Dark Angels Army: Picture Day for My Space Marines

I finished a Heldrake commission yesterday, so I took this morning to take some display pictures of it. I have a rule that I don’t post pictures of my completed commissions until the customer has gotten the first chance to look at and hold their commission. You’ll be able to see pictures of the Heldrake probably tomorrow. While I was snapping pictures on the drake, I figured I’d take some time and get some good pictures of my Dark Angels. Here are the fruits of my labor:

DA Sqaud 1DA Squad 1aDA Squad 1c

We start of with a tactical squad.It’s a basic squad that I’ll be adding to as time goes. My plan is to simply build a few key sergeant options, the three assault weapons, and a few key heavy weapons.

DA Squad 2DA Squad 2cDA Squad 2dAnother tactical squad, this one comes from the Dark Vengeance box set. This squad makes for the back bone of really a second squad. I generally put the plasma cannon in the Devastator squad, and I rarely use the sergeant as is. Given how the Dark Vengeance box is still available and with the 7th edition mini-rulebook, I’ll probably have another one these squad soon.

DA LibrarianDA Librarian 3

My Dark Angels Librarian. Again, this model is from the Dark Vengeance box set, and again, I’ll probably will have another one of these guys floating around.

DA Drop PodDA Drop Pod 2A Dark Angels drop pod. I magnetized the doors to prevent them from flopping open. It’s proven to be very nice.

DA RhinoDA Razorback 2

My Dark Angels Rhino can also serve as a Razorback since I magnetized the top hatch. I didn’t magnetize everything to make every take. I tried that last time with my Space Wolves, and it was more of a pain that what it’s worth.

DA Scouts 2

The start of a scout sniper squad. I really need to finish up the rest as I tend to bring at least one squad every time I play.

DA DreadnaughtDA Dreadnaught 2DA Dreadnaught 3

I don’t actually use dreadnaughts all that much in my games, but I had this fellow laying around. I striped the old paint off of him, and painted him in a nice Dark Angels color scheme. The arms are not glued or magnetized. I just use the peg and holes that come as is in the kit.

Deathwing Knights 2

A squad of Deathwing Knights. These guys were fun painting and are a fun squad to play with.

Deathwing 2

My squad of Deathwing terminators from the Dark Vengeance box. I’m working on some more at the moment, so I’m sure you’ll see more of these guys.

DA Stormtalon 2DA Stormtalon 3DA Stormtalon

Finally, this is my Ravenwing Stormtalon. I know Dark Angels don’t have access to Stormtalons. This is for the times I ally with regular codex Space Marines. It has also stood in for my Nephilim a few times. You’ll notice I didn’t go with the standard GW base and mounting rod. I hate that plastic stand that come in the kit. This a set I picked up from CorSec Engineering. I personally think it looks better. It has a lower profile than what comes in the kit. It also unscrews for easy transport.

I hoped you enjoyed my show and tell. Let me know what you think, and if you’re interested in a commission message me here or at Geek Out Studio.

Dark Vengeance Dark Angels Librarian Turmiel

Just to show you that I truly am working on things here’s a quick peek at my Dark Angels librarian Turmiel.

Dark Angels Librarian WIP

Dark Angels Librarian

He’s basically done. The only things I have left to do is his base, clear coat, and a oil wash. I hope to have an actual light box, so I can take better pictures of my miniatures. As it stands, none of the pictures I’ve been taking I feel have really shown off how nice some of my things look. You can be assured that once I do have a light box; I’ll be posting pictures left and right.

As always, I’d love to hear you thoughts.

Did I Fall Off the Planet?

Oh my lord! Almost a year with no new content. That has to be a sad state. The truth of the matter is that I’ve been busy behind the scenes with a variety of projects. Add on top of that the juggling act of having a job. I’ve been doing a lot of gaming over the past few months. Some of it not Warhammer 40k. I’ve been sucked into the world of Infinity, Song of Blades and Heros, Flames of War, and Full Thrust. There’s a local Infinity escalation league starting next month that I’m jumping in on, so I’ll try and be good and start adding more actual gaming content. There’s also the small fact that I’ve been getting a very big project up off the ground. What is that you ask?

