Lord-Ocular Willen Realmwatcher, the Acolytes of the Grand Orrery, and first five Preservers of the Chorus of Life

Whew that was a mountful. Let’s begin!

Preservers – Chorus of Life (Warrior Chamber WIP)

First up we have the first five Preservers of the Chorus of Life Warrior Chamber. There will be 11 total (8 basic, 2 prime, 1 Knight-Preserver.) The Preservers operate similar to Liberators and are mostly called in following crusades to hold onto captured territory. They operate a little more autonomously than their brethren, but can form a formidable shield wall and stagnate quagmire of opposition on the battlefield.

For the most-part, its just a fancy name for sword/board wielding Liberators, since I intend to do weapon-based squads (including two-hand using ones.) They are built using the base Liberator kit + Celestial Warbringer Upgrade Sprue. The Retributor Badge was added to the shoulder of the Prime to bulk him up a little. My shoulders are also backwards (right shoulder should be badge of Stormhost, left is insignia of unit or lion for Prime.) Instead I chose to keep the Hammers of Sigmar logo on the right, with the Celestial Warbringer on the left, also traded the lion out for the opposite side.


Lord-Ocular Willen Realmwatcher and the Acolytes of the Grand Orrery WIP

The Emerald Citadel is home to many secrets, as the ruined capital of the old Jade Kingdom of Verandon, there’s a neverending font of mysteries to be unlocked among its rubble. One of the first was that of the Grand Orrery, a magical astronomancer tool that was used to map the heavens and divine the positions of the realms and thus winds of magic. Such a tool is a powerful one, but relatively useless to chaos barbarians and thus was cast down.

Rebuilt to some of its former majesty, the Orrery is now maintained by the Lord-Ocular of the Emerald Canticle, Willen Realmwatcher, and his students. The Lord-Ocular’s former job was in a similar vein, and with this new tool he’s more accurately able to predict the wild swings of the various winds, as well as how the realms and heavens shift to wax and wane certain powers. Using this knowledge, the Emerald Canticle is more capable of planning assaults while Sigmar’s blessings are great and avoid dark omens when the winds of Chaos loom.

Willen is a peculiar master, and his acolytes are some of the poorer kept of the Lords. He has no patience nor time for empathy, every second is a closing of one gate and an opening of another in the sky, and thus he drowns himself in his books, constantly chasing some secret or mystery of the heavens. His acolytes are constantly underfoot, bringing him some beckoned tome or scroll, a new candle or lamp, or even some minor magical trinket to augment his focus. Though many acolytes cannot handle the stress and rigors of the day to day, the ones that stay find themselves sometimes blessed with just a drop of answers of the cosmos from the Lord-Ocular. Such truth is an addictive drought, and one that leaves the body frail and tired but the mind aching for more.



Inspiration and Lore – Gorgonum Planetary Defense Forces

I’ve been hunting around the last few days for some inspiration and backstory for Forge World Gorgonum and the Mining Ring. Gorgonum is a legitimate Forge World in canon, but has zero backstory, its just mentioned offhand. I adopted it because its name matched the Gorgon/Medusa theme of the Iron Hands and it seemed like a cool starting point.

Things get fanon beyond this point.

Gorgonum itself is a huge forge world and acts as the core of my Imperium allies. Forge World Gorgonum provides the Adeptus Mechanicus Skitarii and Cult Mechanicus armies to my forces. My plan is to eventually do a Planetary Defense Force as a counts-as for the Forge World and the rest of the Lapis System worlds, but I had hit a lot of snags on how to portray them.

Luckily today while bumbling around for bits I’ve found my solution.


Anvil Industry makes a miniatures tabletop game called Afterlife. It has some really great models and a glorious style that harkens to the USMC/Spartans of Halo and a few other sci-fi cores. One of the requirements for the PDF was I wanted exo-suits, higher-tech looking armor, and respirators/full helmets. The moons/neighboring worlds of Gorgonum are almost all strictly mining worlds, and most of the planets in the solar system are insanely toxic either naturally or from industrial growth.

