Ok well I am aiming to get my marine army done by [end of the year] and I shall use the classic blog as a motivational booster! I'm a slow painter so need all the encouragement I can get, particularly when there is neat and shiny stuff to paint over the plebs.
This will be mostly the building of my custom chapter (fluff to come) called the Ice Claws. Basically they live in an area of ice planets (I like snow) and pew pew crap. I will also throw in a smattering of Eldar and other random paintings that tickle my fancy or I have done for my Eldar army.
Bases won't be done for a while as I have a limited budget and tend to buy stuff all at once to lower shipping costs. The same goes for future magnets, so all my magnetized options will generally happen later on (i.e. the half finished captain).
Anyways I will update this first post with some fluff later on and lists (which can be found scattered about throughout the army lists section). My aim is to have 1500 points painted by July!
Enjoy and post as much c&c as you'd like.
Edit 1: The fluff so far!
Long fluff post incoming! (does anyone know if I am just able to attach a .rtf of this so people can read at their leisure? Will update the first post with this, too. Note: it's about 2 pages word processor length.
The Space Marine chapter of the Ice Claws was formed over four centuries ago. Initiated largely by Chief Librarian Tigrus of the Ultramarines Chapter, the Ice Claws were formed to protect a region of space on the Eastern Fringe that was until recently shielded by warp storms. Upon the dissipation of the warp storms and further exploration, an Imperium exploration team discovered the region of space found to be almost unique in its solar makeup; exclusively every star within a 15 light year radius was a white dwarf. Whether this is due to the warp storm activity or a cosmic occurrence not seen before is unknown. However, this unique makeup of stars has lead to a large portion of habitable ice planets and asteroids, which were rich in mineral resources.
The military importance of this region quickly became apparent as the exploration team was attacked by two major xenos species; Eldar pirates and the ever expanding Tau Empire. Unable to requisition more aid from the Imperium, the meagre defences of the exploration team seemed doomed to be overwhelmed. This would have been the case if not for the timely arrival of Chief Librarian Tigrus and the 2nd Company of Ultramarines led by Captain Sicarius. The fighting was fierce and the losses sustained by the Ultramarines were becoming unsustainable. With a large amount of valuable resources and strategic positing within the Eastern Fringe at stake, Tigrus knew it was vital to gain a foothold in the area. He thus appealed to use the Ultramarines gene-seed to create a new chapter based in the area. His appeal was successful and a hundred years after the initial exploration team discovered the plethora of white stars, the Ice Claws were officially established as a Space Marine chapter fit for war.
Chapter name: Ice Claws
Chapter Master: Stiria (Sty - ra)
Homeworld: Capella (Cap - el - a)
Local inhabitants: none known to this date
Founding Chapter: Ultramarines
Founding date: M41.509
Current strength: Seven battle companies
The region of space was named Anteeo Bacatus due to its richness in resources. Development was planned for centuries to come with large regiments of Imperial Guard being posted to suppliment the elite fighting force of the Ice Claws. However, a century after the Chapter’s founding space travel became difficult once again. Many ships were lost before Stiria forbade warp travel in, out and within the region. Inefficient and slow sub-space travel became the only means of travel. It was up to individual companies to hold the solar systems within their control. Over the next century and a half the warp storms persisted cutting the Chapter and the planets under its protection, off from the rest of the Imperium. During this time the Ice Claws deviated from the Codex Astartes as they adapted to their changed climate.
When Stiria forbade warp travel he sent sixteen ships via warp space to deliver his messages to each of the companies outside of Capella with his final message. Two were sent to each company, including the sixth and seventh reserve companies, explaining the situation and proclaiming all warp travel was to cease. Each company was to become self-sufficient and sustain the star system they were stationed on. When communication from the region ceased to the rest of the Imperium, few expected the Chapter to survive. For a further century and a half, the five active battle companies (including the 1st on Capella) and the two reserve companies sustained themselves and fought. The companies were tasked with individual recruitment and induction of neophytes, maintenance of the armoury, protection of the gene-seed and purity of faith in the immortal Emperor and all that he stands for. The companies’ mandate was to protect the Emperor’s realm from xenos threats. They were tasked the impossible, to hold out against all-odds, against numerous foes for a breadth of time unknown with no relief and no quarter whilst still governing and maintaining a human population numbering in the hundreds of millions. They were tasked with this daunting objective and found themselves equal to it.
