The best of the best of the best- 1st squad, 1st company.

I have been slowly building my ultramarine force of late,  I have been focusing on the 1st and 6th companies.  The bikes of the 6th will be the subject of a different post, so for now I want to talk about the glorious 1st.

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Sgt for 2nd Squad.

Now my over ambitious plan is to eventually have the complete 1st company.  Currently I have 10 terms (basic) and 10 sternguard painted. So, around 20%. Unpainted I have 10 assault terminators and 5 more stern guard. Next on the list will be 10 vanguard w/jump pack, 10 without (made by combining sternguard and vanguard kits.) And 5 more sternguard (using regular marines and the bits left over from the sternguard kits) I did have some of the older metal sternguard, but they were sold to add some tanks.

That’s 60% of the company right there.  Add 5 man count as command squad in term armour (just because they will look so cool) and that’s a big force! But as with most of grand plans the Ideas often outstrips my ability to afford the parts. And forgeworld keeps releasing knights!

So where am I now?

Well, I am working on the glorious 1st squad, 1st company. I wanted something that really stood out. Something that said we are something special,  even for the ultramarines.  So I planned to make them really pop. My reason for this is simple. In the meritocracy of the ultramarines, who are always striving to be the best, someone has to be the best squad. I have always thought that the 1st squad each battle company would be the top units. So, the 1st squad , 1st company must be something pretty special? The sgt must have some honorific role, being the 1 st Sgt?

The unit started life as 2 boxes of deathwing knights and a box of assault terminators. My plan was to add 5 terms to the then 5 man aobr terminator squad. And 10 assault terminators.  Using a mix of the robed bodies and regular terminators.

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1st squad, 1st Company Built!

The robed bodies have an arched ‘hood’ but the robes also have a lot of dark angels icons. These were easy to remove.  I made the decision to leave the knives and scrolling where needed as they look quite gothic,  but by swapping the heads to regular terminator heads, I avoided the whole masonic look. They now look different from the standard terminators but don’t look like dark angles!  A word of warning.  One of the head is moulded to the body and this took some time to remove.

The next task was to add the regular arms and shoulder pads. I opted for forge world  shoulder pads for 2 reason. 1 – extra blig. 2 – it actually worked out cheaper than buying standard terminator pads off eBay. The Dark angles one in the set are to dark angles to clean up.

Squad weapons options were easy. I had 5 thunderhammer and storm shields with 5 pairs of claws in the assault terminator box.  As i had 10 terminators this was easy. It also allows me to run 2 5 man squads mixed or same weapons. But also to run my stormeagle with all 10. The hammernators can protect the claws as they charge in. The idea of this really appeal to my views of them sweeping out of a storm eagle, a solid wall of shields charging in, then bursting open to revels the claw wielding behemoths.

I have decided that even the paint scheme should make them pop. So I have reversed the shoulder pads. These are now white, with the ultramarine icon in gold, again, a nod to their special place in the chapter. This meant they really stand out. I enjoyed this switch and it works, so the command squad will now have gold shoulders.

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WIP of the HAMMERNATORS

I took the opportunity to add as much gold as I gold, but the heavy cloth look of the robes helps to keep them grounded. They don’t look over the top, but they really pop. I need to add a squad of regular assault terminators to show the difference, but that can wait.

Finished 1st Sgt

Finished 1st Sgt

 

So, the hammer wielding combat squad is done. I am taking a short break to add some tanks, then the claw squad gets done. I hope you get my reasoning for the squad and I look forward to adding the 2nd half. Look out the combat squad in a battle rep soon. They have

Combat Squad done!

Combat Squad done!

to kill!

 

Till then, see you across the battle field.

Sunday review

Well, here is a thing! its been months since my last Sunday review. So, what’s changed? I am trying to get the blog back to a regular thing, and 3 in the last 3 days is a good start. 

So what have been up to and and what’s next?

Painting.

Well, I have been plugging away with the 13th legion and I can now field over 8,000 pts (And by Just over, i am 2 points over!)

