Tuesday, January 23, 2018

On the Workbench [January] - Dark Angels Primaris Marines and Custodes

Hobby has had a slow start to the New Year and I haven't had much to post on yet this month.  However, the family is back from vacation and after settling in the hobby pace has picked up.  With the timely release of a new Dark Angels codex in December, I spent some considerable time pawing through the changes while away on vacation.  I had been holding my Primaris in the box until it became clear how they'd be received by the Dark Angels chapter.  And it seems they are received well enough, indeed.

So for the last week or so since getting back home, I've been assembling and basing what I have on hand.  Being more of a hobby collector than a core gamer in 40K, I will be assembling and painting most of the allowable new units to fill things out for show and painting experience.  Great hobby fun, of course, and I'll have options if ever I do decide to play them.  This approach must seem pure waste to some. but the Primaris line looks very well and will fit in just fine with my already shelved collection of Dark Angels which has played off and on, but otherwise languished on the shelf (or more recently in their foam trays) for close on 25 years now.

Here's to another 25; cheers!

So from the work bench today, a collection of WIP pics of what I have assembled and primed. Oh, and I simply cannot say enough what a pleasure it is to have an air brush and an outside venting spray booth for doing so much priming during the long and dreary winter months!  I picked up a large bottle of Vallejo black primer some time back and it has served me quite well for bulk priming models with the air brush.  It sprays on its own just fine, though I do tend to add a few drops of Vallejo Airbrush flow improver more out of superstition than from any true sense of science.

First up are the three masters:

Dark Angels Primaris Master in Gravis Armor WIP Primed
Dark Angels Primaris Master in Gravis Armor WIP

Dark Angels Primaris Master with Plasma Pistol and Power Fist WIP Primed
Dark Angels Primaris Master with Plasma and Power Fist WIP

Dark Angels Primaris Master WIP Primed
Dark Angels Primaris Master WIP

The bases are a simple customization using my proprietary mix of model scenic railroad ballast stuck down with a quality wood glue. This is a much more simple treatment than I would normally do these days, if you have seen my Custodes or Grey Knights.  But it is the scheme I started the army out with way back when.  So for tradition and consistency within the collection, I stick to it. 

Custom 40K Bases WIP Primed
Custom Bases WIP

For the first base, I neglected to make space for the model, so I'll pick away at the gravel by hand with a knife to make room for the model to stand comfortably. For the second, you can see that I remembered and did not glue gravel where the model will ultimately stand.  I favor this approach since it allows the heavy power armored marines to settle into the soil and perhaps lends some illusion of weight to the final painted model. The models were left off these bases to make it easier to paint the legs and undersides of the capes. The third Master's cape comes unattached so it will be easy enough to paint him up and glue down the cape after.

Next up we have a few of the usual Primaris Characters:

Dark Angels Primaris Ancient WIP Primed
Dark Angels Primaris Ancient WIP

Dark Angels Primaris Chaplain WIP Primed
Dark Angels Primaris Chaplain

Dark Angels Primaris Librarian WIP Primed
Dark Angels Primaris Librarian

Dark Angels Primaris Lieutenant WIP Primed
Dark Angels Primaris Lieutentant

The Primaris Apothecary, not shown here, is waiting in the wings to be assembled and should appear in some later post form the workbench. These characters are built pretty much stock with the exception of a Dark Angels shoulder pad for the left shoulder chosen from among my bitz box. I was pleased that the shoulder pads were left as an add-on for these models allowing for the trivial customization. This was not the case with the Masters and so they will get DA icon transfers instead.  I'm fine with transfers, but I have come to prefer how raised detail looks when painted in comparison to transfers. Thanks be to the Deathwatch and grey knights for this growing appreciation, I guess. I've become spoiled.

Where I would normally use bare heads for characters, I decided I would conspicuously go with helmeted heads for the Dark Angels Primaris characters. Only the Masters will go bare headed. This is for my own little story line with some secret anonymity among the new ranks of Primaris until they have earned the trust of the Chapter (as a Master must surely have).  It is of course conspicuous that the Primaris characters have not earned Deathwing status where their traditional chapter brethren of equal rank have (I'm looking at you in particular Chaplain and Librarian!)

Otherwise, the same custom dip of bases into the ballast tub.  I put the glue straight onto the base with no thinning using a GW plastic spatula tool.  This is gloppy at first, but allows very strong adhesion and I never have any of the ground cover falling off except for the worst abuse, or perhaps the odd large rock that doesn't get quite into glue. In addition, the glue mostly stays put (wood glue being thicker than white glue) so little of it goes running of to spoil anything else. Once the glue is slathered on (my industry term for it :P), I dip the model's base directly into the tub of ballast so that the whole base is well submerged.  I press loose ballast down firmly to get it well embedded into the glue then haul the model back out again with a bit of a shake and a tap on the base's bottom to shake off any excess.  After this, there is a brief period of wiping around the rim and poking about with the dry, narrow end of the spatula to remove anything that gets glued where it doesn't belong.  I put some particular attention into insuring that the gravel isn't all over the boots and in fact is pushed back a bit as if the heavy tramp has kicked the loose earth away.

Next up the squads built thus far:

Dark Angels Primaris Inceptor Squad WIP

Dark Angels Primaris Hellblaster Squad WIP

I built the Inceptors purely because they came in the Dark Imperium box with the rest.  Not sure they'll get played, but they look cool enough on their own and should be fun to paint. The Hellblasters, however, will certainly get played and I have decided to make them my Squaduary 2018 project. I have so far stuck to mere five man squads for a month long painting project.  So painting ten in a month should be a fun exercise. I have painted two ten man Dark Angels tactical squads previously (both some years ago now) and while I don't recall exactly how long each took, I know it to be at least two month or more! But then, I have upped my game in many ways since so we'll see.

Last from the work bench is some Custodes progress.

Adeptus Custodes Squad WIP Build in Progress
Adeptus Custodes Squad WIP

I had planned to let this last squad lay on the shelf for a bit after painting a dread and a squad last year.  But then, and quite to my surprise given all the possibilities, a new codex was announced with new models to go with it.  So having made good progress on on a small force already, I felt inclined to build this last squad I had on the shelf in preparation for the new rules.  I already assembled a Vexilla, Shield Captain and three sword/shield wielding Custodes, so I wanted the next five to be all with their traditional halberds.  I believe this will all fit in well enough with the codex, from the leaks I've seen. I won't fix on a cape to the squad leader until I read the codex.  I don't want too many shield captains wandering around, after all! :)

So that it for hobby so far this January.  A great start to my new additions for the Dark Angels and some reinforcements for the Custodes.  I'll finish building the Custodes squad this month, and hopefully lay down at least the golds for their armor if time allows.  Then they will get put aside for February while I take part in the Squaduary 2018 challenge with my Hellblasters.

Best of luck to the other Squaduary participants and best wishes for your own projects this month.

Cheers and Happy Gaming!


  1. Looks like Squaduary could be full of Primaris Marines! I'm gonna be doing a load as well, though let's just say I've been a bit ambitious in my pledge!

    1. As you asked so nicely!
      I've got a post going up soon covering it with some photos of stuff in its ready state, but basically it's:
      10 Intercessors (started).
      3 Reivers
      3 Inceptors (started)
      6 Windriders

    2. That IS ambitious. Best of luck! Gets me thinking that I should stretch myself a bit...