Crataegus Legion

”For over ten thousand years I have lived. For over a hundred centuries I have wandered the boreal world of sunken holloways. Through moontides that have ebbed and flowed like a green river through my veins. I am the Thousandth Son. I am Legion.”

– Thurisaz, Thorne Weaver, Elder One, Crataegus Legionaire, M.41

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Greetings from the North!

It is an honour and a pleasure to share with you my first post as a Sleeter. I am writing this as a thunder storm rolls in from the west soaking our garden in late afternoon rain turning the hawthorn hedge and coppiced trees into sanctuaries for small birds and insects. Such a fitting reminder of the storm rising on Iron Sleet:

The Vlka Fenryka will lead an onslaught of winter to the Thorn Moons of Crataegus Fragmentum!  

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While the Pilgrym focused on small-scale skirmish fought out deep in the bowels of Terra, the aging centre of the Imperiumme, the Thorn Moons Crusade is an exploration of full blown 40K war waged in the outskirts of the galaxy.

My contribution to the crusade further explores the worlds and characters hinted at in the Pilgrym – the region of Crataegus Fragmentum itself as well as the boreal inhabitants of the Thorn Moons. For me it does not make sense to separate the two. They are part of the same world building narrative, which, if it succeeds, makes both the worlds and their inhabitants more believable.

One stunning example of this is Migsula’s take on the Vlka Fenryka. The sheer vision, scope and execution of this project is not only insanely beautiful but also highly aesthetic – understood as in its ability to make us perceive not only the misunderstood heroes of the 13th Company but also, and maybe even more so, the weathered worlds they inhabit.

I have decided to contribute to the crusade with a fitting response to the Vlka Fenryka: A full blown 40K army of Crataegus Legionaires and Green Mechanicvm drawing upon the same vision dreamed up by Migs in the Vlka Fenryka: Misunderstood heroes and long lost legionaires of the XVth Legion together with a host of allies now defending their beloved forest realm from the coming onslaught of winter.

But where the Vlka Fenryka is raw Fenrisian weather my Crataegus Legion will be boreal nature incarnate…

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We are Legion!

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Thurisaz, Thorn Weaver, Uruz the Hunter and a host of Thorn Guards

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Haghænne and Satyrian Guards of the Green Mechanicvm
Haghænne, Thorn Guard and Satyrian Guards

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Going from the intricate character building of the Pilgrym to a 40K sized army has been a daunting prospect for me. I have never managed to build an army before, let alone paint it!

With the aim to do world building rather than (only) focussing on each individual character I seriously needed to find a way to speed up things. I have always struggled with that. Always. Even when painting single characters. That’s why I have never finished a 40k army.

Fortunately I have been able to receive some ‘speed painting’ advice by Jakob. Seeing examples up close in 1:1 (his Dryatides for the Pilgrym as well as his recent Harlequin Solitaire for example) let me to the revelation that for the crusade it is more about working with the Legion as an entire canvas rather than single character painting. Greens and browns, inks, weathering, bark texture and lots of dots resembling small scale lichen as they appear on the trunks of trees. With much more lush green in the palette to contrast the vibrant red of Jakob’s Harlequins (this again is a joint venture between us). Fast and effective.

I am still experimenting a lot and struggling a bit with accepting that up close the painting is not on par with some of my other stuff. It is raw, fitting the nature reference. But it is such a joy to see things getting finished!

A completed Crataegus Legion is suddenly not such a utopia. I can’t wait…

Green Man Cometh!


On a pilgrimage into the weathered worlds of Warhammer 40K. Exploring texture, narrative and atmosphere in miniature form.

34 thoughts on “Crataegus Legion

  1. So, so good mate – I think the raw & wild approach suits these guys perfectly! They are beautifuly textured and toned, a real treat for the eyes…. I’m loving this project.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. In some way, Uruz reminds me some of the Astartes’ illustrations from Rogue Trader. Maybe because of his savage aspect if you see what I mean. I love the work on his armor. Thurisaz and Huathe are differents, I think there are some kind of nobility in them.

    And I love your interpretation of the Green Mechanicum, the aspect of the Satyrian Guards in particular gives me a feeling of bio-mechanical insects fitted with stilts (and power swords, but it’s just a detail ;D ).

    Great work and congrats for your first post! 🙂

    (In speaking of bio-mech insects, I imagine now a nightmarish fusion between an Onager Dunecrawler and the Wardroth Beetle of Alarielle.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Wanderer!

      Indeed Uruz and the witch lords Thurisaz and Huathe are different. Uruz is one of those former lords who has earned himself the greatest honour of becoming more raw nature than marine – guarding the deepest crevasses and holloways of the Thorn Moons…

      Thurisaz is Lord of Lintear (7th Thorn Moon) and Huathe is Lord of Gheal (3rd Thorn Moon) 🌗🌒

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a lot MonkeyBallistic! Glad you could use it in relation to your own work. It was, really, a revelation for me – and easier to realise in practice than I thought.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s sort of obvious though when you get in to building armies. 🙂 And the worlds you hint at in their details and basing. When I first met Jakob, I think in 2003, at Ropecon, I gave a talk on that very subject matter. I think it’s the same on groups of minis too – in scale – in needing those humble human henchmen for context etc.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hell yeah! Congrats on your first post!

    You and Migs both building fresh new armies reminds me of those golden days of late 2000s when army projects on forums sprung like mushrooms in the rain. I hope for frequent updates to lighten up dark evenings of the fall and winter to come… From throne to thorne…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It is fantastic to hear you have joined Iron Sleet, your artistic style and esoteric muses allows you to fit right in! I simply love your incorporation of nature and verdant energy into 40k, it is something that is seems so new, yet something that has always been there, tucked away in some moth-eaten tome.