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These little guys fit the need perfectly for these forces. Their Republic Grenadiers provide me with a high-tech looking soldier that still looks fitting alongside an Imperial Guard force, and their exo-suits are sized/scaled well with 40k pieces in general. Their exo-suits are also very fitting and have a technical look to them that I absolutely love.


I look forward to picking up a squad in the next few weeks to test them out and see how well their quality holds up.

You can find more information on Afterlife on their website.


Inspiration – Tactical Redux

Space Marine Tacticals are the best basic infantry box of any army there is, period. You get your money’s worth in bits, details, customizeability, options, etc. Hell I’d even argue it might be the best kit in the game (go figure, flagship army.)

However, Tacticals are rank and file, in rules they’re set up as a squad of 5 or 10, 5 of them and you can take a special or heavy weapon, 10 and you can have one of each. For gameplay, this works, for creativity’s sake I’m not a huge fan of this setup. I’d rather be able to take two heavies or two specials for the cool factor or something to keep things symmetrical.

This morning I was trying to come up with my Sergeants. For the unaffiliated, Iron Hands don’t have many Terminators left after the Horus Heresy, so if a full squad gets fielded shit just got real. I’d like to keep Termies rather rare in my army to match (to make my Sons of Gorgon Morlock Squad even cooler) except for the Terminator Sergeants that sometimes lead Tacticals. The original plan was each of my tactical squads would have a Terminator Sergeant.

However I’m changing that idea now.


While designing the first Sergeant I was thinking about this model. I wanted to do something similar for the leader of my first Tactical squad, but then I realized it’d be even cooler if that was my plasma squad of five and became my Plasma fireteam. Realistically, they’d group the same weapons together for better effect and targeting so I wanted to do something similar for my squads.

I’ve spent some time this morning hammering out some ideas and concepts for what I’d like to do and shrunk my 3 10 man squads into 5-6 5 man squads with a custom special sergeant leading each one. They break codex compliance with weapon choices, but I think thematically and conversion-wise they’re going to be awesome.

Each Tactical Squad is going to have a different colored marking somewhere. I haven’t decided where yet (rim of shoulders, line down shoulder, line on helmet, legplate, half-helmet etc.) to help distinguish them at a glance. They’ll primarily be divided by weapon type.

The first squad will be a Plasma squad led by a Plasma/Power Fist Sergeant. The team will consist of three plasma gun wielders and one Devastator lugging along a Plasma Cannon.

Second squad will be a Missile Squad, led by a Terminator Sergeant with Cyclone Missile Launcher, three Astartes Grenade Launcher Tacticals, and a Missile Launcher Tactical. I imagine this’ll be fun to convert, I intend to take the Imperial Guard Grenade Launcher Bits and mess with them to see if they fit the size of the Space Marines.

Third squad is a Bolter Squad, led by two Sergeants (suck it Codex Astartes and Robot Girlyman), a pair of twins who are just going to be juggernauts with heavier armor, maybe some MK3 parts with Heavy Bolters. Rest of the squad will have either Storm Bolters or Boltguns (likely Boltguns.) I kinda want to do the color marking of this squad as half-helmets, with the twins each having opposite halves colored.

Fourth squad is the Flamer Squad, led by a pyromaniac with a heavy flamer. I need to find a really cool helmet for this guy, something substantial that says “I enjoy burning things.” Rest of the squad is armed with flamers.

Fifth squad is a Grav Squad, not sure what I’m doing with them yet. There’s a lot of ideas swimming, I’d like to do a Terminator Sergeant but there aren’t any Terminator Grav weapons and I’m pretty sure Centurion Grav Cannons are too big to mount on a Terminator as a conversion.

