Rough Riders, I love 'em (and yes, this is an Imperial Guard post, I've not forgotten my long neglected footsloggers!). Although tactically less than perfect, they do have their uses as a harassment, counter-charge or tank hunting unit. And more importantly, the idea of the humble IG having to make do with horses on a battlefield of genetically modified super killers is just so appealing.
However, Rough Riders have one major downfall - the models. On the one hand you could spend a not inconsiderable amount of cash to get some of the worst models GW have ever made. Alternatively you could spend A LOT of money to get some of the superb Forge World versions.
So, neither of those options are particularly appealing. You could of course scratch build your Rough Riders, and there are some stunning conversion jobs out there. Pop over to Col. Gravis' Praetorian Blog to see his great Lancers, Hussars and Mounted Colonel. Another example is this old GW suggestion for rough riding bikers. However, I'm not really at the stage where I want to attempt to scratch build models like these, so I had put the possibility of getting rough riders out of my mind.
However, earlier this year I stumbled across a member of Librarium Online (Doctor Thunder), who was gauging support for some custom casted Rough Riders. These would be made by the folks at the Phoniex Wargamers Club, who have also produced conversion kits to make female marines.
I was immediately interested. Then, when I found out that there would be only one batch made, that they would have a unique design and that it would only cost me around £30 for ten shipped from the US, I jumped at the chance.
So, for your consideration, I present the 'Death Dodo's':
Now, the concept of Imperial Guardsmen riding to war atop the back of what are effectively giant emu's is, I'll admit, a bit on the farcical side. However, considering that I play a regiment of Pith Helmeted Victorians transposed into the future, I figured I could get away with it!
Now what I got for my money was amazing, considering the fact they are home made and relatively cheap. The components came in a small bag, and require a good amount of clean up, in terms of flash and mold lines (something I've not really tackled in the pictures shown here). In addition most of the joints will require some green stuff. I have enough parts for ten birds, along with 10 sets of legs, lance arms and rein arms. The original idea is to use Cadian torsos for the rest of the model, but I am of course planning to use some Praetorian torsos - I'm hoping that with a bit of green stuff they should fit quite well.
So below are some pictures of what you get and one to show the scale of these models, which are far from small!
The level of detail is very impressive, for example the tread on the boots. Its just a shame about the flash.
I'm not planning on assembling the rest/painting these guys for a long while. I may have a crack at them during the summer, after I've got more DA done. However, I just wanted to show them off and see what you all thought.
A big thank you goes to the Phoniex guys who organised all this (and who apparently ended up making a loss on the project). Its an awesome way to give something new to the community, I'm glad that I'm able to share them all with you!
Thanks for reading...