    It is great to seem some of the Elder Ones finally completed, the mossy hues and textures are lovely, and something that ties all of the models together, creating an excellent foil to Mig’s Space Wolves. I cannot wait to see the army expand!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you are completely right in that it has always been there, hinted at in so many wonderful illustrations and artworks. Especially I think the weathered characters and worlds dreamed up by the great Illuminator…I really havent done anything else than to tap into those worlds and tried to give them a 3-dimensional form and body. Its all related…

      I enjoy immensely working on the Elder Ones, so thank you!


  5. Beautiful work! Congratulations to both FPOA and Ironsleet for this formal unification. I really love the loose painting style and restricted palette, and am particularly in love with the stippled little light dots. I’d love to see these guys next to Jake’s Black Sloth Hell warband, even though I know they exist in different universes.

    I’m so glad you’re building a full army. As much as I love warbands (and the whole Inq28 warband-based genre) there is something so exciting when you expand outward to an army sized canvas — so much more room for riffing on themes and mixing them in different ways, with different focuses. I can’t wait to see what else you have planned! I hope a larger vehicle-type model or two. Maybe a mossy knight-titan/tree hybrid? Or a many limbed (and tentacled) machine designed for climbing through endless treescapes. Or maybe a floating thorne-barge right out of the Voodoo Forest …

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Weirdingway…much appreciated 😎

      The loose painting style – and approach to the painting itself – has been a revelation for me. Nothing new except for me, as I have always spend ages on my work. The stippled dots are very effective, especially on these, as they reflect the smaller scale lichen and moss that would grow on older trees. It was Jakob Rune who introduced me to the technique, he has been experimenting with it in differemt variations for some time now, and it works wonders!

      There is larger scale pieces for Daerwynne, the 1st Library Moon, in the works, so your good suggestions are not that far off. Thanks again!


  6. FPOA, my friend, Welcome! What a stunning entry, so descriptive of your craft and practice and spirit. We should have had you join from the beginning, but it really required Pilgrym to brake the decade of rust 😉 It’s a special thing to have known you for 17 years, longest of any of my hobby friends and finally be more formally part of the same momentum.

    This force of yours, the way it combines your deep love and knowledge of forests with your thoughtful and so talented character, is just one of the most exquisite collections of miniatures ever created.

    Given that Toni is already building a gorgeous Death Watch force, and Mikko is sporadically creating his stunning vignettes of the moons, I’m confident our Red Crosair captain Kari eventually gets his shit together and we have the most remarkable set of Warhammer 40000 armies and related terrain in the making.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Migs 😊 I am humbled and just happy to be able to share my work with others through Iron Sleet.

      My biggest hope is to inspire others, as I have been inspired by Sleet, to push their personal projects in a direction they enjoy as much I do. Without being caught up (too much at least) in which specific techniques or rules to use when. Experiment, learn and have fun.

      I cant wait to see what the rest of the gang comes up with next 😎

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Welcome to Iron Sleet, FPOA. You couldn’t have made a better entry into such august company. Just breathtaking. It’s very interesting (to me) the way you’ve steered away from doing significant corrosion or oxidization underneath the organic weathering, at least from what I can see in the pictures. That conjures, for me, Astartes who vigorously maintain their wargear from wear but have ceased to see the invasion of nature into their own forms as an incursion, an external force.

    I have to say, from the hips up your Satyrian Guard are some of my favorite Thorn Moons models yet; the way you adapted Bloodletter heads is just astonishing. Very phosphorescent, their eyes. I don’t have any constructive commentary but their legs just seem sub-par to the rest of the model, to me. A bit too stock, too spindly for me; they’re very Thorne-y, but seem suboptimal for locomotion.

    Still- WOW. Now that you’re in, Iron Sleet is officially the home of the internet’s best Wargaming.

    …if I bring beer, can I come see you all in California next summer?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like good beer 😎

      Thanks a lot Rook! I think your thoughts about their armour and their maintenance are excellent. Well spotted too. The limited amount of oxidised metal was initially to keep them uniform and to emphasize their overall form and shape, only using the oxidised metal as spot colour (on the Marines at least). And you are right: For the Elder Ones the transformation from Marine to a Crataegus Legionaire in all their verdant glory is a sign of great honour and achievement…

      I am glad you like the Dryad-Bloodletter combo. I had a dream of doing satyres in a more classical sense and I think that part succeeded, they remind me a bit of C S Lewis fauns gone wrong…


  8. Great treeish models!
    I especially like the Satyrian Guard. What a crazy mix of Bits!!

    I am wondering what rules you guys are using for your project and armybuilding?

    Keep the barky stuff comin´


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks hrld!

      For the Thorn Moon Crusade we will be using 8th Edition. As for the army building I always start with the narrative and miniatures…Do what I want to do, to get the character of the Legion right. I havent really looked at any army building rules yet. I think this will come over the course of the project as I get a sense of its character.

      It is, no pun intended, a very organic process. To give you an example, many of my early models have ended up without long-range weapons: Both the Thorn and Satyrian Guards are close-combat equipped, so far. The Elder Ones Hunters too (Uruz the Hunter and three more Hunters in the works). Then there are the Elder Ones sorcerers, they are mainly psykers. So I have to find an army list that suits those decisions. Heavy on psykers and close-combat. Time will tell…


  9. Your work is just utterly inspirational 🙂 the denizens of the Thorne Moons alongside Migs’ Vlka Fenryka have played a big part in shaping my Eldar projects, so thanks!

    Awaiting more world-building with bated breath! I cannot wait to explore more of the Thorne Moons, and the events transpiring there…

    Liked by 1 person

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