Monday, 28 September 2009

Branches of the Ground Forces of Praetoria

The Regiments of Foot
The bulk of the Praetorian military is made up of regiments of line infantry, the average fighting men of Praetoria. Each Regiment has it’s own history and traditions many of which span back over centuries and even millennia, however with some notable exceptions they are organised very similarly. The majority consist of two identical battalions and a regimental command staff under a Colonel, each battalion has it’s own command staff under a Major and eight identical lettered companies A-to-H which on paper will consist of 110 officers and men.

The Life Guards
The Life Guards are the elite heavy infantry of Praetoria, trained to a higher standard then the regular trooper and better equipped with ornate carapace armour and plentiful support weaponry. Each of the principle hives in theory maintains a single regiment, though the actual size of these regiments varies immensely from only a few hundred, to several thousand men. They perform ceremonial duties, act as guards for the upper levels of the hives but are also potent combat troops with companies often being attached either to specific individuals or commanders as well as other formations.

The Cavalry Corps
The Cavalry Corps is perhaps the most prestigious branch of the Praetorian military, and probably the only branch where any reasonable hope of commission as an officer still requires both noble birth and wealth, blue blood runs strongly here still. Many of the Regiments within the Corps are organised along the same lines, three Squadrons each of three Troops of horsemen. Most, regardless of title are armed with the Hunting Lance first and foremost as a devastating weapon of there, primary role as shock assault troops. There are a wide variety of different uniforms and many different customs and traditions, for few Praetorian regiments of can claim to have annals that go as far back those of many of the Cavalry regiments.

The Armoured Cavalry Corps
The Armoured Cavalry Corps maintains the ethos and traditions of the Cavalry Corps, even if rather then flesh their steeds are of adamantium. The majority of Armoured Cavalry Regiments consist of a Command Squadron that contains the majority of the regiments support vehicles and three Squadrons each of three Troops of tanks, often mostly of the Conqueror Pattern. Unlike many tank formations in the Imperium many Praetorian regiments favour this vehicle over other patterns of the venerable Leman Russ design, as what it lacks in robustness it makes up in speed, an excellent cavalry tank.

The Super Heavy Armoured Corps
The Super Heavy Armoured Corps is responsible for the largest armoured vehicles in the Praetorian arsenal. This of course includes the likes of well-known vehicles like the Baneblade and Shadowsword, but more commonly includes the likes of the Malcador, heavy and often ancient tank designs that have long ceased to see regular service on other worlds of the Imperium. Vehicles from the Super heavy Armoured Corps are attached to other formations as and when required, though seldom serving together in anything larger then Troop sized formations.

The Artillery Corps
Batteries from the Artillery Corps provide and crew many of the heavy infantry support weapons such as Gatling Bolters and Lascannon, field guns such as the Thudd Guns and Heavy Mortars and even some light anti-aircraft weapons to infantry formations. In the case of infantry support weapons especially it is quite common for attachments to individual infantry regiments, battalions and even companies to become effectively permanent especially when on campaign.

The Heavy Artillery Corps
The Heavy Artillery Corps is responsible for the majority of Praetoria’s larger artillery pieces, both mechanised and towed. This includes vehicles such as the Griffon Mortar, Hydra Flak Tank, Basilisk’s and Medusa’s and towed artillery such as the Earthshaker Cannon. Typically several batteries from the same company or regiment will serve together attached to a larger formation, though it is not uncommon for individual batteries to be attached to smaller formations on an almost permanent basis.

The Siege Artillery Corps
The Siege Artillery Corps crews and maintains the largest artillery pieces in Praetoria’s military arsenal as well as the most specialist, most commonly this includes the likes of the Manticore, Colossus and Bombard, however alongside these more common pieces are venerable Super Heavy Artillery pieces and even the rare Deathstrike Missile Launcher. Elements from the Siege Artillery Corps are seldom deployed in larger then Battery sized formations, and often on a temporary attachment as many of their weapons and vehicles are of a specialised nature and are often in high demand.

The Corps of Engineers
The Corps of Engineers is probably the smallest combat branch of the Praetorian military, by the common soldier at least they are also probably the most respected. Whether that is by the infantryman sheltering in freshly built bunker, the tanker hurtling through a cleared mine field, artillery man laying his gun from a prepared position or cavalryman watering his horse with fresh clean water, all owe their thanks to the Corps of Engineers. Engineer Companies are attached to every formation large and small both at the leading edge of an assault armed and on the rear echelons of the lines.

