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Over the sky and far away: Officers of the Kessarine

Greetings my lovely bunker dwellers! I promised last time that I'd be back with more tales of the Kessarine 4th Armoured Brigade. Today it's the turn of the officer corps of C-company to be in the spotlight, and because they're the real story makers of the Kessarine we're going to be getting into some more lore courtesy of the opinions of the fine and upstanding Commissar Dravland. I'll split each bit of the post into two sections, one painting and modelling and the other lore. To make it nice and easy to find the bits you want I'll do Dravland's thoughts in itallics. 

Given that there is no option to just have an individual non-Cadian officer any more (and with some daftness on thou shalt not duplicate weapons [heavy sigh and eyeroll]) I needed to work up some command squads. Fortunately, as mentioned last time, Anvil Industries provided some useful bits and a trawl of the bits sites gave me some nice medic and vox bits, behold:

I love that Cadian master vox thing and I'm really happy I've got one just on the Captain's squad. Feels nicely that the senior officer has a high gain set that lets her contact Battalion HQ while all the rest are really only designed to reach her. On the far left is an Anvil Industries heavy flamer on jungle arms which works very nicely with the Kessarine. Does make him quite a buff lad but I remembered the Gaunts Ghosts description of Brostin's flamer troops as "friendly fire ogres" and liked the idea that lugging heavy tanks of promethium packs some muscle on. Finally the two medical corpsmen. I should have had three really but I was retooling old special weapon squads into command squads and ran into practical converting realities. So I figured the captain gets a senior corpsman capable of doing some minor surgery with the chainsawpistol (shudder) and has the fancier medpack with the transfusion gear etc. The Lieutenant gets a gladstone bag full of tourniquets, bandages, and a two day first aid course and likes it. 

There's not a huge amount to talk about with these painting wise so if there's any curiosities stick 'em in the comments and I'll move on to some more storied individuals. 

Lt Vaikar and 2nd Lt Soha

Victoria minis do two desert officer options, the gorgeous Captain (see below) and a power sword arm for the male torsos. Knowing that I wanted to do a couple of junior officers, that necessitated some conversion. Given that officers are now more of a "stiffening" (real military term that also deserves some sniggering) elements for a unit rather than units in their own right, I figured that having a close quarters nutcase would be a fun way to go for an ambitious Second Lieutenant. The bits sites gave me the lovely Imperial Guard powerfist and the much more extensive bits box donated a bolt pistol and thus another fine officer was born. Let's learn a bit more about them:

"Recording on: Deployment log continuance, date, er, 209.024.M41, C-Company, 1st Motor Batallion, Kessarine 4th Armoured Brigade, Commissar Invictus Dravland reporting. There, today I will record my thoughts on the command potential within C-Company following the conclusion of our workup exercises. I'm pleased thus far with 1st Motor's progress, losses against the wild ork xenoforms in the deep desert was well under expectations, a mere 15% casualties with 8% dead among that number. The Imperium is well served. C-Company, as my particular charges, were within the margin of error of that number but I'm somewhat proud that it is on the low end. 

"Anyway, starting at the lower end of the TO&E for C-Company we have 2nd Lieutenant Gajendra Soha. As most Kessarine junior officers are, he was raised from the ranks in the early stages of basic to lead his training platoon. The more senior officers come from Officer candidate scholam. Soha has what all of these young officers have, a need to prove himself and a fierce ambition that propelled himself into the role in the first place. Prides himself on being first into the breach and loves to mix it up in close quarters. As a result there is a certain trepidation amongst the rank and file for when Soha comes to join them. They know they're in for the sharp end. Worth paying attention to that. Don't want to create discipline issues there. By contrast Lt Vaikar, er, Rhitanshu Vaikar, yes, is a solid and dependable if uninspiring officer. Competent at engagement deployment and command, does what the scholam teaches: stays back, thinks, retains overview. A reliable man but one who I fear is going to take a long time to climb the ranks. Rajavade knows this and generally leaves him to command fire bases. Worthwhile work but is not going to find him glory."

Anette Bjerregaard

We are getting in to some of the rare GW infantry now and a truly wonderful one at that. The moment I saw this primaris psyker I needed it in an almost visceral way. Fantastic sculpt: the movement in the cloth; the complex wiring; the sense of augmentation and alteration; and little details like the exposed palm on the glove, an indication that she needs bare skin to cast. Brilliant work. I didn't want her to stand out too much from the regular troops so I decided to use the same colour palette as the rest of the army. The only difference is the deep green of the specialism sash and tabard. Carried the spot colour up into the gems on the staff too. Helps balance the colour across the model. As is often the case, the Eavy Metal team got a skosh over excited on the painting and the ball-ey things on the psychic hood are painted with bright glow. I didn't like that. Wanted the focus to be the face rather than the glowey balls, so went with corroded copper instead. The corrosion also helps fade the copper into the pale armour colour. 

