Way back in 2000 during Warhammer 40K's 3rd edition days, Games Workshop released Codex Armageddon. This was one of the early attempts to create a special battlefield and event that players could fight - similar to what they've done with Psychic Awakening over the past year. Set on the hive world of Armageddon, the Codex covered the Third Armageddon War between Imperial planetary defenders and the great Ork Warlord Ghazghkull (Mag Uruk) Thraka - who is incidentally due to make an appearance in Psychic Awakening soon. Okay, technically he's out, but if you didn't jump on the boxed set before GW had to shut down because of ongoing COVID-19 issues, you're out of luck until they reopen. I'd always wanted to do a guard army, and the Steel Legion troopers looked truly military to me - so I picked up some miniatures and vehicles and started the painting process.
|Photo from the original Codex Armageddon - Steel Legion mechanized moving out!|
The Steel Legion was heavily mechanized, so I'd picked up a lot of vehicles to run with the force. I'd been working with airbrush painting for my 1/35th scale models and thought it would port easily over to the new army (which it did). However, life intervened and I had other hobbies, interests, and demands on my time which pulled me away from Warhammer 40K for several years. I ended up selling off most of the Steel Legion figures, but I kept the tanks figuring one of these years I'd eventually get back into the hobby and want to build up some real "Imperial Armour." As it turns out, it was a few more years than I thought it would be, but I have indeed gotten back into the game, and I have found an outlet for a lot of these tanks.
|From humble beginnings...|
I snagged one of the Leman Russ tanks I still had lying about with only the base coats on and decided to use it as my starting point. I'd assembled several of these, base-coated them, and that was pretty much where the project stopped. As you can see this is the older version of the Leman Russ with the track assemblies separated by actual wheels rather than the pins you see in the current version of the kit. On this version, you could also open or close the side hatches. All that being said, actually getting the tracks on this version is problematic at best. As with the current kit, they are link and length parts, but I've literally never been able to get them to meet perfectly. To solve the issue I typically snip one link off of the long runs along the bottom and shift that link forward just a bit.
|German Coelian with full camouflage (top) and a primer only turret (bottom)|
For my paint scheme on this one I wanted to do something just a little bit different. A lot of static model builders have focused on very late war German vehicles - some of which only saw the prototype stage near the end of the war. While generally all vehicles were painted at the factory before they were shipped out, there is a bit of an artistic conceit that has cropped up with subjects being either partly or fully painted in the German Primer color as if they'd been rushed out the door because of the desperate war situation. I thought given the rough backstory of my army and their overall rag tag appearance, that very conceit would actually work well, so I decided to go ahead and work up a Leman Russ with a turret in the original primer.
Rather than switching sides, I decided to stick with my Soviet green for the base color of the tank and simply incorporate the German World War II primer colors directly into the model itself. As with most previous vehicles, I went with the "Black and White" technique on this one using the Soviet World War II 4BO Green (AMIG0019) for the base hull color. I spent a fair amount of time making this hull especially distressed. Perhaps this is a new turret on an old tank?
The main turret color is RAL 8012 Rotbrown (AMIG0014) which is the actual German primer color from World War II - at least for the vehicles. As you can see the gun is in a dark gray as the Germans primed their guns gray (the reason for which escapes me at this point). I just took a reasonable gray and modulated it a bit since it was only for the barrel of the gun. Note, I treated the muzzle brake as a true muzzle brake that was attached separately and went ahead and primed it red. I could have done it in the gray, but honestly, I just liked doing it in the red better.
The decals come from the usual variety of sources. The aquila all come from a Leman Russ decal sheet - along with the "C" unit marking in the front. The overspray Genestealer Cult symbols all come from Scumb4g Kustoms - I swear his decals have pretty much enabled this whole project! I snagged a number for the commander's right shoulder pad from a set from The Mighty Brush.
I also gave this tank a little stowage. Basically I grabbed some spare packs and even a radio from the Catachan sprue. One of the packs was a leftover from one of my Death Korps of Krieg set - which I do plan to get back to, but that is likely next year's project! As this is a (very) old school Leman Russ, it also has the old style Storm Bolter for the commander. As it has a fairly standard loadout of a Lascannon and two heavy bolters, the tank should actually be fairly effective on the table as well!
So there you have it - more big iron for the cult. I hadn't intended to get another of these done so soon, but I decided I was up to the challenge for this week. I hope everyone is staying safe out there and some of you are getting some work done on your own projects!