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Never Despair - Raven Guard 3rd Company

6539 Views 31 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Asamodai
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 The right side of his face had been replaced by a dull chrome plate and the eye with a bulky cybernetic.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.



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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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.


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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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?

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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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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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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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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.


Thoughts on skin work will be greatly appreciated.

And the whole squad so far.

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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.”


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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Thanks Revilo!

The mace comes from the Dark Angel upgrade kit you can find here.

As for painting it. I based it in Khorne Red. Then did the centre and the outside roughly half of the sides in Blood Red (that's right, I'm still using a bunch of old paints). Then washed it with Baal Red. Did the middle, edges and a layer of 'lightning' pattern between in Blood Red. Then did a fine edge highlight and finished the lightning in Blazing Orange.
Just a quick look at one of my next models. I managed to pick this guy up cheap at an event at my local library of all places. I love the model but I can rarely leave anything be so I wanted to make some changes without upsetting the general mood of the model. So far I've swapped the head with one out of the Sternguard box.

I'm looking for suggestions on weapons though. I'm not a fan of the axe he comes with. He's going to be used as a second Captain accompanying a standard Assault Squad but that's not overly important as I probably won't be playing any games. I'm mostly looking for a weapon(s) that convey the same cold menace as the axe.

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Eight Years Ago

Within the Fortress of Hera upon the famed world of Macragge there are a great number of armouries. Great chambers in which armies of artificers, serfs and servitors worked tirelessly to maintain the war gear of the planets vaunted heroes. In one such armoury this day, one of those heroes sat himself among the grease and clutter of tools and spare parts. His name was Kaiden Icarus, a sergeant of the First Company and a Veteran of the Ultramarines.

Despite the barrage of noise, the constant thrum of power generators and the clanging of hammers and hydraulic presses, Sergeant Icarus had always found a certain peace in the maintenance of his arms and armour. He sat now, clad in a simple grey robe covered by a heavy oil stained blacksmith's apron, upon a small three legged stool that strained under the weight of a body it was never intended to support. In his hands were an ornate mark 7 power armour helmet and a cloth coated in polish. He could not always spare the time to see to all of his armour personally, such were his duties to the Chapter and the men under his command. He always found time for his helmet though, for it held a certain reverence to him that he could not put down to any single factor. It may have been that it was a representation of his position within the Chapter. It was a vibrant red, marking him as a sergeant and the white laurel upon it's brow showed him to be a veteran. It could have been that it showed how far he had come in life. The great white crest that ran down it's middle was made from the hair of the finest stallions belonging to a rich landowning family on Kaiden's home world of Calth. The same family his own had served loyally as farm hands and labourers for generations and Kaiden had until he was twelve. It could simply be that it protected his head, and Kaiden Icarus was fond of his head. Rightly so, he was a handsome man for an Astartes, with close cropped dark hair and a strong square jaw though his left cheek would always be marred by thick scar tissue. A souvenir of the Tyranid invasion of Macragge, now a distant memory.

“Sergeant Icarus Sir.” A small voice called out, struggling to be heard over the background noise.

Kaiden looked back to see a young man, dressed in the vibrant blue robes of a serf, stood in the nearest doorway. The Marine pushed himself to his feet and the Serf took a nervous step back automatically. The Sergeant was an imposing figure, even for a Space Marine, half a head taller and broader then any other member of his unit.

“Yes.” Kaiden said, his voice a deep rolling baritone with a hint of warmth that seemed to settle the Serf's nerves.

“Captain Agemman requests your presence at his council chambers immediately.” he said, more confidently this time.

Kaiden nodded. “Understood. Thank you.” he said with a shallow nod. The serf scurried away and Icarus raised the helm in his hand to eye level. It was as good as the first day he wore it. With a sense of pride at an honest job well done he walked over to a nearby armour stand and reverently placed the helm upon it, alongside the rest of his blue and *********** armour. He headed for the door, removing the heavy apron as he went and hanging it up beside the door.

