those extremes.


Here endeth the wall-o-text

What the organic fudge just happened? When I started writing this post, I genuinely believed it'd be quick and dirty. Look, I done converted a captain. And painted him. He's a cautious, moralising egotist. Any questions?

Turns out that to give you the incredibly short version, I had to figure out the incredibly long version. It was like tugging at a loose thread on a very big carpet. The carpet, in this case, being the very long list of things I hadn't and arguably didn't need to figure out about the Cobalt Scions. And then I thought... someone might enjoy the long version? Maybe? Honestly if anyone's made it this far reading my hobby nonsense then thanks. Hopefully you enjoyed it.

Comments

  1. Beautiful job on both the paint, conversion and the background. Nicely done. And I agree with Lasgunpacker, go full Roman!

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    1. You're a gent Siph. One Full Roman coming up!*

      *That's like a Full English but with even more imperialism.

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  2. Model is great (you've done excellent work making the face a focal point) and your chapter story is intriguing. Its clever to give the Astartes problems they can't punch or shoot themselves out of.

    It sounds like the start of a Chaos Marine's fall, so it will be interesting to see how they temper their passions and ambitions.

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad you agree marines get more interesting when they're facing a non-military problem :)

      There's definitely scope for them to go dark side. But a full slide into Chaos? Heresy! Fortunately Chaos is very black and white rather than a cosmically terrifying slippery slope paved with good intentions, so there's nothing to worry about.

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  3. I find it interesting that when they picked the four most important positions to occupy, they jumped for Master and companies 1, 2 and 3. It does not appear to have occurred to them that the 10th Captain is in many ways the most important position in any Chapter as regards to its longevity.

    Does this four brothers thing change your original plans regarding having an Ultramarine Veteran Sergeant attached and acting as a Lieutenant?

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    1. Oh for sure, their egos made them want to be commanding battle line companies. There's no question as to whether one of them SHOULD have taken the 10th. :D

      And yes, I have indeed given up on using the Ultramarine as a Lieutenant. Besides, the army isn't big enough for a captain AND a lieutenant to be on the field. A support character like a chaplain or librarian would make more sense at this stage.

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  4. This is the kind of post that make me keep checking Beardbunker! To be honest, that the first time I read something interesting about Primaris stuff, and I'm glad you keep posting fluff and lore on your blog!

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    1. Cheers, that's nice of you to say! I'm glad you enjoy these lore posts, because they're always fun to write :)

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  5. The amount of details you skillfully painted on this guy... What did you have to sacrifice to the Chaos Gods to gain the skills and patience to do that?

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    1. Three goats, a wheel of cheese, and a giant statue of Jabba the Hutt built out of whoopie cushions.

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