Sunday, July 4, 2010
Ride the Lightning: Wargear of Veteran Landes
As I'm coming to a close with my Storm Wardens Project contribution, I thought I'd share a little more fluff concerning Veteran Landes and his wargear. I've had a lot of fun with this fig, which is something I don't usually say, nor do I usually say I'm learning a little bit more about myself as a painter along the way, which is exactly what's going on. To say the team I'm working with are professionals is no exaggeration, I hope the little personality I inject into the model will go a long way to shorten the gap between my contribution and the rest of the army.
Landes and the Techmarines of the Storm Wardens chapter have grown close over the decades. It could have something to do with the fine recipe for Stormhårn he brought with him from his home planet of Sacris, Stormhårn being an extremely potent drink that is inexorably able to have a slight intoxicating effect on the physique of a Space Marine despite their redundant purifying organs. To this end, the Techmarines help maintain Landes' armor and assist with any personal requests he has along the way. It is joked that if Landes ever takes command of his own company he won't need to be gifted with a venerable suit of artificer armor because he'll already be wearing it! He donned his right shoulder pauldron upon his induction into the command squad. This armor plating has ablative reactive layers like most marine armor but has also been crafted with a stylized motif of a lightning storm, reminiscent of his home planet. "Ride the lightning!" is a battlecry most often heard by Landes himself, or by squads that have followed him into battle.
This is the inspiration I used for his shoulder pad, a Jaxville Zeus
Upon induction to the command squads, veteran troopers are given ample freedom to choose their wargear. Landes caused a few raised eyebrows when he took his first chainsword instead of the power fist he had in the assault company. This chainsword, named the Ragnarökkr, was given to Landes when he became the sergeant of his first tactical squad. He took it with him to the assault company, and as sergeant there, he utilized the mighty power fist, but always kept the Ragnarökkr sheathed at his side. It has seen its way through countless battles and even more foes than can be accounted for, which its beaten and pitted surface can attest to. Vowing never to drop his chain-blade in battle, Landes has attached it to his forearm by means of a heavy chain, the very chain he brought with him from the surface of Sacris. It is said this is a length of the chain from his coming-of-age ceremony where his native tribe had tethered him to an adolescent Fen-croc in the pit of a swamp cave where he was forced to battle his way out. His belt pouches are said to be the leather of the same beast.
The induction rate of power distribution is said to be marginally more efficient in the older backpacks that were in use during the transition between the MkVI Corvus armor and the MkVII Aquila armor. Landes has acquired one of these older packs and currently makes use of it. It is slowly being augmented to peak performance by his fellow Techpriests.
"No, I swear it, I had seen it with me own eyes!", the weathered Guardsman of the 577th put down his tankard and took a long look at his fellow soldiers for effect, it was a poor effort, but one not lost on their dulled wits. He continued his tale, "I heard the whine of the giant's plasma pistol piercing the mortar shells, and I knows what was gonna happen next, BLAM! self-destruct0! So I hit the dirt, duck and cover you know. The next thing I seen was he popped the pistol's breach like on one of our hunting rifles back homeworld and the whole core popped out, hissing, steaming, and sounding ready to blow! He caught it with his other hands and threw it like a grenade, it swallowed four of the renegades manning the autocannon nest in plasma flames meltin' 'em down to their boots!" The trooper was met with derision and snide remarks, one fellow even pushed back and went to find conversation elsewhere, but the drunken storyteller wouldn't be deterred.
"He stood there, bullets bouncing off his armor and I lay like an idjit in the mud. The renegades thought he was unarmed and charged him. He reached in his belt pouch and pulled out a magazine for a bolt pistol, like what Commissar Hades carries, flipped his plasma pistol's breach closed, and slammed in the darn mag sticking out the top where the power core used to be. Them renegades had no idea as he tore into them BOOM-BOOM-BOOM!" The trooper emphasized each bolter round with a slam of his tankard, sloshing drink all over the table. "Hot bolter brass rained down, sizzling in the mud all around me, I ain't never seen nothing like it!" The trooper took the rest of his tankard in one gulp, put the now empty vessel on the table, and wiped his mouth with the back of his sleeve. "Then he turned to me, right at me, I'll never forget it 'cause he actually spoke to me and said, 'There's battle to be had boy, out of the mud with you!', as he charged off it started to rain and I swears I heard the crack of thunder as he bellowed, "RIDE THE LIGHTNING!"