Marius Gracchus, Standard Bearer

The third member of my Ultramarine Command Squad is now complete. Yes, I've finally finished off the Standard Bearer, Marius Gracchus:

Here's his backstory:
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.

Overall I'm pretty happy with how he turned out. The only disappointment is with the banner pole and the back of the banner itself. I had drilled a paperclip into the mounting point of the pole so I could hold the banner during painting. It worked, but when I was removing it last night, I tried to file away the excess paint. That went ok, but when I finished, I blew on the area to get rid of the little grains of paint and plastic. My hand took that moment to lose strength (hooray for carpal tunnel syndrome) and I dropped the banner on the floor. The top ornament broke off, and the paint was a little scuffed near the folds of the cloth. Then, when I was trying to apply liquid plastic cement to the area and affix it to the pole, I dropped it again with glue in the channel. That picked up some dust, so I had to fiddle with it again. The cement refused to hold, so I had to settle for super glue. After I got a scare when a drop of superglue rolled out of the tube and just missed the edge of the banner (landing instead on my pant leg), I got it held in place and decided to take the rest of the night off. I know by now that when my hands get weak like that, I need to stop.

Now that Marius is complete, I can turn my attention to the Demolitionist/Tank Hunter I'd shown earlier. I've only got a quick coat of blue on him right now, so nothing special to share in that regard. He'll be a pretty simple job once I'm not bouncing back and forth between the banner and the Tank Hunter, and picking away at my Vindicator (remember that project?). I realized just a moment ago that I've been screwing around with this Command Squad since April or thereabouts. Seven months for three models thus far, with a little work on a drop pod and a Vindicator snuck in there. Yikes.

Once I get beyond these Ultramarines, I can start thinking harder about my Raven Guard. I'm still hemming and hawing over what wargear to give the Captain, or whether I want a Captain at all. Maybe a Telepathy Librarian would be more interesting. Then there are Scouts, Vanguard Vets, and Assault Marines to think about. I'm burying myself under a mountain of planning again. Add onto that the thought that maybe the Command Squad would like to have a new HQ model to lead them, and I'm swamped with ideas, but not with spare time.

I bit the bullet and ordered three new brushes, Raphael 8404s. Two size 0s and a size 2. I previously used inexpensive Loew Cornell red sable brushes from AC Moore. They were about $4 each, and held up pretty well. But neither AC Moore nor Michael's carries the line anymore. They seem to have shifted heavily towards synthetic brushes, which I just can't use anymore. With my old brush line extinct, and being on my last brush of the type, I had to get new ones. I bought them via Amazon, directly from the distributor. Delivery estimate is 4-6 weeks. OUCH. Thankfully, my last remaining brush should hold up that long. I'm hoping these new brushes are worth the money.