legions imperialis legion demi-company

The Legion Tactical Detachment is the only ‘Core’ detachment currently listed in Legions Imperialis (at the time of writing). So it’s a safe bet I’m going to need a few given at least one is mandatory in the demi-company, garrison and aerial formations, two in the case of the former. This should not be a surprise as tactical marines make up the bulk of Astartes forces in the legions.

As I already have two detachments in my Blood Angels demi-company, I felt it was time to branch out and start creating them for the Imperial Fists; the second loyalist legion on Terra during the siege of the Emperor’s Palace.

A legion Tactical Detachment consists of four bases of tactical marines. That’s all you need. It’s basically the equivalent of a full twenty man tactical blob in 28mm Horus Heresy: Age of Darkness.

Led by a command HQ, two of these, plus a single support detachment are required to form into a demi-company. The good news is, all of that is included in the ‘Legions Astartes Infantry’ box, plus a few additional upgrades as well.

Either or both of the tactical detachments in the demi-company can be further upgraded to include support weapons or elite squads. In this case I have given one of the detachments two support weapons upgrades and the other access to Terminators. You’ll notice no Assault Troops. That’s because I used them to fill out the Blood Angels instead which I felt suited their doctrine more. Not every formation needs to be a cookie-cutter template for the box contents.

imperial fists demi-company
legions imperialis fists demi-company


Not strictly part of this formation (yet!), but I may as well include them here. I haven’t decided whether or not to make this formation mechanised same as the Blood Angels, but I painted up a couple of Rhino and a storm Eagle anyway to see what it would look like. The Storm Eagle can definitely be taken in the formation to fill the optional air support slot. Nothing here is wasted.

Painting process

Ok, pretty pictures aside, what was my approach to painting them quickly? Best answer, keeping it as simple as possible. I over-complicated the first batch of Blood Angels trying to pick out all the details like I would with a larger miniature. It was entirely the wrong approach and just took forever. I learned from that experience and crunched the steps right down for the Imperial Fists.


I kept the troops on the sprues, breaking the frame down into smaller sections to make them easier to handle. For the tacticals plus HQ that’s literally four pieces.

I primed them using Games Workshop Skeleton Horde rattle can, then brush painted Contrast Volupus Pink over the primed miniatures. It will look fiercely saturated at first, but the pink dries to a much more subtle shade. This is basically what I want for the shade areas. I then airbrushed (but a rattle can will do) Tamiya flat white from above to create a two-tone white to pink zenithal pre-shade. This is where I want the yellow to be brightest.

Colour application

I brush painted Contrast Imperial Fist Yellow over the entire miniature. Being translucent, the Imperial Fists Contrast exploits the pre-shade to do all of the shade and highlighting work, the pink providing a warm base for the yellow to work with and the white the highlights.

The other two stages were to paint the backpacks and weapons model colour black and the metal details in metal series magnesium. That’s it.

Finishing touches

I blocked out the base of each miniature in model colour sea blue to blend with the bases I painted, and picked out any veteran helmets or crests in Contrast Blood Angels Red. Honestly, contrast paint is a big help when it comes to Legions Imperialis scale.