Greg finishes a wonderful nostalgia project which takes us back to the heady, simpler days of 1980s era Games Workshop.
I have already done one Rogue Trader project during the challenge, and I am more pumped for this one. I am very excited to submit ten 28mm Imperial Guard Roughriders from the Rogue Trader era. Many of us have projects or collections that go on and on for many years, but for me this one is special - I've been working to get this squad together since 2007!
It was in 2007 when I first started to acquire some surplus boxes of plastic Rogue Trader-era Imperial Guardsmen - a major nostalgia interest for me. There were some really great eBay scores for me that year - whole boxes of 36 plastic guardsmen, some unpainted officer figures etc. In the midst of these was a set of three Roughrider torsos. As I worked to assemble and paint my other troops (see here for an example of them in action), I resolved back in 2007 that I would keep my eyes peeled to eBay to try and assemble enough spare parts to put together a Roughrider squad!
Little did I suspect just how long that would take…
The roughriders were a Rogue Trader-era creation, basically an option to mount an Imperial Guard tactical squad on horses. After all, the horse would surely still be part of many worlds and cultures among the numberless, teeming masses of the Imperium of Man. Some of these horses would be used in the Imperial military.
The Roughriders were armed identically to a tactical squad - lasguns, one grenade launcher, one lascannon - but with a twist. They carried lances equipped with exploding tips. I think an actual exploding lance tip would be daft for a real cavalryman, but it fits well in the 40k dystopia. In game terms, it gives these troops quite a punch when they charge - for one turn, at least :)
The Roughriders have carried on in the GW fluff over time, and I think they are still an option for Guard players today, although the models are now OOP. The Roughriders became space huns - the "Roughriders of Atilla". The Tallarn-style guardsmen (desert themed troops) also got Roughrider models. Ultimately Forge World took the baton - the grim Death Riders of Krieg are quite marvellous figures (if you can afford them), while the Tallarn troops got alternate Roughriders who essentially rode space camels called "Mukaali". I don't think many current GW players bother with Roughriders as a selection for the table.
When I set out to get a squad of Rogue Trader Roughriders together in 2007, I didn't think it would take too long. I was wrong! The Roughrider bits - special legs and torsos, including a special dude with a Grenade Launcher, and some guys wearing bush-cap style headgear - did not pop up very often on eBay. It would be a torso here, a few legs there…and sometime I ended up with the wrong part. Did you know GW had two separate types of "rider" legs - one for horses, and one for motorcycles? Me neither…anyway it was not until 2013 that I got enough bits together to do the proper squad!
The lance arms are courtesy of Victoria Lamb - thank goodness for her awesome work, as the GW originals did not actually have proper lances (much less cool ones with exploding tips) and I wasn't sure how I was going to swing that, but Victoria Lamb's stuff is amazing. Consistent with my other Rogue Trader guardsmen, I slapped a "current" lasgun into the back stowage of the riders. It would have been cooler to sculpt a strap for the guns - but I'm no sculptor…
Even getting the horses together was a challenge, as GW's horse sprues have changed over time. The current plastic horses are too large (and a bit too silly). Again, I had to watch and wait on eBay for the parts to come up.
Once I had all the bits together, it took a little while to assemble them. I started building them in November last year, and finally painted them for the Challenge. Even with the excellent Victoria Lamb bits, these are not particularly glorious figures - they sit awkwardly on the horses, no natural riders among them, that's for sure. A cavalry enthusiast will find these to be just awful!
But it is a genuine nostalgia thrill to have these fellows finished. Hopefully they will pop off some of Dallas' Rogue Trader Orks the next time we play some old school 40k.
Awesome post Greg! Now, these lads spark a bit of 40K nostalgia to be sure. I clearly remember their lances with exploding tips - brutally fun. As you say, it smacks of that dystopian vision of the 40K universe. No Operational Health and Safety issues here, nope, now move along before someone sets their lance down wrong and blows us all into next week.
This squad of IG horsemen will give Greg 110 points, which includes a little extra for the mods, bits & bobs. Well done!