The 52nd Tallarn Desert Raiders – Part 1


The picture above, taken in North Africa during World War Two,  shows a patrol from the recently formed (1941) British Special Forces also known as the S.A.S (Special Air Service).

This picture is the main inspiration behind my new Imperial Guard (Astra Militarum) army but I also like the Bedouin type vibe as well.

The tactics employed by the “unknown” SAS or LRDG (Long Range Desert Group) during the campaign in North Africa included the use of customised and heavily armed vehicles. Patrols would be sent out into the Western desert, deep behind enemy lines, to gather intelligence or conduct raids on enemy targets.

I really like the idea of a unit of brave and somewhat wild soldiers cruising through the dunes raiding enemy camps etc. Very cool and very Hollywood but also all true.

I’ve never done a Detox before. I think it’s one of those made up Generation Y(bother) type things like Veganism haha.

I guess the closest I got to a Detox was in August 2017 when I decided not to have any sugar what so ever for the whole month. Why? It was a challenge. I succeeded and then couldn’t wait to gorge myself on as much sugar as possible come September!

Where am I going with all this? Well, some of you might recall that I wanted this year, 2019, to be the year I got a lot of painting done. As most of you know I do like painting but much prefer to build. I’m pleased to say that I’m quite proud of the amount of painting I’ve done this year. Sure I’m no Azazel, TIM, Pete Or Wudugast when it comes to output but I’m happy with my efforts all the same so far. However, there’s only so much “no sugar” one man can take so for the last few nights I’ve been building and converting like a madman and I’ve had an absolute ball.

Heres what I’ve done so far for this project…

My 52nd Tallarn Desert Raiders consists of three vital units.

1. Long range mobile infantry. Troops capable of travelling long distances, on foot, and operating deep behind enemy lines for months at a time. They are self sufficient, resourceful, ruthless and fearless warriors.

The Scorpions.

Colonel El-Sabir.


He’s based off the original Tallarn Leader below.


Sergeant Hazik (B&W) is based off the original Tallarn Sergeant (Colour).


Sergeant Treblaunt


Flamer Trooper and Sniper


The rest of the Scorpions


2. Fast attack. Customised vehicles used for quick strike attacks.

The Bobcat:


Here’s the scale, which is pretty good.


The Camel (APC):


The Desert Rat:


The Coyote:


The Jackals:


3. Heavy support. Heavy infantry, cavalry and an old but tough battle tank.

The Gila Monster: (Also a lizard that lives in the desert. One of only two venomous lizards in the world).


Desert Lions: Cavalry and a few heavy infantry ground troops.

With this first chap, I tried to make him look like he was leaning off his horse to one side as though about to strike at a foe with his sword. It was a tricky conversion to pull off because it’s not easy to spread a mans legs haha. Especially legs that are designed to be in a standing position. It’s not exactly right to my eye but pretty damn close to it passed.



For the rider above and the one below the challenge was bending or sculpting their capes to appear as though they are cascading or draped behind them.


The photos below show the before and after shots. With the use of my very sharp exacto knife I was able to cut the cape to shape. Then glued and then with carefully sprinkled bicarbonate soda I was able to achieve a glowing type look.


This army is only small and can be used independently or they can link up with other Guard armies (as long as they’re not feuding with them).

To date I have five Guard armies at various stages of completion.

1. The Mighty 77th Cadian Regiment.

2. The 701st Royal BannaRoff.

3. The Stouthearted 31st Praetorian Guard.

4. The 113th Blood Strike Renegades (Traitor Guard).

5. The 52nd Tallarn Desert Raiders.

I also have a couple of others planned haha.

I hope you like the concept for this army and where this project is heading.


In other news I’ve finally received some cowboy miniatures from Knuckleduster and I’m thinking of (inspired by TIM) doing a Wild West diorama. Probably, roughly, one foot by one foot.


Remember, there is actually a difference between coffins and caskets – coffins are typically tapered and six-sided, while caskets are rectangular.




If you have any metal Tallarn Miniatures you want to swap or sell please let me know. I’m after the original Tallarn leader mostly.




43 thoughts on “The 52nd Tallarn Desert Raiders – Part 1”

  1. I can’t begin to say how cool this project is. Ticks so many boxes for me…

    The Genestealer Cult bike conversions are really great and I love the rag tag vehicles too.

    Can’t wait to see more.



    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well you weren’t exaggerating when you said you had been busy! Some really great stuff going on here. If I had to pick a favourite then for me it would have to be the first figure on a motorbike, the sniper guy, just love that one. Looking forward to seeing them painted up in due course and will also be interested to follow what you do with the Knuckleduster figures. 😊

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Well I love just about everything here! The models look like a great update for the Tallarns, and the vehicles are amazing! The old pickup is my favorite. I’d maybe tried to do a roof-mounted mg instead of the fender guns, but that neither here or there.

    I’d have hoped you talked more about the models, i.e. where they come from. I reconized the matilda and obviously the bikes, but the rest are a mystery.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks man. The pick up is from Maxmini. So are most of the foot troops but they’re modified and converted with bits from anvil industries and Victoria miniatures. For the life of me I can’t remember where the large half track came from haha. I’ve had it a while. There’s also some old school warhammer gear in there like the horses. Hope that helps 👍🏼

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That helps! I’ve often heard about Maxmini, but for some reason never checked them out before now. They seem to have a lot of amazing kit! Spotted your half track there as well 😉 I’ll most likely order some stuff from them eventually, those wheeled HW platforms look very appropriate for a future project!

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh dude! This is awesome stuff, great modelling and a solid concept….. I love anything with an Arabian vibe and I’m really looking forward to seeing this develop. You’ve inspired me to re-visit my abandoned technomad project.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I started them quite a while ago and had them on Instagram before quitting. Not on the blog yet, but I will post them up piecemeal soon! I liked your Ash wasters, will be good to see some more of them!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Good work mate ,it must be Melb. weather as I’m inside doing a lot of conversions when I should be in the shed working on the last of the castle dio add-on’s.Just love the half track ,really good .I have converted cavalry into infantry but never thought to do the opposite ,what a simpleton am I ,thanks for the idea mate .
    Now come here little man ,Luke says I should spread your little legs ! are come back you little bug…….

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Great stuff! I’m particularly taken with the vehicle mash-ups, I must say! It’s fun to see the side skirts of a Matilda on one of these monsters. Personally, I think I was hooked on the Desert War when I saw “Play Dirty”…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Just re-read my comment – the best thing about *painting* them – not the best thing *about* them…
        I’ve got a few of those paints, they work just fine as well. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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