The Wall Artillery Corps
The Wall Artillery Corps maintains and mans the defences of Praetoria’s Hive cities; this includes a wide variety of weaponry from light mortars, to anti-aircraft mounts, large caliber earthshaker batteries and even macro cannon and defence lasers. Some larger hives even maintain dedicated defensive infantry regiments as part of the Wall Artillery Corps.

Those who serve in the Wall Artillery are the only fighting men of Praetoria who by the traditions of the world are never called upon to muster for service in the Imperial Guard. This has lead too many within the rest of the Praetorian military to regard them as second rate soldiers, or worse, and is a source of much inter-unit rivalry.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Commission - WFB Dragon Repair (Part 1)

The Brief -

A plastic WFB Dragon which was knocked off and had it's wing snapped at the join with the body, a hasty repair involving lots of plastic glue was made. My task is too clean up the damage caused by excess glue, and repair the wing in such a way that it can be removed for transport.

The Commission -

My first step was to remove the wing, this proved qutie a bit easier then I'd expected given the amount of glue used, I suspect though it's probably a case that while lots was applied to the joint itself much of it simply seeped out from it when pressure was applied.

The next stage was to clean up the model removing as much gunked plastic as I could, a pin job followed. Intact the original wing had a single large joint, however I opted for two smaller pins fixed at about a 45degree angle.

With these in place I broke out the greenstuff, firstly I rebuilt the structure of the body in such a way to form a tight fit for the wing so that it was both a sturdy fit and could be painted to look good despite being an organic looking detachable part. I've now started to detail this with scales mirroring that on the undamaged side of the model.

Commission - Vostroyan Nork Deddog (Part 1)

The Brief -

The customer has asked for a Vostoryan themed counts as Nork Deddog model, based roughly on his concept drawing.

The Commission -

Another day another Ogryn, in my second update for the day I've begun work on this commission which promisses to be rather fun! After some discussion with the customer I've begun basic work on the conversion, initially I prepared the Ogre Bull base model, roughly tidying the models where the extra layers would be sculpted.

I've since begun scultping proper by adding the lower portion of the tunic, this ends roughly at the waist where the belt will be added, however the next main portion will be the chainmail shirt, this will probably be the hardest part of the whole piece largely due to the amount of it.

Commission - Praetorian Ogryn Squad (Part 10)

It's been a busy couple of days with various projects underway, a little fustratingly none of them for my GT list, still that'll be mostly what I'll work on next week!

First update of the day is ongoing work on the Praetorian Ogryns.

At the moment I'm still churning out the gun barrels, I've almost got the first five finished now so I can move onto the rest of the guns, though I'm gonna try an do all ten at the same time.

In the meantime I've been working on Ogryns six, seven and eight (for nine and ten I need the completed guns first before I can resume working on them).

Number six is another vested Ogryn, his trousers are more or less complete and I'm just working on the vest now, both front and back are done leaving the straps over his shoulders.

Number seven is the closed jacketed Ogryn, he'll also be a 'Corporal' and so built appropriately to be a second Bonehead if the customer wants to have two squads of five Ogryns rather then one big squad of ten. He's still quite raw at the moment, thoguh the trousers are dne the lower jacket especially has a long way to go.

Finally number eight is even further behind, he'll eventually have a tunic hanging open in a similar fashion to one of my own Praetorian characters, Captain Caine. I'm currently roughing in the jacket and belt.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Commission - Praetorian Ogryn Squad (Part 9)

Lets talk guns, Ripper Guns.

For the Praetorian Ogryn Commission the customer is after something based on a Gatling Gun design, the same sort of weapon as my Heavy Bolter replacement Gatling Guns, it's a weapon which fits more with the victorian feel of the Praetorian Imperial Guard.

Now the problem with this is either purchasing a number of suitable assault cannon components (often in high demand and so quite tricky to get hold of in numbers), historical weapons (which would mean buying whole sets and hopefully suitable scale wise weapons), or converting from scratch. I've never really had a great deal of success with such endevours for my own use but this I'm aiming for a really good result - and things are looking up.

Not being much of a drawer, I used state of the art computer graphics to knock up this as a concept for the customer early on while we were chucking around ideas...

