I challenged myself to build and paint a magnetized Raven Guard Venerable Dreadnought by the end of the month. I love Dreads in general (also, Terminators), and the VenDread kit is dirt cheap on ebay because of all the folks splitting up Death Masque box sets.
I wanted to fully magnetize the arms on the model, as I did the first time I built the kit for my Ultramarines. However, I specifically wanted to avoid using any of the parts I used last time to make it more interesting to paint.
Here's the build as it stood yesterday morning:
I selected the lascannon arm from the kit, and added a spare missile launcher from my bits box. I sank 1/4 inch magnets into the arms and the shoulders. I'll build and paint the rest of the possible armaments some other time.
For this Raven Guard Dreadnought, I decided to select the bare glacis plates and sarcophagus. I wanted some nice, uninterrupted area to add decals and paint white. The majority of the model will be black and metals, so I wanted some white that would stand out no matter what arms I gave him on a given day. After test fitting the blank sarcophagus, I changed my mind and went with a more detailed version you see above. Making the whole front of the model plain felt like a waste of the Venerable kit and looked pretty uninteresting as a whole.
The left glacis plate will get an XIX (Raven Guard are the nineteenth Legion) decal and either a black skull or crux terminates design, over which will be placed a large purity seal for visual interest. The right plate will get the Chapter symbol. I've already added another couple purity seals on the body since taking this shot.
These are the purity seals and leg plates I selected. The light seals are from the Forgeworld Captain Korvydae kit I used as the basis for Corben Beck, while the larger one is from the Land Raider Crusader accessory frame.
Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of the leg plates provided in the Venerable Dread kit. There is an alternative set than those pictured, but they're pointed at the top and look odd. I don't mind the right plate above, but the left one really irks me. It has molded-in text (Arx, Calth, Talassar, and Lost Hope). These are planets with which the Raven Guard have no affiliation. Why would a Raven Guard Dreadnought have the names of these planets carved into his armor plating? I can explain it away as a salvaged plate or some sort of Deathwatch service remnant, but I'd prefer not to. There is a nice, semi-fancy plate in the old Ravenwing Upgrade frame I could use, or I can just grab a plain one from the standard Dread kit. I've not glued these on yet, so there's still time to change my mind. Anyone have any suggestions for explaining away the pictured plate?
only left side option has script on it: Arx, Calth, Talassar, and Lost Hope. The Raven Guard weren't present at any of those planets during their destruction, so I have no idea how I'll explain it away. It bugs the hell out of me, but I didn't have any other options. Thankfully, I've not glued them on yet so if I manage to find a replacement before the end of the month, I can use that.
Anyone have any other suggestions for explaining why the above plate might appear on a Raven Guard Venerable Dreadnought?
The next step is to build the base to match the rest of my models. It'll involve cutting squares of plasticard, carving them, and then gluing them on the 60mm base to make flagstones. I very briefly thought about casting the result for reuse, but I don't think I'll use many more 60mm bases in my army.