SITREP: US Marines Fireteam 3 Pt. 2

Spending an evening watching films (Greyhound) I did the last few bits of camo and then finished off these four guys. They have turned out a little bit lighter than usual, although not different enough to be a concern. However, I feel happy spending a little extra time to finish them off, and they look pretty good alongside the other ones on my shelf.

This guy was perhaps the most interesting one to do. His helmet was the original test piece I did until I repainted it. Other things to mention was the mags on his chest (rather than the pouches most of the other figures have) and the water line running over his shoulder. Painting these up in the right colours really makes him look better, rather than just tan – perfect for a squad leader.

I also tried painting him up as an African American. Out of all the Marines I’ve painted so far, none of them have been black. So I thought it was time to make the group slightly more diverse. I’m still learning how to paint it – my current recipe is Burnt Umber, drybrush Beige Brown, highlight Beige Brown and then Agrax. I’m probably going to paint a few more using this technique.


Well with three fireteams done and an NCO to lead them, I’ve got myself a USMC squad. This, of course, means it’s time to break out the fun stuff. And seeing as I’ve been re-reading some Terminal Lance (and with his next book coming out end of the month), it’s time to paint up some Assaultmen with SMAWs.

SITREP: Dark Eldar Archon

Warhammer 40,000 is one of those worlds and settings I really love. However, being a lore fan, I find the dissonance between the actual game and the lore to be so much that I’ve never really got into collecting a full sized army. However, collecting the occasional model has always been fun – for all of Games Workshop’s fault, they do on occasion make some rather fantastic models. For this reason, I’ve bought a fair few, normally then tweaking them to look cool rather than technically useful for the tabletop.

I have a soft spot for the Dark Eldar, the piratical murderous elves that live in their city in the webway. They appear in the fiction as everything from “the terror in the night” to “moustache-twirling villain”. So as things happen, you start thinking up ideas and then suddenly Mi’kael Drakonis, Archon of the Ascending Spear was born.

The Archon available from GW, while cool, is a little limited – a shame seeing as in the lore, Dark Eldar leaders seem to have a huge variety in their exact gear and appearance (hard not to when you raid and pillage everyone else). Out of the Dark Eldar, I really love the Incubi – the totally not Aspect Warriors that act as the best bodyguard for an Archon to hire if they want to stay alive. In my concept, I decided to use the Incubi model (with their cool armour, trophy racks and brutal klaive) for my Archon, seeing him as a former Incubus returned home to rule his family’s Kabal. But no mere troop model would be suitable – Drazhar (a special character) seem much more appropriate, with a dynamic pose atop Eldar ruins.

In terms of tweaks, I got to work. The first part was removing the chain of soulstones around Drazhar’s neck. I think they look a little much, almost too much detail. This just meant I had to trim the chain away, leaking the shoulder pieces with less support. I also replaced his head with one from the Kabalite box (you need the bare head to show he’s a leader). Finally from the front, I removed the blade in his right hand and turned it into a pointing gesture. This makes him look more commander-y (if we obey the Games Workshop rules) while also being perfect for claiming that a rival’s soul is yours. In terms of assembling it, the finger is actually just an offcut of plastic I found while working on some models. I could have attempted to green stuff it, but this method was much faster and will look fine once painted up

Moving to the back, you see two tweaks. The most obvious is the sword. After trimming it down to only one sword, the model… lacked something. However, one of my writing buddies while talking about Dark Eldar came up with this alternative setup for a double klaive. It may look a little over the top but the idea of it being a weapon that is dangerous to use sounds Dark Eldar as heck. It also gives the model a little weight – the Archon has swung his blade and is now calling out his next target.

The other part is the cape. I was going to green stuff this, but then realised that Anvil Industry has plenty of glorious capes to use. To attach it, I trimmed off the pair of trophies at the bottom and then glues the dynamic cape into place. I need to do a touch more greenstuff to blend the edges but I’m happy with it.

So that’s the first update on the Dark Eldar project. I’m really happy with how he looks, a glorious leader that would be a nice centre point of a small Dark Eldar collection (currently made up of Incubi, Kabalites and Scourges

Next step (after finishing the green stuff) will be to get it undercoated. And as a first, I’m painting these Dark Eldar in pale colours, so I’ll be using a white basecoat. This is uncharted territory for me, so I’m a little nervous about it. But we shall see!

SITREP: Gage Commando (Part 2)

So a quick update on the Gage Commando – after the first post went up, I decided to add a few little tweaks to it.

  • Smoke launchers: pulled from the Spectre accessories kit, these two mounted on the turret seemed pretty much perfect for an internal security vehicle. Possibly launching other types of grenade if needed.
  • Aerial: taken from the Tigr kit from Empress, the aerial seemed sturdy enough for my purposes and is just a neat additional touch.
  • Fuel tank. Just to break up the lines I added a jerry can on the side. The aim with this vehicle is not to make it loaded down/designed for long-distance work. Most of its operations will be on-road or in suburban areas, so much of it’s kit is just not needed. I also wanted to reduce how much equipment could be torn off the side of it, if it ended up in a civil disobedience situation.

