Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Guest Spot: Brian's Blood Angels Part 3 (MOAR AWESOMENESS)

Today will see us take another look at my buddy Brian's Beautiful Blood Angel Army. I really like that every unit in Brian's army has a story and reasons for the way they are built. Having seen this army painted over the years I can truly say that it has evolved with it's creator. Today we look at some tac squads and Dante... Enjoy:
After painting Assault Squad Harbiel I wanted to take a break from painting models red. In a recent game with a group of friends I was able to borrow Commander Dante to lead our team’s Blood Angels army. Inspired I decided that I would finally set about painting one for myself.

The biggest decision I faced before painting this model was to paint it using metallic paints or to go for a non-metal metal approach. Most of the gold-armored Blood Angels paint jobs I’ve seen over the years featuring the metallic paints just didn’t seem to “pop” to me. The details of the models often appeared to me to be lost in the various shiny reflections of the paint. On the other hand, while I really like the look of the non-metallic metal paint jobs I’ve seen, most recently on pages 66-67 of the Codex: Blood Angels my concern with taking this route was that the model would look out of place when arrayed with the rest of my troops on the table top.

Ultimately I decided to mix the two approaches. I’ve never seen it done and am all-in-all pretty happy with how it came out. I prefer the look of the non-metallic metal for the gold of the armor but used metallic paints for the joints, pistol, and jump pack to preserve some consistency with the rest of my army. To paint the armor I attempted to follow as best I could the guidelines set out by ‘Eavy Metal painter Darren Latham in his ‘Eavy Metal Masterclass article on pages 74-81 of WD363.

Aside from the non-metallic paint scheme to paint the armor, another notable difference is that I decided to paint the Axe Mortalis with a blue lightening scheme rather than the steely metallic look of every other power or force weapon in my army to date. I thought that this model would really benefit from the added color and think that overall it worked out well for my first attempt despite my historic belief that lightening-covered power weapons looked, to me, to be relatively cartoony.

As with several other of the units in my army pool, Tactical Squad Morpheus takes its name from a Blood Angel chapter card in the original Space Marine deck of the Warhammer 40K CCG by Sabertooth Games (Siege of Malogrim). The artwork on the card prominently featured a bald-headed tactical marine wearing a breathing mask and wielding a flamer which is why this squad is likewise equipped.

The model for Sergeant Morpheus is one of two “Blood Angel Sergeant” models released during the second edition. As with Sergeant Aralim from my other tactical squad I maintained the visual style of the second edition with the model by painting him a back banner.

Usually I prefer to pair a heavy bolter with a flamer in the same tactical squad but when I built Squad Morpheus to support my Fall 2007 league list I decided that needed an increased capacity to address heavier armored targets at range and settled on the versatility of the missile launcher. This was later upgraded to a lascannon for my Spring 2008 league list.

Several of the troopers in this squad were given more personality than the average trooper in Squad Aralim. One of the troopers bears fangs (a modified Space Wolves head) as a nod to the vampiric theme running through Blood Angels history with the Red Thirst. Another looks down the sight rail of his bolter. The upper torso of this model was taken from the driver of a Rogue Trader era metal attack bike. “Knifey” is a personal favorite and generates all sorts of good-natured trash-talk on my part when he enters hand-to-hand combat, especially if he’s facing off against an enemy independent character.

Tactical Squad Aralim is typically deployed as the “anti-armor” tactical squad due to being equipped with a power fist, melta-gun and heavy weapon able to penetrate high armor values. Originally fielded during Danger Planet’s Fall 2007 WH40K League the squad was equipped with a missile launcher. This was upgraded to a lascannon during the 2008 league when more points became available in the list.

Sergeant Aralim takes his name from an alternate spelling of “Erelim”. Erelim, according to an online repository of angel name data, is the name given to one of the ten orders of angels who are ruled by Michael. Known as “the valiant ones” they are charged with the protection of the trees, grasses, grains and fruits of the Earth. Basically, these guys are going to hold the ground and preserve it for those who will come after them.

The model for Sergeant Aralim is one of the “Blood Angel Sergeant” models released in the second edition. In keeping with the style of that edition I opted to give him a back banner. This standard represents my first ever effort at hand-painting a banner for one of my models.

As an additional throw-back to my earliest days of the hobby with Rogue Trader I decided to also equip this squad with old-style combat blades. Who says tactical squads just stand back and shoot? Aralim is as happy to have his troopers buzz through enemies in hand to hand as he is to see them remove an opponent’s heavily armored vehicles from the landscape at range.

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