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Just finished is a Captain on a bike. done more for fun than any other reason, i got the idea stuck in my head for a convesion, so I went for it. I enjoyed the task and i really like him. I have decided to use him to represent Captain Epagus of the 6th Company as denoted by his orange markings. Might have to add some more bike in the future. 

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Also finished, at long last are the 10 sternguard. boy these became a chore. I was never happy with the white on the shoulder trim and if am i am not happy, then i tend to put it off. i finally caved in and did something about it. the end result is much better and reflects their status. 

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while various projects have been going on, I have been slowly adding hatch options for the 2 Land raiders. now finished are 3 closed and 1 open hatch (as in no option taken), 2 hatches with Stormbolters (one open, one closed) and a Hunter killer. the final option with a Multi-melta is still a WIP.

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Taking of WIP, the new Terminator unit started this week. if all works out, then next Sunday, you’ll get to see the finished 5 man Thunder hammer squad. 

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I have also done scenery of late, and heres some photos of the work. 

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Gaming 

well, I played the 1st game of my League ‘group’ stage. The rules for our league are easy. you win, you move up. here is the report from the game 

Next week will see my in a development game against another young league player. I am training him up to improve his game craft, the following week will see me in full game Vs his ‘Nids. 

 

Battle report ultramarines vs salamander 1500pts

On Thursday 3rd sept I fought a group match at the rugby outlanders club vs Ben. He’s a younger player, but full of enthusiasm. We fought 1500pts, tactical objectives.

Here are the very basic lists from memory.

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Ultramarines
Cato sicarus
2 tactical squads (10 man squads)
10 sternguard
Ironclad
Raven
Raptor

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Salamanders  (count as)
2 librarians 1 in terminator armour
5 tactical in plasma cannon
5 tactical in drop pod
5 assault marines.
5 scouts mixed weapons with landraider storm
5 sniper scouts
Land raider Reedemer
Raven

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Pre game and set up.
We decided to play the maelstrom missions and rolled deadlock. Ben rolled. For his librarian powers, mixing up his choices, the warlord (lv 2 in term) choose telekinetic, with the out, in the relic armour choosing a mixed back. It was a shame he didn’t take all from pyromancy, as it would matched his army well. For warlord traits he rolled , as I am using Cato, I get sword of the imperium.

The board was 6×4, RoB with medium amount of cover. The 6 objective counters were spread out over the board. Ultram so got the 1 turn so deployed. Keeping the raptor and raven in reserve and placing both sternguard and iron clad into the raven, deployment took very little time. Tac 1 split in to squads. The missile launcher and 4 marines took up position in bottom corner, taking obj 6. The rest of his squad started on top of the near to obj 1, accompanied by Cato. The 2nd squad took cato’s battle hardened vets rule and I choose to infiltrate.

Ben deployed in tight block behind his land raider. Oddly however, nothing started in the beast of a tank. The 2nd librarian joined the 5 man squad in the drop pod.

I infiltrated the tac squad in the building at the far end of the board, taking obj 2 in the process. Ben infiltrated his scouts, the mixed squad taking position 12 inches from Cato and his snipers taking obj 4, in the corner opposite my missile squad.

Ben tried to seize the initiative, but failed. The board was set and the game was ready. My plan was simple dissected the scouts before the central block made it to my lines. The reserves would deal with the raider and his warlord.

Drawing 6 cards, I got a mixed Bag of tactical objectives. Including taking markers 1,2 and 6! Nearly had 3 vp before a dice had been rolled!

Turn 1
With little movement beyond cato’s squad, turn 1was quick. Cato advanced towards the scouts. The infiltrating tactical squad shot at the assault marines killing the sgt with a power fist. Combat saw the Cato and his squad charge the scouts. Killing 4 of them. I scored 2 vp, as I was not close enough to get obj 1.

Ben dropped his pod by inflating tactical squad, he advanced his scouts towards them as well. The landraider and warlord advanced slowly up the center. Over the shooting and psychic power phase he killed a tactical marine, but he got yo claim a vp from a tac card for casting a power.

