[The Scythes] A Collection Revisited.

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Tael
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[The Scythes] A Collection Revisited.

Post#1 » Apr 10 2009 01:07

Hi All,

I am taking a break from major Tau modelling for the moment as I have been drumming up some ideas for a themed warband of Scythes of the Emperor, survivors from the fall of Sotha. My own collection of the Scythes (since 1997) has waxed and waned, with only my favourite pieces remaining in my collection. Now, I've decided to rejuvenate the army, but at a squad scale. Also.. upsize them significantly to something more in proportion to the historic marines of yore. This Blog will detail my efforts..

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Inspiration (the very images which caused me to begin the Scythes even..)
Image Image

In the artwork you can see the original style of SM Scouts, the flowing arm cloth, half power armour carapace. Mohawks..etc
This led me to think, I need at least one example of the Scouts.


Ardan, sole survivor from the Tenth Company of the Scythes, 1st Platoon, Fourth Squad.
Based upon the imagery of Scouts from Tyranid Attack, Lost Patrol and Adv. Space Crusade era.

Image Image

In current times, since the Fall, he is the only Scout among the Astartes survivors. He has long put aside his original tunic, much of it rags after several years of Tyrannic Warfare. Armor wise he has only one pauldron left from the original armor and his left knee plate is reinforced with chitin from a Lictor kill he achieved recently. Retaining his original Bolt Pistol and Chainsword, freshly issued from the Chapter Forge on Sotha before the Fall, Ardan has become almost ritualistic in his approach to maintaining this equipment, least he need replace it.

Rolling aside based on intuition alone, Ardan avoided the double strike of the Tyranid's twin mantid-talons. But only just, his left pauldron torn away, rent straight through the Chapter emblem. He shouted out in anguish, with a deep level of dismay at the loss, as if a limb had been cleaved away. The Lictor stepped back to pounce anew, finding it's prey stationary, even..snarling at it. Before even a chance to charge and finish the human occurred to it, Ardan had launched his own attack. Seeing the folly of it, the Lictor let it's play thing come, parrying each swipe of the metal buzzing weapon the Scout wielded with some expertise as the human fought about it's chitinous form with an unexpected ferocity.

Suddenly the Tyranid realised all too late, Ardan had not meant to lay it low with a flurry of blows. No, the parries had allowed the human in close and now, clambered upon it's upper torso, the Scout reared back sharply.. drawing out, priming and shoving a cylindrical object straight into it's sensitive maw with a single fluid motion. Mashed sense tendrils recoiled in pain, the odd mix of human blood and the tang of metal were the last sensations the alien ever knew, the explosion spattering it's bulbous head across the jungle floor before it had even reacted. Ardan himself was knocked across the clearing, rolling out the fall, he rose up injured but not unconscious.

Observing the kill for a moment, the marine Scout walked back with a purpose, mono-molecular blade clench tight. He began to carve carefully, removing his coup from the alien corpse. A small but satisfying compensation for the loss of his original Chapter emblem..



Overall, for a Scout, Ardan is heavily equipped with Enhanced Fragmentation grenades and Krak Grenades (The original 'coin' grenades having proven largely ineffectual against the Tyranid). Even an the addition of a Melta Bomb (non-standard), his only explanation being; "They've gotten bigger". Most suspect it is a last resort, his death, when it comes, shall be a final defiant act. Similarly Ardan's ammunition is a myriad of personally crafted rounds, from Chitin piercing, Biophage and even High Explosive rounds. Whilst not a practice promoted within the original Chapter, his success rate speaks volumes for his craftsmanship.

Since his biological enhancement never reached it's full potential before the Fall however, there is clearly an underlying tone of a Marine realising he will only every be half what his brothers are, any spite over this issue seems redirected upon the Tyranid and not his own thankfully. It has to be said, it clearly does not affect his combat ability. The kitbag he always utilises on Hiveship raids, contains a myriad of traps and explosives designed solely for eradication of Tyrannic organisms. Further, his tactics and prowess are utterly lethal, honed against some of the most dangerous creatures in known space. In the training halls of their only Gladius Frigate, he is more than a match for any of the Battle Brothers. With remarkable agility, borne of heightened reflexes, ha can dodge strikes that would invariably kill him. Which is no surprise given the foe he continuously seeks to fight.

