After a brief love affair with Infinity, and some Fantasy projects that never really took off, I'm back in the far future where there's only war. Beware, for I do love my fluff, but I promise you there is a picture somewhere here, and that there will be lots more in due time.
Now, however, I present...
The Saturnine 27th
"The Reaping Death"
History of the Saturnine Regiments
As Informally And Slightly Dramatically Presented And Summarised
By Your Humble Lex-Mechanic Coxoll-3
With service records stretching back to pre-Unification times, the Saturnine regiments are truly some of the most well decorated and renowned regiments to currently serve in the Imperial Guard. Resulting from the the division of the Imperial Army into the Imperial Guard and Imperial Navy, and the integration of the separate Saturnine forces into the wider Imperium's armed strength, the long tradition of these regiments is scarred by reorganisation, restructuring, the creation and disbanding of regiments, hierarchies and titles at the whims of greater forces in the galaxy.
This being so, in addition to the near ten millenia long history of the Saturnine regiments, not even adepts with high security clearance can expect to piece together much of a full story from the scraps of history. There are also curious cases of data classified beyond even Lord Inquisitor clearance, and as of yet no High Lord or other Limit Zero cleared person has deemed the matter important enough to spend the weeks traveling amongst the datastack hallways of the moon Thetos that are necessary to access the files in question.
A precariously vague scheme of the general milestones in the history of the Saturnine regiments can, nevertheless, be laid out. The first such milestone would be the merging of the Saturnine empire into the Imperium of Man expanding outwards from ancient Terra under the command of the Emperor himself. Reinforced by Imperial forces, including the first few legions of Astartes, the Saturnine fleet (then in all likelihood a formation including both fleet and army formations) annihilated the secessionist forces hiding out in Saturn's rings. From then on, the Saturnine fleet fought alongside, but never as a true part of, Imperial forces along the entire frontier of the Crusade. Records have been found, though many are surely missing still, of Saturnine presence in (amongst others) the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 36th, 63rd and 201st Expeditionary Fleets. The low numerals are worthy of note, as an indication of the Saturnine forces' early dedication to the Great Crusade and the Emperor's cause. Of course, there are exceptions (the 250791st Expeditionary Fleet being the most extreme, perhaps), and these probably consist of regiments raised because of population overload or unexpected military demand. It seems that most of the new recruits raised were transported to the established regiments, a costly procedure illustrating both the Imperium's respect for the Saturnine Fleet, and the huge capacity and resources of the Saturnine Fleet itself.
During ancient times, the primary recruitment grounds for the Saturnine Fleet were the moons and asteroid rings of Saturn, housing a civil population comparable to a grade C Hive World. Today though, most of the moons of Saturn have been turned into cogs grinding in the vast machine that is the Imperium, most importantly the [-SECURITY CLEARANCE LIMIT 2 REQUIRED-], and as mentioned before, the great Datastack Vaults of Thetos. The asteroid belts still remain valuable sources of mineral however, and as in the rest of the Sol system, there is a vast presence of defensive platforms, shipyards, and even three Ramilies class starforts permanently stationed in orbit - all requiring an equally vast presence of personnel. Entire generations live out their lives in silent watch over the Emperor's realm, most born into their positions and few ever leaving them before death.
These mining stations, orbital defence platforms, monitors, signal stations and so on now form a recruitment base much in the same way as the civilian population once did. Unwanted children, personnel deemed superfluous by budget cuts or reorganisations, staff found guilty of minor charges, and many more; All are welcomed into the Saturnine regiments.The transition most likely happened gradually, and formally the recruitment base is no different than in the time of the Great Crusade.
With the heresy of the primarch Horus, and the upheaval that followed, the dust clouds of history obscure our sight for some centuries. It seems, however, that emerging from the chaos were only the Saturnine army regiments, now as a formal part of the newly instituted Imperial Guard. The fleet assets were assimilated into the equally young Imperial Navy, and of the semi-autonomous Saturnine administrative entity little but cosmic dust remained, though history does not tell whether its end was a violent conflagration in opposition to one side or the other in the greater rebellion, or whether it was quietly assimilated into the Imperium.
Since then, no changes of similar magnitude have affected the organisation or raising of the Saturnine regiments - like many other regiments in the Guard, even regiments that have been completely wiped out or disappeared are reraised with the same regimental number. However, the hand of tradition lies even more heavily upon the Saturnine regiments than most others, and new recruits are always sent to reinforce or reinstate a regiment, never to create a new numeral - this has not happened since the Great Crusade, if our sources are correct. Thus, the maximum number of active Saturnine regiments should theoretically never have been higher than 39, the 39th Saturnine likely therefore being the last raised before the Heresy occurred.
