Legio Custodes: Squad Asklepian

Since I just showcased my first Deathwing Terminators gone Custodes, let’s have a look at some finished new recruits for my Legio Custodes force:

I previously told you that my Custodes are heavily inspired by Dave Taylor’s amazing Custodes army. One thing that I found just as fascinating about Dave’s models as the iconic “Praetorians” was that he built a squad of Custodes in “regular” power armour. Supposedly, there is some precedent for this in the HH artwork, although I didn’t find any images on the internet to corroborate this. Still, the fact that Dave had included such a unit in his Custodes force was more than enough reason for me to do the same.

With his models, Dave converted the power armour to look like older patterns that would have been more common during the time of the Horus Heresy. I wanted to do the same, and I happened to have the distinct advantage of a couple of years’ worth of new plastic bits, which made my work quite a bit easier. Apart from that, I kept fairly close to the look established by Dave. I also didn’t worry about trying to get the armour to look 100% accurate: As long as there are enough “correct” visual cues, you can usually get away with minor inconsistencies. Again, the HH artwork itself is almost criminally inconsistent at times, so we shouldn’t really break our backs trying to reverse-engineer armour that was never set in stone in the first place.

So I got to work, and a short while later, I had managed to build a small squad of power armoured Custodes. Let’s take a look:

First up, a Custodes in armour resembling the Mk V “Heresy” Pattern. The torso and helmet are really instrumental in nailing the look, in my opinion. The helmet came from the Venerable Dread kit, by the way, which has several great head options for Pre-Heresy armour (or Iron Warriors, if you’re that way inclined…).
I also used the tip of a chainsword to add a Pre-Heresy-style “chain bayonet” to the model’s Boltgun. Overall, this guy may be missing a few rivets for true accurary, but I guess that can be excused.

Next up, a Custodes in armour resembling the Mk III “Iron” Pattern. Again, a reasonably close fit, thanks to the breastplate and helmet (another design from the Venerable Dread). This guy is also channeling one of the classic GW “early 90s” poses, for those who remember that time…

This model is wearing straight up Mk VI “Corvus” Pattern armour. This was pretty easy to build, since several Marine kits feature the riveted shoulder pad, and the “Beaky” helmet was easily obtainable from the regular tactical Marines.

There’s little precedent when it comes to this guy’s armour, although I think that the shaved down berzerker helmet makes the armour look quite classical, almost like a Hoplite’s. You’ll notice that I used GK legs for quite a few of the models, but I think the additional inscriptions are a rather nice fit with the Legio Custodes’ overall tendency towards very ornate armour. I also used topknots on all of the models — if you’re a chaos player, you’re never short on topknots, you know…

And finally, the squad leader: Centurion Kletian Varios in mastercrafted power armour:

Alright, alright, who am I trying to fool? The model is the basic Black Reach Sergeant, of course, and he is wearing plain old Mk VII “Aquila” pattern armour. However, I like the model quite a lot — in spite of the fact that the pose doesn’t make a lick of sense: Why isn’t he looking the way he is pointing? Or at least looking at his weapon or something? This guy has lots of nice detail, though, and I really like the facial expression.
I made a couple of small changes, to make him look more like a Custodian: The model’s original arm looks rather strange when attached, so I replaced it with an arm from the Sanguinary Guard, which had the nice bonus of also giving the officer an impressive sword. Then I used a Dreadnought armour plate (from the Furioso kit) as the right shoulderpad, leading to a more individualised look. And I gave the model a converted backpack with some extra bling.

With five models completed, I had the minimum requirement for a squad of tactical Marines I also tried to gloss over any visual inconsistencies with a short piece of background I worked out. Here’s a shot of the whole squad (click for bigger picture):

Squad Asklepian, “The Artisans”

The members of squad Asklepian forego the classic armament of the Legio Custodes and are instead clad in different marks of power armour. But this is no token of shame, for the squad’s honoured veterans are tasked with testing newly developed armour patterns in combat. That is why their armour is highly individual, with many different patterns across the squad. Some of its members are even wearing patterns that were never approved for mass production, yet they maintain their plate with utmost pride, sometimes even further embellishing it. For it is due to squad Asklepian’s diligent work that the legions of the Imperium may be armoured to the best possible standard, and Centurio Kletian Varios and his men take pride in that knowledge.

See what I did there? 😉

These guys were a lot of fun to build, and I can easily see myself adding some more models to the squad at some point. Right now, I have got the parts for a model in Mk IV Maximus armour as well as a Black Reach Marine with Rocket launcher that will be converted to look more Pre-Heresy. Then there’s the tactical Marine with the Plasma Gun from the new starter box: He is sporting an interesting  helmet, and his arms a completely separate, so he would be rather easy to convert. I am also collecting all kinds of “older” armour parts, in case they’ll come in handy while expanding this squad. Maybe I’ll even do one squad member for each armour pattern? Kitbashing a Mk I should be interesting…

With my second troop selection out of the way, let’s take a look at an HQ model next. Until then, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

8 Responses to “Legio Custodes: Squad Asklepian”

  1. Really nice work mate 🙂

    They actually remind me of the Minotaurs Chapter, with all that burnished gold and red accents…

    • Thanks a lot!

      I guess I may end up using them as Minotaurs whenever I ever play against someone who is opposed to playing against a Pre-Heresy army for fluff reasons 😉

      That said, I love the special characters FW released for the Minotaurs: That Chaptermaster is simply fantastic!

  2. Your Custodes are awesome. I really like the mutants you have been working on lately as well. In truth, I travel the forums and web all the time and everywhere I go, I find some great work that you have done there. You are a very talented artist!

  3. […] first model is a standard bearer for my squad of Custodes wearing Astartes pattern power armour. I converted this guy from the Dark Angel wielding a Plasma Gun (the gun itself was squirreled away […]

  4. […] also build some additional models for Squad Asklepian, my squad of Custodes armoured with Astartes pattern power […]

  5. […] also built some more models for Squad Asklepian, a unit of Custodians wearing older marks of Astartes power armour. My goal was to have every […]

  6. I see what you did there with the name 🤔

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