Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Birth of a chapter

Hi there, long time no posting, and in the meantime we've had a new space marine codex - thanks GW, glad all that synergy work was worth it! Still, new codex is always a good excuse to start a new collection, and as I'm a sucker for marines (this will be the 11th marine army I've started!) I decided to stick my raven guard on eBay and begin a new chapter.

I figured that was as good an excuse as any to go through my method for starting a new collection, and all the associated background stuff I like to put in place when I do that.

So where to begin? Well first they need a name, and having done raven guard and blood angels, plus many of my own creation, I decided to go back to those GW themselves have worked on, and had a look through the 'how to paint space marines' book, which has a wealth of colour schemes at the back, to see if there was one that took my fancy. After a few minutes frantic page flicking, the name 'Iron Fists' jumped out at me, in particular because in the dim and distant past (probably not as dim and distant as it should be) I remember watching the 'Street Fighter' film (yep, the one with Kylie and JCVD) and one character referred to himself as having been formerly called Iron Fist. I liked the colours, which seemed to be a pale blue/grey with gold arms and markings so my mind was set. I painted up a test model to make sure I liked the scheme, and to check which washes/highlights worked best and we're up and running.

Now obviously I've taken the easy route and used a chapter created by someone else, but creating your own isn't too hard, these are the chapters I've created over the years and their colour schemes.
Tiger Legion. Orange and black
Sons of Draco. Khaki Green and Gold
Cobra Guard. Liche purple and Space Wolves grey
Storm Reavers. Snot green
Spirit sentinels. Grey, with veterans in red gore.
Brotherhood of the eternal sword. White with red trim.
Brotherhood of the sapphire sword. Blue with yellow trim
Bloodstone knights. Red and stone.

With that settled, I needed some flesh on the bones, the Iron Knights are a codex chapter, with very little official written about them (so little in fact I'm happy to ignore it as being unknown to almost everyone). The character from street fighter therefore became my chapter master - Sagat. A bit of research into him on Wikipedia led to me deciding to refer to him as 'Grand Master'. Similarly, I liked the 'shadaloo tong' name from the background, so combined that with the idea of fighting tongs being groups of warriors (from the big trouble in little china film) to create ten fighting tongs instead of companies. Shadaloo tong would be 2nd company, which I would base my force around.

Using the insignium astartes book, I noticed that company captains would often have ceremonial titles such as master of the vanguard etc, and my research into Tongs and Triads revealed a similar structure to their makeup, so in to the pot they went too. Coupled with some names from various sources I'd not only got Grand master Sagat, but also his ten company captains, each with a particular role and title. I decided here that the captains names would also be ceremonial, with all bar the first company beginning with the letter s. no particular reason for this besides my research had uncovered a lot of names beginning with this letter, and using them all in any other way would tend to appear unbalanced.

That's all for now, next time I'll flesh out their home world and their fighting styles to influence my choices of models come collecting time!