Wednesday 22 May 2019

Dark Angels: 2nd Edition Army TO-DONE!!!

The bravest of the plains people.

Hi folks,

If you have been following the blog for a while you will know that I have been collecting Dark Angels for a very long. After some serious soul-searching this year, I decided to focus hard on completing a 2nd Edition army for them, and stop trying to keep them competitive in the current state of the game. Once I started to wind back the years psychologically, the whole project took on a mind of its own. I can honestly say that 16 year old me would have loved this army, it was something I always aimed for but, ultimately, was 22 years in the making.

The army is very much inspired by Bryan Ansell and William King's original Deathwing short story, tapping a little further into the Native American theme than GW would ever go these days. The origin story of the bone-coloured armour of the Deathwing has since been twisted to other purposes (the story itself warns at the start: "Who can now say what the truth of the matter ever was"). I find myself reading the Dark Angels material these days and really hating what they have become. There is a core truth about them that I still love, which I will post about another day, but this army reflects all of the things I wish they were.

The army is commanded by Brother-Shaman Lucian ("Two-Heads-Talking"), who I equip with Terminator Armour, a Force Rod and Conversion Field. His purpose on the battlefield is to commune with the ancestor spirits and convince them to protect his Deathwing squad, as they foot-slog it across the battlefield.  In other words, I aim to draw a few Psychic Powers that will move my Dark Angels faster, or more safely, to where they need to go. In the Deathwing short story, Two-Heads-Talking uses his psychic ability to mask his appearance, to the point where he can walk openly through an enemy stronghold without raising the alarm. It works perfectly well until someone tries to hit him out of malice...

Deathwing Squad Adriel, led by Sergeant Adriel ("Lame Bear"), has an eclectic collection of wargear. I love using assault cannons and cyclone missile launchers in 2nd Edition, but the heavy flamer can be brutal as well. Setting fire to your enemies can really disrupt their game-plan. I have thrown in a pair of lighting claws, having bear-hugged many a tank to death, as well as a chainfist for other anti-armour and anti-character jobs. To really drive home the theme, I added extra feathers to the squad many moons ago.

Supporting my squads as a counter-charge unit is Brother-Ancestor Barakiel ("Hawk Talon"), a Dreadnought armed with a pair of lightning claws, plasma blaster and meltagun.

The second core Squads choice in the list is a 10 man Devastator squad. At 300 points without wargear, any full squad in 2nd Ed. is an investment. The heavy plasma guns and heavy bolters (with Hellfire shells) form a solid firing line that anchors the whole army. Veteran Sergeant Balaam ("Storm Eagle") is armed with a combi-plasma, adding to the firepower at close range.

As a force multiplier, I have included Brother Bethor and the Standard of Devastation in the list, to keep watch over the Devastators. If they are charged, they can shoot as if they were on overwatch. The figure I am using for Bethor is not the official model, as I converted that one to be my Assault squad Sergeant.

I have also included a Techmarine, Brother Uziel ("Stalking Bear"),  to provide a bit of close-combat ability and unlock the Support options I wanted.

My final Squads choice is a classic Scout squad ("the Young Braves"), armed with needle sniper rifles and a heavy bolter with Hellfire shells. Back in the old days I gave my heavy bolter scout a silencer made out of a cut-down lollipop stick (painted black, of course!). To honour that, I elongated the barrel using some parts from a Centurions lascannon.

In Support, apart from the Dreadnought already mentioned, I have taken a Predator Annihilator. Like the Devastator squad, it acts as a solid fire-base and anchor for the whole force, though it has the added ability to move around quite effectively if it needs to. I have killed sooo many vital enemy units with Predators during my time in this hobby, it really was a must-have. To improve its survive-ability I have equipped it with ablative armour and autolaunchers with blind grenades.

Last, almost as some kind of blazingly deadly afterthought, I have included a Callidus Assassin in the army: "Running Deer". In an edition where characters are king, units that can effectively take down characters are highly valuable.

So there we have it, the culmination of 25 years of collecting and dreaming. There is something special about this collection and how it chronicles so many stages of my 40K journey. Age has added to it, I think!

See you across the table,


Tuesday 14 May 2019

Dark Angels Funko Pop!

Hi folks,

I must be going soft in my old age...

When I saw that Funko was releasing a set of 40K inspired Pop! figures I suspected that I would end up getting one, even though I don't collect Pop! figures (I have avoided them like the plague). When I saw it in my local Zing! store, I found that I couldn't leave it behind... so here we are!

I have heard a few people complaining about them online, wishing that GW would just bring out the models they have desperately been waiting for. These kinds of products, like the Conquest magazine series and the children's chapter books, are not everybody's cup of tea. I am not sure if they are an effort to tap into the mainstream, in the hope of hooking some new business, or just juicy bait for dyed-in-the-wool 40k collectors, like me. They are probably both, and people have reasons to be grumpy about both (because internet, mostly). I don't think about these things deeply enough to get grumpy and, besides, just look at how cute he is.

For a dedicated Dark Angels fan with 25 years of fanboy neck-beard, this little guy was going to have to pack in a lot of fun detail for me to bring him home. The figure had nice weight to it and was immediately recognisable as a Dark Angel with his hooded robe and dark green armour. The bionic eye with the scarring behind it was a nice addition, matching one of the heads I have used in the past from the Dark Angels veteran sprue. He also has a service stud just poking out from under his hood. The Dark Angels symbol on his right shoulder is very clear and the shield is also a piece I recognise from my 28 mm collection; I giggled just a bit on the inside when I noticed the head of the angel on the shield matched the Pop! style.

The backpack is as cute as heck and also matched a piece I have used before in my Dark Angels army. The sword he is carrying matches one of the older powerswords from the Dark Angels veteran sprue. I prefer the newer ones, but just the fact that I recognised it gave it the tick for me. To top it all off, he has a veteran symbol on his right shoulder pad. That is a whole lot of accurate, recognisable, detail for such a little "mainstream" figure.

So, I recruited the little guy, and now he guards my paint table from the Fallen. I may... maybe... if I can't hold out... get the Space Wolf as well and have me a little Lion and the Wolf thing going on. We'll see...

See you across the table,