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Greetings Terrans, how goes it? More progress to share today – the two Support Squads are finished. I’d love to say that these guys offer a gentle emotional support to the troops, helping them to process the complex feelings that arise from a life dedicated to combat, but Space Marines just aren’t down with that… They are pumped full of ‘roids and angst, and their armour is powered by testosterone, cortisone, and quite possibly Toblerone. Their 80s toxic masculinity is so profound that the very concept of any ‘emotion’ other than rage would be ridiculous… No, these guys only value the ‘blow shit up real gud’ type of support…

So now we’ve cleared that up, lets talk about the squads – each of which packs a pair of laser cannons, a heavy bolter and a missile launcher, as well as a Sergeant to point them in the right direction. Unusually, I’m going to talk about these minis by type rather than squad by squad – they are quite eclectic, so I think it’ll make more sense this way.

First up, let’s look at the C100 Marines. I had a job lot of these, including two missile launchers, a heavy laser and some ‘guards’. The missile launchers were obvious, as was the heavy laser guy, but I was stuck with what to use the guards for. I had a moment of inspiration, and converted three of the guards to look like they also had heavy lasers – the guy aiming to his right is the original weapon, and the other three are the conversions:

The C100s are actually quite interesting – they are the very first non-limited release Marines, (75p each folks), designed by Bob Naismith and released in 86… That means these minis actually pre-date the Rogue Trader game itself! Stylistically, they have so many elements that are recognisable even today – the beaky helmet, the backpacks and the iconic shoulder pads, (including the studs on the left pad), but there is also a lot of other stuff going on here. I didn’t convert the missile launchers at all, and you can see the ornate greaves, bracers, knee & elbow armour, and the very different interpretation of the weapons. Also, there is no getting away from the fact that these guys are really small and skinny – they look more like teenage knights in fitted plate armour rather than hulking power armoured post-human shock troops… This general skinniness prompted me to oversculpt the legs on the heavy laser guys in an attempt to help them fit in a little better :-/

 

Next we have a pair of heavy bolters courtesy of the RT01 Marines from 87 – just one year later, yet immediately we can see a bulkier look to the Marines themselves, separate backpacks, and the style of weapon start to look a bit more recognisable. I’m really unhappy at including these guys to be honest – I chose them because they avoided the shoulder firing approach we see in later heavy weapon Marines, but they are noticeably bigger than their squad-mates. I would much rather have stuck with the C100s or (even better) the LE2 Marine to represent the heavy bolters, just to keep a consistent scale within the squads – I’ll get around to fixing it one day, but they’ll do for now. The only conversion work needed for these two is the addition of a sculpted bolt pistol:

 

Finally we have the Sergeants – so far the squads are looking practically identical, but I wanted to mix it up a bit with the unit leaders. I opted for a pair of Marines in armour variants from (I think) 91. One squad gets a Marine in Mk I ‘Thunder’ Armour, (and his fab-u-lous helmet plume!), and another in Mk III ‘Iron’ Armour. Both are unconverted apart from the addition of a sculpted bolt pistol:

 

And here are they all are together, arranged by squad:

 

The paint job follows my approach to all the other Marines so far – this time I used Blue on the backpacks to denote ‘Support’, and this is offset with white for one squad and red for the other. I should probably note that of all the squads so far, these guys were the most frustrating to paint – mainly because the C100s are so goofy, but also the Mk III Sergeant was a sod. He doesn’t look too bad from the front, but the back of the mini is a really soft sculpt & not much fun to paint at all. I did cheer myself up by putting in a bit of detail on his left shoulder, (the DXIX refers to the 519th crusade mentioned in the Wolf Time campaign btw), and the Mk I Sergeant was a nice mini, but the otherwise-tedious painting and the scale difference makes these two squads my least favourite part of the army so far. I’m just very happy that I have the characters to look forward to – there are some cracking minis to get my teeth into!

 

Oh, I nearly forgot – I did finish another thing – the shrouded movement counters for the third game of the campaign! Basically, the Marines get to advance through a thick fog, and so are ‘hidden’ until they get within a certain range or they open fire. I don’t know how the Marines will allocate their resources on the day, so I needed a counter for each mini plus a load of decoys, (the Marine player gets 25% more counters than he has actual troops). I got a load of 25mm MDF bases, sprayed them up quick, and just splashed some paint around on one side & wrote a troop description on the other. Not terribly exciting I know, but a necessary part of the campaign prep:

 

Finally, I had a lovely card from a friend who has been reading up on my little project – despite not knowing anything about the hobby, she went and researched Spacewolves, and then copied this design for me and put it on a card:

How cool is that eh? I’m chuffed to bits! Diolch yn fawr butty bach 😊

Anyhow, that’s all for this post – I’ll be working through the characters over then next 2 weeks & will keep you all updated along the way.

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