While slowly, I’ve kept working on my Tactical Squads. As said last post, I was waiting for a few things I ordered online from various places. This post is a little recap/review of what I ordered and a status report. Hopefully ir won’t take me two months until the next update. As of the time of writting I’ve begun painting the test model, might have it finished tomorrow.
I ordered a plastic SM Tactical Squad, DA Chapter Upgrade Frame and some metal shoulder pads from GW. Didn’t know they had the option to pick your order on a GW Store. As I happen to work near one of them, that’s the option I choose. I went to the store two days later and there it was. Very handy in my case, but they should send an email telling you when you can pick your order.
The second order I did were some resin bases from Secret Weapon Miniatures. I’m a huge Aliens fan, so when I saw their alien inspired bases, I had to use them. There’s the Alien Invasion range, which is 100% xeno biomech, and also the XXX Invasion, where they mix their XXX range with the xeno biomech infection. That gives you the option to mix 3 ranges of bases to add greater variety. In keeping with the Aliens theme, I went with the industrial look. Also, because I found it fitting with the Dark Angels. I imagined my Dark Angels would be on The Rock’s interiors, fighting the infestation by the Chaos/Genestalers. But mostly because of Aliens.
The only problem was that there are no bike bases for the Invasion ranges. I contacted Secret Weapon Miniatures asking about it and in, I believe, less than an hour I got an answer telling me that they’re working on them. So I ordered a mix of the Alien Invasion, Steel Plating and Steel Invasion ranges. If I reach the point were I need even more variety, I could add the Flight Deck & Iron Deck ranges as they also have an industrial look. They arrived in about two weeks. Very good and clean castings, without any air bubbles and even more details than in the pictures. Very happy with them.
I also ordered some resin bits from Anvil Industry, also very happy with them. And they arrived really fast. I wanted to do something special with the Second in Command for the Tactical Squads, but nothing that made them look way better than the sergeants. Just a slight visual upgrade. So I ordered some square box mags to make some Sternguards style bolters, plus chainsaw bayonets because they’re cool. At first I wanted to have every single bolter with chainsaws, but it would have been too much. While browsing the Anvil webpage I found some lovely winged helmets, a little nice detail to make them special but not so different as to make them out of place.
The last thing I ordered where some sprays and paints from Army Painter. And they’re the main reason the project slowed for a time. I was waiting for the order to arrive to continue with the Squad building when I realized a whole month had passed without any work done. So I wrote a mail to them asking about my order. And the next day I got an automatic email telling me that my order had just shipped. It arrived shortly after, but I’m not happy with how they handled the problem. The least they could do was answer to my email, instead of proceeding with the order as if nothing happened. That being said, the sprays are really great. And having the minis primed and basecoated in green with one go is a real time saver.
Here’s the second wave before being primmed, you can see the first wave primmed on the background. This time I primmed the miniatures without the bases, and later the bases alone with Black Primer. I fell so in love with the Anvil Bionichs, that I used them on a lot of models. You can see them on the second Second in Command and both Corvus armors. In fact, the Special Weapon marine has both bionic arms (surely because of an accident with the plasma rifle). Most, if not all, of the bionics I’ve used are for the 2nd Squad. There must be a reason for that, and I’ve decided that while not veterans they’re a really hardened squad. They’re that squad that volunteers for the certain death missions, but always returns (minus some arms, in this case). To reflect that almost veteran status there are like 4 Corvus armors on the squad. And a squad like that needs a very special sergeant.
I wanted it to have the same style as Sergeant Raphael from Dark Vengeance (pictured left). The tabard is made from a torso from the DA Chapter Upgrade Frame and a loincloth from Anvil. I cut the rope belt from the torso and replaced it with a standard marine belt, just like Raphael. I’ve also used an emblem from the Upgrade Frame to create a similar backpack. Keeping with the bionic theme of the squad, the sergeant has the whole left side of his boy full of bionics. I’ve used the head from the plastic Tactical Squad, which is half bionic, and various parts from the Forgeworld Character Conversion Set. He has a bionic hand with a legacy plasma pistol and a bionic leg which comes with a Corvus style left leg, and that fits nicely with my squead theme. This has been my first Forgeworld order, and I must say that I’m slightly dissaponted. The quality of the casting is nowhere near as good as Secret Weapons or Anvil Industry. The Power Sword came completely surrounded by flash and the back side of the armor knee has some details badly cast.
The raised shoulder pads are cool, but you can’t use the number decals with them and I don’t trust myself to freehand all the squad numbers on the shoulder pads. So I’ve decided that my Dark Angels will use a color coded method to designate squads. As I didn’t want to be very heretic with this change, I’ll only use Dark Angel colors for this. The first 3 squads have a Deathwing White background color on the right shoulder pad, and the doble headed arrow black, green or red. The 4th and 5th squads have a green background and the arrow either white or red. And the 6th squad has a black background with a red arrow. These last two combos are also used on the Assault & Devastator Squads. Instead of black & red, I was thinking about using green background with black arrows, but using two dark colors together wouldn’t be very readable.