Monday, July 22, 2019
On the Workbench [July] - Heresy Era Dark Angels Terran Breacher Siege Squad
This month, I took a little time out on the workbench to build a Terran Breacher squad for my 30k Dark Angels. I'm starting with a minimum strength squad of ten models, but I hope to add at least five more to the squad at some point (right, along with the extra models to top off the previous two tactical squads... - ed.).
I started simple by gluing the feet to bases. I knew I was going to need a stable base to build up the poses. I've given up on super glue for resin and now work exclusively with 5-minute two-part epoxy. Sure, you have to time things a bit differently and you don't get the same instant grip super-glue (sometimes) offers. However, I get strong, sticky, flexible bonds without all the brittleness associated with super glue.
With the legs dried, I positioned the torsos next. Once dry, it would be nothing to use some poster-tac to position the arms while test fitting the poses for all ten models. In preparation for posing, I glued the shields to the the arms. Now, many would leave the shields off for painting. I decided a better approach in this case would be to leave the whole arms off. The guns sit integrally with the shields on these models, so I felt I would have an easier time getting my poses down if the shield arms were fixed. The weapons are fiddly enough on the right arms without the shields falling off the left arms as well. I had to get the arm position correct in any case, so temporarily fixing the arms to the body, with the shields glued on seemed a good course of action.
Most of the parts are identical, however, there are four "left-leg-forward" leg sets, and a seemingly corresponding four identical posed left and right arms. I took this as a clear sign that these parts all went together. You can see the four shield arms above that are bent differently from the other six, for example.
Here, all the parts are laid out in preparation for the final test posing of each model. The backpacks have been glued on after some test fitting proved that they wouldn't be in the way for the rest of the process. Next up, poster-tac is used to position each part. It turns out that the pieces fit quite well and posing is pretty easy, if a bit static. I could have varied the angles of various arms to get more uniqueness in the posing, but I wanted this squad to rank up and show off the sort of shield wall discipline the space marines (and First Legion, certainly) are known for.
So, after a little fussing around with the poster-tac, we now have ten Breacher marines ready for glue. Using the putty in this manner allowed me to test fit everything and verify how the poses would look prior to committing to glue. I wanted to be sure I had the correct arms and weapons together so that the shield wall poses would work. I chose the Graviton special weapons for the squad. No idea how they will perform in a game, but they made sense for a Zone Mortalis-based ship combat game where ranges would be limited and heavy armored troops and dreads a likely possibility. I also wanted to work in some exotic weaponry for the First Legion, not just the same old 40K special weapons on everyone (i.e. plasma, flamers, melta).
Last up was converting some bits for the Sergeant and Vexilla. I pinned the plastic helmet crest from a Mark III tactical squad frame to one of the breacher helmets. This caries on my existing theme for Sergeants in the tactical squads. I want the breachers to hold their ground, so a Vexilla seemed a good choice. The plastic bit form the same Mark III frame was easily pinned to one of the resin backpacks. I started working with the same resin bit from the Mark IV command upgrade pack, but snapped it almost instantly trying to drill out the base for a pin - brittle resin. If you have the plastic bit, you can't go wrong here. Pinning is necessary as this tall flag is going to get hit a lot and will be easy to snap off if attached with glue alone.
And that's where the squad stands so far. Next up, the models will be glued together by systematically removing poster-tac and replacing it with epoxy as I work across the squad. The shield arms will NOT be glued on at this point. I'll keep the poster-tac to insure the correct posing. The arms will be removed for painting, then ultimately glued back on carefully to avoid spoiling the paintwork. So far, epoxy has proven grippy enough that I don't feel pinning is necessary for the arms and weapons. For the perfectionist, pinning would totally be the way to go here to insure rock solid models. If using super glue, definitely pin everything! :)
At some point I'll follow up with a pic of the fully assembled squad. I hope the discussion around my process for assembling the squad will prove useful so someone out there. As modelers, we have our own styles, tricks and techniques for basically the same thing in many cases. However, I often find myself refining my work after reading about something new I hadn't considered on my own. So I hope to offer a similar service here.
For now, that's what's on my workbench.
Cheers and Happy Gaming!