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The Watchers on the Wall

The Watchers on the Wall

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Project Blog by foehammer888

Recommendations: 333

About the Project

I’ve long thought about building a 40k Deathwatch force, since before they had little more than a single unit of Chapter Approved rules. As an avid converter (I almost never build a model 100% to the box instructions), they provided me the opportunity to dip my toe into a myriad of converting ideas, without the need to build an entire army around that specific theme. All I needed was to come to terms with painting a lot of black. Thus, I picked up an Indomitus boxed set, a start collecting box, and an easy-build Reiver box, and got converting/painting. My Goal: to make every model in my force a unique, named character. To try and theme each around a chapter, going beyond just a painted shoulder pad. What I’d welcome for from the OTT community: 1) Questions on how I did anything in this project 2) Ideas on additional chapters to create,there are (supposedly) a 1000 to cover Time to get to work.

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The last thing they heard...

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Veteran Brother Varda of the Star Phantoms, call-sign “Banshee”

Front viewFront view

A quiet, taciturn, individual, Veteran Brother Varda takes no part in the playful banter common amongst the disparate members of Deathwatch kill teams. It’s rumored Pack Leader Leif has a pool going at the Watch Fortress, the first Marine to get Varda to smile claims the prize.

Varda’ call sign came from the high-pitched keening wail made as his Melta rifle reduces even the heaviest armor to slag.

This model is basically a straight Indomitus Eradicator, the only modification being the very difficult process of shaving off the sculpted shoulder pad, and replacing it with a deathwatch terminator pad.

Rear viewRear view

Say hello to my...

Tutoring 3
Skill 4
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Veteran Grenadier Bakkas of the Brazen Claws, call sign “Little Friend”

Front ViewFront View

Bakkas of the Brazen Claws is a giant, even by the standards of a Primaris Marine. It’s rumored his Chapters’ Tech Marines had to custom-modify most of his armor so it would fit. As is common with Iron Hands and their Successors, Bakkas initially comes off cold and aloof. However, once fellow kill team members have earned his trust and respect, he’s fiercely loyal, placing the safety and security of his mission and his squadmates above his own.

This has led the members of his Watch Fortress to tag him with the call sign “Little Friend.”

From a painting perspective, I experimented with adding a higher highlight, P3 Trollblood Highlight, to the sharpest points of the black armor. I liked the effect, giving it the appearances of a glossy sheen.

Rear ViewRear View

False Scorpion

Tutoring 3
Skill 6
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Veteran Brother Gaius of the Mentor Legion, Call Sign - TBD

False Scorpion

Latest edition, Veteran Brother Gaius of the Mentor Legion. This model is actually basically straight out of the box. I really liked this reloading pose. Only additions to the basic Intercessor kit are (1)  the Deathwatch Shoulder pad, and (2) the Bird-head shoulder pad from the Deathwatch Kill Team kit. Almost feel like I need to add a little more to the model.

 

I painted him with grey hair to give him a more grizzled look, particularly given the facial scars (that’s what you get for not wearing your helmet.

Still trying to work out a call sign for this guy. Any suggestions?

Rising from the Ashes

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Knight-Veteran Victor of the Fire Hawks, call sign -“Phoenix”

Primaris Agressor with Flamestorm GauntletsPrimaris Agressor with Flamestorm Gauntlets

Another joins the Shield that Slays.

Victor is one of only a handful of Space Marines of the Fire Hawks Chapter to have survived the Chapter’s mysterious Warp-travel disappearance. After the Galaxy was split by the emergence of the Cicatrice Maledictum, finding himself a Marine without a Chapter, Victor was one of the first to volunteer to cross the Rubicon Primaris. He expected his death during the procedure to serve his fellow Deathwatch brothers by providing the Apothecaries experience to refine the process. After days in surgery, during which Victor’s hearts stopped 4 times for over 2 hours, he emerged a reborn Primaris Marine.

His Chapter’s Heraldry, his preference for Prometheum weaponry, and his apparent rebirth following the Primaris transformation has earned Victor the call sign “Phoenix”.

Final Landscaping

Tutoring 3
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Final Landscaping

Had a long week, and couldn’t focus enough to detail painting many mans. Mostly just finished the biker. Thus decided to hammer through my bases. I love the Indomitus bases, with the large peg and hole as it allows separate base and miniature painting, without the need for pinning. Really makes a cleaner process.

Here’s the marine bases, the Necron are grey, and are awaiting drybrushing. Since the last update, they were dry brushed with the following colors, each a little lighter than the previous.

1) Vallejo khaki

2) Vallejo Buff

3) white

Would love input. Brown base rims or black? I normally go black, but it’s creating weird contrast with the black Deathwatch minis.