Drum roll…


I’ve started a commissioning service that focuses on props, costumes, and miniatures. Right now you can check it out at Geek Out Studio’s Facebook page. It probably won’t be long until I get a proper web page for it along with Youtube channel. Naturally, content from this site will no doubt morph into including more content for Geek Out Studio.

I’ve been toying with the idea of a commissioning service for some time; however, it wasn’t until Pensacon that I decided to take the plunge. Most of my time over the winter was devoted to putting together my and my wife’s costume. Mine fell through and my wife’s costume almost did too. However, we managed to pull it off. Here she is in her RWBY cosplay as Ruby Rose.

Ruby RoseRuby Rose CosplayDuring the build of her costume I was getting a lot of praise from people, and when I showed them my miniatures, the praise just grew. Most of those comments were along the lines of I should do this professionally, or could I do something. I was also inspired when I ran into an old friend from high school. She was making a career of following her love and passion, so I figured I had no excuse.

Just my Warhammer peeps don’t feel like their being left out. Here is a small collection of my miniatures that recently won a handful of prizes at the Blue Angel’s Scale Model and Miniatures Expo. The pictures really are bad, and I’m in the process of making a light box. Just humor me and keep an eye out for better ones.

Dark Angels RhinoDark Angels SquadDeathwingRavenwing Storm TalonRavenwing Storm Talon topThese last minis aren’t Warhammer, but I think they’re easy to look at.

ShowgirlsI run a handful of these as my war band for Song of Blades and Heroes.

Anyway, I’ve got a lot of projects on my table, so I’ll have plenty to go over through the next few days. Thankfully, I’ve been moved to part time, so I can devote more time on working on Geek Out Studio and my blog. Right now though, I trying to organize and clean the chaos that is near and dear to all of us: my work area. As all ways, if you have questions or comments leave them down below.

The New Dark Angels Codex: An Editorial Part One

Dark Angels Codex

Last month I posted my first impression of the Dark Angels Codex. I have had time to really digest it and play a few games with it, but I still find it rather difficult to completely wrap my arms around. Given the events over the past few weeks with Games-Workshop and the online community exploding with negativity, I’ve decided to do a couple of editorials. This naturally will be an addition to the other columns that I’ve been trying to do (namely the Horus Heresy tactica). With these editorials, I will try to not generate more negativity. I will more than likely fail at that goal. Really, I just want to point out faults and then discuss ways to improve them, so let us dive in.

What’s wrong with the Dark Angels codex? On the whole, there isn’t much wrong with it. It’s more of a series of small annoyances and problems that stack up to make the codex feel a bit off-putting. Many comments and forums have praised its level of balance. However, I’m in the camp of the few who think that think it’s balanced to the point of being bland. I’ll take a moment to list the faults I think the book has. Right now, I just want to put down some broad strokes about the book. We could spend a whole column on the grammar mistakes and rule mistakes this book has, but that would bring up obvious points. I do believe those mistakes reveal that Games-Workshop rushed the codex, and probably wanted a test bed for other space marine armies. Another key fault with the codex, I don’t know if it’s due to rule mistakes or a grand Games-Workshop plan, is the subtle push to make players pick a particular unit, not take a particular unit, or have a particular unit composition.¬† Since I consider myself a narrative or fluff player, many of these rules mistakes or the push to make me use a particular unit in a particular way is a bit of a coin toss. While the rule mistakes and grammar mistakes are annoying to my English degree background and personal level of professionalism, they don’t make me want to quit the game or throw the codex away. However, the push to make me choose a particular unit or use that unit in a way that Games-Workshop feels or wants it to be used really ruffles my feathers. I’ll go into detail about that as I go over the list of units. Again, since I consider myself a narrative player, I look to the “fluff” in the front of the book to give me inspiration and explanations¬† to the rules and option chooses that are in the army list. Very little was done in terms of “fluff”. Yes, things were given a bit more detail, but no new fluff or characters were added. There are sparks of interests, and things I would love to see played out on the table. However, there’s not really a way to play out the fluff of the Dark Angels given the army list’s options and rules. How would I have it? That’s a great question which leads me to the heart of this post.

