Assault Squad Assembled

As per the plan, I have assembled the first unit of marines. I wanted to start with the Assault Squad because there are only five models. Also, as I mentioned in a previous post, the kit is showing it’s age and I was keen to try out the Vallejo Model Putty.

To keep the squad WYSIWYG I have magnetized some of the models. Two Marines can be equipped with either flamers or chainswords. I used the MKIV flamers because they are more compact. They look like assault weapons. I also like the idea of being able to put down two flame templates and get automatic hits during an assault.

The sergeant also has the option of a power fist. This is just for the sake of the conversion. I don’t really like the idea of putting a lot of points into a model that only has power armour and one wound. I’d rather save the points across squads and take something else. However, if I am anticipating something like a Landraider or monstrous creature the option is there.

The jump packs are not magnetized because I don’t see much point in Assault Squads without them. I spent a lot of time filling and sanding gaps because I wanted the finish to be really smooth and aerodynamic. I left the vent on the top of the intake because it makes sense as part of the engine. I also like the idea of adding soot effects to it later.

You’ll  notice that they are attached to 25mm bases. This is because this is an older kit. I am using these bases for painting. I am planning to base them on clear acrylic when they are finished. The feet don’t offer much of a surface for gluing so I may actually magnetize them to their bases. Otherwise they are going to constantly break.

Here they are after priming:

As you can see the finish…

Vallejo Plastic Putty

I bought a box of assault marines from an ebay seller. The kit is fine, but really showing its age in terms of finish. Compared to the new Space Marine Tactical Squad set the details are a lot less defined. Particularly the legs, where the knee pads meet the thigh armour. This is not a complaint so much as an observation. I still like the kit.

However, the jump packs really do have big gaps. I didn’t take any pictures while I was assembling mine. It’s a bit of a bother to set everything up. But, here is a good example:

jump-pack
Image from ChestofColors.com

This picture comes from an excellent OSL tutorial from ChestofColors.com, which can be read here. You can see the gaps quite clearly. You can also see how inaccessible those parts of the model are. When I painted my Chaplain, I tried to sand the seams smooth. It didn’t work very well and I was unsatisfied with the results.

I have some green stuff but I’ve never used it before and it seems like an unsuitable application for it. I did some research on filling gaps and decided on Vallejo Plastic Putty. It’s water soluble so it won’t wreck your brushes and can apparently be colored with paint. It comes in a dropper bottle or tube. I bought the latter.

I found it really easy to use. I simply applied it into gaps with a paintbrush and used a damp cotton bud to remove the excess. I then sanded the surface with sanding sticks, then some really fine grit sandpaper and finally burnished it with my nail. I find a soft bristled toothbrush helps polish the surface too. Here are the results:

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It’s impossible to tell how smooth the surface is until it’s been primed. Grey primer really seems to show any imperfections up. That said, I’m very pleased with the results. I was able to fill even the tiny gaps inside the thrusters. The putty sanded well and didn’t seem to shrink much as it dried. I’m not sure if that would be the case with bigger gaps though. I guess green stuff might be a better alternative in that case.

The only niggle was on the underside of the Jump Pack, in the middle, under the vent. I was able to apply the putty just fine, to what was a pretty sizeable gap. But I found it very difficult to sand or scrape away the excess. If I had some of the cotton bubs that end in a hard point that might have worked better.

I won’t be magnetizing the jump packs. I don’t see much point in Assault Marines unless they have them. Eventually, I may decide to upgrade to a Space Marine Bike Squad. I really like the models and they seem like they’d be a solid choice in a game.

Ryza Pattern Lascannons

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I really like the sculpt on the backpacks. I imagine the bars as space batteries of some kind. So I wanted a very utilitarian look. I basically brybrushed Vallejo Metallic Grey over the same color washed in GW Nuln oil. I finished with an edge highlight of Vallejo Air Silver.

