Victoria Lamb’s Highland Guard: Kilted Imperial Guardsmen Model Review (Picture Heavy)

A Review

 

I have long been interested in Scottish soldiers (see my undergraduate thesis here), and it was not long after I started collecting Imperial Guard in the 5th grade that I wanted to have Imperial Guardsmen in kilts.  So it was only a few days after I found out about Victoria Lamb’s sculpts for sale that I ordered a set of complete “Highland Guard” models.  They arrived from Australia in short order (or, at least, shorter than I expected) and I eventually got around to putting them together (today).

The models came in different pieces (heads, torsos, arms with guns, kilted legs, bases, and a few special pieces) arranged in different plastic ziplock bags.  I found no damage from shipping and the flash was cleaned away easily enough.  Alongside the Highland Guard set I had also ordered some Balmoral Cap heads – and also received some Bald Heads and extra bases!  I’m not sure if this was intentional, but I appreciated the variety.

In terms of construction, the most difficult aspect was the connection between the torso and legs.  Now, I am not the most proficient hobbyist, and my sculpting experience is essentially limited to what I did today: putting some greenstuff between legs and torso to create a solid join and fill in the gaps.  This worked pretty well for some….but was more noticeable than desired on others.  The arms also were not the easiest to put on, coming as a single part with a gap to fit the torso in: despite the superglue pains I gained from this, I actually really liked the system of the two arms as a single sculpted piece.  When constructing the Highland Guard I tried to keep an eye out for positives and negatives to include in this review, but ultimately the only “negatives” I came up with were my own failings as a hobbyist, and not a problem with the sculpts.  Here are the full constructed models:

VicLambKiltGuardsman01 VicLambKiltGuardsman08 VicLambKiltGuardsman07 VicLambKiltGuardsman16 VicLambKiltGuardsman15 VicLambKiltGuardsman14 VicLambKiltGuardsman06 VicLambKiltGuardsman05 VicLambKiltGuardsman04 VicLambKiltGuardsman03 VicLambKiltGuardsman02 VicLambKiltGuardsman09 VicLambKiltGuardsman13 VicLambKiltGuardsman12 VicLambKiltGuardsman11 VicLambKiltGuardsman10

 

Although my original plan was to exclusively use the Balmoral Cap heads, I ended up liking the detail on the other options so much I included two respirator heads and one bald head.  I am especially impressed with the faces.  The backpacks added a lot of welcome bulk to the model, and the included patches were GREAT for covering up mistakes… As a bagpiper myself, I also really enjoyed putting together and having a bagpiper on the tabletop.

So ultimately, I really enjoyed these models.  Metal is not my favorite material, and superglue is far from my favorite tool, and my “sculpting” is pretty amateur but I love the kilts!  The boots under those kilts are also great, and I have to say I am quite partial to the grenade launcher.  I expect to get more!  But first I’ll have to paint these up…

Imperial Guard: Regiment Gallery

Some more pictures of my painted Imperial Guard force, the Volyak XXI Regiment.

My Imperial Guard collection began many years ago, and includes models from many different Games Workshop releases.  Pictured are only Volyak XXI men and material, and besides the Commissar includes no attachments.  The original focus of the force were the old Valhallan models, but now there are also Mordians, Cadians (new and old), and even some Catachan models (new and old).  It is an infantry-heavy force, but this is mostly because I have not finished painting a number of other Leman Russ MBTs.  The Imperial Guard for Warhammer 40,000 have always been – and I suspect will always be – my favorite wargaming faction.

Saturday’s Tournament: 2000-point Footslogger IG

So the tournament (my first!) was this last Saturday.  The ten days prior saw an amazing amount of painting – three Lascannon, two Chimeras, a Basilisk, Autocannon, Heavy Bolter (all pictured in posts below), as well as three mortars (soon to be pictured) – all finished.  Thanks to near-herculean efforts from my brothers Keenan, Colin and my best friend Aaron (of Waaaagh! Og’Thall), we slapped paint down on the final 31 infantry for my army list, and almost finished most of them.  So, I did not quite reach the 784 points 100% painted goal, but I was not too far away, either.

