Old School here with a new addition of It Came From the Forums, this time focusing on one of the "Forgotten Chapters" - The Black Templars. In this case, we will be looking at the very best Black Templar army I have seen to date: Mad Matt's Barbarossa Crusade! Let's take a look at what he has come up with so far.
Some of the earliest work in Mad Matt's thread is credited to his mentor Dante77, including this Emperor's Champion and a couple of the next pieces, but after that, he takes off on his own, crafting one hell of an army! What impresses me most over the course of this whole project log is the armor and the way the black is highlighted. Note, it was done without the use of an airbrush!
Perhaps my favorite Chaplain in the Space Marine Range and it is good to see him get this level of paint!
I was talking to Wolfson the other day about people who paint their actual table-top armies to a showcase standard and how crazy that is to me ... but that's why they call the artist Mad Matt!
The attention to detail and all the little extra touches really show on these models; the extra purity seals, the OSL around the eyes, the perfect little chips and cracks in the surface of the armor.
The mixing of the Templar Upgrade kit, the DA kits and the Forge World pre heresy bits is flawless, which is harder to pull off than you may think as the FW parts are not fully to scale with standard 40k parts.
Ah, my second favorite GW chaplain, though I like the paint job on this one much more. Look at the little highlights on the arm holding the Crozium!
Another thing that strikes me with this army is the basing. I have done a lot of cork and rubble basing, but his cork work is a step above what I had previously thought was a good standard. Luckily, he includes a tutorial in the project log on his thread. He also wrote a tut on painting his armor and plans to start making video tuts, so make sure you click the link at the bottom of the post to follow his work!
What I love about the Barbarossa Crusade that Mad Matt has put together is that he has included plenty of Black Templar character to his army. What I mean by that is Chaplains! The addition of the Forge World Chaplain Dread isn't just a cool model, but one more step in fullfilling the theme. Right now Blood Angels may have the most chaplains, but I think the next update we see will have some serious chaplain love for the Black Templars.
While Neophytes are the bullet sponges of the Templar world, they were spared no love here.
This lascannon is an example of what I have been talking about with his armor. I wish I could paint like this. The brownish, greyish white highlights mixed with the chips and cracks just looks so beautiful. My resolution for 2012 will be to learn how to paint this effect.
One thing you should know about the Barbarossa Crusade is that it is themed around a small Land Raider and rhino element, supported by a larger drop pod assault, thus the Dreadnoughts. Again, this dread is very impressive, with nice little touches like the grey knight head in the ven dread here. The OSL is very well done, particularly on the lascannon arm. Here's a quick tour of the dread ...
Nothing speaks to the indestructable aura around Land Speeders (all three of mine tend to live the whole game somehow) like having expensive FW storm shields on your wings!
This is the model that sucked me into the thread originally ... I have seen a ton of Contemptor Dreads out there, but none that have really impressed me to this level. Gentlemen, the bar has been set!
If you check out the project log link at the bottom of this post, you can go through it and see that the robes and a number of the small shields are actually sculpted from what looks like Super Sculpy. The use of the dreadknight sword is well done and really fits the army. The Contemptor looks like an Emperor's Champion!
It isn't very common to see a plastic techmarine and whn I do see one, there tends to be a lot of flaws in the design. This one is a rare exception. The leg is from Kromlech, though I am unsure about the augmetic arm. I would love to know how the servo arm was constructed.
Next up, his assault termies! Let's just go one by one ...
Here is my favorite one. The bloody handprint makes the little Khorne Berzerker inside me smile!
A great squad and a potent one in the hands of a Templar player with "Accept any Challenge"
We will start to wrap this post up with Matt's Castellian. The castellian, much like the terminators has a lot of subtle conversion work. They say the best conversions attract no attention. In that case, we have seen it at its best here. The robes on the termies are sculpted, among other parts. The castellian has plated boot armor sculpted as well, which is a very nice touch. Aside from that, the addition of Grey Knight bits is also subtle and in traditional Black Templar tastes enought that it fits very well. Again, there are some nice touches here; my personal favorite is the blood on the edge of the shield that speaks to the fact that it has been used as a weapon and that is the kind of quality work that I love about this army!
Hopefully, you have been as impressed as I have with this army so far, but the the Barbarossa Crusade is far from complete. There is much work to be done in the future for Mad Matt and I would like to invite you to take a look at his project log at Heresy Online, where you can keep up with his work or just look though his work so far to see the photos I have left out or read the tutorials he has posted.
I leave you with a couple of environmental shots of this incredible army ...
... Any thoughts on this army? Care to share your opinions?