Brushwork – May 21st 2020

Deathwatch 'showcase' squad

So, after a very long hiatus I’ve finally resurfaced! I’ve been pretty useless at keeping this thing up-to-date, so no doubt my readership has dropped off a cliff (hello to all two of you reading this now!).

Without turning this into a ‘life story’ post, the last year has been pretty good – many a game has been played, and I’ve gotten back to my roots somewhat in terms of gaming – I was convinced to try regular 40k over Kill Team (which I found to be slightly annoying to play to be honest) – I swore I’d not get more than 1000pts of Deathwatch, although that has quickly inflated to about 1650 at the moment. With the advent of lockdown I’ve found that I’ve got a lot more time for painting these days, so I’ve been able to get the whole army at least basecoated with flat colours and washes. The aim is to bring the whole army up to the standard of the models featured in this post. Without further ado:

Deathwatch Primaris Watch Captain
Deathwatch Primaris Watch Captain – click to enlarge

First up is a Primaris Watch Captain. This guy originally started life as the Lieutenant Calsius model from the Warhammer 40,000: Conquest magazine. When I built him I wasn’t aware that Deathwatch couldn’t have Lieutenants (when I picked him up last year I’d been out of 40k for around 6 years and a lot had changed!). Luckily, with the addition of a cape and Iron Halo he was perfectly suited to lead my Deathwatch. I’m particularly pleased with the cape – I liberated it from a friends’ bits box, although I’m not quite sure which marine model it originated from. All I had to do was trim it down a bit so I could shove it up unde his backpack – the sweep of it matched his leg positions perfectly!

Black has never been one of my favourite colours to paint, although practice makes perfect, as they say! I followed GW’s painting videos for the colours here – a highlight of Eshin Grey followed by extreme highlights of Russ Grey on the sharpest points. As the Deathwatch are going to be an army I want to spend less time on them than I would models for a skirmish game, but I still want them to look half-decent. This is a happy medium for me – he’s got some highlights on him at least, without being just flat colours. For the silver areas on the armour I start with a basecoat of Leadbelcher before washing it with Drakenhof Nightshade. I then re-highlight with Leadbelcher and Runefang Steel. The gold parts are Retributor Armour washed with Agrax Earthshade, then re-highlighted with Retributor Armour and Auric Armour Gold. For extreme edges I add a bit of Runefang Steel. Metal parts on weapons is just Leadbelcher washed with Nuln Oil, while red gun casings start with Khorne Red washed withe Nuln Oil, before I rehiglight with Khorne Red, Mephiston Red and finally add Evil Sunz Scarlet.

Deathwatch Intercessors
Deathwatch Intercessors – click to enlarge

Next up are the models that started me down this path in the first place – originally intended to be my Kill Team army, these 5 Intercessors rekindled my love for Space Marines – especially GW’s swanky new (well, new to me, they’ve been out 3 years now) Primaris range. Finally, Space Marines that match the descriptions in the background material! I went to town a bit on this unit due to my original plans, which was fun – although sadly I’ve not been able to carry this on across the whole force. After building and painting this inital five and playing a few games of Kill Team I was finally convinced to give regular 40k a shot – I was able to pick up the Codex and data cards quite cheap, and so I set about planning a larger list.

Deathwatch Aggressor, Hellblaster and Inceptor
Deathwatch Aggressor, Hellblaster and Inceptor – click to enlarge

One of the cool things about the Deathwatch (other than their magic bullets) is their ability to field mixed units. With this in mind, I decided I’d utilise this rule and so picked up some Aggressors, Hellblasters and Inceptors. The core of my force is centred around three units like this (handy, since Aggressors and Inceptors come in boxes of three!) – the Intercessors will be carrying Auto Bolt Rifles, which means when the Aggressor is present they can Advance and still shoot without penalty. The Hellblaster is present to add some extra armour penetration to the unit like the Tactical Squads of old, and the Inceptor allows the unit to fall back from combat and still shoot that turn – handy as their strength lies in firepower rather than in combat (although Primaris Marines are no slouches in close combat really, gaining 3 Attacks on the first round of combat, whether they charged or not!). The lazy painter in me decided to try out GW’s Hexwraith Flame for the plasma coils. It does the job for now!

Deathwatch 'showcase' squad
Deathwatch ‘showcase’ squad – click to enlarge

Finally, here’s the squad in all it’s glory again. The bases are just my usual gravel/cork chippings – as I detailed in the previous post (from almost TWO YEARS AGO…), I wanted the bases to mimic Nessus from Destiny 2. I had to do this as I didn’t think my regular basing style (with the dark browns etc) would be too dark alongside the black power armour – this sets it off slightly better, I feel.

I have plenty more Deathwatch to paint now – 20 more Intercessors, 9 Hellblasters, 5 Reivers, 2 Aggressors, 2 Inceptors, a Redemptor Dreadnought and a Librarian – all of them will feature on this blog in due course as I get them tarted up. Right now they all have flat colours and washes on, as well as the gravel on their bases, so they’ll pass muster for a game at least without being bare plastic!

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