In the last week or so, I've made some very solid progress on my Command Squad. Painting for the Standard Bearer is done except for his base, I've picked some parts for the bionic Veteran, and I fully built the tank-killing Veteran. Here are some shots of him:
This is the initial body construction, showing the FW torso defects I repaired and some studs I added to his knee pads.
And then his final state, with a head picked out and pads on.
The studs are micro beads, set into small drill holes and glued in place. You can see the tutorial I got the idea from over at Drowned in Plastic. While you're there, check out his Helbrecht build. It's AMAZING.
I held off on a full spread of studs, because I wasn't sure how well they'd come out. A couple added to break up the smooth lines just a bit felt like enough.
The general design behind him is that he wears plated Mk4 armor and a left-leading pad with an extended edge to protect him from the shrapnel and blast from tanks and bunkers he's destroyed with that meltagun and meltabombs (the meltabombs are behind his left hip, not visible in the images). He's got improved targeters in his helm for finding and tracking weak points in vehicle armor, including an upgraded thermal imaging suite for finding exhaust ports and venting seams in xenos and Imperial STC vehicle patterns.
I didn't elect to use another tabarded set of legs for this Marine, as I figured he'd either have no use for one as decoration or that it would be burned up pretty quickly as he stands in the blast wash from exploding tanks. It might bust up the cohesion of the squad some, but probably not a lot as the Apothecary and the bionic Veteran also do not have tabards (though the bionic one is still up in the air, with a post on him and his legs coming later this week).
It's exciting to be nearly done with the Command Squad as a whole. Once the Standard Bearer is done, I'll be over halfway finished, with only two guys left. Both are simpler paint jobs than the Standard Bearer or the Apothecary. The tank hunter will go pretty quickly, being all blue and gold and the bionic Marine will as well, since I don't forsee using any white or fancy sections on him.
Once the squad members are done I have to decide if I'll build them a custom Razorback, or just paint up a turret to put on top of one of my Rhinos. Right now, all of my Razorback turrets are assault cannons or las/plas.
Thankfully, I've finished most of my home improvement projects that were eating up my evenings and the summer heat has gone, leaving me time and motivation to paint again.