As he exited the armoury the bright sun shone down, blinding him for a fraction of a second until he senses adjusted. Heading for Agemman's council chambers he passed some of the Fortress’s many and varied training grounds. Seeing members of the First on them was of no surprise. Seeing the members of his own squad there was, and even more so, seeing them there taking order from another squad leader was highly unusual. A matter he could raise with the Captain shortly.

His brisk pace soon brought him to the Chambers and Agemman's attendant lead him in, announcing him as he crossed the threshold and closing the door behind him.

“You wished to see me Captain?” Kaiden said, crossing his fist over his chest in salute.

Severus Agemman was pacing behind a large ornate marble desk. He too was out of his armour, dressed in blue robes, marked with the Chapter symbol and decorated in gold trimmings. Even outside of the Tactical Dreadnought armour he was regularly seen in, he cut an imposing figure. Shorter than Kaiden, but with a presence to him the Sergeant could only hope to emulate. Kaiden was aware of the opinions of many that should the day come that Lord Calgar falls in battle, that the glory hound Sicarius should be his heir. This simply made him despair that so many were clearly such fools. “I did. At ease Sergeant.”

Kaiden allowed his feet to part slightly and his hands to rest clasped behind his back but his figure remained stiff. Ease was never something that had come easily to him. “Captain, if I may, I saw my unit on the training field on the way during a time I had assigned them for weapons maintenance. May I...”

“That was me Sergeant.” Agemman said, raising a hand to politely silence them. “I felt it prudent to see that your men begin to gel with that new unit as soon as possible.”

“New unit?” Icarus asked, slightly more emotionally then he had intended. “Captain, has my performance been unsatisfactory?”

Agemman shook his head. “No, quite the opposite.”

Icarus's brow furrowed. “You shall have to explain Captain.”

Agemman sighed. “I received word late yesterday that Brother Athos has fallen serving the Long Watch.

Icarus bowed his head and made the sign of the Aquila across his chest. “That is sad news indeed. Did they speak of how he fell?”

Agemman shook his head. “Only that he died face to face with the Emperor's foes.”

“That is all an Astartes can ask of life.”

“Quite so. As you know the provision of skilled warriors to the service of the Deathwatch is a long and proud tradition of the Ultramarines and it is important that Athos be replaced swiftly. You are a fine warrior and skilled in the extermination of the Xenos. That is why I have chosen you to take his place.”

Icarus was quiet for a moment, briefly rendered speechless. “It would be my honour Captain.”

“Good. Gather your war gear. You leave in one hour. Courage and honour Sergeant.”

“Courage and honour Captain.” Icarus replied, turned on his heel and left the room. Little over an hour later he was on a ship headed out of the system. That was the last time he had seen Macragge.


Minutes Ago

His name was Gladius One. Leader of Gladius Squad, kill-team of the Deathwatch. There were five of them spread out in a loose V formation moving north through the ruins of southern Forge-Hive Arodite on the blasted world of Hephestia Alpha. They were on the orders of a shadow figure. An inquisitor none of them had ever met and knew only by the code name Swordsman. They had a single objective. The recovery of an asset code named Broadsword. Which was all even he as squad leader knew about it besides it's location. Such was often the way.

Watch Sergeant Icarus was on point at the tip of the V. His storm bolter carried low but alert for any sign of Ork activity.

“Gladius Two to Gladius One.” the vox in his helmet chimed.

“Go ahead Gladius Two.” he responded.

“Look up at the sky Sergeant. North East.”

Sergeant Icarus did as advised and soon spotted what had caught his brother's eye. Descending from the sky on trails of fire, four black tear drops that any Astartes could recognise. Drop pods. Icarus opened up the long range vox link. “Gladius One to Swordsman.”

There was a short pause and a burst of static before the response came through. “What is it Gladius One?” came the curt reply.

“We have additional Imperial forces making planet fall.”

“Have you identified them?”

Within his helm the display separated the zoomed image of the falling drop pods, isolated the distinctive markings and zoomed further. A wry smile spread across Icarus's face. “Yes sir. It is the Raven Guard. Your orders?”

