Sunday, 3 January 2010

177 Penal Legionnaires - Any Suggestions?

Well now - happy new year: 2010 really is The Future!

Obviously, baby Drax (who is beautiful and very sweet-natured indeed!) has kept me away from the brushes and paints fairly comprehensively, but I'm onto the final details of the infantry squad shown in post 175.

More importantly, I decided on 31st December to make some penal legionnaires, as I actually have a game coming up, and they're a fun squad to field. Now I had absolutely no intention to spend lots of time converting or painting, so I deliberately planned a very simple paint scheme using basic models as they were. The result (so far) is as follows:
I've almost done another five too, but unforseen distractions have scuppered my plans to get the whole squad done before returning to work on Monday. Obviously they're basic, and I've steered away slightly from the severity of the codex description, but here's where I could do with some ideas:

What can I simply put on their shoulders?

(NB: I don't want them to be in keeping with the bulk of my troops - they're separate.)

So far, I'm thinking of white transfered squad numbers (my normal guys all have their regimental "24") on one shoulder, but I'm happy to take suggestions for t'other. Or anything else for that matter...

Thanks for your time, thanks for sticking with me, and thanks in advance for any comments.

- Drax.


  1. Perhaps you can put a skull on their shoulder or similar icon? I'm envisioning them as criminals from around the galaxy that have been tried and sentenced to death. In lieu of execution, they're given an opportunity to serve the emperor by being put on the front line in the bloodiest of wars.

    If the emperor will is that they live against insurmountable odds, they will achieve their freedom once again...

  2. Not sure if it is all that doable, but I rather like the idea of an ID or bar code. They are, afterall, hurded together as criminals who's history is insignificant.

  3. I totally emphasize with the "mini-me"s taking a lot of your time... Now that my work hours have been cut, I find myself being Mr. Mom a lot more so the wife can pick up extra hours at the Optometrist's office.

    I second the skull for their pauldrons. It kind of fits a penal legion, they aren't valuable enough to assign numbers!

  4. I would second the barcode idea, or simply numbers. You always hear prisoners being called by "Prisoner 0013874" or whatnot instead of their names.

  5. Prisoners always try to get over no matter what you do. IF these guys are sentenced to death how do you get them to do exactly what you want? At some point enforcing every little rule becomes conterproductive. After all some prisoners have to make it to the battlefield to justify the trip. Gas is not cheap and time is money.
    So why not show a little individualism to simulate prisoner contraband/non-conformity/anti-social behavior. They are scum, right...

  6. I'd go with the barcode idea too, makes it feel really impersonal and cold. I can't imagine the imperium acting any other way towards prisoners.

    And plus, there's a white bar code on the cadian decal sheet! Easy!

  7. Good to see you're still kicking about when you manage to find the time!

    I think the barcode is a great idea. It gives a good sense of anonymity to the individual soldiers. A serial number would be grand, but if you're looking for something easy and quick that would be out of the question. So some white lines for a barcode should do the job nicely!

    A friend of mine is going for the orange jumpsuits too, very effective. He's kit-bashed flagellants and guard.

  8. Oh and to counter Anonymous' points - if they're sentenced to death if they don't comply then the only thing they can do is fight. They know the Custodians will follow through on the promise of execution and so will be extremely compliant. Almost every person ever sentenced to death has held out some hope of a reprieve right up until the moment they die. So by fighting, they stay alive, in the hopes that some day the Custodian will let them go.

    Also, Drax's take on nice uniforms is a pretty good idea. Thinking from a fluff perspective, the decent kit will make them feel valued, and like there is actually some chance they'll live through this, and so might fight harder.

  9. Thanks for the great ideas so far chaps, and harreh: that's a blindingly good suggestion - thank you!

    Obviously, my chaps are more 'open prison' than 'maximum security stockade' - bankers rather than murderers - but given their amusingly impressive performance in their trial game, I think the Imperium definitely gets a good return on issuing them some decent kit!

    - Drax.

  10. As soon as I saw these guys I thought a skull of some sort and then I read all the comments.

    Looks like I'm not the only one who thought of that.

  11. Happy new year mate.

    Back in the RT days, they used an arrow pointing towards to the top of the shoulder pad as a symbol for penal troops.

    I suppose it was a kickback to the old convict outfits with the arrows on them.

    Anyway, looking good mate and good luck with getting the gaming in.

  12. I'll echo Col. Corbane - the old penal legions used the upwards-pointing arrow (as can be seen on the older Schaeffer's Last Chancers models), however after reading the comments, the barcode strikes a chord for me as well.

    Love how they look so far, keep up the great work (time permitting, of course)!

  13. I think a bar code would be cool, but then again it also implies someone, somewhere, using a scanner to keep track of them. It strikes me that the Imperium is more likely to spend a little time just tattooing the numbers onto the people instead; you can always remove the armor/change the uniform and desert but it's a little tougher to remove the ink.

    That being said, I'd go for something simple, like a skull on the shoulder or even just painting one of the shoulder pads a single color with a simple emblem; maybe white with a red x in the middle or something? Barring that, maybe just making the armor look thoroughly beat to hell and/or have bad replacement work done would work as well.

  14. Fair point, but it strikes me as a little amusing that the Imperium might barcode the armour to keep track of it once the jailbird within has been vaporised!

    To keep it simple, it's currently looking like a barcode and a squad number - maybe with a broad arrow if I can paint them easily, like the old RT era ones or real-life UK govt. property:

    Cheers for the ongoing suggestions.

  15. I think you should just leave it blank and chip it up and maybe rust it some. No way the penal troops would get the newest... or the best maintained kit.


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