He charged the assault marines in to the infiltration squad. The over watch killed a 2nd marine, the 3 remaining marines got into combat. 2 more died, with no casualties on my side. Cato killed off the last scout. First blood to the 13th.

Turn 2
With astute planning, Cato had arranged for the arrival of all the reserves. I also draw 1 new card. The raptor lined up on the marines from the drop pod, all 6 in its sights. The raven headed towards the central block of troops. Cato headed towards the 2nd scout squad. The combat squad took obj 1.

Shooting saw the raptor slaughter the entire squad inc the libarian. His relic armour letting him down 3 times! The raven tried in vain to damage the tank, but did kill a few marines with its assault cannon.

Combat saw the inevitable death of the assault marine. It was at this point, Ben remembered that they were vanguard. Ah, the benefits of a written list and wysiwyg! Not sure how much difference it would have made, the ultramarine sgt with a power weapon killed them all!

By the end on turn 2, the sense of inevitability started. Ben failed to get either reserve. He advanced onto obj 5, with the tank, his warlord dove in the woods for cover from the flyers. The death wind launcher in the pod killed a tactical marine, the dice gods saved 6 Others. The most important shot was a missile from the scouts into Cato. It was a solid hit, wounding him, but his armour saved him. The scouts feeling nervous as the mighty hero bore done on them. The librarian cast his beam power, failing to kill any one of the targeted squad.

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Turn 3
The marines of the 13 feeling that they had control. Cato moved to charge range, the raven dropped to hover with the raptor looming over the marine squad. The raven disgorged both squads, the ironclad Lined up on the landraider. The sternguard targeted the warlord, as I held the assassin card.

Shooting was brutal. The infiltrating squad killed the pod, the raptor trilled the tactical marines and wounded the warlord. The sternguard finished the job, 2 more vp to me.

Cato charged the scouts. Rolling 12 on his range, he killed 2 of the scouts. The ironclad immobilised the landraider and stunned the crew as well. The salamander force was looking in trouble.

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Finally arriving the reserves deployed. The raven lined up in the raptor, revenge on its mind. Shooting immobilised the ironclad, but it was still in base contact with tank. All the shots to the raptor were avoided with the jinx saves. The deepstriking land speeder sped flat out towards the combat squad on obj 1.

Another scout died to Cato, but the return attack did wound and Cato failed his save. However, again the dice gods did step in not, to want to the might hero wounded, passing his FNP save!

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Turn 4
This was very much a mopping up exercise. The landraider died as did the last scout, Cato claiming obj 4. The land speeder died to massed bolter fire. The poor skimmer crashing down without claiming any objectives.

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The salamander raven split it’s shots, the Lascannons and melta shot in at the flyers, with the storm bolters going for the tactical squad.

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The game need here with only the salamder raven left, with only 4 dead ultramarines.

End score was 10-2.

Conclusion
Well, that was a dissection of a salamander force, but it was fun game. Ben, while making a lot of errors, is fun player. He brings a real passion for his army and he has a great history for his army.

His primary mi stack was taking 3 transports, while not transporting any troops. His lack of planning let him down and I think his passion for the force clouded his selection. He took a lot of extras that looked cool, but ultimately did little. Against a well planned sculpted lust, the out come was always clear.

While it sounds like I am being harsh, I am not. Ben is young and is learning. His passion is great to see and he will be a force to be reckoned with in future.

It was a fun game, with some great moments. Cato charging down hill towards scout, brushing aside a crack missile and leaping into combat.

League wise, I am still top of my group and I am ok for the quarter final, but I have 2 more games to go. 

It’s war, a civil war!

It’s our clubs group stage in the annual league and I get my first group game this week. As I finished in the top 3 I am the ‘seeded’ player in the 3 rd group. The winner of each of the 3 groups and a wild card player all fight in the quarter finals in November. The top 2 get to fight it out for the much converted trophy.

