Greetings Terrans, how goes it? Today’s update is an exciting one, because I have the Space Wolf characters completed & ready to share! However, before we get into the Marines, last week wasn’t all about the Spacewolves… I also managed 8 Squigs to add to my Orks – mainly for shenanigans in the final game:
Nothing spectacular here, but good to get them done.
Right, let’s get to the main event! Warning – this is a picture heavy post, so grab yourself a coffee & settle in…. You good? Ok, let’s get started :-)
First up, I just want to talk a little about how each character is presented in the book. Sadly, the Marine characters didn’t get little bios in the campaign pack like the Orks did, but they did get a character sketch by Tony Hough, a stat bar, and an equipment list. As a result, there isn’t much to go on when it came to gleaning the character of each mini, so there is a lot of interpretation and wiggle room here. In some cases, I used the sketches as inspiration, but in others, I based the mini on the equipment list only.
First up, Captain Storm:
Captain Storm – Marine Minor Hero: Powered Armour. Refractor armour. Bolt pistol. Plasma pistol. Chainsword. Melta-bombs. Bionic eye with targeter (+1 to hit).
So, we can definitely say that Capt. Storm is tooled up for close combat, is hard hitting, and has been through the wars a bit… Sounds like a grizzled vet to me, and the character sketch backs that up. I decided to use the Captain mini from the C100 range of Marines – I discussed the C100s in some detail last post so I won’t go into all that again, but the same reservations apply. However, the Captain is probably the pick of the bunch, and the age of the mini just gives him a nice veteran vibe in my opinion:
I didn’t really need much doing to bring him into line with the equipment list – he already had a weird holstered pistol that can count as a bolt weapon, and a bit of green glow means that the fist-weapon on the right hand can read as a plasma pistol. He has enough bling to explain away the refractor field, and already had a cool bionic eye too, so I just added the chainsword, (from the 91ish Jes Goodwin Spacewolf Captain), and sculpted on a couple of largish grenades to suggest Melta Bombs. I suspect that the left arm is meant to be a power glove, but it isn’t really big enough to be definitive in my opinion, so I left it alone.
Next, Captain Greylock:
Captain Greylock – Marine Minor Hero: Powered armour. 2x Bolt pistols. Hand flamer.
Hmmm… not too much to go on here – Greylock is kitted out as some kind of a gunslinger/arsonist type, while the sketch does kind of suggest a stylised helmet to me… That helmet prompted me to use the aforementioned Jes Goodwin sculpt as the base model:
I cleaned up some of the more middle-hammer Spacewolf detail, even going so far as to cut out the left shoulder pad and swapping in an older studded version. I removed the chainsword-wielding left hand, (with the sword getting donated to Capt. Storm), and I swapped in a gloved hand & hand-flamer from an older Marine. The only other work was to sculpt a handle & magazine onto the empty pistol holster so that he had two bolt pistols.
Next, we have Captain Inferno:
Captain Inferno – Marine Minor Hero: Powered armour. Bolt gun. Bolt pistol. Power-sword.
Again, not too much to go on here, but a power sword is a pretty fancy-pants weapon, so maybe there’s a slight aristocratic vibe to Inferno? A touch of arrogance? The character in the sketch certainly looks pleased with himself… Just as an aside – anyone notice that Eye of Horus tattoo on his noggin? How ironic, given the relationship between the Spacewolves and the Thousand Sons in the later fluff! Anyway, I went with a Lt. Commander mini from 89 as he had an ornate left shoulder pad, and plenty of rank badges dotted around:
I swapped the left arm for that of a Lieutenant from the same range in order to give him a Bolter, while the power sword & bolt pistol were already in place. With hindsight, I wish I had shaved the rank badge off his left arm – the mismatch bothers me, but not enough to mess with a finished mini. It’ll have to be an honour badge of some sort instead.
Ok, next let’s take a look at Navigator Durlan Ocellati:
Navigator Durlan Ocellati – Ordinary Human Major Hero: Powered armour. Power-glove. 3 Jokaero digital lasers.
