For The Emperor Pt.1: Castellan & Heavy Weapon Teams

Die for the Emperor, or die trying

At the end of 2018, December to be exact, I undertook a project of assembling an army from the servants of the Imperium. Having played Chaos Daemons before this, I grew weary of pushing around hundreds of miniatures, especially in a tournament setting where time is of the essence. Then there was the endless checking of aura ranges, unit coherency and other things a proper daemon horde needs to stay in shape. I also got slightly weary of being shot off the board frequently, so I decided I’ll shoot back.

After painting around 300 Chaos Daemons within a period of only a few months, I felt I’d like to instead paint something big and… singular. Enter the Imperial Knight Dominus Class Castellan. I decided that this project, same as the one before, should be table top level when it comes to the paintjob. So many times before I’ve decided to give an army my all, only to realize just after a few units that the project will take 10 years and I’ll never be able to enter a tournament before the meta has already shifted like that.

I chose black, dark grey, silver, red and white to be the palette of colours for the army, and intend to stick with it. I grabbed a Castellan from my local FLGS and got on with it. Pretty pleased with the end result too:

I went for a look that gives the impression that the titan has seen some battle, but is being maintained. Not shiny, not raggedy. In the past I’ve always added something special to the bases of my titans (I think this is the 5th Knight titan I’ve painted in total) that tell a story. Be it a squished Daemon Prince or something else. This time I modeled two Astra Militarum infantry troopers on the base, one slain, the other one still crouching if not standing. Heaving the Imperial flag upright with his last ounce of strength before the titan waltzes in to save the day and annihilate the enemy. I painted the flag with a different shade of red to make it look like cloth, and gave it a dusty, blackened look:

While modeling the base, I also had to decide what my infantry will look like. Using the palette I planned before, I thought about some variants. Red overalls didn’t make much sense, and black on such numerous models would take me forever, so I went with the grey as the main colour. Simple and effective. The guns I left metallic, as I wanted a blunt look for the whole thing. The Castellan can, if painted in certain ways, easily end up looking like a toy due to the look of the miniature itself. One more shot:

After finishing the Castellan, I basically spent the next month basecoating another 1600 points of units. Recently I got all that done, and could begin the “finalization” round for the army. I basecoated the whole batch first so that I can comfortably play without borrowing miniatures and also participate in tournaments, so I’m not in a rush. I decided to start with the most tedious bit first, the Heavy Weapon Teams, and as the meta would dictate, Mortars:

The launchers themselves are from Anvil Industries, but I got them off a fella I know. The ammo boxes are from Puppetswar. Now the Mortars themselves aren’t that much work, but when you factor in the required infantry these units actually took me 4 times as long as it took me to paint the Castellan.

Just as with the titan, I wanted a dark, grim look for my Infantry Squads (or Heavy Weapon Teams, depending on what my list holds.) The Chem Trooper and Veteran heads from Kromlech suited this purpose perfectly, and they add a very nice touch. Not a fan of the default Cadian helmets myself. To add to the grimness, I also intend for every base in my army to have a skull in it. It’s Warhammer 40.000 after all. I decided to model the troopers on their separate own bases so that in case I need to play different Heavy Weapon Teams in the future, I’ll only have to model the guns, and not go through the whole ordeal again.

It was a very rewarding feeling completing the HWT units, as over four weeks I painted a whopping 99 points… that will hide behind a wall, not to be seen, at the start of each and every match. Yay. Anyhow, that’s part one for this project.