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The Wolves of Caliban

The Wolves of Caliban

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Project Blog by jodain

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About the Project

I've been planning this for a while, but when I spotted the Spring Cleaning Hobby Challenge I thought I'd actually move this forward and out of private mode. I plan on plotting the progress of the painting and development of my Space Marine Chapter, my bit of Gaming in the Gaps.

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Test Miniature Part 3

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So I finished off basing the test miniature with the Vallejo Black Lava/Asphlat.  I put a light drybrush of Ash Grey to pick out the highest parts once it had dried.  To finish it off and add to the city type feel I chopped a bit of plastic “I” beam gave it a base of Vallejo Boltgun Grey and then used the Model Mates Rust Effect paint to really rust that piece of iron.  A bit of dead grass (Warpainter 10mm), I went with half of a piece that they provide and use a drop of superglue rather than relying on the self-adhesive on the grass.  I then pondered on the ring of the base and decided to go with black to blend in with the top of the base.  I feel that I have achieved the aim of the figure not merging into the base too much.  I sat down last night and cracked on with a sergeant figure (he has a bolt pistol and chainsword).  I’ve finished basing him, but I’m not happy with the aquila on his chest.  I went back to the box of figures to pick out the rest of the squad and realised how many of them have bolt pistols and chainswords – I think I will need to replace some backpacks with jumppacks to make good use of them.

Problem Number 1 - Argh!

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Having been painting away at the test peice I have grown more and more annoyed at the height difference between the base and the adapter I put round the side.  The adapter was 3mm high whilst the base is about 2mm high and yes that 1mm difference was annoying me.  So I returned to thingiverse and downloaded two more adapters to try with another figure.  Today I printed out the two new adapters both of which registered 2mm high (with a 1mm base on one of them) on my printing software and the old one adjusted to 2mm high.  Something went wrong with the prints and I got two disks out of the printer instead of 2 rings.  Not sure what happened so I decided to re-slice the one that is more like a cup shape and it printed fine this afternoon.  I was a bit dubious about a solid rather than a split adapter, but the miniature has dropped into firmly and isn’t coming out.  There is a very slight difference in height, the outside is lower but it is easier to cover up with the basing materials than something that gets taller.  Guess I need to get the printer busy printing my adapters.

For those interested I’m using this one: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3223936

Test Miniature Part 2

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Spent a bit more time this evening putting some more paint on the test miniature, the photos have been taken rather quickly tonight so they don’t really show the miniature off well.

So what did I add.  The backpack for some paint with Mithral Silver (GW) and a Dark Tone put on top to tone it down.  A dab of Old Gold from Miniature Paints on the skull on the helment.  The squad marking and the aquilla on the chst were painted Vampire Red (Army Painter) and then the aquilla got a bit of Dark Tone.  To be honest most of the aquilla is covered by the bolter.  I decided to paint the eyes White and then go in with a Ghost Tint (Plasma Fluid) to try and get a bit of a glow effect, I think a very small got of white is needed now to finish them off.

Problem Number 2 - Basing 2

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So the Black Lava/Asphlat arrived and so I decied to do some testing to try and get the basics of the base sorted.  Three spare bases were put to good use testing the colour.

The bases with Black Lava/Asphlat put on.The bases with Black Lava/Asphlat put on.

Having allowed time for the paint to dry out, I picked out three colours to try a bit of drybrushing to bring out the texture.  Some I went with Vallejo Sky Grey, Army Painter Uniform Grey and P3 Ironhull.  After putting them on I remembered that Uniform Grey and Ironhull are virtually identical so I don’t think that gave me anything.  I think the Sky Grey is my favourite so far.

Problem Number 2 - Basing 2

Problem Number 2 - Basing

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So I have a solution for the size of the bases, now I need to sort out the actual basing colour.  I’ve done some many armies on a green base (when I started it was all I knew how to do) and I had originally intended to put my Dark Angels on a grey city rubble type base as I did with my Grey Knight (picture below).  However, I thought that the Grey would need something very different to make the miniature pop off the base rather than blend in.  I’ve used the GW texture base (Astrogranite in particular) previously, but for a whole army they aren’t that cheap.  Sorastro introduced me to Vallejo’s texture paint when I watched the tutorials for the Star Wars Legion miniatures and I have a pot of earth colour.  So time to check out the other colours they do I think.  I have purchased a pot of Black Lava/Asphlat which I have now put on three spare bases so I can see what it looks like and try some different dry brush colours and washed.

Problem Number 2 - Basing

Test Miniature Part 1

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It’s been a while since I last painted, but that is the way life is sometimes.  Anyway I did start a week or so ago on painting the test miniature to check out how the paint scheme was going to look and look at how I would tidy them up.  I’m not going to do a complete re-paint this is more a tidy and finish job.

