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So. Many. Highlights.

Years ago, when I worked in Oxford's Warhammer shop, I would regularly advise people that they really shouldn't feel obligated to paint the whole army to their best possible standard. It takes ages, and a perfectly fine paint job is 100% better than an incomplete high-end paint job you've burned out on.

So naturally, years later, I find myself beavering away at the exact thing I told people not to do, and never has this been more masochistic than when painting heavy intercessors. I did, however, like the idea of having some basic troops in heavier gear for boarding actions and similarly claustrophobic encounters. Thus: no choice but to knuckle down for a month. Side note: this sort of slow pace is simply dreadful for regular blog content.

a month's worth of highlighting

Now the quickest way to speed things up is to weather the bejesus out of their MANY-EDGED DISCO BOOTIES to conceal a lack of highlighting. Naturally, I went into autopilot and highlighted them anyway, and then I slapped the mud down anyway, because I am pure of heart and smooth of brain.

I got these chunguses... chungi... large boys as part of the Imperial Fists gravis battleforce over Christmas, when I had a deranged idea that I should paint 15 heavy intercessors. Since this entire army is a deranged idea that was never meant to go beyond 750 points, I won't publicly declare here and now that I have buyer's remorse and will now sell the remaining 10 lads, but nor will I rule it out.

heavy intercessor with heavy bolter

What I will say in their favour is that it's nice having a heavy weapon in the squad. It adds welcome variety over the mono-weapon units. I'll generally use these guys with the heavy versions of their guns, since having Damage 2 guns and extra range will let them sit comfortably on backfield objectives being tough to shift and fairly punchy. I suspect those sub-varieties of guns will be going away in 10th edition 40K, but no matter.

combat squad leader

I varied the chapter badges, alternating between the full moulded shoulder pads you get on the Imperial Fist upgrade sprue, freehand painting, and also shaving the circle off the moulded pad to get a third variation. I've never been able to decide what if anything the significance of the circle is; I'm not hugely keen on the circle, it just came on the pads, and sadly I didn't initially consider shaving it off. I'll absolutely do so going forwards, as it looks less busy and speeds up painting.

freehand chapter badge

moulded pad with the circle shaved off

Lore-wise these guys are just the second half of Squad V, the first half of which are running around in Tacticus plate. The heavy intercessor with the skull on his forehead is the combat squad leader, and naturally, I also added another helix adept to maintain variety. Here's a quick guide to how I freehand the Apothecarion Helix:

With Squad V now fully filled out, that's five squads completed. At this point I really do seem to be pootling my way towards a battle company. Here's what I've finished so far:

Then in the partial completion area we have:

If I get one of the upcoming Leviathan boxes then that'll be another squad of 10. Either way I'm currently sitting on 56 members of the company, plus command and support elements. Here's a quick shelfie so you can see where the army's at:

As is tradition, I'll probably paint something non-astartes before I get back to this slow burn collection process, just to avoid getting sick of doing any one thing.


  1. Lovely. I think these heavy intercessors, and Gravis suits generally, are the best part of the newfangled marines. Hopefully they will get expanded with some more choppy version in the future, but I suspect that tall terminators are going to be on the menu for 10th instead.

    1. Cheers mate! Yeah for now I guess aggressors are the assault version. As for terminators... oh man those lads are STRONGLY on my 'hell yeah' list if I manage to get a copy of Leviathan.

    2. Well, it is supposed to be their most printed box ever, plus you are in the UK, so it should be possible!

      I am sure you will have some amazing terminators soon!

    3. That's reassuring to hear 🙏

  2. They look awesome! I'd be in favour of seeing a full 10-man squad. But then, I don't have to highlight them...

    1. Thanks! Also boo to painting another 10! But maybe if I leave it long enough I'll forget how bad of an idea that is... 😋


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