Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Burning desires

I hadn't originally planned to interrupt all my current vehicle projects until I'd completely cleared my desk. I wanted to power through all my civilian trucks, cars and random others, and get everything built, painted and photographed before I moved on to one of the other projects I've got sitting in the sidelines. But news of the impending release of the Burning of Prospero boardgame next month, and a conversation I had on Twitter with Grimdark, Joe Simner, Penguinius and Primordius Nul convinced me to bring something forward.

The Burning of Prospero is Games Workshop's second release in its Horus Heresy boxed game series, presumably recounting some of the battles fought when Leman Russ and his Wolves were sanctioned by the Emperor to raze the Thousand Sons' homeworld.

As well as potentially including a Space Marine armour mark never before seen in plastic, the game will also feature some characters we haven't seen as official models* for a very long time: the Emperor's elite bodyguard, the Watchers of the Throne, protectors of the Imperial Palace, defenders of the Eternity Gate, the Dread Guardians themselves, yes that's right it's the warriors of the Legio Custodes. You can see what I think may be the only previous official model to come out of the hallowed halls of the Citadel design foundry here, top left, in the Forces of the Imperium release of 1991.

If you know of any other models, please let me know in the comments below.

In the meantime I've also tried to gather together lots of images of Custodes in one easy-to-reference place – a Pinterest page full of inspiring art and miniatures, both official and fan-made. It's already chock-full, but no doubt there will be more to come in the near future.

I had been planning to build a couple of these golden armoured warriors** from the handful of snap-fit Stormcast Eternals I bought just after the release of Age of Sigmar. I put together a bunch of interesting-looking conversion bits and then sat down to draw what I thought a final character might look like. Below is an animated gif of the illustration process.

In real life it took me much longer to get from original sketch to finished image

If you look very closely you can see that the original sketch included a backpack. But as it developed and I did a little more research I realised I preferred the idea that Custodes armour incorporates the power pack into its existing bulk, and that they therefore don't need them mounted on their backs. I also realised that, contrary to early Imperial doctrine, my Custodes should be allowed to wear eagle motifs as decoration on their armour. This is not because they are supposed to be from a time after the ban was lifted, but simply because the wings and beaks add an instant level of ornamentation, without which I'd have to struggle to sculpt lots of artful swirly bits and lightning bolts.

Anyway, I started work on the first model last weekend, so with a little luck I'll be posting some progress here very soon. Watch out for the watchmen.

*Because the game will feature LEGIO Custodes models, and the previous model was meant to depict one of their descendents, the ADEPTUS Custodes, it could be argued*** that we've never had official miniatures of this troop type.
**In the first incarnation of Warhammer 40,000 the Custodes were bare-chested, and wore almost no armour other than their distinct, tall, crested helmets. Some might argue*** they looked a little silly.
***Who is doing all this arguing?

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