So I have been thinking of starting a marine chapter for a while, but wanted to avoid the generic/vanilla armies that I always see. I am a pretty big history buff, and last year I took a trip to the city Carcassonne in southern France. Carcassonne is I believe the largest citadel city still standing in Europe. It was also home of the Cathars, a Gnostic sect of the catholic church.
The Cathars were a confederation of many houses of southern France. They participated in crusades for the church, and were able to become a weatlhy force in the region. Eventually this got them into trouble, as the Catholic church and king of France decided they wanted it for themselves. The Cathars were the target of the only crusade fought on European soil. It was a long, drawn out affair that eventually saw the Cathars defeated. Officially they were persecuted for being heretics (their Gnostic idea's did not sit well with the church), while unofficially it was essentially a land grab made by the French.
So that's the history. I thought it would be neat to base a chapter off some of the noble houses of the Cathars, using their heraldry and family names as the bases for my fluff/paint scheme. Currently, I have three Coats of Arms that I am thinking of using; The Cross of Toulouse (used by its counts, red with gold cross), the House of Tencavel (yellow and gold) or the coat for the Kings of Aragon (yellow with red vertical stripes).
An example of a model using the Trencavel color scheme:
I am thinking of two different rules sets; Black Templars or Dark Angels. They already have good fluff for crusading knights, and I think the rules may be a good fit. I am also deciding on some of the models that will be used, and I think I will try my hand at doing conversions for this army...more to follow!