Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Don't worry. None of this blood is mine.

“First Claw in my inbox? Let’s see thi– OH, FUCK A DUCK.”

ADBs First Claw by Augustus bRaassI won’t ruin this with too many words. Besides, there are 300,000 words about these guys already out there.

This is the first time I’ve seen them and had a genuinely gut-punchy emotional reaction. Not just “This person gets it” or “This really captures them perfectly” – or even “They look better here than in my head”, the last of which is true with surprising frequency. Not even “I love that my characters meant so much to someone”, which is about as perfect a feeling as an author can get.

In this case, I mean an actual wrenching internal lurch that made me feel – just for a moment – the same way so many people feel when they tell me they miss First Claw. It was the first time that seeing them again actually made me miss them, too.


TALOS TWO 5_zpsim2mbgnx





MERCUTIAN2015-02-25 22.42.35_zpsywpupjnz


2015-02-26 14.16.22_zpsxcvbxogd



Here’s Augustus’ thread if you want to see more of his work.

March 20, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,


  1. No love for poor Uzas?

    Seriously, these are mind blowing. It must feel amazing to know your work can inspire other creators like this.

    Comment by Dougal | March 20, 2015 | Reply

    • “Poor Uzas” was saved for last, but ended up being eaten by shitty WordPress formatting. Consider him restored.

      Comment by Aaron Dembski-Bowden | March 20, 2015 | Reply

  2. We all miss First Claw, man. And these models pretty much rock.

    The worst thing about it all is that I want to beg you “GIVE US A STORY ABOUT DECIMUS!!!” while at the same time, I actually really like that his story remains untold. Some questions don’t need answers.

    Comment by bittermanandy | March 20, 2015 | Reply

    • If I ever wrote a story – or even a trilogy! – about Decimus, I’m still too much of a tool to say who his parents are.

      Comment by Aaron Dembski-Bowden | March 20, 2015 | Reply

  3. Is there any chance of first claw or any of its members making an appearance in the Horus Heresy books, kinda like how Graham McNeill Included many of the characters from the Iron warriors 40k books into Angel Exterminatus (and left me hanging out for more 30k Ironwarriors, fingers crossed for Ironclad)

    Comment by Thomas Anderson | March 20, 2015 | Reply

    • Probably not. I think Graham did it well (and it was an incredibly popular move) but it’s something I don’t tend to go for, personally. The galaxy is massive and the Legions are vast. Talos and First Claw are 5-6 guys out of over 100,000. When you have characters in the old Star Wars Expanded Universe saying things like “Boba Fett is the most feared bounty hunter in the galaxy”, it sort of makes my skin crawl. It’s unlikely anyone would be able to name the most famous single soldier in one city or nation, let alone on a whole planet… or a whole galaxy.

      I tend to like the “nobody” characters as often as I can get them. The ones at the sidelines. The ones who started off as no one and rose to the top, or the ones that started high and took a fall. Talos and co. were basically just “some guys” in the Heresy, the same way Khayon from the Black Legion series was just “a random Thousand Son” during the Heresy. I like it when you see characters come into their own over time, rather than start at the top being famous, and staying there.

      I don’t hate the idea, I just try to be reeeeeaaaallly careful about this kinda thing, if that explains it a little better?

      Comment by Aaron Dembski-Bowden | March 20, 2015 | Reply

      • Not having read all of Graham’s 40K books, I had to Google what the significance of “Hon… Sou” was when I read it in his HH novel. Then I wondered whether the galaxy-shattering events of the single most significant seven years in the whole of humanity’s history really needed to have references inserted to some minor spin-off series set ten thousand years later. What’s important here, the collapse of the Emperor’s grand vision for humankind, or pet characters from the author’s completely unrelated work? Because I’m here for the collapsing-grand-vision bit.

        IOW, I think you’re doing the right thing on this one. Much as I love the guy, we don’t need to see Talos in HH.

        Comment by bittermanandy | March 20, 2015 | Reply

        • I get what you mean, but I also think Graham nailed it pretty damn well. He’s a BL institution in his own right, and those are beloved characters from one of the seminal, earliest Chaos Marine novels. I don’t disparage his choice to show his famous characters’ backstories at all. I just don’t necessarily think it’d be the right path for me and/or my characters.

          Apples and oranges, y’know? No right answer, no wrong answer. That’s how I see it.

          Comment by Aaron Dembski-Bowden | March 20, 2015 | Reply

      • I completely understand, thanks for taking the time to explain. 😀

        Comment by Thomas Anderson | March 20, 2015 | Reply

  4. Please revisit them in a Heresy story, man.
    Just… OK?

    Comment by NLChaplain | March 20, 2015 | Reply

    • You’re not the boss of me. You’re not the King of Aaronopia.

      Although, for clarity, see my reply to Thomas.

      Now go away and stop making me feel bad about my hobby progress, you genius.

