Line troops maybe super important as scoring units, but there’s still no substitute for a squad or two of tactical dreadnought armoured elites, especially the bulky Cataphractii pattern. I’ve done a small squad in the past for the Ultramarines but until now have focussed mostly on the troop options and transports for the Word Bearers. A full squad of ten models was included in the new Age of Darkness boxed set and, as I had no immediate plans to start any new legions I decided to gift them to the seventeenth.
Assembling and painting a unit of ten Terminators is not a small ask to do in one go, at least for me it’s not anyway. So I can benefit from the unit quicker I split them into two groups; a combi-bolter ranged contingent including a Sergeant, then a second squad with a heavy flamer and more melee options. It also meant I could have two smaller units or one full-sized one which I could provide transport for in the form of a dedicated Spartan. You didn’t really think I wasn’t going to include one of the new all-plastic Spartans in the army did you?
The armour is painted exactly same way as the other infantry in a gunmetal/chrome grisaille with layers of Carroburg Crimson and Tamiya clear red. The black shoulder armour and contrasting plates is a base of Dark Sea Blue with grey highlights and an Incubi Darkness filter. For the power sword equipped Sergeant I toyed with the idea of doing a classic blue power effect, but felt it jarred with the rest of the army aesthetic. Instead I wanted to develop the fire and cinders theme in the army which is referenced several times in the books, especially when describing the Gal Vorbak or Blade Slaves manifestation to daemon state. With that in mind I painted the sword to give the blade the appearance of forge-molten heat running throughout its core. I’m really happy I took this approach as I think it works with the overall army palette so much better than an electric blue. It also gave me a nice opening how I could do some of the neverborn when I turn my attention to the allied daemons of the ruinstorm.
The second group includes the heavy flamer and some lightning claw equipped Astartes. However, it’s the bases I wanted to talk about for this post as I have used these throughout my army since the initial Leviathan was painted. They are made by rolling out a thin sheet of magic sculpt epoxy putty over a cork floor tile and then imprinting it with the script relief from a Green Stuff World textured roller. I’ve been using these for some time and they are utterly brilliant for creating unique looking bases. Where I feel they work best however is by using them to create larger sections of paving you can apply separately, rather than imprinting onto the base directly. That’s where the cork tile comes in. It not only provides an even base for the putty but also an underlying natural looking structure that once set can be broken up or carved to create cool looking groundwork. I used pieces of these in combination with milliput to give the bases volume and create the appearance of ruined temples. The relief carved into the stonework could easily represent Colchisian script or text of a more esoteric nature, perfectly suiting the theme for the army. This is my preferred method for using the Green Stuff World rollers because there’s no wastage, any of the tile not used can be stored for future basing projects. You can also use it to create some funky artefacts to go with your army at events. I painted a section as if it was a museum exhibit from the late heresy discovered by future techno-archeologists along with a map fragment. It sits framed on my workshop shelf, just don’t tell the Inquisition about it as pretty sure they would consider it proscribed and ‘heretical’ in nature, but don’t let that deter you from adding cool add-ons to make your army uniquely yours.
All that remains is to paint the second half of the unit and start thinking about that Spartan to bus them all around in.
Adding these extra units to the Word Bearers has given me some time to consider what I want to do with the army, end goals if you like. I don’t intend to just keep adding random models as each of the three Legions I currently collect have a distinct theme to them. I would rather have three armies which not only look very different on the tabletop, but play very differently to one another. My original design for the Word Bearers was as an assaulting force and I’ve not changed that goal. Heresy 2.0 has doubled down on that if anything given the ‘no backward step, no retreat’ aspect of their legion rules which encourages me to add transports and especially objective takers and denial units. With that in mind I plan to add only a handful more legion units such as the Ashen Circle, characters such as Argel Tal and Zardu Layak and possibly some heavy support as I really lack anything that can project threat at range currently. The main focus after that will be on the neverborn and daemons of the ruinstorm. These I have some palette ideas I want to experiment with to create a synergised allied force for the legion, but until the rules come out for them I don’t want to go too far into the build process in case things depart radically from what was presented in Book VIII “Malevolence” for Heresy 1.0. I shall continue with my experiments in the meantime.