Vengeance from Afar, Piercing Gaze of the Raptor: Judicators, Retinue the First

It's been pretty hectic recently with all my final assignments for uni, but over the last couple of weeks I've managed to finish the first full unit for my Stormcast Eternals project.

The tag on the Judicator-Prime post might have given the game away, but the Stormhost I'm using for this project is the Lightning Hawks. When I was still in the initial planning stage several months ago, I was thinking about whether or not I would use an existing Stormhost or create my own. Now, I don't think there's any reason to not create a new Stormhost, but I felt (and still feel) that for this project, with its particular aims centred around capturing the grim, essential idea of the Stormcast Eternals (rather than going off and making something different based on Stormcasts), that using an existing Stormhost would be the best way to go. Having said that, I didn't want to just do one of the main ones; I knew I wanted to do an obscure one, since that would let me both make something more unique and interesting as well as play around without having to be too dedicated to existing lore. The other thing I knew I wanted to do, which is really only minor but still important to me, was to represent a Stormhost with an alternate primary symbol, since this would give me another opportunity for converting my models using the Stormhost upgrade sets.

With these ideas in mind, I settled on the Lightning Hawks. Firstly, I really liked their heraldry--great colours, simple but not too much so, and with possibility for personalisation. This is what I've done with this unit of Judicators: I've changed the leathers to brown instead of black, removed the finicky silver details on the Comets to make them completely gold, and added a few extra green elements for more contrast and added interest through asymmetry (the right arm, the mask impassive on some models). Secondly, they use the Twin-Tailed Comet as their primary symbol, so that meant I could convert my models with the Celestial Warbringers upgrade set. Again, I have also done this here, although it will become even more apparent on some other models later. Finally, the Lightning Hawks have some really interesting but only minor and suggestive lore: in terms of descriptions, they are named after a raptor from Azyr, they strike without warning, and they are the "scourge of the unholy" (all p. 86 of the 2018 Battletome); and in a really dark short story (p. 23 of the 2018 Battletome), a Lord-Relictor assembles a warband from the Lightning Hawks who have been so deeply mentally scarred from multiple reforgings that Tzeentchian magic has no effect on them. This was exactly the kind of background I wanted for my army, for it perfectly captures the plight of the Stormcast Eternals as immortal but deteriorating, hate-fuelled machines of war--hardly the good guys they are assumed to be--which makes them so much more powerful as characters. With all of that, then, I was set on the Lightning Hawks, and here now I have my first unit finished.

Before I get to some more photographs, I'll just say a little about the army composition so far. I have converted and ready for painting: a second unit of Judicators, a unit of Liberators, a Lord-Celestant, a Lord-Veritant, and a Knight-Azyros for a Strike Chamber; and a unit of Concussors and a Drakesworn Templar for an Extremis Chamber. I've also converted a Knight-Questor as a stand-alone model, part of the overall project but not necessarily part of the army (as per their lore as lone characters with special assignments). I'm thinking this will be enough for the Stormcasts; it's not a huge force by any means, but I dare say a well-formed and certainly manageable one. For some added contrast and interest, I'm also planning on doing some other, non-Stormcast models, such as a unit of Handgunners, an Assassin, and maybe some Flagellants and a Priest, but this part of the project is still in the early stages. I'm going to try to finish some more Stormcast models before starting work on this ally section.

Anyway, that's everything for now, so I leave some more images of this first unit of Judicators.




  1. Very nice indeed. Look a lot more lighter and "visible" with the darker background too.

    1. Thanks heaps. Yeah, the white and black backgrounds show off different aspects of the models (because models will never appear exactly as they do in real life in a photo): the white background shows the darkness and grittiness, where the black background shows the subtler highlights, shadows, and details.



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