In practice, however, there are at most far fewer active regiments. Partly this is due to high attrition rates, periods of low recruitment, and the slow grinding of bureaucratic gears, like in the rest of the Imperium, coupled with the special character of Saturn's recruitment base. There are however, also darker matters involved. Some regimental numbers (of which we are somewhat certain of only two - the 2nd and 28th - but suspect a few more, though missing documents and regimental restructuring prevent us from drawing any final conclusions on these) have simply never been reraised since the great rebellion of Horus. Though we do not have clearance to access the libraries where such documents as might prove our suspicions could perhaps be found, our guess is that these regiments sided with the Arch-Traitor in the rebellion. For the Saturnine regiments, this, if true, is surely a great shame indeed, especially considering the planet's position as one of the closest guardians of ancient Terra.
Whatever darkness might lie in their past, however, the Saturnine regiments have a glorious reputation as some of the finest non-Astartes troops in the Imperium - a reputation not only resting upon the glories of old, but being won in blood anew every day across the galaxy. As might be expected of such an ancient regiment, they specialize in traditional mass warfare, and with only a few exceptions all Saturnine regiments have been raised as Infantry regiments. The line is blurry at times however, as even the Infantry regiments are well provided with integrated support units ranging from light field artillery to super heavy tank units.
Furthermore, archaic technology that infantrymen of most other Guard regiments don't even know exists and even less are equipped with, such as Rapier laser destroyers and Valdor tank hunters, can be found in abundance within the Saturnine armouries, its manufacture and maintenance overseen by some of the most senior Mechanicus adepts in the Sol system. When the Saturnine regiments are sent to do war, a unusually high number of tech priests follow in their wake to oversee the deployment of these invaluable pieces of technology. There seems to be a mutual yet silent understanding between the Saturnine regiments and Mars, as on the other hand, Saturnine regiments are often requested by the Martian priesthood to accompany their Explorator Fleets, an unusual request in itself, making even more of an exception by the fact that the Saturnine commanders usually accept.
Due to their long and honourable history, the Saturnine regiments are also on good standings with most other Imperial institutions, with the notable (and problematical) exception of the Imperial Navy, the enmity of which in all likelihood still lingers from the days of the Saturnine Fleet. They are, however, on exceptionally good terms with many equally ancient Astartes chapters and Titan Legions, gifted banners from such hallowed formations as the Dark Angels, Imperial Fists, Salamanders and Legio Ignatum decorating the Terra-ward wall of the main gathering hall in Saturnine Overall Command. The reasons for this respect are just as obvious as the awe-inspiring objects, as they hang on the opposite wall - torn and ragged banners captured from the vilest enemies of the Emperor, amongst which names such as the World Eaters, Iron Warriors, and Word Bearers ring out most clearly through the aeons.
Such is the past against which the Saturnine regiments of today compete for glory and honour, mirrored darkly in the silence concerning the lack of certain numbers in the order of regiments. Can any amount of blood wash away the knowledge that when the Imperium stood at the brink of defeat, amongst its enemies were perhaps counted the ancient brothers of the Saturnine? Can any amount of silence hide that which is never said out aloud, but whispered amongst the other commanders in the command tents of the Guard - that they who turned traitor once can never be trusted fully, lest the darkness returns?
The Saturnine regiments march on, drenching such whispers in the screams of dying foes.
This is where I'm at at the moment, after receiving and hacking apart the quite expensive DKoK models (an act through which I risked severe and life long mental issues) and then adding heads and GS. All in all the converting process was much easier and quicker than I had feared, and it was all over in about two hours.
As for the painting, these will be mostly black and dark grey, with some very few touches of white and (I think) deep red. Main contrast will be the heads though, which will hopefully add some personality to the otherwise quite anonymous (yet great) Death Korps sculpts. Planning to add some female heads as well, as my short Infinity break left me awed at Corvus Belli's production line being almost gender equal. Can't see tat the Imperial Guard would be much different, even though it's not currently represented by GW, or likely ever will be.
My plan with this project is to have no plan, basically, since that always ends up with me being intimidated by how much stuff I need to do. I do have some inklings of where it might be headed though: Lots of infantry, lots of support weapons (think rapiers and thud guns), rough riders, and at least one Land Raider to drive home the connection to the Imperial Army of old.
In general, the Imperial Army feel from the various HH books is a huge inspiration source for this army, so expect (hopefully) lavishness and some more exotic stuff than you'd see in a bog standard 40k Guard force.