Legions Imperialis Solaria and Blood Angels

New year, new army? I know it’s a bit of a cliche, but hear me out.

A few years ago, I had a habit of doing this a lot. It was as if there was some subliminal Gregorian calendar hobby reset button that I mentally pressed on January 1st. The start of a new year meant abandoning all my partially completed projects and immediately starting another. While it always gave me that much-needed boost of hobby serotonin, it also meant trying to juggle far too many army projects simultaneously. As usual!

I’m going to try not to do that this month and keep building out my Legions Imperialis forces, one detachment at a time. Having gotten that first playable formation ready to go, I can begin adding more options for larger games. Terrain is also on my mind, but that is for another day, probably in the not too distant so I can alternate between units and terrain to keep thing interesting.

So not a new army then, that title was pure click-bait? Not quite. I am switching legions for the next formation to include Imperial Fists. This is one of the best features in Legions Imperialis, and probably my favourite aspect of the original Space Marine game. Battlegroups can be made up from lots of formations and although they will all be part of the same allegiance (loyalist/traitor) and army faction (Astartes/Solar Auxilia), they don’t all have to be from the same legion.

This means if I choose to do a Loyalist Astartes army, I can select formations from different legions, or just from one if I wanted to create a single massive force of Blood Angels for example. This really opens it up to create narrative forces, like a traitor army of World Eaters demi-company with an Iron Warriors legion armoured company, or Imperial Fists Garrison formation with a White Scars Vanguard.

The reason I’m so excited about this is because it makes all your models highly re-usable, rather than being locked into a single army. Everything in your collection can be taken. I can add more Blood Angels formations to create one uber IXth legion list, but also re-deploy any of those formations alongside other legion forces to create a different list. What initially appears quite limited actually opens up a world of potential, not just in army selection, but painting. Nothing goes to waste in the service of the Emperor or Horus.

Imperial Fists pink and white pre-shade

The Siege of Terra

With two formations of Blood Angels game ready, that was a long way of me saying I’m switching palettes to Imperial Fists and the next detachments will be the basis for a seventh legion Garrison or Company Armoured formation.

Taking onboard what I learned painting the Blood Angels, I am simplifying the infantry palette for the Imperial Fists to a contrast pink base coat with a white zenithal highlight. That is my two-step pre-shade for the Imperial Fists Yellow Contrast, which I brush paint onto the troops rather than airbrush. I am finding this produces a better result. I then give the troops a wash of Seraphim Sepia to provide definition.

For the vehicles I base coat Tamiya flat earth and apply a modulation highlight of Tamiya flat white. I’m using the same GW Imperial Fists yellow contrast on the vehicles as well, as I am the sepia to boost the shadows. In this instance, all airbrush though for speed. All the paints used are listed below.

  • GW Contrast Volupus Pink – Infantry pre-shade
  • GW Contrast Imperial Fist – Infantry/Vehicle colour application
  • GW Contrast Blood Angels Red – Infantry veteran helmets
  • Model Colour Black – Stripes and panels
  • GW Daemonette Hide – Highlight for black
  • GW Seraphim Sepia – Shade wash for Infantry and modulation boost for vehicles.
  • Tamiya flat earth – Vehicle pre-shade
  • Tamiya flat white – Infantry/vehicle zenithal highlight
  • Metal Series Exhaust Manifold – Tracks and metal details

To test the palette I put together three upgrades I know I’ll need for a core tactical detachment; the special weapon squads and some Terminators (not shown). The great thing with these is I can double them up to form separate support detachments as well if I wish. Love this level of flexibility in force creation!

Doesn’t hurt to provide them some transport as well should they need it. Not everybody has the joy of teleporting in like the Terminator squads. The Storm Eagle I painted before launch of the game might also come in useful.

legions imperialis bases for Imperial Fists

The bases? I’ll talk about those and the basing approach I chose in general next post. Until then, have an epic week!