Restoring the Guard

Starting the Big Project

The Original 11  Note the Warboss in the bottom right

Today I have started work on the big project for the summer: stripping, remodeling, and repainting my 3500 point Imperial Guard Army. I started collecting this army – my first Games Workshop modeling project – when I was in 5th grade, and continued collecting them for maybe six years, alongside a smaller Space Marine force. I have a smattering of different uniform themes – primarily Valhallan, Cadian (new and old), and Mordian – that have until now followed a rather disgusting white, black, orange and grey color scheme (“winter urban camouflage” I imagined) that needs an update. I’ve settled on a color scheme and worked some patterns for it, and I think it will turn out nicely. Because of the differing uniform styles, it is critical to have a matching, consistent palette.

White Guardsmen A Banner of unpainted models

Obviously, some of my army was never undercoated – thankfully including fully half of the vehicles in the force. That’s the easiest part. Stripping the white undercoated guardsmen should be all right, and it should be easy enough to get the painted ones as well. I am most worried about the models I varnished – “the original 11” – but I am hopeful about it.

3500 points The Old Army

After stripping it all: remodeling some, then flocking, then undercoating.

Separated by needed amount of stripping New Color Scheme

Ready for Phase 2

My workspace The first stripped model

After a long weekend of serious work, I have stripped all the models I deemed in need of paint removal, remodeled those that needed it, and reorganized my army list.  I also built two more troopers using spare Guardsmen bits and extra bases.  I am especially proud of one trooper, a shotgun-wielding Sergeant with intent in his motions.

Shotgun-toting This is what I\'m proud of

I was using Chameleon brand model paint remover for most of the work, and on all but my oldest and most difficult models it worked well.  I based my decision on which models to strip and which not to based on how worried I was about losing or obscuring any detail during phase 2: spray painting a new undercoat on the entire army.  With this in mind, I did not strip models with only a light undercoat, nor did I strip any vehicles.  I did, however, perform considerable maintenance on the armored sections of the army.  Part of the forceOn my Leman Russ Exterminator I replaced the old storm bolter with a new heavy stubber, and the old dozer blade with the new one.  I ripped the sponson heavy flamers off another Leman Russ, and gave it smoke launchers.  I modified one of the Chimeras to boast a heavy stubber, and changed a fast attack vehicle – based on a wooden car I made in shop class in middle school – to have different armament.

2nd Company, Volyak 21, with attachments

The new organization comes to 3407 points total, and was based primarily on the models I had available to me.  The doctrines I selected are: Priests, Storm Trooper Squads, Special Weapon Squads, Iron Discipline, Sharpshooters.  The infantry are of 2nd Company, Volyak XXI Rifles and the armor from the Volyak XVII Armored.  Perhaps in another post I will go into the history and more in depth organization of the force.

So where does that leave me modeling wise?  In the previous image, you can see the sketch book where I have drawn uniform plans for the armor.  Here is a better picture:

Uniform styles .

Hopefully before long I will be able to start spray-painting this horde.  I have the black spray paint ready.  After that, I will have to start purchasing paints to start the long, serious painting.  Please comment with any questions, suggestions, etc.

Basing and Undercoating

This is my goal for this week, before the 4th of July weekend. Base and undercoat all of my Guard…and also all of my Eldar (Oh, the hobbyist’s primary weakness – distraction). Already completed: I’ve undercoated all of the Guard vehicles and tonight I hope to finish basing those who still need it.
My basing method is simple. On a clean base, I put some white glue on and spread it around with a toothpick. Then I dip the model in sand, let it sit a few moments with the entire base covered, then pull it off and knock off the extra sand. Let it dry, tap off anything loose, then on to painting. Undercoated black, the bases for my Guard are simply two coats of Goblin Green. Special characters have added debris (rocks, tank tracks, etc.) but by and large, I am pursuing simple bases for a largely simple army.

First Redone Tank

Citadel Boxed Sets and my first redone Tank

Citadel Boxed Sets and my first redone Tank

Tonight I painted up my first Guard tank. It’s based heavily on some World War 2 tank kit I picked up a few years ago and converted. I figure it’s a locally-attached PDF armored vehicle, and hence the paint scheme is different than what my regiment will be. The purple identification banding designates it as an auxiliary attachment to the Imperial Guard. Using the old Vehicle Design Rules…

Artherian PDF Attached Armor
Model: Elephant Mk II Vehicle Name: “NasHorn”
Armor (F/S/R): 13/11/10 BS: 3
Type: Tank Crew: PDF Troopers
Weapons, Wargear: Turret-mounted long-barreled autocannon, hull-mounted heavy flamer, pintle-mounted heavy stubber, hunter killer missile, extra armor.

I figure it’s primarily for Apocalypse games. I have a squad of 10 soldiers I plan to paint up as PDF Troopers, so their paint scheme will be closer to this tank than to the Regiment’s colors.

