My final Ultramarines Tarssis list post, for now. The Killbots. These were the unit I left until the very end to do as they were for me the bit that would I hoped tie the list together visually, providing a spot of complementary colour and breaking up the sea of blue and gold. The orange of the chassis and the poses were always going to be the most important part so I didn’t want to rush them. Even less so them being technically one of my HQs.
The Praevian Consul option allowed allowed me to include a maniple of automata as part of the unit and there was always only ever one choice; the Vorax. I loved the look of these the day I saw them as they reminded me very much of the old Epic scale ‘Crusader’ Robot from Space Marine and the Rogue Trader era. They are in all bar name robotic Preying Mantis. The Forgeworld kits themselves have a crazy number of parts which I won’t lie is somewhat daunting to file and clean for assembly. The intricate nature of the legs and ammo feeds also makes them tricky to paint so I did them in three main sub-assemblies; lower half, upper torso with guns and the heads. The heads don’t ‘need’ to be left off I just did so for ease of painting as I was doing them a different colour to the main chassis, plus it allowed me to make any final adjustments to the pose once the main body was fixed in place.
The prominent features are the amount of metal and of course the orange hull. Starting with the Orange I applied all layers with the airbrush and used the Vallejo Game Air Hot Orange as the base, followed by Blazing Orange and finally a glaze of Sun Yellow. These are quite translucent colours so it’s important to apply them over a light grey primer as they will not get the intensity over black and end up looking muddy. I gave the chassis and legs a quick coat of Klear varnish to protect and then masked the stripe on one side. I used a little masking fluid to create the chipping effect and then airbrushed Mordian Blue and a Mordian Blue with Wolf Grey highlight. Once dry and the tape and masking removed the Ultramarine decals were applied over the top and weathered in with more chipping and a few scratches in silver.
The metals were nothing special and just layers of progressively lighter steels and chromes applied from a flat black primer. The order I did them was Vallejo Metal Gunmetal, Games Workshop: Leadbelcher, Ironbreaker, Runefang Steel then finally Vallejo Chrome. With so many angles and shadows I focused all of the highlights to be zenithal (from above) for simplicity and also because it gave the strongest contrast between the gunmetal and chrome. To change the hues I added sepia and earth glazes very selectively on just a few areas before introducing gold and copper for the hip plates and the inner workings below the lightning gun.
Unlike the Vorax in the Mechanicum Lists these automata require a ‘handler’ with cortex controller to stop them running rogue. The Praevian Consul was a kitbash from what I had in the bits box and was never supposed to be a particularly major character. Ultimately he is a ‘markerlight’ for the killbots; he points out the enemy and they spring into action. Or at least that was the theory, it didn’t always pan out that way as they either got lost, came in the wrong place or he got shot and they ran off (even Vorax run away from the Night Lords Primarch)
And that wraps up the Ultramarines I took to Tarssis IV. I don’t feel I got the best out of them even without the characters to buff and maximise their traits. That was down to me, some truly unlucky dice rolls at key moments but gives me a lot of encouragement that there’s more to be extracted from them as I get some more Age of Darkness games under my belt and add a few more of the Ultramarines more charismatic units (Guilliman *cough*). Regardless, I had an amazing time playing them and have no hesitation throwing them into the fray some more. They may not have won me the war, but they did win me a couple of nice pieces of glassware for which I am hugely honoured and grateful to Tom and Stu who worked so hard making the weekend such a success and all my fellow ‘generals’ for their kind votes. There were some truly stunning armies there which makes me feel even more humble to have secured their approval with my boys in blue.