Painted: Dawn Guard Intercessors

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For the umpteenth time in my 40k career, I have started a new Chapter of Space Marines.

I present: the Dawn Guard! More pics after the break.

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Before proceeding any further I must give credit to Johan over at The Convertorum for his wonderful Primaris Intercessors that provided the inspiration behind the general color scheme for these marines. I loved the grittiness of Johan’s scheme and painting style but my painting skills pale in comparison to his, so I adapted it to better suit my skill level and my favored colors – specifically, white and blue for the heraldry.

For the armor, I started off with a Mechanicus Standard Grey basecoat that I washed with Nuln Oil and intended to leave it at that, but it looked a little too messy for my taste and I decided to just go over the plates with a coat of Eshin Grey to even it out and make it look a little neater. Highlights were done with Dawnstone. The blue is Kantor Blue washed with Nuln Oil and highlighted with Calgar Blue, while the white/ivory is multiple coats of Ushabti Bone highlighted with Pallid Wych Flesh.

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Inspired by the heraldry of Johan’s marines, I decided to add random bits of heraldic symbols here and there on the armor. I was a little hesitant at first as I generally like my marines to look unified, but the personalized heraldry really makes each individual marine stand out, and adds to the medieval knight look I was going for.

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“Say hello to my little friend!”

I particularly like the way the marine with the auxiliary grenade launcher turned out – I love the pose, as though he’s bracing himself to launch a grenade in classic “say hello to my little friend” fashion. I gave him a spare shoulder pad from a Tartaros terminator to make him stand out a little more – I’m going to try and give certain marines special shoulder pads here and there to help them stand out a little bit from their peers.

I added the Grey Knights tilting shields on the marines’ left shoulders to function as the Chapter symbol – a silver sword, pointing downward, on a field of blue and white. I felt this would reinforce the knightly theme and help them stand out from all the other Primaris marines out there.

These models also mark a couple of deviations from my standard weathering techniques – first, I went with simple cracks and scratches with very thin lines of Dawnstone, and decided not to sponge on any battle damage with Rhinox Hide like I usually do. I tried it with one mini and the dark of the Rhinox Hide just looked messy on the dark grey armor, so I just stuck to the Eshin Grey scratches.

The other change is in the basing. I knew I wanted a brown/tan base to contrast the darkness of the armor, so after watching a couple of tutorials from our spiritual liege Duncan, I decided to go with Agrellan Earth over a Rhinox hide basecoat for the bases. It really is as easy as the tutorial says it is; just spoon on some Agrellan Earth right from the pot (I used a spare wooden chopstick, cut into a chisel with a modelling knife) and let it dry for an hour. The result is a gorgeous, realistic looking cracked dirt base with a minimum of effort. Some random clumps of greenery and some pebbles here and there finished the bases off perfectly.

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One of the things I don’t quite like about the Intercessors is their lack of any special/heavy weapons to add some variety to the squad. I decided to add my own variety by building a communications marine, using the arm with the comm-unit (one of my favorite bits in the kit) and a Deathwatch backpack.

To be quite honest, I’m just a little disappointed with the Intercessor kit. Most of that disappointment comes from the fact that the torso and legs are effectively one piece (the legs glue into the crotch, which is attached at the hips to the upper body). Waist articulation is absolutely vital in terms of posing and articulation, and to lose it with this kit severely limits the poses you can get to just five (there are two duplicated sprues in the box). Without waist articulation, you are essentially just putting arms and heads on the model – and yes, there are some variations therein, but still not nearly as much as you would have if the waists were just separate from the legs.

Still, I like the way the models turn out, and my praise from the Dark Imperium starter kit’s marines still carries on. We finally have Marines that are as large and imposing as the fluff suggests, while incorporating a level of detail and an appealing armor design that is a joy to paint.

A part of me still longs for the flexibility and possibility afforded by the Tactical Squad box – but the Primaris are the future, and I have learned to accept these taller and better proportioned plastic soldiers as the standard paradigm for years to come.

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