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..
Inspiration (the very images which caused me to begin the Scythes even..)
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.
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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Painting soon, possibly add some more details, then onto my first Space Marine in Power Armour.