Dark AngelsWhat would I change about the Dark Angels codex? Again, starting with broad strokes, I would do things that would make and keep Dark Angels a unique army because I’m looking towards what might happen with the release of Codex: Space Marines. Previous iterations of Dark Angels always seemed to come out living up to the idea of why Dark Angels should have their own codex, but as time goes by Dark Angels would always seem to lose what made them unique. They would also start out rather low on the “army strength” level. Eventually, other armies would come out that would be so much better with better rules and options relegating Dark Angels to just a handful of players, collecting dust of shelves, or being turned into green Ultramarines. With 6th edition and being the second codices for the edition, the Dark Angels could have had a whole new beginning. I agree the Ravenwing and Deathwing are really what make Dark Angels special. That is why I think they should remain special. For starters, all other space marine army that follows should not have the ability to make an all terminator army or an all bike army. I would also like to see something more done with these companies other than adding an “elite unit of…” and you fill in the company name. Another idea that could be used to make the Dark Angels a little bit more special across the whole army is to have some way to represent the Dark Angels particularity for infiltrating, surprise attacks, superior tactics and strategy, or suddenly appearing and then disappearing with little fan fare. These army characteristics could have been achieved with Dark Angels Special Rules or Warlord traits, which is a good segue to the listing of issues

  • Warlord Traits and Dark Angels Special Rules – None of the warlord traits, in the big rule book or here in the Dark Angels codex, are particularly spectacular, and I don’t think they are meant to be. However, the Dark Angels seem to suffer a bit more from them. For starters, all the special characters except Sammael and Azrael have The Hunt warlord trait. While it’s a fluffy and narrative rule, I kind of would like a bit more variety, or traits that better represented the character. Maybe Ezekiel could have had a psychic warlord trait where he sees into the future or the hearts of men, or simply give him the Brilliant Planning warlord trait. The warlord traits that the Dark Angels do have are really lackluster. Out of the six there are only three that I would consider Dark Angels flavored and useful. Courage of the Lion I find particularly useless given the high leadership of space marine HQ choices, Grim Resolve that the whole army has, and the addition of the banners. This and the Dark Angels special rules could have been improved by introducing more special characters. These other characters could have been squad upgrades similar to the Sergeant Telion from the Codex: Space Marines or the Arjac and Lukas from the Space Wolves codex. These characters could have added more Dark Angels character to the particular unit they where with, or augmenting the Dark Angels Special Rules. I’m sure there army many Dark Angels players that would like to have seen the return of Namaan.
  • HQ selection – The HQ’s that can be selected are good. I would have liked some of them to be a bit better at close combat, but if Games-Workshop is moving away from close combat, then I guess this is a pointless issue to have. There are only a few minor issues that I really have, and they are leveled at the special characters. I don’t understand why Azrael is not an Eternal Warrior but Sammael is. I just feel the Grand Master of the Dark Angels, the head honcho, the grand leader should be immune to instant death. Along those same line, why are all the swords that the three grand master have different stats: the Sword of Secrets, the Sword of Silence, and the Raven Sword? It’s the Raven Sword that bothers me the most. Again, Sammael has a better piece of equipment than the Grand Master of the whole chapter. I personally would have liked to see all these swords standardized, since that appears the route Games-Workshop wants to take. If I were to do it, I would make each sword S +2 AP 2 Master-Crafted, Two Handed. Finally, there is the glaring mistake that is Asmodai. I honestly think this guy was an 11th hour addition just before the book was about to be sent to the printers. There is so much there that could have been. Instead, we get an interrogator chaplain that’s 30 points more expensive that doesn’t have a shooting attack, only adds the Fear special rule, and has a knife that can cause Instant Death but is a Specialist Weapon. Why in the world would I take him?
  • Command Squads – I love the idea of the command squads, and I have tried them in every game that I’ve played with the Dark Angels. However, there are some big problems that I have with them. The obvious is the banners. This is another really cool concept that makes Dark Angels stand out that was implemented very poorly. With the advent of Precision Shot, the banner is a big and easy target, and this is made worse by the cost of the banners. Any competent player that has Snipers will target the command squad and put any and all Precision Shots on the banner, and in a single turn, a good 30+ point banner is gone, probably before it got to do what you bought if for. The thing that makes this flaw even more grating is how simple it could have been fixed. Games-Workshop could simply make the banner carrier a character, that way he could get the Look Out Sir rule, or make it to where a member in the squad picks the banner up, that way the squad would have to be killed to the man in order for the banner to be taken out. All three command squads suffer from this flaw. Granted, the Deathwing Command squad doesn’t suffer as much with the barer having a 2+ armor save and the possibility of 3++ with a storm shield, but the Ravenwing Command Squad really suffers from the banner being a target since the squad only has three guys. Another issue the command squad suffers from is the champion. A champion, it’s an upgrade that players should want to take that should have a lot of flare and fluff behind it. However, the Blade of Caliban makes it completely pointless to take a champion. I don’t understand how the Blade of Caliban is the only sword, so far, that is Unwieldy and only adds a +1 to strength. I would much rather have just a regular power sword. When compared to the weapon a Deathwing champion gets, the flaw becomes almost comical. As with the grand masters’ swords and the banner barer, this flaw is made worse by the simplicity it would take to fix the issue: give the champion a relic blade or a regular power sword.