Final Landscaping

A Bird of Prey

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Deathwatch Outrider Christophe of the Dark Angels, Kill Team 7, known as the “Birds of Prey,” call sign - “Raven”

Front-right viewFront-right view

Completed the first of the Primaris Outrider Bikers. These are LARGE models. Conversions included:

1) Attaching Ravenwing accessories I cut off an old Ravenwing Biker from an older 40k starter set. Normally the front wings face the other direction, but I couldn’t find an appropriate place to glue them on the Outrider bike design

2) Attached a Dark Angels Icon to the backpack. Again, this was cut from an old Dark Angels starter set Sergeant.

3) the usual fun of shaving off the old shoulder pad to glue on a DEathWatch pad

4) Glued on a large DW vehicle Icon to the left side

Most of the painting was straight forward. I added the shield and “7” icon on the right side of the bike as it was an odd area of straight black. I also painting the eagle head icon to the front cowling, a Squadron marker for the “Birds of Prey”.  Now I’ve just got to theme the other 2 bikers. A White Scar is an easy selection, but the third might be tricky.

Any ideas?

Front-left viewFront-left view

Class picture day

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Class picture day

Nothing is quite at the complete stage, so decided to update the project with a group shot of completed models to date.

All about dat base, ‘bout that base

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All about dat base, ‘bout that base

More progress on the bases. Desert bases were

  • Primed
  • Painted Vallejo Khaki
  • Wahed GW Seraphim Sepia
  • Areas of playground sand were washed with Agrax Earthshade

Next up, copious drybrushing.

I’m also working on converting my first true character, a Deathwatch Justicar. I started with the Indomitus Justicar, then:

  • Used a helmed head from the DW sprue
  • Changed the sword for a Necron blade from one of the destroyers to create a large xenophase blade
  • Using the head from a Deathwatch heavy thunder hammer, created a Xenos artifact to replace the hourglass. Like a cube from the upcoming necron chronomancer.

Still need to fancy up the backpack some.

The challengerThe challenger
Are you missing one of those cubes?Are you missing one of those cubes?

All your base are belong to us!

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Too long a day to paint tiny miniatures, so decided to hammer out a bunch of bases. My basing method is a variant of the baking soda and super glue method. My trick is I use Gel super glue. Unlike normal super glue, gel superglue won’t auto level, so will maintain some undulations and texture that will make it look like more realistic, uneven ground.

To start, squirt some glue on the base, and spread it around with a paperclip or toothpick.

After applying glue, dip in the baking soda, shake off, and set aside to dry. Unlike the normal baking soda method, some dry time is necessary, as the glue is thicker in areas, and won’t auto-set from exposure to the baking soda.

Once dry, use an old brush to clean off the excess baking soda. A warning, this is a messy process.

Bases post dippingBases post dipping
All my bases, post cleaningAll my bases, post cleaning

If using the indomitus bases with the peg hole, I would recommend cleaning the peg hole with a knife. Some glue/baking soda may have dried in the hole, and if this isn’t cleaned out, it could cause the peg not to fit.

The next step is to add small, irregular patches of sand to represent areas of rock and larger gravel. For this, I spread normal super glue in irregular areas, and them dip the base in playground sand. I use super glue instead of white glue, as white glue has a tendency to loosen when exposed to water-based paint.

All the bases fully flockedAll the bases fully flocked

I like this method as the baking soda is a more realistic dirt texture scale-wise when compared to a 28mm mini. Using pure sand makes a model appear to be standing in a field of large stones. I also like basing separate from mini painting, as both flocking and painting are such messy processes.

More to come in step 2

Do you feel lucky punk?

Tutoring 3
Skill 6
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Veteran Brother Nico off the Raptors, call sign “Quick Draw”

Invictus WarsuitInvictus Warsuit

This was the first model I bought when starting this Deathwatch Army. I honestly wasn’t a fan of this model when it was first released. This, along with many other Phobos Armored Marines struck me as too “Rainbow Six” and not enough “Grimdark”.

however, the Deathwatch have strong tech theme with their special issue ammunition and bazillion weapon options. Where Grey Knights are holy paladins battling the daemonic, the Deathwatch are half navy seal, half exterminators.

There are a bunch of conversions in this fig.

1) I loved the heavy bolted sidearm, but decided to tweak it a little by adding a revolver style gun magazine that I 3D printed.

2) despite the power first, I decided to give it a (large) combat blade, in the form of a 3D printed necron phase sword

3) I 3D printed deathwatch icons for the shoulder guard and front armor.

4) I green stuff sculpted the raptor icon on the right shoulder guard. Not too hard at this scale.

Overall the results were ok. I only have an FDM printer, so the quality on the 3D printed components wasn’t great, but were ok for a large model.

