Iron hands were the last codex army I started, and will certainly be the last. Several Ideas were floating around my head with this army. Firstly, I wanted it to be a mechanised assault army, and by that I mean lots of tanks. Normally I try to restrict the amount of tanks in an army, mainly for cost reasons. However, I had just bought a big lot off ebay (which I incidentally broke even on when I resold the half of it I didn't need) and had lots of well put together and unpainted rhinos. Secondly, I wanted to fill any voids I had with the special characters in the army, so anything which I didn't have represented elsewhere. Thirdly, I wanted a lot of bionics!
So, first I had to actually decide whether or not to make it a codex chapter at all. Sounds strange, but hear me out on this one. The main deviations IHs have from the codex are excessive bionics, less than average terminators (and those they do have lead squads) and few dreadnoughts, but sometimes they lead the forces. This would be incredibly well represented by space wolves, with the acute senses/counter attack being the bionics, Wolf guard terminators leading squads and Bjorn as the dreadnought HQ. Then I ran into a few snags, like the fact I couldn't have a MoTF, and that I would need a lot of land raiders to transport squads led by terminators and even then they wouldn't be 10-man (in a godhammer pattern anyway) as I'd need two spaces for the termie sarge. It was a great idea and I may one day play the list using the SW codex, but for now I'll stick with vanilla.
Model wise, I had enough rhino hulls to keep me happy and a few left-over bionics from the Luna wolves FW purchase, so I just had to pick up a few bits. Firstly, I picked up a couple of Iron hands squads from GW direct. These squads are outstanding value, at just £2.50 more than a regular tac squad for all the bionic metal parts. I scavenged a few techmarine models from other armies/my bits box (to be MoTF and sergeants) and then got the brass etch and another upgrade pack from FW. Ebay granted me the old metal venerable dread (funny how you never want something until you can't get it anymore) who looked just the thing for an IH army. I scavenged 5 assault termiators from my salamaders as they rarely saw battle and also picked up a whole armies worth of resin industrial bases from evilmushroom games for less than £20 - great bases and awesome value! I was now ready to get assembling.
Character-wise, the only models I didn't have from the codex were a MoTF, Marneus Calgar and Cassius. Cassius is a great fit for a IH army, and so I converted him using the FW upgrade pack and a spare TM backpack. For Calgar I took a terminator, added one of the plastic vendread sarcophagi to his front. I then modified some lightning claws to resemble studded power fists and slung a dreadnought stormbolter over the shoulders. He had leftover resin pre-heresy shoulder pads too. The MoTF was simply a TM model I had leftover (want to make a conversion beamer for him at some point) and as a nice bonus, I got an old metal SM tank commander in the big ebay lot who will make a great chronus to add to my mechanised assault.The terminators had some custom shoulder pads and shields from dragonforge added, and the rhinos some brass etch. Throughout the army I 've gone with the clan symbol of a cog with skull within - a remarkable resemblance to the abundant admech pads out there! ;)
Here's the list:
5 assault terminators, 3 with TH/SS + land raider
Techmarine on bike
10 tactical + rhino
10 tactical + rhino