The Imperial Fists Damocles Command Rhino is my first unit for the VIIth legion.

This is not the beginning of a new legion, although I do plan to assemble a small yet playable force for the Horus Heresy. It won’t be on the same scale as my Wolves or Word Bearers, but it will be enough to satisfy my painting desires. I understand that choosing the Damocles as the initial model for this new force may seem unconventional, as it is somewhat specialized. However, I decided to include it because I haven’t built and painted a Damocles before, so I was excited about the prospect. Additionally, I wanted to experiment with the balance between yellow and black in the armor, and the Deimos pattern hull lends itself perfectly to this endeavor. Moreover, I still have three of the old Forgeworld kits, so it’s satisfying to reduce the resin pile a bit.

A mix of kits

This Damocles model is a combination of three kits: the retired Forgeworld Deimos kit, the re-tooled Damocles conversion set, and the tracks from the new all-plastic Deimos. Why did I mix these kits? Well, since the tracks from the older Deimos kit were designed for the Mars pattern Rhino, they don’t match the newer track link style found in the Horus Heresy plastics.

Recently, I acquired the plastic edition of the Vindicator, which features the desired track style. Considering that I plan to display the Vindicator alongside my resin version for the Word Bearers, it makes sense to swap the track sets between the two kits. This ensures consistency among my Word Bearers models. Fortunately, both sets of tracks are interchangeable, albeit requiring some trimming of the final sections. However, I’m willing to put in the effort.

Imperial Fists yellow

Over the years, I have experimented with various methods for painting yellow. There’s one golden rule (pun intended): avoid applying yellow over a black base, as it tends to acquire a green hue and lose its vibrancy. In my past attempts, I’ve found success by using a warm base colour like flesh or sepia to create warm yellows. Rhinox Hide, with its warm red undertones, is one of my personal favorites for shading yellow tones.

For this Horus Heresy project, the primary colour I used is Games Workshop’s newer Imperial Fists Yellow Contrast paint. It was applied over a modulated Ivory and Rhinox Hide pre-shade to create depth. To enhance the contrast without overstating it, I carefully added a few focused layers of sepia shade wash. The yellow contrast paint provided ample pigment saturation, resulting in a rich and vibrant base colour for the tank. All the layers were applied using an airbrush.

Contrasting panels

I emphasised the side armour more with the Damocles, partly because I enjoy making life difficult for myself where masking tape is concerned, but mostly to give it the feeling of having ablative armour. It seems fitting for a command tank. The black is a mix of German Grey, Neutral Grey and a glaze of Incubi Darkness, basically same palette I used on the House Makabius Knights, but in a more limited  coverage. It was only later in the build I discovered Daemonette Hide gave the same effect in a single colour. Credit to Richard Grey for that, I used it on the exhaust shrouds and honestly will probably use that method going forward to save me a few unnecessary steps.

Weathering and metals are my usual toolbox of oils, pigments and airbrushed dust effects. Nothing new added to the mix for this build.

Imperial Fists a new legion?

No. Well, I’m not planning to at least. I ‘do’ have plans for a new legion in the future which I will add to the existing trio of Word Bearers, Ultramarines and Wolves , but it is not the seventh legion. I will paint some more units for the Imperial Fists and quite possibly a character or two as I’d like to extend this palette into some infantry units, maybe even an allied detachment would be cool. But not a full on tournament list or anything quite so large.

Just enough to scratch that itch to paint their amazing yellow and black Horus Heresy scheme. Let me know what you think in comments down below.