“Nothing has changed. Your orders remain the same. Swordsman out.”

With that the link abruptly cut out and the squad channel opened up again.

“Am I seeing this right? Those are Raven Guard pods aren't they Sergeant?” Asked Gladius Two.

“They are indeed.”

“Hmm. This world may not be doomed after all.”


Another model complete. This time it's the leader of my Deathwatch Kill Team, Sergeant Icarus. He was pretty fun to work on, having a slightly more varied colour palette then the Tactical Marines.

As usual, all C + C is welcome and apologies for severely average photography.

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“I couldn't quite believe it. I was born, raised and trained on Hephestia Alpha my whole life. I know this world like the back of my hand. But I could never move the way they did, and they were just....children.”

-From the debriefing of Sergeant Venan Rax, Skitarii 1522nd Recon, following the liberation of Hephestia Alpha.

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“Brother Vas? Brother-Epistolary Saker says he's a throwback to some of the ancient Terran Ravens. A relic in the gene-seed. All I know is he's the most vicious bastard I've ever seen.”

-Sergeant Corvinax. Raven Guard 3rd Company.

“We are the shadows in the night. We are the blades in the darkness. We are the Emperor's cloak and the dagger that strikes unseen. We are vengeance. We are death. We are Ravens.”

-Attributed to an unnamed member of Captain Shrike's retinue.

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On the borders of Forge-Hive Arodite there was a private estate that had once belonged to one of the rich Tech-Guilds that between themselves governed the planet. It covered dozens of acres of land and alongside personal residences the size of a large village also included several small manufacturies for providing the Guild militia with arms and more importantly now, a private space port.

The estate had been largely destroyed during the invasion and a large section of the outer wall of the complex had been collapsed by artillery, leaving it exposed to the relative wilderness outside the Forge-Hive.

Scout Squad Kraine had scouted out the location the day previous. The space port would allow for the swift deployment of the heavier elements of the 3rd Company's forces and if any of it was salvageable, the estates resources would make is an ideal staging post for continued actions in the area. The problem was that the Orks currently occupied it. A relatively small band under weak and ever shifting leadership. Sergeant Kraine had noted that at least two would-be leaders had been killed in the last day. Even so, they outnumbered the Astartes advance party and had to be removed.

The plan was simple. The scouts had found a sewage pipe draining out into a river a little over half a mile from the estates fallen outer wall. Usually it would have been unnavigable due to the amount of waste passing through it but the sewage systems hadn't been operational in months. It wasn't large enough to accommodate power armoured Astartes but the scouts could easily make the necessary climb, the damaged wall providing plenty of hand and foot holds. From there, the sewage system could be traced back into a treatment plant in the estate and from vantages points in that building they could eliminate the sentries guarding the outer wall.

Sergeant Kraine was moving into position on the third floor by a narrow fissure in the wall. Unexpectedly, the gangway was occupied. A single Ork with a crude, fat barrelled gun strode lazily back and forth, often stopping to look out onto the courtyard below and grumble something Kraine didn't understand. The Ork was much larger than him. Though one day he knew he would be a physical match for such beasts, that day was not today and to face the Ork head on would be suicide. However, Kraine considered himself much smarter and more skilled with a blade. He drew his combat knife and as the Ork turned away, the scout emerged from the shadow of a large storage tank. In two quick steps he was upon him and slashed across the back of the Ork's left leg. The Ork dropped down onto it's left knee but it's cry of pain was cut off as Kraine circled around him and thrust the knife into his throat. Kraine stared into the foul creatures eyes and watched with hatred and righteousness as the life drained from them. He twisted the blade and wrenched it out in a spray of thick deep green blood. He wiped the blade clean on the Ork's ragged armour and took his position at the wall.