Heavy Mortars

The 2 heavy mortars I feel deserve a particular explanation. Thanks to 40kOnline’s Armored Kangaroo, I had the inspiration and basic outline to build a heavy mortar using spare tank parts. Really Armored Kangaroo showed me how to do it entirely, and he deserves all the credit. This produced the mortar-like heavy mortar.

The second “heavy mortar” is more of a rocket battery that I converted after finding six of the old Hunter-Killer missiles in my bitz box. I think it works well enough as a “counts-as” heavy mortar.

Artherian PDF

This weekend I finished painting what amounts to approximately one-seventh of my total Guard force, points wise. This section of my force is a hodge podge of local Planetary Defense Force elements that have been attached to this particular Imperial Guard Company/Regiment.

It’s by no means a complete or valid Force Organization Chart army, but it does have several different elements.
First, the Elephant Mk II support tank, as discussed a few posts before, comes in at around 155 points (using the old Vehicle Design Rules).
Second, the Hermes Fast Attack Vehicle, this model a wooden car I made in Industrial Tech class in 7th grade, using VDR is (an unfortunate) 75 points.
Third: an Earthshaker Platform, a good way to save yourself 50 points on an indirect firing piece of heavy artillery.
Fourth, the two heavy mortar units I built, as discussed previously, although I’m not sure when I’ll have the materials to build them some dedicated artillery crewmen. We’ll call these two together at around 100 points.
Fifth and finally, 10 Guardsmen with autogun and frag grenade equivalents. These models are just some models I got out of an old Vor: The Maelstrom box on a liquidation sale.

The painting scheme is actually very, very simple, and despite its lack of complexity I am pleased enough to move on to other projects. Undercoat: black. Bases are straight up Catachan Green. All models were started with a quick layer of Catachan Green, not completely solid or consistent. Over that went a very watery layer of Goblin Green, which looked very green when wet but dried rather nicely. Details were then picked out with Chaos Black, Dark Angels Green, Codex Grey, Boltgun Metal, Bestial Brown, Dwarf Flesh (to highlight the skin over the brown), Sunburst Yellow and Blood Red. The purple banding, signifying the PDF affiliation, was a simple marking of Liche Purple.
Here’s to the Glory of the Emperor.

“Skink” Salamander
Finished my first regular Guard vehicle tonight, although it’s not a Codex pattern. Using the spare pieces from a Basilisk (see previous entry) I built what amounts to a Salamander Scout Vehicle, although I call this one the Skink. Two heavy bolters and a closed top, this vehicle comes in at around 110 points using the VDR.

I think the flash made the colors look much brighter than they actually are, and so I tried one without the flash. All in all, I am very pleased with the color scheme. Soon it shall be employed én masse.

The First 5 Guardsmen

After finishing up the Skink, I went ahead and selected one model from each of the 5 uniform styles that make up the majority of my Guard infantry: new Cadian, Valhallan, Mordian, old Cadian, and Catachan. I painted these up as examples so that they can be referenced while working on the other 113 Guardsmen. At the same time my good friend Aaron was painting up the beginnings of his new Ork army: the Warboss and a Kommando with Big Shoota.

The color scheme for my Guard is simple. There are only three basic colors: Chaos Black for leather, Dark Angels Green for fatigues, etc., and Fortress Grey for armor. Based with Catachan Green, the flesh is done in Dwarf Flesh, the metallics in Chainmail, the icons/symbols in Shining Gold, and the rifle stock in Bestial Brown. All in all I am satisfied, and am particularly excited about the prospect of having an entire army finished in a cohesive color scheme.
I need to figure out, though, a better way to paint eyes. Maybe I just won’t paint them at all, and leave them fleshy.


I’ll be posting something more substantial soon, but I’ve been hard at work at pumping out the 106 “basic infantry” (read: non-heavy weapons and special characters) of my Guard. More to come…

Lieutenants and Sergeants

Instead of posting about models painted since the last update, I thought I’d take a closer look at some special models out of the last batch. So I took some pictures of the Volyak XXI’s three lieutenants and its sergeants. Two sergeants haven’t been painted yet, and neither has the senior leadership of the company. I’ll start out by apologizing for the less than desirable resolution quality. First an image of the entire group:

The aspect I am most pleased with about the sergeants is the conversion work to the Valhallans. The three with straight-edged swords all came kitted with those old, goofy hand flamers, and with some snipping, gluing and painting now two have decent laspistols and one (thanks to the muzzle of a Kroot rifle) has an original bolt pistol.

I am more proud about the three lieutenants. First Platoon is led by Lieutenant Antipov, a classic Mordian Lieutenant with bolt pistol and chainsword.

Antipov takes to battle with carapace armor, a bolt pistol, sometimes meltabombs, usually Iron Discipline and sometimes a Chimera. Second Platoon is led by Lieutenant Porter, whose model features carapace armor, a laspistol, a lasgun, and a shotgun – usually I choose one to game with, and usually it’s the shotgun. He gets Iron Discipline and a Command Section filled up with grenade launchers or plasma guns.

