There was something that drew me to the design of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Months before I even purchased that first batch of models I had torn through both Codex: Skitarii and Codex: Cult Mechanicus in search of new ‘fluff’. Caring not for rules I was impressed by the light shone forth on what has been a mysterious background ‘faction’ in 40K.
Prior to coming close to even touching brush to paint I typically follow a few steps to determine their character. First is their narrative. Who are they? What do they represent? For my project I could not envision a second Imperial-faction army in addition to Astra Militarum, so naturally, the easiest devise was used. This same device will serve to explain the myriad of different design origins of various units as progress wades on.
As the core of these Skitarii and their Imperial allies is the 83rd Odyssey Brigade. It became apparent that perhaps a neighboring Forge World had attached a regiment of their own forces on a permanent basis to the 83rd, itself now attached to a Rogue Trader entourage. This would of course be of benefit to the Adeptus Mechanicus, having a force attached very publicly to an exploration initiative, quashing their thirst for knowledge.
Thus the 14th Forge World Nestor Mountain Infantry Guard Regiment was borne. It would compliment the Armoured, Air, Artillery and Sustainment units being developed without overlapping. Mountain Infantry was selected as their ‘branch’ as none of the 83rd represent line infantry in their classic sense; all proposed units having organic transportation. The closest approximation will be Armoured Infantry attached to a conventional Armoured Regiment. Due to their lack of dedicated transports, while remaining mobile and agile, a Mountain Infantry designation seemed to make sense.
With that set, the colour palette could be determined. In my opinion my painting has certainly improved but does not touch many of the hobbyists that share their wares on the internet. I am however quite proud of the colour palette and its meaning.
I envisage that the primary colour of Forge World Nestor (prior to its mandatory narrative destruction by the hands of Chaos) was yellow. The reason yellow was selected was simple. There were no yellow-painted units in any of the literature and I wanted something different. Red still needed to be factored in in some way as a tribute to the Priesthood of Mars and can be seen on one of each Vanguard’s shoulder armour in addition to the opposing side of the Alpha’s helmet. The green represents their branch within the 83rd, for Mountain Infantry and was painted to oppose the red. I was nervous this would provide an unwanted Christmas theme but it seemed to work.
The metal of these cyborgs I believe speaks to itself. I did however betray my usual colours for 40K in using browns. Despite the often backwards future 40K exists in I always struggled to believe that in the 41st Millennium all belts, webbing and pouches were brown leather and similarly butt-stocks were wood. I usually paint them as black or as a vibrant contrast. In this case browns made sense. It added that level of primitive yet advanced technology that this faction represents.
Finally, in an effort to capture the otherworldly power of their weapons and equipment I went with a lot of purples for their weapons and gears. It seemed different then the typical blues and reds while also suggesting that deadly power that harms them as they harm others. It seemed to work and the final product ended up capturing many more vibrant colours then I initially hoped while keeping true to the gritty flamboyance often exhibited in the various factions of the Imperium.
Thanks for reading. As always questions, concerns and conundrums are always welcome. I have started to work on a pair of Cult Mechanicus Robots which will follow this theme.