As for the tournament, I played two games and lost both.  But I learned a lot about how the game goes, and in most ways it has not really changed since 3rd edition (the last time I really played frequently).  That’s what I wanted, after all: to learn.

The first game was against Crisis-suit Tau and we only got two turns in before the time limit.  I held on to objectives and forced a victory point decision, which I promptly lost.  But I did manage to ram a devilfish with a Chimera and destroy it without any return damage.  That may well be the coolest thing I ever did in 40k.

In the second game I played against psy-rifledread Grey Knights, and we only got four turns in before the time limit.  That was a Kill Points mission, which I lost 7 to 3, but it was closer than it sounded.  The unexpected heroes of that game were the mortars, which took more Grey Knights lives than anything else.  Honorable mention goes to the multilasers on my Chimeras, which destroyed one Razorback and almost another.

I thought I would post my 2000-point Imperial Guard list here as well.  It is based only on what I have painted (that is not VDR or Apocalypse-only).  The biggest drawback of this list was its size: I filled up my deployment zone in both missions, and took forever deploying.

Volyak XXI Rifles, mixed detachment

Imperial Guard 2000-point list

HQ

Company Command Squad – Company commander with bolt pistol and power weapon, flamer, meltagun vox-caster, krak grenades for the squad, Ogryn Bodyguard, Chimera transport with storm bolter: 262 points

Priest – shotgun: 45 points

TR

First Platoon

Command Section – Platoon commander with power weapon and meltabombs, four flamers, Chimera transport with heavy bolter: 115 points

First Squad – Commissar with power weapon, flamer, krak grenades: 110 points

Second Squad – Grenade launcher, vox-caster: 60 points

Third Squad – Krak grenades: 60 points

Second Platoon

Command Section – Platoon commander with bolt pistol, three meltaguns, krak grenades, Chimera transport with heavy stubber: 132 points

First Squad – Grenade launcher, vox-caster: 60 points

Second Squad – Grenade launcher: 55 points

Special Weapons Section – Three grenade launchers: 50 points

Third Platoon

Command Section – Missile launcher: 45 points

First Squad – Bolt pistol, plasma gun, autocannon: 77 points

Second Squad – Bolt pistol, plasma gun, autocannon: 77 points

Third Squad – Grenade launcher, autocannon: 65 points

Anti-tank Section – Three lascannon: 105 points

Fire Support Section ‘1’ – Three heavy bolters: 75 points

Fire Support Section ‘2’ – Three heavy bolters:  75 points

Mortar Section – Three mortars: 60 points

HS

Leman Russ Exterminator – Sponson heavy bolters, heavy stubber: 180 points

Leman Russ MBT – Storm bolter: 160 points

Basilisk –   125 points

Grand Total: 1998 points

IG Work: Basilisk, Autocannon, Heavy Bolter

Work is progressing, albeit more slowly than I would like considering the deadline in approximately 50 hours.  Today I am going to show off my Basilisk, Ares, which was actually the very first 40k item I ever purchased, built and painted.  Then, of course, I later stripped the paint, re-undercoated, and just now finished it (the details about the stripping process can be found on the “Restoring the Guard” page on the right-side of the page).  I have also finished an autocannon and a heavy bolter, both using the old Valhallan heavy weapon team models.

That adds another 150 points to the “painted” category, putting me at about 35% complete of the goal…

Gracious thanks to my brother for helping so much with this project.

More IG Progress: Chimera

More progress to report!  Two finished Imperial Guard Chimera transports for my Volyak XXI Rifles.  The Chimera featuring a pintle-mounted storm bolter and turquoise indicator is the Company Command transport, named Fields of Diaspora.  The second Chimera, with pintle heavy stubber, is a company motor pool vehicle, named Chief Meadley.  Both names presumably come from Volyak geography and/or history.

