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.
I really like the paining aspect of the hobby so I tend to break models down into sub assemblies. It makes batch painting more enjoyable and less frustrating. It’s so much easier to edge highlight a helmet without a body getting in the way.
I have chosen to paint the helmets blue, partly for variety and partly for fluff reasons. The Sauroters are an Ultramarine successor chapter and that’s how the Ultramarines do it. Also, I like paining blue and it fits with my analogous color scheme.
This is actually the second attempt at these helmets. The first was OK but the blending on the tops of the helmets and the eyes weren’t good enough so I stripped them and started again. Second time around however, I over sprayed the undercoat and cloged some detail on some models. Nevermind; next time.
While I was paining I found the Vallejo Ice Blue really thin. To the extent that it was hard to paint with. I tried shaking it real good but to no avail. I considered thickening it on the pallette by using dry retarder but decided I should probably try to just fix the problem. I tried using a glass bead as a paint agitator. It seemed to do the trick.
As always the eyes drove me nuts. The best method for me seems to be basecoating and shading as normal and then adding a thin line of white. This needs to be thinned down with some medium. Then a glaze over the top. I find it impossible to do anything else consistently or well.
I am using 30k Tactical Marines from the Betrayal at Calth boxset. This is because I have bought some resin heavy weapons from Forgeworld. The static poses suit the heavy weapons and I much prefer the MKIV marines to the MKVII devastators. I like the crenelations on the latter’s armour but they are just too ostentatious, the weapons in the box set look stupid and there are only five in a box.
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.
Ordering some heads for 28mm miniatures from Dragon Forge Design.
I am not a fan of unhelmeted Space Marines. It just seems silly given how high tech the armour is supposed to be. It looks a bit better when the miniature is modelled to have a helmet on the side but it still seems a bit reckless. It’s also not very WYSIWYG.
I ordered a Chaplain model, via an eBay seller, from the Deathwatch: Overkill box set. I really like the pose of the model and the relative lack of chapter specific iconography. I will replace the Deathwatch pauldron and arm with one of the 3D printed Sauroters pauldrons and leave off the large Ultramarine badge from the chest plate.
The only problem is that the model is bare-headed and there is no optional Chaplain helmet. This seems a bit of an omission given that the Chaplain’s helmet is unique.
At first I considered converting a helmet. I found a good online how to which can be found here. However, I struggled to find a suitable skull. I looked online for after market skull helmets but didn’t really like anything I found. I did however come across Dragon Forge Design. You can find their website here.
They have a range of African heads cast in pewter. The GW range is almost entriely Caucasian, so I like the idea of having some diversity in my models. Some of the heads look a bit Escape From New York but there is one in particular that looks pretty dignified. I think he’ll make a good Chaplain.
Dragon Forge Design has an interesting range of products. In particular I was quite tempted by their power cables. The pewter would be really easy to model into shape. Although, I recently came across a tip to use the bristles from household dish brushes that seems worth trying.
I want to include some vehicles in my Demi Company but I want to complete a Tactical Squad and some HQ choices before I start modelling them. I am intending to do a fair amount of conversion to my vehichles so it’s a project I want to tackle in the summer because it’s very humid where I live, so I won’t be so motivated to paint.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I am trying to keep my models WYSIWYG. Spacemarines are meant to be equipped with bolt pistols. Unfortunately, the tactical box set doesn’t contain enough bolt pistols (or combat knives) to equip an entire squad. So, I looked for some after market alternatives.
I ordered some of these bolt pistols (as well as some plasma pistols) from Victoria Miniatures. I really like the sculpt and also the size. I find the Spacemarine bolt pistols a bit oversized. They also don’t fit well in combination with pouches and grenades. The models begin to look a little overburdened.
The pistols are unholstered. That suits me fine. I like to imagine their equipment being attached with space magnets rather than traditional webbing. Although I am quite tempted to try and model them with Dirty Harry style holsters.
Ordering some pistols for 28mm miniatures from Victoria Miniatures.
In a previous post I mentioned WYSIWYG. For me, it’s a very satisfying part of modelling. Coincidentally, I hear it’s important for tournament play although that’s not something that particularly interests me. Tactical marines, in addition to bolters and combat knives, are armed with bolt pistols.
As with knives, the Tactical Box Set doesn’t contain enough bolt pistols to equip an entire squad. With my Ultramarines I ordered a bunch from an ebay seller. Again, this is expensive and supplies are limited. Also, although I like the sculpt, the GW bolt pistols are too large. Comically so when compared to bolters. Where do they put all their ammo?
For my Sauroters Demi-Company I want to include three Tactical Squads and a Devastator Squad. That’s a lot of bolt pistols. I have a few pistols left over from my Ultramarines and the three new tacticals box sets I’ll need to buy will provide a few more. However, not enough. I am not sure if I can find more loose pistols and not sure I want to pay for them piecemeal if I can.
Plan B is to use GW bolt pistols on the Devastators and buy after-market pieces for the Tacticals. Devastators can be equipped with either pistols or bolters (I think). I think pistols get two shots in the assualt phase. So, for crunch reasons, I think it makes sense to equip troops who may be assaulted with pistols. At range, they’ll be using heavy weapons, making bolters a bit superfluous. The sargeant however will be equipped with a bolter for the same reason, to shhot at range.
From a fluff point of view I think it makes sense for the Devastators to have a larger guage (GW) pistol as it’s their only defense at short range. And for Tacticals to have a smaller guage pistol to compliment their primary weapon-the bolter.
I have found an after market pistol from Victoria Miniatures. You can see the product here. I like that it is unholstered. It looks a bit more accesible that way. Plus, I have always imagined that power armor uses space magnets to mount equipment. The clip looks smaller than on a GW bolt pistol, which makes sense in terms of carrying ammunition. I’ll post some pictures when they arrive.
Having gotten back into the hobby in 2014, after a break of twenty years, I have decided to try and produce something a bit ambitious. My goal is to create an original Space Marine Chapter including fluff.
I want to model and paint a demi-company plus some HQ choices. I am going for an infantry list but I would also like to include some vehicles. My initial goal is 1000 points. I have chosen a demi-company formation because it seems like a solid choice chrunch-wise. It also gives me a clear goal, plenty of models to paint and a solid base if I want to increase the size of my army.
There is more than one way to enjoy this hobby: reading the fluff, playing the game and the painting and modelling. Of these I am probably least interested in playing the game although, that may change once I have painted an army. That said, I still want to create a balanced (yet fluffy) list. I am particularly keen on creating something that is as WYSIWYG as possible.
My initial idea was to create something based on the Greek Hoplites. This is by no means an original idea but I do like the aesthetic so reason enough. I chose the Vergina Sun as the Chapter symbol. It’s associated with Ancient Greek culture, but as I subsequently discovered, has had some unfortunate connotations in modern day Europe. I hope the choice is not in poor taste.
I am going to try and post weekly. I hope that this schedule will motivate me as well as be a record of my progress. I anticipate this project taking a year. I’m pretty sure 12 year old me would think I was awesome now, which is nice because I’m fairly unimpressive in general.