Stark Crusaders: Fluff and Paint Stripping

My last post before Xmas and the New Year! Might skip one after the New Year, depending on how things go…

Space Marines Stark Crusaders

Stripped Space Marines

You’ve seen how my Starks started life – as Blood Angels – but now they’re mostly stripped of paint and ready to be re-branded! There are a few still sat in Fairy Power Spray because I’ve not got round to cleaning them up. Other than that, it’s just the Rhino, Land Raider and Razorback that need to be done. I don’t think I have enough FPS and they’ve changed the formula, so I can’t get any more!! Not sure what I’ll do with them. Probably need to get some Biostrip 20.

Space Marines Stark Crusaders

I’m going to put all my independent characters onto 32mm scenic bases, to help give them the visual appeal they deserve! The dreadnoughts are also going onto scenic bases, probably 50mm. All the terminators will be upgraded to 32mm bases, as will some of the marines. Any that look chunky, like the Devs, will go onto 32mm, but the smaller ones, especially the Mk VI ‘beakies’ will stay on 25mm, otherwise they’ll look lost!

 

Space Marines Stark Crusaders

As I make (probably slow) progress on the Starks, I’m also going to add the background fluff I’ve written for the army. I started by just making some notes to give the chapter and characters a bit of background, but it started to take on a life of its own! You can find all the fluff on my Starks page, which will be updated as I post more stuff, but below is the first installment – Captain Lando Stratos.

 
Looking forward to getting my classic RT dreads up and running!

Space Marines Stark Crusaders

Space Marines Stark Crusaders

 

Captain Lando Stratos

Captain Lando Stratos

The Stark Crusaders 3rd Company had been ridding Ska’garath IV of greenskins for nine months. It had been a relentless and brutal campaign against a massive ork warband and both sides had taken heavy losses. Lando Stratos’s kill rate had seen him rapidly recognised as a fearless warrior and the high attrition of marines resulted in his battlefield promotion to squad sergeant of the 4th Tactical Squad.

That had been just eight days ago. There hadn’t been time for a formal ceremony or even a chance to speak with the captain since his appointment as sergeant, and now it was all over. Despite single-handedly slaying two ork behemoths in massive, thickly plated suits of tank-like armour with blasts of searing heat from his boltgun’s secondary meltagun barrel, Sergeant Stratos wasn’t equipped for the vicious close combat assault of these huge walking tanks. His squad were providing covering fire but their bolter rounds were ricocheting harmlessly off the final ork’s armour and it continued to advance. Stratos was too close and couldn’t retreat to cover quickly enough. He was quickly floored by a swipe of the ork’s giant fist, electrical energy sparking over its surface. Now the giant had him pinned to the ground with a single huge foot to the chest. Stratos could feel his generically enhanced, bone plate ribs cracking, hissing gases were pouring out of the multiple breaches in his failing power armour, life support systems were beeping loudly in his ears indicating imminent failure. He was already dying and now the xenos warrior was swooping down for the killer blow. Stratos’s lungs shut down, his vision was darkening and all he could think about was how he’d failed his squad, failed the Starks, failed the Emperor. The ork’s fist, the size of a dreadnought’s fist, crackling with blue flashes of energy, came crushing down on Statos’s face, ripping it off and shattering his skull.

His eyes were still closed, but everything was so bright. Everything hurt. Even his genetically enhanced Astartes body was struggling to cope with all the damage that had been done. But as Lando Stratos regained consciousness, he realised he was still alive, pain confirming the reality. He tried to open his eyes, but only one obeyed his command. The pain was incredible. He could make out the shapes of medicae servitors, he was surrounded by medical equipment and monitors, he must be back on one of the Stark’s medical frigates. A weary looking apothecary wearing a blood-stained tabard approached, but Stratos slipped back into unconsciousness.

It was three weeks since Stratos had first briefly regained consciousness, and ten days since he’d been able to leave the medi-deck, although he returned every day for more treatment. The pain was reducing by the day and he’d regained most of the mobility in his legs. His left hand and lower arm was now metal, but he was already using a bolt pistol effectively with it. Accuracy was improving each time his visited the practice range. What was difficult to get used to was his new face. The ork had removed Stratos’s face and destroyed half of his skull. This had all been replaced with metal. He only had one organic eye, his second being an augmetic that was better than his original – better night vision, better range, better clarity, better in every way. He’d been rebuilt in just a few days by the apothecary, now he needed to get used to his new body, full of augmetics, so he could lead his squad once again.

The flesh is weak. They all said it, they all meant it, and plenty of Stratos’s brother Starks had hands, arms and legs replaced with metal. But never had it hit home just how true that was. The flesh is weak. His body hurt, but only the organic parts. None of the metal hurt. The flesh is weak. His new arm is stronger. The flesh is weak. His new face is tougher and his new eye is better in every respect. The flesh is weak. He won’t be felled so easily next time. He’s stronger and quicker now. He has an opportunity to make up for his mistake. He can lead the 4th Tactical to glory and serve the Emperor. His body won’t fail him again. The flesh is weak.

Over the next century, Sergeant Stratos would indeed lead the 4th Tactical to glory. They became the 3rd Company’s most infamous and feared unit, repeatedly succeeding against all odds. Inevitably, Sergeant Stratos was promoted to Captain Stratos, leading the 3rd Company to even more impressive victories and glories.

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