Dark Angels Chapter Badge¬† I’ll continue my discussion and critique in a few more posts. I don’t want this to turn into a novel, and I don’t want to show all my cards about the personal update that I’m doing to the Dark Angels codex. Again, I want to stress that this is not me bashing the codex or calling it horrible. It’s just me simply pointing out the flaws that I see and wondering why they are there, and what could have been done to fix them. No codex is perfect, and I understand that if Games-Workshop introduced to many special and wonderful little things, then we would see the cheese mongering that made the cropped up in the later days of 5th edition. I just would like to see the First Legion, the army that introduced me to Warhammer 40k receive the same love and special treatment that other codices received. I don’t want the attitude and feeling that as one poster on a forum thread put it, “Dark Angels are never treated fairly,” to be standard that is accepted.




Deathwing Paint Scheme: Badger Minitaire Test Model

Today, I took a big step in how I plan to paint my models. I’ve decided to use my airbrush more, and see if I can perform the zenith method of painting miniatures. I recently invested in a few colors from the Badger Minitaire paint line since they’ve been getting some positive reviews from the Warhammer community. With the Dark Venegence starter box still sitting in my work area unpainted, and the new Dark Angels codex being out, I decided I would attempt this new method of painting on a new Dark Angel army.

The weather here has finally cooperated enough to allow me to get out in the garage and do a quick test model of the Deathwing paint scheme I plan to do. Here are the results.

Deathwing Test Front

Deathwing Test Back

Again, this was my first attempt at doing anything more complicated than laying down a base coat with an airbrush, and I didn’t go into painting the rest of the model. This was simple to see how I could do the zenith painting, and what the armor would look like with the colors I picked. I used Badger Minitaire Earth, Bark, and Mummy. The results are not too bad. I would have liked the shadows to be a little dark and the gradient to be a bit more pronounced. Though, I have the feeling that if the gradient was more pronounced I wouldn’t like it. Both of these issues could probably be corrected with putting down more of the Earth color and being a little bit lighter on the two high light colors. I do, however, really like the colors. Personally, I think this paint scheme is more in line with what the Deathwing should look like instead of the strange yellow looking scheme that’s in the new Dark Angel codex. I’ll try one more test model taking into account the things I learned with this model. If the armor comes out satisfactory, then I’ll finish the entire model moving onto the other new method I’ll be employing with my models: oil washes.

