Friday, May 25, 2018

The Silent Host - New Warhammer 40K Project

This is a bit of a prelude to a new project I'm going to be working on. I'm about 1/3 through painting a Thousand Sons army for Warhammer 40,000 and decided I'd like to chronicle the painting process. What's below is the overall background of the army, which informed my color choices, as well as the theory behind those colors.

For context, the Thousand Sons were a legion of soldier-sorcerers who fell to Chaos (the baddies) and now wander the galaxy fighting all manner of aliens, as well as the Imperium (the less-baddies). 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: "Death is the wish of some, the relief of many, and the end of all." 

The Silent Host, The Saqqrmose

Like the carrion birds whose skulls adorn their armor, the Silent Host descend upon battlefields and graveyards seeking the dead and forgotten.

Long before Magnus the Red arrived on Prospero, before the Great Crusade, before the Burning of Prospero, the sorcerers and warriors of the Silent Host made up the funeral cult of Prospero. Known as the Saqrhit, they and their acolytes handled the burial rites of Prosperan dead. In addition the Saqrhit were proficient in summoning and banishing the Howling Ones, believed to be manifestations of the outcast dead. Darker rumors held that some acolytes of the Saqrhit became tainted by contact with the Howling Ones and were used as assassins.

During the Great Crusade the Saqrhit lay mostly dormant, only rising again from the ashes of Prospero and the decimation of the Rubric of Ahriman. Now they gained infamy as the Silent Host.

Battling in a quiet unnatural even by Rubricae standards, the Silent Host carry with them the hush of the grave. The screams of wounded become scarcely more than whispers. A commissar's exhortations are as hollow as a tomb. Even bolter fire and explosives are muffled around the Silent Host. Survivors of skirmishes with the Silent Host describe it as "having a shroud pulled over the world."

What drives the Silent Host is inscrutable. On one occasion, they will strike at the heart of a hive city, raiding some spire Noble's private library for a precious tome. Other reports describe the Silent Host scouring a deserted battlefield, armored vultures or macabre valkyries, carrying off the corpses of valiant champions and unknown heroes to great tombships. And yet, rumors drift from backwaters of lost sons and daughters returned to the soil of their homeworld, accompanied in state by an honor guard of silent Astartes.

Whatever the case may be, it is of no doubt to any observer that the motivations of the Silent Host are as twisted and obtuse as the plans of the Ever-Changing god which professes itself master over the Thousand Sons. In the Silver Palace of Tzeentch, there are those who question how devoted the Silent Host are to their patron, and whether the All-Seeing might not be so.

“The dust is speaking with the dust, the dead are sleeping with the dead.”


Color Scheme and Philosophy

The Blue of Tears
The Black of Mourning
The Grey of Ash
The Silver of Purity
The Copper of Sin

The typical Thousand Sons blue makes up a majority of the armor. This applies to most units which have any sort of armor.

Darker and lighter blues are used both as gemstones (lapis and sapphire) as well as the robes worn by most Character models. A dirty dark blue is featured on some infantry units for variety.

Grey is an accent color, primarily seen on tabards and kilts of infantry units.

Black is another accent color, almost exclusively used on Character models (e.g. the shoulder pads of sorcerers) as well as on half of the Tzaangors. In fluff, black is reserved for those who remember Prospero. In reality, it's a combination of needing a different armor color for some squads of Tzaangors as well as needing a color that wouldn't clash with the skin of some mutated Tzaangors.

Silver is used both as the primary trim color for all armor across units. It is also used on many decorations.

Copper is an accent color, primarily used on decorations. Characters and squad leaders get more copper. Additionally, copper is used on Astartes shoulder pads to denote a special weapon.