Today, I'm sharing progress on a force of Legion I Dark Angels I've started work on. The initial 1000 pts appeared in this month's On the Workbench post. With the build and priming complete, I kicked off the initial painting effort with the tactical squad in mark III plate. This squad will feature original "Terran" members of the legion, veterans before The Lion was found and new Calibanites added to bulk out the legion's ranks.
A good bit of the character and culture around the the First Legion comes from the appearance of Lion'el Johnson and his fellow recruits from the death world of Caliban. FOllowing Johnson's ascension to Primarch of the legion, the recruits from Caliban enjoyed the favor of their leader, even being allowed to use green on their shoulder pads as a nod to their origin homeworld.
I want to capture this in my force, and so have split the squads up. All marines in mark IV plate using the Forge World upgrades (chest and helmet) will represent squads whose members were drawn from Caliban. Squads in mark III plate, or mark IV without the helment/torso upgrades, will represent original Terran squads; members of the legion before Johnson became primarch of the Dark Angels.
So here we have a squad of Terrans. I used the airbrush to base all of the black armor with GW Abaddon Black. As with my Deathwatch, this makes touch-ups easier later and adds an additional layer of paint over the primer. I then sat down to paint on all of the silver trim using Vallejo Oily Steel. This was also painted on grenades and the visible parts of clips in ammo pouches. As a reward, and to take a break from silver, I painted in the Dark Angels icon on the left shoulder pads using GW Mephison Red.
In the next session, I sat down again with the Vallejo Oily Steel and added silver trim to all of the raised edges of the arm and leg armor. I also added this to the ridges over the top of the back packs. This really breaks up the predominantly black armor. Later blue/grey highlights on the black will also help better define the various surfaces.
I used GW Spiritstone Red over the Vallejo Steel for the eye lenses. This is a new approach that hopes to capture a more nature glass lens effect. I need to touch up the eye rims further, but I am liking the overall effect. Not sure if I'll keep it yet or not.
Not visible in the pictures, I also painted GW Rhinox Hide on all of the ammo pouches and bolt pistol holsters. Here is a close up of the progress on the squad Sergeant. He received additional silver trim on his helmet and a nice red crest to match the legion shoulder icon.
Next, the metal trim and red bits were all shaded with a ~60:40 mix of GW Nuln Oil Gloss and GW Lahmian Medium. The shade tones things down a bit and adds some definition to the armor and red icons/crest. After this dried, the weapons were painted using Vallejo Air Gungrey (71.072). The sergeant's sword hilt was painted with Vallejo Brass (70.801).
The shell casings in the bolter clips was painted using Army Painter Greedy Gold. The weapons were then shaded with GW Nuln Oil Gloss straight form the pot (no Lahmian Medium this time). Finally, Vallejo Steel was used as a highlight under the eyes and in a "T" across the eye slits and down the nose. More highlights will follow next, but this completed what could be done during the last session.
I'm really liking the Sergeant in particular. I am hoping the red iconography helps break these guys up from a typical pre-heresy Iron Hands color scheme. Oh, and of course, some more heraldry is coming - black and white checkers, etc. - which will also help sell these troops as 1st Legion.
So next up, I'll compete the highlights to the metal and perhaps the black armor too. I need to move forward since I have another 10-man squad and an HQ to complete by the end of January. While finishing up the details on these guys, I'm also thinking hard about the bases. I need a contrasting, interesting, light earth color to help showcase the black armor. This is the main reason I moved these guys off the originally planned custom deck plate bases.
Cheers and Happy Gaming!