A quick “state of play” update today. The Ultramarines have reached 90% completion with all 2500 points assembled and painted bar the Vorax. There are a few final weathering touches still to apply to the infantry, walkers and tanks which I’m purposefully leaving until after the MKA Painting event in June as it may change how I approach finishing the army. Plus it makes sense to apply any new skills I pick up. I will show the finished force here in detail after those last touches have been applied, so apologies to leave things hanging if you have been following my foray into 30K with the thirteenth legion, but I promise they will return in a couple of months in full ready for the Heresy Event weekend. Until then they have been mustered back into a figure case to make room in the cabinet for the next legion to go under the brush; Mortarion’s Death Guard. Oh yes, I have three Legions in plan to paint before the end of the year of which this will be the second, each 2500 points. Potentially four if Kev joins the throng as I said I’d paint his as well should he take the plunge. I digress, back to the Death Guard.

You will have seen the palette test I did a few weeks back and since then I’ve started cranking out the Tactical’s just as I did with the thirteenth to establish a core. Unlike the Ultramarines however I’m not holding back on the big guns and will flesh out a thematic foot-slogging force of heavy infantry augmented by artillery and line-breaking armour. That means Rapier quad mortars, Vindicators, Medusa and quite possibly a Lord of War. I’m thinking a Fellblade would fit the Death Guard theme nicely and really suit the heavily weathered palette. To counter-balance the template heavy siege guns I’ve deliberately held back on gifting dedicated transports, forcing them instead to rely on their legendary resiliency. The Prospero boxed set has furnished me with plenty of Mark III sprues so other than a few legion specific heads I’m good to go.

  You’ll notice I haven’t included a sergeant yet in the ten-man Tactical squad above and that’s because not having transports I’ll be filling them out to fourteen in each squad. I know along with not taking transports it’s not remotely optimal but it does really fit the theme and I’m primarily a narrative player first and foremost.

While I create the next batch of legionaries, I’ve cleaned up and assembled the three Quad Mortars and thought I would share a couple of quick tips while at it. Not counting the crew I construct Rapiers in three sub-assemblies; the chassis and primary weapon, the tracks and the gun mantlet. This lets me access all of the key parts of the model for ease of painting without leaving large amounts of post-painting assembly to do.

When putting the bottom track section onto the side pieces I first of all superglue the front link only and let this cure. I then heat the rest of the track with a hair-dryer so it becomes pliable at which point I attach the back so it is flush and shape the rest of the tracks around the wheels to fit better and create some natural looking ‘track sag’. As the resin cools again it will hold this shape. In reality it’s the top of the tracks as they follow the return wheels where they are more likely to sag but as this is not possible with the parts as sculpted I applied a little artistic licence.

The second quick tip is to apply a tiny strip of masking tape to the inside edge as shown prior to priming. This can stay in place throughout painting and is removed just before final assembly. Its function is to provide a paint-free surface for the superglue so you get a much better bond otherwise you are just gluing paint to paint. You will need to lightly sand down the respective section on the chassis part as well to remove any paint and primer but as this is unsighted once assembled it can be done at the end without needing to worry about damaging the rest of the model.

With that task out of the way I can now get on and paint them, which will be this weeks challenge. More to come as the Death Guard muster.