The Four Strands Modeling, Painting, Gaming and Storytelling

5Jan/140

On My Plate: 1/5/14

I have so many projects that I'm working on that I can't really decide which to do, so hopefully laying them all out will let e get perspective.

-Battlefleet Gothic Necrons: Must come up with a paint scheme and paint.  I'm thinking Gold with green power pathways that have "pulses" of energy in a lighter green.

-Battlefleet Gothic Tau Kor'Or'Vesh: Another scheme and paint.  Perhaps Farsight Enclave?  Maroon and grey look good together.

-Azure Flames Grav Project: I have four tactical marines and two magnetic biker arms to complete.  After that, ten Sternguard veterans with Combi-Gravs.  Yes, ten.  Suck it superheavies and giant monstrous creatures.

-Blood Bowl: The Grimfang Scrappaz coach is partially done, as are assistant coaches.  I need to do a few cheerleaders and then paint them all.  I also need to do an Apothecary and Bloodweiser Babes...

-Epic: Finish painting Azure Flames, finish painting Ork 3000 point teaching list, finish Lost and the Damned Chaos Altar conversions, build and paint Eldar, and find two of the new version of the Revenant Titan for the Eldar.  Last ones on ebay went for $150 for the pair.

-Necromunda: Hired Guns are a priority if there's going to be a campaign at AFK, and I also have Razor and the Scumettes to paint...

-Saratogan 58th: Still need a viable 1500 point list and/or allied detachment to take with the Azure Flames.  Note sure what I want.

-WAAAAGH! Smartyskull: Still need to paint half the stuff and find ways to improve the case situation, some stuff is getting dinged.

-Fantasy and Warmachine: On hold

Based on the above, I think I'm going to work on the Flames.  They are my main army, and grav weapons are FUN.

1Mar/110

The Martyr Lady Kylen, savior of Saratoga.

Governor Soole of Saratoga fell afoul of the dark powers of Chaos in 326M37. Keeping the secret with his trusted lieutennants, he spread the corruption slowly. His wife, the lady Kylen, was a vision of loveliness, and an idol to the people. When she discovered her husband's heresy, she refused to join him. He had her imprisoned within the Governor's estate. Lady Kylen escaped through an air duct, and snuck around the estate, listening in on her husband's plans. When the time was right, she snuck out, killed two guards, and forced her way into Governor Soole's broadcast studio during one of his addresses. She exposed his heresy on live electronic broadcast to the entire planet, and beheaded him on the spot. She then said the words which are still etched into the mind of every Saratogan recruit today:

"Fear not the powers of the archenemy, for if your faith is strong, you can overcome them. Rise up, for the Emperor, and take back your world from those who would corrupt it. Look into your hearts and find the strength to win back your freedom. I believe in you..."

Her crude barricade on the door failed, and at that instant, she was cut down in a hail of las-fire in full view of everyone on the planet. Riots ensued, supported by the local Arbites in places. Thus began the resistance. Women took up arms alongside men, and fought the PDF forces loyal to the former governor. Pendants that played an audio recording of Lady Kylen's last words became popular. Men and Women torn by the grief of war found comfort in those four words "I believe in you", giving them the strength and faith to purge the Chaos taint. by 351M37, on the very anniversary of Lady Kylen's martyrdom, the last pockets of Chaos on the planet were eradicated. Thanks to the words of one woman, a planet wrested free of the corruption of the Dark Gods and once again turned to the Emperor's light.

17Feb/110

The origins of the Saratogan 58th

Saratoga is an unassuming little world in the galactic southwest of the Segmentum Ultima, between Valedor and Boras Minor. Discovered around the Age of Apostasy, Saratoga was founded, and soon developed a planet-spanning industrial infrastructure.

Saratoga was initially a patriarichal society, like most Imperial worlds. This changed when the planetary governor fell under the influence of Chaos and attempted to secede. Rebel citizens loyal to the Emperor took up arms, and through a long and bloody civil war, expelled the heretics. Most of the armed forces were made up of men at the time, so the rebellion had to draw upon women for support.

