After decades of hobbying, I have become psychologically conditioned to get unreasonably excited by the prospect of owning a complete Battle Company of Space Marines. Because I am a big brain clever man, I am pootling towards this long-term goal with a paint scheme that takes 5-6 hours per dude. In pursuit of this foolish vision, I have rounded out the hitherto five-man Squad Castus with a second combat squad.
The stock kit has quite repetitive posing, with 4/5 dudes on the sprue in classic firing positions. I don't mind this - the pose looks fine en masse - but I felt the urge to add some visual interest to the squad. First, and least interestingly, one dude got a gold skull on his helmet to denote the combat squad leader.
Mildly more interestingly, I built a guy to be firing his sidearm while his overheated plasma gun cools down. This presented a bit of a painting conundrum. Plasma guns are generally depicted as having some sort of translucent casing over the top of the gun, because glowy shit looks cool. If you're sensible like Jeff, you paint them as a copper heatsink instead, but I do like that bright blue. When it came to an overheat, some firey oranges plus a glowing barrel would have communicated what I was going for, but blue flames are hotter than orange ones, right? I got very in my head about the different ways of representing it before finnally hitting f--- it and just slapping a red glaze down like it's a warning light that'll switch back to blue once the plasma chamber isn't going to rupture. SCIENCE GUN.
Most pleasingly, I added a tech adept to the unit. I've added adepts of several flavours to units before, and I really like how it communicates specialisms without needing any rules.
This particular tech adept was made using spare parts from the servo-turret techmarine. I had them lying around after building an automated turret, so the helmet and backpack were repurposed here, and a left arm stolen from the intercessors sprue. I used a studded shoulder pad because I am a coward and didn't want to freehand a Mechanicus symbol.
Given that a unit of 5 hellblasters costs 165 points, I can't imagine I'll regularly use the full squad of 10 unless it's a bigger game. This does rather raise the question as to why I painted them. As my Cobalt Scions force approaches 3000 points, it's transitioning from an army to a collection. I remember I used to scoff when, as a retail staff member, I was told that some nerds' primary hobby focus is collecting miniatures. Preposterous! Who buys things just to have them?
Well.... I find myself in a glass house here. I find an army more satisfying when I have collected all of [arbitrary organisational size]. GW are wise not to have Astartes platoons being a thing, since I felt happy to stop my mechanised Guard once I'd collected a complete platoon. But Space Marines go straight from squad to company... so here I am, a happy little dork, collecting and painting miniatures beyond the confines of use and well into the confines of admiring a collection in the cabinet.
This has made older Charlie marginally less judgmental than early 20s Charlie.
I still have strong feelings on buying things that shall forever remain in their original packaging as a """collector's item."""
Anyway, with this latest batch of minis, painted mostly so I can say I have all of the 3rd Company's 6th Squad, I cannot deny: collecting is, legitimately, part of my hobby alongside painting, gaming, writing, and illustrating.
Very nice work. I think the red arm breaks up the sea of blue quite nicely too. Love the write-up too.ReplyDelete
Much obliged, thanks Dave :DDelete
As always these are great. The red as mentioned above helps to break up the blue, and the guy with the warning light gun is great.ReplyDelete
And 10 is the size of space marine squads... so of course you had to have 10. (the new 3-6 man squads are a heretical abomination)
I got my kid a box of these guys for Christmas, so sometime next year my poor Eldar will be eating hot plasma, but at least they can go to the wraith circuit secure in the knowledge that there will be ten men in the squad.
Thanks mate! Yeah the 3/6 man squads have given me quite the headache in terms of company organisation! I'm looking at collecting units to make it all add up, so for example squad IX consist of 6 aggressors, 3 eradicators, and someone piloting a storm talon gunship.Delete
A very fun read. Glad to see I am not the only one dabbling in, ahem, "paradoxical" hobby habits...
In my experience, though, it is not all bad - it can produce breakthroughs in productivity, as you start approaching sanity from the opposite direction.
Anyway, God knows your painting and hobby advice has resulted in DRASTIC improvements in my hobby lifestyle and production quality.
Believe it or not, this positive attitude and honesty about what it takes to achieve this mini quality (and the toll it can take) between the Beard Bunker and Goonhammer is the reason I still find the hobby fulfilling.
It also has helped me get through some rough patches in life, since the hobby has remained the only reliable anchor of my leisure time for the last 4 years.
Minis painted for real people, by real people, are a nice break from the "hyperprofesionalization , passing as casual" so pervasive in the past.
God save the king, and for sure Contrast paints too.
That's great to hear, as it's very much why we make this blog, so I appreciate you taking the time to say so. I'm glad the hobby could offer sanctuary in otherwise trying times ❤️Delete
Tech-Adept: "Good Heavens, just look at the time!"ReplyDelete
Plasma chamber: IT´S FIERY DEATH TIME...FOR THE USER OR FOE, I CARE NOT WHERE CASUALTIES FLOW, ONLY THAT THEY DO.
Seriously, Khorne cares more about their followers than plasma guns do. Grimdark shines its brightest in the weirdest places.
Fun fact: the original plasma gun was designed by a Mrs Quorn Skully, but no one was willing to name it the Skullygun.Delete
The mindwar between completionism and practical army size is real.ReplyDelete
Including a tech adept in the unit with the most temperamental support weapons is a very level headed and reasonable move for the Scions.
My read on plasmaguns is that the coils energise when the gun is ready to fire, like a drawn bow. Either way, my brain reads red as 'inactive' so that totally works.
The drawn bow metaphor is a cool one, I like it. Reassuring to hear the red plasma gun worked for you as well. Cheers :)Delete
It's now my turn to endanger a device by agreeing, as I too have mellowed into "actually, it's OK that I'll never use all these five man Legionary squads or Cultist heavy weapons, I just like having them around," but also harbour mildly contemptuous bafflement for the "shelfie and shrinkwrap" approach.ReplyDelete
One of us! One of us! This kind of amicable concurrence wouldn't last a second on Twitter.Delete
Always enjoy an update on the scions!ReplyDelete
Ive gone for the idea of a platoon of 36 marines to keep my organisational completionism under control - it hasn’t worked. Find myself ‘needing’ to make lots of different types of platoons.
Thanks! This hobby has absolutely muddied the distinction between my wants and my needs, so I feel your pain 😆Delete