Welcome, fellow traveller on the tides of fate, we are looking today at some Rubric Marines dedicated to that trickiest of gods Tzeentch... but just a little bit twisted...
I've said before in this august journal of nerdy knowings that I intend to have one of each of what I call the "God Squads" in the army. I've so far got Noise Marines and Plague Marines sorted, and they're pretty easy to fit into the "Mystery Cults" vibe that I had going. The Berserkers I was waiting on for the new kit and I'm glad I did. That leaves just the Rubric Marines of Tzeentch. Huh. How the hell was I going to make them work in the army? The tl;dr of Rubric Marines is that they were all created by Ahriman and are all Thousand Sons. They're literally just animated suits of armour filled with the dusty remains of the former occupant. So I needed something that would mimic the same vibe, but with a Word Bearers twist. Finally, the answer came to me: Necromancy.
Yep, all these poor unfortunate souls are raised from the dead by that Sorcerer in the middle of the unit. "Brilliant!" thought I, but how to make them seem so on the tabletop... Help was on hand in the form of the Puppetswar Burning Skulls bits pack. But they needed more, as it stood the heads just had a "Ghost Rider" vibe and I wanted it to look like sorcerous flames were gusting through the suits. So I set to with green stuff making further flame appear around the collars of the suits. I also created some battle damage, (missing limbs, holes in torsos etc) that had fire leaking out of them. I figured it helped with the "killed in battle" look.
In equipping the squad I was careful to avoid the Bad Feels (you can have the entire squad with warpflamers which is spicy) so I sprinkled in two warpflamers and one of those whacking great soulreaper cannons. The rest have those sorcerous bolters the Thousand Sons use. So with that all done it was on to the painting, sadly for these lads they got started riiiiiight at the point (April last year) that I was just so, so done with painting Word Bearers. So they languished, base coated, in their figure case for the best part of a year until a combination of the Lachesis campaign and a hobby hangout in Oxford got me back on the Word Bearer horse. Functionally, their painting isn't different to the rest of the army, the only interesting bit is the green flames and they were achieved with that wonder of modern OSL Hexwraith Flame. It's the consistent colour across the army for "sorcerous shizzle occurring here" and works super well on these lads. I went through a couple of layers building up the colour on the darker surrounding armour and weapons and I'm glad I did. They're looking spanky. As a last minute whim I put some washes of the basing colours over them to simulate dust build up. Animated burning skeletons not being known for their hygiene.
So there's only really one more chap to talk about, the leader - and only real functioning intellect - of the squad, the sorcerer. He is one of the Exalted Sorcerers with all of the most obvious Thousand Sons bits swopped out for more normal chaos marine bits. It tones him down a smidge and makes him a unit sorcerer not an HQ choice in appearance. Let's meet him shall we? I bet Kairon is delighted to see another sorcerer about...
"Oh it's you, good, I feared you had perished on Lachesis. Excellent, I have work for you, do you see that individual yonder? That is Atresh Gorlem, devoted of Tzeentch and inevitable problem. Why? Oh, because he has determined a way of raising my sacred brothers from the dead and puppeteering them in ghastly parodies of life. So far he has only raised those who have explicitly asked to be, they wear his mark on their armour and tell their battle brothers. So I can have no real quarrel yet, but I do not know how he is doing what he is doing and all devoteds of Tzeentch are ambitious and untrustworthy. Hmm? Oh no, there are at least three cults of Tzeentch in the Graven Star to my knowledge but they are secret as any sect belonging to a god who's portfolio includes betrayal should be. He parades it out in the open. Perverted if you ask me. So watch him. Make sure you tell me if he ever, ever raises one who did not consent. For that will give me cause to burn him to embers and spit on the coals..."
Ok, fair enough, still a big jealous baby whenever there's another sorcerer around I see...
Painting Gorlem was an exercise in restraint. So much of this model wanted to be bright and colourful and I needed to keep it locked down to "Word Bearers with a sprinkle of Tzeetch". So the lining of the cloak went blue as did the ribbons and the sigil of Tzeentch. Everything else? Black or Word Bearers red. I also went maximum bling on the gold stave and other details to get that blue and yellow tone that Tzeentch seems to like. There's all sorts of fun little details hanging from belts and the like, he's a really superb model.
I was torn on the flesh, whether I'd do "normal" flesh with the feathers but that felt a bit cartoony in my head. In the end it was reminding me so much of Howl from Howl's Moving Castle that a single colour became my only option. To differentiate the skin from the feathers - and again to dial down the cartoon - I highlighted the blue on the skin with the Rakarth Flesh that the rest of the marines have as their pallid Bad Guy™ fleshtone.
And that's your lot! Sorry I've been away for so long (seriously, my last post was June) but the mojo fled for a variety of boring reasons. But it's back now baby yeah! So see you all soon for some more eeeeevil painting, until then, lovely people,