That didn’t take long. November’s initial goal of 700 points is in the bag and I can start adding further formations to my fledgeling 6mm Ultramarines. As I mentioned in the previous post, my starting point for the army was a Tactical Detachment consisting of six stands of Space Marines plus transport, supported by four Land Raiders. That comes to a rather convenient 700 points (you would almost think I had planned that goal in advance wouldn’t you?)
Similar to the Raider Detachment I mixed in a few older edition models, such as the Mk VI power armour and Mk Ic “Deimos” pattern Rhino’s. Mostly just to help break up the uniformity, but also because I really do feel strongly about incorporating lots of variety into the Astartes arsenal. There has been a very noticeable shift in recent years away from the idea of ‘factory stamped’ Marine clones all outfitted in identical clone armour to something more personalised. I think the Horus Heresy series of novels has gone a long way to dispel this image and replace it with the notion of ‘individual’ and unique warriors sporting a mix of equipment, both new and ancient. My own 40K scale Ultramarines are very much constructed around that principal concept and for that reason I don’t worry too much about the slight differences in size and scale across the ranges.
As long as the markings and colour scheme tie it all together the variation should be a help rather than a hindrance. Oh, and yes. Forgeworld re-naming all the older designs “Deimos” and “Proteus” does make them sound rather cool and trendy all of a sudden. Another good reason for using them, if I needed any?
On the subject of palettes, I have tried to restrict myself to blue (obviously), but wanted to make much stronger use of white in more than just the chapter icons and numerals, as well as red for the spot colour. Hopefully as the army develops you should see that theme start to get stronger and stronger as I increase the contrast in some of the vehicles, or even reverse the palette. The great thing about those three colours is you can also use them to signify veterans and Sergeants in the infantry stands. Hence why you should see a red or white helm on every stand to conform with the 40K squad selection criteria. It is also the reason I chose not to paint markings on the shoulder pads.
This was a decision I went back and forth on over a number of times. The painter in me wanted to paint the icons and squad markings on each and every warrior, however I knew this would be a mistake in the overall look. I know that might sound a bit contradictory, but bear with me on this. By keeping the majority of the infantry free from too many contrast distractions, it makes those subtle changes like the helmet colours stand out far more. It isn’t something I have tried before, normally going down the route of just following the 40K scheme, only smaller! For the Ultramarines however, I really think they benefit from a tighter palette. Where I then hope to add the detail back in again is through the use of weathering to soften up the finish.
Anyway, lots of talk and not much action. So the first two formations are done and the project is off the ground with a modest points total. So where to now?
The next and obvious goal is 1000 points as it is a nice round number and easily met through the addition of another armoured detachment. Rather conveniently a detachment of four Vindicator’s weighs in at exactly 300 points, so they are next on the painting table. But before I make a start on those, I did mention the subject of additional bonuses I believe for passing my targets. As 700 points is a rather meagre starting objective, I chose to reward myself (and the Ultramarines) with a basic *free* upgrade this time. In this instance five old school heritage Drop Pods from the first edition archives.
Not the most exciting bonus I know, but it was only the starting target and I figured the Tactical squads could do with the extra mobility not being able to call on much else in the way of support at this stage.
There are a few ‘un-opened’ Pods lurking somewhere in one of the bits boxes which I will add at a later date as part of a future stretch reward. Don’t worry, I have plenty of ideas for more interesting or unusual bonus upgrades for future targets which I am keeping under my hat for now to keep me motivated to reach a decent points total. So the next target in sight is the 1000 point mark. I reckon I should hit that in short order if this evening painting is anything to go by. Onwards!
Until next time, have a great week.