Friday, April 30, 2010

Deathwatch: Stage One Complete

Fifteen of the Emperor's Finest venture forth into The Jericho Reach

After a while of gathering and collecting bits, my Deathwatch "platoon" is finally finished. I dug through my bits box quite extensively to get these guys started, but I promise you I would have NEVER completed them without the Barter Bucket.

First and foremost, these have not been assembled for 40k games, although I'm sure they'll see some action at one point in that capacity. No, these are for the Deathwatch RPG coming out (hopefully) this summer. These figs make excellent PC and NPC characters, and let's be honest, it was also a really good excuse to just do up some characterful models! Given that, who knows where they'll see action, any kind of small-scale skirmish is fair game.

Companies always say, "Make the game your own..." and that's what I intend to do here. I don't know what the "official" canon is when it comes to Deathwatch organization, but I had to come up with something that would solve any PC situation, regardless of what class they chose. That's the other thing, the DW RPG has introduced a new twist to the Deathwatch: classes; these include Tactical, Devastator, Assault, Librarian, Apothecary, Tech Priest.

My overall platoon consists of three squads, each with five marines. Two of the squads are fire-teams with a variety of troops, and the third squad is the command squad with associated specialist marines. Plus, they can all fit cozily in a Land Raider Crusader.

The Command Squad

My command squad consists of the Deathwatch commander himself (or whatever you call the high ranking-give you your missions guy) and the platoon's cadre of specialists. These include a Librarian, an Apothecary, a Techmarine, and a Lieutenant (or second-in-command, what have you). These specialists can and will be "loaned" out on a mission-by-mission basis to the other fire-team squads in the platoon as needed. So if a player at the table wants to play, say, a Techmarine, no problem. There may be only one in the platoon but when squad A goes dirtside, they might need the Techmarine to drop with them for a specific role.

The Deathwatch Commander in Terminator armor

Apothecary (left), and Lieutenant (right)

Nobody ever wants to play the medic/cleric/healer. Well some people do, but not me. Anyway, when making the Apothecary, I went with trying to make him look as 'cool' as I could. The only medic bit I had was the backpack, but that should be good enough. He's also got a scoped out bolter (Deathwatch standard) and a chainsword (for those battlefield amputations). Rounding out his kit is a first edition, Rogue Trader MkVI combat knife, and a missile reload. I clipped the missile reload to make it look different, and will paint it up as syringes and medical vials. My favorite part of this fig is his limited edition GamesDay captain head.

As you know, I'm a Dark Angels player. Given that I really tooled this guy up. He's got a power sword on his hip, and he keeps his detached scope here as well. He's also got an incense censer and a double mag pouch. His boltgun barrel was a mistake, I was trying to drill holes in the barrel as I had done the others, but screwed it up. Out of frustration, I just clipped a sprue bit and glued it on as a longer barrel. Now we can call it a Stalker-pattern bolter, haha. He's also got the cool DA hooded head and embossed Dark Angel shoulder pads.

Librarian (left), and Tech Priest (right)

You've seen the Techmarine before, and now he's got a new, all-metal cohort in the form of a Librarian. This is another limited edition fig, I don't know exactly where it came from, but I'm thinking it was another GamesDay promo. He fits the rest of my DW pre-reqs too; no helmet, and a scoped-out boltgun. I put Chaplain Grimaldus' backpack on him too since it has tomes chained to it, I thought that'd be a cool touch for someone of his discipline.

Kill-Team Lazarus

Kill-Team Gabriel

In addition to the command squad, the platoon also has two fire-teams, aka kill-teams. Each of these teams equal five troopers and are each composed of: two tactical marines, one devastator marine, one assault marine, and one sergeant. The platoon can mix-and-match, so if a squad needed to act as fire support, the other devastator from squad A would join squad B, or if a squad needed to act as a spearhead, both assault troopers would operate together.

The Sergeants

I really stressed overall character in each and every model I built for the Deathwatch. This shows a lot with the sergeants here. Deathwatch also offers a lot of fluff and mechanical differences just between the different chapters, so I'm trying to get figs to individually look like their parent chapters. In the two cases above we have a White Scars trooper and a stalwart Ultramarine as the respective sergeants of Kill-Teams Lazarus and Gabriel.

The White Scars sergeant has a 2nd edition backpack, and is equipped with a chainsword and 'Deathwatch' boltgun. He also has a ceremonial blade on his belt as well as a double mag pouch. The Ultramarine has a boltgun, which I still need to put a scope on. I think I'll go with using a Kroot rifle barrel tip and trim it down to look like a holographic sight. He also has a holstered pistol and a double mag pouch. He's a bit more clean cut looking as well.

