Dark Angels: 2 Section, 3rd Squad (Tactical), 2nd Octavius Crusade Company.

Here we have the newly-raised second 2 Section of 3rd Squad. Having previously been a seven-man squad, it necessitated the addition of three more models to being the unit up to legal 8th Edition. The first of these is the Corporal. I know that officially Corporals aren’t a thing in 40k, but then, Lieutenants were missing for 20-odd years before magically reappearing a month or so ago! The Corporals in my marine forces are the guys who run the other combat squads – usually the fire support bit. I’m giving the Dark Angels Corporals a metal should pad with a simple, embossed chapter badge, and black pauldrons.

Dark Angels Tactical Squad, Warhammer 40k

This corporal is one of the three new builds for this squad – MkIV legs and helm, MkVIII torso, MkVII arms, a DA Backpack and a Tigrus pattern bolt gun. I wanted to give him a look of being a bit special with the archaic armour and weapon, yet tie him to his Sergeant via the MkVIII torso with its distinctive gorget.

Dark Angels Tactical Squad, Warhammer 40k

The Heavy Bolter trooper is one of my originals from this unit and one of the older models available in this form factor, the metal-plastic hybrids. So his arms and backpack are (heavy) metal on 3rd edition plastic legs and torso. Having washers underneath the bases of models like this is very necessary for their stability. He has the shouty “sergeant” head from the 3rd edition sprue as I felt it looked cinematically appropriate for a nutter advancing while firing a hip-carried heavy machinegun

Dark Angels Tactical Squad, Warhammer 40k 2nd Edition

These three marines include the other pair of models added to the squad. The central model is one of the originals. The two flanking him here are 2nd edition Tactical marines. Since the rest of the squad is old-school and minimally-blinged, what better models to use in it than 2e Tactical marines. I have given them more modern arms and bolters – because frankly outside of a specific use, the chunky arms and bolters from those days just don’t work for me these days and those older base models look just fine with them.

Dark Angels Tactical Squad, Warhammer 40k 2nd Edition

Here we have 2 Section of 3rd Squad. Prepared to hunker down and give their brethren supporting fire so they can advance, or join them in the forward advance as needed.

Finally, the entire squad with both sections combined. Rebased, reinforced and ready for battle in Warhammer 40k 8th Edition. To find action on the table very soon if all goes to plan…

Dark Angels: 1 Section, 3rd Squad (Tactical), 2nd Octavius Crusade Company.

Dark Angels Tactical Squad, Warhammer 40k 2nd Edition

Once again, Warhammer 40k 8th Edition takes the responsibility for inspiring me to dig these models out and resurrect them into a coherent force. Replacing about thirty kilograms of books, contradictory rules and scattered digital files with a Tabula Rasa has given me the opportunity to step back into an IP I’ve been engaged with since I was a young teen – when Rogue Trader was released and I stumbled onto a demo game being played at Games ’87 (Later Conquest) on a gigantic crashed spaceship put together by a bloke named Andrew B (and co.)

Dark Angels Tactical Squad, Warhammer 40k 2nd Edition

Stripping all of that convoluted mess back to a core rules of 12 pages, with the extra details to be added in via unit entries has annoyed many people who had been playing for years, as their very expensive book collections have been rendered null (excepting for the paint sections, photography and background) and while I understand their annoyance, 40k had grown to a bloated incomprehensible mess that was anything but friendly to new or departed players. The clean slate of rules gives us a very nice (re)entry point to the game, and hopefully GW can keep the meta and power spiral (known as Codex Creep) under control over time.

This force was originally inspired during 3rd edition, by Ed B of Powerfist fame (infamy?) when I was at his place one day and he showed me his Dark Angels. I thought they looked bloody nice – and not too difficult to paint. This was during the time when things weren’t yet especially blinged out. I did repurpose a Legion of the Damned backpack for him, inspired by Chapter Master Azrael’s own pack. You’ll note the models in this box are basically just regular space marines, with the exception of the Sergeant. The bright yellow fuel canister on the Melta is a bit of a 2nd edition throwback as well…

Dark Angels Tactical Squad, Warhammer 40k 2nd Edition

I also had a whole bunch of metal marine shoulderpads. I thought the Deathwing pad looked rather spiffy, though where to use them? The solution was to consider Veteran Sergeants (which were an upgrade option at the time) to be “Deathwing Initiates”. The background speaks of circles within circles amongst the Dark Angels, so I felt that the promotion to Veteran Sergeant justified that extra little bit of fluff – and bling. Hence the bone-coloured pauldrons and red Deathwing Chapter badge. Bone-coloured power sword? Why not!

Dark Angels Tactical Squad, Warhammer 40k

This trip of Tactical marines were built with the notion of being part of the Sergeant’s Combat Squad. I used 3rd ed Assault Squad legs to give them some movement, given that the Sergeant is armed for Close assault and his offsider carries a close-ranged Melta-Gun.

