Dark Angel with LED Plasma Gun & New “Simple” LED Plasma Weapon Tutorial

Dark Angel 01

What is it to be a Dark Angel? It is to be the first Legion, the honoured, the Sons of the Lion.

Don’t panic, I haven’t abandoned the Crimson Fists! But I have had a Horus Heresy Dark Angels “itch” that I’ve needed to scratch for a long time now. I also needed a model to be the subject of a new guide – the “simple” LED plasma weapons tutorial – so it seemed like a good idea to kill two birds with one stone. Regular readers will know I already have a LED plasma weapon tutorial, but this new one is the “simple” version and features:

  • Less cutting
  • Less drilling
  • Alternatives to soldering
  • Alternatives to resin casting

So on the whole it’s more accessible. The new tutorial can be found here and my original LED plasma tutorial can be found here.

As readers of a certain ‘vintage’ may have spotted, I’ve taken influence for this model from the classic piece of artwork shown below.

Space Marine box art
Image © Games Workshop

This is the box art for the Space Marine game. A 6mm ‘Epic’ scale game released in 1989, it was set during the Horus Heresy and compatible with the first edition of Adeptus Titanicus. This is a classic image of the Dark Angels that’s firmly lodged in my subconscious. I haven’t tried to copy the art precisely, but I definitely wanted to capture the “feel”. I’ve combined the helmetless Marine firing a bolter in the centre with the plasma marine in the bottom left. I’ve changed the colour palette slightly to bring it more in line with current interpretations of 30K Dark Angels, as seen in the Forge World Horus Heresy books. For example, the chapter symbol on the model painted is red rather than the black(!) shown here. But hopefully the influences are still recognisable.

This isn’t the start of a new army, in fact I’m already working on the Crimson Fists again. The Dark Angels will be a Kill Team at most. However there will definitely be more Dark Angels coming up later in the summer as I have some new LED tutorials to write, and they are excellent demonstration models!

So if you’d like to have a go at LED plasma weapons on your own models, then you can check out my new “simple” version tutorial here.

 

Primaris Reiver and New LED Muzzle Flare Tutorial

Reiver 01

In a change of pace from my Intercessors, here’s my first Crimson Fist Primaris Reiver. I’ve had the concept of the model in my head since 2017 when the PCRC bought me the Reiver box and the Aggressor box for my birthday. So it’s good to finally get this model out of my imagination and into the real world!

I wanted to give the impression of an intimidating killer; someone who is taking down enemies with short controlled bursts from his bolt carbine before confidently striding forward towards his next target. Hopefully I’ve managed to get that across!

Reiver 04

As I was working on this model I also took a lot of work-in-progress images to finally put together my LED muzzle flare tutorial, which you can now find on my tutorials page if you feel like having a go yourself. This is a bit of an extended tutorial, as I specifically cover the casting of the resin muzzle flare as well as the electronics aspect.

I’ve recently gained a new LED supplier – Small Scale Lights. If you’re at all interested in using LEDs in miniatures then you should check out this supplier. They have a great range and excellent customer service.

Reiver 05

Here’s a comparison shot with the LEDs turned off, so you can see what the model looks like under normal lighting conditions.

Reiver 06

And of course, I can never resist a quick improvised diorama!

Reiver 07

TARGET ELIMINATED! ADVANCING.

That’s it for today. Don’t forget to check out the new tutorial. I’ll be back again soon with more Crimson Fists. Hopefully I can get the rest of the Reiver squad out of my head too! Remember, you can always catch me on Instagram or Twitter in the meantime.

Yniguis Galvez, Intercessor Sergeant

Long-time readers may remember me picking up two copies on Conquest issue 1 – six Intercessors for less than £4 was a bargain, not to mention the paints – and noting that I was going to use them as a basis for a converted squad. Well, here’s the first of them:

Brother-Sergeant Yniguis Galvez is a veteran of the first intake of Primaris Marines created on Rynn’s World. Soon after the Roboute Guilliman shared the secret of creating this new breed of Space Marine with the Crimson Fists, Pedro Cantor dispatched the newly reinforced battle companies to reinforced beleaguered Imperial worlds in the surrounding Loki sector.