If you have any tips or trick, thoughts, comments, or criticism, let me know in the comments.

New Dark Angels Codex: First Impression

Dark Angels CodexSo with the holidays well behind us, and me surviving a bout of bronchitis, I have returned to continue my hobby and review of Warhammer 40k. I ventured out Saturday and picked up the Dark Angels codex, and this is just my first impression of the book. I do plan on taking a little bit of time reviewing the codex along with my continued review of the Horus Heresy.

In short, I’m a little disappointed with the Dark Angels codex. Basically, I’ve taken to calling it the Ravenwing codex with Deathwing attached and Codex Space Marines copy and pasted for the rest. My disappointment steams from a couple of places. Many of the previous codices released starting with Space Wolves did a great job in creating a number of great units, and carrying the feel and fluff of the army through to every unit. I’m most familiar with the Space Wolves codex, so I’ll use that as an example. In the Space Wolves codex, there is a desire to take or try every unit, and every unit has a Space Wolves feel to them. They are not just simply Ultramarines with fur pelts taped to their armor. The most recent codex, Chaos Space Marines, does a similar thing. There are options and wargear to give your chaos army a unique and particular feel to them. I’ve been playing around with making a Death Guard army, and there are plenty of ways to make my army look, feel, and play like Nurgle without necessarily taking Plague Marines. The Dark Angels codex seems to fail in this area. It seems with the release of all the previous fun almost over the top codices Games-Workshop scaled this one way back. As I mentioned, beyond Ravenwing and Deathwing, the Dark Angels just feel like green Ultramarines. Which brings me to the other reason why I’m disappointed by the Dark Angels codex, my connection with the Dark Angels and their back story.

Dark Angels was one of the first Space Marines army I ever played, so there’s a special place in my heart for them. In my opinion, they also have one of the most interesting and rich back stories of any Space Marine army. I felt there was so much potential for the new Dark Angel army, and maybe it’s my fault for setting my expectations too high. However, I feel given the potential the Dark Angels have and the previous line of codices that this codex should have been more. There should have been a way to carry the Dark Angel back story and feel through to every unit not just Ravenwing and Deathwing. I almost wish most of the rumors I had heard were true like taking Chaplins similar to the Blood Angels Apothecaries or getting Plasmas for really cheap, and despite all the hate he gets, I wish Matt Ward had written it or even Phil Kelly. Most of the Special Characters are bland and bring little to the table except Sammuel. The Company Veterans don’t have much that make them special and are overshadowed by Deathwing and Deathwing Knights. The Dark Angels don’t have Vanguard or Sternguard vets, which Blood Angels got. Most discouraging of all, there’s very little that can be done to upgrade a tactical squad to give it a Dark Angel feel.

To all those who play Codex Space Marines, I think you just got a preview of what your codex will be like.

I can already hear some people ask what I would have done. When I go through the codex in more detail, I think more of this will make sense. I would have followed through with some of the more sensible rumors. You would be able to take three Chaplins as single elite choice a divide them into different squads. I would have made plasma weapons cheaper. Similar to what Chaos Space Marines did, if I made a company master a Deathwing terminator or Ravenwing biker, then I would open up Ravenwing and Deathwing as troop choices. I would have created a set of Dark Angels psychic powers. Intergator-Chaplins would be more than more expensive chaplins. I would do something to represent they single-minded pursuit of their foe regardless of who or what is in their way, and their intimating presence. I will admit that the tactical squads is a bit of a hanging point, but I think there could something: a special rule or an upgrade option that does a better job at representing the Dark Angels secretive and knightly characteristic.

