XX Legion, Taskforce Thorne, M42

“The Emperor created the Astartes to Conquer the galaxy in his name. Each Legion  of the god warriors were made in their Primarch image, to fulfill not only a the perfect all around warrior aspect, but a specific battle field expertise. The Imperial fists were made to defend and build fortifications, the Iron Warriors to destroy enemy strong holds, World Eaters were created for devastating shock assaults and the Ultramarines for crafting Strategies and empires.  

Three legions stood apart from their brethen. By the Emperor’s design, to stand against the enemies from without, but also from within! That the “Trefoil” of these proto-astartest had a hidden role was only ever known to Emperor, The Sigllite and a handful of most trusted advisors and they were largely veiled at birth even from the other Legions. The VI, The Space Wolves became the Emperor’s executioners and sanction – of even brother Astartes. The XVIII, The Salamanders, were imagined as the Astartes conscience, Humble, noble and utterly unflinching protectors of mankind. The XX, The Alpha Legion, were designed as the Emperor’s special operations forces and assassins, his personal Ghost Legion.”




+ Taskforce Thorne +


+ XX Astartes Legion Alpha +



The Twentieth on the Moons.

The heart of the new Army now stands defined. This time you won’t escape without some musings. The long experiment has arrived to a space just right for this force. Ghostly greens, blues and deep dark rust, applied in a painterly strike thriving much more to be Daintonesque breath of miniatures, than things like Golden Demons. Mood and material feel remain king. I wrote earlier that essentially this work has been a decade of mad experiment, and honing different whims and curiosities to a sort of “master stroke” – efficient, raw, rich. I like to think of it a little like calligraphy. Or a Samurai’s sword craft. All that practice makes it look effortless. I hope.

Thorn Moons Crusade is a world building project, inspired and initiated by the Danish Genius FPOA, and my new army carries elements of some of those far future moons in its wear and tear, weather filters and basing. The newly finished Sicaran is a good template of that. It is my all time favorite GW vehicle and I’m so happy finally to have had chance to paint it and the end result being heads and shoulder over any of my previous efforts on tanks.

Conceptually I’ve sketched out the entire composition of this army. There will be more Legion, More esoteric Mechanicum constructs, and human scale infantry. Little elite units with rebreathers and joint mechanicum and ‘nam vibes. And a horde of twist tribes, trained by the Legion. Up armed and de Nurgled pox walkers. Showing the effects of the millennia exposed to the moons without protection.

But until then, here’s more pictures of the freshly painted beast! And a teaser of the feel the infantry will have. Thanks for all the comments guys! The ongoing dialogue has become hugely important and appreciated to all of us.


Alpha-17, Sicaran Assault Vehicle


+ The Guardians of the Realm +



25 thoughts on “XX Legion, Taskforce Thorne, M42

  1. The best version of the Alpha Legion I’ve yet seen. Your muted colours fit their role as covert operatives far better than the shiny, blue metallics that seem to be the current vogue.

    I almost share your opinion of the sicaran. Not my favourite GW vehicle, but definitely my favourite space marine vehicle. The weathering on yours is fabulous.

    Those not-primaris marines are so good. I was going to wait for the multipart release but I couldn’t resist some of the dynamic poses of the starter marines. Just waiting on a FW order before turning them into blackshields, remnants of the Age of Darkness. As always, you’ve given me both inspiration and a standard to try to achieve 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Hi.

    Damn that Thistle beat me to it! And I misread his Thorney moniker each and every time.

    Oh yeah models. Dem be cool. The HHH hands down makes the marines pop, each unit needs one imo. Fantastic colour scheme on all the XX elements.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what you do to the poxwalkers.

    Oh and yeah you do make it look too easy….you wonderful git 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks PDH, this scheme really nails my style and aspiration without being overtly dull and frozen like the wolves of Fenrys. Big overall leap forward and I’ve also deeply considered fitting in with Stefan’s work and other elements of Green Mechanicum.


  3. From infiltrating one-off models to full steam army. Great to see these models. Especially your airbrushing and the freehand really adds an extra layer to these miniatures.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There is three things I like in your Alpha Legion: no chaotic alteration (an important aspect for me), a more fitting colour scheme for the “Ghost” Legion, and truescale Astartes.

    I am looking forward to seeing the rest of your army.

