Building my Bishkek 2nd has steered me most actively into the vehicles. Which is ironic, since it has always been my greatest weakness. Having overcome my anxiety about building and painting tanks and other support stuff, I now realize my Bishkek lacks it most important asset: troops.
I have been procrastinating building squads because I don't know what to do with them. Kitbashing a vehicle is not too hard, but building 20 or 30 guardsmen in a creative and iconic way is a monumental task. And I haven't had any inspiration. Until now.
I realized that my Bishkek 2nd lacks a context. Everything I have done so far has been done for the sake of modeling and modeling alone. With sprues and sprues of soldiers looking at me, modeling itself is not enough anymore. So I have been thinking a bit about FLUFF. O.M.G., an old guy like me reinventing a NEW world where VALIANT but CONFLICTED soldiers fight a DESPARATE war without knowing WHY, fighting the LOCAL population which has staged an aggressive INSURGENCY. Sounds familiar right?
Well, I have to get my ideas from somehwere. So here is what I have, which will be enough to start working on some squads.
The back story
The World that the Emperor wants for himself is called KARTVELIAN. On this desert planet Imperial geologists expect to extract a good amount of NA-DENE, which can be used as a cheap fuel alternative to oil and prometheum.
The locals, the ALTAIC, which are human, not alien, aren't too stoked about the dropships coming down from the heavens and against ALL expectations, aren't throwing carnations at the Guard but stones and worse, BOMBS. Their tactics are crash and burn, attack and retreat without the use of long term military planning. Using the desert as a blanket to hide under when needed, they bring the regimental advance to a standstill. After 50 years of back-and forth struggles, the regional commander of the 7th Fleet, Lord Mauritius Karabach, inserts the BISHKEK 2nd, a veteran Guard company with expert skills in desert warfare. This regiment just returned from the major offensive in the Kalmyk Zone (yes, that one!) and has landed on Kartvelian with a group of new recruits from the Kalmyk.
Now the Modeling
OK, follow that? Now in the different squads and companies I will set up 10 guys and girls at a time, modeling it loosely on Gaunts Ghosts. So adding some character to each of the models, gives my inspiration to play with them. like the flamer guy will be this big burly dude, so green stuff on that one etc etc.
My first post in this new story line will be the Leman Russ Kartvelian Variant, which has NOT yet been blessed by the Adeptus Mechanicus, who are extremely bureaucratic in their approval process. The troops on the ground didn't wait: the Russ is designed as a troop killer upclose. It has a modified front gunners cupola which allows for wider firing arc and better visibility.
It also boasts a back entrance, which was possible by redesigning a smaller engine. I have finished building this model and will share all of it in a next post.
The Logo Contest
On the logo, my ideas seem easier than my Photoshop skills can realize. If there is anyone who can improve this design or come up with a better one, leave a comment and tell me if you want to do it. You can email the logo to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will post all the entries in a couple of weeks (let's make the deadline Feb 1st)and let the readers choose the best one! The winner will get a FREE set of 5 25 mm resin bases PLUS one Imperial Guard Vehicle, either a Leman Russ or a Chimera, from our huge collection, unpainted. I would love this to be a tight, hi res image in JPG. i don't have the pagemaker skills to make this look professional. It would help a lot to get some experts involved. When it's done I want to make decals.
This is all for the fun of it, we at Santa Cruz Warhammer are certainly having a blast with all this!