I tried a kind of heat distortion effect on the barrels of the las cannons. I followed part of  a tutorial from Warhammer TV, which can be seen here (from 18:24). The base color was Vallejo Air Silver washed with black then tidied up again with silver. I thinned down some vallejo blue ink and applied a thin band with a flat brush. I then applied an overlapping band of purple ink (mixed from GW red and Vallej blue inks). Finally I applied another overlapping band of GW Seraphim Sepia.

I am fairly pleased with the effect. I think the GW inks are much better than the Vallejo blue ink, which dried patchy. I was a little heavy handed, especially with the purple. Next time I’ll try to be more patient and build up the color with several layers.

I want the cables to be a jumble of different colors but still try to keep within my analogous paint scheme. I want to try doing a black and yellow striped cable but I can see that being a really frustrating procees so I’ll see how it goes. I will leave shaping the resin until after everything else is painted. So, I will be painting them after the armor is finished and everything is glued into place.

I am planning on using these models as tactical marines rather than Devastators. I will be using the classic las plas squad inside a rhino combo.

Deathwatch: Overkill

DEATHWATCH OVERKILL

An aphorism of screenwriting is that a protagonist needs a great antagonist. Part of my goal in creating a Space Marine Chapter is to also create the fluff. Sauroter is a Greek work meaning lizard crusher. It refers to the short heavy spike on the bottom end of a Hoplite’s spear. The lizards in this case being Genestealers.

Games Workshop recently released the Deathwatch: Overkill box set. Playing games is not really my thing and I have limited space, so I won’t be buying the set. I did however buy the Genestealer Cult spues from an ebay seller. The quality is fantastic and I’m really looking forward to painting them.

There is a strong nostalgic element too. The art style of the Cult seems very influenced by classic GW art. I remember the specific image well. Back in the day, I owned some genestealer models, perhaps from the Space Hulk box set. I don’t really remember. They will also make a nice change from paining Space Marines.

I have gone for a clean look with the Sauroters. With the Genestealer Cult I’d like to try something a bit more weathered. I think this goes well with the Underhive/ mining planet fluff of the fluff. I’d like to do something a bit different with the color scheme. Something kind of insecty.

I am imagining some kind of iridescent shell mixed with really feverous skin. Miniwargaming.com  produced a How To using an iridescent medium. Vault members (paid membership) can see it here. I’m also considering a cicada color scheme. Mainly because I can’t stand cicadas, so they seem like a good choice for the bad guys.

The Genestealer Cult clocks in at 600 points. That suits me fine. A full battle demi company is more like 1000. But, once they’re painted, if I do want to play a game of 40k, I can. I’ll be able to play Kill Team etc. as well. In the future I’d also like to collect some Imperial Guard (DKoK) and a Chaos warband. The Cult gives me a good baseline size.

Like many bloggers I tend to write content far ahead of time. Since writing this the Codex: Genestealers has come out along with a bunch of great new models. So, it looks like buying the Cult was a lucky coincidence. I’ll be able to add to it and create a force comparable with a battle demi-company.

Librarians

FW-LIBRARIAN
Image from: ForgeWorld.co.uk

I wanted to include a Librarian in my collection as an alternative HQ. However, I’m not a big fan of parts of the GW aesthetic. I don’t really like the chapter specific iconography and I find some of the general embellishments a bit over the top. In particular, the horned skull on the Librarian pauldrons and greaves, reminds me of the cow pies eaten by Desperate Dan.

Initially I ordered the librarian from the Assault on Black Reach boxset. I didn’t like the non helmeted head and there was a fair amount of Dark Angels and Dandy iconography on it but I really liked the pose of the outstretched hand. So I set about ‘converting’ it.

With my first attempt I manages to cut off the fingers while taking it off the sprue. So, I ordered another. I practiced taking off the iconography on the first model. I very quickly realized I was not going to be able to do it so I decided not to worry about it. Then I discovered the Magister Sevrin Loth miniature from Forgeworld. I really like the Mark IV power armor, so I ordered one from ebay.

I ordered it from an ebay seller. I was really impressed with how quickly it turned up and the packaging was really excellent. I would definately recommend them.

