Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Imperial Fist Biker Cavalry, part I

The Imperial Fists are reputed in the annals of Imperial history as the personal gaurd of the Emperor during the Crusade and in the Defence of Terra. In seeking to personalize my force of Fists, I delved into a bit of research to find an aspect of their real-world analog that I could exploit; the Praetorian Guard of the Roman Empire.

The Praetorian Guard were an elite formation that served as the bodyguard of the Roman Emperor while at home and while campaigning with his legions. You can see the similarities drawn between the two organizations; both renowned for loyalty, both elite formations, both respected within their cultures for their virtues(of course, later, the Praetorians became a group of political strong-armers whom placed and deposed Emperors dependent upon whether they were appropriately paid off or not). As I perused the specifics and histories of the Praetorians, it mentioned an organization within their organization- The Equites Singulares Augusti(see the above illustration). They were an elite group of cavalry that accompanied the Emperor into the field and fought beside him when he deemed to engage in battle on horseback. Bam. I had found my in.

Well as some may remember, the Fists are well known for siege-craft, heavy weapons and loyalty to the Emperor above all. So their emulation of the Praetorians would mean that they could possibly have a corp of specialist biker marines. This formation would have been a very prestigious group to be a part of, and following the retirement of the Fists from being the personal gaurd of the Emperor they would have adopted more traditional tactics yet retained the pride and esprit de corps. They would have also brought their own tastes to the look of an SM bike.

I've done some looking on the net(thank you Google pictures!), and the look I want to bring to the SM bike can be seen to the left. That's actually a motorcycle with 100% tracked locomotion. Not totally what I was envisioning.

Thaaaaaats more like it. I intend to remove the rear lower portion of the wheel armor and the exhaust pipes. Then I'll create a track using the small tank wheels from the Leman Russ kit, fashioning the actual track sections out of thin plasticard. Some smaller conversions to the piece include adding plastic bearings to the surface of the front wheel(mimicking a snow tire), and just generally cutting down on the bulky look of the bike. I plan to exclude the plate that constitutes the foot wells for the bike and just make the foot spokes out of plasticard rods where the bikers foot would naturally rest. For attack bikes I'm going to double the rear track and put a plate of plasticard over it with a mounted rack to support a heavy weapon with the supporting marine sitting behind the pilot.

This is the work I've done thus far, the rear of each bike has been significantly reduced using some clippers and sanded down with a file. I've done a dry piece together, and I have great confidence that this is going to look awesome!


  1. I like it, looking forward to updates.

  2. Well, it's a simmering kind of project. Just something to keep my mind rolling while I crank out my fists. Thanks JRV!