Another 130 points down!  I am about 17% of the way finished with the 780 points needed to ready my army for the tournament (that is on Saturday)!

Imperial Guard Progress: Lascannon

In a surprise move, I finally made some spontaneous progress on my Imperial Guard army (the Volyak Rifles).

Three lascannon (crew painted separately).  I have recently been inspired to play in my first every 40k tournament, a week from tomorrow.  I only have about 1200 points painted right now, and so now I am embarking on a risky undertaking:

1 week, 800 painted points of Guard 

Wish me luck.

Finished Exterminator

So, after a long hiatus of any work done on my Imperial Guard army, I finished painting a Leman Russ Exterminator.  And not just any Exterminator, but the very one planned to be used in the Self-Build contest as my model’s vehicle equivalent.  The color scheme, thus, was designed to match my Self-Build model rather than the Volyak Rifles color scheme.

In the images above, I tried to capture the vehicle from several angles, and included a rather washed out image with flash to show the not-entirely even coating of Shadow Gray over the black undercoat.  This not-so-regular mottled/sponged pattern gives the model some depth, which I eventually acquiesced in and decided not to try to cover up with lots of even coats.  The pictures are not the best – it’s a dark, gloomy, rainy day here – but I hope you can get the idea of the model.  I also included a few of this vehicle with my Self-Build.

Basic Imperial Guard 1000-point List

The Imperial Guard have always been and will always be my main squeeze when it comes to tabletop wargaming.  I have not made any painting progress in a long while I am afraid (in my defense, I have spent the last year working in Kosovo, away from paints and brushes and models) but lately I have been thinking of what force I have available for gaming right now, back in the U.S.  Using pictures from a previous post on this blog (“Painted Imperial Guard Gallery”) I created a 1000 point list for my Imperial Guard army, based on the following Criteria:

  1. Models must be painted (“finished”).
  2. Only Codex-options may be chosen (no Imperial Armor, VDR, etc.).
  3. No guess-work as to “what else might be available.”

The options available were, therefore, unfortunately, rather limited.  However, the list very accurately shows what I have painted (basic infantry, characters) and what I don’t (most of the vehicles and heavy weapons).  I also like this list because I find it somewhat fluffy – lots of basic boots on the ground.  So, here is my 1000 point Imperial Guard list:

HQ

Company Command Squad

  • bolt pistol, power weapon, meltagun, flamer, vox-caster: 87 points
  • Nork Deddog: 110 points

Priest

  • shotgun: 45 points

Troops

First Platoon

Platoon Command Squad (1)

  • bolt pistol, two meltaguns

Squad ‘A’

  • meltagun, vox-caster

Squad ‘B’

  • grenade launcher

First Platoon total: 172 pints

Second Platoon

Platoon Command Squad (2)

  • grenade launcher, missile launcher team

Squad ‘C’

  • grenade launcher

Squad ‘D’

  • plasma gun

Second Platoon total: 170 points

Third Platoon

Platoon Command Squad (3)

  • power weapon, three flamers

Squad ‘E’

  • grenade launcher

Squad ‘F’

  • flamer

Squad ‘G’

  • Commissar with power weapon

Third Platoon total: 260 points

Heavy Support

Leman Russ Squadron

  • One Leman Russ Battle Tank with storm bolter: 160 points

List total: 1004 points


So, what do you think?  Should the Commissar be moved to another platoon?  What about the vox-casters?


A Story of Guard Heroism

I wanted to briefly share a short tale of heroics from a staple Guardsman.  This tale actually occurred in my very first game of Warhammer 40,000 more than a decade ago.  At the time, during my middle school years, I was still using what was known locally as “the cows of death,” that ugly camouflage scheme of white, black, and orange (check the “Restoring the Guard” page for some examples).  At the local gaming club there was a basement where several people gathered.  This was before even 4th edition came out, so naturally we were using the 3rd edition rules.  My army consisted of a command squad, two small infantry platoons and my pride and joy, my Leman Russ Exterminator.

