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Brotherhood of Dust – My Army for Arc40k 2015

This is my first post on my new 40k Modelling Diary blog, and it is to introduce my army for Arc40k 2015, held at the Union Hall at La Trobe University in Bundoora, Victoria, Australia. The tournament is an all hobby event, where the list composition, theme and aesthetics of the army is just as important as how good you are on the table. So with that being said I decided to do an army that I have longed to do for quite some time, but have held off due to the fact for the most part it is hard to do them competitively. So here is my Thousand Sons army, The Brotherhood of Dust. As the modelling for my army progresses I will add progress shots and potentially battle reports

Primary Detachment: Combined Arms Detachment: Chaos Space Marines

HQ1: (Warlord) Ahzek Ahriman of the Thousand Sons (Ahriman)
1 Roll on Tzeentch, 1 Roll on Biomancy, 1 Roll on Telepathy, 1 Roll on Daemonology – Malefic

HQ2: Malagor Auramagma, Magister Templi of the Pyrae (Warp Smith)
Veterans of the Long War, Aura of Dark Glory, Mark of Tzeentch

Troop1: Ahzek Ahriman’s Rubicae (Thousand Sons)
9 Thousand Sons (Incl. Aspiring Sorcerer), Melta Bombs , 1 Roll on Tzeentch

Troop 1A: The Inferno (Rhino)
Dozer Blades, Dirge Caster

Troop2: Thralls of the Pyrae (Cultists)
10 Cultists, 9 with Auto Pistol and Close Combat Weapon, 1 Flamer

Troop3: Thralls of the Corvidae (Cultists)
10 Cultists, Champion with Auto Pistol and Close Combat Weapon, 8 with Autoguns, 1 Heavy Stubber

Elites1: Scarab Occult Terminators (Chaos Terminators)
6 Chaos Terminators (Incl. Terminator Champion), Mark of Tzeentch, Veterans of the Long War,
Terminator Champion w/ Combi Bolter and Power Axe, 2 Terminator w/ Combi Plasma and Chain Fist, 3 Terminators w/ Combi Melta and Power Axe

Heavy Support 1: Havocs of the Corvidae (Havocs)
5 Havocs, 4 Lascannons

Heavy Support 2: The Scarlet Phoenix (Maulerfiend)
Two Magma Cutters


Painting the Brotherhood – Stage 1

ok, so I have got quite a few shots of my test model at each step, but with the amount of models I have to get painted in a short time I don’t have a huge amount of shots of the first few stages of the actual painting, but I can describe the paints/method I used.

So I started by assembling a single chaos space marine, didn’t bother cleaning him up, or even what he is armed with, he is just being used as a crash test dummy anyways 🙂


Just a heads up, this test model is painted dog ugly, really quick, hoping to get the airbrush going on the real models in the same night, in the end I wasn’t happy with the colors I had, so that didn’t happen anyways 😦


I started with the paints that I had, later realised I needed more paints as I wasn’t getting the look I wanted. But here is the first layer of macragge blue


I follow that up with a layer of Alaitoc Blue


I thought I would try something different and give it a purple tinge to it, so my first shade I used was Druchi Violet (when you see what I ended up with you can tell I didn’t like it)


I then did a highlight of Hoeth Blue


Then gave it a hit with Guilliman Blue


Wanted to see how this would look with the other colors so added in Balthazar Gold as a test gold to just check how the blues looked with it


And then basically through on some Yriel Yellow in some rough spots to see how that would brighten up the model.


And the plan is for Green lenses, so I through on a moot green as a bit of a look.

In the end, as it said at the start of this post I wasn’t keen on the color scheme. So I went looking for other Thousand Son armies to see what they used, and what I liked. Didn’t find one army that was the look I was after, but found a few that I could pinch some ideas from. So I ended up with something completely different from above after a chat with 3 of my mates from Melbourne (Adam, Caine and Leigh).


So primed all the models.


Got the spray both and airbrushes all ready to rumble.


Here is a look at the army at the end of the night, lets call that “Stage 1” of painting.


