It’s fair to say I hate painting White. Getting a smooth coat takes for ever and don’t get me started on the shading! So why is it I keep painting veterans with white helmets and trim? The best answer I can find is because sternguard are cool. My current 1st company squads are 10 terminators, 10 assault terminators and 10 sternguard. I have recently added, but not yet painted 5 vanguaurd and my current project is a full squad of 10 more sternguard.
To me, sternguard at the best unit in the codex. They are flexible enough to fit most lists and the new kit are very good. The special ammunition rule gives them most of this flexibility but the fact that they can take 2 special or heavy weapons and then fill the squad with combi weapons as well gives them even more tactical value.
In all my lists I tend to under equip squads and save points for more fliers. My current sternguard squad is the exception to this. They have 2 combi flamer, 2 combi melta and heavy Flamer. The Sgt is armed with a power weapon. This makes for an expensive squad that is ideally suited to the drop pod assault. They rarely survive a game, but usually kill more that their points cost. This heavy hitter squad usually get me first blood. I wanted the second squad to be a bit cheaper, but also to fill out different role. My army is lacking in its ability to kill tanks and a good old fashioned melta squad would help me with this. So 2 melta guns and a combi-melta was the order of the day. As their core target was armour, I chose to arm the sgt with melta bombs and save points on the obligatory power weapon.
With the armament chosen I need to build the squad up. I will admit, I was somewhat bored one day when I first had the idea to add a 2nd sternguard squad and I just let the creative process flow, which is the fancy way to say I raided the bits box!
I am a strong believer that most people miss the point with ultramarines. Everyone thinks that they are all the same and many armies are just assembled kits and them paint blue. Personally I think they are far more subtle than that. Each squad will have a deep history, every sgt can have a personality. I always try to put a theme in somewhere. For tactical squad, this can be hard, but vetrans, you can really go to town.
So what’s the idea for this squad? I recently painted squad 1, 1st company and bling overboard. I decided that this squad would be squad 10, 1st company. These guys have only just been promoted and haven’t had time to earn all the plaudits of a veteran squad. So they are closer to a tactical squad in apperance, while still be sternguard. For this I went old school in the design and paint scheme. I used legs, bodies and (for the most part) normal shoulder pads. The weapons and head were sternguard. The sgt got a left over banner and I added an armoured neck guard. Some shoulder pads will have some bling, but nothing like the other sternguard.
Painting wise I went for an old school look. White trim and helm, with the weapons in red to match the other sternguard. I have finished the off with decals, notably the crux terminus from the forgeworld ultramarine decal sheet. This is yet another throwback to old sternguard before the awesome plastic kit.
My recipe for painting white is as follows
1- as I spray them in blue, I need to paint all areas that will be white in black.
2-using the cemerit white base coat thinned with thinning medium, I layer the White paint to a solid level. Thinned to the consistency of milk, it will take 4/5 layers and the first layer will be truly awefull.
3-once I have a smooth, solid base I shade with thinned ‘the fang’ . The mix should be around 4:1 thinner to paint. It takes 2/3 layers to get it right. I only paint this directly in the deepest parts of the White.
4- using the same mix ratio as step 2, build the White back up, leaving just deepest parts shaded. That this stage slowly as this is where it can get all lumpy.
5-for the shoulder trim, I paint a thin line of drakenof night shade along the blue edging where it meets the White. This will neaten the White and really make it pop.
6-avoid, at all cost, getting any paint on the white, as it’s the Devils own task to get it fixed.
So, that’s the new squad. I hope you like them. All I need to do now is blood them in to clear the curse of a new model and they will be done. Next up will be some vanguard.
Till next time, see you across the battle field.