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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
It's been a year since the Orks came to the Forge World of Hephestia Alpha. The planet was strongly fortified with the greatest orbital and surface weaponry the Adeptus Mechanicus could provide including dozens of regiments of Skitarii troopers and several Titans of the Legio Crucius. But the Orks were a force of nature. Their fleet closed through the system like a battering ram until they reached their target and made planetfall with their Rok fortresses. They never attempted to remove the worlds defences in advance, but their numbers meant that even with the bloody toll taken from them, those that reached the surface were still more than enough for the task at hand.

The first days of the ground war were a slaughter. In an attempt to claim the initiative the Skitarii Generals ordered an all out counter-assault on the Roks, expecting the find the Orks disorganised as they attempted to establish a foothold. Instead they found the Orks ready and pre-pared, backed by gargantuan Stompas and looted Guard Superheavy tanks. The Skitarii's assault broke against the unbridled fire power they faced and the Orks flooded from they holds, crashing upon the beleaguered soldiers like a green tsunami.

The Imperial forces never truly recovered. Though the fighting was fierce for eight long months, true Imperial victories were sparse. Street by street, city by city and forge by forge the humans were pushed back. When the Skitarii won a battle the Orks would flee into the dense areas of woodland not yet claimed for resources, only to return days later in even greater numbers.

Now the worlds defenders were scattered, reduced to isolated cells of resistance fighters, still fighting only out of sheer stubbornness.

General Cyrax, now the de-facto leader of the planets remaining forces was as much machine as man. A once powerful young body was now carried by a pair of bionic legs. The right side of his face had been replaced by a dull chrome plate and the eye with a bulky cybernetic. His hands and forearms bore spider webs of silvery inlay, tiny augmentics that assisted him working consoles and displays for strategic planning and hid a plethora of digital weapons to boot.

He stood now in a small clearing in the woods accompanied by a ten man team Skitarii troopers. They all wore the same drab green fatigues, the General long since doing away with the ornamented uniform he was paraded in. The only sign of his rank were the burnished golden pins at his collar. The sun was starting to set. The clearing was a makeshift LZ, only big enough for a single ship. Cyrax had expected a shipment of supplies from another cell but, like so many before it, the Valkyrie was late and the General feared the worst.

He was about to give up when something caught his eye. Tiny shapes falling through the ever darkening sky. Black tear drop shaped things, as if the world itself was now mourning it's own demise.

“What the....” Cyrax started muttering in disbelief. “It can't be.”

I dull monotone robotic voice spoke from behind him. Tech-priest Arka, a hunched little creature in hooded red robes, even less human than the General stepped up from behind him. “It seems the Emperor has answered your prayers.” he hissed through a large voice box where his mouth had once been.

“Astartes?” Cyrac asked.

“No, not Astartes. Ravens...”

The Tech-priest turned away and the group started to make for the safety of the treeline. Cyrax softly breathed just one more word.

“Shrike...”


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Welcome to my new Project Log, chronically my work building a force for Kayvaan Shrike's famous 3rd Company of the Raven Guard.

A little about me to begin with. I first started playing Warhammer 40k when I was 12 with an army I quite laughingly referred to as the Iron Hands 2nd Founding Chapter, the Red Talons. I've always been a big Astartes fan. Since that first army I dabbled in Eldar, Daemonhunters, a DIY Marine Chapter I dubbed the Luna Hawks and a little fantasy with High Elves.

I'm now 26 and I've been meaning to start a new army since the release of the 5th Edition codex. I don't know if anyone else has ever had the same issue but I personally found choosing a Chapter to be one of the toughest decisions ever. I was determined to do something unusual, a Chapter people won't have seen often but without doing another DIY. My breakthrough came when I decided to stuff being original and just do an army that inspired me, which is how I came to the Raven Guard 3rd.

This isn't going to be a fast moving log because I'm working on a budget but I'll be doing as much as I can.

I finally got some models finished and I'm not ashamed to say they're the best I've ever done. I'm disappointed in the pictures. I feel they make the models look much more blotchy then they do in my hand but hey, what can you do?

Of course there's always room for improvement so C+C is welcome.

Without further ado, the first four members of Tactical Squad Corvinax.











Thanks for looking.
 

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How're you doing the shoulder emblems?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The edge highlights look really sharp to me... wash?
Yeah that's one of the things I don't like about the pictures. They look a lot more muted in my hand. I think I need to try taking some with better light and no flash. They have been washed down once from the original test you can see here.

http://www.heresy-online.net/forums/showthread.php?t=143001

However you did remind me I didn't wash over the battle damage parts so I'll do that next time I'm painting.

