#returntoisstvan Blog Post 5: Progress was made.

It feels like I’m getting somewhere now.

Let’s recap. #returntoisstvan was created by a small group of hobbyists who wanted to revisit the old Black Book series by Forge World. You can find the original article here.

Since then I’ve been furrowing away Justaerin and Reaver sculpts, slowly building them as lockdown has trundled along. As a professional miniature painter, you’d think I would be able to crack this army out in no time, flat. But you would be mistaken. It’s a job, like any other, and the last thing I want to do when I finish work is to work more! I have a young family and I would quite like to see my son from time to time.

The older resin kits are a lot more time-intensive to construct that the newer push-fit miniatures Games Workshop are producing. I wish we had push-fit Reavers! Each miniature in the 1500 point centurion force is more-or-less built at this point, with the first ten Reavers close to completion.

The full Sons of Horus tutorial can be found here, including a guide on micro detailing.

This post is more about me jotting ideas down, getting the themes straight in my head, and trying to discover the character of my force. Most of my inspiration comes from Pg66 of Betrayal.

The later Sons of Horus were heavily influenced by Cthonia, a dead industrial world that produces one meaningful commodity: people. Hives above ground regularly collapse into the over mined core, populations subsit on gruel. The industrial revolution has robbed the world of its resources, vampirically moving on. Cthonia is a rotten apple, cored, and discarded.

Amidst the ruins we have 3 types of gang;

  • Static. Those who take territory and defend it, withdrawing an income through forced tribute.
  • Raiders. gangs who rove and raid. They take their tribute in blood, ammunition, and sometimes to improve their fierce reputation. These closely resemble mythical age Romans (reference Rape of the Sabine Women – a rather distasteful origin story of Rome).
  • Knife men. Assassins in the dark motivated by who knows what. Those who commune with the powers that be.

The miniatures pictured are painted in a realistic style. I wanted to make the viewer feel they had been transported into their universe. This is a top-down depiction of the Astartes mid conflict. The colours are muted, attempting to replicate the colour plates found within the Horus Heresy rule books.

Each armour plate has received a level of weathering normally reserved for characters in a force. I’m only painting 30ish models in total, so this level of detailing is something I can fit into a reasonable time frame.

It’s important to know what your objectives are before you begin painting a project. If you are painting an Ork horde don’t spend 4 hours on each miniature. The few that you create will look amazing, but you will never finish an army. If you wish to create a smaller number of display pieces, then sure, plunge as many hours into it as you can!

If you’d like to learn how to paint these, there’s a full guide to Sons of Horus sea green and an in-depth series on weathering, including micro chipping available here.

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