Imperial Beastmen as Penal Legion – Painted!

Way back in 2009 I started working on a unit of beastmen for my Imperial Guard army (that I didn’t have at the time). In fact, it was my 8th blog post ever on this blog (and apparently they made it to my 10th blog post as well). And now, a scant three years later, I actually got around to painting these guys!

Three years might sound like a long time to some, but I have two responses to such critiques:

  1. Technically I started them in October of 2009 and now it’s April of 2012, so that’s really only 2 years and 5 months.
  2. I’m slow.

So, neither of those really justifies anything, but I’m just glad to see some old projects finally coming to fruition. Perhaps this means I do have some ambition—if only delayed by several years. Take that, high school guidance counselor!

Feel free to click on the links for larger pics.

I’ve been looking at these guys for a few weeks now, trying to work up the gumption to paint again, and I finally jumped on that (really slow) bandwagon. From start to finish, these guys took the better part of three weeks. Of course, not all of that was spent painting—in fact, very little of it was. Most of it was spent avoiding painting either by watching TV, agonizing about what color to paint a specific piece of them, etc. Ultimately, I finally bit the bullet and just started throwing color on them.

I’ll be the first admit that I don’t think the color scheme is very classic. Most of the time you see beastmen, they’re clad in various shades of brown/grey, with very little color. My goal here was to make them look to be a part of my Imperial Guard force (hence the heavy inclusion of Blue/Red/Yellow), which itself is a scheme intended to tie in to my Ultramarines army (something I’m realizing I have very few blog posts about).

Aside from more of the same color schemes, I actually enjoyed painting these guys. It was mostly an effort in painting large areas of skin relatively quickly, and I’m pleased with the overall outcome. I tried duplicating schemes from Stahly, but of his listed paints:

  • P3 Beast Hide
  • P3 Hammerfall Khaki
  • P3 Jack Bone
  • GW Ogryn Flesh
  • GW Calthan Brown
  • GW Bootstrap Leather
  • Bleached Bone
  • …and tons of other paints

I only own one of those (bleached bone), and that’s only to used as a mix to touch up the primer! I tried my best given the resources I had at hand, and I’m pleased with the overall outcome (except for the one thrusting his knife in the air—I don’t like that heavy black basecoat).

The part that bothers me most is the horns/hooves. I had these almost finished for a couple of days, and I was just procrastinating on painting those parts. I wanted to go with a nice effect, but since I’d varied the skin tones so much, I wanted to make each set of horns look slightly different. I was also tired of painting them by this time, and I think it shows in the final product. I wasn’t waiting for one coat to dry before sloshing ink atop of it. While they don’t look horrendous, it’s certainly not my best work.

They’ll do fine for table-top quality in an IG force though.

My intent is to use them as Penal Legion troopers. Though I really like the idea of painting penal legions in orange jump suits, but I also wanted to bring in some old school 40k flair. I guess I could’ve done the same by integrating Human Bombs into the mix, but that wouldn’t really have an in-game purpose. I recognize that GW likes to radically change their codicies over the editions, so Penal Legion may again be phased out in 6th edition, but these guys are general enough that they could be subbed in as veterans, or even standard troops.

One thing I haven’t quite figured out is which of these guys is supposed to be the squad leader. I’m torn between the white one and the one with the Space Marine chest. What do you think?

If you’d like a parts breakdown of what all went into these guys, you can find that in my original post.

Thanks, as always, for dropping by….

11 comments on “Imperial Beastmen as Penal Legion – Painted!

  1. These are awesome! Great job all around on these guys. The one in the center of the last shot would be my choice for leader, that white one.

    Depending on what happens with the new CSM codex I may be doing a conversion like this myself, IE: Cultists if Lesser Daemons do go away, and I’m glad to see it works out well.

      • I don’t think I’ve ever played the recent chaos marine codex. I used to love the previous edition, but this one was pretty lack-luster (I think the killing blow to me was the generic lesser/greater demons. Beastmen would be a good fit, as would skeletons or zombies, or heck, most any other model.

        I must admit I was a little excited at the rumor that cultists might be included in the next edition of the codex though. My favorite army of all time has to be Genestealer cult, followed closely by Chaos cult. I’ve just got a hankering for little disposable units backed by big guns and nasty monsters. Let’s hope those rumors are true.

    • Thanks. I agree with you on the white one being the leader. When I originally modeled them, I was intending on the chestplate filling that role, but once I painted that big one white, he took over. Although, when I painted the chestplate, the yellow aquila stood out and I was conflicted. I almost wish I’d have painted him white instead.

      • It’s definitely lack-luster compared to what it once was and especially stacked against the new codices. I got into them for the hobby side of things and knew they’d eventually get a new codex.

        I think Cultists would be great. I never played them prior so I have no fond memories of them but, as you said, cheap fodder would be handy.

      • In the days of 2nd, 3rd, & even into 4th edition (Eye of Terror was 4th, no?), I think that mass units of fodder were crazy powerful (for various reasons). In some rulesets, you had to shoot at the closest target, in others, you could use them as a screen because shooting through friendly models didn’t cause the target to get a cover save, and in more general terms, large blocks of models get alot of shots/attacks, and generally do some damage–or at least are able to tie up your opponents.

        I’ve still got a load of those classic cultist models that are dying to be used again. In fact, I just lost an ebay auction on a bunch more:

        That made me a sad panda.

  2. They do look awesome. I would prefer to use the breastplate one as leader – as you intended – as it fits the original models and background. But I agree that the white one looks more leader-like. Partly because of the colour, and partly the weapons he’s equipped with.

    Obviously you’ll have to model up a second squad, and either have these guys lead the two squads, or have the second squad nearly all white beastmen (so that the only white one you have now doesn’t stand out so much) and model the white squad leader with a breastplate as well. He he he.

    Add my vote for a return of chaos cults and genestealer cults too!

    • Though I believe I’d originally purchased enough bits for two beastmen squads, I don’t see modelling up another one anytime soon (heck, it too me more than two years to finish this one!). Besides, I still have to work on Adeptus Arbites, Squats, & Karskin to be used as my vets and my Adeptus Mechanicus to be used as the psyker battle squad. And I haven’t even begun on the tanks…

      Imperial Guard seem alot like work…

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