Painted: Ultramarines Veteran Tactical Squad


After my first taste of 30k with my Luna Wolves I considered myself fully bitten by the Horus Heresy bug. I picked up another Betrayal at Calth box that same day, with the aim of creating a dedicated 30k army. Two new armies in the space of three months? Sure, why not?

The choice eventually boiled down to Blood Angels (because I love their lore and already have a 40k Blood Angels army, so I could swap bits and pieces), Ultramarines (because I like blue marines), Sons of Horus (with that snazzy, unique turquoise scheme) and Alpha Legion (because Alpha Legion).

Spoiler alert – I picked Ultramarines. More pics after the break!


gx4fmkbI went with the GW-standard paint scheme of GW Macragge Blue, Drakenhof Nightshade, and Calgar Blue highlights. I was tempted to add a second highlight of GW Fenrisian blue, but decided I liked the darker, more subdued blue and left them as is. Horus Heresy Book 5 – Tempest showed an inverted shoulder pad scheme with a blue icon on a white field; I went with this scheme in order to differentiate them somewhat from the boring Ultramarine scheme. Since these guys are veterans it will serve to further differentiate them from my standard tactical marines, who will have the classic white icon on a blue field color scheme.

All the above marines were built from the Betryal at Calth box, with the shoulder pads coming from the Ultramarines Upgrade Sprue, saving me from having to freehand their icons and adding a little uniqueness to each mini.


I put an awful lot of thought into the posing of my miniatures, and I try to pose each mini in an interesting pose that is both practical and artsy. I’m not a fan of the standard “marine looking straight ahead while holding his boltgun like he was on guard duty at the Emperor’s palace” pose that nine out of ten marines seems to be posed in. These miniatures are freeze frames of soldiers in action on a battlefield – they should be posed as such!

Being a bit of a military buff I’ve always been annoyed by the the way marines hold their boltguns. I made a conscious effort with the above three minis to show them handling their firearms in a somewhat realistic way, with the rifles shouldered on the first and third minis and held in a “low ready” pose with the mini in the middle.


I’ve chosen to outfit this particular Veteran Squad with two Heavy Flamers, which are both from the Sternguard boxed set. I’m not a huge stickler for “historical” accuracy when it comes to 30k era specific weapons and besides, these things look bad ass.

I posed the mini on the left as if he were completing a right to left sweep of his flamer (I love the look of the raised shoulder pad guard on his facing shoulder) and the mini on the right is posed in a traditional advancing pose, as if he were advancing behind the wall of flame he’s firing.


The two minis above are in a classic advancing pose. You’ll note the mini on the left has Mk7 legs, and the reason for this is twofold. Firstly, I had a 40k Tactical Squad lying around unbuilt and figured I could use the bits here and there to get 40 marines out of the Betrayal at Calth box. Secondly, 40k wiki says Mk7 was being developed towards the end of the Heresy, and surely the Ultramarines would have the latest and greatest kit, right?


I’m very happy with the way these minis turned out. I love blue on marines and love the unique look of the inverted shoulder pad colors. From here it’s on to the second Veteran Tactical Squad, then a Praetor and maybe a conversion for a Master of Signal! Stay tuned 🙂





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