On the ground, Sergeant Corvinax and the Tactical marines were positioned at the base of the hill of rubble that had formed when the wall crumbled. The young scouts plan had been sound and Corvinax now monitored the novitaes comm system. One by one the scouts reported their positions and confirmed targets. Scout Sergeant Kraine gave the word and five loud cracks broke out above them. Five Orks died. That was his signal and Corvinax gave the word to advance. Twenty five marines began their charge. There was no resistance for the first fifty metres until Kraine's voice came over the vox.

“They're gathering in the courtyard Sergeant. About forty.”

“Give me specifics novice.” Corvinax replied tersely.

“Yes sir. Sorry sir....uh....Forty two sir.”

“Confirmed.” Corvinax said and switched channels. “Sergeant Dazen.”

“I have them brother.” the cool voice of the Devastator Sergeant replied. His unit was stationed in a secondary air control tower outside the walls. As he spoke, four missiles streaked over Corvinax's head and detonated in the gathering crowd of Orks.

“They're still coming Sergeant.” Kraine reported. “Their leader is there too.”

As the Tactical marines came within ten metres of the top of the slope, dozens of Orks appeared from behind the crest, some opening fire with their crude weapons, other charging with brutal axes lofted high. Corvinax set his weapon to flame and alongside the flamer troopers with him, bathed the charging Orks in fire. Behind them their fire support dropped one by one to the precision fire of the scouts sniper rifles.

“Charge!” Corvinax ordered as the line crumbled and swapped his bolter for the power maul on his hip as the warriors around him drew combat knives and chainswords. The Raven Guard stormed the last metres into the courtyard and the chaos of the melee. One Ork stood above all those around him, clearly the leader Kraine had mentioned.

The Ork spotted Corvinax and bellowed a challenge, one the Sergeant would not disappoint in accepting. With the battle raging around them the two clashed, powered maul against a the Ork's giant double headed cleaver. The weapons bounced off each other in a loud crash and a discharge of ancient energy. Corvinax rolled under a second blow and struck up, surprised when the Ork avoided the blow that would have removed his head. The Ork countered driving the haft of his axe into the side of Corvinax's head, knocking him to one knee then kicking him to the ground. The Ork loomed over him and pinned his weapon arm to the ground underfoot. The Ork grinned maliciously as it raised it's axe overhead for a killing blow.

The blow never fell as another loud crack rang out and the Ork's forearm was shredded. He howled in agony as his weapon fell to the ground and he stumbled to his side. Seizing the moment Corvinax kicked out, splintering the Ork's shin bone. Corvinax rose as the Ork fell struck down with his maul. The Ork's head exploded like rotten fruit.

The few surviving Orks made to flee but were cut down by disciplined bolter fire. The plan had succeeded. The spaceport was theirs.


I finally got my scouts finished. I took a slightly different approach with them. You may notice they have no battle damage but are much dirtier. This is to try to represent them spending more time laid down in the dust and ash and less time being shot at. I'm not 100% happy with the faces. I tried to make them look like they have camo paint on but I'm not sure how well it worked.

Let me know what you think.

Next up, boss man himself.
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Running gun battles were still being fought through the estate surrounding the space port. The reports coming in stated that the Orks were splintered and disorganised and being picked off piece by piece by the Raven Guard Tactical Marines sent in their pursuit. There was no time to wait for them to finish though. Already the ships in orbit were at risk of being detected by the Ork fleet and there was much to do. A group of small black shapes appeared in the sky overhead and as they approached, formed into blunt nosed gunships. A minute later the Thunderhawks were on the ground, disembarking on the main landing pads. As soon as the ramps opened everything went mad. Tracked haulage servitors and Astartes alike rushed to unload supplies, munitions and medical equipment. There was no heavy armour. If things got tough the 3rd would have to rely of Sergeant Karnax's Devastators and their Centurion war-suits Sergeant Corvinax watched the six hulking suits stomp out of the transport and immediately take up positions covering the main access routes to the landing pads, ready for any sign of retaliation.

