This week we bring you something special; You all remember Marshall (the guy the consistently loses to me) and his Imperial guard right?
Portrait of an Army, countdown to Vegas : Chapter 1
In June, I am bringing my Imperial Guard army – The Nautican Black Spades – to the Las Vegas Throne of Skulls tournament. As I am no doubt starting to get very excited, I have decided to do a weekly article featuring a different aspect of my army; both to show off my painting chops and educate all of ya’ll gamers in some of my fluff and back story.
My army is a non-Imperial force that fights for it’s own, independent nation, Nautica, and I thought it was only fitting to start off by showcasing the backbone of it’s military; the humble Nautican Ranger.
The most heavy defended planet in the Nautican system is the fortress world Ahatmia, a rugged, desert planet that acts as the gateway into the rest of the nation. As such, my soldiers are painted in a “desert-storm” pattern based on the modern US forces in Iraq/Afghanistan. One of the running themes in my army is that the Rangers are the ‘elite’ of the Nautican fighting force – specifically the Black Spades (think “Delta Force”). This often garners a few snickers, as rule-wise I use the standard Guardsmen rules to represent them (as opposed to Veterans). I place a heavy burden on them in-game, often trusting a single 10 man squad to go toe to toe with Space Wolves, Terminators, and other nasty foes – but time and time again they get the job done, and they have more than earned my respect!
To emphasis how much I value the individual Ranger (I’d rather ONE of my Rangers than TEN of Ryan’s grossly unreliable Traitor Space Wolves!!) I have spent an ungodly amount of time giving each soldier a full-body detail job. You wont find a single soldier in my army that uses stock parts or poses. Lots of the parts come from the Cadian Command squad box (like the lasgun with the strap, shown above) and while this can be expensive, I find it is 100% worth it in the end.
To paint them I use the following steps (more or less):
- I base them with Bleached Bone, and then paint – in solid colours – the browns, greens, grays of the straps, grenades and gloves that you see above. I don’t paint any camouflage detail until later.
- I then give the entire model a double wash of Devlan Mud, and Badab Black to get it real dark in the creases and shaded areas. After this is dry, I go back and highlight the entire model with the same colours I used as a base (For instance, I use Bleach Bone to highlight the washed Bleach Bone sections)
- After everything is highlighted, I bust out my detail brush and do the camouflage, eyes, shoulder icons and all of the miscellaneous details the soldiers have on them (they are quite fond of fancying up their helmets with buttons and graffiti!)
- When all is said and done, I plan on sticking some dry grass on the bases to give the model a realistic finish. But I’m waiting until I’m 100% satisfied that I haven’t missed any spots first!
I am a true believer in massed Autocannon shots – strength 7 ap4, 2 shots? Rhinos, Carnifexs, Space Marines – all potential targets.
However, I’ve decided to keep a ‘special forces’ theme in my army, and have converted my Autocannon teams from Sniper rifles (think : 50 caliber sniper rifle, but with an automatic burst firing mode)
I run these teams in my 10 man regular infantry squads, plop em’ in cover, and use orders to twin link them against any big beasties that get in my way. I also highly recommend grenade launchers, which only add to my high strength shot power.
Any ways, I hope you’ve enjoyed chapter one of my “Portrait of an Army : Countdown to Vegas”
Feel free to leave a comment – I’d love to know your guys’ thoughts/opinions/constructive criticism and advice of all kinds!
Stay tuned for next weeks article, where I plan on showcasing off some of my heavy armour!