I've started this post at least two other times, each one slowly evolved into a very long and rambling post about nothing. Hopefully, the third time is a charm.
Firstly, I've not made any progress on my Champion or snipped test heads from the Sternguard sprue yet. I got distracted painting pieces of my drop pod. That bugger is so close to done I can almost taste it.
However, I did sit down and think up some names for my Command Squad members. I wanted each Command Squad member to have a first and last name, and for each name to be pseudo-Roman/Latin to match the Ultramarine naming conventions. In the past, I've named my various sergeant models and they all got single names. These Command Squad members will get two to differentiate them just a tiny bit more. All my future HQ models will also get two names.
Here's what I came up with:
Company Champion: Pertinus Aemilius.
Apothecary: Numerian Castor.
Standard Bearer: Marius Gracchus.
Veteran: Thrax Gaios.
Veteran: Flavius Felix.
I mostly grabbed names I thought sounded interesting. Flavius Felix was an actual Roman Senator, which I discovered via Google after selecting the name. No big deal. I also drafted up some very general backstory/personality traits for each member:
Pertinus Aemilius, Company Champion, known behind his back as The Bull. Brave and self-sacrificing, to a fault. He was censured twice as a Scout for engaging enemy sentries in protracted melee, instead of silently dispatching them with his combat blade. The second such action resulted in the death of a fellow Scout when Pertinus' duel with an Ork sentry alerted an entire camp. He served five years penance for that failure. Shortly afterward, he was placed with an Assault Squad, skipping the traditional placement with a Devastator Squad. Selected as Company Champion after fifty years as an Assault Squad member, based purely on his skill with a blade. Pertinus Aemilius is not the smartest or most tactically gifted Ultramarine. He is stubborn and thick-headed, but unflinchingly loyal to his commander.
Apothecary Numerian Castor is a patient, deliberate Marine. While not a coward by any means, he takes very few risks. He knows his mission is to safeguard the Marines with whom he serves, and when necessary, their geneseed.
Standard Bearer Marius Gracchus, "The Youngling." Marius is one of the youngest Marines ever selected to bear a company standard. His youthful features and penchant for humor hide a warrior who is capable with a chainblade and a masterful shot with a pistol.
Veteran Brother Thrax Gaios is the squad's demolitions expert. He carries a combimelta and a satchel of meltabombs. He can toss a krak grenade into the vision slit of a moving tank at a hundred meters.
Veteran Brother Flavius Felix is the oldest member of the command squad, and is fiercely protective of Numerian Castor. He has taken more than one bullet for the Apothecary, and his extensive bionics are proof of that. Castor ensures the scarred old veteran receives the best augmetics the Chapter's Apothecarion has to offer.
And there you go. These guys are designed to be a fixed unit that can be led by any HQ (captain, chaplain, or librarian). They're not optimally armed, but are designed more for looks and flavor. It's a direction I'm leaning for most units going forward, though a squad like this lends itself to that very easily. The only armament I'm not set on is that of Flavius Felix. I'm trying not to spend more than 15 points per model on upgrades. I'm leaning towards a chainsword and grav pistol, but am not sure. The model will have as many bionics as I can lay hands on though.
In addition to planning this squad, I'm also planning out small non-Ultramarine painting projects. I realized from my failure with Tyranids that it's ok to paint single models from time to time, as long as I'm not under massive pressure to get them on the table as a force. Nids were a poor choice in that regard, as I was facing the prospect of spending months painting models, only to wait months more to ever use them. I've decided that one-at-a-time is a good way to branch into Allies. My first non-Ultramarine model will probably be a Raven Guard Shadow Captain. It'll be good practice painting black and white without any blue, as well as the chance to possibly try out a non-Caucasian skin tone. No pressure to get a playable unit on the table here, just a fun one that COULD be used alongside my existing army someday.