I included a Venator in my Ultramarines to help anchor them in Great Crusade era, the Sicaran chassis being just one of the many designs lost to the Imperium after the heresy.
The Venator tank has an incredibly cool design that sets it apart from anything currently in 40K. What makes it even better is its neutron laser primary weapon, which proves highly effective at neutralizing enemy armor, especially super-heavy tanks that I often find myself facing more frequently than I would prefer.
To provide versatility, I have magnetized all three secondary weapons, including the sponsons and hull. This allows me to easily swap them out before games or omit them altogether if they are not needed. Specifically, I have found that the las-cannon sponsons are not as effective when I am primarily using the neutron laser, often resulting in snap-firing them. By having the option to leave them off, I gain greater tactical flexibility in my gameplay.
Supporting the Venator are a pair of Rhino transports and a Deimos Scorpius, along with all the infantry and Dreadnoughts that entails. Enough to get some good games in and a potential start to something bigger maybe.
Paint apart, weather together
Even though some of the vehicles were painted months earlier using a different method and palette, what helped tie everything together was the weathering. It’s a clever trick that effectively masks different palettes and proves to be more efficient.
When mixing up oils or pigments, it’s better to work on several vehicles at once, especially when focusing on army building rather than individual models.
For the Ultramarines, the process involved acrylic chipping, followed by oils and a light airbrushing of thinned Tamiya flat earth to simulate a layer of dust along the lower third of the vehicles. To create the impression of fresh battle damage, a few fresh metallic chips were strategically added.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed creating a gritty and battle-worn Ultramarines army, going beyond my previous experience of basic chipping and soot effects. This army marked a change in my painting style, which I believe suits me better as it combines my love for scale modeling with my passion for Warhammer. It’s definitely a positive development.