I was defending against Orks, and had set up my infantry platoons across the front lines with some cover.  On the far right flank I had placed a regular infantry squad with a missile launcher.  On the first turn of the game it fired its missile launcher at a battlewagon full of Nobz on the far side of the battlefield.  The missile hit the side armor, destroyed the vehicle, and the wreck flipped on the Nobz who were trying to escape the wreckage.  Out of the explosion and wreck mishap only two Nobz survived.

But the most heroic part of the battle was yet to come.  In the Orks’ first turn they unleashed a stream of Grot shooting at that same squad with the missile launcher, and killed all but a single Guardsman holding a lasgun.  This single Guardsman proceeded to pass every Morale and Last Man Standing check until he died; for the three turns after his squad was obliterated, he shot and killed a single Grot every turn, and when they finally charged him he killed a further in close combat before being dragged down by their weak attacks.

Every player at the event came over to watch the combat, having heard about the Guardsman’s Last Man Standing tests.  I was told I should paint a medal on his chest for future games.  I never did, but I always showed him off to friends and family, and when I decided to re-do my Guard’s paint scheme he was the model on which I chose to perfect the scheme, and use as the example when painting other Valhallan models.

Do you have any tales of bravery from the basic ranks of your army?

The Volyak XXI Rifles

2nd Company, with Attachments

I thought I’d show off my Guard army all in force.  I think that I need one more infantry model, as presently I have a single squad of remnants at 9-man strength.  I was thinking a medic.  More on this later.

All Guard 

The force has grown somewhat since I first set out on the project to re-do them all.  Mostly I’ve added infantry, mostly from spare pieces.  But I’ve also added the heavy mortars and the inquisitor squad, etc.  I’m pretty pleased with it’s size – certainly deserving of Apocalypse.  

Inquisitor and Greater Entourage 

I don’t pretend that the Inquisitor and retinue will add all that much to the force tactically, but in their defense they were built pretty exclusively for the self-build contest.

All together, the Volyak XXI Rifles, 2nd Company, Medium Infantry, consists of:

Company Command, Captain Karislov

-Advised by Commissar Greggory, Father Jakob, and guarded by Oon Tuffhide, staff and signal officers and veterans

-Company Command also includes the Light Support Platoon, which includes two fire support squads, an anti-tank squad, a mortar squad, a Cyclops Demolition Team, and a Chimera Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV)

The Company consists of three infantry platoons, two mobile and one semi-mobile

-Attached to the company platoons is a second Chimera IFV

-Each platoon is led by a lieutenant and equipped with various war materiel

From the Volyak XXI Rifles 9th Company, Armored, there are a number of attachments

-Mobile artillery support in the form of a Basilisk

-Medium reconnaissance in the form of a Salamander Scout

-Heavy armored support in the form of an expanded tank squadron

From the Artherian 4th PDF Combined Arms Regiment (disbanded) come further attachments

-Medium armored support in the form of an Elephant Mk I

-Light reconnaissance in the form of a Fast Attack Vehicle

-Immobile artillery support by a heavy mortar battery and an Earthshaker cannon artillery platform

-Attached general purpose infantry (standing militia)

Finally, there are a few Imperial attachments to add versatility and authority

-Ordo Xenos Inquisitor (mission codeword “Baron”) with personal combat retinue

-Imperial Stormtrooper squad, led by Lieutenant Stronoff

  It’s also rumored that an Imperial assassin has been operating in the vicinity…

 

All together it comes to 3754 points for 158 men and 15 vehicles.  I’ve done some Tables of Organization and Equipment (TO&E) but the short version is: 1 inquisitor, 1 commissar, 1 priest, 2 captains, 7 lieutenants, 198 other ranks (this is counting the tank crews): 210 men total represented in this fighting detachment.  That’s pretty much it.  There is some room for expansion – not a lot, and I obviously still have plenty to paint – but some room.  More on that soon…