Back when I played 40K Breachers didn’t really exit, but back during the Great Crusade and into the Horus Heresy they were most definitely a ‘thing’. I couldn’t really do a force from the thirteenth legion without including a unit of Breachers, for one they fit the Ultramarine aesthetic really well. Style wise the formation is a bit of a hodge-podge of the first Forgeworld boarding shields and weapons with the current (non-Ultramarine) Breacher set, which hadn’t been released when I started these. I’d like to say they were an absolute joy to put together, but I’d be lying; they were an utter sod to get the guns and shields lined up in any way a satisfactory manner. The newer set was marginally better as the shields were much easier to paint separately and affixed at the end. I have nobody to blame but myself as I opted to give them bolters rather than a close combat weapon, but that being said they are done now and I’m ok with the results.
The biggest challenge (other than getting the shields and guns lined up) was choosing what colour to do the shields. There were three ways I could have gone, either the same blue as the armour which would work really well with the legion decals, a white shield which would contrast really nicely with the armour and work exceptionally well with the weathering, but less so the decals I wanted to use. Or I could have kept it simple and black which also works well with the decals and the weathering but is less interesting. I won’t like I went back and forth over this for a few nights and really couldn’t decide. In the end I came up with a completely different approach which created an entirely different appearance to the shields than that of the armour but still retained a hint of blue and was dark enough to work with the decals and weathering. The core to this was starting with a metallic base of Boltgun and Chainmail silver over which thin blue glazes and black washes were applied to darken the metal and give it a subtle cold-blue tone.
After varnishing in gloss I applied the decals and some weathering scratches before applying a final satin varnish to seal and protect. I didn’t want to use mat on the shields as I liked the semi-polished appearance to the shield faces. Unlike the Legion Tacticals I based these on 32mm to accommodate the bigger footprint the shields created.
As the background for the company is very much based on a campaign re-organisation of survivors from decimated units I don’t mind the mix of equipment and marking, in fact I’m actively seeking it. If I decide to push this to a full twenty I’ll probably add-in the newly released Mark IV as the shield designs very closely match the original boarding shields. With the close-combat loadout I can see a shieldwall of these guys volleying bolters at the approaching foe before opening rank to release their melee swinging brothers into the line.
Combat tactics… Or as the Legion would say “turning the theoretical into practical”…
Thirty Legion troops down, next up the Whirlwind.