Ardan, the Scout, is a somewhat cold, focussed and slightly bitter figure. Possibly more serious than is reasonable to some. Yet he remains one of the most accomplished members of the Survivors and an exceptional point man during Hiveship raids and Counter-Insurgent Tyranid hunting.

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Quick Size image :

Image

Painting soon, possibly add some more details, then onto my first Space Marine in Power Armour.

~ Tael.

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Re: [The Scythes] A Collection Revisited.

Post#2 » Apr 10 2009 02:46

ARGH! A Tael post, and I'm the first to reply?! That must mean something horrible is about to happen to me!

Anyways, I really enjoyed the fight scene and the background. I'd be sure that you'd be tired of hearing "awesome conversion", but I know I'd never tire of that. Awesome conversion.
And awaiting the awesome paintjob too.
Wolfie wrote:... is it just a natural talent?

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Re: [The Scythes] A Collection Revisited.

Post#3 » Apr 10 2009 10:15

Thank goodness you've started posting up some new stuff! I was missing your creations enormously.

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Re: [The Scythes] A Collection Revisited.

Post#4 » Apr 10 2009 10:19

Tael, your Scythes have always filled me with great inspiring thoughts, whenever I've seen them. I'm going to watch this thread like a hawk, it's fantastic to hear that you'll be including more miniatures in your army.

Put simply, I love Ardan. It's easy to see the influences from the artwork in your post, and I'm sure these influences will be much easier to pick out when you have this bloke painted. Once again, a fantastic piece.

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Re: [The Scythes] A Collection Revisited.

Post#5 » Apr 10 2009 10:51

Love it.


Ardan means business, and the model you've crafted for him reflects that perfectly! Drill out the bolter please? :)

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Tael
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Re: [The Scythes] A Collection Revisited.

Post#6 » Apr 10 2009 04:14

Image

There is a lot of conjecture about the Fall of Sotha and how many Astartes were able to evacuate to Miral, let alone get out of the Sothan system itself, the fact of the matter is the Scythes have not been seen in number for well over two decades since the Fall. Even less so, a single Scythe warship.

It is known that the Fleet and system monitor squadrons were annihilated. Whatever was left, made it only to Miral and then was hunted down by the following Hivefleets. So it can be understood, sightings of a lone Astartes Frigate, pirate killing and Tyranid hunting along the Eastern Fringe are often considered raving half truths or simply misidentification of other Chapter fleets, rarely sighted as it is.

The strongest record comes from the survivors of the Merchant Squadron that was led through the blockade by the Tenax, the last surviving warship of the line at Sotha. The following extracts were combined from post action debriefings at various port authorities during a later systematic quarantine of surviving ships;

"She slipped in right close (Comment : subject indicates a classic Fire Intervention manoeuvre with hands) took the brunt of that killer mist.. then fired her guns right down the beast's throat.. goaded it to bite the damned ship in half they did! Well.. right before I'm praying to the almighty throne.. those marines up and work the other flank, firing into a roving ship-killer behemoth. That ship.. she was everywhere that day..but not when we cleared into Miral.. no.. she didn't make it I think"
- Felix Gammon, Co-Owner of the Devlan Pinnacle.


