Wednesday, January 2, 2019

On the Workbench [January] - Heresy Era Dark Angels

Horus Heresy First Legion Dark Angels WIP primed

Happy New Year! And best wishes for 2019.  I decided to kick off the new year with a modeling and painting challenge.  One of my gaming friends has been trying to complete his Horus Heresy force and I have been sitting on my own potential force, all on sprue, for quite some time.  So a challenge was born! We will complete 500 points of models in January and then see where we go, but the goal is to get to a fully painted 1000 point force as soon as possible.

So while this is a January workbench post, the actual work on the workbench was done over the holiday break from work at the end of December.  I built and primed 1000 points of Heresy era Dark Angels with a nice split of Terran and Calabanite squads to mix things up a bit.  After some thought and discussion, I put the Terrans in mark III plate and the Calabanites in mark IV plate using the Forge World custom resin bits.  Otherwise the infantry are all drawn from the plastic sprues from Betrayal at Calth and Burning of Prospero.

Dedicated readers of the blog may recall I build a heavy support missile squad back along from which I painted my first test model for the new force.

Horus Heresy First Legion Heavy Support Squad WIP

I originally planned to put everyone on metal deck plate bases from Secret Weapon Miniatures.  However, after rebooting the project I've decided to skip this in favor of my traditional Dark Angels custom blasted earth bases.  The lighter earth should help the black armor stand out better, I think.  And I like the synergy with my existing Dark Angels for 40K. I'll hang on to the Secret Weapon Miniatures bases and use them for my Adeptus Mechanicus army one day...

But this is a workbench article, so let's see some models on the workbench!

Horus Heresy First Legion Centurion WIP

My first HQ will be a Legion Centurion.  I think in the end he will be promoted to a Legion Champion, but for now I need the points in my fledgling force for other things! :)

Horus Heresy First Legion Centurion WIP

Next up, the Terran Tactical Squad in mark III (Iron Armor) plate.  I am beginning with 10 man squads with the intent of growing them to 15 or the maximum of 20 over time. Forge World shoulder pads convert the Burning of Prospero minis into 1st Legion soldiers.

Horus Heresy First Tactical Squad Sergeant WIP

Horus Heresy First Tactical Squad WIP mark III plate

The Calabanite squad in mark IV plate uses the Forge World helmets and torsos as well as the shoulder pads.  Thank goodness I pre-purchased these parts long before the great resin purge of 2018.  Now only the helmets and shoulder pads are available.

Horus Heresy First Tactical Squad WIP mark IV plate

Click through the images to get a closeup of the details.  I fancied leaving the helmet off the sergeant for this squad to further mark them out as favored of the Primarch. As the fluff goes, after being reunited with Lion 'el Johnson, it became clear the Calabanites earned reference over the Terran veterans - at least until a good many of them were sent back to Calaban with Luther.

With the core of the force assembled, I turned to the support elements.  First a Terran tactical support squad armed with plasma guns. These legionaries are also in mark III plate.  Maybe it'll afford some protection from overheating...

Horus Heresy First Tactical Support Squad WIP mark III plate plasma guns

Next up, I returned to the original heavy support squad armed with missile launchers.  I added a sixth member for some durability from counter fire and re-based them according to my new plans.

Horus Heresy First Legion Heavy Support Squad WIP mark IV plate and missile launchers

This squad will also be made up of Calabanites in mark IV plate. The original test model and another part way to completion are visible in the group shot below.  Some minor repainting and touch up will be needed around the base, but nothing major.  The primary difference will be the introduction of Calaban green, and some possible heraldry to the shoulders.

Horus Heresy First Legion Heavy Support Squad WIP mark IV plate and missile launchers

Last up, I had enough points to add in my Deredeo pattern Dreadnought with twin-linked Hellfire Plasma Cannonade.  I loved the look of this model (and the auto cannon version) when it came out and immediately bought it for my first legion force.  But it languished long on the shelf of shame before now.  Here is a quick shot of the assembled model.  I will put up a second post describing the build and minimal magnetization I did for the torso and missile launcher weapons.  I chose NOT to magnetize the main weapon even though I have the auto canon bits.  The first legion demands PLASMA! :)

Horus Heresy First Legion Deredeo Pattern Dreadnought WIP hellfire plasma canonade

Man...I still *love* this model. Call it the Madcat of 30/40K if you must, but it's still well in the rule of cool. The head sits on a pin for painting and did not get into the photo shoot.

And so it is that I have the full 1000 point force assembled.

Horus Heresy First Legion Dark Angels WIP assembled

And as the title pic shows, they are all primed using Vallejo Surface Primer Black as well.  This month, the HQ and tactical squads will get painted according to the gentleman's agreement with my friend. Then the support elements will follow in February.  Along the way, I'll need to make time for my Titanicus maniple and other outstanding projects.

I'm guessing Squaduary will see me completing the plasma squad and painting up the missile squad into the bargain.  Maybe the dreadnought will fill out monster march...maybe that will be when I get to a Warlord or two for Titanticus...or complete the Warhounds.

It'll be a productive winter season of painting I think!

Cheers and Happy Gaming!


  1. Excellent stuff, I really like DA Heresy scheme. Ah yes, Squaduary is nearly upon us again, I’ll have to decide what I’m gonna do for my pledge.

    1. Thanks! I'm looking forward to adding a painted DA Heresy force to my collection.