With these stowage options added, I think the vehicle is ready for the basecoat. It will then get a pure tan base colour, before I go to work on the details.

SITREP: Version 2 Contractor

This week’s stream work, finishing off the Spectre Contractor that came with the Version 2 rulebook pre-order. This is a cool looking model, using a suppressed Glock with a modernised FAL slung across his front. I’ve got a weak spot for the Baseball Cap/Comtacs look, especially as figures using that look can often end up being used for a whole selection of forces.

Now you may notice, I clipped the optic off the top of the Glock. This is really a personal touch – I prefer my pistol optics low profile (and not needing the full bridge over the top).

Painting wise, I originally had this planned for multicam trousers, tan jacket. However, after thinking it through and deciding tan for webbing, I realised the jacket and webbing would just merge together. So instead, I changed to a darker colour top. I really like the overall effect of this, giving them a very different look from the tan figures I’ve been painting recently.

SITREP: Bazi SF and Officer

Tonight’s work on the Twitch stream was a twofer – two more figures for the Bazi Military!

The two figures in question are the Adepticon Special from Spectre and the Hammerhead free model from a few years ago. Each takes a different role in the military – the Adepticon special (technically an insurgent gunner) will be joining the Insurgent Killteam to become a Bazi SF trooper, using a bullpup PKP to lay down some heavy firepower.

The Officer will be a high ranking member of the Bazistan Military, perhaps even a member of the Royal Family. I’m not a particular fan of this model – it’s definitely an older style of sculpt, not quite as crisp as Spectre or Empress. But it will definitely have a role to play.

I quite like the backpack mounted ammo pack on the gunner. I’m also very happy that it’s a different style to the packs on the other guys using bullpup PKMs.

As you can see, the MMG gunner fits in with the rest of the Bazi SF team quite well and should bring a pretty useful chunk of firepower cover the rest of the team. Or clear some rooms.

Similarly, the commander figure also fits the Royal Guard that will be escorting him. Through the use of the same basic colours (although slightly less wash to make him look brighter and less dirty). Particularly like the slight flash of gold on him, just to make him even fancier.

SITREP – Gage Commando (Part 1)

Seeing as my Bazi Royal Guard are now basically done, it’s time to give them a little support to roll around in. Having picked up the Gage Commando from Empress at Hammerhead (back in the before times), it seemed kind of perfect. Something capable of shrugging off rifle rounds or smashing through obstacles while not quite the overwhelming damage of a fully armoured tank.

Assembly was Empress’s usual ease (and a little bit of shaving down) – I decided to go without the rear-mounted M60 (in Bazi service, it would probably be more likely a PKM) and put a .50cal and a .30cal in the turret. This should make it perfect for covering the other Royal Guard elements, or providing escort to VIPS.

The final touch was the crewman. As you may remember, the knife-wielding gentleman from the main packs for the Bazi Royal Guard was declared terrible and pulled off the painting log. However, his body is still pretty well modelled and so (after an incident with a saw) he is now perfect for a vehicle commander. To replace the undersized head, I pulled a head from the Warlord Paratrooper spure, shave down the cap badge and then did some surgery. Rather than cutting and pinning, I managed to adjust the hand positions just by pushing the arms into a new location. He now has a clenched fist on the turret top while grabbing the side of the

Now, before this is put on the undercoat pile, I just need to do a final tweak to the vehicle crew – sculpting on a headset to make him look a little more prepared for his role.

SITREP – Enforcers (Part 1)

So Necromunda – the game of gangers and steams pipes, of slowly buildings up heroes only to watch them die to the most ridiculous things. It’s a game I’ve been interested in for a long time, especially as my former housemates got into it after I left (due to the new release of the updated game) and keep being lured back to take part. Now having moved down to Leeds (and within striking distance of the rest of the players) I fully intended to assemble a gang and get to scrapping… until the lockdown occurred. However, this has instead given me time to assemble a crew of my own.

The real question is who to play. And (perhaps at the worst time for it) I decided to go Enforcers. I’ve always loved the idea of playing the Adeptus Arbities back in the old rules – the limited number of figures per encounter, the models in their armour, the concept of turning up to cause havoc for the rest of the players. Of course, they have changed in the new rules, becoming the Hive Lord’s enforcers, along with some rather fantastic looking figures

Now, the campaign I’m joining already has some law enforcing fellows working for the hive lords. This, of course, got my cogs turning, thinking how else to use the enforcers in an alternative role. Back in university, in a Dark Heresy game, I had an mercenary character in the game by the name of Dekko McNespy. He was always written to be one of a family in the same business, so why not go ahead and make that firm?