Hmmm…. I’m not sure what’s going on with that sketch, but anyone who knows anything about 40k knows that Navigators are sanctioned mutants, that you wouldn’t see one in Marine power armour, and that they don’t typically do interpretive dance or yoga. Apologies to Tony Hough and the folks that put the Book of the Astronomican together, but the sketch just doesn’t make sense, so I just ignored it… Come to think of it, having the Navigator in the expeditionary force at all doesn’t make sense either :-/
Anyway, I started with a ’88 power-gloved Harlequin miniature and over-sculpted it to create my own interpretation of Durlan Ocellati:
Most of the armour is my own work – in fact everything apart from the lower legs, the face mask and the left arm/power glove is sculpted by me. The entire right forearm & hand is sculpted – note the digi-lasers and slightly webbed hands. I really went to town on the head, with a bulbous cranium as befits a sanctioned mutant who uses his brain as an ethereal sat-nav. The only other minor detail is an extra gem sculpted on to the power glove – I assume the inspiration for that is obvious… I make no apology, this was entirely gratuitous :-)
Next, lets meet Librarian Edrigar:
Librarian Edrigar – Marine Champion (psyker): Powered armour. Bolt gun. Psionic mastery: 1. Psi level: 10. Abilities: aura of resistance, hammerhand and mental blow.
So, this is another weird one… Edrigar is the only psyker in the Marine list, yet he is just a lowly Champion, and doesn’t even get a force weapon! I imagine he’s quite a junior member of the psychic brotherhood, and maybe even the only surviving Librarian left on the crusade… He certainly looks pissed about something in his character sketch! I was scratching my head as to how I could strip an actual Librarian mini down to just have a bolt gun, but then I decided to flip the idea by blinging up a normal Bolter Marine to look more like a Libarian:
I started with the aiming Marine biker torso from ‘91, (Jon, I hope you approve!), and I added suitable legs, and a psychic hood that I painstakingly hollowed out from a donor ’89 Librarian. I also cut in a more appropriate right shoulder pad from the same donor, and I added some foil scrolls & sculpted on some pouches. All in all, I think he fits the bill nicely as a junior psyker.
Finally, the big man himself, Commander Enoch:
Commander Enoch – Marine Major Hero: Powered armour. Displacer armour. Bolt gun. Bolt pistol. Power-glove. 3 Jokaero digital lasers built into power-glove.
Well, here we are – the last mini of the whole set. Unlike his Ork counterpart, Commander Enoch has a pretty unspectacular equipment list! It kind of suggests a no-nonsense approach to the business of war, so I went with a pretty no-nonsense mini to represent him:
The mini is a humble ‘Space Marine with Terminator Honours’ from ’89. He was perfectly equipped already, so the only very minor change is the addition of 3 digi-lasers to the power glove. Otherwise, he’s such a solid mini that I didn’t feel the need to make any other adjustments!
In terms of painting, all six were broadly treated the same as the rest of the army. I put a bit of extra effort into the detailing, but I figured that the officers probably have a bit more care and attention given to maintaining their equipment, and they are probably too grown up to scribble ‘Kil’ on their armour. I therefore applied slightly less weathering and I skipped the graffiti, (apart from getting their names on their armour somewhere). Commander Enoch had a fair amount of extra effort put in on his right shoulder pad – I’m particularly pleased with his ‘Wolf Rampant to Sinister’ heraldry!
Librarian Edrigar has blue elements to his armour to denote ‘Librarian’, and while I had total freedom on the colours for the Navigator, I still wanted him to fit in with the overall force. I stuck with the grey as the main colour for Ocellati, but I tested this with a purple contrast and gold accents. I think the palette worked out very nicely, and I may well use this scheme again at some point.
I also spent some extra effort on ‘effects’, with Captain Inferno’s Powersword being the most obvious effort. I haven’t really painted glowing arcs of electricity before, so this was a bit of an experiment, but I hope it works to convey what the weapon is. I repeated the trick on Librarian Edrigar’s hood and also added some ‘because magic’ glow to his eye. Navigator Ocellati and Cpt. Storm also got a bit of subtle glow added at key points.
So, that’s all folks – I know I still have a ton of terrain to produce, but I do feel like wrapping up all the minis for this campaign is a huge achievement. Since August last year I have worked my way through 101 Orks, 55 Marines, a human Navigator, a Gretchin gun carrier and 8 Squigs – all the minis needed to run the game plus some optional extras. A lot of these figures were converted, and some quite extensively! I have had to learn to sculpt, and I have pushed my conversion skills to the limit at times… I have poured my heart and soul into this project, and it was totally worth it. Do you want to see them all together? No? Ok, no worries…
Sorry, you do? Oh, ok then – if you’re sure :-)
Here are the remains of the 519th Crusade of the Spacewolves:
And here are Governor Kulo’s Ork forces:
And all together – 10 months of effort:
Phew! Now, on with that terrain :-)