Friday, 8 July 2016

Kitbashing space marine bikers: Altered Steeds

They hadn't descended very far and even now the lights were dimming; but surely not, were they not promised a swift and clean mission?  The hive was oblivious to their intention, it would fall without challenge, all it would take is one seed and a forest of decay would sprout.  Corporal Vellis had taken his turn along with his platoon to help bear their sickening brother-in arms on the iron litter toward their goal-- the depths of the midhive slum, where the lattice of catwalks and sewage systems would make it all the more difficult for any loyalist search party.
'I can hear them, I can hear engines, engines!  Oh, my legs, my legs!'
In the darkness it was getting difficult to shut out the guardsman's incessant moaning-- he had drawn the short straw, he'd accepted his role!  The corporal struck him again and told him to be silent.  He ought to be thankful for his gift!
'You are the evangelist, private, but still your tongue 'till we reach rendezvous, please!'
'The engines, can you not hear them?  We're all doomed to death!  My legs, I can't feel my legs...'

'Sir, with your leave sir,' Crow the flamer spoke up now, a veteran and respected of Vellis, 'I hear this too; the sound of an engine, and unfamiliar to the hive.  It resonates wrong.'
'Make yourself clear, soldier.'
'Did you see the Astartes thunderhawk make planetfall alongside us?'
'That was our masters' craft, was it now?'
'No sir.'
By now the resonating thunder had increased to the point where all were affected-- as had the pressing blackness.  Throat-lights refused to ignite and it was left to Crow to light the way with intermittent bursts of promethium.  Nobody had noticed half the platoon were unexplainedly missing.
'Contact sir, two o'clock.'
The auspex flickered and died.  The angle dictated led to a corridor leading to a spiral staircase, more than likely from some dead nuclear plant; the doorway was narrow and Crow opened fire, consuming the space with flames.
'The engines, the engines!'

Leaping from the flames, a massive figure shot through the doorway and struck Crow's head off with an iron hoof.  It was three times the length of a horse but it turned what narrow space it had and roared in fury at the bewildered guardsmen as darkness enveloped it again.  All they could see now was the glint of jade eye-lenses and sparks silhouetting the centauric figure before them--

Then the beast shot forward into a screaming mess of flesh and blood.  It was an Astartes biker-- Grandfather save them, a biker in the underhive!

The Sagodjur Fjorlag are not terribly fond of bikes in general, but having seen the success of other Chapters with them-- namely the sons of the Khan-- the librarius set out to build their own.  And this is what happened.  Riding at mad angles to turn square corners or descend staircases, these Altered Steeds carry out lighting assaults in ridiculously confined spaces where jump packs won't help and no other vehicle will fit. 

This is what I make when I lose to a player running eldar jetbikes.  I must admit, to begin with I wasn't sure where the hell I was going when I began this chap.

I went for an almost pantomime horse figure (with obvious Otherworld influence in the servitor in the front).  They are Sagodjur, after all.  I'm surprised at how pleasing the pose is, even if it is difficult to photograph; I think the cape really helps the overall sense of movement, it came from the WoC chariot.  This is where the horse front half came from.
I must add I wanted to continue with my jetbike kitbash, I'm not sure why I haven't... I'm sorry.

Painting wasn't too big a deal; I'm still learning about drawing the eye with spot colours, which is why I like giving my Astartes bare arms/heads/feet, the clean whiteness of their skin contrasts nicely and reminds one there are living beings under that sewage-coated plate.

"Repent, thing of the abyss"

One thing I'm not sold on, I'm afraid it has to be the twin-linked bolters.  One day I might get around to replacing them with something less... orky.

Yes, bare feet and yes, that's a psychic hood; my OSL isn't the best...

So there we are!  So happy with the result I started work on a second immediately!  I was hoping to aim for a full squad with an attack bike, but I'll need to source some more horses.  And bikes.

Having done a bit of riding myself I can't help but wince at his sloppy technique...

Here's where I'm up to so far with the second Altered Steed.  I posed the rider in the middle of a turn, but the horse's head wasn't; to fix that I cut a wedge out of the neck and turned it upside-down, turning it a bit before fixing it in place.  More greenstuff will come shortly.

And that's that.  If I don't finish him soon then I'll more than likely start yet another project... oh well!  Bye bye for now.


  1. Very cool - those are thoroughly creepy!

  2. Lovely conversations as ever. I would just love to see you paint out of the Blanche style, which I think hides a lot of effort and makes everything nlend badly together.

    1. Thanks! I understand about the blending. My army isn't really "tabletop" quality; from the table they just look muddy. I'm supposed to be painting up a playable force of BA a lot crisper and brighter, but distractions...

    2. I look forward to seeing it.

  3. That looks awesome :-) I like your choice of head for the second bike. Is the marine going to be holding reins?

    1. No, he's going to be dancing the Thriller ;) I've got a good deal of microchain, but I'm wondering if barbed wire would be a better choice.

    2. Plz plz plz do a marine dancing to Thriller! I never know quite what to expect with your conversions ;-) I like the idea of barbed wire...