Assault Troopers

Two brave marines equipped with jump packs round out the assault element of the platoon. I just had to go with a Space Wolf for one of these guys, and he's the one with the big hair. He's got a chainaxe converted from an old Chaos Marine sprue, and his right arm is actually a SM scout, arm with scoped-out, suppressed bolt pistol. On his hip is an old, 2nd edition hand flamer. He also has a wide bladed combat knife. The other trooper will probably be one of the Fists, either Crimson or Imperial. He has a very clean cut marine head but I don't know where it's from. He dual-wields a power sword and plasma pistol. He also has a bolt pistol within reach on his leg, and an equipment pouch. I'm very satisfied with how both of these turned out.

The Devastators

The pics I've seen of Deathwatch devastator marines have shown them all with heavy bolters, but I didn't have any heavy bolters! I did have a heavy plasma gun though, plus some missile launcher bits too, so there you go, a pair of heavy weapon marines; one for each Kill-Team. I made sure to also give both of them bolt pistols as their sidearms.

The backbone of the Deathwatch; the Tactical Troopers

The only real difference between these guys and everyone else is that these guys make it work without needing any fancy weapons! I tried to keep going for different 'looks' with the tactical marines as well. Using slightly different bits on each helped achieve this.

There's an obvious Black Templar with his Emperor's Champion backpack and clean cut head with bionic-monocle eye, he's also got an older knife and double mag pouch. One would pass for any of your codex, clean cut chapters with his Val Kilmer 'flat top' head. He's equipped with an auspex and a knife from a Catachan sprue. A third trooper has the head from Scout Captain Telion and a Kroot 'pistol package' on his belt. He also has double mag pouch; he could also pass for any chapter, I'm thinking Salamanders? Last is the only fig without an actual Space Marine head. I used a WHFB High Elf head with long hair and headband looking thing, so I guess he could pass as a Blood Angel in a pinch. He has utility pouches and a combat blade. All the tactical troopers have scoped-out "DW" bolters as their primary weapons.

Whew, that's a lot of talking for these guys aye? What can I say, they were a blast to put together, I had a lot of fun mixing and matching pieces and trying to get certain looks achieved. I feel good in saying I accomplished making each one a true individual. Grab any random trooper from the bunch and you'll see all kinds of little bits that set them apart from the others. Aside from the two metal figs and the one High Elf head, I had twelve troopers without helmets, and I used twelve completely separate and unique Space Marine heads as well.

Now of course I have to paint them, ahem...


  1. Deathwatch = Awesome sauce.

    This is a superb job mate, you can really see that you've lavished some love on the models. I'm really looking forward to seeing them painted.

    I'm also looking forward to the Deathwatch book. I ran my first DH story as GM a few months ago and thoroughly enjoyed it (something I must blog about!), but I keen to see what changes Deathwatch makes. I'll be looking out for any review you might do!

  2. Thanks SSpace, I really can't stress enough how much fun they were to put together.

    My group's enjoyed the 40k series of RPG's from Fantasy Flight for some time now, they're great. We're quite eager for Deathwatch, and of course I'll review it!

  3. Really nice work! I've always wanted to pick up a pack of the DW bolters/shoulderpads from GW, but never gotten around to it.

    They all look really characterful, can't wait to see them painted up!

  4. Ugh, don't remind me about the painting! Maybe I should start a miniature-assembly only service!

    I tell ya zombie Chris, I'm not sold on the official GW Deathwatch pack. The metal shoulder pads you get are noticeably smaller than the plastic ones from the SM command sprue.

    As far as the bolters go, the DW pack has some cool ones, but you could get by with plastic scopes on regular bolters in a pinch. In a day or two I'll post a scope variant I did for the Ultramarine sergeant.

  5. Bad ass bro. Time to get a dippin!

    I really dig how ornate these Marines are. Awesome choice and with your skillz their gonna look mega-%@#! sweet!

  6. Oh I'm totally with you on the "Putting Your Crap Together For You Service" cuz painting sucks major eggs.

    I got a chimera to put together tonight and I should have a muster blog up like yours in a day or so.

    My Guard scare me when it comes to painting. Be glad you got a small force of Marines. I'm pushing 50+ infantry for a 1000 point list.

    Emperor help me...

  7. All right, that does it, let's put together a business model! Get it? "Put together a business model"? 'Cause our business would be putting together...models. See how I did that? I'll be here all week.

    And being a Guard player means having a Zen level of patience.