First Captain Iberio, Crimson FistsGames Workshop Captain Lysander conversion, completed June 2006
Like many other hobbyists in the heady days of Rogue Trader, the Crimson Fists were the first Astartes I ever saw, featured as they were on the cover of the first-ever Warhammer 40,000 book. As it happens, they were also the first 40K miniatures I ever played a game with. Bruce Woods - founder of our local game group, maker of terrain, painter of minis, and one of the first and best Outriders to ever wave GW's banner - had painted all the necessary figures to play the now-ancient Battle At The Farm scenario from the back of the rulebook (if you're feeling nostalgic, GW has reprised that scenario into the more current Rynn's World Campaign). Truly, Bruce deserves much of the credit/blame for my being where I am in the hobby today.
Having painted lots of Crimson Fists over the years ("lots" being relative), it would take a fairly compelling idea to bring me back to this chapter amid the dozens and dozens of other items on my "possible projects" list. Enter Jes Goodwin's Captain Lysander model. This is one of the constantly-growing list of miniatures I wanted to paint the minute I saw it. But I'm easily distracted, so like many projects before it, this one started months and months before being finished. I estimate the project started in the spring of 2005 and while I made appreciable progress, the good captain didn't quite make the cut to be completed for that year's Games Day. Nevertheless, I'd made enough progress that it was practically a given that I'd [be able to] finish it for 2006.
If your army's emblem is a gauntlet and your armory includes oversized, super-powered versions of that emblem, I can't imagine any right-minded officer not carrying one with which to smite his foes. But somehow the stock model didn't have one, so I added it. I re-sculpted the "fingers" because pointing at what you want to die is every bit as important as shouting and standing on the bodies of the slain in the miniature-painting hobby world. The attached storm bolter was lifted from a dreadnought kit and cut down slightly to fit here. I made the ammo feed from putty and plasticard as I have a hard time seeing someone wearing armor as bulky as this magazines to reload. A belt feed to a nice, fat box of ammo seemed much more reasonable to me.
The skeletal hand reliquary on his carapace was inspired by the very old novel Space Marine by Ian Watson wherein the Imperial Fists would scrimshaw the hand bones of their fallen brethren as a meditative honor to said brethren. The novel also features loyalist and chaos squats, tyranids with a zoat emissary, brain-eating (by non-zombies), celebratory bum-branding (also by non-zombies), and a masochistic little excruciator called the "pain glove". Make of that what you will.
The paint job is pretty standard fare, but is noteworthy to me because this is likely my first attempt at painted weathering, as well as a sort of transitional phase in the way I paint metallics. The GW Scorched Brown I used to shade the cape carried onto the base, onto the hem of the cloak, and over his boots and greaves. Eventually I'd added a thin wash of Scorched Brown to the entire model; sort of stumbling upon an element of unifying color harmony that I would put to greater use in future projects.
Perhaps my favorite thing about the model is barely visible: I added an embossed, backwards "CF" on the face of the hammer. The letters are backwards so that when he hits something with the weapon it leaves a properly oriented "CF" on whatever shattered ruin is left of the target - unlike the hammer on this less farsighted Empire captain. You can see in the fourth photo where I stamped the hammer into some putty on the base to see if it would actually work, which it does. I considered posing the arm to make the face of the hammer more visible, but the line of the hammer and edge of the cloak compliment each other so nicely in this pose that I couldn't seem to justify the change.
Overall this was an enjoyable and nostalgic project and I'm quite pleased with the final result; more so because of this model. I can't honestly claim to have inspired or influenced the official Juan Diaz version of Chapter Master Pedro Kantor (or that Empire hammer), but the similarities do foster a certain sense of pride that my Crimson Fists captain is right on the mark, stylistically.