So the Scarab Occult Termis went with a Khorne Red base (I know blasphemy right), followed by Blood Red at a 45* Angle from above (pretty sure this is an old color which has been replaced by Evil Sunz Scarlet). I then continues to do 4 more layers each reducing the angle or picking specific points on the model I wanted to highlight, the next 4 layers were Blood Red again but adding in increasing amounts of Fire Dragon Bright (an orange). Normally with my highlights I add white scar, however with red that can often make it look pink instead of a brighter red.


The rest of the army are having the blue look, but I have gone with a much brighter feel than the traditional dark blue thousand sons models you see in a lot of the GW publications. I haven’t washed them back yet, this will be done tonight, however I am concerned about losing some of this brightness, so I am going to do another test model with these colors to make sure I like it. I may end up doing a simple highlight of white scar white at the end, but we shall see 🙂

So I started off with the first layer of Kantor Blue (quite dark). Then I did a layer of Caledor Sky almost covering the model again, but trying to not go to heavy on some of the recess areas to represent shadows. I then followed that up with a layer of Sotek Green (don’t be fooled, it is more of a blue/turquoise color). I then did 4 more layers of Sotek Green each time adding in White Scar to brighten it up.

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I used this same technique on my Rhino as well, however on tanks it can sometimes be a lot more obvious the gradients due to the size of the model and room to blend.

I am really unsure of what I will bring it all back with, I am going to test using either drakenhof nightshade and/or gullimen blue glaze. Both seem to be quite a dark shade/glaze, so I may end up using one and then doing another couple of layers of the Sotek Green with White Scar. But we will see how it comes out.

Combined Hobby Session – Bit of Everything

ok, so I have done a fair bit more on my army. It is almost all assembled and ready to under coat.

I have finished the Thousand Sons (new photo to come) and their Rhino

Rhino 1 Rhino 2

The top hatch is magnatised so I can easily remove it and show the inside of the tank. The back door is also on a hinge that opens.


I have finished assembling my Cultists. I already had the close combat squad assembled, however they were undercoated for a different hobby project. I am going to do a test model and see how it looks just airbrushing over the top, as the color palette isn’t that different (greeny/blue).


Here is a look at the 2 squads. I had to do 2 of the Autogun models as a conversion as I was 2 short. I don’t have the pics, but I have found some online to show the bits I used.


It was a pretty simple conversion really. I cut off the auto pistol arm off this guy (which needed a cit at the arm and one at the dog tags. I then had to cut the left hand off the gun. Then using a bit of green stuff magic to fill the gaps I got 2 new autogun cultists.

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The flamer guy needed a bit of work as well. Due to me losing the flamer back pack that comes with the cultist kit from Dark Vengeance 😦 I had to improvise. So I got one of these flamer tanks from my bits box (pretty sure it is from a Militarum Tempestus – Scion kit), however the tubing didn’t line up. So I had to bend the tube coming out of the flamer till it pretty much broke (no worries, green stuff fixed those cracks) and then I had it all lined up. Nice and simple, and clean…


These guys were using bits from the Chaos Space Marines kit, as well as heads from a third party vendor (same one that did the Thousand Sons back packs that no longer exists and I can’t find any more of). The las cannons were from the Forgeworld 30k set.

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The Aspiring Champion used bits from tomb kings for his staff, and the same “sergeant” back pack as the Thousand Sons unit.

Scarab Occult Terminators

I had already finished 5 of the Chaos Terminators from the Scarab Occult unit, I now just had to finish off the Terminator Champion. I was using a Terminator Armour Praetor (came in a double kit which I used the power armour one for Ahriman). I decided that I would magnatise his Axe arm and the Combi Bolter in case I wished to change him around in the future, also the axe arm was now pose able 🙂


z2 z3

I think I will use the same style of head as I did for the other termis.


The mauler fiend was almost done already. I will take some more photos once it is complete, but I have added the tail that I wanted to use (from the Manticore kit). I will do some green stuff to clean up the edges on this one.

Tail1 Tail2

The Bases

As you can see above, I think I want to go with the Scibor Egyptian/Scarab style bases, but I only have the 40mm ones, and I wanted to make 32mm ones, as well as some very simple versions of 25mm (less ruins for these ones, mainly sand, a little bit of rock and scarabs).


Still a fair bit to do to make these look solid. I will need to green stuff some of the edges of where I cut the basing bits from Scibor. I will need to add sand, and potentially a few extra scarabs for some of them.