Dark Angels Tactical Squad, Warhammer 40k 2nd Edition

Thus we have the first Combat Squad: 1 Section. Kitted for a close support role and capable of doing some damage. Originally, these guys were built as a seven-man squad under 3rd edition rules with the role of riding around in a Razorback (which I never got finished). I shall folllow up with 2 Section shortly.

Dark Angels Space Marine Scouts – 1998 Metals

These figures are part of the fourth wave of Space Marine Scouts, released in 1998. The first were the initial two models, followed a year or two later by the second wave – an expanded range in the same style. With Advanced Space Crusade came the Scouts who dressed like a weird combination of Landsknechts and the previous designs (with clown colours to top things off). Then these guys were released, with the first Space Wolf Wolf Scouts being released shortly before, and acting in many ways as the prototype/sketch book pages for these.

If you browse the Stuff of Legends page for these figures, you’ll notice that no actual bolter-armed model exists in the line. This is why I’ve got a squad armed with shotguns. With no bolter-armed models available, these guys could be (and were) alternately armed with Bolters or Shotguns, as appropriate to the game being played. The “Sergeant” model came later. I think he was released alongside the bolter-armed model a few years later from the initial models. I believe I acquired him later on, but painted the whole gang at once anyway.

Metal Dark Angel Space Marine Scouts with Shotguns

Dark Angels Scouts – Kicking it 1998 style.

Eagle-eyed viewers might notice that these guys aren’t actually painted much like the typical Space Marine or Dark Angels Scouts. Space Marine Scouts’ of whichever chapter tend to have their armoured bits painted like their Chapter’s armour, and the soft “cloth” bits painted in a beige/off-white. All the better to scout with, obviously.

Dark Angel Scouts – Traditional Scheme

Ultramarine Scouts – Traditional Scheme

I made two choices about scouts and my 40k armies, long long ago. One is that Scouts should be dressed to scout. While it’s fine for the fully-armoured Marine brothers to charge forward in their bright, heraldic powered armour, I thought the guys with the job of doing actual reconnaissance, ambushes, infiltration, and general sneaking around should be dressed a bit more appropriately. I chose the 1991 Desert Storm 6-colour “choc chip” camouflage pattern for the Dark Angels because it was fun to paint, still pretty much in common memory, and because I didn’t want to paint them in a predominantly green camouflage. With this in mind (and reference pictures from Iraq in my folder), I painted both the “hard” armour and fatigue clothing in the camo pattern and their webbing and pouches with a nice “webbing” green. Boots were brown/black, and the weapons were given a dull green (plastic/plasteel/etc) for the furniture.

Metal Dark Angel Space Marine Scouts with Shotguns

Dark Angels Scouts – Rear and Side Views.

I used white Dark Angels transfers for the shoulders as low-visibility army identification. The white doesn’t particularly stand out on their camouflaged armour, just like real armies. The Sergeant has a slightly different transfer to make him stand out to me and other players (aside from the model’s pose), but not so much as is usual for Marine NCOs.

Metal Dark Angel Space Marine Scouts with Shotguns

Dark Angels Scouts – Army Identification

The other painting variation from the traditional theme? Several of the scouts aren’t painted with Caucasian skin tones. It comes up from time to time when people question why pretty much all Warhammer/40k models are painted as though they come from Coventry, and without getting into a whole discussion on the origins of GW, Warammer and 40k, it always bothered me a bit that there was never any growth or movement in that aspect (and still isn’t). It’s nothing to do with Political Correctness and everything to do with realism in modern armies – particularly in large armies and forces that recruit from entire worlds or a wide variety of locales.

Dark Angels Dreadnought: Mortis-Specced

As seen awhile ago, one of the things I’ve dug out of the pits of half-finished hell was a Dark Angels Dreadnought – old-school heavy metal style, dating back from 2nd Edition 40k. Back in the day when the dreads were all-metal, the only way to get hold of the different weapon options was to buy the different chapter dreads or order them from GWUK (not the simple thing it is now with the Internet and online commerce). So some things have definitely changed far for the better since then.

2nd Edition 40k Dark Angels Dreadnought Box.

Anyway, as noted previously, the paint on the arms dates these arms back to 1997 (when I added the nWo logo) and then 1998 (when I went over it with the red of the Wolfpac). The original painting of this model would have been when 40k 3rd edition was released and the uber-combination of dual assault cannons on Dreadnoughts became a thing of the past. When I restarted painting this guy, I blinged out the model a little more with plastic bits from more modern Dark Angels plastic kits.

2nd Edition 40k Dark Angels Dreadnought

Mortis-Specced 2nd Edition Dark Angels Dreadnought.

Back in the day there were no “left-handed” Assault Cannons and dreads were 100% metal models, so I cut up a right handed one (in metal) and a Missile Launcher left arm (probably the original one from the DE Dread kit) to make the above. With the Contemptor Mortis pattern Dreadnought being a thing that exists these days, I added a magnetised cyclone missile launcher battery to the top of the model with optional DA-Icon Bling for normal games. I’ve never been a fan of ginormous banner poles on things, so that’s something I didn’t bother with at all. Both arms are already magnetised, and so I may paint up and magnetise a normal Power Fist arm for an option at some point in the future.

