This is another one of those dirt-cheap, simple conversions that you can add some punch to your Imperial Guard... sorry, Astra Militarium army (because you can’t copyright “Imperial Guard”).  And, as an added bonus, it ties really well to the Adeptus Mechanicus, too.  Good timing on that...

Many years back, when the Imperial Guard codex worked off the doctrine system, there was a wonderful White Dwarf article about abhuman regiments.  For those of you who missed it, the idea was pretty simple.  With all the various not-quite-mainstream humans kicking around the Imperium, it was inevitable that you’d end up with a few worlds where the large percentage of their populations—and thus, their Guard foundings—weren’t, exactly, well, mainstream human.  Think Ogryns.  Or Inhumans.

One of the most interesting ones, I thought, were the Afriels.  Unlike many of the other mutations which resulted from centuries of isolation in harsh conditions, the Afriels were deliberately engineered by the techpriests of Mars using DNA from dozens of the Imperium’s greatest heroes (think Serpentor 40,000).  They weren’t Astartes, but they were tougher, stronger, and better disciplined than most Guardsmen, and usually equipped with top level kit from the techpriests.

I built a platoon’s worth of them in Adeptus Mechanicus colors... and then the doctrine system went away.  I briefly toyed with just repainting them all to join my Catachans, but I really liked the look of them as chalk-skinned figs.  And I do have a thing for super-soldiers.

It took me a long while to hit on the idea of Afriel Stormtroopers...  Sorry again, Scions (old habits, because you can’t copyright “Stormtroopers”).  It made perfect sense, really.  Afriels and Scions hit so many of the same points.  Better trained, better equipped, less common, more durable, very distinctive on the field, and usually deployed for a specific purpose.  And just this week, we’ve seen the announcement of Skitarii—genetically and mechanically engineered super soldiers used by the Adeptus Mechanicus.  So, yet another possibility...

The cheap part?  Afriels are pretty much just Catachan Guardsmen with a distinctive color scheme (white skin, pale hair, and a contrasting uniform—probably red).  So that’s a full squad of ten Scions (or Skitarii) for almost 60% less than the regular price.

I used a lot of spare heads from Space Marine Scouts.  Each one has a headset and several have monoptics or visors, which helps sell the high-tech idea.  They’re also just a hair too big for Catachan bodies.  I mean, we’re talking like three or four percent too big.  Just enough that it registers and feels a little... off.  Which is perfect for Afriels.

I’m probably going to go through and put Space Marine scopes on the lasguns.  It’s a little touch that makes the rifles look a little more high-tech and helps sell them as either a hellgun variant or just a higher-end lasgun.

My Afriel Tempestor Prime (originally the platoon commander) has a bionic arm.  This is a really simple conversion—it’s just a Space Marine arm without a shoulder pad.  Yes, I know he can’t have a stormbolter.  As I said, he was built when the codex was very different.  He’ll probably end up with a plasma pistol, and maybe a power sword.

There’d probably be some weapons tweaks needed to make an Ad Mech squad out of them, but the basic idea would remain the same. And be just as inexpensive...

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