Saturday, 27 February 2016

Death Blades Veterans

The 9th Necromundan Death Blades F Company 1st Veteran Squad (Crossref 22Nec9F11) are made up of the most experienced and competent fighters in the company. Organised into first platoon, and reporting to the company commander they are typically used as forward scouts, observers and often given the most difficult battlefield assignments. Here they are equipped in an anti-armour role, with riflemen providing fire support for melta guns and a lascannon team. Unlike other Death Blades uniforms first squad have camo pattern fatigues, to assist in their covert operations, often deploying forward of the main task force.

Note the pennants used by 1st squad to track kills, and the larger motivational banner carried by the weapons team member. These are undoubtedly unfurled after covert operations have ceased, the enemy has been engaged and the squad have "gone loud".

Also of note in the image below are the red markings on the chainsword of the sergeant. Markings such as these are added to the equipment of guardsmen who have received battlefield honors for acts of valour, with this sergeant displaying two such marks. Typically these awards are only handed out by officers of regimental command or higher, or Astartes that the guardsmen may have fought alongside. The fact that this individual has two such honours is an extremely rare occurrence, with only a handful likely to be handed out in the entire Regiment during it's activation.

These veterans are made up entirely of plastic guardsmen models from the rogue trader kit, apart from the sergeant model, who is one of the metal sergeant models of the time. I have given him a magnetised pistol arm, so I can chop and change weapons as needed.

I gave the unit the striped camo pattern from the classic paint schemes (and cover art) of the time, as I figured the veterans would occasionally be infiltrating, acting as forward sentries, or whatever.

I decided to give them three melta guns, and used three of the forgeworld resin astartes melta guns. I chose these as they have a nice old-school feel to them, and suit the look of the unit overall.
One of them has a RTB01 marine head (with bionic eye) as I wanted these guys to look like they had seen a bit of action.

Other heads in the unit are plastic Catachan heads, which are looking the part too.

The pennants are made from foil, with the large one below intended to look similar to the large one on the cover art of the infantry box. I didn't try to write the text on the banner, but might at a later stage.
I also avoided adding kill stripes to the barrels of the lasguns. Partly because the Cadian lasgun doesn't have a very long barrel, and partly because it is pretty hard to do a neat job of (for me at least!). I also didn't elongate the barrel of the lascannon, as I figured that with an infiltrating role these guys would possibly be carrying a more compact one.

In 40k era games I will run them as a standard veteran squad. In 30k games the melta guns will warm the bench, the lascannon team will go into the heavy squad, and the five guardsmen can form a recon unit (except that recon unit points are a bit out of whack, but whatever). In rogue trader games I haven't quite worked out what to do. I probably need to magnetise two of the melta guns, which is something that I may do down the track.
But for now they are ready to roll.


  1. Really cool work, they look like hardened veterans who have shared their lot of shit over the galaxy. Pretty nice!

    1. Cheers Suber. A few characterful plastic replacement parts and a banner or two go a long way. It helps that those old plastic models have some dynamic poses, meaning that they look fairly active, and quite individual after head-swaps are done.