Character Introductions: Malagor Auramagma

In creating my Thousand Sons army, I searched long and hard for a Thousand Sons character in existing text that would do a good representation of a Warp Smith. With the Cult of Pyrae having the ability to control Robots or event Titans, it made sense that it had to be there. It couldn’t be Khalophis due to him dying during the Battle of Prospero, so I ended up going with Malagor Auramagma. He suited the character perfectly, as I wanted to have him controlling a Mauler Fiend that was modeled as a Phoenix, and with his “burning” on Prospero it seemed to fit.

So here is the initial cliff notes of the character. I have taken some liberties with the character since there is little known of him after the Battle of Prospero, but a lot of it is direct from A Thousand Sons by Graham McNeill.

Malagor Auramagma, Magister Templi of the Pyrae (Warp Smith)

  • Originally Captain of the 8th Fellowship of the Thousand Sons
  • After Khalophis’ death Auramagma took the mantle of the Magister Templi for the Cult of the Pyrae
  • During the Council of Nikaea mockingly suggested they should all remove one of their eyes as a symbol of solidarity with Magnus.
  • During the Battle of Prospero he directly confronted Leman Russ, engulfing the Primarch in pshycic fire, however Russ’ chill armour reflected the attack and consumed Auramagma. Auramagma howled in such agony that all who heard his screams were moved to pity as the aether devoured his very essence. He was believed to be dead, but this would not be the last time that he managed to survive almost certain death.
  • As a member of the Cult of the Pyrae Auramagma has the ability to control and manipulate automata, and has been seen fighting either alongside or “through” a large mechanised phoenix, the symbol of the Pyrae and a token to his rise from the flames of Prospero.

The Beginning of the Theme

Ok, so as I am going with an established theme this year compared to my usual unique chapter The Scars, I have to make it stand out visually as well as thematically. So how can I make mine stand out over someone else who has simply typed it up? Well a cool back drop is a good start. So I have taken the page out of the Chaos Codex for Ahriman and the page for the Thousand Sons (conveniently one was a left page one was a right page) and started some editing.

I started by removing all the text. This leaves obviously a huge blank space, which with my limited graphical tools (Microsoft Paint or Snagit Editor) makes life difficult, as the backing looks almost like parchment. So I began copying big chunks of parchment area that did not have text on it, and expanded that to all the now blank areas. This looked garbage! I then used the blur tool on Snagit Editor to blur the copied sections together. Starting to look a lot cleaner.

Stage 1:


But everyone has seen this page before, and seen this pic before, it was hardly unique. So I took out I added a picture (you may have seen it on this blog before) and spent a fair bit of time cutting and pasting the border from around the ahriman pic to be around the new one. I did the same thing with my Thousand Sons page using a picture from the Index Chaotica: Rubricae iBook. This is what I ended up with.

Ahriman 2 TS2

Now there are still sections that are stand out as lighter or darker than others, and could use a little bit more bluring/blending. However once I have added my text to it I am hoping that this should be less obvious.

There you have it, a fairly simple way of creating your own back drop for your theme by utilising material that people will be familiar with.

Stage 2:

I decided that I wanted to keep my theme to 2 pages this year. However I wanted to make sure that my first page talked not only about Ahriman, but also my Warp Smith Malagor Auramagma. I also wanted my 2nd page to discuss not only Thousand Sons in general, but also discuss the Scarab Occult, and how they fit into the picture. So here is my updated art work.

Ahriman 3 TS3

It was quite difficult doing the text, as I did not have the font that GW used in the Chaos Codex, so I had to go through all the headings and find the letters at the correct size that I needed. Here is a sample of what I did…

Playing with chaos alphabet

And the final product is finished:

Stage 3:

Page1 Page2

Ahzek Ahriman of the Thousand Sons – Stage 1

Ahriman is one of my centre pieces of my army. With the rest of my army standing out as “different” from your average Thousand Sons Army, I couldn’t let Ahriman just be the regular model now could I. I had to keep as true to the original so people wouldn’t be confused, but add some flavor at the same time.

So I decided to merge a 30k Praetor and the original Ahriman with a few bits from other places to get the job done.



I started by filing back some of the chest plate so I could attach a scarab.