"You see, the trick was to put your fire right into the holes on those hiveships.. the spore would barely be ejected and we got them. The marines told us that one.. not to let them get out and about, they're tricky (omission) that way. With seven ships putting fire on target when directed, we pummelled every hiveship from bow to stern. Pretty sure thats the only way we got out (Comment : Speaker makes the Sign of the Throne).. never did see what happened to the Tenax, so vested in saving my own ski.. my crew.."
- Javi Gal'Ruis, Ore Trader - Retired M41.997 Owner of the Eastern Viable


The most curious extract comes from a then, young lieutenant, serving the watch on the Sothan freighter, 'Able Duty'. Forced to captain the vessel on evacuation, he provides a vivid account due to his professional background;

"Initially the Tyranid ignored us, a haphazard grouping of Merchant navy types, barely a dozen cannon between us. I was hailing all channels for cover, as we were heading right down the maw of several Ship-Killers. Next thing the Gladius Class, Tenax moves through our formation, using our shadow.. and rises into the lead, cannon at the fore. That single surprise is what did it. Next thing I'm hearing fire orders from Astartes commander, Zavek, Zavir.. well, the short of it.. we're firing in concert with his salvoes and we applied fire broadside of the carrier ships, cutting the inbound spore launches almost to nil. Left us to navigate through their lines more easily for sure.

Mind you we had to be quick about it, still.. those Astartes, they didn't back down an inch, not once. When we cleared they came about and charged into the pursuing Ship-killers to buy us time. That Frigate was bleeding air like a robes about a priest..(Comment : Speaker pauses in thought, unsure)..yeah, no chance. Look.. this will sound wild, but just as I was thinking at the time, they're done for.. we translate and next it's the rapids of hades own.. the wake of a hivefleet and all. Thing is.. my auguries picked up two warp breaches when we left.. two hey, ours and who else?.. yah, I'm thinking the same.. they translated into the face of those Hiveships. Bold as ever.. but true to the form they showed. Wouldn't be much left of the Ship-Killers if they pulled it off..if not (Comment : Speaker waves a dismissing hand) ..they went out in style."
- Captain Kael De'Marlo, Merchant Marine - Currently assigned Ore Hauler Picket 'PC282' Segmentum Fleet, Gunboat 18.


What ever the final truth, the last ship of the line fought to the end, protecting the remaining civilian evacuees. Whilst some debate could be opened on the possibility of their escape, the cold reality of a warp jump through opposing lines, near a gravity well... does not engender much faith other than in the beginning of yet another rumour.

~ Tael.

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Re: [The Scythes] A Collection Revisited.

Post#7 » Apr 15 2009 01:55

Really excellent stuff.

This is making me want to paint some Scythes!

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Tael
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Re: [The Scythes] A Collection Revisited.

Post#8 » Apr 22 2009 01:18

Righto, digicam ISO having fun this morning..mutter.. I'll grab another camera when I'm done.

Nonetheless.. the current progress in the colourscheme I prefer to paint the Scythes in..;

Image Image
Image Image

You can pick out Ardan's only remaining Scythe emblem, some of his modified Bolt rounds and the 'Big One' MeltaBomb he keeps handy. This with assorted super-krak and super-frag grenades.

Yet to finish some shading, and details. Overall, some of the subtle hues are lost in the images, such as the grey to soft black of the armor and the deeper hue to the yellow armor lines. Hopefully more easily shown by the other camera I need to get for the final shoot.

~ Tael.

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Re: [The Scythes] A Collection Revisited.

Post#9 » Apr 22 2009 06:42

Wow, this is great Tael! I especially like the shoulder pad; for some reason that totally pulls it off! Out of curiostiy, are his thighs green stuffed to be material? Right now it looks like they were painted to look like material but are actually smooth.

Great work though!

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Re: [The Scythes] A Collection Revisited.

Post#10 » Apr 22 2009 08:14

Efblurble hic popfnb....

I'm sorry, I just lost the ability to think in English.

Wow.

Paint can do that? I'm watching this with great interest. If you get any better at painting, I'm going to have to destroy my Tau with a hammer in disgust.
An idle mind walks in dark places

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Re: [The Scythes] A Collection Revisited.

Post#11 » Apr 24 2009 12:08

I agree with you Miraclefish.
Taels skills at model fu are mighty.

It looks fantastic.
Action begets success.

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Tael
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Re: [The Scythes] A Collection Revisited.

