I don’t have a particular affinity with the seventeenth legion, the ‘Word Bearers’, but I really like the palette which stands out as being suitably great crusade era aesthetically. The candy-style metallic red in particular was so different to any of the armies I’d painted previously it was top of my list of traitor legions to tackle. Even more being one of the first to ally themselves with the neverborn and bring about the daemons of the ruinstorm. On the tabletop they are alongside the likes of the Emperor’s Children one of the more stand out armies visually in my opinion.

The difference between gods and daemons largely depends upon where one is standing at the time ~ Lorgar Aurelian

The core of my Word Bearer forces are three units of legionaries; one tactical, one veteran and it wouldn’t be heresy without at least one breacher squad naturally. These were all chosen to occupy three Terrax pattern termite transports themed for the army. Originally I intended to fill one with ruinstorm daemons, but the rules simply did not permit it sadly. Maybe another day. The final seventeenth legion infantry unit, if you can still call them that are the ‘Gal Vorbak’; legionaries who have given themselves willingly to the ruinous powers and now share their physical body with that of a daemon.

Word Bearers red and black

I’ve covered this a number of times now and used it as my palette for legio mortis amongst others, but it never hurts to summarise. The base for all my Word Bearers armour is a metallic greyscale of gunmetal and chrome over a flat black primer. The initial tint is Games Workshop Carroburg Crimson which I then cover with several thin layers of Tamiya clear red until I get a saturation of red I like. Something like a rich red wine rather than the brighter crimson of the Thousand Sons. I’ve often heard it described as the appearance of matured or bruised meat, but however you think of it I use Drakenhof Nightshade to increase the contrast in the deepest shadows.