Since then, women have been proud to serve in the Saratogan armed forces. Whenever an Imperial Guard regiment is mustered, it is an integrated fighting force of men and women. Women traditionally make up 35-55% of Saratogan forces. Saratoga does not have abundant resources, and so often only has one to three regiments active in service at a time. These regiments are used until worn through, and then either reinforced from new Saratogan recruits, or disbanded. Rarely, a regiment is wiped out. Whenver a regiment is disbanded or destroyed, it's number is retired, and a memorial is built on Saratoga.

Currently, the only active regiment from Saratoga is the 58th. Nicknamed the "Wild Cards" from their adaptability and fighting prowess, they have been in service for approximatley 95 years. Reinforced from Saratoga regularly, they maintain almost constant combat activity, punctuated by short periods of rest and re-training.

The "Wild Cards" have seen action in the Segmentums Solar, Ultima, and Tempestus, most notably during their actions on Julius during the Chasma Spica incident. Currently under the command of Tyrus Cassius McQueen, whose fiery temper and refusal to leave behind trapped Saratogan units has earned him the nickname "The Angriest Angel." McQueen's signature black beret and his height make him an imposing and inspiring figure.

Because of Saratoga's constant supplies of soldiers, planetary population is nowhere near where it could be. To supplement this, Saratoga grows clones in glass artificial wombs. The clones, called "tanks" after the tanks they grow in, are born fully grown, and after about five years of training are ready to fight or enter society. "Tanks can be identified by a small protrusion at the back of the neck, leading "tanks" to be referred to as "nipple-necks." Most "tanks" choose to serve in the Guard, as they are indoctrinated for loyalty during their "education." Guard recruitment rates among "tanks" were at 90% before T.C. McQueen took command of the 58th. A "tank" himself, his inspiring loyalty and tales of heroism has boosted "tank" recruitment to 97%. This has left the civillian population free to expand, and as of c999m41, a new founding of a Saratogan regiment is expected to happen within the next 50 years.

DISCLAIMER: The above fluff was inspired by the television show Space: Above and Beyond by 20th Century Fox Television and Hard Eight Pictures.  No copyright infringement was intended and indeed this is meant as a tribute.  Games Workshop is unaffiliated with either of the above entities, but it would be cool if they were.

30Jan/111

The Saratogan 58th, an army inspired by feminism.

So before the Big Game 5, Lexington (of aurorachapter.com) went to a con (I forget which one) and came back with pictures and stories.  Lexington, myself, and our friend Lia were sitting around the living room in Lia's house.  Lexington lived in her house at the time.

Lexington tells us a story that he saw a Guard army made of female models.  They were apparently all shock pink.  The Ogryn had Marge Simpson beehive hairdos.  They also apparently had other "girly" things like hearts and bunnies everywhere.  The army was made by a guy.  I thought that was cool from a conversion standpoint, because it would be really hard to do.

Lia disagreed.  She explained that making a "girl" armed force all pink and frilly is saying that women serving in an armed force is silly.  She said it was a joke, and the punchline is that women can't serve in the military.  She was right, that's exactly what that army said under the surface.  Later on that day, I tried to imagine: "What would a Guard army that WASN'T sexist look like?

The next thing that popped into my head was the motto of the Saratogan 58th: "If you can hold a lasrifle, you can die for the Emperor."

It would be an integrated force, even more so than the United States army today.  Women and men would fight side-by-side.  Now, how to do this?  There are no female models made by GW, except those that are either not human or ass-ugly.  Here's how I did it.

First, I found female faces from Privateer and Reaper minis that were not hell of ugly.  I cut off these mini's heads and filed the head down until it fit in the empty Cadian helmet.

Then I took five female Eldar Guardian torsos, and modified them to look Cadian.

I moulded these objects and made resin copies.  I then used Green Stuff to fill in bubbles.  I used normal Cadian arms and legs, but slightly filed to fit the new waist.  About 50% of the models in the army will be female, for an integrated fighting force.  The color scheme (seen on the painted model) is very ordinary.  Female soldiers don't wear pink.  They wear standard Cadian drab green.

The backstory will be posted later.  It is based on the 90's science fiction show Space: Above and Beyond that apparently only I liked.  Notice that on the painted mini (my Ursakar Creed stand in) that there are custom decals.  These were expensive but WORTH IT.