Those who know me likely know that I have a keen interest in all aspects of the chaos gods in 40K. That interest has always extended to the desecrated forges and dark pacts of the Dark Mechanicus. Unlike the capricious will of the dark gods and the fleeting lives of their mortal masters, the great daemonforge is an entirely different entity. It offers a simple bargain, cruel and demeaning, any daemon willing to swear loyalty to the forge first and foremost will be given a new form and set loose upon the mortal realm once again.
The adepts of the dark Mechanicus are therefore very different from their imperial cousins. They don’t merely revere iron and technology, they explore the very limits of what is possible, using magic and daemonflesh to break the laws of physics. Unfortunately, the closest we have to this army rules-wise is the daemon engines from CSM/daemons and the Heretek Magos from Imperial Armor 13. While this gives us some cool options, the intrepid chaos player looks across the aisle and sees the support Ad Mech got and gets a little jealous.
Enter the Bundle
I was content to slowly acquire dark mech minis for my IA 13 army, stretching rah box across a ton of cultists before moving on to the next one…but GW threw me a curve ball: bundle boxes that offered every one of the ad mech kits except the electropriests. I couldn’t say no. And with them preordered, I set about scheming on a fully realized dark Mechanicus force.
The Dark Master: creating a Techpriest Dominus
I should preface this by saying this model isn’t done, I’m still deciding on how to handle the servo harness. That said, the weapons and legs are quite to my liking, the only question is whether I can find a better way to represent the servo arms.
Obviously I started with a Slaughterpriest from Age of Sigmar. When the model came out and I saw its tall, lanky form and imposing axe I knew I needed to make it onto a tech priest. The protruding spine and horns make great mounting points and the model just worked well. The only issue was legs, no self-respecting Magos has legs. So, I made him new ones.
I still need to do some work on this model, he needs eye implant goggles and some tech on his skull, otherwise though I’m quite happy:
March of the Ballistari
My bundle got me an Ironstrider Ballistari, but they can be taken in squadrons and I wanted a few. I went ahead and ordered some defiler legs and a spare defiler turret (I already had one) so that I could make 2 ballistari. I am looking at using spare parts to make a dragoon as well.
I originally thought (and assembled) that an extended section was needed for the legs, but it was too tall with it included so i removed it and now it is close to the right height.
One of the most interesting parts of the official model is the servitor attached to the front of it. I wanted this same design note, but i decided to give it a dark mechanicus flare:
Here you can see it next to my official ironstrider:
In fact, lets get into that. The official model is a masterpiece and I’ve taken care not to change much. I added some spikes, two shields from the chaos knight kit, and replaced the bar the gun rests on. I’m considering other ways to enhance the model’s appearance. I’ll take more pics when the model is further along.
Reimagining the Dragoon
This model is in really preliminary phases right now, but with some ravenwing legs and skiitari and chaos parts it will make a good dragoon. The weapons from that model aren’t being used anyway, so it’s a great way to use those parts.
Splitting the Onager
The onager Dunecrawler is an interesting kit to corrupt, as it has a lot in common with the Defiler, but it’s much smaller. I knew I wanted to split the kit in half, with the legs hosting a daemon on top, and some daemonic legs to put the upper portion on. So far I really like the results (they are very preliminary).
The upper body portion is a Khorgorath (I wound up with 4 of these things lol) and a combo of Minotaur arm and a DCCW, there’s still a lot of greenstuff work to go.
The gun arm is going to be magnetized, so I’ll need to sculpt his upper arm then add magnets. I’ll also greenstuff over the khorne mark on his chest and down onto the base of the legs to give it a feeling of integrating with the machine.
The rest of the onager will be built on these legs, there’s a ton of sculpting to do here, I think I’ll use the tentacle creator I ordered to bulk up the base and then use thin plasticard to make armor plates similar to the maulerfiend.
Finishing off my daemon constructs will be a 3rd Onager, but I’m stalled because I don’t have a plan for the legs yet, I’ll be checking eBay and thinking about scratch building some pneumatic legs. Anyhow the idea is something like an onager, but with a skitarii in a jar suspended in fluid. Something like a navigator from Lynch’s Dune.
Putting it all together
With this army off the ground, so far I’m pleased with how it is shaping up. There’s serious visual congruity between my custom creations and my more official daemon engines. The only major outlier is the official Ironstrider, but with some additional meddling I think it will at least be authentically chaosy, if a bit distinct.
I’ll start working on infantry soon, I don’t have a plan for my Kataphron and Kastelan yet, but I can definitely imagine using some ogres to make additional Kastelan. I know my FLGS had some of the mono-wheels from Kromlech that they were trying to get rid of, if they still have them I could possibly use them to extend the kits I have