Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Heroes of the Imperium Part I: SPACE HULK!

I always regretted missing the chance to buy a copy of the original, with its magazine supplements, crappy terminator models, and really solid rules set. Nevertheless, GW decided to re-release it late last year, and I preordered a copy without delay (which is a good thing, because it sold out in about a day). When the great big box appeared on my doorstep, I was in heaven. $100 for so many plastic minis is a steal no matter how you slice it. The ones they cranked out for this box had flaws from the robosculpting, but... that'll be covered another time. It took me two weeks to get everything from the box painted up. Here are the Terminators:

These sculpts are in many way the pinnacle of quality for GW's work, and at the same time you can tell they were rushed through. There are details that are fine from the front, but they were only lasered away from that angle too. When you turn them to the side, the cut continues straight back. This required a lot of sneaky painting involving darkening certain parts to make them "recess" into the shadows of the model. The Genestealers were especially heinous in that regard, despite also being incredibly great models, but we'll cover them in a future post. An unexpected bonus was this fellow:

Probably one of the coolest objective markers, ever. I painted him in darker colors than the standard Blood Angels to denote the extreme age of him armor. He was obviously a hero before he died on the space toilet, so his armor would've been old and scored when he was alive.  Since Space Hulk is a Blood Angels story, that's how I painted them. Besides, it would have taken forever to file off all that imagery and replace it with something else. Also,  I already have more than enough Ultramarines. 

There they are, the first Citadel minis I ever bought so many years ago. I still love the old Terminator model. I think it's one of the nicest designs in their inventory, and that's saying a lot. These were painted badly long ago, and more recently stripped, re-posed, re-based, and re-painted. They've never seen the inside of a Space Hulk either; only ever a 40k battlefield. Of course, being Ultramarines, there are ton of them in my collection. Group photo, lads!

Go ahead and click on it for the large version and count, if you want. There are 35 of them in there. I prefer to field my Terminators in squads of 10. I'd combat squad them out, but until they become 2-wound models with 6 toughness to reflect the fluff text, well, I'll stick with the larger squads. To date, the only plastics in my collection, besides the Blood Angels, are 5 plastic Thunderhammer models. I wanted to finish out the squad, and an excuse to try the new multi-part ones.  You'll note in the photo are other models that didn't get photo-write-ups (such as the Chapter Master with his massive spear) but rest assured you'll see them featured later, in detail. 
I liked the 1st box of metals so much I went and got another one, but many of those models made their way to other chapters, mysteriously. Shown here are what remains, joined by a pair of Deathwing-specific tactical models. This was the result of more of the same restoration process detailed above, with the addition of a bunch of Dark Angels parts and gear from an eBay bits buy. The massive halberd Belial is carrying is actually a weapon from a Grenadier ogre, embellished with a plasma pistol. If the right arm shield looks odd, it's because it's a Dark Angels-specific storm shield. I wanted to save detail pics of him for the next post in the series.... so I will. Sorry. Likewise the Librarian, who looks a lot better than the more spartan version he came as, thanks to bits from the Flagellant sprues, which continue to be the gift that keeps on giving. Seriously, if you have any Imperial armies, get one of those sets. You will not be disappointed. 

The Black Templars Captain is another classic conversion with an oversized Grenadier Ogre weapon in his fist, this one a massive claymore. Seriously, the ogres had weapons in their hands and came with metal bits in their blister, including more ogre-sized weapons. Actually, now that I recall the line is called "Mercenary Orcs" (and is still in production) but I'll call them ogres because A) they're ogre-sized and B) make up my Ogre Kingdoms army. This squad is also unique because it features a Chaplain. The BT's apparently don't do Librarians, and more's the pity. I decided to dress him up a bit with bits and gave him a cowl, as well. Cutting through that metal torso to re-pose him was incredibly time-consuming, and not something I'd willingly repeat on another model. Besides, the Terminator loses about 3mm in height, and he's already that much shorter than the plastic model.  

The Grey Knights are just so damn cool it makes you sweat. Their detail is as baroque as it gets, their weapons are extra-cool gun/melee hybrids (at least, they were) and they're all psykers with super-swoopy powers. If a squad of them entered a Space Hulk given the psyker abilities in that ruleset... well, it just wouldn't be fair to the monsters. That said, 5 of the 11 models shown here didn't start life as Grey Knights at all. Captain Lysander you recognize, but the other 4 are Terminators that have been rescued from the bits box and given weapons, armor, and bits. One of them even has a titan purity seal on his halberd, and another a "storm bolter gauntlet" made from an old Rogue Trader Dreadnought hand. Don't ask me how that ended up in my bits box. It will make you cry. Just leave it be. 

An Adeptus Mechanicus Archmagos in Terminator armor. The Deathwing are, to date, the only chapter with Terminator models outside the standard (that being a medic; in the previous codex they also got a techmarine), so this fellow is a bit of an oddity. He started life as Obliterator, and rapidly hoovered up good bits and green stuff until he became the monstrosity you see here. He and the army that I field with him owe their existence to a write-up of an AdMech army created by the fantastically talented Dave Taylor. While mine have taken rather a different path than his, I still give him full credit for inspiring them. 

Part II of this series will feature character models, many of them Astartes, not all in Terminator armor. As for what's coming next, I think we'll segue into Warhammer Fantasy for a little while. 


Dverning said...

That's a lot of stinking Terminators. (I can't say too much as I have just as many, but most are still in boxes awaiting assembly "some day".)

Also, on those heavy cuts like a Termie body, try out a jeweler's saw sometime. It'll make life MUCH easier.

The Inner Geek said...

A Grey Knight terminator (well two in a blister back then) was my first GW mini. I enjoyed seeing all your termies, especially the old school ones!