Wednesday, January 29, 2020

'The Vengeful Spirit' - Flagship of Horus Lupercal - for Burch's Bluff

My friend Greg and I share a great love of the 40K setting that extends back to the original 1st edition 'Rogue Trader'. While my interest in the 40K core game has waxed and waned over the years, I've always remained a big fan of  the whole operatic 'grim dark' feel of the setting, especially when done through its boutique periphery games like Epic, Titanicus, Necromunda, and the various role playing titles.

In 2006 Dan Abnett wrote 'Horus Rising', a novel which tapped into fans' interest in the 'Horus Heresy' and the early history of the Imperium - stuff that until then had only been peripherally alluded to in the margins of the rulebooks. Forge World, sensing an opportunity from the interest, began to issue a series of related figures, rule books and vehicles focused specifically on the Horus Heresy. It's turned out to be a great success for them. Now, with over 60 novels in print and a separate division created exclusively for this 'early period', the Horus Heresy now stands as its own unique entity in the GW stable. 

Mark Strong as Horus. Art from 'The Emperor and His Primarchs' by Miguel Iglesias

In a nutshell the Horus Heresy charts the fall of Horus Luprecal, 'The Warmaster,' chosen son of the Emperor. Horus is one of  20 genetically engineered 'sons' of the Emperor, called Primarchs. Each of these Primarchs controlled a legion of Astartes (Space Marines), huge formations which were far larger and more powerful than the later Chapters found in 40K. 

The Emperor utilized his sons and their forces to conduct a 200 year long Great Crusade to reunify the areas of space previously controlled by mankind. After this huge campaign, the Emperor decided to relinquish control of the Crusade to his chosen son Horus and return to Terra to attend to other duties - activities which, for his own reasons, he kept secret from his sons. Though Horus and the other Primarchs initially embraced this new mission and Horus' role within it, they began to feel abandoned and betrayed by their father's decision to keep them out of his confidence and seemingly left to whither on the vine. 

Horus's ego and plaguing doubts to his father's intentions were preyed upon by eldritch powers within the Warp and he, along with eight other Primarchs, turned against their father. Under the direction of Horus, they rebelled against the Emperor, beginning a galaxy-spanning civil war to install a new Imperium of Mankind where these newfound powers would take up a central role. Thus the Horus Heresy was born. 

The campaigns of the Heresy stretched over 9 years, killing billions, burning out numerous planetary systems and culminating in the cataclysmic Siege of Terra. The siege reached it's  endgame when the Emperor himself teleported aboard Horus' flagship, 'The Vengeful Spirit' to face his wayward son...

Whew! Well, with that little bit of background behind us, I can now show you what I've done for Burch's Bluff. Here is the flagship of Horus Lupercal, 'The Vengeful Spirit' in the livery of his personal legion, 'The Luna Wolves' before they became 'The Sons of Horus'.

When we fanboys think of 'The Vengeful Spirit' we often imagine it as the evil, hulking chaos-ridden flagship of the Arch-Traitor; the place where Horus and the Emperor finally meet to fulfill their tragic destinies. So I thought it might be interesting to depict the ship just before Horus' fall from grace, when his beloved Luna Wolves were the Emperor's finest, when they were the first before their fellow brother Legions. 

This model was sourced as a print file from Thingiverse and generated on my Photon DLP printer. It's a nice multi-part model. I found there were a few small issues with deflection, but they were easily corrected - otherwise it printed and assembled quite well.

The prow fresh from the printer.
It's a pretty neat model, with magnet slots built into its design to allow one to swap around the weapons modules and prow configurations. I have it here with docking bays, gun batteries and a nasty Nova Cannon on the prow. 

For inspiration to the colours I referred to popular artwork depicting the Luna Wolves in their bone white armour. As a contrast to the white, I decided to 'gild' the weapon points and command areas on the hull. 

It's a fairly simple painjob, where most of the effort was in edge-highlighting the various nooks and cranies.

It's all ready for its voyage to the Isstvan system and points beyond.


  1. Wonderful! You really have nailed this 'grow your own' printing lark.

  2. Great work, and I actually thought it was one of the metal battleships at first.

    1. Thanks! Gosh, those metal guys were such beasts to put together.

  3. Great Stuff, Curt!

    I've been sucked back into 40K again, myself. John even went so far as to refer to me as having been "swallowed whole by the 'dark side'..."

    With all of GW's re-releases over the last couple of years, I was totally expecting a new version of Battlefleet Gothic. It was one of their games that I never really got into, so wouldn't mind buying into this time around.

    I just couldn't get into the new Adeptus Titanicus - I have TOO MANY "Epic" titans and legions of Marines and Orks and Guard and Eldar.... Not going to start that one again in a new scale! I have been meaning to try out the new Apocalypse rules with some of my epic forces!

    Will 2020 be the year for a new BFG? I feel like it is inevitable... But part of me hopes not - my wallet hasn't recovered from all the games and toys I picked up LAST year!

    1. Thanks Tim! Yes, I'm really hoping they re-issue BFG. My 3D printer stands at the ready!

  4. This is great. Very nice indeed.

    I like (most of) the Heresy stuff, but part of me wishes it had been left as a half-remembered legend...

    1. Yes, I understand your perspective completely. The mystery of legends are far more tantalizing when they are not spelled out to us.


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