Sunday, 6 March 2011

Deathwing WIP: An Army in 5 weeks!

 So Ven generously offered to put up my WIP of my Deathwing army over the next few weeks in preparation for Brighton Warlords. This is the first instalment, and will cover the first week or so of work focused on the Deathwing bods themselves, the second instalment (hopefully in a couple of days) will link up with the other part of the army - the Ravenwing!

Before we get into the WIP, I think a bit of an introduction to the circumstances to why I chose to "start" an entire army for Brighton, rather than continue with my Blood Angels Mech force. Also I'll throw in a slight little bit of "background" to the thought process behind the creative side of the army - which will hopefully join the dots when people actually look at the models - spoiler/warning - my "fluff" if you want to call it that is complete justification and really has nothing to do with cannon!
What, Why and When?
So, I'd decided, as a side project, to make a Deathwing Army, to kind of fill the time until Grey Knights came out. I'd been doing a lot of warmup games with Atriedies for his X-Legion tourney, and eventually felt between myself in London, and Ven in the sticks (not London) he'd surely seen enough red tanks to last him long enough. I'd said I'd field a DW force after the FAQ came out, so eventually I did - I got it on the table and we fought a hard and close game - which he won, but it had some pretty interesting moments in what was my real first game against the toughest opponent I can get to test a list. I think we both came away from the game thinking that there was something to the list. A couple of days later, Atriedes texts me to sign up to Brighton Warlords, which I oblige, and I go to say I'll play Blood Angels ... but I catch myself. Am I?

I started to look at the rules ... painting scores, and pretty "harsh" ones that punish WYSIWYG and so on.

Now I feel I am a pretty decent painter, but I am a lazy one, even when I say I will paint to my top level, I end up taking short cuts which do make a model look a bit sloppier than it should. Red is notorious for being a slow colour to paint (why the hell did I choose it), especially with the amount of blending I do. This is pretty much the level of completion of my Blood Angels:

The infantry ... well, 20 men and a Libby - I'd say I had about 15% at best - and certainly aren’t WYSIWYG - and still need to do things like attach Melta, re-convert some the guys, and so on and so forth. Even the ones I had done were primers/testers. So, a lot of guys to paint, 4 full tanks and then touch ups on another 4. Plus some modelling.

The Deathwing army is 29 models total, a much easier scheme to complete well ... and I could cheat a bit if I was pressed for time by missing the odd blending layer.

So that was the logical argument ...

The less logical side was simply in that I was getting a bit bored of my Blood Angels. My head told me they were probably the better army to take, more competitive and all that, but between cover saves despising me, and the vehicle damage table not liking me one bit, I was starting to get a little frustrated (19 failed 4++'s in a row. The 5++ was much worse!), and I think the knock on effect was I started to play the list against itself a little bit. The Deathwing presented a chance for me to play 2 units I loved - Terminators and Bikes, in a some what competitive list, that I'd have a chance to get completed and have a full 1500 force in the box to take out! (I have to say I was getting sick of fielding grey boxes).

So that was it ... I knew the list I wanted already, and it was a case of getting on the job and making it happen. Proper models, less poor proxies (old term models with bad arms, Space Hulk models etc..)

The reason for the Grey Knight Theme:
I decided when undertaking this project I'd link everything. I already had a scheme in my head for the GK's - which was not Grey, in fact is a sort of Green/Blue, and I'd thought of some background to with it. So I wanted to link the Deathwing to this, as it would share the same paint scheme. At the time I also felt that the GK's might get TH/SS - so it would allow me to field those while I worked on the army list (this was pre-rumour central).

The final reason is that I genuinely just wanted something a little bit unique, if you'd put my army next to another Deathwing, it would clearly look different and that I'd put a bit more attention and hopefully love into getting it onto the table, and ultimately translate into a decent soft score.
If you want the fluff reason I'd be quite happy to add it into the Ravenwing WIP, but this post (I am post editing!) has gone on quite long, so I don't want to go over the top here.

Belial WIP
WIP: The Deathwing!
So lets start at the top of the list, the man that makes it all happen between the sheets, Belial. First off, 130 points for the dude is just insane value for money, especially given the costly units else where. I've taken him with LC's since I have no other power weapon I4+ attacks in the army, plus, lets face it. Most AP1/2 is actually S8 (of course plasma isn’t), and I really planned to allocate the 2+ FNP wounds onto him, which in reality has worked quite well thus far.

