In my Ultramarines collection, these guys hold the joint spot for my favourite miniatures thus far. I loved painting these so much. Great shapes, textures, loads of dynamism about them. Not ‘too many’ sub-assemblies. Not like the Redemptor had, gods that was painful even though I was pleased with the end result. The Contemptors were a lot easier, especially once the arms were magnetised. What, you don’t magnetise your Dreadnought arms? Seriously do so, makes them easy to store, fun to play and flexible/cost effective to equip. I did a short guide right here. I’m still chuckling at my ‘armless’ Contemptor sweeping an Alpha Legion Praetor (sorry Chris buddy, it was a suck roll but it made for an epic saga and a cool bit of history for both our Legions)

Being a Talon I had option to field up to three Contemptor Dreadnoughts under one elite slot, the only constraint being they all had to start the game within 6″ of each other. After that it was a free for all. So, it would be rude of me not to take three I feel. The first is the plastic Contemptor that comes with the Betrayal at Calth box/game and although it’s a very nice model I’ll be candid, it doesn’t really hold a light to the Forgeworld resin variants. Sorry fella.

Ultramarine Contemptor Talon

The second Dreadnought is a straight up Forgeworld one with close combat fist and a Kheres assault cannon. I painted all three with an eye on veterancy in the palette so the far right is predominantly legion blue with just a white stripe on the shoulder and some gold embossing on the chassis as naturally befits it’s honoured status. The Kheres however I’ve picked out the helm and shoulders in white to signify veterancy, a captain perhaps. Finally the twin lascannon has all the markings of a senior captain with the white panels, significantly more gold adornment to the sarcophagus and the gold badges. With the exception of the Calth one all of the weapon arms are magnetised to allow some re-fits. I also have a few ‘spare’ weapon options from Forgeworld to give me further choices, but those are for another day.

Painting wise I treated the Dreadnoughts in exactly the same way I did the tanks, same weathering and same oil washes. In fact I did all the weathering at the same time as a batch a couple of nights before the event. The bases are a mix with the two for the Calth and Lascannon ones being standard GW with texture added, the Kheres one above however is from Dragonforge and a resin base.

Ultramarine Contemptor Dreadnought

Finally, there is the big guy with the pair of twin-linked lascannons. Based on the Death Guard kit I erased the Legion iconography so I could use it for the XIIIth as I like the idea that each Dreadnought is a little unique. That plus at time of writing there is no Ultramarine specific Dreadnought sculpt yet for the Contemptor pattern. There’s a venerable Castaferrum but it’s not very Horus Heresy being festooned with Tyranid body parts. I’ll still paint it obviously as it’s a lovely sculpt and I have the one Castaferrum already so it would be a shame not to use it.

The main standout again I guess is the heat effects on the end of the lascannon muzzles similar to the Venator. Again this was a range of red, purple and blue inks applied to the tips over a chrome silver base using the airbrush. Prior to doing the talon I was somewhat indifferent to the Contemptor, but having done a few different patterns now I think I’ve been bitten by the Dreadnought bug and need to do more. There’s a Leviathan with the Word Bearers name on it somewhere. Not literally but you can never tell with all those runes and script. My only slight reservation being the Word Bearers already have the stunning Mhara Gal and a beautifully sculpted Contemptor pattern of their own, so there may yet be some more flip-flopping on who ‘gets’ the Leviathan.

I digress. One Contemptor Talon added to the ‘finished’ list, which is always a result.