Step 1:  As suggested previously I started with a targetted wash along the edges of the armour plates and slightly more on the “soft” armour parts (back of the knees and round the hips).  I used the Army Painter Dark Tone to achieve this.

Step 2: A watered down Army Painter Goblin Green was used to paint the helmet, shoulder guards, left knee and the vents on the back pack.  This was washed with Army Painter Green Tone to add some definition, particular along the edge of the shoulders.  Adding a little White (again Army Painter) to the Green gave me a little highlight, although it might need touching back up on this figure.

Step 3: Boltgun was painter in P3 Traitor Green, with a little white added for highlighting.  I wanted to try some NMM on the clip, but I think it failed so that is now a grey (I used AP Armour Grey and Velljo Sky Grey).

Step 4: The Holster was painted with a leather brown colour and washed with Dark Tone.

I need to return to finish a few bits off, but I am aiming for something quick and easy to do.

A quick photograph of the test marine.A quick photograph of the test marine.

Colour Scheme

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The updated Marines need an updated paint scheme.  Ben and Lance were right on the money in the Hobby Hangout and the marines have been given a base coat and then a dry brush, but for most of them that is were it has stopped.  Some others have a coppery eagle on the chest with black metal effect bolters.  These colours need to go and the figures need a fresh scheme for the Wolves of Caliban.  The base grey and dry brush is going to stay as the main part of the armour, although I will incorporate some washes and shading to the marines.  As I want to add some printer decals later, and these can’t be white, I need to ensure that the shoulder pads aren’t too dark so whilst I want to pay homage to the Dark Angels I’m going to go with a different green.  I’ve decided to make use of Goblin Green, although I’m going to see how it looks, from Army Painter along with Chaotic Red and a Leather colour.  I’m thinking of painting the bolter in Traitor Green from the P3 range.

Company markings will be on the left knee pad and I’ve shown the third company, although excuse the bad job of adding the stripe to the images below.

However I’m not sure which one of the following schemes to go with finally so please give me some comments to help out.

Problem Number 1

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I expect to come across a number of problems as I work through this project, so problem number 1 – bases.  Note that this is about bases and not basing.

So I reached one lovely marine out of the case to use as a test miniature for painting and realised that the old figures were on 25mm bases and not the 32mm bases needed in the current version of 40k.  Now I probably could have ignored this, but some of the other miniatures I am incorporating are on the correct bases.  So I needed to come up with a solution for this issue and 3 ideas came to mind:

1) Get some 32mm bases and just glue the figures on – this seemed like a simple solution, but I would have to prise the figures off their bases – not an easy task.  Once I’d done that I would need 150ish 32mm bases at about £17 per 100.

2) Get some washer, or cut some disk at 32mm to stick onto the bottoms.  I have access to a lasercutter at work so I could cut these out of HDF or perspex.  This didn’t appeal to me as it would leave quite a step between the outer base and the original one.

3) 3D print an extension ring for the base, again I have access to 3D printers (both resin and filament) at work.  A quick hunt on thingiverse led me to a base adaptor that I liked the look of (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3470636).  I decided to print one of these off today at work to see what it looked like.

Test miniature with new base adaptor.Test miniature with new base adaptor.

The red colour is the PLA that was on the printer and I couldn’t be bothered to change it to something else.  The adapter fitted the base well, however I have noted that it stands slightly taller than the original base.  I’m hoping that some basing will cover that up at the moment.

Now I only need to print another 149 of them.

What I have

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So what do I have to work with to produce the Wolves of Caliban, well there is nearly 150 marines, plus dreadnaughts, landraiders and rhinos.  To give you an idea here are some photographs.

The history of the Wolves of Caliban

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It was the middle of the 37th Millenium and the 23rd Founding of the Space Marine Chapters when 2 new Dark Angels Chapters were formed, the Star Phantoms (https://warhammer40k.fandom.com/wiki/23rd_Founding) and the Wolves of Caliban.  Each Chapter was assigned a sector of space to take and hold against various Xenos influences.  The Wolves of Caliban were assigned to guard and recruit from the local peoples of the Cantiaci sector, with their homeworld and the sector capital known as Cantiacorum.

