He Is the Champion, My Friends

I'm lining up additional projects beyond my drop pod, and one of those is to build a Command Squad on foot. I'm modeling the Champion right now, and here are a couple in progress shots:

Yes, that appears to be a cat hair across the lens in the first shot. Damn cat. He's supposed to be in a shield guard stance, with his blade waiting for the opportune thrust or stab. It looks awkward from the side, but I like the look from the front. I ended up using a pair of Rhino gunner arms for this model. The shield arm has the gunner hand cut off at the wrist, a bolt pistol added, and then the shield pinned to the pistol and arm. The sword arm is the gunner arm, hand removed at the wrist and replaced with a power sword from the Assault Marine box, and then drastically rotated. I then had to pin the shoulder joint at an extreme outward angle and will fill the soft armor joint with Greenstuff. I triple checked to make sure the shoulder pad will fit on that side, and still leave room for the backpack. I ran into that issue with my Honor Guard models, and so I'm learning from those mistakes.

The big decision I have to make is regarding his head. I want the model to have character, and look stern and menacing. Sort of a "give me your best shot" look. I wasn't sure if a helmeted head would convey that properly. I grabbed a bit of poster tack and did a lineup of possible heads:

I skipped any heads that had rebreathers, as I felt those really didn't convey anything at all. I do actually like the helmeted head I selected, as well as the head in the fourth shot. The first Blood Angel head (fifth picture) is growing on me, but I'm not sure if a screaming head really conveys the vibe I'm after. The final picture is subtly different in the expression than the fifth, beyond the bionic eye. It looks more like a "Nooooo!" face than a "Raaaar!" face.

What do you folks think? Any heads you like or hate? Do you think the helmeted head will convey a feeling from the model? I do have to crack open my Sternguard box again and check those bare heads, but I'll use another post for that. I plain forgot.

Also, point of trivia: the heads from the old kits have much larger ball joints at the neck. For the first three bare heads, I'd have to trim that area down to make it look right. Not a big deal, just interesting changes to model kits over time.


  1. I would go with head #2 or #5. Between the two I would pick #5 not only because I like the expression more but because it's an atypical choice in an Ultra army and will stand out that much more.

    1. #2 was a surprising choice. It's my least favorite, but probably because the pictured head is "soft" from being an old kit cast in the old light grey plastic.
      #5 is growing on me the more I look at it. I think it's the hair, and the fact that it makes him look younger. Company Champion seems like it's a position for a younger, brasher Marine. The ones who survive to be old feel like they belong in a Captaincy or as an Honor Guard.