Wednesday, 9 October 2013

013. Plastic crack - New and old Marines...

Sternguard - very nice bit of kit
I mentioned in a previous post how I was going to be picking up some of the new Space Marine kits and sure enough I did and they have absorbed my allocated hobby time for the last 3 weeks or so as I rummaged through the frames across the various kits.  I must say up front, irrespective of the price issues facing GW products, they are still making some gorgeous kits - case in point the new Sternguard set.
I simply loved the hand on sword hilt bit - really cool addition.
The set itself builds five Marines but comes with a wealth of additions which I didn't let go to waste.  The only downside with this kit is it is quite different in styling to the old metal set.  The old metals were also replete with detailing, but this plastic version of the kit seems to outshine what they managed a few years back.
At this point I started swapping bits between kits - I think the head is from the Tactical set
The kit went together with minimal fuss which is par the course for a GW plastic kit in the main.  I had lots of fun picking out bits and matching them to each suit of armour.  I'm not too fussed with what they are armed with other then the bit had to look cool which is why there isn't many flash combi- weapons - most of the straight Bolters looked better in my opinion, particularly those with throw backs to the current FW Heresy sets.
I borrowed a Mk4 FW helmet for this one - some slight greenstuff work needed to tie the crest in
Arrayed for duty
I also picked up the new Tactical kit.  Now I have loads of the buggers already - but this was new, and I was getting it cheap and I liked the idea of fleshing out and mixing in bits and models with my existing Marine range.  Aside from a few models that were built wholly from this kit, most of the bits from this set, with the remainder of parts from the Sternguard kit were used to spruce up older models, or build new ones with the aid of my bitz box.
A Sergeant model
Missile launcher with FW Mk3 shoulder pad and a Sternguard helm
The obligatory 'loading Bolter' pose - a bit of a faff on to get right
A gnarled veteran
More Sternguard bits mash-ups
The Sternguard kit came with a load of spare pads, helmets and weapons (the weapons come attached to the right hand now and the right arm stops at the wrist which means you have to think about which right and left arm combos to use) which I spread throughout my Tactical Marines.

I also used some of the resin basing bits and bobs from a basing kit I won in a GW store painting comp years ago.  I either missed the instruction that told you to file the bottom flat or I was meant to pad out the bases first as the bits look mighty odd on the base as they are - I'm going to have to get creative when I apply my normal sand mixture to build it up around the resin and make it look natural rather than blobby.

I mentioned my bitz box above.  It came into its own over the last few nights of building.  Over 16 years in this hobby has meant I have lots of odds and sods, as well as parts from scrapped/shelved projects (like my failed start at a Minotaurs chapter for the Badab War) which I was able to dive into to build a few extra models using bits from my box plus spares from the Tactical, Sternguard and Vanguard frames.  This basically let me build up a whole Command Squad and most of a Devastator Squad (although all the guys in that are armed with Missile Launchers - I'm not sure where my other heavy options got off too).
A Company Champion salvaging parts from an old Minotaurs army
A Veteran for the Command Squad with a Combi-Grav gun - those legs are nearly 12 years old going by the colour of the plastic and mold lines, and the helm was from a Venerable Dreadnought
Standard Bearer
Another Veteran with a mash of Sternguard, Dark Vengeance and other bits
Another Veteran - I finally ran out of the useful bits (ie legs) with this guys so he won himself a set of Mk4 FW legs
Another Sergeant - this one for the Devastator Squad
The Librarian - looks a bit like one of my work colleagues (sans the Power Armour of course)
I wasn't going to get a Vanguard kit as it hadn't impressed from the stock photos, but again, a cheap eBay deal is hard to resist so one duly got delivered (much to the missus' delight - shes on first name basis with the delivery guy at the moment - its not all plastic for me though, some deliveries are for the bubs).
Vanguard Vets be tripping over themselves
Having perused the frame and built the models, I'd say this kit isn't as good as the Sternguard - it seems about 85% cooked compared to where the Sternguard kit is at.  Again, it also doesn't gel fully with the old metal ones.  The biggest problem I had with the kit is the positioning of some of the legs and the way the torso's attach gave most of them a very front leaning pose.  I rectified this using some cork to build up the bases so they didn't look like they were tripping up so much.
The squad leader
One of the 'tripping up' culprits - he won himself a cork base to avoid looking gumby
I don't know why all the enemy seem to be off to the left but all the gun arms pointed the same way
As with the Sternguard, building these was not about kitting them out with the best load outs, but rather using bits I liked the look of best.  Where possible this meant a power weapon and fancy pistol.  I am a big fan of one Lightning Claw rather than a pair.  I never understood why you would give up an ability to shoot just to have two gloves with Wolverine claws attached which preclude you from scratching yourself when itchy.
A top down view - each Jump Pack has unique top detailing
Overall I've had a blast building these guys, and rummaging through my old bits and old built models looking for ways to integrate new bits and spruce things up.

