My backlog is starting to clear up. This Tactical squad is the third I’ve painted up in the modern era, and the first of the new kit released with the 6th edition codex. It offers a nice mix of bits.
I went with sculpted shoulder pads. The tactical arrows are from Custom Minis on Shapeways. I went with the “frosted ultra detail” material, which is a little more expensive but supposedly has finer detailing. They’re nice, although you can still vaguely see the crosshatching from where the 3d printer did its thing. I sanded down the raised surfaces a bit, and it’s not very visible on the base.
The Ultramarines shoulder pads are from Games Workshop. They’re a little less nice. There’s a bit of pitting in the resin pieces, but still workable. They’re also a little smaller than current shoulder pads, although it isn’t really noticeable on the completed models.
I used a couple of spare bits from the Sternguard set (mostly used on the Deathwatch squad) to spice up the unit, like the sergeant’s legs. I also magnetized his guns and left arm, so I can swap out weapons at my leisure.
The grav gun is of course magnetized as well, and the full set of specials is ready to go.
I like to leave the arms off while painting, so that I can easily paint underneath. There are four sets of arm pairs in this kit, which need to match up. I needed to keep track of which one goes with which throughout painting. I hot-glued them to toothpicks for airbrushing, which is my standard practice, and put different widths of tape as little flags on each toothpick to indicate the pairings.
I only noticed after I had carefully tracked them throughout the painting process, and was starting to assemble, that they all have matching details between the two arms. So you can pretty easily pick up any two arms and see if they go together.
Just a few more to go before my backlog is complete! Then I can let myself buy more models.
Updated December 2018 with improved images.