Orbital Station Assault
Hello Inquisitors! This weeks review begins with a recent commission that was made by Servitor Artist on Instagram! I saw that they were really detailed in their work and specialized in large battle scenes that were full of depth. Once I gathered the funds to commission, I was able to contact them about my idea. They were super communicative and enthusiastic, as well as open to the ideas that I had. In no time, they gave me the finished product seen above, and I absolutely loved it!
The overall idea was to have a force of Void Lions portrayed defending an orbital station somewhere in the Eastern Fringe against an uprising Genestealer cult. This particular group of Void Lions have tracked down the mass of Genestealers hiding in the belly of the station and have charged into combat with them. Servitor Artist did an amazing job with this piece, and was able to capture a specific vision I had very well. In the middle of the image, you see a Space Marine and a Genestealers locked in close combat; the Void Lions chainsword tearing through the xenos abdomen from underneath and the tyranids claw stabbing into the marine from above. That was something that I wanted featured in the image as a homage to my love of Alien Vs Predator, and is based off of another artwork of a Yautja and Xenomorph coming to blows. Servitor Artist was able to take that idea and translate it very smoothly into the 40k setting and I love it. The more you look at the picture, the more detail you see, including in the background! I definitely look forward to going back to Servitor Artist for more work.
A fun fact, is that every single artist that I have ever commissioned to make artwork for the Leonicine Inatrii have added something to their aesthetic that was not there previously and have in a very real way contributed to the development of the chapter because these additions have been incorporated into the overall lore of the chapter. In the example of this artwork, Void Lion helms usually have yellow lenses to match their eyes but being that I didn’t communicate that with Servitor Artist, they put red lenses. When I saw this, I realized it looked extremely cool and now it is a part of lore that their lenses color can either be yellow, red or black depending on the kind of mission they are on.
Like most Warhammer enthusiasts, I struggle with controlling the urge to buy new things and perpetually add to my pile of shame. However, I have been getting better at it. Lately, I have been focusing on the collection that I have and updating it, working on details etc. For this Review, this had amounted to me working on the Hipoti terminator squad that I previously made. It was mostly working on edge highlighting bronze and silver but it also included work on purity seals and the application of gold into the color scheme, inspired heavily by the artwork of the Leonicine Inatrii by SrJalapenyo on Instagram.
The incorporation of an aged gold gives the chapter a more tribal feel in my appearance, and adds points of shocking boldness to the overall scheme. Making the Shields gold as well adds a level or regality and importance to the miniatures, which makes sense being that the Hipoti are the Chapter Master Bodyguard. Edge highlighting the black with silver gave me a better result that doing so with grey and I think I am going to continue with that moving forward.
Another idea that I was inspired to work on using available resources was a Claw (Veteran) Squad of Terminator Void Lions that would specialize in Space Hulk environments and missions. I already knew how I wanted them kitted out, but regular terminators are limited in the variety of close combat weapons they can have in 9th edition. So, I decided to base the squad off of Relic Terminator armor stats, which allowed for more close combat weapons, older pattern armor as well as older pattern ranged weapons. The result was a pretty cool looking terminator squad that is cover in metals, purity seals and which is made from the combination of different terminator kits-mainly Indomitus and Tartaros pattern. I am especially proud of the Apothecary I made which was made by combining Indomitus, Tartaros, Aegis and Gravis armor bits.
I love terminator armor and to work on the squad was a real treat. I plan on making individual characters of the models with their own backstory.
I was messing around trying to create symbols for each of the Void Lion tribes and the image above is the only one that was am satisfied with so far.
There are three Void Lion tribes; the War Blades, the Long Spears and the Falling Axes. Each tribe has their own color markings (White, Red and Orange) and each has a charge or symbol to represent each of the tribes-primarily based off of the weapons the tribe is named after.
Due to the Void Lions being a chapter that has a heavy Pan-African theme, the initial symbols for each of the tribes were specific West African Adinkra symbols. For the War Blades tribe, the symbol I initially used was the Akofena or “Sword of War” after which I named the War Blades tribe. The Akofena represents courage and valor, and I thought it would be appropriate since the War Blade tribe is renown for full company, close combat oriented deployments against the Tyranids. I am very cautious of using the symbol directly, out of respect to West African Culture. Though GW uses Futhark runes on Space wolves, they are able to use them in a way that doesn’t spell actual words in Futhark. Using Adinkra would be a different situation, as each symbol has a meaning and each symbol is not alphabetical.