The foes were many, and not even a Primaris Marine can be everywhere at once. Eventually the respective company captains found they had no choice but to divide their companies into demi-companies, then squads, and finally kill teams, in order to spread themselves as far as they could. These actions saw Galvez leading his men into battle against Orks, Aeldari, and a myriad of other heretics and xenos who were capitalising on the anarchy that flourished in the wake of the Great Rift.

I knew I was going to have to do some conversion work if I wanted a squad of five distinct individuals. The models six were three duplicate monoposes, two of which are very similar to those found in the Dark Imperium boxed set.

The main areas of conversion are the head swap – fairly inevitable with LED models anyway – the removal of the helmet mag-locked to the hip, the change of the pointing hand to be holding a severed Ork head, and the addition of a sheathed sword. The LED eye lenses were achieved following my standard LED eye lense tutorial.

Galvez favours the ‘Gravis’ pattern helm for his Mark X armour. As both a sergeant and a hand-picked kill team leader, he has a certain amount of leeway in selecting equipment from the armoury. It is likely that he favours the ‘Gravis’ helm for its improved communications suit, it’s intimidating appearance, or perhaps both. With so few Marines at his disposal Galvez knew that psychological warfare, properly applied, could make his meagre numbers seem much larger. After all, even the greenskins respect a brutal and intimidating opponent!

I took some inspiration from the image of the Marine holding a severed Ork head on the classic Rogue Trader cover, without copying it exactly. I went for the ‘Gravis’ helm as I think it looks quite threatening, and I wanted to further enhance the “brutal” look of the sergeant. I’ve always enjoyed the juxtaposition of how Space Marines can look terrifying while still being the “good guys” – for certain values of “good” of course!

I have a reasonable-sized Ork army, and the associated collection of bitz, so digging out a spare head was easy. I selected one that looked suitably fed-up, then sculpted on the hair-squig and the neck (Ork boyz have a hole in the back of their head where they connect to the neck mounted on the torso) using Green Stuff.

As ever, more Crimson Fists are on the way over the coming weeks. But come back here tomorrow for something entirely different…

Imperial Fist Breacher – True Scale

Something a bit different today; I thought I’d take a break from painting Kantor Blue and remind myself of the “fun” of painting yellow! So here’s a Breacher for my Age of Darkness ‘True Scale’ Imperial Fists.

Breacher01

I started this army back in 2014, when there was no such thing as Primaris and if you wanted an embiggened Marine you had to do it yourself!

Breacher02

This is my fifth completed Breacher, making the squad half done. Although the other models are at least assembled and undercoated.

Breacher03

The idea behind this army is that it represents mid-late Heresy Imperial Fists. They’ve seen some action; they’ve been to Mars to recover the prototype MkV and MkVI armour, they’ve completed missions for Rogal Dorn in the Segmentum Solar, but now the Warmaster is closing in and they’re rushing back to man the walls…

Previous True Scale Imperial Fists

My Imperial Fists haven’t really featured on this blog very much yet, so here are a few more pictures for the benefit of anyone who hasn’t seen them before. There’s even more information in this log that I used to run over at the Bolger and Chainsword forum.

f0wCEST

The blue LED helmet eye lenses use my standard method as detailed in this tutorial. In fact these were the first models to pioneer the resin casting technique! Some of them are still on their original CR2032 batteries – five years later!

a79PZqZ

The volkite energy flare is one of my favourite LED effects that I’ve done so far. You can see more of my Imperial Fists on Instagram, if you scroll down far enough.

Anatomy of a True Scale Astartes

If you’re wondering what parts I use to build my True Scale Marines, I’ve done a break-down below. This technique was heavily influenced by the work of my good friend Apologist. Check out his Death of a Rubricist blog for more True Scale goodness and general painting excellence.

I refer to this armour pattern as MkVI-S (the S is for ‘Stark’). In my mind it represents an early variant of MkVI. It’s still recognisable, but didn’t quite make it into full production after the Heresy.

BiW6S3p

1. Head – MkVI head taken from the Ravenwing Black Knight sprue. Skull badge removed from forehead. Aerial removed from left side and left side re-sculpted in Green Stuff to match right.

2. Torso – Custom Green Stuff sculpt over standard Space Marine torso. Only the neck socket and plug for backpack remain on show and unmodified.

3. Shoulder pads – The left shoulder pad is a plastic ‘blank’ Terminator shoulder pad with the recesses around the edges filled in and studs added. The right shoulder pad is the Forge World Imperial/Crimson Fist Terminator shoulder pad with a lot of the detail (like purity seals) removed and the recesses around the edge filled in.