Left viewLeft view
Right rear viewRight rear view

][…Redacted by the Inquisition…][

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][…Redacted by the Inquisition…][

An Insufferable Know-It-All

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Veteran Brother Ajax of the Genesis Chapter, call sign “Bookworm”

An Insufferable Know-It-All

The Genesis Chapter was the first of the new Space Marine Chapters created during the Second Founding following the Horus Heresy. They revere Guilliman, and are one of the strictest followers of the Codex Astartes. The Chapter views service in the Deathwatch as a pilgrimage, an opportunity to demonstrate to their less-adherent brother marines the wisdom of the Codex. They always carry a copy of the sacred text on their person, even in the heat of battle.

Ajax’s incessant reciting of excerpts from Codex has earned him the call sign “Bookworm”.

Model is mostly a straight easy-build Intercessor. Only modifications are:

1) Green-stuff sculpted Chapter Badge

2) copy of the Codex Astartes made from plasticard and various conversion bits

3) trimmed off the sculpted shoulder guard, and replaced it with the deathwatch shoulder pad.

 

Rear Right ViewRear Right View
Rear Left ViewRear Left View

Fortress of solitude

Tutoring 5
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Praetorian Warden Piter of the Imperial Fists, call sign - “Rook”

Fortress of solitude

The conversions in this model were very simple, and were all about completing a theme. The Imperial Fists are siege masters and fortress builders, and as I built this model, it looked like a walking fortress. It’s as wide as it is tall, and Dwarfs even normal Terminators. The Grenade launcher on the shoulders looks like the parapet of a Fortress.

The only conversions were

1) Green Stuff IF icon on the right shoulder guard. This was done to try and challenge my sculpting skills, and also because painting the IF icon on a yellow background  is difficult, and not forgiving of mistakes.

2) switching the Agressor helmet, which looks rather insect-like, for the Mk3 Iron Armor helmet from the Burning of Prospero box. It just looks like a Castle portcullis/gate, emphasizing the Fortress theme.

Top it off with the call sign “Rook”, as he reminds me of a Rook chess piece.

My attempt at a green stuff iconMy attempt at a green stuff icon
Deathwatch Silver ArmDeathwatch Silver Arm
Rear viewRear view

Chainsaw Massacre

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Veteran Brother Bael - Call Sign Onslaught

Front viewFront view

Brother Bael is Primarily an Assault Intercessor from the indomitus box. The only modifications are:

1) a helmet less head from the standard Intercessor sprue

2) A right hand chainsword from the Space Wolf upgrade sprue – double-fisting chainswords!

3) a fleshtearers shoulder pad from the Deathwatch kill team frame

4) shoulder pad knife – because he might lose a chainsword…in someone’s skull

5) the painful process of shaving off the old shoulder pad to add the Deathwatch shoulder pad

I also took a shot at painting scars on his face. I started with thick stripes of Bugmans Glow (dark flesh tone), and then painted thin lines of flayed one flesh along the center of the Bugmans glow to create the scar tissue.

Overall result is a chainsaw-wielding nutter

Side viewSide view
Rear viewRear view
Chainsaw Massacre

Bahhh-Dum

Tutoring 5
Skill 8
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Veteran Brother Aka of the Carcharadons, Call Sign “Frenzy”

Front viewFront view

“Even the Deathwatch’s enhanced sensors didn’t detect the approach of the sleek, Carcharadons frigate which delivered Veteran Brother Aka to his term of service in the Watch Fortress. It drifted, completely unpowered,  like a silent predator riding ocean currents towards its unaware prey.  The first anyone knew of the vessel’s approach was the thundering of docking clamps, and the hissing of the airlock pressure release.

None know what massive leviathan creature Aka slew to create his massive bone blade, but Pack Leader Leif insists it couldn’t possibly eclipse the monstrous Kraken of Fenris… could it?”

Adding another Assault Intercessor to the army. I’ve had this bone-sword, from an old Wrath of Kings model, in my bits box for years, waiting for a model to use it on. I liked the overall effect, but still feel the sword might be a tad large for the model. I had to add an extended handle to attempt to balance the weapon. The only other conversions include adding a pistol scope, and using an agressor helmet, as I thought it looked like the old Mark V helmets that Carcharadons often wear.

I also took a swing at painting some Maori tattoo patterns on his hip guard and his grieve.

Left sideLeft side
RearRear
Right sideRight side

There’s really a “Flesheaters” Chapter?

Tutoring 6
Skill 9
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Veteran Brother Hannibal - call Sign “Chewy”

There’s really a “Flesheaters” Chapter?

So this Marine was actually the first one I made for my DW force. I really just wanted to check if I could pull off a black color scheme I didn’t hate…an important thing to do before embarking on an entirely black army.

