Sunday, 29 April 2018

Part 2: Colonel Schaeffer’s Last Chancers (Astra Militarum/Imperial Guard)


In Part 1, I assembled and primed the 12 miniatures that make up Colonel Schaeffer’s Last Chancers box set.  In this post, I will be painting four of the Last Chancers: Colonel Schaeffer, Ox, Hero and Warrior Woman.


Primed Ox, Warrior Woman, Colonel Shaeffer and Hero



Colour Scheme: A key decision I made in the painting process was to give the Last Chancers a distinctive look from the miniatures shown on Games Workshop’s site.  For the Last Chancers, I choose to go with historical military colour schemes, reflecting various armies of the past 100 or so years.   Another important painting consideration I have is to show racial diversity in my painted miniatures.  Therefore, I made the decision to paint several of the Last Chancers as people of colour; thereby reflecting the ethnic and cultural diversity of society.

 Painting Stage 1

  Painting Stage 2



Painting Stage 3



Naming the Last Chancers:  As I was painting the Last Chancers, I came up with backstories for the miniatures, reflecting the colour schemed I used.  Except for Colonel Schaeffer, the iconic Penal Legion Commander, I gave the Last Chancers new names and backstories; backstories that fits with the miniature’s colour scheme (Ox became Big Dog Marvin; Hero became Comrade Yang; Warrior Woman became Myri McKyllam). In this way, I envisioned these miniatures as Colonel Schaeffer’s next batch of Penal Legion ‘recruits’, selected for a ‘special mission’ against one of the many foes of the Imperium.

 Painting Stage 4

Painting Stage 5

Colonel Schaeffer: I decided to give Colonel Schaeffer a desert combat look, akin to the look of our soldiers during the Afghanistan War (2002-2014).  Painting desert pattern CADPAT on a 28mm miniature is beyond my skill level, so I choose a simpler camo pattern.  The camo pattern I painted was based on the British Army’s tank camouflage in the North African campaign, during the early part of World War 2.  To create a contrast between the Colonel’s combat fatigues and his body armour, I selected a military green/olive drab colour for his armour.

Completed Miniatures (front)

Completed Miniatures (back)

Big Dog Marvin (Ox): 350 lbs of muscle and raw strength, Big Dog Marvin is one of a few ‘non-augmented humans’ who could wield a heavy bolter single-handedly.  A beast in battle, Big Dog wrecks havoc on heretics, mutants and aliens alike with his heavy bolter.  Big Dog is a gourmet chef with a flair for poetry; many of his poems revolves around his heavy bolter, which he has named ‘Big Betty’.  Big Dog was once a heavy weapons specialist in a Catachan regiment, who was caught sleeping on sentry duty.  For this crime, Big Dog was sentenced to the Penal Legion.

Inspiration: The inspiration for Big Dog Marvin is Roadblock from the G.I. Joe comic book series (the original G.I. Joe comic book series and file cards were written by Vietnam War Veteran Larry Hama).  The part about being a gourmet chef with a flair for poetry is a nod Roadblock’s file card.  As well, Roadblock’s name on his file card is Marvin F Hinton.  Big Dog’s pants and hat are painted in the woodlands camo pattern of the 1980s.  

 Colonel Schaeffer and Big Dog battle against Heretics


Comrade Yang (Hero): Once a promising Planetary Defense Force Officer, Comrade Yang had two great vices that ended his career: gambling and women.  It was because of these vices that Comrade Yang found himself in the Penal Legion. An educated man and a student of military strategy, Comrade Yang’s ability to out think his enemies and devise ingenious strategies have saved his comrades’ lives on many dire occasions. 

Inspiration: I have only read a dozen or so Warhammer 40K novels, so I am unsure how well Asians are represented in the 41 Millennium.  For this painting project, I wanted one of my Last Chancers to be Asian. I found inspiration in painting Comrade Yang from modern North Korean military dress uniforms; the specific areas of inspiration are found in the contrast between Comrade Yang’s dark khaki uniform and the red fourragere and shoulder straps (epaulette).



Myri McKyllam (Warrior Woman): Raised in a matriarchal warrior woman society, Myri was conscripted to a male dominated Imperial Guard regiment.  Unused to taking orders from men, Myri broke the neck of her sergeant. For this crime she was sentenced to the 13th Penal Legion.  Myri is equally as deadly with the lasgun as she is with the blade; in combat, she employs stealth and patience, stalking her victims, attacking them when they least expect it.

Inspiration: Dress in a mini-skirt and sports bra, Warrior Woman seems out of place in the Imperial Guard.  Thus, instead of wearing a min-shirt, I envisioned Warrior Woman as being outfitted with a kilt; this became my Scottish inspiration for this miniature.  I painted Myri McKyllam’s clothing in military green colours to emphasize her role as a combat soldier.



In Part 3, I will be painting four more of the Last Chancers: Grease Monkey, Scope, Demolition Man and Shiv.





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