Hobby Progress: Dark Angel Scout Squad

Finally finished one Dark Angels Scout squad and boy was it a journey for me. They are more than ready for the tabletop but the perfectionist in me can’t help but notice the thousand things I could have done better or different. But like I said in my first post, agonizing over every detail isn’t worth it for a tabletop army that’s going to spend most of its time in my army case. However, it was a great opportunity to figure out some important techniques that will eventually be used for those display pieces where every detail matters.

That being said there are several things I learned:

  • Painting red was a chore. I was laying down a base of Vallejo Hull Red and trying to layer Carmine Red over it but it took forever and the resulting color was pretty dark and not smooth.  It wasn’t until I found Kujo’s Tutorial on painting red that I was able to get a brighter, smoother red. Essentially I would start with Hull Red and then continuously layer hull red that had increasing amounts of Carmine Red mixed in until I was just layering on pure Carmine Red. It doesn’t really show in the photo but the heavy bolter was done this way while the other bolters were done using my old way.
  • Sub-assemblies are great for allowing me to get to certain details, like the aquila. However, assembly afterwards can be a bit difficult, especially if its an ancient sculpt in dire need of an update….. these scout models are terrible. I probably could have made it easier on myself by more thoroughly dry fitting and keeping everything together better, but with everything on my desk and lack of time that wasn’t feasible.
  • I used a third party head piece instead of the normal marine heads because the official ones look silly and outdated. Specifically, I used the System Trooper Head sprue from Pig Iron Productions for the normal scouts and the the Alternative System Head for the sergeants. The alternative heads are more visor than helmet so I was able to try some blending on the there from hull red to an orange. I still need to push that contrast further because the blend is very subtle and kind of hard to notice. Also, I tried to put a thin layer of gloss varnish on the it to make it seem more like glass but it ended up looking cartoony and off-putting so I’m not doing that anymore. For the regular heads the actual lens is pretty small so I can’t really do any blends and I wasn’t sure how to place the highlight because of the shape but that didn’t stop me from trying. The blend was terrible and next time I’ll just place some thin orange and yellow highlights in a corner and call it a day.
  • The bases are the Slate Wasteland from Dragonforge, and they saved me a lot of time because I didn’t have to make all the bases myself and they are probably much nicer than anything I could make. However, these are one of his older products (I’m sensing a theme here), he has since updated this range though but placing the minis on them is a bit finicky. In fact you can see that the one marine on the far right is kind of hovering. I need to put a bit more effort when placing the minis even if it means doing some creative drilling to accommodate the weird angles, or just use a different style of base.

There are several other things I could list here but these were the major things that gave me the most trouble. Figuring out the red paint this early is pretty significant since I still need to paint the rest of the army as well as for the Capital palette display piece. Also, realizing just how far I am going to need to push that blend is important and luckily I can practice on the visors on the other sergeants. As it stands finishing the rest of the scouts should be just a little bit quicker.

Till Next Time.

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