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Adding variety to Phobos Incursors

Just over a year ago I painted my first marines in Phobos armour using this method. I've now done the other five in the Incursor squad, and have included some purely cosmetic specialists to this lot, just as I have with my Intercessors and other units. Today's post is a pretty short one going through the various minor conversions and painting decisions in the hopes that it might contain some ideas other people want to steal.

Preamble Notes

All Hail the Kill Team Sprue!

An overall point before I go into the individual minis: all the unusual parts are from the Phobos Kill Team upgrade sprue. Like most of the Kill Team upgrades, it's a lovely smattering of bitz.

Charlie, those are Infiltrator helmets not Incursor visors

Yeah the visors don't do it for me, and nor does having a giant camera on everyone's backpack. Hopefully the prevalence of combat blades and big box scopes will signal to my opponents that these are Incursors.

Sergeant Hairan Syras

I assembled this guy with the smoke bomb largely to remind myself that these guys have the SMOKESCREEN keyword. The smoke itself was painted with a basecoat of Dawnstone and a zenithal drybrush of White Scar to simulate daylight hitting it from above.

I also cut up a bunch of the quadruple pouches that go on Infiltrators' thighs and used them to festoon Sergeant Syras with additional clips. Between that and the spare clip tied to the one in the gun and hopefully this gives off strong prepper energy. The kind of guy who's been on long deployments and does not want a repeat that time he ran out of ammo and had to complete the mission with knives and patience.

I use a variety of skintones in my army, since my Space Romans have inherited the genetic diversity of the Romans.

This particular one is a basecoat of Vallejo Beige Brown. For the first highlight I mix in some Cadian Fleshtone, then mix in Kislev Flesh in for the final highlight. A crimson glaze is applied to the lower lip, and a wash of Reikland Fleshshade is applied to everything else.

Helix Adept

This really is just using the Kill Team components. I sliced off the scope so that it's just a plain old carbine. In the rules, only Infiltrators can take helix adepts, so this is all purely cosmetic.

Painting the helix is surprisingly easy, since it's all straight lines. Initially I painted the lines too thin, and had to adjust and widen the lines afterwards, going back and forth with Citadel Dawnstone and Army Painter Chaotic Red. The tubes of DRUGS on his vambrace were more challenging, since painkillers and clotting agents will generally be clear liquids which, famously, you can't paint. In the end I went for a turquoise vibe to cartoonishly imply water-like fluid, and painted the fluid levels as being in motion since the adept clearly isn't standing still.

Tech Adept

This guy got built to suggest he's keen on things that go boom. Extra grenades, extra pouches, and a detonator switch. That and the one-handed carbine shooting hopefully implies a spot of enthusiasm. The only thing to talk about here is freehanding the Cog Mechanicus:

Marksman & Bolterboy

These two guys are at opposite ends of the optics spectrum. I wanted to have a guy aiming his gun like a normal person, but doing so would hide his whole head behind the box scope, and not in a way that looks cool. I really like the simplified silhouette you get when you just straight up remove the scope, although people will naturally be wondering how he's ignoring the enemy's cover. Meh, it looks cool.

With the marksman I imagine he uses the backpack scope like a periscope to avoid revealing a bigger silhouette than is necessary. I like that, using the gun left-handed, the scope is actually on the right side for him to use it. Happy days. I also made a point of weathering the marksman's knees a lot more, since I imagine he spends more time keeping a low profile.

What next?

I'm currently working on a 3D printed grav-bike conversion for the Outriders kit, and there's plenty more to do on the orks. Plus there's scenery. And Fantasy stuff to get worked on. Suffice to say, I have no idea which of these things will win out.


  1. Love them all. I really enjoy your take on Primaris units and your thought processes. The hobby would be improved immeasurably if GW put QR codes in the assembly instructions that link here.

    (Step 1(C, for Charlie) remove the following parts and put them in your bits box:

    1. lol, thanks mate :D

      It continues to be true that half of my hobby is merrily dialling GW stuff down to 10 :P

  2. Great work on these guys, and yes dialing back to merely 10 (or 9!) improves these greatly. I wonder if the next codex will remove that restriction on the helix adept, since it is a bit silly.

    Particularly enjoy the guide to free-handing the cog, although lord forfend that I ever have to do that...

    1. Thanks, much appreciated! Honestly I'd love it if they just had a single datasheet for infiltrators/incursors, and you just pick wargear options. As dual build kits go, they're in the "sure, technically" bracket XD

      Hopefully the principles of cog painting can be transferred to other, less silly designs you might actually want to paint :)

    2. Lets not get too nuts... GW is more likely to ADD Marine datasheets than it is likely to compress them. Soon Marines will have to buy their codex by the volume. (cunningly split so that you have to get Vol1, Vol2, and Vol3 to make a complete army with characters in Vol1, troops in 2, and everything else that actually does the work in the third one. Fluff and chapter rules in vol4)

  3. Great looking squad! I really like the colour scheme variation for these stealth troops. And the extra details make them all the more interesting. If I ever return to my Marines, I might nick an idea or two... Thanks for sharing and taking the time to write extensive posts on your work.

    1. Theft is the highest form of flattery, so please nick away! Thanks Mr Zonk, I appreciate you taking the time to say so 🥰

  4. Thomas Holdsworth10 May 2023 at 04:03

    Hello Charlie

    Looking mean as bro.. Where was the piece from on top of the back pack for the marksman?

    1. Thanks! It's from the Phobos Kill Team upgrade sprue 😊


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