2nd Edition 40k Dark Angels Dreadnought

Side shot of Dark Angels Dread. It’s turned out pretty well, I think.

I’ve costed the thing out with dual AC for very friendly local games, based on the costs for the various other arm weapons. Since the Rifleman Dread is also a thing these days, it’s not as offensive as it might have been a few years ago. But really, the main thing here is rule of cool since for the time being it’s mostly going to see action from the inside of my display cabinet till I get some more armies costed up and built. Not to mention finishing these Dark Angels.

2nd Edition 40k Dark Angels Dreadnought

Dark Angels Dread showing WCW/nWo fandom of the mid-late 90’s.

Note the kill-markings from 2nd edition on the Assault Cannon arms – looks like each one racked up a Dread back in the day. I didn’t bother keeping track of infantry, and Tanks weren’t as ubiquitous in 40k as they are today.

2nd Edition 40k Dark Angels Dreadnought

With Cyclone Missile Launcher Swapped out.

As can often be the case, I think the model looks far better in hand than these pics show. C’est la vie, I guess. Small details always show up like huge pimples and dimples when something is blown up this much. 😉

2nd Edition 40k Dark Angels Dreadnought

Dark Angels Dread rear view.

The experiment with salt weathering didn’t work out at all. However, the weathering powders on the feet and lower legs of the model did turn out quite nicely. Trying for a mid-ground between the pristine factory-fresh paintjobs that so many vehicles and walkers have the the more realistic and weathered painting that looks so good.

Well, that’s it for today. This guy was finished a month or more ago, but with midwinter here, decent days to take photos have been so few and far between the photos had to wait.

From the Painting Desk #4 – Beregond and Dark Angels Dreadnought

I’ve been painting a little in the last month or so, just haven’t finished anything especially interesting or worth sharing. I’ve finished a bunch of soldiers of Minas Tirith to a tabletop standard for my KoW Armies of Men force (as well as, obviously – LotR SBG and eventually – WotR). I’ve also finished the odd Dwarf, Human, Orc and Goblin as well, though I’ll share them later down the line when they have more substantial groups to pose with. I’ll try and take some more proper photos in a couple of weeks.

Dwarves and other random painting desk models.

I did finally finish something worthwhile though – Beregond, first Captain of the White Tower – guard and friend of Faramir.

Beregond and (bad) Faramir model.

Both of these two were started at least four years ago, at a guess. Maybe longer. The Faramir model is quite an average sculpt in many ways and also suffers from mould slip on the face. I’m just going to use him as a more generic captain, and use a better Faramir model as Faramir. The shading on the cloak hasn’t come up all that well in the pic, but then, the photo backdrop this time around is… well… read on.

Beregond and Faramir models.

This is the main reason why I decided to share Beregond here. While the pair still needs to be varnished and have flock added to their bases, I was quite happy with the freehand on Beregond. The knotwork on the front of his cloak and tunic came out decently, but The White Tree turned out quite nicely, despite the folds of his cloak making the tree look even tricky. Using white (and yellow) on black is a bit of a pain – darker colours on lighter colours would be easier but that’s not really an option. Perhaps gold on off-white would work for a future cloak if it comes up.

Dark Angel Dreadnought

This Dark Angels Dreadnought was originally started back during 40k second edition. I’ve finally dug the thing out and decided to finish it off. I also decided to stick some of the plastic DA bits from the intervening years on the model to liven it up a little more.

Dark Angel Dreadnought Legs

I tried the salt weathering technique. It went badly. The panels on the Dreads’ legs are just too small, and it’s probably not the best model to learn that technique on. That’s been scrapped. Just trying to repaint it green now.

Dual Assault Cannons!

And there we are. The paint on the arms dates these arms back to 1997 (when I added the nWo logo) and then 1998 (when I went over it with the red of the Wolfpac). The long scroll is from 2014. I imagine the painting of this model got abandoned late in 1998 when 40k 3rd edition was released and the uber-combination of dual assault cannons on Dreadnoughts became a thing of the past. Back in the day there were no “left-handed” Assault Cannons and dreads were 100% metal models, so I cut up a right handed one (in metal) and a Missile Launcher left arm to make the above. With the Contemptor Mortis pattern Dreadnought being an actual thing, I’m also considering adding a magnetised missile launcher battery to the top of the model. Both arms are already magnetised.As part of my “1k 40k Armies” project, I’ve costed out a Dread with Dual assault cannon for a 1k Dark Angels army, and plan to finish this sucker off in the coming couple of weeks. Since, like the KoW forces I’m working on, the 40k armies are all going to be supplied by me for friendly games in my War Room, there should be no arguments.

I’ll be showing more of the small 1k Dark Angels force in the coming weeks as well. Many of the models are already painted. I just need to sort out the vehicles and a few more troopers. And the characters.

Discount photo box?

Those pics of Beregond not being the best? This is why. 😉