Horus Heresy: Ahzek Ahriman

One of the major appeals of the Burning of Prospero set was, for me, the story of the fall of Prospero and the characters involved. The Thousand Sons are my favourite Space Marine legion, and not just because apparently I like everything that Tzeentch likes. Their fall is genuinely tragic, and their defense of their homeworld as ‘traitors’ is a genuinely heroic moment: most of the characters involved don’t even know why they’re being attacked. There’s a nice bit of flavour text alongside the first Burning of Prospero scenario that describes a Thousand Son’s reluctance to open fire on his ‘brothers’, even as Space Wolves slaughter the human population of Tizca.

Ahriman embodies that drama, and I love the way this miniature tells his story. He’s one of the heroes of the defense of Tizca, but he’s also doomed and will, in turn, doom his legion. His headdress, the subtle spikes on his shoulderpads, and the glowing runes on his armour suggest the Chaos sorcerer he’s about to become. There’s even an icon of Tzeentch hidden on his right shinpad, concealed behind his tabard. I picked it out in white and blue to suggest that it’s glowing at this crucial moment. I didn’t get a photo of it because I’m dumb.

The Ahriman kit has him standing on a fallen Space Wolf as standard, however, and I wanted to reframe him somewhat. I think the sense of his impending doom is more dramatic if his presentation, in this moment, is unquestionably heroic. I wanted to show him stepping down from a shattered marble step onto the battlefield, suggesting that he’s standing defiantly in front of his enemies – not on top of them.

That slab is made of a piece of chalky basing material (it is probably chalk) that I carved to fit the curve of the base and basecoated with Ulthuan Grey. The marble effect is made up of layers of variously-watered-down shades, including Seraphim Sepia, Agrax Earthshade, Guilliman Blue and Drakenhof Nightshades. Then I picked out the ‘veins’ of the marble with a mix of Dryad Bark and Incubi Darkness before edge highlighting with Screaming Skull.

The various turqoise gemstones on Ahriman’s gear are basecoated with the new Thousand Sons Blue and highlighted with Ahriman Blue, naturally.