Today’s post is a pretty special one as I can finally reveal my week long work into my latest project, a son of Horus. After acquiring some second hand HH books I found at the charity shop (I got False Gods, Tales of Heresy and Nemesis at a good bargain!), I started reading False Gods by Graham McNeil and absorbed by the story.
Whilst most books I read are enjoyable and sometimes get me hooked in to the narrative, I do however only get drawn deeply into the story of it’s ‘That’ good. Such examples are HH Scars by Chris Wright who’s book I read in a week, painting a bloody enjoyable story about a legion that doesn’t get much spotlight in the Horus Heresy. Another example would by Josh Reynolds novel, Soul Wars, which equally rarely got put aside from my inquisitive gaze.
Years ago I listened to the audio book of (unabridged) Horus Heresy: Horus Rising by Dan Abnett, which was voiced by Martyn Ellis. I really enjoyed the story about Horus and his sons as they marched onwards into the Great crusade, with a sense of close brotherhood and unity that would tragically end as we all know it. False Gods faithfully carried on the strong aspects of the first book, and added more action and drama as the story revs up the coming of the Horus heresy.
I wanted to create a tribute display of the sons of Horus by combining past, present and future bits and symbolism to present the journey of the XVI legion. Now controversially, I’m going to use a Primaris space marine model as the centre piece for my display, as the model fits close enough with MKIV power armour (with the difference being more smoother and polished war-gear). Whilst many will say this is lore breaking (I’m not complaining about that criticism), I can’t get MKIV kits due to it not being in stock in my local hobby shop (the price too!) and FW, well, that’s another dilemma.
So with that, I started to kitbash my marine with parts that would fit closely with the look of a son of Horus.
I used bitz from various kits including Ork Nobz, Chaos trophy spike, Stormcast Eternals Judicator, Space Wolves, and various other kit bitz for my model. The base was taken from the Wild West Exodus range, which looked just right as a display base.
After assembling my model, I went on to undercoating the model in Chaos Black, which is a good starting point for drybrushing my model. The colour scheme I used had to both be good for drybrushing and layering the model, to fit closely with the description of the Sons of Horus.
- Drybrush the armour in Kabalite Green
- Lightly drybrush over with Sybarite Green
- Finally, very lightly drybrush on raised areas with Hellion Green
Trim/ gold plating
- Basecoat using Retributor Gold
- Shade using Reikland Fleshade
- Drybrush mix of 2:1 of Leadbelcher and Model Colour off-white
- Basecoat Khorne Red
- Just below make a under highlight of Model Colour Flat Red
- At the front ends of the lenses, make a small highlight of Averland Sunset
- Finally, make two white dots at the back end of the lenses using Model Colour off-white
For the base, I was inspired by False Gods description of Davin’s Moon which was a bog clouted environment. It was here where Horus fell and marked the first step towards damnation for the Imperium. I imagine this model is recreation of the scene where the marines were stacked by cyclopean corpses (Plague Bearers I assume), the marine striding forwards to attack in the name of the Warmaster.
- Basecoat the base in Stirland mud, leave patches clear for the big water effect later on
- Drybrush a mix of Model Colours Flat Brown and off-white.
- Use Ardcoat to gloss the texture as though it’s real wet mud.
- Finish off the effect by applying a blob of Nurgles rot on the spare patches to create the big water
Once the model was painted, I sat back and looked at my latest project with much satisfaction!
The model has a few hints towards the past, present and future of the legion, including some additional parts that I thought would fit the look of the model.
The banner was added to represent the past when the legion was originally called the Lunar Wolves. Hence why there’s wolf totems, with the eye of Horus representing the Sons of Horus.
The right shoulder plate is what the Black Legion will bear as a mark of shame, after the death of Horus by the Emperors killing blow. This represents their future as a legion of broken pride and the loss of brotherhood.
This variant of bolter is a lost STC design that looks more bulky and crafted with gold casing. I imagine the legion would use to be able to equip these for ranking sergeants and lieutenants. The sea green armour represents the present day, as the glory days of the legion and it’s downfall.
This project was a fun practical challenge, and one that’s lifted my spirits after a week of absence. I would like to try more of these smaller projects if I can find inspiration and materials. Maybe an Iron Warrior or even a Word Bearer?
I’ll leave that choice for another to plan, I think I want to take a break from painting for a bit now that Christmas is soon approaching.
I hope you have enjoyed this post today, and I wish you a merry Christmas!