He has very little modification, being almost a straight easy-build Reiver.  Conversions are only (1)  the attempt at sculpting a Deathwatch Icon, and (2) using extra Greenstuff to give him a decorative rope thing on his other shoulder.

I didn’t hate my first attempt at black, thus why this project exists. After some advice I received from Instagram, I transitioned to using blue-greys rather than straight greys to highlight the black after this model. Vallejo Black-Grey for first highlight, then Vallejo Mirage Grey for the sharp edge. It gives the black more metallic depth rather these looking chalky and plastic.

Another trick for painting black as a primary color. Keep the black clean and simple, and emphasize small areas of other colors on the model. A lot of how black (and white) is perceived is based on how it is contrasted by other colors. Make those other colors pop, and the black will appear blacker. Also don’t add to many other colors. Ensure the black is the focus. This is why I try not to choose chapters with black shoulder pads. I need that chapter shoulder pad to add a pop of contrasting color to the model.

Sculpted Deathwatch IconSculpted Deathwatch Icon
A few splashes of color, green grenade, leather scabbard, red shoulder padA few splashes of color, green grenade, leather scabbard, red shoulder pad

A knife in the dark...

Tutoring 4
Skill 8
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Veteran Brother Nikita - Call Sign “Razor”

Veteran Brother Nikita of the RavenguardVeteran Brother Nikita of the Ravenguard

This update shows off my second assault intercessor. This one is from the Ravenguard chapter. While Ravenguard are often depicted as snipers or with lightning claws, I wanted to run with the idea of a knife-fighter. The various sprues I had available had numerous cool knife wielding arms.

The knife-drawing arm is from the SW upgrade frame. I simply cut off the SW symbol on the scabbard, and added some feathers from an old lizard man standard in my bits box. The other arm is an Intercessor knife arm, but I reverse d the knife grip. I love the overall effect, with the crouched pose, like he’s about to lash-out at some unfortunate victim.

Lastly, he needed his pistol. The model didn’t have space for a holster, given the extra knife scabbard, so I resurrected an approach from an old inquisitor model. Inquisitor Covenant had a shoulder-mounted psycannon linked to a mind impulse unit (MIU). He could aim it with his thoughts while wielding a massive force sword with both hands. Given Nikita’s need for both hands for knives, I thought the same concept would work.

Inquisitor covenant from the old GW Inquisitor rulebookInquisitor covenant from the old GW Inquisitor rulebook

A knife in the dark...

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Veteran Brother Nikita - Call Sign “Razor”

A knife in the dark...

This update shows off my second assault intercessor. This one is from the Ravenguard chapter. While Ravenguard are often depicted as snipers or with lightning claws, I wanted to run with the idea of a knife-fighter. The various sprues I had available had numerous cool knife wielding arms.

The knife-drawing arm is from the SW upgrade frame. I simply cut off the SW symbol on the scabbard, and added some feathers from an old lizard man standard in my bits box. The other arm is an Intercessor knife arm, but I reverse the knife grip. I love the overall effect with the crouched pose.

Master of The Hunt

Tutoring 6
Skill 9
Idea 8
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Pack Leader Leif - reluctant call sign “K9”

Master of The Hunt

This next model is a pretty straight out of the box Space Wolf. I picked up a Space Wolf Primaris Start Collecting box to flesh out my force, and it came with this character (in addition to 10 Intercessors and 3 Agressors).

Only modification to the model was to change out his Bolter arm with a pistol instead, as he’ll take the role of my Assailt intercessor Sergeant with Power Axe. I also added a scope to the pistol, as Deathwatch appear to love their scopes.

I was really pleased with the results on the cloak. I started with P3 leather brown. This seemed to take forever to dry, which was a good thing. I painted a dark brown (Vallejo German Camo dark brown) in the central areas of the cloak, which wet-blended in to the leather brown as the P3 brown was still wet. After These dryer, I washed the cloak with Agrax Earthshade, and dry brushed with a khaki paint.

The varying shades made it look like a real animal cloak.

A Rainbow Warrior

Tutoring 6
Skill 12
Idea 9
1 Comment

Veteran Brother Takai, call sign “Chief”

A Rainbow Warrior

This model was a suggestion from a player at my local hobby shop. I decided the Rainbow Warrior chapter would have a Native American feel. I started again with an easy build Reiver, adding bits from my son’s lizard man army.

1) A spiked war club replaced the knife,

2) a totem banner was added to his back,

3) some feathers were added

4) a golden buckler shield was added to his pistol arm.

I like the final result. I’m still not 100% sold on the shield, might be a little too over the top, but I figure I’ll leave it for now.

Still looking for more Chapter ideas if people have them!