I included a Venator in my Ultramarines to help anchor it in Great Crusade era, the Sicaran chassis being just one of the many designs lost to the Imperium after the heresy. It is such a cool tank design unlike anything currently in 40K. Also the Venator’s neutron laser primary weapon is really effective at neutralising enemy armour and in particular super-heavy tanks which I seem to end up facing more often than I would like.

All three secondary weapons, sponsons and hull are magnetised so they can be either swapped out before games or omitted altogether if not needed. The las-cannon sponsons in particular I find aren’t that effective when using the primary neutron laser as I’m generally only snap-firing them. having the option to leave them off  gives me more tactical flexibility.

Supporting the Venator is 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 and using a different method and palette what helped tie everything together was the weathering. It’s a trick, but a good one when you need to mask different palettes. It’s also a lot more efficient. If I’m going to mix up some oils or pigments I may as well do several vehicles rather than just one, especially if the focus is on army building rather than individual models.

The process for the Ultramarines was acrylic chipping, then oils followed by a light airbrush of thinned Tamiya flat earth to simulate a layer of dust along the lower third. Finally a few fresh metallic chips were added in select areas to create the impression of fresh battle damage. All in all I really enjoyed created a gritty and battle worn Ultramarines army, not something I have done to such a degree in the past beyond some basic chipping and soot effects. This army is the one that marked a change in my painting style to one I feel suits me better as it brings together my love of scale modelling with my passion for Warhammer. That’s got to be a good thing.