The Stark Crusaders are a successor chapter of the Iron Hands. They have very much continued the Iron Hands belief that the ‘flesh is weak’ and embrace bionics, mechanical enhancements and of course, dreadnoughts. The Starks’ dreadnoughts are often chapter relics of the old Contemptor, Furibundus and Deredo classes.
They also revere ancient power armour, terminator armour, vehicles and weapons, believing they have served the chapter well for millennia and should continue to do so. As such, a force of Starks will often include a mix of power armour variants, commonly MkVI alongside the more common MkVII, even within the same unit, as well as vehicles that have long since been superseded by newer models.
Much like the Iron Hands, the Starks have a close bond with the Adeptus Mechanicus, which is often reflected in their colour schemes, combining the metal/silver of the chapter’s colours with the red of the Adeptus Mechanicus. This bond has also helped them to keep their ancient vehicles, weapons and equipment in action for millennia.
Building my Stark Crusaders Army
I have a bunch of old Blood Angels that I started collecting in the early 90s, starting with Rogue Trader and moving into 2nd ed. I was a kid, so I make no apologies for the state of them. At the time I only had access to Humbrol enamel paints, so they’re pretty badly painted with unsuitable paints. Apart from being badly painted, they’ve also taken a beating whilst being kept in cardboard boxes with little protection for the last 15-20 years or so, including moving house at least 3 times (I’ve moved more times, but I don’t think they came every time).
There’s about 2000 points worth, including two Rogue Trader style Dreadnoughts (anyone remember Contemptor “Chuck”, Furibundus “Fury” and Deredo “Eddy” before Forge World got their hands on them?), a mix of MkVI and MkVII power armoured marines (the MkVI coming from that old late-80s/early-90s plastic set of 30 or so marines), an old Land Speeder and Rhino etc, etc. My plan is to ‘upcycle’ these – strip the paint, re-assemble, kit-bash, and from that create my own chapter of marines, painted to a reasonable standard. This is no small project (and I’ve not finished my Eldar army yet!), but I reckon I can build a decent SM army without having to buy any (or at least not many!) new models.
You can see from my introductory fluff that I’m looking for ways to keep using my old models. Rhinos haven’t changed a huge amount, but my MkI Land Raider and old dreadnoughts are very different to the current models, so I’m looking for a good reason to keep using them. I felt like an Iron Hands successor chapter gave me a good reason to use these old dreadnoughts and the like, plus I quite like the ‘mech’ and ‘flesh is weak’ themes.
‘Stark’ is a nod to Iron Man and the fact that the Iron Hands’ primarch, Ferrus Manus, is literally an iron man. But as Stark sounds like Dark, I couldn’t go with Stark Angels (too much like Dark Angels) or Stark Knights (too much like Batman!). I’ve played around with Stark Blades, Stark Warriors, Stark Hunters but (for now) have settled on Stark Crusaders.
The colour schemes are going to be largely metal/silver (probably boltgun metal on a black undercoat/base coat) with red accents. I might need to think of something different for weapons to stop them all looking too metal. Maybe the red can come in on the weapons too. The pictures to the right are just some ideas at the moment.
The first step is to get about 50 marines, 6-7 termies, 2 dreads, 2 tanks, 2 bikes and a land speeder stripped of paint and rebuilt, maybe with some modifications here and there. I might also take this opportunity to upgrade them to 32mm bases. Unfortunately, my trusty Fairy Power Spray has had its formula changed, so it’s no longer as effective at stripping paint off models. I’ve got a little left, but probably not enough for the whole army (DakkaDakka article on Fairy Power Spray).
I’ll keep posting updates…