View from the Matt – Space Crusade Dreadnought

This week my brother-from-another-mother Matt will be leading the charge, and for that I am grateful as work has been a little hectic! In this article Matt takes a trip down memory lane to the days of yore and the era of Space Crusade and Robocop which prompted the decision for the latest model he painted for his collection. Matt, over to you squire!

Matt: Hello from Blighty! So we’re all still on lock down – it’s week 6 and counting… So I thought why not finish another project? This one didn’t involve a challenge just Paul’s encouragement…. especially when I told him what it was!

So first a little background: This begins around 1988 when I was on a shopping trip with my mum to Birmingham (possibly my 11th birthday). I had the idea that I wanted to visit Games Workshop as a friend of mines older brother frequented there and had filled my head with tales of fantasy and monsters… Additionally I thought it would be an opportunity to get some fighting fantasy role playing books from there to add to the growing collection.

My first view of the hallowed shop was the window emblazoned with the Rogue Trader artwork and cool heavy music blasting out through the open doorway… my mum, bless her, thought it was a bit “too old for me” and promptly ushered me out… But the stage was set… the image of desperate Space Marines and grinding tones of Bolt Thrower stuck with me. So at Christmas 1990 (after much nagging to my mum), I finally got my first Games Workshop game in the form of Advanced Space Crusade…

 And so I was hooked… Space Crusade was the gateway to Space Hulk, then ‘Epic 40K’ in the form of Space Marine… very quickly my soul was sold to the 41st millennium. One of the models from that era that I really loved was the chaos dreadnought expansion for space crusade. I loved the concept of the dreadnought – it was real dark sci-fi* – a mutilated warrior, damaged beyond repair is entombed in a machine to enable them to continue fighting on for centuries.

Plus the model looked a little like ED-209 from Robocop which was an ace film for its time.

20 seconds to compllllllyyyyyy!

Shooting forward to today, and as I mentioned in the Squat article, I’m building a Dark Angels legion army for Horus Heresy. Although painting black space marines is hardly exiting adding an ancient old model to the mix adds another dimension.

The model itself is an easy build. Now remember – Space Crusade was a game designed to get you into the hobby so the minis where push-fit. The dready is no different with ‘slide-on’ weapons to give you options to bring the pain to its enemies. Obviously I’ve glued mine together and for the load out I chose the missile launcher ( because it looks like an old RAF rocket launcher) and the plasma cannon (because he’s a dark angel!!!). The model fit together brilliantly – no filling or shaving (huzzah!)

Paint wise I keep my pallet simple:
– Chaos black with one stage grey edge highlight
– Red highlighted up by adding orange
– Gunmetal washed in Nuln Oil dry brushed silver
– Foundry base sand mixed with bleached bone for the face. Washed with Agrax Earthshade

The Checkerboard design was painted free hand with small highlights added. Transfers where the new legion sheet from Forge World, along with Sisters of Battle and Foundry’s Viking shield decal sets.

Regarding the transfers, I wanted to get creative. In my mind this guy is a Terran, back from when the Dark Angels where known as ‘The First’. His iconography reflects his origins as he was recruited from Albion – hence the white rose and Saxon/Viking raven. I thought that the Dark Angels winged sword should be smaller than the other badges – showing he was 1st Terran legion before Caliban era of the Dark Angels. The winged hour glass shows he is a member of the Dreadwing – the sinister order of the 6 hosts of the Angels of Death, also represented by the 6 pointed star. He also bears the lion of Caliban – the mark of his Primarch also his half bone coloured face shows as a member of the Deathwing. In my mind it was during this service that he sustained the injuries that that most likely meant internment in the dreadnought.

All in all I really enjoyed building and reviving this piece of my gaming past and giving it a new life**.

This model was made to the dulcet tones of:
– Paradise lost
– Godthyrmm
– Metallica
– Bad brains”

Well, thanks so much for that Matty! I also have fond memories of Space Crusade/Advanced Space Crusade, and of course Heroquest. I wonder how many of you out there owe your current hobby questing as a result of one of those games way back when? Let us know in the comments!

Cheers for now!

Paul and Matt

* Way before the term ‘grimdark’ became a thing.

**Not entirely sure being interred in a Dreadnought can be considered life, but I guess “Only in Death Does Duty End”.

2 thoughts on “View from the Matt – Space Crusade Dreadnought”

  1. Excellent post. This really resonates with me but I went the Heroquest, advanced Heroquest, 3rd ed fantasy route (sprinkled with epic 40k) route!

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