Dread Reinforcement Arrives!

I may or may not have mentioned a while ago that my wife bought me a great birthday present this year. She ordered me a Leviathan Siege Dreadnought from Forgeworld! It's the Claw/Drill variant, which is the one I wanted. The box arrived last week, and I thought I'd share an impromptu unboxing.

Opening the shipping box presents the box for the Leviathan itself, plus the invoice and catalog. The Forgeworld catalog is getting thick these days! The wife immediately vetoed my request for a Warlord Titan as a Father's Day gift.

The arms come in their own individual packages.

The body and legs come in their own bag, as is usual for FW. The instructions for the model are very well done and nicely presented.

There are no images for the arms, but they go together pretty simply.

It's a great kit, and FW must be using a new resin of late, because the whole thing is far lighter than I expected it to be. Not sure why, but I was expecting this thing to be weighty because of its size. It comes on an 80mm base, but feels like it will weigh the same as a standard plastic Dread.

I'll be taking my sweet time on this model. He's going to be a centerpiece of my Raven Guard, so I need to make sure he looks good. His rules (found here) only allow him to take a Dreadnought Drop Pod as a transport, so he'll be charging across the table a lot. With a front AV of 13 and a 4++, he should make it interesting. Plus with all the Scouts, Terminators, and jump Marines around him, he'll present some interesting games. I want to smash him into an Imperial Knight at least a couple times.

As far as the rest of my Raven Guard projects, I'm making good progress on the Vanguard Veterans after stalling on the white. I'm hoping to debut the Raven Guard this coming Saturday at the FLGS monthly tourney. It'll just be an Allied detachment of my Captain, Vanguard, Landspeeder, and some Scouts until I can complete the Shadow Force formation by swapping the Scouts for Sternguard.

The units I have built right now will require me to field a CAD in order to get the Leviathan onto the table. He's not eligible for any formations, and you can't use an Allied Detachment that has the same Chapter tactics as your primary detachment.
I think what I'll do is build a Techmarine and Servitors along with another 5-man squad of Scouts to flesh out the CAD in which the Leviathan will live, so I don't have to dismantle my Shadow Force to get him on the table.

Anyhow, I'm still really enjoying building this new army. It won't be your stereotypical "Pinion Demi Company plus Shadow Strike Kill Team" build that relies on fist turn non-scatter deepstrike charges. Instead, I'm looking at the "headhunter" type formations from Space Marines and Kauyon. These formations facilitate the targeting and killing of specific units from the enemy army. I feel like that's how I want my Raven Guard to play. Slice off the head, while fast, flexible, but not overpoweringly strong units claim objectives and outmaneuver the enemy. We'll see how things pan out on the table, of course.


This...Isn't Quite Right

Last night I spent a couple hours working on Vanguard Vets., highlighting of their armor and then moved on to base coating grey in preparation for white. What you see below is the result. I stopped after the second Marine, because what I was seeing threw me off. (It's a quick and dirty photo, just to show color layout).

Originally, I'd planned to avoid the standard GW Raven Guard color scheme for veterans that uses all white arms and heads. I wasn't a huge fan of it, because I felt that pure white was a poor choice for stealth-oriented troopers. I decided to go with white decorations and pad rims instead.

After looking at the above Marines, I'm rethinking my plan. At this point, they look very odd to me. The scattered patches of white feel like they frame the black too much, especially on the shoulder pads. I selected fancy pads that had both open, flat areas to which to apply Chapter symbol decals, but that also provided white decoration. It's just not working out. I also selected helmeted heads that contained some sort of brow decoration that I could paint white while leaving the main helm black. Again, it looks really odd.

I'm not sure how to fix these guys. My first thought was to rip all the heads off if I can and paint them full white. But I think I'd still be left with the "picture frame" problem of the shoulder pads. So, perhaps solid white pads instead.

What do you readers think? White helmets with silver brow details, or black details? Solid white pads, or white pads with black details? The only thing that is off the table are solid white arms. Keep in mind that the jump packs will be attached eventually, adding more black behind the heads, with silver in the intake grilles.


Corben Beck, Captain of the Raven Guard

After a couple weeks of work off and on, my first Raven Guard HQ model is ready to hit the table. Captain Corben Beck, armed with a power fist and relic blade.

The model's head is from the Blood Angels Sanguinary Guard kit. I went through a lot of different head options, helmeted and bare, and settled on this one. It just felt right for this character. As usual, I skipped painting eyes on the model, as they're downright miniscule on models of that generation, and you can't see them from table distance anyways.
The chest and legs are from the Forgeworld Shadow Captain Korvydae model. The right shoulder pad is from the Marine Commander kit, while his sword is a Grey Knight weapon. The powerfist is from the Command Squad kit, and the left shoulder pad came out of the Sternguard box. The jump pack is a standard Vanguard Veteran bit. I cast the base myself from my custom made molds, and then decorated it with sand, rock, and moss.
The armament might seem strange to some. A powerfist and relic blade really gain nothing in being paired together. In fact, it loses out when compared to other options. Relic blades are Two Handed, so no bonus attack for a second weapon or pistol. The common option to min/max a powerfist on a Captain is to pair it with a lightning claw, as both are Specialist Weapons and would provide +1 attack due to having two of them. Problem is, I didn't want to use the best armament that everyone else uses. I'd written Beck's fluff before I built him. He prides himself on being a flexible commander who can duel at range like a swordsman or pummel an opponent in close like a brawler. So, to embody that he uses a long blade and a powerfist. It looks awesome at least.
I have a little fluff piece that I'm writing to accompany Beck into my Completed Projects tabs, but it's not done yet. Look for it in the coming week or so.
I've already started work on my Vanguard Veteran Squad who'll join Captain Beck on the table. I armed the sergeant with a sword and shield, and then one Marine with a powerfist and bolt pistol, another with dual lightning claws, and then two who are gunslinging with a grav and bolt pistol each. Then jump packs and melta bombs for everyone. After those are done, it'll be a squad of Sternguard to finalize my Shadow Force formation.
My wife bought me a Forgeworld Leviathan Siege Dreadnought for my birthday last week, but he's still in the mail. I can't wait to build that model. I'll be he weighs a ton! I am dabbling with the idea of buying him a Dreadnought Drop Pod to ride in, but am balking at the price. It's a $100+ model. The rules are interesting (the Dread isn't required to jump out when he lands, but can still fire out since it's open topped, and can then assault straight out of the thing the next turn), but I'm not sure if they're THAT interesting.
I'm continuing to phase out my Ultramarines, and have sold off all my Tactical Marines. Fifty-plus models with various weaponry. The bulk of my playing force is made up of my Terminators now. Once I can field a full 1500 points or so of Raven Guard, I think all the Ultras will go away.