Despite the chaos Sergeant Corvinax was able to spot a single figure in the crowd. His armour was was more ornate than those around him but far from the gaudy displays on so many Chapters. Sculpted depictions of the Chapter symbol covered his armour and purity seals fluttered wildly in the wind still kicked up by the Thunderhawk's idle, anxious engines. He was flanked by five more Marines, their armour too ornamented far more than Corvinax's own. Even the grandest of displays was depicted only in deep burnished steel, the honours were subtle, but clear to the eyes of a Raven. As Sergeant Kraine had in Corvinax's presence earlier, these Marines made even the Sergeant stand a little taller.

The six figures approached the Tactical Sergeant who removed his two tone helmet revealing a close crop of prickly black hair and a strong stern face. As the newcomers got close, Corvinax saluted beating his fist against his armoured chest.

In response, the leader of the new group removed his alabaster helm and tucked in under his arm. Long black hair flowed out from under it in stark contrast to his deathly pale skin. He fixed the Sergeant with eyes like polished onyx. “Sergeant Corvinax.” he said, his voice almost ghostly, like a whisper that could be heard over any noise. “You never fail to impress.”

Corvinax bowed his head. “You honour me my Lord. May I be the first to say welcome, Captain Shrike, to Hephestia Alpha.”


One Week Later

After the battle for the Space Port, there was little direct conflict. The first week was spent on extensive reconnaissance of the war zone. The immediate areas of Forge-Hive Arodite were mapped out to the smallest detail, marking areas of Ork strength. Safe houses and supply caches were established throughout the area and most importantly when fighting the Orks, their command structure was observed.

Being the second largest of the planet's great cities, Arodite had been assigned to one of the Ork Warlord's Lieutenants, a Mek by the name of Dakblasta. Dakblasta's main job in Arodite was to use it's facilities to constantly supply his master with arms and munitions. Every day a new supply was sent in a large convoy through the city. In their complacency the Orks took the same route every day and Captain Shrike had spotted a weakness. A small stretch of the route took the Ork convoy through a narrow street, flanked by tall hab blocks that had avoided the worst of the planets invasion thus far.

The mission was not simply to disrupt the convoy however. Dakblasta ruled the Orks in Arodite with impunity. Without him, they would descend into in-fighting to take his place and so, the trap was set.

The convoy approached now, a dozen Ork vehicles, mostly long open topped trukks loaded was munitions crates. At the head were two behemoth monstrosities of Ork engineering. These battlewagons were equipped with dozer blades that pushed aside fallen rubble and burnt out civilian vehicles with ease. As they entered the narrow street, the convoy fell into two highly un-orky columns. That's when the Raven's struck.

Two Storm Raven transports and their escort Storm Talon gunships swept up from the south. Lascannon fire and missiles pounded the lead battlewagons from afar, followed by the blazing heat of multi-meltas and shrill scream of assault cannons as they closed. A missile blew the left track off the first tank and it slewed sideways into the hab building before it could stop. Twin melta beams penetrated the second triggering an explosion that shrouded the vehicle in flame.

The convoy fell into disarray. Those at the back tried to turn around or reverse in the narrow confines but found their path blocked. As the Storm Ravens passed overhead their access ramps opened and six Centurion war-suits dropped to the ground, their heavy exoskeletons absorbing the impact their would have strained even Astartes physiology. They unleashed another fusillade of lascannon and missile fire that annihilated the rearmost trukks and detonated ammunition supplies. One trukk was seemingly blown apart at the seams. Another was launched high into the air and fell upside down onto the next in line.

Their advance and retreat cut off, the Raven closed in. From the windows of the hab block to the west bolter fire rained down from the windows of the first three floors, cutting down dozens of the exposed Orks whose own inaccurate and sporadic return fire did little in response. Some Orks tried to flee into the hab block to the east where they were picked off with knives and shotguns by lurking neophytes.

In the centre of it all Dakblasta tried to regain control. He bellowed with rage at the Orks around him, trying to direct fire. His own weapon, an enormous double barrelled cannon, supported by it's own crude exoskeleton tore great chunks out of the hab block walls and blasted several Astartes from the windows. This would not last long however.

