Change of Plan

Having finished assembling, magnetizing and priming the Assault Squad I have decided to change the plan. Specifically magnetization. The process is really time consuming but it’s the results that are the problem. With the Assault Squad Sargent I avoided the need for multiple arms by magnetizing at the wrist. However, after letting it sit on my workbench for a while I’ve decided I don’t like it.

I think I’d prefer to have models modeled in one way. In the case of Sargents, chainsword and plasma pistol. In the case of special weapons guys, plasma guns. I’m simply going to make it a theme. The Assault Squad will have two flamers. I’ll glue that option into place.This will cut down on the amount of painting I’ll need to do and let me concentrate on results instead.

I have also stripped and reprimed the Chaplin and Apothecary models I had previously painted. I think I can achieve a better result if I try again. I also want to try sealing models with gloss varnish after establishing the base colors and before adding washes. If I’m going to do this I want to keep the process consistent across all the models.

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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…

The Plan

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So, having completed forty models and various parts I am no closer to my goal of a full battle demi company.This is due to the fact that thirty of the the forty are Ultramarines and the 10 Sauroters are not quite up to the standard I want. That said, I have learned how to assemble, model, convert and paint to a standard I am satisfied with so I’m now ready to tackle the project. So I’ve made a plan.

The first step was to buy the models I need. From ebay sellers I purchased four tactical squads. Two Betrayal at Calth sprues, one Burning of Prospero sprues and a MKVII sprue. I also bought an Assualt Squad sprue. That gives me enough models for 3 10-man tactical squads, 2 5-man Devastator Squads, 1 Assault Squad and a 5-man Command Squad. The Command Squad was put together by kitbashing leftovers from the sprues plus 5 sets of legs from my original Ultramarines Devastators.

The next step is to clip all of the parts off the sprues and group them into individual sets. As I have mentioned before, I want to be as WYSIWYG as possible. So, I will also need to supplement the sprues with parts from my bits box. The goal is to have a small baggy for each model containing each of the bits required to build it. For models like sergeants, this will include all of the weapons options. The leftover bits will go into my bits box.

Next I’ll need to clean up all the parts. I have heard several people mention how good the GW seam scraper is. I can use a knife just fine but it is a little dangerous and there is always the possibility of cutting into the miniature so I might get one. I am also going to get some Vallejo plastic putty for gap filling, particularly on the jump packs.

After that comes the modelling. I like to use sub-assemblies so I won’t be fully assembling my miniatures. I’ll be leaving the backpacks, helmets and arms carrying weapons of the bodies. These will be mounted on skewers for undercoating. I’ll also need to do the magnetization at this stage. Arms for the sergeants and hands for the special weapons guys. I’ll also be drilling all the barrels on all the weapons.

Everything will be primed with a Tamiya undercoat. I am planning to preshade the miniatures by first priming from below in black and then from above in grey. If I can keep subsequent layers thin, I should be able to achieve a decent look. Preshading is subtle but really does add something to the finished product if subcequent layers are thin.

Painting will be done in batches. I have noticed that I tend to get frustrated and sloppy if I paint for too long. What should be a hobby becomes a chore. My satisfaction really depends on a good result so I will be painting in small batches of 5 for miniatures and 10 for sub-assemblies. I am going to limit myself to one batch per session and concentrate on getting the best result possible.

The final step will be basing the models. As I mentioned in a previous post I’ll be using a base stamp and green stuff for basing. With the assault marines I’m planning to use transparent acrylic bases with black painted rims. I haven’t decided what color to paint the rims of the plastic bases but it will probably be black or grey. Everything will then be varnished with two coats of Tamiya Flat Clear.