"Ah yes, I wanted to talk about Bjerregaard in context of the Kessarine. If my successor is confused about how the troops treat filth like Bjerregaard, I'm afraid it's a base level issue with the Kessarine character that I do not know how to fix yet. Rather than good honest wariness or hatred? The Kessarine love the psykers attached to them. Why? Because they are sanctioned psykers, the Emperor has said that they are safe and thus they are safe. The Kessarine properly hate and fear the unsanctioned and hidden psyker, but once the Emperor has blessed the endeavour? It is an example of where their piety can trip us up, in every other regiment this narrative means the troops might not frag the psykers. In the Kessarine it means they adopt them. They see the protection and violence that she can unleash in the name of the Emperor as a boon and honestly? I have no idea what to do about it, conflicting narratives in dogma are tripping me up and the last thing I want to do is damage the piety that makes the Kessarine such devoted soldiers. I will keep this record informed."

Father Erasmus Thaede

With the Kessarine being the way they are, I knew I'd always want a preacher in the army, and being a Prodigy fan there was only one candidate. The old metal firestarter, twisted firestarter, eh eh eh! Being metal he needed some careful painting in places to cover the lack of undercuts or layered plastic parts, you need to fake some shadows in with painting as they're just not there in reality. I really went back and forth on the robe colour. Like the psyker, I didn't want him to stick out too much but I also wanted the monastic vibe. In the end Vallejo stone grey came to my rescue. It's a nice pale brown-grey that meant he doesn't jump out too much but still has his own character. Oh and top tip from a leatherworker, when you're painting dyed leather and want it to look like old school leatherwork, mix a little of an appropriate leather brown into the colour you want it to end up. It gives you the nice aged colour rather than something pristine and acrylic coated. 

"While we are talking problems of piety I have another one, but this will be easier to solve. We were assigned our new preacher while on work up manoeuvres. [sighs] Father Thaede is an excellent example of the classic Militarum preacher, firebrand, aggressive, full of piss and vinegar. Perfect to summon up the faith for most cynics. The problem is the Kessarine aren't cynics. Thaede is pushing on an open door. The men know the Emperor is watching, they know they serve him unto death. They want spirtuality not fervour and at the moment there is good natured grumbling among the men of "he's a bit much". I'm going to have to have a tiresome conversation at some point. I might try to enlist Deacon Sifiso next time I'm at Battalion HQ..."

Captain Karuna Rajavade

And finally we have the leader of C-Company, Captain Rajavade, the character officer that Victoria Miniatures provide. A really lovely one too, the drape of the cloak and the headscarf is excellent and there's a lovely, lovely sense of movement. As the senior officer she deserved a good bit more effort than the rest of the rank and file and mercifully as a more recent sculpt she rewarded it. Other than some extra highlights I didn't change much so the only thing to talk about is the cloak. I was painting her during one of our hobby hangouts on Discord and was chatting to Harvey about the cloak. I was having issues figuring out what colour it should be. Eventually Harvey suggested that what if it was a Nightfaller issue camo cloak she'd been given as a present from his regiment (probably hoping that it would encourage some stealthy thinking, some hope for an motor rifle company). So I used the pattern that his Nightfall infantry use for their camo cloaks and flipped the colours to be desert appropriate. I love it. Works really well on the miniature and starts a lovely little bit of story between the two very different regiments.

"Finally, we have Captain Rajavade and the reason I spend so much time in C-Company. I have high hopes for Karuna Rajavade and if I am honest I am a little in awe of her to the point that I have to check my decision making for the purposes of fulfilling my duty. She is the fourth generation of her family in military service, the third to carry that talwar blade into battle and the first to carry it off-world. She has three children back on Kessarine, one is working his way through the military acadamies and the middle child is destined for the medicae. Rajavade says she has done the first part of her duty to the Imperium and now embarks on her second. As I say, a little in awe of her. She is a solid officer, courageous without being reckless and cares for her men and women as fiercely as though they were her own. Her problem is politics. She confuses bluntness with honesty and does not know how to pick her battles within Brigade HQ. That is where I can help her most I feel and will be working to ensure that the Imperium can one day be served by General Rajavade as the Emperor knows we need people of her character. Now then, there are reports that Sgt Aayangar's squad are doing some weird thing with captured Ork teeth and I need to go and see just how weird so I can nip it in the bud if needed. Recording end."

And that's all for today, hope you've enjoyed it, any questions or ideas I'd love to hear them in the comments. Until next time, lovely people, 



  1. Excellent. Might have to mention one of General Rajavade's works a text refered to on Devos IV.

    1. Absolutely :D spread the glorious Kessarine across the galaxy

  2. Nice work on the metal Preacher. Every so often I paint a metal model just for the textural differences; I know this is grog brain talking, but there IS a palpable difference that leaves me with better technical results, even if the model itself is less fancy.

    1. Interesting! I find it to be a bit of a wash as metal giveth with really sharp edges on some things and taketh away with others (like robes and sleeves and such being just a flat plane). Plus the eternal need to sharpen swords with a file 😅

      Glad you like it ☺️


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