When I wrote the history of the world of Morkai, I included a story of how House Fenring—an itinerant Imperial Knight House—arrived on my beloved desert world with an offer to Imperial authorities: The Imperial Knights would end the decade-long chaos in the hive city of Charcharoth in exchange for making General Hugo Fenring ruler of the reconquered city.
Fenring ended the civil unrest in two years and took his place as Elector of the city.
I created House Fenring because I was enamored of the new Imperial Knights that Games Workshop introduced, and I wanted to leave an opening to explore a Knights force at some point. Well, that time has come. I have the bug to try my hand at one of these impressive walkers.
As is so often the case in the Corvus Cluster, this new project is a matter of happenstance. I was given a squad of Tallarn soldiers by the Gaffer, and then I came across another batch of Tallarn at a hobby convention’s flea market. Originally, I bought them to serve as nomads and desert tribesmen for some small skirmish games set on Morkai.
But, as I thought about it—and I began to drool over the release of Taurox vehicles—an idea came to mind: The Imperial Knights of House Fenring will need an infantry force to screen their advance, and as their soldiers would be drawn from a desert environment, the Tallarn’s desert garb fits the bill.
So I’ve come up with a plan. I’m hoping to acquire a Knight for Christmas. In anticipation, I’m painting up my Tallarn, and I plan to purchase a few Taurox transports to create an all-mechanized infantry force to rush forward and keep the riffraff (orks, Tau, etc.) from getting underfoot of my Knights. (I certainly don’t want any enemy meltas getting close.)
To expand upon this theme, I’m also going to add some Adeptus Mechanicus troops to my force. My thinking is that House Fenring has allied with the forge world of Helios, whose Tech Priests maintain the Imperial Knights and provide some back-up troops.
To show that these Tech Priests have “gone native,” I’ll introduce elements of desert garb to these figures, as well.
So, my initial plan:
- One Knight (likely a Knight Crusader)
- Two squads of Tallarn (each mounted in Taurox)
- A heavy weapons squad (mounted in a Taurox, although I have a host of weapons— lascannon, heavy bolters, and auto cannons—as options)
- Command squad (again in a Taurox or maybe a Chimera as the commander will be able to issue orders from within)
- Sydonian Dragoons x 2
- Ironstrider Ballistarii (because I have a box on my shelf)
- An artillery piece (treat as a Basilisk but with a uniquely World War I look)
My goal is to make this force look unique—and very much a product of a desert world. For example, I’ll convert the pilot and warrior on my dragoons to resemble Tallarn, with turbans and robes. I’ll also add some minor details, such as desert camouflage netting, to my Tauroxes.
My artillery piece will likely be a Forge World Earth Shaker Cannon with a converted Goliath chassis as the towing vehicle. I’ll use Ogryns with turbans as loaders, and to reflect the normal armor of a Basilisk, I’ll create two gun shields that can be deployed around the crew (perhaps with a camouflage netting above them).
There won’t be much rust—but lots of scratches and dust. A desert environment is rough on machinery, so I want to show the wear and tear, such as chipped paint caused by sandstorms. I suspect a sponge, along with some texture paint, will be used as a new technique.
Finally, I intend to go crazy on flags. Every vehicle will sport two (banner of House Fenring and a unit flag). I will rationalize this as a cultural phenomenon—but also a practical decision: sandstorms can play havoc with vox communications, so the flags provide at least some hope of allowing commanders to track their troops on the battlefield.
I realize that mixing Knights, Skitarii, and Imperial guard in the same army isn’t exactly kosher. But it’ll be great for informal battles.
And I can always use the “treat as” option: If I treat my Tallarn as Skitarii (and perhaps add a few Skitarii features to them), I can use this force as a Knights-allied-to-Skitarii (might have to ditch the Tauroxes). Or I can treat the Dragoons as Sentinels and treat the force as all Imperial Guard.
But that’s hardly the point, is it? After two years of “assembly line” painting, I’d like to take the time to model and paint something unique. And my House Fenring force is what’s captured my imagination right now.
Let’s see what happens.
To see more of the fantastic 40K art of Arkurion, click here to visit his DeviantArt.com website.
The Corvus Cluster is a hobby blog documenting our wargaming adventures in the Warhammer 40K universe of Games Workshop.