I've taken a lot of inspiration from the back story of the Dark Apostles but also from the portrayal of the Orators in the Horus Heresy novels and I've decided that this Dark Apostle was once an Orator for the Word Bearers legion and as his parchment attests to, he was one of the best. The writing on the parchment that flows from his armour represents a planet that he personally brought to compliance before the Heresy began and there are symbols written into the lists as well as a tactical diagram of a planet. There are also some red lines here and there and these represent planets that he has returned to and destroyed in his rage against the Imperium.
It may have taken me a while to get there but I finally managed to kick start my inspiration for my Chaos Space Marines. I've decided that I'll be combining pre-heresy and post-heresy colour schemes depending on whether I think their backgrounds show that the legion would have taken the time and care to recolour their armour. For example the Death Guard don't even care if their arm falls off so I doubt very much they'd have re-branded the legion but the Word Bearers are all about the ritual so it's likely that they would have not only repainted their armour but they'd have probably done it by candle light with a brush made of hair taken from the head of a dying virgin while chanting backwards in Ancient Sumerian or something bizarre like that. The Black Legion will have to be in their post-heresy colours because a) it's in their name and b) their back story gives a pretty specific reference to when they made the change. In my head the legions that will be in post heresy colours are the Black Legion and the Word Bearers. The Iron Warriors, the Alpha Legion and the Night Lords don't look to have changed very much and the Emperor's Children will probably have had some of them staying in their original colours but some of them changing because their pre-heresy colours were really bright anyway. The ones that I don't think will have changed are the Death Guard, World Eaters and the Thousand Sons. Like I said before, the Death Guard probably wouldn't care if their limbs fell off because they wouldn't really notice so I doubt they'd really care about making themselves look pretty. The World Eaters care more about killing things than anything else so they wouldn't think to pick up a spray can and the Thousand Sons have barely a handful of actual human members left thanks to Ahriman and his Rubric spell. Unless they were ordered to repaint their armour I doubt that they would have so I'll have those three legions in pre-heresy colours only.
So aside from the reading material, I've finished another CSM so now I've done the Helbrute (Iron Warriors), two Sorcerers (one Death Guard, one Thousand Sons) and a Dark Apostle (Word Bearers). Four models and already there's a lot of variety going on and this is how I'm going to keep this army interesting for myself. As I've been writing this I've been thinking about how I can assign my units to the 9 Legions and I've made a couple of decisions based on the unit, the Codex options and background story for the units themselves. Firstly I have a Sorcerer who was originally the limited edition Dark Angels model from the Dark Vengeance game but will become my Slaaneshi Sorcerer so naturally he will come from the Emperor's Children. My Possessed Marines will be of the Word Bearers legion because they were the first legion to use them as far as I know of. My Chosen will be Black Legion because they become a Troop choice (instead of an Elite choice) if Abaddon the Despoiler is the army General. Cultists will be a mix of Word Bearers, Alpha Legion, Thousand Sons and Emperor's Children because these are the legions that lend themselves to widespread worship with the former two of the four being famous for using cultists in battle. My Rhino will be a World Eaters machine because the Berserkers will need to be able to get across the field faster than their legs can take them. I plan to have Plague and Noise Marines so they will represent Death Guard and Emperor's Children respectively leaving my generic Marines to represent each of the 9 Legions as I see fit. As I will have the four Legion troops (Thousand Sons, Berserkers, Plague Marines and Noise Marines) I will only need to represent troops from 5 Legions so I can have 5 units of 6 because I'll have 30. I think.
So back to the focus of this post; the Dark Apostle. I'm really pleased with how he has turned out and I'm even more pleased that his near completion has uncorked a whole bottle of inspiration for the rest of the army. I feel confident that I can get through the feeling of being overwhelmed by the amount that I have to do and I might be able to save myself some money in that I won't have to buy any more models for a while. Though now I have inspiration I would like either a Heldrake or two boxes of Raptors/Warp Talons to boost my army a little but I can get those when I'm making better progress. Pictures of my work are below and I'm sure he'll feature in another post once his base is completed.