Before everyone blasts me in the comments section, I want to once again point out that this is a first impression. It all might change when I begin to pick apart the codex. However, as it stands right now, I’m disappointed. I’m also a little frustrated because it seems that the codex is set up to make me choose Ravenwing or Deathwing. Then again I guess it should have been evident given that it was just Ravenwing and Deathwing models that Games-Workshop put out.

Project Diary: How to Paint a Fortress of Redemption Part 2

It’s been a few weeks since I last updated about this post. That’s because things have slowed down since I’m working on the tower, and to be honest, I’ve also been distracted with the new Chaos Space Marines codex and the Horus Heresy book. I’ve been tinkering around with bits seeing what I could make, and painting test models for various paint schemes. I did take the time to get a large part of the tower done along with the floor, and so I figured I’d post an update and guide.

To begin with, this is the method I’ve used for all the floor piece for the Fortress of Redemption.

1. Major floor parts are done with Blazing Orange.

2. Parts that will be metal are painted black. In this case the hatch.

Next is a combination of washes using Secret Weapon Baby Poop and Vallejo Sepia Shade

Finally, the hatch is painted with Boltgun Metal and washed with Vallejo Sepia Shade. A light dry brush of Boltgun Metal is also applied to the floor.

The front of the tower posed a very unique challenge. I’m sure there are people out there with the air brush skills to do most of the painting with an air brush. I, however, do not have those skills, so all of the tower is painted by hand. I can say that after everything is done I’ll need to go back over and do some clean up work.

  1. Cloak was painted using Vallejo Light Grey.
  2. Wings were painted using DecoArth Colonial Blue.
  3. Halo and sword hilt was painted Scorched Brown.
  4. Rock was painted using Vallejo Deep Blue Grey.
  5. Bones and scroll were painted with Kommando Khaki.

That part alone took almost a week, and you can probably see that I haven’t even touched the bottom half of the tower.

  1. Cloak was painted using Dark Angel Green.
  2. Wings were painted using Fortress Grey trying to leave a little of the Colonial Blue still visible.
  3. Halo and sword hilt were painted using Shinning Gold.
  4. Sword was painted using Boltgun Metal.
  5. Rock was dry brushed using Fortress Grey and Skull White.

This process took another week and a half, so it was about halfway through this step that I took a break. You can clearly see in this picture where I’ll need to go back and do some clean up work.

That’s where I stand now with the Fortress of Redemption. The discouraging thing is that this is only one of the four panels that make up the tower. It throws into light how long it’s going to take me to do this. I’m not dumb enough to set a ridiculous goal of when this thing will get done, but I would like to try to have it done be the end of January. Check back for more updates.


Project Diary: Fortress of Redemption

It’s finally done being put together. This was a Christmas present from my wife, yes, I know I have an awesome wife, from the time it was first released, and it has taken me this long to finally begin to work on it. Most of you know that this was release as a piece for the Planet Strike add-on, and I got it thinking to use it in either Apocalypse or just as a really cool piece of terrain, especially with all the nice little Dark Angel details.¬† Now in sixth edition, it’s an actual fortification choice, so I figured I’d get my butt in gear.

To begin with, I glued only what was absolutely necessary, so the tower, bunkers, walkway, and lascannon all come apart for easy storage.

You can see here where I drilled and placed magnets for the heavy bolters. The walkway and bunkers also have magnets to help keep the structure together when on the game board. The search lights on top of the tower are the only detail that is glued, and the only detail that I’m going to put on this thing. As of right now, the glue for the heavy bolter magnets are still drying. Once those are done, I plan to cover the magnets with green stuff mainly to prevent the magnets from breaking away from the model.

As you can see, there is no secret that this is a very big piece of terrain. Here’s a collection of scouts to help give some sense of size. I can see that painting this thing is going to take some time. Thankfully, I have an air brush that will help speed the process up. If everything works out, I should be able to prime the model tomorrow. Look for an update and maybe even a painting tutorial.