The windows on the fourth and fifth floors shattered at once and almost thirty Astartes descended like bullets on trails of blue fire. In their centre was Shrike, surrounded by his Wing, each armed with claws that glowed a deep ominous purple. They hit the ground as one. Before he so much as registered the threat, Dakblasta was borne to the ground by Shrike's power armoured bulk, his body crushed under five hundred kilos of muscle and ceramite before eight power blades punctured his chest and liquefied his organs. The same fate was wrought upon the Nobs around him. On either side of Shrikes attack the Raven Guard Assault Marines slaughtered at will with pistol and chainsword.

Almost as swiftly as the attack had begun it was over. The narrow street drowned in sickly Ork blood. With that, the true battle for Forge-Hive Arodite had begun.

Long time no update. If you want to you can blame Microsoft and Bioware for it. Or instead you can just enjoy new models :grin:

I'd say these are about 95% complete. They need a little tidy up and I want to do something better with the jump pack jets. I wanted to share them with you now though so here goes.


“His courage saved my life and cost him his own. That is a debt I have sworn to repay to him, in this life or the next.”

-Captain Kayvaan Shrike. Raven Guard 3rd Company.

Thanks for looking. As always C+C is encouraged.
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Hi, really love your Raven Guard. I am reading Deliverance Lost at the moment and am seriously thinking about committing. The only thing holding me back is painting them black - dull as dishwater. However I like the way you have weathered your marines and used red as the contrast on the lc's and shoulder pads. Am seriously tempted, if you keep going there may be another convert, keep up the good work!
I really enjoyed that book. Thank you for commenting. It's really cool to know you may be inspiring someone else.

the scout need some contrasting colours..i know your trying to represent dirt..but at least try alitte brown on the belts pistol holster or something...the just look unfinished..keep up the work tho
I think the holsters are brown but I was trying to keep them subtle. Maybe I went too subtle. I'll keep it in mind. Thank you for the feedback.

Now just for a couple of WIP's.

This guys already had a mention earlier in the thread. If you can find it I'll give you a rep point.

More of Gladius Squad

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Seven Years Ago

This was impossible. The plan had been perfect. There was no way the Orks could have known their location. Then how? Treachery? Or had the Orks simply struck out wildly into the jungle and stumbled upon them in a case of extraordinary luck?

All of these thoughts passed through Captain Shrikes head as he sped through the deep undergrowth of the great Equatorial Jungles of Draygus. Solid slugs shot past him with every step as hordes of Orks pursued.

The 3rd Company had been striking at the invaders for months. The once continent spanning Ork force now broken down to disconnected, ill supplied warbands. Easy pickings for the newly arrived Imperial Fleet now entering the system. But the Raven Guard too had gone too long without supplies. It was time for them to withdraw. It should have been easy, no contact was expected. Until a force of some three hundred Orks struck at the Astartes final bastion. What followed was a desperate running battle through the dense dangerous jungles as the Raven Guard made for the extraction point.

“Brother Vokor, report!” Shrike spoke into the vox, his voice still calm and level despite the severity of the situation.

“Extraction in T-minus 2 minutes Captain.” reported the Thunderhawk pilot.

“Be advised, LZ is hot.”

“Understood Captain.”

The clearing that made up the landing zone was just ahead, Shrikes helmet detecting the greater light levels as the jungle canopy thinned. As he broke from the tree line and into the open he was thrown to the ground. Pain fired up his left side and his armour reported multiple breaches to his pauldron, back plate and greaves.

“Fought yu cud run 'umie?” A deep grating mocking voice asked behind him.

Shrike rolled over and looked up at Warboss Bone-Crusher. Standing a head higher then any Astartes and an arm wider, he was encased in a suit of heavy armour, a masterpiece of crude Ork cunning encompassing a giant double barrelled cannon and even larger claw. This the Ork snapped, taunting the stricken Captain. Shrike tried to get to his feet but a heavy four toed foot like a dreadnought slammed down on his chest. The air was driven from his lungs and pain lanced through the cracks in his chest carapace. In that moment Kayvaan Shrike expected to die.

