This project is something I'm really excited about. I've been to Games Day four times now (two times Games Day UK and two times Games Day Germany). However, every time I'm at Games Day I regret that I didn't enter anything for the Golden Demons. Winning a Golden Demon is something I've been willing to do for quite some time now, but somehow I never got around to enter a miniature. So, right after Games Day Germany 2011 I came up with some plans for my entry. While I was waiting in line for the Forge World stand I saw two examples of the new Contemptor Dreadnoughts, I knew I had to have one and I knew what my entry for next year would be. I bought one with the addition of two Contemptor Pattern Kheres Assault Cannon arms, however I was thinking about ordering the Close Combat Arm (Fist) as well, I think it gives the miniature more diversity. I don't play Space Marines myself but I figured out that painting a miniature of an army I don't play would give me a lot of freedom and opportunities, it would also be something to keep myself motivated between other projects. I hope that makes sense! The idea is to enter it either at Games Day UK 2012, or Games Day Germany 2012.
I. Colour scheme and modelling opportunities
Now I had to think of a Legion or Chapter for the Contemptor Dreadnought. The miniature is an excellent Pre-Heresy Dreadnought (minus the Imperial Eagle) so I figured I had to do one of the original 20 Legions (-2 of the unknown ones, of course!). Though it would also be possible to have a Chapter from the Second Founding, as they were founded right after the Heresy. I settled for a First Founding Legion, though. These are the possibilities I'm considering, I'd like to know what your thoughts are! There are some Legion specific details I had in mind if I were to choose that specific Legion;
Pre-heresy Death Guard
I never really tried painting white armour, though I really like the look and the weathering possibilities. Barbarus was Feral World where the atmosphere was thick with virulent gases and a constant fog was spread across the planet. It makes a lot of sense that their armour would be corroded, even before the Heresy. This gives me a lot of opportunity to try different weathering techniques for the armour. Modelling-wise I was thinking about sculpting the Death Guard symbol on the front of the body, where the Imperial Eagle currently sits. I would also probably convert the head to make it subtly different from the original, although the original head already looks pretty Death Guard-ish.
Great Crusade-era Imperial Fists
While I was browsing through my Index Astartes copies I noticed a very interesting type of armour used by the Imperial Fists during the Great Crusade. I liked the mechanical and unique appearance a lot. Yellow is also a colour I haven't done much, which also gives great possibilities for weathering. The black, red and white also serve for great contrast pieces for the yellow armour.
Pre-Heresy Iron Hands
I always liked the idea behind a bionic-heavy Chapter. This gives me some great possibilities for converting the Dreadnought, bionic scopes and lenses for the head, old-skool Devastator leg detail, etc. Black is a very difficult colour to get just right. Weathering is also hard to see on black armour, so this is why the white parts come in handy. It certainly breaks up the colour scheme and makes the weathering come out a lot better than just plain black.
Pre-Heresy Space Wolves
Space Wolves give a lot of possibilities as well, their armour is subtly different, they can have engraved runes in their armour, and of course the wolf-theme! Grey is a great colour for weathering and also compliments cold colours for the shadows and warm colours for the highlights, this is obviously harder to achieve with black or white. The red details also provide some great contrast and spot-colours.
II. The base
The base of the miniature depends entirely on what Legion/Chapter I'm picking for the project. I was thinking about giving the miniature a base themed around their homeworld. Barbarus: Death World/Desert-like for Death Guard, Terra: Industrial for the Imperial Fists, Medusa: tech-deck/industrial for Iron Hands, Fenris: Snow/ice for Space Wolves etc.
I'd love to know what your thoughts are, suggestions are especially appreciated!