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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Painted: Blood Angels Redemptor Dreadnought

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As per my previous entry, the brand new Redemptor Dreadnought has been my newest project, and I put the finishing touches on it just last last night. To say the reception of the new mini online was mixed is a bit of an understatement; I fell solidly in the “dear God that looks like a Robocop villain reject” camp – until I actually started assembling the kit, which is without a doubt one of my favorite non-infantry kits that I’ve ever put together. More details and pics after the break.

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Painted: Blood Angels Primaris Lieutenant

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I figured I was due a reward after painting up my ten Intercessors, so I decided to delve into what was probably my favorite mini in the box: the Primaris Lieutenant with a power sword. I loved everything about the mini, from its pose to its armament, to the fact that it wasn’t overly loaded down with bling.

More pics after the break.

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Painted: Blood Angels Intercessors

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As per my previous entry, the new Primaris marines have dominated my painting table over the past week or so. In my fifteen plus years in the hobby I’ve never tired of painting the Adeptus Astartes, but I haven’t been this excited to paint up a squad since the dawn of 3rd edition and my first box of multi-part Tactical Marines.

I, like most other hobbyists, was a little skeptical at first of these new models and the fact that they rendered two decades of Marine models seemingly obsolete. But after spending a week putting paint to model, I can confidently say that I have been won over by these models.

More pics and my color recipe for Blood Angels red after the break.

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Bigger, better, redder

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…and I never bought another “old” marine again.

It took a lot of thought, but I eventually settled on Blood Angels for this new chapter in my Adeptus Astartes hobby history. I found it fitting that I start with the same Chapter that first brought me into the hobby so many years ago…

Read: Dante by Guy Haley

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The Blood Angels have long been my favorite Space Marine Legion/Chapter. Not for the fact that they are VAMPIRES IN SPACE! or that they have some of the most gorgeous models in the game  – rather, I am drawn to them because of their character. Adversity, as the saying goes, teaches us who we are. What more praise could be said of the Blood Angels, who face adversity from within and without on a daily basis, and yet still manage to retain the inherent humanity and optimism that so many other Space Marines have lost or perhaps never had?

I recently dove into Dante by Guy Haley, part of Black Library’s new series of books focusing on iconic members of the Adeptus Astartes. It is a well-written, thoughtful and surprisingly emotional work on the leader of my favorite Chapter.

Haley’s tale interweaves the story of Dante’s recruitment into the Chapter with more current events, specifically the Blood Angels’ defense of their home planet from the Tyranids. Both timelines are engrossing; I am as equally invested in the young Dante’s recruitment and indoctrination into the Chapter as I am with the current day Dante’s defense of Baal. The chapters flow smoothly into each other to depict Dante’s growth and maturity – one chapter he is leading a dozen initiates into a trial, the next he is leading thousands of marines and guardsmen in the defense of a planetary system.

Haley does an excellent job of capturing the very heart of what makes Dante who he is. Every Blood Angel must struggle with the inner Flaw that is the genetic hallmark of their Chapter, but Dante has the added burden of command and the responsibility for the lives of those under his leadership. Added to this is the fact that Dante is old and weary, and must struggle daily with fighting a war he knows humanity cannot ever hope to win. Yet it speaks to his character – and indeed, that of his Chapter – that he continues to do so, simply because it is the right thing to do. Dante wants to walk away from it all, to hang up his axe and pistol and simply let go; but he knows he cannot, because others are looking to him for leadership, guidance, and perhaps most importantly, hope. Haley does an excellent job of capturing this most heavy of Dante’s burdens in the character’s inner thoughts throughout the entirety of the story.

The novel does end rather abruptly, and the chapters detailing his rise in the Chapter ranks once he reaches full brother status are rather quick and lack the thoughtfulness of the first two thirds of the book. The book also leaves out a certain event involving his rank that I had hoped would form the climax of his story, which was somewhat disappointing.

Despite these minor flaws, it speaks to the quality of Haley’s writing that I found myself immediately re-reading certain chapters and passages simply to experience them again – one of the chapters depicting Dante removing his armor and finally finding a fleeting moment of peace is perhaps the best in the book. One of the last chapters involving Dante’s relationship with his personal servant is another highlight. Haley’s Dante is heroic and powerful, but also flawed, jaded, and occasionally even full of doubt – however, like his chapter, he fights on despite the flaws of his flesh and the weapons of his enemies. Not because he desires it, but because others need him to.

WIP: Crimson Fists 30k Seeker/40k Sternguard Sergeant

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Ignore the white spot on his forehead, that’s just the reflection of my lamp 🙂

Happy 2017! A very busy holiday season meant less time for posting, although the hobbying time didn’t decrease; in fact, more time at home and not at work meant I got a good chunk of my Crimson Fists painted. More pics to come. Also received some wonderful hobbying presents that will keep me busy for the foreseeable future, including a giant box of Marines from my wonderful fiance 🙂

Anyway, above is my work-in-progress 30k Seeker/40k Sternguard sergeant. He’s about 90% complete, and requires just some edge highlighting on the black and chapter/company markings, along with some weathering. He’s built using a mish-mash of Mark 3 and Mark 7 parts, along with the bare head from the Ultramarines upgrade sprue. I normally shy away from painting bare heads, preferring the realism/aesthetics of Marine helmets, but lately I’ve been experimenting with using more of them and the results have worked out great.

The trick, I’ve found, is to keep things simple. The above results were made using a Cadian Fleshtone base, an all-over wash of Reikland Fleshshade, then highlights using Cadian Fleshtone again. I tended to overdo highlights on fleshtones in the past, so I deliberately kept them to a minimum with this mini.

The sergeant also illustrates something I’ve been doing to all my Crimson Fists sergeants – giving them personalized heraldry via a backpack icon, then repeating that heraldry on their chestpiece and on the shoulder roundel. For this particular model, I found enough bits to add scrollwork heraldry on his backpack icon and chestpiece – I’ll be freehanding some scrollwork around the skull on the roundel to finish off the model. I find it does a nice job of adding some character and history to the model, because we all know that lets them roll better on the table 🙂