How're you doing the shoulder emblems?
Forge World transfer sheet. Washed with null oil to take the stark whiteness off them then battle damaged with the rest of the armour. A little old Devlan Mud in places too.

Nicely done minis. Will be watching this with interest. As I would love to do a Raven Guard army one day.I think they have cool fluff.
Thank you. Raven Guard do have great fluff, I mean, they're essentially space marine ninjas. What's not to love?
 

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Aye, that is a significant improvement. I also get your problem with the camera. Try natural light. I take all my photos outside.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Small update today. I got a Sternguard box yesterday that I've been having a little play with making a veteran sergeant for my Tacticals, adding a heavy bolter and a couple of fancy shoulder pads to other tactical marines. However I'm after some opinions on weapon options.

First up in Veteran Sergeant Corvinax. Do I go classic Lightning Claw?



Or, do I mix it up a little and go with a Power Maul?



Then there's my as yet unnamed Ultramarine Deathwatch Sergeant. Do I go with the cool sheathed power sword?



Or the snazzy chainsword?





Thoughts?
 

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I say lightning claw for sheer awesome factor, the power maul is only scary if it looks black and spikey.

I like the kitbashes, they look excellent. Appropriating DA wargear for a (I presume) raven coloured makeover is a very good idea.
 

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I'd issue a warning about the poses. The maul looks more natural. The gun also to me looks overlarge to be used in one hand (even in the arms of a supersoldier)

My philosophy is that a model should look balanced and realistic. You've got 'awesome' pegged, but from my end, you've missed some fundamentals.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hey guys, thanks for the comments. Hate to disappoint a couple of you but in the end I went with the maul on Sergeant Corvinax and the chainsword for Sergeant Icarus (Yup, picked a name for him).

I'd issue a warning about the poses. The maul looks more natural. The gun also to me looks overlarge to be used in one hand (even in the arms of a supersoldier)

My philosophy is that a model should look balanced and realistic. You've got 'awesome' pegged, but from my end, you've missed some fundamentals.
I can see where you're coming from, it's not something I considered too much. I think with the Combi-Bolter it's not too much bigger than a standard bolter and there's plenty of precedent for marines being able to wield bolters one handed. There's also wysiwyg to consider, if I want to play him with a combi-bolter and power maul he's gotta be carrying a combi-bolter and power maul.

Maybe with the storm bolter I could agree. I wanted to have the sword though to help mark him out as a squad leader though. Could have sheathed it, yes but I don't want to end up with the squad all in similar firing poses.

Thinking forward on what I plan on doing these should be the only two guys that this should be an issue for but I'll definitely consider it more in future.

So, update time. Progress has been slow on my tactical marines. The next five members are not far from completion though. That does bring me to my next point though that I could use some advice for.



This is the Sternguard Heavy Bolter with the arms it said to use, on a normal tactical marine body. As you can see, the arms are wider than the body. I'm guessing the answer is going to have to be green stuff but I'm wondering, as my green stuff skills are non-existent, if anyone has a simpler solution.
 

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What I would do is have the marine's left arm flush to the model, and have the other arm meet the body at the back of the shoulder mount, and angled slightly at the wrist. Then it's just filling small gaps.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok so here's a couple of questions for Raven Guard aficionados.

1) How do you do Sergeant and Veteran Sergeant markings? It's clear Raven Guard don't use the typical red helmet and, if necessary, white stripe system. I've seen some examples where the sergeant has a white helmet but the codex also shows non-sergeants, like the 3rd Company Standard bearer with a white helmet. Then how would you do denote veteran status on top of this? I know first company veterans have white arms but would you employ this much to veterans serving in other companies?

There's a image I believe had been taken from the new HH book that shows veteran sergeants with white faces and other veterans with a white tripe but is it likely they'd have stuck to this scheme since then?

2) A couple of members of my tactical squad I'm currently painting don't have trim on their left shoulder I am currently using to denote company. What do you believe would be the best way to otherwise represent this?

3) One marine has full mark 6 armour, including the studded left shoulder. This means his Chapter badge has moved to his right shoulder but where would you then put the squad markings?

I have some ideas for each of these but I'm interested in any extra input anyone can provide.
 

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1) How do you do Sergeant and Veteran Sergeant markings? It's clear Raven Guard don't use the typical red helmet and, if necessary, white stripe system. I've seen some examples where the sergeant has a white helmet but the codex also shows non-sergeants, like the 3rd Company Standard bearer with a white helmet. Then how would you do denote veteran status on top of this? I know first company veterans have white arms but would you employ this much to veterans serving in other companies?