I drilled 2 small holes in the back on either side of the back pack join. I then grabbed 2 leg “capes” from my bits box. They were from the Chaos Lord/Sorceror on the Manticore kit that I used for last years Arc Chapter Master conversion. I cut them back to fit, drilled holes and pinned it to the body.


I then cut Ahrimans bolt pistol from his arm, and attached it to the praetors pistol arm. Removing some of the cabling that was there.


I then pinned Ahrimans hand/staff to the Praetors arm. And attached to the body. I thought about magantising this one as well, but felt that the pose would be ok for transport.


Here is a back view so far, with some minor green stuff to clean up the gaps, although they will mainly be covered by the back pack.


Attached the back pack


Front on view.


I attached a scarab to the chest plate, as and put on Ahriman’s head. This was tricker than expected due to the dangly bits and the neck guard on the praetor. So I had to cut that back a fair bit and bend the dangly bits.


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I added a Thousand Sons shoulder pad and a scarab looking shoulder pad, both from a third party company that is no longer in business 😦

And there you have it, finished

Malagor Auramagma (Warp Smith) Stage 1

Almost finished the conversion/modelling side of my Ahriman and Warp Smith conversions, I will post them as seperate posts as there are quite a few photos of the stages. I have used a 30k Iron Hands Iron Father as the basis of my Warp Smith.


He had an iron hands symbol on his chest as well as on the axe. They were pretty easy to remove. So I started working on how I wanted the axe to attach. At first I thought magnets would be enough, however the more I worked on it the more I realised just how flimsy the axe was, so I decided to cut it and put a pin through a fair chunk of it.


started by drilling the holes for the magnets


cut back the iron hand symbol from the axe


Cut the axe above and below the hand, then drilled a hole through the hand, and the shaft on either side. Being careful as the shaft was quite thin and if you weren’t straight with the drill then it was going to ruin the model.


Bit of green stuff to clean up the gaps, and good as new.


trimmed the “bumps” off the shoulder pads as I didn’t want them there.


Attached to the arms, careful to leave enough room for the wire that is in the next few photos.

So a warpsmith has mechatendrils. Now on the original model there are heaps, and they look a little too “flesh changey” for my liking. Which is why I went with the Iron Father in the first place. But I still needed to represent them appropriately on my model. So I have used a low E acoustic guitar string as the basis of my mechatendrils, and I am pretty happy with how they have worked out.


I bent the guitar string with a set of needle nose pliers, and drilled a hole in the back of the Iron Father and glued it in place.



I did 2 of these to start with, attaching the head of a flamer and part of a blood angels melta (could be a fusion pistol, unsure).


Here is another view from the top.


I went and added 2 more, this time instead of putting guns on the end I put the tops of tomb king weapons to take look like heka staffs.




Here it is finished and showing how it is magantised.

Ahzek Ahriman’s Rubicae – Thousand Sons Stage 2

So Stage 2 is just a small stage. I was working on the banner man for my Thousand Sons unit. I don’t actually have a “banner” in the unit, as in I didn’t pay points for the Icon of Flame, however I like to have banners in all my units for a cooler look. So with that being said what banner was I to use?

Well I wanted it to have Tzeentch iconography, but I also wanted some “flat” cloth to work some free hand into the banner. So I decided to combine a few banners.

I started with the Chaos Space Marine banner arm from the Chaos Space Marines 10 man box, followed up by the Tzeentch icon that is in that box. I then grabbed a warriors of chaos banner and started cutting 🙂


The red lines are where I started my cutting

And as it was a fairly easy conversion there aren’t too many step by step shots to show…


The banner arm is maganatised for easy transport.

A good way of doing magnatised arms:

  1. Put the magnet in the arm first. Drilling a hole only half the depth of the magnet, and then gluing the magnet in first.
  2. You then drill a deeper hole into the torso, this one a little wider than the magnet.
  3. I often will put a big chunk of green stuff in that hole. I then attach the 2nd magnet to the magnet arm (no glue of course, just let the magnet do its thing)
  4. Then you put a dab of glue on the end of the “loose” magnet and put the arm into place. This will push the 2nd magnet into the green stuff at a depth good so there is still a hole for the “outer” half of the 1st magnet.

I will show photos of this process when I get back to the hobby table. It makes for a much cleaner join. I will also show how a little bit of pinning or 2nd magnet can be used to make sure the arm doesn’t swivel all over the place 🙂