The Word Bearers Cataphractii squad are the armoured elite of the legion and these are the first I’ve included.

Line troops are undoubtedly important as scoring units, but nothing quite matches the prowess of armored elites, especially the formidable Cataphractii pattern.

While I have previously worked on a small squad for Ultramarines, my focus has mostly been on troop options and transports for the Word Bearers. However, with the inclusion of a full squad of ten models in the new Age of Darkness boxed set, I found myself inclined to gift them to the seventeenth legion.

Assembling and painting a unit of ten Terminators is no small task, at least not for me.

To ensure I could benefit from the unit more quickly, I decided to split them into two groups. The first contingent consists of a Sergeant and Terminators armed with combi-bolters for ranged engagements. The second squad includes a heavy flamer and additional melee options.

This approach not only allows me to have two smaller units, but also the flexibility to combine them into one full-sized squad, which I can equip with a dedicated Spartan transport. After all, did you really think I wouldn’t include one of the new all-plastic Spartans in the army?

First Squad

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.

Second squad

The second group consists of Astartes equipped with a heavy flamer and some lightning claws. However, in this post, I want to focus on the bases I’ve been using throughout my army since I painted the initial Leviathan.

These bases are created by rolling out a thin sheet of magic sculpt epoxy putty over a cork floor tile and imprinting it with the script relief from a Green Stuff World textured roller.

They have been a brilliant addition for achieving unique-looking bases.

Make larger sections

I find that they work best when used to create larger sections of paving that can be applied separately rather than directly imprinting onto the base.

That’s where the cork tile comes into play. It not only provides a level base for the putty but also a natural-looking structure that can be broken up or carved to create interesting groundwork. I combined pieces of these bases with milliput to give them volume and create the illusion of ruined temples.

The relief carved into the stonework could represent Colchisian script or other esoteric texts, perfectly complementing the theme of the army.

Rolling textures

This is my preferred method for using Green Stuff World rollers because there’s no wastage. Any unused portions of the tile can be stored for future basing projects. You can also get creative and use it to make unique artifacts to accompany your army at events.

For instance, I painted a section as if it were a museum exhibit from the late heresy, discovered by future techno-archeologists, along with a map fragment. It now sits framed on my workshop shelf. Just don’t let the Inquisition find out about it, as they would likely consider it proscribed and heretical.

But don’t let that discourage you from adding cool add-ons to make your army truly unique.

All that remains is to paint the second half of the unit and start thinking about that Spartan to bus them all around in.

Future goals

Adding these extra units to the Word Bearers has given me the opportunity to consider the army’s end goals. I don’t want to simply add random models, as each of the three Legions I currently collect has its distinct theme. My aim is to have three armies that not only look different on the tabletop but also play differently from one another.

The original design for the Word Bearers was as an assaulting force, and I have not changed that goal. Heresy 2.0 has reinforced that aspect with the ‘no backward step, no retreat’ aspect of their legion rules, which encourages me to add transports, objective takers, and denial units. Therefore, I plan to include a few more legion units like the Ashen Circle, characters such as Argel Tal and Zardu Layak, and possibly some heavy support to address my current lack of long-range threat projection.

Once those additions are made, my main focus will shift to the neverborn and daemons of the Ruinstorm. I have some palette ideas that I want to experiment with in order to create a synergized allied force for the legion. However, I don’t want to proceed too far into the build process until the rules for them are released. I want to ensure that they align with what was presented in Book VIII “Malevolence” for Heresy 1.0. In the meantime, I will continue with my experiments.