On the painting front, these guys have definitely jumped towards the top.  I'm really digging the idea of painting them as Ultramarines as it brings about a nostalgic glow when I think about my first attempts at painting (when pulling apart some of my older Marines I had a laugh seeing residue of original Ultramarine blue from their pre-grey Marine faze most of them find themselves in currently), plus there is lots of eye candy already out there to use as motivation.

My next post though will with luck be the conclusion to my Gorka Morka Ork Prospektor who has languished on my painting desk looking forlornly at me as I surrounded myself in new grey plastic shavings and super glue fumes.

This has been a longer post than I intended, but I guess that makes up for the last few weeks silence.  I have been lurking on blogs and commenting here and there while on the bus  and have tried to keep up with the various blog going on's for those that I follow (which you can see on the right of my page).

Cheers all for sticking with it if you made it down this far.  Happy hobbying.



  1. Some cool conversions. I'm trying to stop myself buying more SM bits until my Guard are a bit more finished, but the tactical and sternguard kits are sooo tempting.

    1. I'm not sure I would go as far as to say converting is what I did rather than bits swapping amongst kits.

      I really shouldn't have gotten these given the number of other Marine/other projects I have on hand but the Sternguard were really too hard for me to resist picking up, and then it was much too easy to click add to cart for the Tac Marines.

  2. Loving how those are coming together! The new marine kits contain a wealth of great bits, and you've used them to great effect. Definitely looking forward to seeing more - keep up the great work, man!

    1. The new Sternguard and Vanguard are really on par with the SPace Wolf and Blood Angel frames when it comes to spares, although if you dont have a use for them then you really are paying the premium for bits you will never need. The amount of spare Pads, Helms and Bolters I have floating around is ridiculous. But on quality and the useability of the bits you do get, I can't say enough good things.

      I'm not sure I'll be able to get anywhere near your painting pace, but hopefully it wont be long before I can start showing progress on these and other projects.

  3. Absolutely bloody lovely, I love them! Nice to see the new kits in detail and love what you've done with them. I find the newer releases a little hit and miss but definitely have a soft spot for the veterans and the Librarian, I shall be acquiring some for my Celty/Post-Roman Marines very soon.

    1. I definately wasn't disappointed in picking up the Sternguard - I can't express enough how great a plastic kit is and the spares are a real boon if you have other kits to add it too.

  4. I don't even like SMs, but found myself wanting an army after reading that post, great conversions. You must have a mega bitz box mate! Thanks a lot for sharing as ever.

    1. 15 years+ in this game, a high disposable income while living at home, and few other real money-sinks until I moved out with the missus and started the family meant I have started and stopped and accumulated rather more miniatures than I really aught to have and more than I will ever realistically get around to - but as many hobbiest will tell you, once you get hooked by the plastic crack its hard to stop. My box of bits and half done projects means I can invariably mix and match like I did here a lot of the time.

      With these chaps, it really was a case of the Sternguard doing all the sellig work and everything else just being too much of a 'good deal' relative to my other spending priorities for me to completely ignore. One thing GW has always done well, and in my personal opinion, achieved the best of with the Sternguard kit, was to produce the best plastic wargaming (not miniature generally mind you as I think a few other companies could give GW a run for their money in a general category) kit for your money purely for the wealth of bits within it - to allow you to really customise that intended unit (ie the Sternguard) whilst also leaving plenty spare, within a thematic range that complements a range of other in game units, that lets you spread them around and 'pimp' out some scrubs.