Checking In

It's been some time since my last posting, so I figured it was time to check in with an update and some random thoughts.

I took the last week off work (hooray for paid vacation days), but didn't paint a whole lot. I had a lot of home improvement projects to do (and still do, nothing takes the time you'll think it'll take). I only found a few spare moments here and there to pick away at things. I primed the Standard Bearer, but not his banner. It's separate from the pole for painting. I also finished painting blue on the siege shield of my Vindicator (also separate from the parent model for painting). No picture, as I figure no one really needs or wants to see a siege shield painted plain blue.

I can't decide if I should finish the rest of the dozer in metallic colors before masking off the angled stripe I plan to airbrush across the front, or if I should airbrush the stripe and then finish the metals. It probably doesn't make much difference, as the stripe won't cross the metal areas.

I've selected some preliminary parts for the fourth member of the squad, who is the anti-armor and demolitions expert. I chose one of the armored torsos from the Forgeworld Mk4 Power Weapons Set, basic legs (no need for a tabard under all that plating), and haven't picked a helmet yet. FW parts are always ever so slightly smaller than GW plastics, so some heads look odd on the torso I picked. I thought about the grilled helmet from the VenDread kit, but it looks hilarious when test fitted in place.
For armament, I'm torn. I'm trying to keep every member of the squad at no more than 15 points of upgrades. Command Squad members start with a bolt pistol and a boltgun. They can buy pretty much any of the upgrade options (ranged, melee, special) and various other items. Because this guy is a demo/tank expert, he'll get meltabombs alongside his grenades. The meltabombs from the kit I linked above are about half the size of regular GW plastic bombs, so they can be fitted to a Marine's belt, pack, or thigh plates.
The sticky part are his guns. All Marine Veterans get two base attacks in their profile. You can bump them to three if you trade the bolter for a melee weapon while retaining the pistol. But this Marine isn't a melee fighter, so he won't get a melee upgrade. My decision comes down to: meltagun and bolter, or combimelta and bolt pistol? Both the combimelta and the meltagun are the same points cost.
If I take a pistol and combi, I'll get only one shot with the melta but also have the bolter to fire the rest of the time, as well as a pistol shot before a charge. It's simple to model and a pretty standard choice. However, if I take the meltagun and bolter I can fire as many melta shots as I like, and still have the bolter when other things are out of range or are less than ideal targets (you don't shoot melta at Gaunts and Orks). I won' tneed the pistol before a charge, because a meltagun is Assault 1. Modeling the bolter and the meltagun in a somewhat realistic way will be tougher. I will have to sling one or the other weapon over his back or under his backpack, or try to clamp the bolter to his leg. Unfortunately, there are no smaller bolters in any kit, and slinging weapons has always been a modeling challenge.

The fifth member of the squad is one I've not assembled parts for, though I did pickup some parts I might use. I got a handful of what I'm told are old upgrade torsos for Fabius Bile enhanced Marines. They look suitably bionic/augmetic for my purposes of building a squad member who's almost entirely rebuilt with bionics because he takes a lot of bullets for the Apothecary. The general plan is to use the half-bionic sergeant head from one of the older Marine kits, one of those Bile torsos, and then either buy or build bionic arms and legs. GW makes the Iron hands upgrade kit (though its in Finecast now), and Kromlech also makes some interesting bionic legs but no arms. I haven't picked armament for him yet, but I'm leaning towards something cheap like a stormbolter and a chainsword, because he'll be taking Look Out Sir rolls for the Apothecary a lot.

After all of that, I'm still working and planning some Allied units. Raven Guard are still in the works, but I'm also looking sidelong at Grey Knights. I own a 5-man unit of the old metal Terminators, and a Captain Stern model who can be just about any of the HQ models in TDA. I'd originally wanted to add them to add some Sanctic and anti-Daemon ability into my force, but the new codex looks really interesting. Not over the top like its prior incarnation, and much more streamlined.
There's also the upcoming Officio Assassinorum dataslate to think about. The one thing I hated about prior incarnations of Assassins was that you had to spend points on an HQ and Troops to get access to one. I'm definitely going to look at the dataslate when it's available, as I've always wanted to put an Eversor or a Culexis on the table.


  1. The best option for your demoman is bolter and meltagun. The reason you don't see this often is because only command squads can have both bolter and special weapon while other marines are usually required to swap their bolter for the meltagun as per the Special Weapons List, with no option to trade their bolt pistol in for another bolter. You lose 1A, but the melta shot on the charge is more likely to kill even heavy infantry while a single chainsword swing would not. The downside is you are even weaker when charged, though you do get a melta shot on overwatch.

    I am somewhat of a master on juggling multiple weapons on a character, due to having models that require both a bolter and chainsword to be modeled, as well as having made plans for custom Honor Guard which would require both bolters and power weapons. While you could argue that since bolters are stock wargear, your command squad does not need to model the bolter at all, just like bolt pistols are rarely modeled, you might also argue that the bolt pistol being exchanged for a bolter isn't a "stock" option and should be modeled. Either way, there is a way to get both guns in your model's hands if you so choose.

