Friday, July 22, 2011

Huron Blackheart - The Tyrant of Badab

Have you ever had a really bad day? You know the kind of day where you can't seem to do anything right and you seem to get in trouble for making what you thought were good decisions.

So there you are, doing your job and minding your own business. You're a soldier and your charge is to protect humanity for the infinite scourges that would see it killed, defiled and corrupted (and if they are very very lucky, in that order). You're on your patrol when you look down and see some bureaucrat collecting tones of money from the populous that you're supposed to protect and giving it to the far away, faceless and uncaring government. You think to yourself, "Huron, if we had that money, we could use it to resupply our poorly equipped troops and defend the people better. We're just looking out for their best interests, right? I mean they would want us to have the best equipment, right?" Then your self says, "Aww shucks, but to do that we would need to be running this place and... Saaaaay."

So that is when you and your elite soldiers assume control over the system, keep the Imperial Tithe, and use it resupply and reequip your troop. Then for all your efforts to do the right thing, your brothers roll into the system and shake their finger at you. They say that you can't do that. You have to play within the rules.

Then you start a fight.


That's pretty much the story of Lufgt Huron and the Astral Claws Chapter. They were deployed to patrol an area in Ultima Segmentum near an area of mixes warp-space and real space called the Maelstrom. Warp space has a corruptive effect on people. It can cause mutation, daemons to manifest, or psyker heads to pop like pimples. It's bad news. Or it might send whispers to prey upon your doubts and tendrils to stroke your egotistical streak into full blown delusions of grandeur.

Lufgt Huron was promoted to Chapter Master of the Astral claws in 697.M41. Reports are that he was a formidable warrior (You don't get to be Chapter Master by reading poetry and knitting sweaters) but lacked compassion for the humans he was supposed to be protecting. It was that lack of empathy that was the hole through which the chaos gods eroded his humanity.

Space Marines are gods compared to normal humans. They are functionally immortal, only resting when being slain in battle. Disease and old age are not concerns of theirs. They are so far removed from the worries and concerns of mortals, that is it understandable if not quite forgivable for them to lose that connection.

So Huron takes control of the Badab system and starts withholding his gene seed and Imperial taxes.When the bureaucrats back at the home office see this (it took them almost a hundred years to catch that he was not paying his taxes) it send a ship full of paper pushers and some guys with guns to give their paper some cut to it and restore order. They figured an invoice and a few torpedoes would convince him to get back on patrol and quit mucking around.

Life lesson: Never threaten a space Marine.

Huron begins his rebellion by blowing that ship out of the sky and theBadab war is on! Huron ceded from the Imperium and even drew up Deceleration of Independence with two other Chapters, the White Scar successor Chapter Mantis Warriors and the Blood Angel successor Chapter The Lamenters. The Imperial response to this was much like Brittan in 1776 or the Union in 1861. "Oh no you didn't!"

The sides lined up like this: For Freedom and Independance (and a little of that old Chaos black magic) were the Storm Wardens of the Astral Claws, Lamenters, Mantis Warriors and the Executioners vs the mean ole party-pooper forces.

(Meta: This article has quickly gotten off topic and out of scope. I never meant to do a history of the Badab war. My research has gotten me really excited about the Forge World campaign books though. I might try to do a history at some point and from what I've seen, doing a campaign based on the Badab war would be awesome. All I meant to do here was to tell the short story of the fall of Huron.)

Huron Blackheart

So what does all of this mean for the tiny metal men? Nothing. I did not know half of that before I started painting Mr. Huron and if I had, I would have painted him red white and blue (Merica!) and still might.He is analogous to many revolutionary figures. It might not be a bad idea for a painting and conversion contest. I may want to convert a Warsmith out of one as well.

The story ("Oh no Vurumai, not another story!") of my particular Huron starts with GW's replacement of the old metal models with Finecast. I stopped in the FLGS the day they released them and put together a few; one of them was Huron. I had wanted one for my CSM army even though he would seem out of place leading an Iron Warriors warband both color palate-wise and fluff-wise. I fell in love with the little resin guy at the store that day and took him home to be my new friend.

I was so excited that I let him sit on my workbench for months before finally getting to prime him. then, I left him on the bench primed for weeks before doing some half ass basecoats. You can see him sitting in the wings in some of the On The Bench posts.

The real point of this article, is to show the other side of the Liquid Talent post. In that post, I said some pretty mean things about old Dev Mud. Today, I'm here to show you that liquid talent and good, old-fashioned skill with a brush can play together to produce some good looking minis.


Since the majority of the mini was to be painted red, I started the way I paint my Blood Angles red. The mini was primed in Krylon Pimento and touched up with Blood Red. The places that were to be painted silver, were painted Chaos Black and then boltgun and Chaimmail. The places that were to be gold were based in Calathan Brown followed by Shining Gold. The picture to the left is after all my base coats (red, silver and gold) were finished.

...and after!
The picture to the left here is after a single wash of Dev Mud. I didn't do anything else other than the wash and the mini looks pretty good. It gives depth and shading by giving a dirty but well-cared for look. The Liquid Talent post was balking at stopping at this step. While the mini looks pretty good, it is still a muddy mess. The colors have gained some shading but all look dark, brown and homogenized now. What it needs is to be brightened up while still leaving the contrast that the shading provides.

This space was meant to have a similar picture to the other two but after just a little touch up and highlight, but I forgot to take it before I glued the mini together. There are some post pics of the assembled model.

What did the 5 fingers say to the face?
You can see that all of the gold got a carefully applied dose of Mithril Silver. Not drybrush, but carefully applied with a tiny brush so that I get paint just where I want. That's the difference. Anyone can basecoat/wash/drybrush. That's not painting. That is making the model work for you. It produces some good looking minis but it does not take half the skill that actual painting does.


I went back and brightened up the red armor in places but did not get too crazy. I wanted the dirty look. I did just a little orange highlights on the hard edges. I also skipped the weathering. I don't like doping it on my infantry for a few reasons. It take too much time and it is not noticeable (at least not the way I do it). I see it as a waste of time. I use weathering to add definition to marge models that do not accept hard edge highlighting very well.

After that, there was a little detail on the green cables and vials on his belt to do and it was done. I did not go crazy on this mini but I did post it to CMRN. It was rated really high (7 or so) a while ago, but has dropped to 5.7 lately. I got a comment on one of my other pictures that seems confused at why my mini is not rated higher. I agree and CMON seems to rate pretty low as if there is a threshold at the 6/7 mark. Once you achieve over that invisible mark it seem easy to rank up a high score.

Up next? Who knows. I have the itch to paint some Grey Knights, Space Hulk, or Assassins. I picked up a box of CSM Termies to round out my Iron Warriors termies to a 10 man squad. There is no telling what will come next. There is an article on what is a conversion that I've been toying with. That needs to be done soon.

The End

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