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First born, shortest straw

Updated: Oct 18, 2022

I'd like to take the time to walk you through my collection of Vostroyan Firstborn.

The Vostroyan Firstborn refers to regiments of Imperial Guard raised from the world of Vostroya within the 40k universe. The regiments of Vostroya are raised from the planet's firstborn children, with those from the poorer families making up line infantry and children from richer noble families becoming officers. The second and third born from this world are tasked with production of the tanks, munitions and armament.

During the Horus Heresy, Vostroya sat back and refused to raise new regiments for the Imperium of man, reserving their population for their manufactorums (40k word for factories). The Imperium of man didn't take kindly to Vostroya's stance. As a result once the Horus Heresy was dealt with the ruling government of Vostroya pledged every firstborn to the Imperial warmachine.

Short straw indeed for those born on Vostroya.

The Vostroyan firstborn miniature range was released when I worked for Games Workshop back in 2006. I managed to order my army on the fabled weight discount. For those who do not know, Games Workshop used to offer a discount to their employees based on the weight of the metal. This meant that my army of white metal models, some one hundred strong cost me about £30. The idea was that staff would buy these armies, paint them up and encourage customers to start a new collection. I know shortly after I left, GW scrapped the weight discount so lucky me i guess.

The standard Vostroyan uniform is red, which goes well with the Cossack theme they have going on. However I've taken inspiration from the novel Legion in the Horus Heresy collection. The art work, pictured below almost depicts a Vostroyan uniform. However when I started painting the figures I wrongly assumed that the picture below was of one regiment, who's uniform was half magenta, half yellow. The art actually is of two different regiments kneeing before a Space Marine of the Alpha legion.

Anyway that's why my army is painted the way it is. So without further ado here are my Vostroyans.

52nd Vostroyan Infantry;

¬¬Red Company Command, 52nd Vostroyan Infantry¬¬

Colonel Micaelav

While his rank should mean Colonel Micaelav leads the regiment, he and his command staff are usually found supporting Red Company. Many of the troopers theorise that due to Captain Vastin's hot-headedness and desire to lead from the front on top of the mighty bear Grolar, he's not trusted to be a consistent tactician for Red Company.

A thorn in the Colonel's side indeed but Vastin and his oversized pet does wonders for the moral of the company and as a result, Micaelav tolerates most of the Captains dereliction of duties...

Lieutenant Petrov - Master of Ordinance

Following in the Colonels shadow, the Lieutenant's vox caster is often used to keep tabs on the other companies, Especially when the Captain of Red Company loudly exclaims his boredom with his administrative duties and joins his men on the front lines.

Petrov trained as an artillery officer and was assigned to the 52nd for what he thought was assisting the Regiment with preliminary bombardment. In between rolling his eyes when his expertise is used for checking in with Blue Company, there's nothing the Lieutenant loves more than the sound of earthshaker rounds thundering in the distance.

Captain Vastin and Grolar the bear

Large, hairy, bad tempered and smelling slightly of salmon, the Captain is an impatient man. Like all Vostroyan officers, Vastin bought his commission and has little interest in the duties the rank comes with. Bored easily the Captain shuns most of the operational tasks associated with his position in favour charging head first into the enemies of mankind. A bravado bolstered by the mighty Grolar.

He inspires bravery in his men and is well loved across Red Company. The same can't be said for the other officers of the 52nd, tired as they are with picking up his slack. More than a few are counting the days when the luck of the Captain and his bear run out in the midst of combat...

¬¬Yellow Platoon¬¬

Lead by Lieutenant Kenavitch.

The Rocket launcher team in the unit below were originally Steel Legion miniatures, unfortunately there was never Vostroyan Rocket teams made. With a head swap and some green stuff made them look like they belong. GW also never produced Vostroyan melta gunners...

While the other Rocket team in this unit started as Valhallan Ice Warriors. The difference in the weapon signals that this launcher is the one in the army with Skyfire, if that's still a rule.

The spotters for the sniper teams were Steel Legion models, converted to fit. The heads started off as Space Marine sergeant heads with re-breathers, I ended up sculpting many bear skin hats.

