In Warhammer 40.000, Thousand Sons were formerly known as the XVth space marine legion (one of about 20), loyal to the Emperor of Mankind, ruler of the vast intergalactic empire, colonizing or destroying everything in its path. However, as a result of the events of the Horus Heresy, a very epic and convoluted storyline that I know only superficially, they became a “traitor legion” and changed their allegiance to Tzeentch, a chaos god of time, constant change, knowledge, and also of lies, manipulations, and madness. Even in their loyalist times, Thousand Sons had a strong affinity to magic as their legion trait. As followers of Tzeentch, they turned outright into a brotherhood of sorcerers that eats, sleeps, and breathes the occult.
These Games Workshop miniatures are the rubric marines, regular troops of the Thousand Sons. I bought them as a part of two “Start Collecting: Thousand Sons” boxes – an easy (and, sadly, already discontinued) way of getting into this hobby for a bargain price. The reason for choosing them was purely aesthetic (I don’t play Warhammer at all), their line of miniatures is quite new and very nicely done with a lot of slight variations and extra parts, and I also like the blue-yellow-gold color combination of their legion.
In the two boxes, there were 20 rubric marines. So far, I managed to paint the first five, the remaining 15 are assembled and will be painted again in batches of five. By the way, yes, the miniatures are injected plastic, come on sprues, and have to be assembled/posed from like 12 parts each, mold lines cleaned, etc. I am saying this because to some of my scale modeling friends this came as a surprise, for some reason they expected one-piece pewter casts or something. 😉
I used Vallejo Model Color for all the normal colors and Citadel for all the metallics. The armor blue is Light Turquoise with Sky Blue highlights, the dark areas are Dark Sea Blue, the cloth parts are Sky Blue/Deep Sky Blue/Andrea Blue, red is Vermillion, and green is Yellow Green.
I airbrushed everything blue before painting the golden details. Next time, I will definitely do it just the way around, because hand painting the gold was so difficult (the metallic paints just don’t offer the flow and control of the normal paints) that I had to retouch pretty much everything with blue again, anyway, so it took almost twice the time it probably should.
I didn’t do any special detailing or highlighting, thing is, I really want to paint a whole army and keep the quality on more or less the same level, so I only do stuff I know I probably won’t mind repeating about 20 times or more. Anyway, it’s not that like I could make them look that much better even if I wanted to make a single miniature into a display piece. I am an airplane modeler first and a miniature painter far behind second. 😉
However, I put at least some effort into some sort of an “eyecatcher” on each miniature, like the glowing runes on the weapons. I also drilled out all the barrels.
The bases are very plain (some sandbox sand painted with dark grey and washed with black) because I think the miniatures are really visually busy enough. The lifeless terrain basically embodies the legion motto “All is Dust”. 🙂
Now, let’s introduce the individual pieces a bit:
This guy holds a warpflamer, a weapon spewing deadly mutagenic magical warpflame. Note the bird-like gun muzzle – the avian aesthetic is a trademark of Tzeentch. And eyes. Birds and eyes everywhere.
This is a standard bearer, holding a basic Inferno boltgun and a burning Icon of Flame on his backpack. The feathered snake eating its tail is one of the symbols of Thousand Sons. The head is taken from a Scarab Occult Terminator kit (another Thousand Sons unit), as the standard rubric marine headpiece would obscure half of the icon behind.
A heavy support guy with a Soulreaper autocannon and Tzeentchy birdy details all over the place. The whirly golden swoosh on the gun side is also a symbol of Tzeentch.
This is the most regular guy, with an Inferno bolter and pretty much nothing else worth mentioning.
And finally, the Aspiring Sorcerer, a leader of each rubric marine squad, holding an Inferno bolt pistol and a force stave with the arrow-pointed star, the symbol of Chaos.
According to the lore, the sorcerers are the only sentient members of the Thousand Sons, all the regular soldiers were turned into dust by a powerful spell gone wrong. The dust is sealed inside the armor suits that are animated like mindless undead drones controlled by the sorcerers (hence the legion motto mentioned above).
Therefore, I made parts of the sorcerer’s armor red (as a reminiscence of former, loyalist Thousand Sons red-white legion colors), so he is different at first glance from the rest of the squad.
And that is all for now. I already have another five guys on my bench, standing on their bases, I just need to clean off the mold lines a bit to make them ready for painting.
I pray to Tzeentch, the god of time, that finishing them takes less than a whole year like with the first squad. 😀
Any comments or criticism are welcome as always.