Post#12 » Apr 24 2009 08:04

Thanks guys! :D

The pants are painted cloth, but I see what you mean.. I think that mystery line is an ISO artifact from the lighting. I'll have new images soon as I finish the piece.

Also...

Image

The reworked Marine legs, with dual plated greaves, and double plate back plate, and a redone belt line (similar fashion to the way in which the shoulders are treated with new rims)

As you can see, there is a hairline crack on the left calf, and above that two dents, those I will smooth out after the GS is set over night. I have the torso at 75% complete.. so.. I imagine I'll be painting Sunday? Monday?

In saying all this and the recent comparison photo, I realised two things about Ardan (prior to painting). His modelling technique doesn't approach height via the same as the Marine. Ergo, I needed to redo his shin armor for height boosting, and retain a more standard thigh length. I remodelled this, and in a second issue, added the old school Scout belt plate..

ImageImage
Image

This ended up with a more statuesque pose certainly, less energy, but I feel it works when alongside the 'modified' proportions of the new Marine leg pieces.

From a modeller to those just beginning, sometimes.. you just have to accept you went the wrong way, and remodel a piece from the ground up (I pulled Ardan apart to add all the new pieces). I now sit here, more satisfied he resonates the origins of the original scout miniatures than before. Continuing, the black marker line is something I do to align piece back into a pose I like.

In answering others, the boots are 'non-powered', hence the overall lack of armor as the original scouts bore no power gear at all.

And showing the new height difference between Ardan and an upcoming Marine (prior to this rework).

the height differences Scout vs Marine (incomplete)
Image

~ Tael.

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Re: [The Scythes] A Collection Revisited.

Post#13 » Apr 24 2009 08:25

I like the new look! It gives him a very heroic look, which I'm sure you were going for. One thing I noticed about the painting though is the blood on the chainsword. While I'm not a fan of gore, wouldn't it look a bit more realistic for there to be some specs of blood on his body in addition to the chainsword?

I also love the large scale marine. I know many people don't care for it, but I think it makes them look like the epic heroes that they are always portrayed to be.

Great work as always Tael!

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Re: [The Scythes] A Collection Revisited.

Post#14 » Apr 24 2009 08:26

While it's obviously your call here, I would consider leaving the hairline crack and dents in place: these are the Scythes after all, and while I could easily see them being careful with their armor, I'd imagine that they have little in the way of equipment or knowledge to repair ceramite plating. Such dents and cracks, minor as they are, could also help emphasize the Scythes' situation.
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Re: [The Scythes] A Collection Revisited.

Post#15 » Apr 24 2009 08:31

This makes me want to collect Marines and convert them to true scale too. I have to restrain myself :crafty:
I got a question. Is the greenstuff added, then sanded, or not sanded at all? It looks really smooth.

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Tael
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Re: [The Scythes] A Collection Revisited.

Post#16 » Apr 24 2009 08:47

Hi Guys,

Hmmm more gore.. yah, I do agree more would be realisitic.. however at this juncture I just can't bring myself to mess up the paint work ...just yet.. chuckle

Oooh.. valid points on the armor issues.. hmm... argh!?.. I'm such a perfectionist..but good reasons to leave them be (the errors)

As for sanding, someplaces, for edges.. otherwise I've got a good technique down for smoothing my GS, I tend to rely on the heavily.

thanks!
~ Tael.

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Re: [The Scythes] A Collection Revisited.

Post#17 » Apr 24 2009 09:12

As for sanding, someplaces, for edges.. otherwise I've got a good technique down for smoothing my GS, I tend to rely on the heavily.


And what pray tell is that? The bladey plink method (true- I use it!) or the miliputty washy method?

Or even the 'I just imagined it and then it came into being method?' :P

cheers

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Tael
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Re: [The Scythes] A Collection Revisited.

Post#18 » Apr 24 2009 07:52

Well.. I use a dab of olive oil on a kitchen towel, to swipe over with my sculpting tool, then work the GS surface in rings, strokes and point dabs. It's a very situational style and requires a slightly cured GS of about 30mins.

~ Tael.

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