The sustained level of isolation and drawing on individual populations for recruits bred a uniqueness in individual companies. Although no gene-seed alterations have occurred to this date, each company has a significantly increased expression of particular traits over others. Whilst their tactics at a Chapter, Company and squad level deviate minimally from the Codex Astartes, Stiria has available to him companies with underlying specialities rivalling the founding chapters of renown. Only one company did not survive, the 2nd. What happened to them is as mysterious as the warp storms themselves, for upon investigation not a trace of civilization remained. No move has been made to recreate the 2nd company or reinhabit the richly resourced system to this date.
To this day the Chapter is still hard pressed to maintain or improve its numbers. Although the warp storms have diminished, warp travel in the region is still highly unstable and the Chapter is often without support or relief for many years at a time. The companies are still self-sufficient and the Imperium is grateful for the service they provide in and outside the region they call home. The resources being produced by the region in a month are able to maintain a whole sector fleet for half a year but such shipments cannot be relied upon. The Ultramarines continue to provide as much support as they can and indeed some veterans have been there for over 300 years and are considered as much an embodiment of the Ice Claws chapter as Stiria is himself.
The army that I will make will be based around the 3rd Company, so a bit more about them below.
The base planet of the 3rd Company is Proycon in the solar system called Gemmo ab Caelum led by Captain Udnaas Silchas. There is only one inhabitable planet (Proycon) within Gemmo ab Caelum and it’s quite large. Surrounded by dozens of gaseous forms, asteroid belts and satellites, Proycon is a world in isolation as even sub-space travel is tedious. Proycon and many other planets in Anteeo Bacatus boast an underground network of caverns which are heated by underground springs from the planet‘s core. These caverns only appear under rocky outcrops or mountains with some interconnected through tunnels. These tunnels and caverns seem to be the result of a now extinct life form native to the region and one can nearly travel the circumference of Proycon underground. The Ice Claws have created outposts throughout the planet Proycon using these caverns as an underground base of operations. The largest of these turned into the capital of today, Proycon City. These outposts vary from huge intersections with other underground regions or are very isolated. The interconnected outposts offer a wide range of tactical possibilities for retreats, ambushes and rapid mobilisation and are thus heavily defended. The isolated outposts often offer an advantage over the overlying tundra, much like castles from medieval Europe. Rarely did the Ice Claws and their PDF ever engage in battle within these underground warrens when it was not on their terms.
Luckily for the habitants of Proycon, the majority of the fighting takes place amongst the asteroids and satellites where Imperial Guard and Ice Claws alike protect the valuable mining facilities from pirates. All this changed when the Tau arrived. After centuries of warfare engaged with Daemonic and Eldar forces, the 3rd Company had become adept at mobile warfare. Often battles were fought on the tundra from Rhinos and Razorbacks with support offered through Bikes, Speeders and Predators. Battles would range over many kilometers and would often descend into the caverns beneath craggy mountain ranges. Such descents could lead to clever ambushes, escape routes or full scale retreats. These battles had no clear objectives and it was often hard for the Ice Claws and their PDF counterparts to mount an effective offensive. With the arrival of the Tau on Proycon, Captain Silchas had to revise his usual deployment and armament make-up of the 3rd Company. The Tau from the sept placeholder entered the system undetected and quickly made planet fall on Proycon a thousand kilometres south of Proycon City. Detecting this landing, Silchas led the first, third and ninth squads of the Company alongside two regiments of the PDF to the mountain range just south of Proycon City. From here they proceeded to travel underground by foot to the outpost under siege by the Tau.
As Captain Silchas and his compliment neared the cavern under siege, they came under fire. The Tau had already overrun the outpost and set up defences of their own. Having made the assumption they could arrive in time before the defences fell, Silchas had made a terrible mistake. Without support above ground, the Tau were able to concentrate their defensive efforts on the few tunnels Silchas’s forces were able to control. Unable to fight through the oppressive firepower, Silchas enacted a retreat and wisely the Tau held their positions. From that point on the Tau have expanded. Rarely coming outside of the underground network, they prefer the narrow tunnels and caverns where they are able to maximise their firepower and maintain stable avenues of escape. The recall of two more squads from the mining facilities in the space around Proycon has stemmed the tide but the Ice Claws are hard pressed to maintain their defences. The Tau now control an area of some 500 square kilometers south of Proycon city. This region includes three previous Imperial outposts, five Tau-made outposts and two separate mountain ranges. All of the eight outposts are heavily interconnected to the north and continuously apply pressure to the Imperial controlled outposts.