The Wolves headed out and arrived just in time to meet the arrival of an Ork Waaagh at Cantiacorum.  The fighting was hard and very bloody with the chapter supported by only a few regiments of PDF and none of Astra Militarum.  Whilst the Ork’s were defeated the cost to the Wolves of Caliban was high, the entirety of the Chapter command was lost along with the majority of members of the 1st Company.  With it was lost most of the information about the true missions of the Unforgiven and their hunt for the Fallen.  Unfortunately, before the chapter could make contact with the Imperium for reinforcements and assistance from their founding chapter a huge warpstorm settled in place around the sector of Cantiaci and cut it off from all contact.  The Chapter managed to find new recruits, some amongst the very PDF regiments that had stood with them, some from other worlds in the sector and rebuilt although not to full size.  The Captain of the third company one Segovax, took charge and became Chapter Master, elected as such by his peers.

One Chapter on it’s own without any Astra Militarium couldn’t hope to stem the flow of Xenos in this area of space and so Segovax stepped up the training of the PDF units to turn them into Guard.  They training alongside the chapter and sergeants of the chapter ran the Guard training and looked out for potential candidates for the Chapter.

It was several decades later when a chaos cult rose amongst the people of Regulbium.  The chapter dispatched a battle company ready to stamp down on this behaviour.  The company arrived with support an Astra Militarium regiment.  This small uprising was actually much bigger than originally thought and was supported by the arrival of demons of Slanesh.  The battle company fought hard, but having lost their supporting regiment things were looking bleak for them.  Suddenly a company of Space Marines appeared, seemingly out of nowhere and engaged the demon spawn.  These marines wore armour that hadn’t been seen for centuries, coloured in Black and Silver with markings in red.  They were led by a mysterious stranger in flowing robes and armed with two plasma pistols.  He introduced himself as Cypher and his brothers as loyal members of the First Legion, the Dark Angels.

The newly arrived marines and Cypher travelled back to Cantiacorum to the fortress of the Wolves of Caliban.  Cypher headed into a meeting with Segovax and Carvilius who had led the Battle Company to Regulbium.  After days of talking Segovax headed out and addressed the entire Chapter.  Cypher had told him the “truth” of the battle of Caliban and the marines of the first legion would be welcome as brothers and fight alongside the Wolves of Caliban.  Cypher would act as an advisior when he was around.

Over the next few millenium the Wolves of Caliban continued to fight for the freedom of the peoples of the Cantiaci sector, with members of the First Legion and the highly trained 66th Cantiacorum Rangers alongside them.  During that time Standard Templates were received from Cypher to ensure that the Rangers and the Marines were well-equipped.  New Brothers of the First Legion were found in the sector or escorted by Cypher, but each had to swear fealty to the Imperium and the Emperor before being allowed into the fortress.  The Warp Storm dropped at some point and the sector returned to the Imperium with the Wolves keeping Cypher’s secret.  The rest of the Unforgiven tried to contact them, but found the chapter wasn’t willing to listen or help out and with the threat of the Inquisition the Dark Angels elected not to squash their successor chapter.  However, if they ever find out about Cypher and the brothers of the First Legion then that is likely to change.

Why the "Wolves of Caliban"?

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So why have I called my Space Marine Chapter the Wolves of Caliban?  The explanation comes in three parts each of which I will detail below:

1)  I did have a Space Marine army back in the late 90’s but for some reason hadn’t looked at the chapters and thought they would look cool as Stormtroopers (never, ever again!) so I had a long break before getting back into 40K and by then I’d read some of the books and got a feel for the background of the Dark Angels. It didn’t hurt when I split the Dark Imperium box (7th Ed) with a friend and took the Dark Angels side.  The fact that they have there own purpose didn’t hurt either.  I particularly enjoyed the book Angels of Darkness by Gav Thorpe which leaves you with that question who is right Astelan or Boreas.

2) Cypher – not sure I need to say more.  Having got into 7th Ed and then spotted the Triumverte of the Primarch the Cypher miniature appealed to me.  This allowed me to spin the background of the Dark Angels to portray Cypher as not quite so dark and the Dark Angels themselves to be slightly darker.  The story in the book of the return of Gulliman left me thinking that Cypher was very much grey and looking out for himself.  Then again was he trying to speak to the Emperor to point out the Lion’s turning, or was it more Chaos guided and looking to do something with the Lion’s sword (whatever happned to that?).  Anyway I’ve gone with the former.

3) The final piece of the puzzle with the Wolves of Caliban was the purchase from a friend (on the very cheap) of a large quantity of Marines and their vehicles – whoops!  Anyway the collection has most been painted up as Space Wolves, although thankfully without all the Wolf related gubbins so no pelts etc.  I didn’t want to repaint the entire lot from the beginning (lazy I know) so a few tweeks and painting of shoulder pad, knee pads etc and I hope to have the Wolves of Caliban.

The result is therefore a Dark Angels successor chapter with maybe a little leaning towards Cypher.  More details to come in the next post on the history of the chapter.