The Crossed blades are an almost universal symbol- and being that the Void Lions are successors of the Imperial Fists, I looked to ideas in their parent chapter. During the Horus Heresy, the 7th Legion used the crossed axe symbol to signify excellence in close combat deployments as well as Zone Mortalis operations- both of which the Void Lions as a whole and specifically the War Blade tribe master in.
So using these two sources of inspiration (the Adinkra symbol of Akofena and the Imperial Fists crossed axes) I came up with the idea to cross two Eviscerators and make the symbol in white. Using Eviscerators was inspired by artwork by Liam Hammonds artwork on the Crest of the Void Lions chapter, but also because the Chainsword is a valued weapon of the Inatrii. The reason I made it in white is because the War Blades tribe color is white.
The symbols that I will be making for the Long Spears and the Falling Axes will also be based on Adinkra symbols. For the Long Spears, their symbol will be loosely based on the Akoben or “War Horn” representing wariness and vigilance. The Falling Axes will based on Aya or “Fern”, representing endurance and resourcefulness. I will update you all with what I create for them!
Working on the Leonicine Inatrii Codex has made me focus more on the History of the Chapter, and a large part of that history was centered around the Leonicine Praestes or Lion Guards chapter which is what the Void Lions were called before they lost their homeworld and Zulup System to the Tyranids.
The Lion Guards had gold armor, with green pauldrons and helms matching the green of their homeworlds jungles. Their chapter symbol was a golden lion rampant, which in hindsight was completely out of place with the chapter. Even though the Leonicine people’s totem animal was the Zulupian Lion- the creature was not golden but white, and it did not look like a normal lion- however, it was designed to reflect that they were “Lions of the Imperium” instead of “Lions of Zulup”. However, after the loss of Zulup, the chapter reverted back to its more tribal Aesthetic and heraldry that was more accurate of the Zulupian Lion
I recently commissioned Artist Potorochin to create artwork for the Lion Guards and as usual, they knocked it out of the park in terms of detail and proportions. The glowing Aquila, which was not an aspect of the armor previously, quickly became one I fell in love with and adopted into the lore of the chapter. When the chapter became the Void Lions, having a black aquila almost became symbolic of the chapter becoming void within and losing that inner light after the loss of their solar system.
Inspired by this focus on the chapters old color scheme, I turned to a model that I’ve had unpainted for some time from the Space Hulk Boxed set. It was of the dead terminator sitting on a throne. I thought it would be perfect to use as a objective marker for the Initiate inatrii who are going through their rite of passage aboard the Shield of Zulup star fortress. I painted it in the old Lion Guards color scheme to add to significance of the rite of passage, making it about surviving as well as uncovering the history of the chapter. For it, I wrote this small passage:
The Captain would sit on the iron throne within the stasis field, connecting himself to the ships inner workings through thick cables attached to his terminator armor. He took control of the vessels inner defense turrets, activating them and opening fire upon the alien invaders as they slaughtered his marines and mortal tribesmen.
How dare they defile his ship? How dare they spill Zulupian blood in such quantities? Leonicine Dominatus Eternus! They would pay, he vowed and extended his influence further in the ships weapons systems. The further he pushed his influence, the less he was able to isolate his will from the ancient will of the vessel and the rage of its machine spirit. He was not aware of his surroundings as the aliens breached the ships bridge.
He was not conscious of the crew making their last stand and being slaughtered mercilessly while he sat invulnerable in the stasis field. His armored body was wracked in electricity, violently twitching, the machine spirits primordial rage burning through his flesh and making the captain truly one with it. Captain and Ship, they died together. Thousands of years later, tribesmen undergoing their rite of passage in the powerless ship would pass the Captain, the Slumbering Sentinel in stasis, baring their throats to the remains of their ancestor in respect. Those who survived the ordeal would recall a defense turret activating in their most dire time of need, opening fire upon the Xenos inhabitants of the space hulk, before falling silent once more.
Thank you for reading! The Emperor Protects and the Future is Successor!