I also used the muzzle brakes from the Kroot rifles to give the sniper rifles a different look while I sculpted a bear skin hat on one sniper so it wasn't obvious I was doubling up on one figure.

The conscript unit has been made up from converted Valhallan Ice Warrior's and Necromunda Delaque gang members. The regiment has stretched to giving them the greatcoats but other than that they're on their own, this gives the conscript unit a haphazard nature. They are also lead by a Ministorum Priest.

Honourable mentions from Yellow Platoon

¬¬Green Platoon¬¬

Lead by Lieutenant Bufkov.

The plasma discharge has been made by heating and twisting the sprue from those Necron green rods and then pinned in place.

Games Workshop never made a Vostroyan Autocannon team. The one below has taken the gunner from the Lazcannon team and the loader from the Mortar team, the gun itself is produced by MaxMini. (although I think this is out of production now).

Honourable mentions from Green Platoon;

¬¬Purple Platoon, Grenadiers¬¬

Lead by Lieutenant Sidorov.

So this Platoon is all 3rd party really. It started with a squad from Your Dream Miniatures (who doesn't look like they're producing models anymore). Originally this squad was going to be a one off veteran unit on account of their slightly different bearskin hats and uniform. However when I added miniatures from Death Field's Les Grognards, with the extra finery in their bearskin hats too, I set about building all of these figures into Purple Platoon. With a Grenadier theme to justify the differing hats.

Honourable mentions from Purple Platoon

In fact, I used the old Imperial Guard codex for a reference for this Ice World camo cloak. Little nod to the armies that inspired me as a kid.

¬¬Company Armour and Support¬¬

Ogryn Auxiliaries

Currently only fulfilling the role of bodyguards for the officers, the 52nd are expected to receive additional abhuman support.

The Colonel wasn't best pleased when high command informed him of Ogryn reinforcements. The 52nd had always been compromised entirely of those born on Vostroya. However, with no choice in the matter, the Colonel insisted they at least look the part. Something far easier said than maintained...

Pre paint pictures with the conversion work can be found here.

Vostroyan casualties

When the army was first released in 2006, Games Workshop produced a limited run Vostroyan platoon box set. In the set you also got 3 casualty models, i guess reminiscent of a similar set back in 1997 for the Praetorian guard. However GW really upped their game with these newer casualties, back in 97 the wounded guardsmen in Praetorian uniforms looked like they were taking a rest, while even Dave Lister would understand the fellas below are dead...


Hellhound tank

I used an old dwarven musical instrument for the barrel of this tank, with a bit of added green stuff to make the tank look a little more Russian. I have also made sure the snow on the tracks is melting at it gets closer to the hotter front end of a flame tank.

Wyvern Suppression Tank

I used Warhammer Fantasy Battle parts for the crew of this tank, especially Empire knight parts for the torsos.

¬¬903rd Vostroyan Armoured¬¬

Main battle tanks are not likely to be apart of an infantry regiment, as a result I made sure the markings are the traditional Vostroyan Red. The assumption would be this armoured regiment are on the same battlefield and are providing fire support.

Tesla Tank

This tank counts as a Hellhound with the melta option, a Banewolf i think. I'm a big fan of the Command & Conquer Red Alert series, with the Russian theme to the army I wanted to include something a little CnC. Got juice?

Specialist Vehicles

Superheavy Squadron

Honourable mentions from the 903rd Armoured;


My imperial guard tips.

Paint colours under each guardsmen's base with a number, makes it easier when deploying them or packing them back away in the carry case. We can see here that this Guardsmen is from Red company, Yellow platoon, first squad.


¬¬The WIP diary¬¬

17th of October 2020

So it's been a while since these guys had any attention, as conversions and 3rd party bits for Vostroyans are hard to come by. However, Your Dream Miniatures have recently released a squad of troopers that are perfect for Vostroyan Veterans and I've been impatiently waiting for these to arrive from Russia. Rather fitting these miniature come from the motherland.

They're currently 3rd in my paint queue and I'm seriously looking forward to painting them. The quality of these mini's are also second to none, they fit together perfectly and come with a choice of rebreather heads with oxygen canisters on their backpacks, or standard heads and backpacks.

