• Matt

First born, shortest straw

Updated: Nov 10, 2020

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 made up from the planets firstborn, 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.

Regimental Command

Captain Vastin on the Bear of Conquest, this model is an old Warhammer Fantasy Battle figure from the Kislev range.

The command unit also makes use of some of the Valhallan Ice Warrior range for the Master of Ordinance and Master of the Fleet. Both in different uniforms as they would be assigned to the regiment only.

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.

Never refer to this heavy weapon as a MISSile launcher, 100% of the time it will miss if you say that. Rocket launchers for the win!

Games Workshop never made a Vostroyan Autocannon team. The one above has taken the gunner from the Lazcannon team and the loader from the Mortar team, the gun itself is produced by MaxMini. https://maxmini.eu/by-faction/guardsman/acannon-gun-platform-heavy

Mortar Teams
Heavy Bolter Teams

Yellow Platoon

Lead by Lieutenant Kenavitch.

The Rocket launcher team in the unit above 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 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.

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...

Regimental Support


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.

Armoured Support

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. I do have a full tank company of about 15 Leman Russ' too but they're in the loft so I've just taken pictures of the below.


The tank commander here is getting desperate, even using spent shells to lob at those climbing the sides.


The markings on the turret of this tank tells you it is from red company, second squadron (2) and the 01 denoting its the tank ace.

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?

The main parts of the turret are batteries from the battle of Macragge set and an Ork Shock attack gun.

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.

Anyway that was a 1500pt list i think, no idea what it is now. In fact the last time I played a game with this army was back in 2015, the battle report can be found here: https://leadballoony.com/2015/02/24/a-very-civil-war/


9th of March 2019

So I've managed to get out into the shed and dug out the rest of my tanks. I hadn't realized how many of them still need to be painted.

I won't bother showing the detail on all of them, but a few notable tanks can be seen below.

While a lot still need to be painted, I've included a couple of pre-paint photos below. I must have built these over 10 years ago, well over due!

A Katusha


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.


10th of November 2020

So here we are, the first new painted unit for this army in years. I have to reiterate how detailed this figures are, to the point you need to watch how thick your paint is. I believe it would be all to easy painting out the detail on these models. Washes are your friend.

The yellow and magenta are a slightly different shade, but what did I expect from such a break between painting models for the guard? Barely remember my technique from back then, even without accounting for the slightly better skill I've picked up over the years. Really happy with them however, they certainly look like a veteran unit or platoon if I get enough of them. Hopefully YD miniature will release a sergeant of officer model.

I would also like to see a few more special weapons one day. Vostroyans already have models for flamers and grenade launchers. Although these special weapon troopers are cool, it would have been nice to have meltaguns and missile launchers.

Lastly, I've included an image of one of the new models standing next to an official Vostroyan. Pretty good fit I reckon.


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