20/06/13 Update - the Lieutenant has had his bicorne resculpted to look more realistic and much less ridiculous... full post here
After a mere year of planning, the Imperial Navy Boarding Party are on the horizon at last. As almost half of my top ten searches are for Imperial Navy related topics, and my most read post of all time is my Imperial Navy Boarding Party planning post, it's definitely time for some proper content. The Navy chaps are intended for Zone Mortalis / Kill Team / Necromunda (rules) games.
Victoria Lamb prompted me into action. After seeing the heads and torsos of the "Tannenburg Fusiliers," I immediately thought the tunics were damn close to the GW concept art and the headgear was essentially a mid 19th-century to modern sailor's peaked cap.Why I didn't think of using Mordians before I don't know, perhaps seeing the separate modular components made something click in my slow, old brain.
These would be ideal for the largely 19th-century vibe I was going for. I'd long given up on using the Titan Crew for all Armsmen, as it'd be damned expensive. I still may get a couple and use them as the advanced boarders in "Void Suits" or some such guff. The rest of the armsmen can carry small repsirator packs/gas masks or something similar.
After placing a rather large order from Victoria Miniatures, I realised that I'd essentially inadvertantly plagiarised Col. Acklands superlative Praetorian Sailors. Hopefully, what I plan to do with mine will make them a little different, and I hope the Colonel doesn't mind too much :/
Anyhoo, first of all, the boarding party needed a commander.I had long thought that the Regimenatl Advisor Model was a little static. I had said im my original post that I had wanted to go for a "Nelson's Navy" approach, and that turn-of-the-century look. After scratching my head for a while I remembered the Kal Jerico miniature - his greatcoat with lapels was spot on. And he head the Judge Dredd shoulder pads that feature in the 40k concept art... With a bicorne, he could look just the part.
So that's what I did. Getting the bicorne the right size would be the tricky part. I decided to cheat slightly and use a Victrix French Officer's bicorne as an armature of sorts. After various bits of ham-fisted sculpting, filing and a slight cutting and filing of the top of poor Jerico's head, I got the bicorne to the right height and sat at roughly the right level on his head. I'm still concerned that it's a little too long though - let me know what you think.
Prior to sculpting the bicorne, I decided to give him a proper Napoleonic style stock/neckerchief, just to make him look slightly less obviously Kal Jerico and slightly more early 19th-century looking. I was rather pleased with how this turned out, the folds in the cloth looked just right. But being impatient, I started trying to get the bicorne sta right before the neckerchief had dried enough and managed to put my bloody thumb right on it at one point. I just about managed to save it, and hopefully it will look pretty dandy with a spot of paint.
I hadn't planned to make any realy changes to the core model, I pinned and glued the components in the standard manner, and removed the extra braids from his hair and gave his goatee a trim - but left the sideburns. To make him less Jerico-esque still, I thought an epaulet would be good. I wasn't originally planning to as he has the "Dredd pads" - but thought epaulet fringes would work. I've created a rank system inspired by the late-18th century Royal Navy (I like the idea of an epaulet on just one shoulder). So as a Second Lieutenant, he has one silver epaulet on his right shoulder. An Acting Lieutenant would have one on the left shoulder, a First Lieutenant has two. Something along those lines anyway, still ironing out the creases.
One thing that I knew at least one model had to have was a telescope. I've gather together various bits for this project, such as an hourglass for the Officer of the Watch (probably a Midshipman), keys for the Sergeant-at-Arms, a Flagellant's "cat-o-nine tails" for the Boatswain's Mate - and I'm planning to get the sextant from one of the old Empire Engineers for the second Midshipman. But the telescope was a given, I believe this one came from an Empire Gun Crew.
So, that's the first Imperial Navy Boarding Party member finished. Second Lieutenant Lefebvre. I was going to waffle on a little more, but I'll save that for tomorrow before I bore you all. But's here's a sneak preview of the Boatswain's Mate and the Sergeant-at-Arms....
The Sergeant-at-Arms (and the Midshipmen) get the Dress tunic, whereas the rest of the Armsmen get the Victorian tunics (nice white webbing reminiscent of 1860s US Marines), and those with shotguns get the armoured torsos (with groin guards...). The Sergeant-at-Arms gets keys (should have been 3 but one went missing...), my original though was he's a Marine, and would hold keys for prison cells - reading the Rogue Trader RPG supplement Battlefleet Koronus, it describes Sergeants-at-Arms carrying keys for the weapons lockers - so it all worked out rather well.
Now, the Boatswain's Mate is legless... (cue Tom Baker in Blackadder II) the green stuff work is a little rough and ready (it was supposed to look ragged though), but hopefully with the paint on it will all look okay. This was inspired by the Marc Lee art below, I believe these are supposed to be Armsmen but I didn't want mine to look like Necromunda Pit Slaves (I've written a bit of fluff to explain both, and uniform variations &c &c). So I thought a couple of senior ratings with bionics would do the trick (I doubt the oiks would get them).
Anyhoo, that's all for now. As well as all of this, it wouldn't be the same without one of my "fluffy arty posts." I've been intending to give a few of my Ratings some suitably nautical tattoos, and thought I would put together a chart of tattoos and their meaning in the 41st millennium, just as real sailor's tattoos had (and have) a particular meaning - a swallow meant that particular cove had travelled 5000 nautical miles, a turtle or Neptune meant they had crossed the equator, or a full-rigged ship meant they had sailed roun Cape Horn.... More to follow soon.