The special weapon troopers can also be armed with a lasgun so you have plenty of variety in a unit of 10.

I think I'll be checking back to see if YDMinis release anything else in their Empire's Grenadiers range.


5th of July, 2022

So a couple of weeks back my Dad picked up a couple of sprues from the Les Grognards range, thinking they would help me with my Napoleonic Empire Army. I mean he wasn't wrong and the heads, especially those tricornes would be really useful when I next work on that army. The Sci-Fi parts however, well they put me back in the mood to paint some Vostroyans.

Now one Instagram account worth following is The Steal Legion. The guy pumps out awesome work on the now out-of-production Steel Legion minis. This was something I had wanted to try for a while on my own collection of OOP models. However the fact that GW never recast Vostroyans in resin* made this nigh on impossible, mainly due to the price Vostroyans sell for on ebay.

*As far as I know, never seen any resin ones.

With several Les Grognards ready to go in plastic, I could finally breathe some new life into this old range of Imperial Guardsmen. With the extra detail on the bearskins meant to be the French old guard, I decided these Vostroyans would be Grenadiers and went with a sapper theme for the conversions.

For the most part, the Les Grognard arms and weapons were not used. I have seen Vostroyan/Les Grognard conversions before using the LG weapons and the element of 40K is missing in my estimation.

The bearskins also had some work done on them to tie them into the rest of the army a little more. Mainly sculpting the tops of them to be fur.


2nd of August, 2022

So the other day I ordered some replacement paints from the GW site and to qualify for free postage I had to bump up the spend. I didn't really have anything in mind so I had a quick browse. In the end I ended up looking at the newer Genestealer cult models and the Nexos figure caught my eye. His floating holo-table would be awesome for the Guard and by the looks the the scratched Aquila belonged to the Imperium at some point. So he was added to the basket and greenstuff work begun shortly after he arrived.

Largely the whole figure is still the GSC Nexos model. The head was swapped out for a Banablade tank commander and the plumage came from the Les Grognard sprue.

So here's my new unexpected Vostroyan Master of Ordinance.

Painted pictures can be found above in the command section of the blog.


29th of August, 2021

Ok so in between painting the troopers of Purple Platoon, I keep falling back to conversions. By the end of the month I had added another officer to the paint queue and started work on my Ogryns.

Now the issue I've had with these newer Ogryn models Games Workshop have for sale is their scale. These models are almost twice the height of a man and that alone makes them pretty laughable. These are humans who have evolved on high gravity worlds, not actual giants.

Primaris Marines are meant to be about 8ft tall and the current Ogryn range towers over those. I wanted to create a squad of what I'll affectionately call Chimera Scale Ogryns. As there's no chance you're fitting 6 Games Workshop Ogryn models in the transport tank.

My conversions started out as Ork Nobs and I stuck to the theme of the old Perry twin models for inspiration. For the frames, I grabbed a couple of Nobs from the Assault on Blackreach set. Unlike a lot of the older Nob models, these figures don't arch their back quite as much.

Most of the upper shoulder guards, arms and neck section was filed away and the boots cut from the legs to make way for some limb lengthening.

As for the heads. Well I wanted something a little smaller than the face of a WFB Ogre. Maybe between a Ogre's head and an Ork's. However with the beard and bearskin hat, I think the head is roughly in scale with the body.

And here are the two figures I've finished so far;

For scale reference, the eyes of a guardsman are approximately 29mm from the top of the base. My Ogryn's eyes are around 37mm above the base and the official models are roughly 44mm...

I have mounted them on the newer 32mm bases Primaris Marines stand on as I think it suited the size of the models better. If I ever play a game with them and the opponent wants them on "legal" 40mm bases, well that's where blue-tac comes in.

Oh and here's the new officer, reckon he'll be a Colonel.

Painted pictures can be found above in the command section of the blog.


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Paul-luuk Profijt
Paul-luuk Profijt
31 de mai. de 2021

A beautiful army! I also have a vostroyan army (infantry + fortifications), and I love what you did with yours. I recently ordered some miniatures from a third party seller, hoping that they'll fit as nicely as yours do :)