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.

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Kopis

KOPIS

For me, a really satisfying part of modelling is what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG). Something that has always bothered me a little bit about the Space Marine models is the lack of webbing. They appear to have no spare ammunition. So, I usually add pouches to each marine armed with a bolter.

There is an excellent blog called Leave No Model Unconverted. I won’t say I’m not tempted to try and make all the marines true-scale, but I just don’t think I’d ever finish a wholearmy. Or even one marine. I particularly like the way he mounted the combat blades behind the shoulder. Check out the blog here.

Each tactical marine is meant to have a combat blade. Unfortunately, the Tactical Squad box set only includes a couple. For my first attempt at Space Marines, I ordered a bunch from a seller on ebay. That was Ok, but supplies are limited and it’s not cheap.

Some Hoplites were armed with a short sword called a Kopis. There was another shorter heavier sword, called a Xiphos that was used by the Macedonians. The kopis had a very distinctive handle and a leaf shaped blade similar to the Nepali Kukri. I’ve always admired the kukri’s shape. Sadly, the way I intend to mount it, the blade won’t be very visible but the handle will.

In an earlier post, I ordered some custom shoulder pouldrons from Shapeways.com. A quick search led to a set of kopis, that are just what I am looking for. Again, custom 3D printing is not cheap but it fits the theme so well, I can’t help myself. Plus, ebay isn’t going to be much cheaper and the box sets simply don’t include enough knives.

The kopis were designed by a seller on the Shapeways platform called dynath. The Shapeways site is a matketplace for sellers of 3D printed objects. I contacted the seller to see if (s)he could do something on the price. To order 50, plus shipping, is really expensive given what they are. Sadly, there has been no reply.*

Plan B is to order 10 and use them with one squad of veterans as a badge of rank. This will be included in the fluff (if it ever gets written). Lemonade from lemons I suppose. This hobby is expensive, this project all the more so, but I am trying not to completely take the piss.

You can find the store here

*Update: I did receive a reply from dynath a couple of months later. Unfortunately much of the cost is due to manufacturing and set by Shapeways. Any discount s(he) could give wouldn’t reduce the price much just shortchange the creator

Shoulder Pauldrons

image
Created by yeomanmodels

They say no man has a hobby unless it costs more money than he can afford and requires more time than he can spare. In that spirit: 3D -printed shoulder pouldrons.

Custom 3D-printing is expensive but it was either this or custom transfers. The chapter symbol is far too complicated for me to free hand. Hoplites wore their shields on their left arm so I might make the left pouldrons all bronze. I think an embossed design fits that concept better. Although, I really haven’t decided on a color scheme yet.

There is also a choice of material between regular, or the wonderfully named frosted ultra detail. I will probably go for the more expensive option as I won’t have an opportunity to see a sample. Also, the cheaper price is not cheap.

On the bright side, it does solve a problem I’ve had with Tactical Squad box sets. If I want to have multiple weapon options I am usually limited by the amount of pouldrons I have. I also don’t particularly like the pouldrons with the sunburst or scroll. With 50 custom pouldrons I’ll have enough to magnetize specialists, sergeants and HQ choices with multiple weapon options.

The pouldrons were designed by a seller on the Shapeways platform called yeomanmodels. The Shapeways site is a matketplace for sellers of 3D printed objects. I had a great experience with the site and seller. You can find the store here