So straight away you see the theme. I've boshed out Brother Captain Stern and given him some new arms. I actually think he looks a bit better now, the LC's give that sort of coup d'grace feel to him.

The arms were very simple to do. The left arm is simply just double pinned - using the existing metal "nob" from the model and then another pin sent through that

The right arm was a bit trickier, or rather a little bit fiddly - I removed a LC from a plastic arm, and filed down the cut area to make it mould into the arm a little better, as the GK's are actually slightly smaller than their Vanilla counter parts. The pinning was tricky, as even the "paint the pin" method still wouldn't guarantee a perfect line up, so I did have to make a large hole for the pin in the LC and then greenstuff it into the spot I wanted it. 

 The Deathwing Squads:

So this is them in the midst of construction. CML's are magnetised at this stage, but I'd not got around to making the arms yet. But it is very simple indeed to magnetise. The CML I did the long way, I used a small drill on the terminator itself and x-acto'd the right size, on the CML rack I just sliced up a bit of a gap on the normal mounting you glue, and greenstuff / glued the magnet in (green stuff to kind of hide the magnet). Works quite nicely. The arms, I use the dremel to make the hole in the arm, and on the terminator an x-acto to take off the little bit of his torso so the arms will be flush to the body.

You'll (hopefully) notice the semi-grey knight helms.

This was quite simple to achieve, and allowed me to have mini-conversions on pretty much every single model in the army. This isn’t quite on Andy's scratch built Venetta level, but a nice small touch I think. The guide I used was this:

 The next bit was an Apothecary - who still uses a TH and SS. I dont think I did this amazingly, but it actually ended up giving me the idea for the entire "command squad".

The Chainfist turns itself into quite a nice narthecium, but I ran the issue of how to have his TH and SS - as the arms would now be wrong. I looked in my bits box and saw some Sang Guard wings - its deathWING - made sense - and for the "GK side of things" - part of the aquilla? For the CF I prob could have just done a bit like what GW did - but I then thought it would look a bit naff with the shield on that arm as well, but I am still not 100% on this set up - but at worst its WYIWYG. The TH is a Deathcompany TH which I used a banner pole to make the bottom half - then a lot of drilling into that power fist lol. Greenstuff tidied up the rest!

For the rest of the command squad I thought the Wing Shields would look quite striking - especially in a blue glow effect.

This is the squad primed, with 3 layers of blending (quite subtle) on the bodies, but 6 on the faces - the GK in the middle back row is the test model from about 2 months ago, and also shows the actual scale difference. This is also my paint scheme!

I was doodling the squad markings the other day, and I've found a very neat way to combine the Grey Knights, Dark Angels and Disciples of Caliban all into one. I am quite looking forward to doing the freehand I have to say.


I'd have to say of all the posts I'll do, this is potentially the most boring lol. The Ravenwing has a lot more painting and a much better conversion (imo) and hopefully by the time I write the post (Sunday, don't know when it will be up here) I'll have a bit more done! For the next part's of the WIP after that, it will be a lot more painted bits, and a lot more diversity, with any luck the next time you see the Deathwing, it will be 3 of the 4 squads, with squad markings and full detail - and even based up! Here's to hoping I can keep to my schedule.

Again, if anyone does want to hear a bit more about the hobby (*cough* fluff *cough*) behind the army, I am happy to add it into another thread.

Cheers for reading!


  1. Wow those are awsome. I love the scheme, that is my FAVE colour of all time, just never knew how to do it. They are looking VERY nice. Sorry but consider EVERYTHING written in this post to be in my Deathwing army, apart from maybe the list cause mines gonna be better mwahaha lol.

  2. Cheers KS, would be interested to see the list your thinking of. Feel the one I am running with only really lacks psy defense - but even then I feel prepared for the worst that can happen (i.e suck it up and take it like a man).

    I've "finished" off a squad and near completion on another DW squad as well - and today managed to finish off the bikes (not the riders or details though) - I'll email over the Ravenwing WIP to one of you guys later tonight or tomorrow, and then will have another couple of posts ready for the following week or whenever.

  3. looking good. and Killswitch, i can vouch for the extreme effectiveness of this list versus mech guard in some circumastances, and its ability to hold its own in all others. its really very nasty.