Sauroter Tactical Squad

Here are some pictures of the first troops choice for my Sauroters Chapter Battle Demi Company:

1-tactical-squad

2-tactical-marine

3-tactical-backpack

4-heavy-weapon

5-flamer

6-magnet

7-melta

8-plasma

9-backpack

10-sergeant

Design

I have placed the squad number on the right knee plate. In the 30K fluff this is where the Legion number is displayed but that doesn’t make sense to me. It seems more reasonable that the limited space for markings would be better used for a squad marking. Especially as the Chapter Symbol is already displayed on the left shoulder paulron. So, color denotes the Company and the numeral denotes the squad. I will carry on the theme with subsequent squads.

Modelling

I found the converting a bit easier this time around. I have a bit more experience working with plastic and resin. Also, I found the 30K marines a lot easier to work with. Mainly because of the wrist armour which provides a lot of surface area for gluing. I have also taken to applying super glue with a cocktail stick which is much more controllable. I also invested in an electric drill which made drilling out barrels etc. much easier and consistent.

Painting

The basic scheme is green with copper. Blue is an accent color and is used on the eyes and some of the grenades. The squad was batch painted to what I think is a decent tabletop standard. It took a fairly long time but that’s fine. Painting is a hobby for me. I think any subsequent squads will be probably be painted much quicker.

I experimented with pin washing, that is I applied Agrax Earthshade over a gloss varnish coat. I like the effect but it didn’t work particulalrly well. The flow of the wash was insufficient and I pretty much rushed through. Also the pin wash was the last in a lot of layers so detail may have been clogged. Next time I will try with thinned oil paint.

  • Armour ~ Panzer Aces Russian Tank Crew (326). Highlighted with Panzer Aces Russian Tank Crew Highlight (330). Glazed with GW Waywatcher Green.
  • Left pauldron ~ Vallejo Brass (70.801)
  • Bolters ~ Vallejo Black Metal(71.073). Drybrushed with  Vallejo Steel (71.065)
  • Holsters ~ Vallejo Air Cammo Black Brown (71.042). Drybrushed with Vallejo Flat Earth (70.983)
  • Kopis ~  Vallejo Brass  (70.801). Washed with GW Agrax Earthshade
  • Eyes ~  GW Agrax Earthshade. Vallejo Deep Sky Blue (70.844).
  • Right knee pad ~  Vallejo Khaki  (70.988). Highlighted with  Vallejo Iraqui Sand  (70.819)

You’ll notice that they are not based yet. I am not planning to base anything until the whole army is finished. I want to try an achieve a  consistent look and I really haven’t decided how they’ll be based yet.

Decals

As usual, I had a bit of trouble with the decal. I want to have a consistent command squad marking for my HQ choices. This replaces the embossed iconography that is very common with GW and Forgeworld. I have seen coflicting advice (icluding on the Vallejo website) about the order in which to use Decal Medium and Decal Fix. It took a couple of attempts to get right.

I started by applying a thin coat of GW ‘Ard Coat to the surface I was applying the decal to. Once it was dry, I applied a small amount of Decal Medium to the surface. I softened the decal in clean water for about 30 seconds. I positioned the decal and then covered it in a thin coat of Medium. Once it was completely dry, I applied Decal Fix and left it to dry overnight. Finally I sealed the decal with matt varnish.

I am very pleased with the overall result but there are a few things I’d like to improve. I had a lot of difficulty with the eyes. I don’t particularly like the finish but it’ll do. I realized too late that I should have started by painting the eyes. It would have been much easier. I also went a bit overboard on weathering the squad markings on the shoulder pauldrons. I was having fun and just got carried away.

My biggest regret is deciding to add the kopis after I have finished painting the models and had varnished them. The gluing didn’t go well, the paint job was pretty sloppy and when I varnished them again, I ended up with slight frosting. They looked a lot better before I went back and started messing with them, so lesson learned I guess.

Advertisements

Betrayal at Calth

GW-BETRAYAL-AT-CALTH
Image from: Games Workshop

Shortly after I started this blog Games Workshop released the Betrayal at Calth boxset. It seems like a good deal but space is at a real premium for me. I also can’t see myself wanting to paint 30 pretty much identical spacemarines. Also, I much prefer the classic Dreadnought to the Contempter and I’ve never been a fan of Terminators, Cataphractii or otherwise.

I do really like the MKIV armour though. So, I bought a single tactical squad from an ebay seller. The sprue is really nice. I really like the bolter guns. The barrel lines up with whatever the part that ejects spent cartridges is called. That’s something that had bugged me since Veteran Sergeant pointed out why it doesn’t make sense on his blog.

I am going to paint this squad as a veteran squad. I am imagining that Sauroters veterans get access to earlier marks of armour as a badge of rank. This should also add a bit of variety to my collection and give me a bit of variety in my painting too.

I like that GW included enough combat blades for a WYSIWYG squad, but I don’t like the blades themselves. They are too big and can’t be mounted behind the shoulder as I intend. They also won’t fit well in addition to grenades, pistols and pouches. It’s telling that very, very few painted models, even from Games Workshop TV, include the combat blades. So, I’ll be using the 3D-printed Kopis I mentioned in an earlier post.

I like the MKIV backpacks better than the MKVII from the Tactical Squad boxset although I still much prefer the backpacks from Anvil Industries. So, I’ll use the resin backpacks for the tactical and special weapons marines. I’ll use the MKVII backpacks for the Sergeant and heavy weapon marine. I’ll be using MKIV backpacks on my HQ choices so that should provide some visual continuity.

Im comparison with the 40K tactical box set, I find the poses a bit static. However, I like how the arms attach to hands holding weapons. The extended wrist armour gives a nice surface for gluing and a much neater looking result. However, that also make it very difficult to change aiming poses. So, I think it’s back to (the cheaper) MKVII for subsequent squads.