No blow fell and as the pressure on his chest was lifted the Captain looked ahead. It was Hayder Kol. The newest and youngest member of his retinue now doing battle with the great beast. The marines danced around the Warboss with a grace that belied the bulk of his wargear. Though Kol was driving Bone-Crusher back, he could land no telling blow against the Ork's massive armour.

Then there was an explosion. A missile detonated between Shrike and the desperate duel playing out in front of him. He did not know which side it had come from or whether it's target had been deliberate or random. The air filled with smoke. As Shrikes auto-senses fought to compensate, the Captain sent a thought through his armour. His body was immediately pumped with a cocktail of pain-killers, combat stimms and adrenaline strong enough to kill a grox. The World came back into view and Shrike got back to his feet. He broke into a sprint and passed through the smoke. What he found threatened to wrench his soul from his body. Brother Kol, held up off the ground by the crackling Ork claws penetrating his sternum. Shrike had no time to acknowledge his grief however. With a controlled burst of his jump pack he launched forward, claws outstretched. Still savouring his victory, Bone-Crusher was too slow to react and his armour no match for the direct force granted to the Raven's Talons. He was borne to the ground, claws penetrating his body. He could only roar his final defiance as Shrike finally drove his claw down through the beasts sneering face.

Looking up, more Orks were upon them. The main body of the horde closing in. Then heavy fire erupted from behind Shrikes back. He turned to see a trio of Thunderhawks, accompanied by a flight of Storm Talons opening fire with heavy bolters and assault cannons. The edge of the jungle was torn to shreds and Orks died in droves. The attack faltered, then turned into a full rout under the weight of fire.

“Apothecary! To my position!” Shrike yelled into the vox. Apothecary Vyr appeared a moment later.

“Captain? Are you hurt?”

“Not me. Him!” Shrike said, pointing down to shattered form of Hayder Kol. “He does not die.”

As Vyr knelt to examine him he spoke. “Captain. These injuries. They-”

Shrike grabbed him by the gorget and pulled him until tip of his MK6 helm was a mere inch from the Apothecary's face. “He does not die. Am I understood?” he spat.

“Understood Captain.” Vyr replied as two more Astartes arrived, picking Kol up and rushing him to the waiting transport. Shrike only a step behind.


Hayder Kol. That was my name. It still is. Do not mistake me for one of the poor ancients, trapped down here slumbering for centuries at a time until they have forgotten everything but hatred and anger. It has been but seven years since I have taken this form. Young Kol the others call me. Even the neophytes.

My Brothers would visit me, after the transformation. They would ask me many questions, but one was most pertinent. What is it like?

It is cold. No matter the blazing heat outside I am encased in cold metal and submerged in icy fluid. I no longer feel the touch of a star on my skin or the heat of volcanic air in my lungs. I feel heavy. Though my organic body floats weightlessly, my limbs are thick and cumbersome. In life I was swift, graceful, a predator in the night. Now I am none of those things.

But there are things I can do now that I never could in life.



The Wartrukk flipped end over end and crashed into the one beside it. Young Kol had burst from the alleyway in the centre of the Raven Guard ambush. His powerful strides broke rockcrete beneath them and the might in his arms sundered metal and bone in equal measure. He was the implacable fury of the Emperor incarnate. As those Orks still living tried to escape the wreckage of their vehicles Kol bathed them in cleansing flame. He had no time to delight in their screams however. Beside him an Ork dreadnought staggered clumsily towards him. As it swung a buzzing circular blade towards him, Kol grabbed it's arm in the vice grip of his claw. Turning, he followed with his seismic hammer, smashing a hole clean through the Ork constructs armour plating. The arm in Kol's grip went limp and he let it fall. Reaching inside, Kol extracted the barely living pilot, threw him to the ground and crushed him underfoot.

In these moments, he thought, death was not so bad.


Update time. I got my Ironclad finished. And only 7 months from acquisition to completion. That's good right?

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'There is no record of any force designated 'Rapier Squad' on Hephestia Prime.' - Imperial Records

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