Leading Third Platoon is Lieutenant Sternn, who is designed for close combat with a command section with flamethrowers, a power sword and laspistol, and of course Iron Discipline. Please excuse the feline in the following pictures.

I still have two sergeants to paint up, along with the Captain, Commissar, Priest, Ogryn bodyguard, etc. Soon I hope to have more progress to report on the hordes of basic Guardsmen.

Fruit’s of the Summer:
Imperial Guard Showcase

This summer has been one of significant progress for me and my model armies. I finished two fantasy armies, finished a Tau Empire force, started an Eldar army, and worked intensely on my Imperial Guard’s overhaul. But as the summer winds down, I am forced to admit that the time has come for me to postpone further progress. On Sunday I head back to college, and I most likely will not make any project advancement until various vacations during the school year. To go out with a blogging bang, I’ve taken a hefty amount of pictures of my Imperial Guard army, which stands currently at 3579 points. Perhaps in the future I’ll write a post concerning the background and fluff of the force, and maybe the army list will also receive some form of publication. For now I will focus on the models.
The Guard army stands approximately half finished. I completed, thanks to the help of brothers and friends, 91 infantry models and 6 vehicles. This leaves 55 infantry models and 8 more vehicles to be painted. My Imperial Guard army is made up of three different sub-divisions. The first and largest is the group of units from the parent regiment(s): the Volyak XXI Rifles and the Volyak XVII Armored. Next are local Planetary Defense Force (PDF) units attached to the Volyak regiment from the Artherian 4th Combined Arms regiment. Last and numerically the least are the attachments from Imperial Command, namely a squad of storm troopers and an operative from the Officio Assassinorium.
Painting wise I started by taking care of all of the PDF units in the force, so we can start there, as well.
Pictured in some of the images above, too, are the two storm troopers I’ve finished, in a blue and white camouflage scheme.
Out of the regular regimental units we finished quite a lot of the basic infantry, one vehicle and a cyclops demolition team.
I used this “photoshoot” opportunity to pull out all of my Guard and organize them. It’s a pretty significant force, fit for Apocalypse-sized games (and those are about the only kind that can handle all of those models at once).

Was that an Ogryn Bodyguard back in there? Yes. Yes, it was.

Heavy Mortar Crew

I also acquired some more Guardsmen, most spectacularly some crew for my Heavy Mortar unit.  Also in the picture are two models I “converted” a bit ago – two more tank riders made into ground pounding Guardsmen.

heavymortarscrew1 crew21

Leman Russ: Shorty

I painted a tank this week.  It took about two and a half hours one night, and I’m pretty pleased with the results.  Tank name “Shorty.”

dkanglsgrn rearview


More Progress (Senior Leadership and Advisors)

As my Winter break finishes, I, too, must finish with the painting I’ve been working on.  Besides building a few models, spray painting a few more, and overall spending too much money this holiday season, I painted the senior leadership of my Imperial Guard company, and a few other special members of the force.  I’ll post more on my Guard army in general later in the week.  First, the Vindicare Sniper.



Although I don’t (technically) have an Inquisitor to allow me to field him in anything less than an Apocalypse-sized game, he still might shine in such a target rich environment… I painted him to intentionally try to capture a form of active camouflage (similar to “Otacamo”), hence the coloration.





The company’s priest is a model of which I’m particular proud.  Based on the Uriah Jacobus model, without any conversions.  I was delighted to paint in blues and oranges after painting the same greens, greys and browns for the rest of the army.  The drybrushing for the animal pelt left me feeling quite rewarded.





The company commissar is another model with which I am very pleased.  For what I consider a model rather lacking in detail, I think the differences in the coloration, like the priest, bring a lot to the rest of the army, by having both points of differentiation and reflection with the rest of the force.  The power sword, swathed in its energy field, mirrors the captain’s own (see below); the bolter has the same coloration of other weapons; the sash is colored with the regiment’s main fatigue shade.



Although he might not be quick enough to get between a failed captain and the commissar’s bolt round, this is the captain’s ogryn bodyguard, based on the Nork Deddog model (for individualization, I’ll call him Oon Tuffhide).  Like the Vindicare, I think he finds the most efficient use of his points in Apocalypse-sized battles.




Based on the Captain Chenkov model, this is the company’s commanding officer, Captain Karislov.  Carapace armor, power sword, bolt pistol, iron discipline.  He forms the natural focus of the command platoon.



I also finished these five guardsmen.  The company signals officer, two sergeants with weapon swaps and also two veteran troopers with high-powered autoguns.  All of these models feature conversions, the last four with noticeable weapon swaps.

Painted Models: Pictures

I thought I’d post a few pictures of all the models that I have completed painting for my Imperial Guard 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…

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.

More Progress: IG 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 to finishing my 2000 point army (painting-wise).

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.


Regimental 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.

4 responses to “Restoring the Guard

    • Thanks! It’s been ongoing for a number of years now, but anytime I want to feel inspired to work more on the army I look at this compilation. I am finally getting close to finishing the entire army!

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