From this, the idea was born. Based on the setting of the campaign, my warband is going to be a group hired from ‘McNespy, Daughter and Sons’ to “assist” the local enforcers in removing the various gangs. The enforcer’s rules can represent a wealthy mercenary group, backed by a Rogue Trader family that can afford all this equipment and additional recruits.


When assembling these guys, the core idea was to use the enforcer models but then add all the extra details that hardened sci-fi mercenaries would gain throughout their time. Each figure should look like they are part of the same group but also be individual – the way I see it, the company provides the basic equipment, but each merc will then add their own kit and setup. In addition, I’ve added a new common element to each – an aerial on the back of their armour, made from bolter optics from the Intercessor kit.

The main thing though – swapping out the helmet. I think the combination of helmet and armour makes the enforcers look like enforcers. To make a more irregular look to my guys, I decided that everyone would have a different head from those in the box. Now, this doesn’t mean they will all be unique – it makes sense that some of guys in the group might have invested in the same equipment.

The other focus is making sure equipment is laid out correctly. For most of my guys, they are going to be right handed so pistols are design for that. Anything designed to use in the off hand (grenades or other gadgets) should be easy to retrieve without having to drop your primary – handy when preparing to breach and clear.


Merc 1 is the most obviously interesting pose from the announcement box – stub pistol and torch held in a Harries grip for ultimate tactical preparedness. Ideal for sweeping through the underhive. With this gear being good for a point man, I decided to go with the SAS/S10 gas mask head from Anvil Industry and then added a few of the grenades and shock maul from the enforcer sprue. For a little extra detail, a knife and pouch from the Space Marine Intercessor sprue rounded out the look.

Merc 2 is definitely more of a “Breacher” role. It’s also partially modelled off some of my kit for airsoft, mostly inspired from seeing the Ops Core helmet in the head sprues my friend sent me. To go with the role, he’s armed with the combat shotgun with a pistol stapped to his chest. As well as looking cool, it helps to cover up the circular design element on their chest. To get that pistol to fit however, I had to drim it down slightly, before re-attaching the end cap, giving this gentlemen a snub stub pistol.

To finish him off, a whole selection of pouches have been placed on his back and a pair of frag grenades are on his shoulder, easy to snatch off the panel and fling through a doorway.

Merc 3 is the first of the Subjugators (a heavier armour set design for handling the serious bad guys), I decided to go with the classic pistol and armoured shield look. This required a little bit of hand swapping around – thankfully, you can very easily trim away the hand and glue the pistol into place. Similarly, I also trimmed the holster to make it look like the pistol had just been pulled. I also wanted to make this guy seem on the religious side – a trimmed Deathwatch icon on the shield front (again covering the circular element), a Space Marine reliquary hanging from his belt and then the small Space Marine book sat on the shoulder behind the shield


I’ll admit, these first three were built mostly operating on a rule of cool. For the rest of the box, I’m going to assemble a basic list to direct me forward. However, there will still be plenty of models assembled just to look cool (I’m not being that much of a slave to the rules). I also have a few more pieces on the way, such as a few more heads (need all those shades).

In other news, after rolling up my starting territory for the campaign, turns out I’m allowed to recruit a bounty hunter. Time to get my Eldar lady and her powered armour neatened up to assist this group of mercs. Just don’t tell the Inquisition…

SITREP – Bazi Royal Guard (Part 3)

The final two figures from the Bazi Royal Guard – The RPG gunner and Hussein bin Said al-Bazi, one of the Bazi family and a senior leader in the Bazi Royal Guard. He is important enough to have the gold on his shoulder, but not too important that he doesn’t get involved on the ground.

You may notice the RPG gunner has been modified. The RPG 7 has a quite distinctive shape to it, with the deflector cone at the back. The basic figure didn’t include it (looking a little more like an RPG-2) however, going into the bits box gave me a quick donor. It’s not perfect but I much prefer the look.

So it’s finally time – lets talk paints. Unless mentioned otherwise, all paints are Vallejo:

  • Undercoat – Black
  • Base – Tan Earth
  • Clothing – Three Colour Desert
    • Base: Iraqi Sand
    • Blobs: German Camo Beige
    • Lines – Mahogany Brown
  • Leather boots and belts – Red Leather
  • Pouches – English Uniform
  • RPG warhead, Grenades – Russian Uniform
  • Berets – GW Khorne Red
  • Weapon Wood – Cavalry Brown
  • Weapon Metal – Gunmetal Grey

Then for final effects:

  • Drybrush anything black or metallic with Basalt Grey
  • Cover in GW Agrax Earthshade

So that’s the Bazi Royal Guard done. I’m going to write up a full impression of them soon but before I do, quick explain. I am not painting up the knife wielding figure. He’s just awful. Instead, I’m going to use him as the basis for another conversion – a commander for the Gage Commando. Watch this space.