      Comment by Aaron Dembski-Bowden | March 20, 2015 | Reply

  5. These models are amazing. They capture the very spirit of those loved characters.

    Comment by Chris Brown | March 20, 2015 | Reply

  6. He already gave a nod to his books by adding Malcarion to one of the heresy stories.I would love to read at least a short story on the falling out of first company with Shaal in charge

    Comment by Will Wright | March 20, 2015 | Reply

    • Yeah. A side-character giving a random line in the background, or mentioning the Covenant of Blood as one of many ships present, is more my reference style. A brief nod, a little tease, then jumping away.

      Comment by Aaron Dembski-Bowden | March 20, 2015 | Reply

  7. Lovely models, incredible! I’m divided on Grahams inclussion. I think they should have been background characters rather than the main ones, but it was fun to see them fleshed out. I like your small cameos though. I still think you can write more about them. Include them in the Black Legion-series.

    Comment by Forkmaster | March 20, 2015 | Reply

    • I know what you mean. On the whole it’s something I’m cautious about (perhaps overly cautious) and hesitate to go near, but on the flip side of the same coin, Graham rocked it. I may not love the idea as a general concept, but I think Graham had great reasons to do it and made it work damn well.

      As for them showing up in the Black Legion Series, I’ve thought about that. If they do (and it’s a big If) it’d likely be earlier in 10th Company’s existence, mostly dealing with the Exalted, who I’m sure Khayon would despise yet be fascinated with. Though the temptation to do the Abaddon/Talos conversation from Ezekyle’s POV is so, so tempting.

      “We’re all failures and you suck.”
      “Hmm? What did you say? Sorry, I’m only having this conversation as a favour to a minor warlord and I’m also planning a galactic invasion in my head at the same time. What did you say your name was again?”
      “Okay, Tollis or whatever. Stand still while I shoot you and walk off, because I’m bored now and have real shit to do.”

      For Talos, it was one of the most signficant moments in his life. For Abaddon, it was Tuesday.

      Comment by Aaron Dembski-Bowden | March 20, 2015 | Reply

      • +5 points. Raul Julia now laughs well in whatever Valhalla holds actors.

        And in our hearts, Malcharion lives.

        Comment by SGT Dan | March 20, 2015 | Reply

      • Well I can understand where you’re coming from as you often recite about Boba Fett not being the best bounty hunter in the galaxy (as it narrows the galaxy down and makes it too small) or that you would be critized for favouritism. I’m a huge fan of Grahams work (especially that with Fulgrim and his III Legion), it’s just that Angel Exterminatus I had my issues with but I won’t drag those up here.

        I would love to see that interaction, doesn’t have to be a big thing, just something happening prior to an assault when the Night Lords so happen to be a part of. But as ToH was from the perspective of Khayon, would this imply you would want to write from the perspective of Ezekyle at some point?

        Comment by Forkmaster | March 20, 2015 | Reply

      • ADB, even more thought provoking to me would be the evolution of a completely different set of loyalist good guy nobodies somewhere in a part of the fringe and this particular group of nobodies winding down in a neutral posture and reflecting on just how awesome they are as nobodies. Then someone accuses someone else of dealing from the bottom of the deck and a firefight ensues.

        Comment by James Bishop | March 20, 2015 | Reply

      • I’ve seen you mention this before, but I’m still not sure I agree. Just last week I reread Soul Hunter, and while I didn’t think Abaddon placed that much importance on Talos, I still get the impression that he cared, even if only a little.

        Comment by Max Samuel | April 1, 2015 | Reply

  8. Those models are utterly amazing, but even so, it’s very good of you to feature them over here, Aaron! Excellent move! 🙂 The rest of Augustus’ thread is no slouch either, however, so you all should definitely head over there and check them out — we’ve even been teasing him to build Septimus and Octavia to round out the collection, and he seems partial to the idea. Just sayin’…

    Comment by krautscientist | March 20, 2015 | Reply

  9. They should make these guys into a set and sell them on Forge world or something. I would kill the Emperor himself to have this set, they would look perfect right next to Konrad and Sev.

    Comment by zAc | March 20, 2015 | Reply

  10. Was thinking about having a crack at first claw then this butt hole creates a master piece like this and back in the box go the tools. Amazing work, have really captured first claw, glory to the eighth

    Comment by Glyn Pascoe | March 26, 2015 | Reply

  11. Holy moly, those are beautiful. Would love to have them. Gods, I miss First Claw. Such entertaining bastards.

    Comment by dorian | April 2, 2015 | Reply

  12. Where is this inbox if one should happen to want to send you space marines?

    Comment by Chinh Tran | April 14, 2015 | Reply

  13. […] Even Aaron Dembski-Bowden himself was blown away by Augustus’ models — and rightly so! Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I have to thumb through my copy of the Night Lords Omnibus again… […]

    Pingback by The 2015 Eternal Hunt Awards, pt. 2: The Hobbyists | eternalhunt | January 12, 2016 | Reply

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