    The easiest way, in my opinion, would be to use the Sternguard bolter arm (shown here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/40K-Space-Marines-Sternguard-Boltgun-One-Handed-Bolter-Arm-Bits-/380958855458?pt=Games_US&hash=item58b2ead122) and have it pointed straight up, while the marine shoots or aims the meltagun with his left arm. However, if you have a hand molded onto the meltagun such as with the new plastic kits, this obviously won't work without some cutting.

    There is an easy way to get ambidextrous guns on a marine, albeit it is a little bit pricey and hard to find on eBay. Forge World's Legion Assault marines for Horus Heresy, the kind that comes in various marks of armor, do not have their hands attached to the weapons or the arms. This means there are hands which are shown gripping a bolt pistol handle but they are not attached to the bolt pistol. With these hands, you can glue the older weapons which do not have hands attached to them (that require you to cut off the handle) such as from the old tactical marine kit from before 6E to these hands and you will instantly have a left and right handed weapon. You can then glue these hands on to the new arms that do not have hands attached to them.

    It might be easier to understand just by looking at the image: http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTQ0M1gxNDQz/$(KGrHqUOKm4E66B!heUIBOwS1T6q6Q~~60_12.JPG

    The problem is these are hard to find on eBay, and I found them on a German seller using completely foreign, non-English terms and it was not cheap for shipping or the bits.

    I'm looking forward to the Raven Guard since I play a RG successor myself in addition to the Ultramarines. And I have also been thinking about the upcoming Assassin update myself for the very same reasons, though I've been eyeing the Vindicare. It's always a pleasant surprise to see writers with the same interests as myself, but then again, that's why I subscribe to the blogs in the first place.

    1. Thanks for the reply, man!
      I think I'm definitely going to go with the meltagun and bolter setup. I like to make sure I model all of my wargear. I did a 9-man Honour Guard a while back and made sure every model had his power weapon, bolt pitstol, and bolter modeled either in-hand or sheathed.
      I'll probably end up with the bolter stowed and the meltagun in-hand. I started in 4th Edition, so I feel like the True Grit pose of two non-pistol weapons fired at once belongs to Space Wolves. :P
      I've got a significant stockpile of pre-6th bitz in my collection, but those hands from the FW Assault Marines are very interesting. I'd never even have thought of that.

      Do you run a homebrew Raven Guard successor, or one of the established ones? Apparently Raptors are popular again, or at least Lias Issodon and the Raptors Chapter Tactics anyways.

    2. I play the Carcharodons, and I don't know if it's because I started playing them that I noticed, but they seem to be snowballing in popularity. Even FW seems to like them a lot, and decided to hint at a lot of their stuff and basically all but confirm their RG geneseed in the third Horus Heresy book they released, as well as taking a lot of the tribal themes and tattoos and transferring them to the 30K RG styling, so I got really interested in RG at that point if only to pay respects to the founding chapter. I'm looking forward to appropriating their tattooed Contemptor model for 40K use and seeing how Corax turns out. Plus I always thought the all-black, raven and jump packed themed sneaky chapter was really cool back when I only knew about the mainstream chapters with HQs featured in the GW codex. Shrike and the RG really popped out at you in 5E when the other chapters pretty much consisted of "Pedro and Sternguard", "that one Vulkan model", "Lysander the terminator", and Calgar.

      I really like the Raptors and they do seem to be getting a lot of new players here and there. "How do I use Raptors tactics and Lias Issodon" seems to be the question commonly asked. I don't think I'd ever play them, but I kind of want to paint a few just to use some really good olive drab paints I know of. Same with Sons of Medusa. Green isn't a color I like, but these two chapters really make good use of green. Them and Sons of Horus, and the brighter versions of Salamanders. When I first started learning about successors, the Raptors were really cool because while I love the Ultramarines, I find nearly all of their successors to be fairly bland barring maybe guys like Novamarines who have interesting paintjobs. I know people feel that way about Ultramarines and marines in general, but hey, they get a free pass for being a founding legion. I can't wait for Guilliman's model and see how FW does the Roman motifs, because they really love emphasizing what makes each legion unique and making them more than just alternate color schemes.

    3. I wondered where the information that Carcharodons were an RG successor came from. I don't have any of the FW HH books. I just read the novels (in publication order), and am only up to Prospero Burns. I just can't justify the expense of the HH books when I'll never actually field an HH army. Plus, I hate Mk 1-3 power armor :P.

      Ultramarines do have some interesting successors. The Mortifactors, Doom Eagles, Howling Griffons, and the Fire Hawks. But yes, most are simply carbon copies in an alternate color scheme.

  2. I agree that the meltagun and bolter combination is best. You could model it as a larger combi-weapon using a full sized meltagun instead of a single shot one. Connect them side by side with a stormbolter style grip, or you could build something with a heavy weapon style grip to it.

    1. Is it bad that I can't remember how the meltagun and bolter match up in terms of length and height? I haven't built a meltagunner in what feels like years.