The miniature I ordered only included the body, not the arms or weapons. That suited me fine because they were chapter specific. I also intended to add the arm from the Black Reach Librarian. However, I made a real mess of it. In the end I went with a standard Mark VII arm with pointing hand and a spare chainsword arm from a Forgeworld Apothecary. The post looks a bit ‘come at me bro’ but it’s fine. I imagine Librarians to be a bit unstable anyway.

In terms of fluff Librarians are supposed to have a power weapon. On one hand I like the idea of a hazard striped chainsword. On the other, I would like a power sword or perhaps a lightning claw. The problem is, that the weapon hand is the right hand and melee weapons usually come attached to a right hand. It wouldn’t be too hard to covert something, so I’m going to think about it for a while.

Another reason for including a Librarian is that I really enjoy painting blue. I’d like to go for a lighter blue than with my Ultramarines. Blue should also provide a bit of variety in amongst all of the Sauroters green. I might go for red helmet lenses on all of my HQ models, except the Techmarine, just to provide a bit of visual continuity.

Chaplains

GW-CASSIUS
Image from: wh40k.lexicanum.com

In an earlier post I mentioned that I had ordered some heads from DragonForge.com. The heads have arrived and they are great. I don’t have any experience of working with pewter and they seem really heavy duty in comparison to resin and particularly plastic. I had been intending to use one of the heads to convert a the Chaplain mini from the Deathwatch Overkill box set. But then inspiration struck.

I thought why not simple paint a skull onto a helmet? Not an original idea I’m sure. In fact I found several tutorials. In particular, I liked this video from MiniWarGaming.com. I really like their content and in fact, I am a paid subscriber to their Vault (a paid membership). So, I went ahead and painted a skull helm, using a helmet from the Betrayal at Calth box set. I am pretty pleased with the results and I’ll post pictures when the rest of the miniature is painted.

Painting black is supposed to be tricky. Highlighting with grey seems to be fine, although I imagine it would be overpowering if overused. I will be painting the trim and various armour embellishments in a metallic or bone scheme. So, I don’t think the black will be a very dominant color in the overall color scheme.

I am not a fan of OSL effects, unless they are really subtle. I like the look of burnt metal effects and other weathering, but not the really bright plasma effects that seem so popular. As my Chaplain is in a running pose, I will not be painting the jump pack as if it is on. Rather as if he is about to take off.

I considered the idea of magnetizing the helmet and head so I could use them as a kind of wound marker. I still like the idea but I think it might be a bit much. I want the option to give the Chaplain a jump pack, in case I want to add an assault squad to my collection. I am worried that too many magnets, too close together, will affect each other. So, I have magnetized the back pack called it a day.

I ordered a jump pack from a bits seller on ebay. I was pretty satisfied with the seller although it’s a good idea to pay for the better packaging if the model is delicate. It’s not advertised as better packaging, rather as the expidated option. My model arrived slightly broken but the sculpt has so many delicate details, it’s difficult to imagine how it could be avoided.

I’m not sure exactly how it will fit on the model I have. It’s very hard to judge from the pictures. The model’s pose is pretty dynamic but neither arms are upraised so I think everything will fit.

I’ll post pictures when the model is fully painted.

Epic Roster.com

Using epicroster.com

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am not very interested in the gaming side of the hobby although I do want to create balanced lists. Now I have completed my Ultramarines I wondered how many points I have altogether. I don’t have the Space Marines Codex, so I searched online for an alternative and discovered epicroster.com, a free online list building tool. You can create, save and export lists. Here is a list I created:

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As you can see, I have 500 points of Ultramarines. That was the goal for that project. My initial goal for my Sauroters is to paint and model a demi-company and some HQ choices. Maxed out squads should give me about 1000 points total. Here is the list:

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I bought an electronic version of the 40k rules so, should I begin playing, I’ll pick up a copy of the Codex. The Saroteurs are a sucessor Chapter of the Untramarines so I’ll be following their rules.