    As always, you made a great work Migs! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi, the color scheme is superb. With your Alpharius model You actually inspired me to build my own XXth legion. I started collecting/painting models just this year, I knew the Warhammer just from the PC games. In my first White Dwarf magazine I saw a post featuring your models and I really liked them /# they were fu*kin awesome :). By that time I was building my first models (got small Necron Mephrit Dynasty army so far), and was considering going for another one (Blood Angels). But with the new Primaris coming and seeing that models can be modified so cool I went for the XXth legion. I wanted to mimic your style :D, but failed hard. So I ended with simplier color scheme – metallic blue / purple. Till now I managed to complete one Intercessors squad a captain (Alpharius) and the flag 😀 (of the ancient ). To create my Alpharius I used some parts of the Gathering Storm miniatures, Horus’es claw hand, green stuff to fill some gaps and some of the hair and the head same as your Alpharius. Have a look (link below). It takes me huge amount of time so in the future I plan to modify some heroes for my Alpha legion and for the “basic” soldiers I’ll just stick with the stock. Sorry for the long post, but anyway, I wanted to say thanks, you know, you can inspire people with what you do. Take care


    Liked by 2 people

  6. Labours of love. Really excellent stuff and the Sicaran carries the scheme perfectly. All them sublime colours and effects. The army is going to look sick.

    Can’t wait to see your take on the reiver models if you plan to include them, they just scream migs’ XX.

    On a sidenote I’m really glad that you haven’t done a painting tutorial for these. I like the calligraphy allegory. When one has put years and years on practice it can’t be explained in a couple step-by-steps. And for me it’s a personal goal to try to learn from you guys by just reflecting the moods and atmosphere and looking at these pics 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed! And thanks! I’m definitely taking on the Reivers, and going to push them heavily to a “gone native” direction. Sort of like the Omega Orion model I did from the model the Weir brothers gave me.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Brilliant work; I made the choice some time back to focus on the brighter colours of the 2nd edition (1990s) era, but every time I see your work it really makes me question that choice… the mood is superb, they really look like a legion of ghosts able to appear at will amongst the enemy, wreaking terrible destruction, before melting back into the mist as mysteriously as they came.

    It does at first look like this would be an effect that anyone could achieve, but like calligraphy or simple line drawings, it takes of years of practice for those lines to flow out of the brush with effortless ease, as no doubt it did for the mood to flow from yours as it does.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next….!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Warburton. You know the original Legion army I made, that spun off the Jade Vessel +I+Munda birther, I made as a homage to Second edition, chasing my own nostalgic dreams and curiosity of a water painterly style (what a nutty phase that was too) and in the end I really discovered there are ways to be both realistic and natural, yet bottle that sense of second editioness.

      At some point I decided I wanted my armies to feel like exquisite collections of model (As JB remarked) and the Vlka Fenryka were the first set to really feel like that.

      I need to mention, I’m using fully saturated green and blue oils thinned down in this new XX army. The models are much brighter than one really realizes from between the gentle directional overcast light and shadow scheme and all the material feel chasing weathering I do. I think this will become apparent along the way and then in shots of them fighting the desolate cold of Fenrys when the sanction lands on Thorn Moons 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I do see the brightness of them, sort of like the luminosity that certain types of moss can have. It works really well.

        Now that you mention it I can see the 1990s shining through in the Jade Vessel army, and you can see some of the cues from that still in these models now.

        And they really are a collection of exquisite objets d’art!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Man I cannot wait to see these clash against the Vlka Fenryka, Thorne Moon denizens at their side. I’ve always been an Iron Warriors/World Eaters/Death Guard man but you make the XX look very enticing.

    What I want to know is who are your splinter of the XX fighting for? Undermine the Corpse-God and cast his mindless followers into the void, or an agenda to preserve the Imperium when through ignorance its loyal subjects seek to tear it apart.

    I suppose there’s a chance we may never know, which is one of the beauties of Alpha Legion. They’ve got all the mystery that the Newcrons have traded away for egyptian costumes.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great riff on the primarines Migs. Nice to see the models painted in a muted, painterly style. The “normal” helmets also does wonders.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wonderfull stuff. Instant shot of inspiration. As someone who’s new to this blog, are your army projects meant for active gaming, or are they simply excercises in playing with a faction’s aesthetic? If you play, do you feel any dissonance on the table from fielding true-scale infantry next to smaller scale vechicles? Or do you not care?



    1. Thanks! Definitely for active gaming. We each have a different taste in vehicles, I have avoided regular rhino chassis vehicles for years for that reason.


  11. Such good feedback and comments here. A joy to read the post and see the incredible process of bettering your take on the Alpha Legion. They are simply stunning. The combination of cold green-blue of the armour and the gold works wonders. As mentioned in the comments already, it looks so easy and natural, but when trying to achieve similar atmosphere one discovers that it truely is difficult. Then it becomes obvious that there are many years of experimentation and reflection upon ones own work behind this new take on the Ghosts. Earlier versions of Alpharius, the Vlka Fenryka and a stronger focus on precision (the golds for instance) is there at one and the same time. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

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