The Tech-Priests are probably what I like most in a Mechanicum force. It is not just their fascinating background and their gloomy and mystical union of man and machine, which I think epitomizes the atmosphere of the setting, but also because lately I like very much painting skin and robes. Maybe I painted too many power armours in the past and now I need to focus on different textures, with more depth. Moreover, as every Tech-Priest is completely different from all the others, every one of them adds great variety to an otherwise standardized army.
Without further hesitation, let me introduce you my first three representatives of the clergy of Mars:
The Magos Dominus from Forge World is a wonderful kit, probably one of the best models I have ever painted. It is so full of crisp details and different textures! So full of textures that I probably overdid when I added another one on it. The little shrine on its front didn’t look right in silver, nor in black or white nor anything else, so I tried with a simple wood effect, and I was finally satisfied. It doesn’t stand out too much but, at the same time, it is different enough from the other colors to avoid overcharging the model with a single tone. Someone might think that using wood on a priest of the Machine-God is a bit weird. I thought that too, at the beginning, but then I remembered that the first instruments used by our ancestors weren’t made of iron or steel, but of wood and stone: so, using wood to make a shrine can be seen as a religious homage paid to a previous incarnation of the Omnissiah.
At the moment, he is the one leading my army, but that role will be entrusted to the Forge World Archmagos model as soon as I can put my hands on it. Or to the Archmagos I am going to (someday) convert from Inquisitor Karamazov’s Throne of Judgement.
The other two are middle-ranking Tech-Priests, as denoted from their white hoods. Horus Heresy Book 3: Extermination says that red is not ubiquitous in every Mechanicum army, but is rather a color denoting a higher rank, often reserved to the most revered Machine Spirits and to the Adepts of Mars. Thinking that too much red on a single model would be boring, I reinterpreted that paragraph in a more extensive way: on the forge world from where these guys come, only the highest ranking Archmagos and Magos Dominus are entitled to wear robes that are completely red. Lower-ranking priest have proportionally less red on their vests to denote their rank. The humble Lexmechanics, for example, wear white robes with red small decorations (as I will show in a future post).
The other two models represent a Magos Auxilia and his Adept; I still haven’t assembled/converted the servitors that will accompany them on the battlefield, but they are not very far in the pipeline. Contrary to what I thought, I enjoyed painting the Enginseer more than the Titan Tech-Priest. That old metal model had crisper details than the resin one, even if it is undeniable that, in general, it is less proportionate and has a chunkier appearance.