Wednesday, April 2, 2014

WIP: Mounted Executioner Captain

Everyone talking about Space Marine army lists has been going on about the Chapter Master on a bike. With artificer armor and the Shield Eternal, he's incredibly durable, and his hitting power with a power fist and orbital strike is impressive. Even though the Imperial Fists Chapter Tactics that I'm using don't benefit the Chapter Master as much as Iron Hands or White Scars would, I still wanted to field my own juggernaut with the Executioners.

Fluff-wise, this caused some problems as the Executioners are really anti-bike. While I wasn't looking to field a massive amount of bikes, it still didn't feel right to have a Chapter Master on a bike that the rest of the Chapter refuses to use. I hinted at the answer in my post on Monday; I would make Executioner heavy cavalry. This fits the background, is good on the tabletop, and looks awesome. I took inspiration from Goatboy's Word Bearer Bikers and mounted my Marines on Chaos Knight steeds. In my case, I removed the Chaos iconography and grafted bolt pistols into their heads to represent the bikes twin-linked bolters.

As this model would be my Captain (which I would play with Chapter Master rules. All Executioners Captains are supposed to be Warlords in their own right, and I think that represents their advanced combat prowess compared to Captains from less brutal Chapters), I armed him with a headsman's axe and storm shield. He has magnetized arms so I can switch them out. I'm already planning to give him a more distinctive axe to differentiate him. He's my first completed mounted Executioner, but I'm working on a full Command squad to ride with him. I hope they come out as well.

Let me know what you think. Awesome? Too chaosy? A fluff dodge so I can use bikes even though they don't fit the background?


  1. The bolters on the head seem a bit out of place especially on a living creature. If it was a cyber horse that would be another matter. You might try a shoulder rig in front of the rider attached to the saddle.

  2. Well I think they are kind of acting like blinders for the horse...Also he is probably powered by a machine spirit. I doubt they have much living tissue left over afterwards.

  3. I initially tried to fit the bolters on the side of the horse, but it looked all wrong. It made the horse too wide, destroying it's outline. It interfered with the riders' legs, and it looked really tacked on and slipshod however I did it. It wouldn't even look good on an Ork, much less a Marine.

    Placing the bolters actually in the face turned out be the only approach I could find that looked good. While I accept that it's weird, this is 40K, where weird and macabre are the order of the day. My idea is that the horses are essentially servitors, lobotomized a controlled by inputs from their rider's armor. The horse needs neither eyes nor most of its brain, and the bolters take up that space. I tried to convey this in my fluff in the last post. Visually, it does reference blinders on real horses (thanks for noticing that Will!) while maintaining a streamlined, forward moving shape.

    I could see it being argued that this is altering background to justify modeling, and it is to some extent. However, I did try to put the bolters in several spots, and integrated into the head looked by far the best in my opinion. It doesn't make much sense, but it follows the rule of cool so that works for me.

    All that said, I'd love to see some other ideas on placing the bolters. All of the examples that I can find just skip the twin-linked bolters, but I really wanted to represent them somehow. If you know of any examples where someone has put the bolters somewhere else, I'd love to see them.


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