He's asked for a different style of ammo drum, but something otherwise more or less per the concept.

The first stage of making these guns reality was the barrel assembly, this proved very easy, I picked up some half-pipe plastic tube and some thin plastic rod cutting this into 10mm sections, three of the rod sections then slip nicely on top of tube for the multiple barrels of the Gatlings Gun. To explain this design, Ogryns being the civilised brutes they are do tend to use their weapons as clubs - so the mechanism needs to be protected while still allowing some air cooling. I then replicated this once for each gun.

Next up comes the muzzel of the gun, I was a little concerned on how to get this done identically ten times, but realised it would be a nice simple piece to employ a bit of green stuff casting with so I create a suitable master.

This is as you'll probably have spotted an Imperial Guard tank wheel, as it was the perfect diameter for the piece I needed and had a good sized grip section which came in handy for the making and molding stage. I simply filled in the recesses, and then added some detail with greenstuff and a little more plastic rod.

I then made a greenstuff mold in the usual way (tutorial coming up on this soon, though there are plenty to be found on the net already).

I've just pulled the first result and I'm really pleased that it looks the part, just needs a little tidying then I'll do the rear block and then do it all again for each of the other guns - then theres the stock and ammo drum to do... hmmm.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Praetorian Imperial Guard Background

Praetoria is a heavily populated Hive World that lies in a system close to the Imperial naval base at Bakka, capitol world of Segmentum Tempestus. The overpopulated Hive-Cities of Praetoria are renowned for their squalor and degradation, and produce some of the toughest gangers on any of the hive worlds in the Imperium. This vast population work as little more than slave-labour in the huge factory complexes of Praetoria, producing the goods that have made the planet (and its rulers) one of the richest in the Imperium, with a huge fleet of merchant craft that trade all over the Segmentum and beyond.

Imperial Guard regiments raised on Praetoria are renowned for their iron discipline and bravery. They detest slovenliness and disorder and even in the midst of the fiercist battle will ensure their ranks are correctly dressed in parade ground fashion and uniforms smartly fastened. The planetary lords of Praetoria hold it is only through fearsome training and draconian punishments for the most minor infringements that the hive-toughened inhabitants of their planet, where everything - even the very air they breathe is rationed, that they can be made to follow orders and do as they are told. Whatever one's views on the training methods used, they seem to work, producing troops that are as ferocious on the attack as they are determined in defence.

* * * * *

Very little official background has ever been published for Praetoria and the Praetorian Imperial Guard by Games Workshop, indeed there is only one substancial 'official' piece. This is however not an entirely bad thing as it has left more room for the fans Warhammer 40,000 universe themselves too elaborate and indeed create their own in ways which a greater amount of official material might not otherwise have leant too.

The aim of this article is to document and refernece both 'official' sources as well as those created by fans of the Warhammer 40,000 universe.

'Official' Articles

  • "Massacre at Big Toof River" - UK Gamesday '97 Programme
  • , Extract in US WD217
  • "Massacre at Big Toof River" UK Gamesday '97 Mega Display Article - UK & US WD218

  • "The Praetorian XXIV" - Booklet, Praetorian Imperial Guard Limited Edition Box Set

  • "Last Stand at Glazer's Creek" Battle Report - UK & US WD218, Spanish WD39

  • "Slave Raid at Melfa River" Canadian Gamesday '99 Mega Display Article - UK WD243

  • Medusa V Campaign "Vox Cast's" - Extracts from the UK version of GW's Medusa V World Wide Campaigns website.

    'Unofficial' Articles

  • "Branches of the Ground Forces of Praetoria" - Article by Col.Gravis

  • "The Pacification of Montar VII?" - Article by Col.Gravis

  • "The Praetorian MkIV-I Gatling Gun" - Article by Col.Gravis PDF DOWNLOAD

  • "The Praetorian Rocket Trough" - Article by Col.Gravis PDF DOWNLOAD

  • "The Praetorian MkVIII-H Lascannon and MkII-L Autocannon" - Article by Col.Gravis PDF DOWNLOAD

  • "The Praetorian MkI-B Leman Russ Conqueror" - Article by Col.Gravis PDF DOWNLOAD

  • "Officer Assessment - Major Ackland, 19th Praetorian Lancers" - Article by Col.Gravis PDF DOWNLOAD

  • This Article will be updated periodically with additional content, if you have content or links to content you'd like to see added to it please contact me at the usual address.