There’s a few other 5 man Tacticals I’d like to do, a Sniper Squad, Breacher Squad, Melee Squad, there are lots of possibilities to expand the idea and create flavorful, storytelling pieces. Hell if I wanted to I could even expand each squad to 10 down the line. I really, really look forward to fleshing out these characters going forward.

Inspiration – Fitting Servitors for Adeptus Astartes

So I spend a lot of time talking about kits that bother me, the current Servitors are definitely up there. They’re super pricey, ugly (which they should kinda be, so that’s likely unfair), and definitely in need of an upgrade.


I also don’t think they fit the Space Marine aesthetic that great, but a Techmarine without servitors or servants is not a great Techmarine. He needs minions carrying his guns, protecting his devices, and actively sacrificing themselves for progress.

I’ve spent the last few weeks looking into ideas for what to do for my Iron Elders (my three Iron Fathers.) I wanted each to have their own aesthetic/personalities represented by their servitors effectively. Father Gregorus is going to have tanky, beefy, brute servitors. Father Koran is a bit more mad and loves his servo skulls and robots like they’re pets. Lastly, Father Edrikk is a straightforward prideful Techmarine with his servitors.


Gregorus was easy, I wanted him to be brutal, large, imposing and such. It was simple to give him his two bodyguards, I’d simply make them all using parts from the new Cult Mechanicus Kataphron kit. A pair of Kataphrons as servitors for an Iron Father would be awesome, and I could even use some of the bits (maybe even the tankier treads) for him to make him absolutely imposing.


Koran is a bit easy too, servo skulls can be found in quite a few kits and are really easy to make with bits and wire. CATs might be a bit harder, but there’s a few bits I’ve been looking at that could be translated into it.

The one that I was walling on was Edrikk. I didn’t want to shell out for the core Servitors. I don’t like them, I hate painting metal, and all the other points I put up above. I needed 5 of them, two Plasma Cannon, 2 Heavy Bolter, and an “assistant” Servitor, and I had no idea what the hell to do with them. At first I considered just picking up third party servitor kits but they were all rather expensive and lacking in options and poseability/customizeability.

Then this creative genius on Reddit posted his custom Inquisitorial Servitors.


By combining bits from various Grey Knights Kits, Space Marine Kits, and Inquisition kits he managed to make some awesome looking Servitors for his Inquisitor. I am absolutely in love with his designs using the core of space marines with a variety of legs and decorative bits, with a Devastator Weapon modded and slammed onto the arm as a weapon arm.


Best part, I’d easily buy extra Devastator kits, especially since the new one is absolutely glorious. You end up with tons of extra bits and parts that can be used in future work. The “failed Neophyte” look totally fits the attitude/snobbery of Edrikk and how he treats his underlings and other marines. He is machine made flesh, he is pure, he is mighty, and no one is as dedicated as he is.

I’ll definitely use his designs as a basis going forward, and I’m very happy with that.

If you’d like to seemore about Hellblade87’s inquisitor servitors, he has a Reddit thread up with more information and pictures.

Inspiration – Militarum Tempestus Demolition Squad

Was considering what other kinds of squads of units might be found behind enemy lines and for some reason it randomly hit me that 40k seems to lack sappers or demolitionists in general. I suppose its because basically everyone has grenades or such.

Since the 89th Zetan Basilisks drop behind lines and sabotage the hell out of everything and fortify/hold up to pull attention from the front, they need a demolition squad badly. Not sure what sets I’d pull bits from to do it, but I’m sure I can find a lot of land mines, boxes, and bombs from the various IG kits that are out there and I need to give at least one of them a missile launcher of some sort.

Would probably be best to base this on a Tempestus Scion box of course, 5 units, each armed for demolition/AT.

Time to look into some WW2 Sappers, Minelayers, Saboteurs, and Demolition Teams for references!

Possible Bits

Captain Brown over on Warseer has some great pictures of his Heavy Weapons Teams with Missile Launchers I’m loving. I could definitely use something akin to this when I get around to making the missile launcher user in the squad.

Link to his thread.

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