Table Ready Feature: Corvus Corax, Primarch of the Raven Guard

[This post was originally posted to Otherverse Games & Hobbies as part of a series called Plastic to Painted, or P2P. You may see logos or references to this site and series]


Always watching their enemies from the darkness, striking fast and hard, then melting away as if never there, this is one of the chief tactics used by favorite Legion Astartes, the Raven Guard.  And nothing emulates this more than their Primarch: Corvus Corax.  His panoply includes the Sable Armor, a suit of master-crafted armor that moves in utter silence, the Raven’s Talons, a pair of master-crafted power claws, and several different variants of archeotech pistols.  The XIXth Legion Astartes trains and fights in guerilla style tactics: observe the enemy, find their weak points, sabotage and assassinate those targets, and then disappear into the shadows.  I absolutely love this way of fighting.

Remembrancer image of Corax during the Great Crusade.  Image courtesy of Games Workshop.

Continuing in the Primarch theme for December, I’m writing my second article on Corvus Corax.  Several years back I’d had a falling out with the Dark Angels and was looking for another army to fill that Astartes-shaped hole they’d left behind.  I’d started on the Heresy journey from Black Library and eventually made it to Deliverance Lost.  Now I’d done a little research into the Raven Guard prior and they were growing on me, but this book just sealed the deal.  At the same time I’d been collecting box after box of Marines, and had unknowingly gathered enough models to make a full battle company.  Thus was born my next project: Raven Guard 3rd Company with Kayvaan Shrike as an adder.  Not long after Corax was released from Forgeworld, I knew I needed him. If only for window dressing for my 40K Marines.  Crashing down on top of his foes, already finding his next targets, this was definitely the model for me.

Painted Corax photo 1 of 3.


Like his brothers, Corax was hurled across the galaxy and came to fall on the barren moon of Lycaeus, orbiting the world of Kiavhar.  Kiavhar was a technologically advanced world under the brutal control of planetary tech guilds, and Lycaeus was a mineral rich moon that was converted into a prison/mining colony.  Anyone not following lock step with the edicts established by the tech guilds were subsequently arrested and shipped off to Lycaeus as slave labor for the mines.  It was here that Corax was discovered and secreted away, the prisoners knowing that there was something great about him.  Over time he learned how to fight, both with his body and his mind, how to maneuver politically, and about philosophy and beliefs.  But above all else he learned patience and timing of action, learning how and when to strike. 

As he grew he was able to organize and lead the prisoners in an eventual revolt, taking control of Lycaeus and punishing the tech guilds for their crimes in an atomic strike.  The guilds quickly capitulated and the planet was renamed Deliverance.  Soon after the Emperor arrived to gather another of his lost sons to the Great Crusade.  After speaking with the Emperor for two days, Corax willingly accepted command of the XIXth Legion Astartes: the Raven Guard and joined his brothers in unifying the galaxy once more. 

Corvus Corax in action.  Image courtesy of Games Workshop

Istvaan V and The Horus Heresy

The Raven Guard were deployed to some of the most dangerous sectors in the galaxy.  Where many strategists predicted prolonged fights, using their skills in stealth, insurgency, and counter-insurgency, the Raven Guard were able to end many campaigns in short order.  Word eventually reached Corax that the Warmaster Horus had turned traitor and was gathering forces in the Istvaan system, specifically the world of Istvaan V.  Under the guidance of Rogal Dorn and with the approval of the Emperor, the Raven Guard would muster and join a strike force of six other legions to stop the traitors and put down the rebellion.  Unfortunately the Raven Guard was betrayed alongside the Iron Hands and Salamanders, and their legions virtually destroyed.  Corax was able to gather a paltry force and break through the traitor lines, escaping into the rougher terrain on the planet. 

Eventually the traitors were able to surround the Raven Guard, but they were able to escape thanks to a rescue party dispatched from Deliverance.  Corax would eventually return to Terra and seek the Emperor’s aid in rebuilding his legion.  Through gene tech provided by the Emperor, Corax was able to start rebuilding his legion until sabotage occurred.  Alpha Legion operatives were able to infiltrate the Raven Guard, secure pure samples of the gene tech, and corrupt the remainder before disappearing under the cover of rebellion from the former tech guild masters.  The Raven Guard unknowingly utilized the corrupted gene tech on aspirant candidates, which would later grow into horribly mutated, although loyal, Astartes.  The Raven Guard would spend the remainder of the Heresy staging insurgency operations against the traitors and their allies.  Eventually Corax would travel into the Eye of Terror after the fleeing traitors, trying to atone for his perceived mistakes during the conflict.

Painted Corax photo 2 of 3.

Assembly and Painting

After giving the resin a bath in warm, soapy water, I set about cleaning him up then moving to assembly.  It’s at this point I need to address the elephant in the room: the head swap.  Although the model arrived in great shape, unfortunately his head didn’t seem to get the memo.  His face was dorked-up pretty bad and there was no way I was going to be able to triage the situation.  Although slightly dejected and a bit upset, I found a veteran Mark VI helmet in my bits bin that turned out to be a pretty good substitute.  From there I painted almost everything in the smallest  sub-assemblies I could.  Black can be a bit tricky to paint, especially with the super white highlights I put on most of the armor’s decoration.  But with a steady hand I was able to finish him off in fairly short order.  Unfortunately I still need to finish his scenic base, so maybe this write-up will give me the motivation to complete the whole model after several years in the backlog.  Somehow I doubt it, but I can dream.

Painted Corax photo 3 of 3.

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A New England transplant that originated from parts westward, Ryan is a bit of a nerd that knows a little bit about a lot of things, all while claiming to know nothing about anything.  Seemingly part Khajit a logistician by trade, he’s the kind of guy that can get you virtually anything if there’s coin to be had a problem to solve.  Ryan began to learn the scrounging arts while serving time in parts east as a Loggie and has been perfecting them steadily over several decades.  He has a problem with continually purchasing models, paints, and terrain that he doesn’t really need but his wife doesn’t seem to mind.

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