What force of the Imperium could be complete without the Emperor's chosen warriors? With the release Codices for the Adeptus Custodes and Sisters of Silence, I opened a bonus project for my 2017 project to-do list: two 5 man Custodian Guard squads and a Custodes Venerable Contemptor Dreadnought. Below are one of the Guard squads and the dreadnought.
I added scrolls to the armor to give a sense of movement, a crest from the Space Marine Captain sprue, a Crux Terminus on the the left shoulder guard, and lastly a shield crest also on the left shoulder. Once painted up, these little extra details will hopefully bring the mostly static model to life and sell the venerable status, marking this dreadnought out as a veteran of the Custodes Guard.
The Guard themselves are built stock. The second squad will feature all halberds to give me a mix of weapon choices and to display the full variant of weapons wielded by the Custodes Guardian squads. These are fantastic models with loads of detail. The shields are off for painting and omitted from the picture above. Ultimately, they will be pinned on after painting is complete. As fan of small batch Bourbon, I have saved up a range of stoppers which I am using for painting. This approach allows me the manipulate the models while painting without accidentally rubbing off any details, breaking fragile bits or coating areas of the miniature in the natural oils on the hands.
Last up is a shot of the custom bases. I really enjoy making my own bases. They are of a very simple design using cork and various grades of scenic rocks and gravel from model railroad suppliers. I use quality carpenters wood glue to mount everything to the original GW plastic bases. I find that wood glue is easier to work with that simple white glue due to is extra thickness and good drying time. I believe it holds better as well. I choose not thin it with water, but instead apply it directly to the bases in all its gloppy goodness. I use the GW nylon spade tool from the sculpting tool set to spread it about and apply it where I want it when adding specific features like skulls.
Once applied, it is a simple matter to add a rock or tow, a skull, or any other details before ultimately dunking it in a mix of various gravel types. I have had the same big batch of gravel for years and it is featured on many bases in my collection. I've gone pretty minimalist here initially, not wanting to detract from the details of the Custodes themselves that will be mounted on the bases. Prior to priming, I may attach a rogue bit or two to add character and tell some story about the battles fought by such fine warriors...
On the Dreadnought base, I left the area when the feet attach clear of gravel to convey a sense of weight. Once attached, the dreadnought should appear to have slightly sunk into the earth. I may similarly clear some gravel for the Custodes Guard as well. All models will be pinned to the bases using the same brass wire currently attaching them to the bottle stoppers. For this I use superglue instead of wood glue. I drill holes through the bases and allow the wire to penetrate all the way through the plastic bases when glued down. I often drop a bead of superglue over the end of the wire under the base to provide a sort of stopper to make it even harder for the wire to pull free in the future.
In the coming week I will get these guys primed, and also move on with the container scenery project. The containers have been washed with GW Nuln Oil thinned by Vallejo Matte Medium. I'll get some photos up in a future post. Next steps will be to add highlights and weathering damage. I need to work fast...the Shadow War looms on the horizon and there is no way I'm going to be able to avoid the new scenery!!
Cheers and Happy Gaming!