Although it seems a little silly to do so, I've actually begun work over the last few months on not one, but two Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine armies: the Space Wolves and the Crimson Fists. I've always had an interest in the Space Wolves - their unorthodox fighting style, a great range of wild, unkempt models, and cool techno-barbarian flavor. I began buying their models as soon as their new codex came out, although I attempted to collect them years ago just before I began the Ork army I've focused on for the last five years or thereabouts.
But to flesh out the model range for my Space Wolves, I've bought a few boxes of standard marines, and with all the extra bits I began accumulating, I began thinking of a Codex: Space Marines force that I could build as a possible "beginner's army" to help new players learn how to play Warhammer 40K. Around this time, the Space Marine Battles novel Rynn's World came out, depicting the epic battle to save the Crimson Fists chapter after their world was invaded by orks and their Chapter-Monastery was destroyed, wiping out hundreds of marines and leaving alive only a fraction of the chapter's manpower to defend the world against the Ork invasion. I found myself really drawn to the fluff written about this chapter - an army fighting back from the brink of annihilation, a shadow of its former strength, and yet still committed not just to surviving and rebuilding, but to continuing the fight against the enemies of the Imperium.
Because of their vastly depleted numbers, one of the unit types you commonly find in a Crimson Fists army are Scout squads. Scouts are newly inducted Space Marines who have not been raised to full Battle-Brothers and serve as skirmishers and raiders, learning how to fight in the Astartes fashion from the flanks and rear of the battles rather than toe-to-toe with the enemy. As the Crimson Fists would be relying on these new recruits to do a lot of fighting until their main battle companies are brought into full strength, I decided to pick up some scouts as one of the first units of Crimson Fists I was to build.
With this in mind, I grabbed one box of standard scouts, and one Land Speeder Storm, a fast skimmer vehicle that transports a five-man squad of scouts into battle. While I have another unit of Scouts that I'll be using in the LSS, I did decide to use the scout models that come with the transport and mix them with the five-pack of scouts I had purchased to make one ten-man unit equipped with boltguns, a heavy bolter, and a Scout Sergeant who could be represented rules wise by Scout Sergeant Telion - I felt that having a grizzled, extremely competent scout sergeant leading my men makes sense for an army like the Crimson fists, who must now rely more than ever on these new Astartes to keep the chapter alive.
Here are the standard Scout models I've got assembled (but as yet unpainted). The heads for the heavy bolter scout and my Telion stand-in are actually Space Wolf Scout heads.
These five scouts are the models I converted from the Land Speeder Storm box. I always thought it a little silly that a rapid strike vehicle like the LSS, open-topped and perfect for rapid assault strikes, was modeled with boltgun-armed scouts, weapons that would prevent the scouts from charging from the LSS after firing. I guess the scouts just looked too cool with their bolters, like a bunch of Delta Force commandos about to hop out of their AH-58 Little Bird and kick some unsuspecting bad guys in the teeth.
The combat blades are left over from the other scouts box, the second model on the left and the rightmost model actually have standard SM bolters from the Tactical Marines box. The three marines on the right are standing on pieces of plaster "brick" that I broke up to give them something to stand on - their poses wouldn't have worked otherwise, but I think they look just fine here, and actually make the unit as a whole a lot more dynamic and more interesting than simply having ten guys standing around holding their guns in two hands and looking in various directions.
Comments and questions are welcome - hopefully next week I'll have some more 40K models to show off!