+ inload: Blood Angel Devastators, and a miscellany of xenos +

+ Target Neutralised: WIP Blood Angels Devastators +

+ Hot on the (w)heels of the Rhino [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+] comes the Blood Angels' Third Company Devastators. As with the other squads, I started with the second combat squad. There's no real reason for this beyond the fact that it includes some fun poses and the more involved conversions. +

+ Painting is coming along smoothly; the reds are now completed, and the helms and metallics well on their way. I couldn't resist sharing them, however, as I'm really pleased with how they look. Since they're still work-in-progress, I thought I'd focus on the modelling aspect of them here.+

+ As with the other marines in the army, these are built from a mish-mash of Intercessor and Hellblaster kits [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], along with parts from Forge World (the heads are from the Raven Guard upgrade set). The heavy bolter, along with some of the backpacks, are originals from the second edition period – kindly gifted to me by fellow PCRC member StuntwedgeThere are modern equivalents, styled after these originals, but it seemed fitting to use the originals as I had them. +

+ As an aside, the original article in White Dwarf 139 notes that the heavy bolter was a conversion (from the contemporary Imperial Guard/Squat weapon sprue), so the fact that the heavy bolter in mine is of a different period to the other weapons is a fun little note – though I hasten to add by coincidence, rather than design! +


+ Taking careful aim +

+ As the project has progressed, the modelling has moved from being an affectionate nod to GW's original studio army, to challenging myself to mirror the posing and detail more closely. I thought it would be interesting to talk through a few decisions I made when making my versions. +

+ A direct comparison of the poses of the inspiration along with my imitations. Note that some attempt to replicate the poses closely; while others (like the squad leader) have been made more individual. +

+ Miniatures technology has moved on, but the RTB01 kit (from which the original squad was built) is a classic. I was keen to keep the charm of the original designs, while making the most of twenty years' worth of hindsight. My concept here, then, was to create a gradient of conversions within the squad; moving from as near a perfect duplication of the originals as I could to to a more atmospheric interpretation. +

+ Part of the reason for this was to blend the visuals of the army together. The contrast in the original army between the highly-finished Mark VI Devastators and the more basic paint scheme on the uniformly Mark VII Tactical Squads always sat rather oddly with me. [+APPENDSPECULATIVE: I wonder if there were behind-the-scenes reasons, like scheduling, behind it?] Whatever the reason, I wanted to make sure that my Devastators walked a line between fitting in the force, while remaining slightly distinctive. The decision to have some more highly-accurate conversions, and some less so, was my solution. +

+ Mark VI Corvus Armour +

+ The marine above [VISREF: second from left in the group pict-capture] is my attempt at a complete, 'rivet-counting' replication of Mark VI. I wanted at least one in the squad that I could point to as pure Corvus Armour. This involved reshaping the lower legs, resculpting the torso, replacing the arms (Intercessor arms have a heavier forearm plate), and kitbashing the arms and head. He also received an original RTB01 backpack, as a little nod. +

+ The others show some 'drift' from this. As an example, the heavy bolter marine (far left) has a second edition Mark VII backpack, and the torso has just been trimmed clean of the chest eagle. The shoulder pads, head, arms and legs, however, are Mark VI. This is to make sure that he both fits in the squad, and that the squad's overall look remains firmly Mark VI. +

 +Work in progress +

+ This overlaps with the other squads, where similar touches and variants from the 'base armour' has been done. The squad below, for example, is nominally Mark VII, but a close look will reveal two marines with Mark VI helms (and one with Mark IV). +

+ Why does this matter? Well, it doesn't, really. I choose to mix things up because it fits my interpretation of the universe better, but if you want your army to be all one armour mark, that's perfectly valid and justifiable. The Red Scorpions Chapter, for example, are noted as being obsessed with purity, a trait that reflects in their near-exclusive use of Mark IV armour. +

+ Having some individualisation and personalisation gives a sense of age to me. It also suggests the marines’ reverence for relics – along with a hint of the gradual decay and degradation of the Imperium. +

+ In the article – which is clearly where these ideas starting bubbling through For me – it's noted that a mix of armour marks is common. It wasn't until 3rd edition, however, that this was explicitly expanded to create patchwork 'hybrid' suits – likely because this was the first point when multi-part plastics made hybrid suits possible. +


+ Beyond the Blood Angels +

+ As the name suggests, there's more to The Alien Wars than Space Marines, so besides the Blood Angels I've been painting some xenos. +

+ I've had lots of big projects on the go recently – Gatebreakers, the Throng of Nog, Blood Angels, The Sons of the Temple – and while that's been good for making strides in my backlog, it has meant that the little one-offs that make settings like the Nova Terra Interregnum and the Endworlds more rounded have dropped off the table. +

+ To that end, I've been keeping a few odd models near my painting desk, so that if the whim takes me, or I just want a break from batches, I can paint them instead. The recent splurge of Princeps models; and the xhote and Alaitocii Eldar above, are examples of how that's been working. Dedicated inloads on them coming up soon, along with Anatomy of the Enemy articles. As always, if you've got a cool alien you want to show off, get in touch and we'll discuss! +

+ Along the same lines is this figure. This Knightmare Miniatures model revels in the name of Fomorian Bounty Hunter [+noosphericexloadlink embedded+]. He got part-painted ages ago, and I finished him off over the weekend. Look out for more on him soon. +


goblinpaladin said...

I *cannot wait* for your inload on the Fomorian mercenary.

I've also just realised I have a completely wild alien I'm painting for my own civilian project; once I paint him, I should try and pitch an article to you.

apologist said...

Hey GP, hope you enjoyed the Fomn inload. Would love to hear from you regarding a guestpostinload. Let me know on the Facebook group :)