Kettle Helms and Grit: Feudal Guardsmen for 40k!

Not every planet produces Guardsmen quite the same…

Cadians may be the standard, but almost every planet pays a tithe of men. Feudal Worlds are no exception!

It is a good time to be an Imperial Guard player, at least from a modelling perspective. While Games Workshops offerings may be limited compared to yesteryear, there has never been such a proliferation of 3rd party parts and kits to build exactly the kind of Imperial Guard Regiment you want. Wargames Atlantic, Victoria Miniatures, Anvil Industries. All are options(not necessarily cheaper though!) for adding a bit of the custom touch to ‘Your Dudes’.

3D printing is possibly the best option available, and with pre-supported models and bitz now commonplace it isn’t even a difficult task. It is also considerably cheaper; one can print the parts at home, saving on shipping and giving you immediate gratification to boot. I personally haven’t delved too deeply into printed Regiments as much as I could have, due to my love of the metal Regiments Games Workshop used to put out, especially the Praetorians and Vostroyans. However, The Makers Cult, a Patreon and Cgtrader store, offer one of my favourite options. While they make a ‘not Krieg’ regiment that looks amazing, it is their Feudal Guard that got my attention.

A picture from the 3rd Edition 40k rulebook. The only mainline 40k product to show us a Feudal World to my knowledge!

The Imperium of Man is a diverse empire, and within its borders lie worlds of every conceivable type. One of these is the Feudal World, a type of planet that usually but not always is locked technologically in the Middle Ages. These planets often offer some sort of resource that doesn’t require more advanced technology to harvest, and the Imperium is loathe to waste resources bringing them up to space-faring status when it doesn’t actually make the job any easier.

Often, these planets are easier to rule in their backwater state then many other planets, and their feudal hierarchy perfectly meshes with the Imperium as a whole. The Emperor is seen as a distant but powerful monarch, with the feudal lords owing their fealty to him. Sometimes a King or other titled ruler will act as the go-between of the people and the Imperial Governor, but this is not always the case. In any event, due to these planets generally having a smaller population, their tithe is mostly resource based and not manpower.

However, it is not unheard of for the Imperial Guard to raise regiments from such worlds. These recruits are in for a rude shock upon learning just how vast and unforgiving the galaxy is, and often require a bit of extra training and time to get into fighting trim. Such a Regiment might look like medieval soldiers given primitive and easy to use Lasguns or Laslocks to go with their plate armour and tabards. This is a really striking and distinctive look, and one many a hobbyist has tried to tackle. Historical kits, Warhammer Fantasy models (particularly Bretonnians) and such are kit-bashed with the good ole Cadian kit. The results can vary from amazing to mediocre, but the famous Dave Taylor Genswick 33rd are probably the best example of it being done extremely well.

The Makers Cult Feudal Guard range has both heavily armoured, plate mail encased soldiers, and more recently men with a more peasant appearance. It was these latter troops I was very keen on. I learned quickly that my original idea to use spare Cadian lasgun arms wasn’t going to work, as the models just don’t quite match up. However, the laser rifles provided with the kit grew on me, and I like to think of them as primitive and easy to use Lasguns provided to the regiment.

Just what I always imagined Feudal Guard to look like!

The ‘Kettle Helms’ were what tipped me over the edge into printing a set of these soldiers. The Militia kit looks like just the kind of levy that might be conscripted from a Feudal World, with the more heavily armoured men perhaps being from a different class or caste, and therefore in a command position. The parts were all pre-supported, and I was keen to get cracking on so I loaded up a build plate or three and got my two printers going.

Here are the bodies in Chitubox. As you can see, these are multi-part models. With three build plates to produce 9 Guardsmen with full equipment it certainly took some time to print!

Being multi-part, it was a time consuming project. But around evening I had all the parts ready to go. The quality was excellent, with lots of deep relief and crisply defined detail. The paint will go on tommorow, but we can take a peek at the models before I paint them!

The first 4. These were fiddly to put together, and my fingers have a nice coating of superglue.
4 more! The sculpts really look quite good, and while being more semi-truescale compared to the Cadian line of models, this is actually an improvement. Primaris Marines will dwarf these guys, as they should!
Lets take a closer look. The lasguns are very arquebus in appearance, with a top-loading energy cell. Perhaps the function of these lasguns is supposed to be similar to ease training? That’s the excuse I’m using!
The backpack sits on a square nub on the torso, and lacks any straps. Perhaps the armour underneath the tunic holds it on? Either way, it is a nice looking backpack.
While being multipart, the parts line up quite well with only a few gaps. I must say I really enjoy the sculpts on these guys.

I have saved the Plasma gunner for last. This model was particularly fun to work on, with a really dramatic pose full of energy. The cable broke off when I was removing the supports during cleanup, but it was an easy fix.

This unlucky peasant seems to have drawn Plasma duty. The brutal and simple design of the plasma gun gives it a unique look and fits the bill of being a simpler and easier pattern given to Feudal Guardsmen.
The plasma gun has a bespoke backpack just for this weapon, and it looks great. Getting the model to stand on one foot was a ‘fun’ challenge.
Something the fully plate-armoured soldiers lack is visible faces, something these helmets allow. They have some great character, and add a lot to these models.

Now this was a project I really shouldn’t have started. I have loads of projects on the go, but being stuck at home combined with my hobby ADHD means I couldn’t resist. I needed to use the resin in the vat of my printer as well, so while these models didn’t use much resin at least it helped keep it ‘ready’ for other prints. I have had resin go unusable on me before, so I try to print at the very minimum of once a week.

These are cheap models to print, and now that I know the workflow I might print up a lot of them! I needed another regiment like I needed a hole in the head, but sometimes you just can’t resist the pull of a cool idea.

For now, I’ll print them 9 at a time and paint them as I go. That way I don’t have to stare down a pile of unpainted models, which can be discouraging. You’ll notice I said 9, not 10. That is because the Sergeants are going to be kitbashed from the rest of the Feudal Guard range and I have yet to purchase all the needed sets to do so. But lets take a peek at the plan for them!

I originally purchased this set to make my Feudal Guard, but had a rethink when I saw the Militia kit. I’m thinking of using the tabarded models at the bottom…
…Combined with the Sergeant upgrade kit. The Kettle Helms with feathers are what I am after. No capes!

I’m keen to see how these models paint up, and I will share progress of that when I do so!

Now, it would be remiss to say that Games Workshop hasn’t also finally thrown Guard players a bone or two officially. They have announced a new Cadian upgrade frame with plenty of heads, special weapons, and more importantly for me, a bolter for the Sergeant. Like many other Guard players I started with Cadian models and such a frame fills me with a little bit of glee as I think about overhauling my older models.

And that is without talking about the new Tanith models! I’m super excited for these new Ghost models, even though I own a full set of the old Metal Gaunts Ghosts.

Men of Tanith, do you want to empty your wallets?

All in all, a fun day of 40k flavoured printing! My Feudal Guard need a name and backstory, and I’ll be back with painted models and lore to boot! But until then, Happy Wargaming wherever you are, and Forwards! For the Emperor!