A Bit of a Makeover...

A long time ago what started off as a small Chaos war-band known as 'The Knights of Shibboleth' gradually began to evolve into the 'Night Reapers' Space Marine Chapter.

That early war-band had a far more relaxed attitude to mould lines, model poses and highlights than the Chapter they were to become. As I'm also one of those bastards who uses 'Counts-As' a lot, my Marines have gone through a lot of unit configurations...Some more use than others...

So I've decided its time to update the ten Tactical Squads that make up part of my 2nd Company in both appearance and usefulness.

As my Space Wolves generally have a 5 Man Squad that sometimes also have a Meltagun,

Troops: Grey Hunters Pack (6#, 155 pts)
   5 Grey Hunters Pack @ 155 pts (Meltagun; Razorback)
      1 Razorback (Lascannon and TL Plasmagun)

and my Space Marines are usually either,

Troops: Tactical Squad (6#, 165 pts)
   4 Tactical Squad @ 165 pts (Razorback)
      1 Sergeant (Bolt Pistol; Bolter)
      1 Razorback (Searchlight; Smoke Launchers; Lascannon and TL Plasmagun)


Troops: Tactical Squad (11#, 220 pts)
   9 Tactical Squad @ 220 pts (Meltagun; Missile Launcher; Rhino)
      1 Sergeant (Bolt Pistol; Combi-Meltagun x1)
      1 Rhino (Searchlight; Smoke Launchers; Storm Bolter)


Troops: Tactical Squad (11#, 205 pts)
   9 Tactical Squad @ 205 pts (Flamer; Multi-Melta; Rhino)
      1 Sergeant (Bolt Pistol; Bolter)
      1 Rhino (Searchlight; Smoke Launchers; Storm Bolter)

I needed to find a way to maintain useful squad types without having a lot of superfluous models. In the end I decided to reconfigure four of the units to ten men units with Meltagun and Missile Launcher and three to Flamer and Missile Launcher. This war-gear load-out when combined with my already made Wolf Guard with Combi-Meltaguns would enable me to create any of the above combinations. As I have been gradually making my Rhinos modular this also meant that I only had to paint one Rhino and an alternate Razorback turret per Squad.

They'd all need tidying up though...

Luckily I already had made an alternative Sergeant/Champion with basic armament from when I used a Marine unit configuration that later became known by the Internet as 'Melta bunkers'. A Missile Launcher Marine from an unpainted Devastator squad has also been transferred to '1st' Squad together with a weapon-less Marine that I found in a tub with nineteen other weapon-less Marines.....No I've no idea why either and I actually own them.....With the addition of a shiny metal Meltagun he finished off the squad (from a configuration point of view at least) nicely.

The 3 original squad members that they replaced have been put to one side till I can work out a use for them, lol.

Now it was time to tidy them up a little. Due to the amount of models I need to sort out I decided to keep the tidying up to a minimum 'tabletop' standard. They didn't need to win any awards, just not look like a blind, thumb-less, four year old had painted them.

Firstly I removed Mould lines from the more obvious locations like the top of the heads and outer sides of legs, etc.

Then I re-undercoated them and touched up the 'bare' spots with my usual mix of metallic blue.

Then I touched up a few more bare spots in the models due to general wear and tear and changed the cloak to match the newer greyer look of my Wolf Guard. I also changed the weapons from a light dry-brush of Boltgun metal to a more 'painted' look.

And also gave the new guys appropriate '2nd' Company shoulder-pad rim colouring.

My earlier models had always had a plain look to the guns so I decided to paint the outer casing of the guns black to at least give the appearance of having put some effort into the project ;-)

I also took the 'skull' part of the Chapter logo and made a fairly average attempt at some free-hand.

Previously I simply used the Chaos Runes for numbers as squad markings as they nicely represented a fall to Chaos and were also pretty easy to paint. As my Chapters history was subtly retconned to make them a Chapter that used Chaos artefacts but kept quiet about it to everyone else ;-) I decided to make the runes a bit less obvious. Instead I used a circle in the 2nd Companies colours and put the rune for 'one' in the middle as a squad marking.

I then based them grey with a couple of layers of highlights and painted the purity seals with a simple red seal and writing on black colour scheme that was simple but still looked fairly striking. I touched up the Rhino a little and added the skull to it at the same time. At some point during the process I've added a 'Badab Black' wash to all the Boltgun Metal but can't remember exactly when...

I then did a freehand white arrow with the centre in the Company colours on a removal hatch for when the vehicle is in 'Rhino' mode. I also painted a detachable 'driver/gunner' for the vehicle and added a squad marking to the front.

And then painted a Las/Plas turret for when they're in 'Razorback' mode as well as a mounting for it and a hatch to replace the 'driver/gunner'.

Looking at the pictures now I can see a lot of little imperfections that will probably bother me later but that I can live with for now.

One down, six to go.....

Thoughts and comments are (as usual) most welcome.
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