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So what can can I expect from this week? My opponent is Ben, a younger spacemarine player. His ecleptic force is challenge to plan for and this can make a coherent plan difficult. It’s also easy to think its easy as he’s young, however as it’s a league match, I can be complacent.

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So what my plan? I am sticking with my core, Cato sicarius and 2 tactical squads. My additional force will be my airborne task force. A single raven, armed with assault cannons and a typhoon missile pod. It will carry a full sternguard squad a fed an ironclad dreadnought. This will enable some fire power to kill power armour and any landraider that I know he loves.
Added to this is my gun totting fireraptor. The fearsome avenger cannon is the bane of all power armoured forces. I just love it. The 2 twin auto cannons will deal with his beloved land speeders.

Finished Fireraptor

Finished Fireraptor

The plan is to dissect his force. Eliminating his treats one at a time. I have a range of weapons to meet his varied threats and I have a coherent strategy in my head to eliminate his forces. 

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Well, that’s the plan anyway! lets see what happens, 

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watch twitter @ozrax for a batrep! 

till next time, see you all across the Battlefield!

 

The rending of Cato sicarius

We need to talk about cato. Now, don’t get wrong I am a big gw supporter, and try hard to avoid the hate, sometimes I fail. (Insert deamology rant here) but I must say they dropped the ball with the Cato Sicarus model. For those that don’t know, he is captain of the 2nd company and the most likely successor to calgar. He is a dynamic figure, leading from the front, his battle hardened troops would follow him into the eye of terror it’s self if he needed them to. He is always where the fighting is thickest, killing warlords, kicking ass and carving his name into the pages of history. So, what do gw produce for this 41st millennium Acton hero? A sweeping hero with masses of movement? A leaping angle of death? Or The most static, ridged and dull spacemarine ever!

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Don’t get me wrong. The sculpt is great, the detailing, the cape, the strange quiff of hair, all done really well, they are just to compact. The model lacks the energy of the fluff. More stoic leader than interglacial action man.

So, what can done? Well here is my attempt to convert this static model into an action pose.

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1- the core elements.
To make this conversion, I needed a finecaste Cato model. The core elements that I needed are:

Head, sword scabbard, right shoulder guard, ultramar symbol from left shoulder, chest and frontal armour and his back pack. (All harvested from the orginal kit. This is the only time that fine caste is the best!

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To this I needed the old plastic commanders torso back (with its cape), running legs (vanguard legs work best) a plasma pistol and relic blade.

I have bought him 2nd hand off eBay (£5.50!) I set to work harvesting the parts I needed. 2 hours of clipping, trimming and shaving later, I had the core parts. Cleaning the back of his loin cloth and guard was hard, but it managed to get it done using my rotary tool. I also used this to hollow out the top neck area so the head would fit and bottom of the body so the legs fitted.

For the arm I have again used vanguard arms with the raised right arm working really well. To mount the legs I had to remove the armour on the back. This was then filled with green stuff. There was a horrible gap around his waist, so I filled this with green, then used various bits to disguise it. Sternguard ammo belt worked well as did the vet icons from the commander. On the right hip the sword scabbard fitted perfectly.

For his base I wanted something to movement. Using the end of Valkyrie missile pod, I designed something he is leaping off, with his movement being off center while he is shooting to left. This makes him more dynamic. To add to this I bent his banner corners back, and tried to bend the edges of cape. For this I used a hair dryer. I got the resin and plastic hot the carefully bent it back.

Painting
I have tried to keep the paint as close as possible to the orginal. This will again highlight who it is meant to be. The base looks rusty to help show the glory of Cato in contrast.

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I decided to paint up the cape as what I Call a star cape. Which is surprisingly easy to do. I just painted the cape in teh normal fashion for a dark blue cape. Masked off the rest with blue tac. I the took an old tooth brush dipped it into Cremite white. on a spare bit of paper I flicked off the access. I then flicked it on to the cape. I then painted the bigger stars layering thinned Ice white up to Pure white. 

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So he is done, I want him to his to flow and passion of a hero, I think I got it and now he’s ready to lead the charge!