    Thursday, 17 September 2009

    Commission - Spartan Space Marine Shoulder Pads

    One of the best ways to customise your Space Marine army - besides it's paint job - remains the marines shoulder pads, one of which typicaly displays the Chapter emblem or badge. There are a number of ways to tackle it, you can use decals, paint or have a physical icon which can be painted, you can do these individually but many people choose too use either one of GW's own sculpted pads or too use the simple technique of greenstuff casting or stamping the pads from a single master.

    This is what a number of people at my local club have opted to do including a couple of staff. At a recent club night I turned out quickly a Blood Raven pad and a Scythes of the Emperor pad, though lacking a camera I was'nt able to take any pictures at the time (the Scythes Pad has now gone up country to the Newcastle store, but hopefuly I'll grab some of the Blood Raven one at a later date), however in gap while working on some press molds for the Ogryn Ripper Guns I'm working on at the moment I completed another quick emblem for a Spartan Space Marines pad which another local had asked me to do.

    The method is nice and simple, take one blank shoulder pad.

    And a design.

    The design is then marked roughly on the pad.

    It is then built up in stages appropriate to the design so that you can complete a 'section' and leave it to cure without risking undoing any work done while fiddling with another part of the project.

    Often as in this case only two or three stages are needed, and you have a finished piece which once cured can be used to make a mold or stamp for adding to as many marines (or indeed any other place!) as you want, and always identical.

    Tuesday, 15 September 2009

    Commission - Praetorian Ogryn Squad (Part 8)

    At last the first five - bar weapons - are finished, I've completed work on the Ogryn Bonehead tonight and also a few minor touches to the earlier open jacketed ogryn just to hopefully improve it a little, I wont ramble on any further and will let the pictures do the talking instead.

    Monday, 14 September 2009

    200,000 Hit Giveaway - And the winner is...

    At 20:51 on 31st August 2009 Darkmolerman said...

    grats on the big number the big 200,000... the HUGE 2000,000 more like

    ...and with that and being post number 8 as picked by he won the 200,000 Hit Giveaway of a Limited Edition Blister of Cadian Imperial Guardsmen at Ease, congratulation Darkmolerman, I'll be contacting you via the email address in your profile around about now to arrange postage!

    For now it just remains for me to say thankyou for all the kind comments and to remind you there will be more giveaways in the future, especially one to keep an eye open for Praetorian Imperial Guard fans.

    Saturday, 12 September 2009

    Commission - Praetorian Ogryn Squad (Part 7)

    Just a quick update, the Ogryn Bonehead is very nearly there now, a few more details like rank chevrons and his buttons, a little tidying and its time for weapons, fingers crossed he'll be finished on Sunday and I'll have the first five finished completely shortly thereafter!

    Thursday, 10 September 2009

    More D Company Infantry (Part 1)

    Just a little update, I've had my nose to the grind stone whenever I've had an evening free hence the lack of updates! Progress on the Ogryns continues, with the Bonehead just short of being finished, just leaving the weapons for the first batch, however I'm also working on getting my GT army ready for November's Heat 3.

    My current project towards that is getting the additional Praetorian Guardsmen finished which I'll be needing, this includes 6 Meltaguns, 2 Flamers and the 6 Sergeants which I was working on converting previously.

    I've got quite alot done so far, with much of the base coating done, I'll need to finish the Yellow, Flesh and Metal and then I'll move onto the tunics scarlet.

    Tuesday, 1 September 2009

    Hobby Fund (1st September)

    A few sales again this past month, though nothing spectacular - though having done a little more sorting I'm hoping this coming month will be a little better again. To balance that out I've not purchased anything directly hobby related - though not intentionally, however I decided to transfer another £100 back to 'real life' and did make some misc purchases such as a years Photobucket subscription for this very blog.

    • Starting Balance 1st August (Previous Sales) = £250.41

    • Sales in August = £55.00

    • Sales Fee's in August = -£1.84

    • Purchases in August = £0.00

    • Misc Income/Outgoings = -£158.30

    • Balance 1st September = £145.27

    With more sales listings ready to go and a few bits an bobs already on ebay or sold but prior to payment things are looking good for this month - but then I don'nt think I can (or should!) resist buying a copy of Space Hulk!