There's a image I believe had been taken from the new HH book that shows veteran sergeants with white faces and other veterans with a white tripe but is it likely they'd have stuck to this scheme since then?
I've added that as a picture in the section below here (don't remember where I first saw it) but I recommend you to buy Forge Worlds Extermination-book for better information. :)

2) A couple of members of my tactical squad I'm currently painting don't have trim on their left shoulder I am currently using to denote company. What do you believe would be the best way to otherwise represent this?
It depends, I did a thing in my Painting Guide. You could use Mk. VII legs where the company can be displayed on the knees. You can see it here.

3) One marine has full mark 6 armour, including the studded left shoulder. This means his Chapter badge has moved to his right shoulder but where would you then put the squad markings?
Use the white markings from the regular SMB and add them on the legs in the worst case. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yeah that was the image I was talking about. The thing was that that is for 30k Raven Guard while I believe 40k are supposed to be more like this.



However I don't like the ever increasing amounts of white on veteran marines, at least not to extent shown here. I mean, why would a stealth based chapter make their armour less and less stealthy as they got more experienced? Is it to make things more of a challenge for themselves.

So I might go with the 30k style helmet designs. They're much more subtle and I like that.
 

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Yeah that was the image I was talking about. The thing was that that is for 30k Raven Guard while I believe 40k are supposed to be more like this.



However I don't like the ever increasing amounts of white on veteran marines, at least not to extent shown here. I mean, why would a stealth based chapter make their armour less and less stealthy as they got more experienced? Is it to make things more of a challenge for themselves.

So I might go with the 30k style helmet designs. They're much more subtle and I like that.
I would suggest that white is optional on how you prefer it yourself! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Update time. I actually got some models finished. Five more tactical marines done meaning my first squad are just missing their Sergeant who I will be working on next. Still using the same phone camera for this so apologies again for poor picture quality.

All 5 New guys.




Individuals.


Thoughts on skin work will be greatly appreciated.









And the whole squad so far.

 

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Discussion Starter #19
The drop pods hammered into the ground in quick succession, four of them, landing in a near perfect diamond a short way out of Forge-Hive Arodite, the second largest on the planet. A heartbeat later and explosive bolts blew open the trios of doors on each pod, opening them up like blooming metal flowers. Now exposed, benevolent machine spirits scanned the surrounding rubble, mounted storm bolters casting back and forth purposefully. Another second and the Raven Guard deployed. Thirty Astartes in total, forming four units. At their head was Sergeant Corvinax.

Leader of the 3rd Company, 1st Squad, first among equals and de facto sub-commander of the Company's Tactical Squads, Sergeant Corvinax was a veteran of the Chapter having served with the 3rd since long before the events of Targus VIII. A valued officer of the illustrious Shadow Captain, Corvinax and his squad were often found at the vanguard of the Raven Guard assault.

He led the disembarkation, his ancient suit of Maximus power armour seeming to absorb the waning sunlight, his combi-flamer raised, alert for the Greenskin threat. 1st Squad fanned out around him with practised perfect precision, their weapons raised, covering all angles of approach. Corvinax lowered his weapon, “Brother Zeron. Report.” he ordered over the squads internal comm link.

Brother Zeron was positioned behind the Sergeant and held out an auspex. “Just our welcoming party Sergeant.”

“At ease Brothers.” said Corvinax, and the detachment lowered their weapons. The Sergeant unsealed his helm and removed it, tucking it under his left arm. Beneath it he was the very image of a Raven Guard. His skin pale as snow and his long hair, oiled against his scalp was black as pitch. “You can come out now.” he said.

From amongst the rocky outcrops and chunks of blasted masonry, five more figures appeared. They were young, only children by typical human standards. But these were no normal adolescents, these were novitaes of the Raven Guard. They slung back their camo cloaks and approached the new arrivals, their long barrelled sniper rifles held with an easy alertness already born of years of experience. Scout Squad Kraine had been on Hephestia Alpha for two days already, preparing for Corvinax and his detachment's arrival. The Sergeant, still only a novice himself snapped off a salute, beating his fist against his chest. “Scout Squad Kraine reporting Sir!” he said confidently, pushing out his chest and standing rigidly to attention.

“At ease Scout Sergeant.” Corvinax said with a wry smile. We have little time to tarry. You have located our first objective?”

“Yes Sir.”

“Then you can brief me on the way.” Corvinax said, reattaching his helmet. “Brothers. Move out.”


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Hey, so, long time no update. I'll admit I lost motivation for a little while there and when I did get started this last model was kinda tricky. I've got him done though and with him my first complete squad. So I give you Sergeant Corvinax.









I'm not 100% happy with him. The white was tricky, especially the loin cloth. Maybe that's just a case of practise though.

While I was taking pictures I tried getting a couple more of the rest of the squad with some more natural light to see if that improved anything.







As always all C+C is welcome. Next up, Sergeant Icarus.
 
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