4. Arms – The arms and hand are a mix of from the Tactical, Assault and Grey Knight Terminator sprues. They have had reinforced ‘cuffs’ added with Green Stuff.

5. Bolter – Forge World Umbra pattern bolter.

6. Backpack – Forge World Legion MkVI power armour backpack.

7. Legs – Forge World Legion Tartaros Terminator legs. The ‘sunken’ panels on the thighs have been filled in to increase the diameter of the thighs and give a smooth appearance. Although if I was starting this army now I’d definitely use the plastic versions!

8. Base – Plastic 30mm rolled shoulder base with milliput, sand and slate top.

Anyway, I hope that’s all been informative, and a fun break from Crimson Fists and Genestealer Cultists!

Second Intercessor Squad Complete

I’ve now completed the last two Intercessors from the second Dark Imperium squad. Both of them are wearing relic helms; a Mark III Iron helm and a Mark VI Corvus helm respectively. I think I’ve written about this before, but I imagine that Pedro Kantor, Chapter Master of the Crimson Fists, would have been keen to find a way to integrate the fresh influx of Primaris Marines with the weary survivors of the recent battles on Rynn’s World. What better way to do this than to share some of the Crimson Fists’ illustrious heritage with the newcomers? Or at least any heritage that has survived the recent disasters! That’s where the relic helms come in.

These Intercessor were built using the techniques described in my LED eye lens tutorial. While building the Mark VI, I had the first ever case of an LED breaking once I had a fully assembled and nearly completely painted model! I’m not sure exactly what happened – a dry joint I think – but I had no choice but to open it up. This was a bit of a pain as I had to essentially break the model apart with a pair of clippers, replace the LED, reassemble and then fill in the gaps with putty. Back in school, my electronics teacher once said you me “your soldering is the worst I’ve seen this side of the war!”. I like to think I’ve improved somewhat in the intervening twenty years, but I can’t help but think back whenever something like this happens…

The resin Mark VII helmet the model had was unfortunately destroyed in the repair process, but I think I prefer the Mark VI that replaced it, so it was all for the good in the end.

So here are a couple of photos of the second Intercessor squad (click to enlarge). With 14 models now complete, my Primaris Crimson Fists are slowly but surely starting to feel like a coherent army.

 

Two More Intercessors Fresh From the Gene-Forges

I finished off two more Intercessors from the Dark Imperium box this week, bringing my second Intercessor unit up to three models. “Slow and steady wins the race”, as I am constantly forced to say!

With two young children I don’t get a lot of hobby time at the moment. It generally takes me a full week’s worth of hobby evenings to build an LED model, and then another week to paint it. But I’ll get there in the end!

The problem with these ‘Easy to Build’ models is that, unlike the last squad, none of them are in firing poses, so I can’t easily had muzzle flash flares. I could repose them, but that would be a lot of additional faff, so for the moment I’m content to have a squad that’s not firing. Just two more models to go in this unit now.

If you haven’t seen my tutorials yet and you’re wondering how the eye lenses are done, see my LED eye lens tutorial here.

Conquest!

Like so many others in the Warhammer 40K community this week, I grabbed a couple of copies of Issue 1 of Warhammer 40,000: Conquest. With three ‘Easy to Build’ Primaris Marines, three pots of paint and a paint brush all for the price of less than a single pot of paint, it was too good a bargain to miss!

Conquest01

The magazine looks like a great introduction for newcomers – which is obviously who it is intended for – but there’s nothing in there for veterans that we haven’t seen before. This is totally to be expected as we’re not the target market. But for those already in the hobby, the real prizes are the paints and the Intercessors. This sprue normally retails for £10 alone!

Conquest02

With their hollow bodies and nicely posed legs, the Primaris Marines are ideal for my LED eye lens treatment. Even the slotted 32mm bases will be easier to cut-up for battery insertion. When I look at all the Primaris releases, I sometimes think there’s someone in the GW design studio looking out for me and trying to make my life easier!

These guys they will be joining the rest of my Primaris force as Crimson Fists. I’ll be carrying out head-swaps as part of the LED process anyway, but I’m hoping some arm swaps might also add some variety to the duplicated poses. Watch this space!