Monday, May 28, 2012

Showcase: Blood Angels Sniper Scouts

Howdy! today's entry is about some BC Sniper Scouts with camo cloaks. I quite enjoyed painting them, except for the the cloaks was a bit of a pain but nothing too major.

Getting started

The kit nicely comes with 6 torsos and five legs, giving the choice to have a missile launcher scout if desired. It only takes 3 magnets to be able to switch over, so well worth the effort. I am also planning to take them around to play games so I also magnetized the other torsos/legs - these long rifles won't last for long in one piece even in a foam tray.

As for the bases, I'm using the urban rubble bases from Secret Weapon Miniatures, as opposed to the normal urban bases the assault marines have. It's a way to link them to the rest of the army, yet showing that they are stepping on a different ground - they're scouts after all!


Until the scouts, the rest of my BA army had been painted with airbrush, at least the armour, so it was the first time I was painting armour with a brush. I had also decided when starting the army that I would go for a darker look so the scouts needed to follow the same scheme. Why not using the airbrush here as well? maybe because the visible armour areas aren't that big, I kind of felt lazy about the airbrush. Silly I know as the airbrush is way fastest than the brush but don't ask me ;)

So the base color is mechrite red, followed by a 50/50 blood angels red/mechrite red mix, then some pure blood angels red glazes in the most prominent areas. Neat and simple. I think I also sparingly added some light edge highlighting with blazing orange.

The suit beneath was painted with one of my favourite combinations: khemri brown basecoat, bleached bone layers and a devlan mud wash. It was looking good already so I just added a few highlights with bleached bone/skull white here and there.

The metallic areas were basecoated with black, then added boltgun metal and a final black wash. Usually with guns this big I would also add some black pigments to show the grease, but these are not machine guns, these are precision guns and I would expect them to be completely clean.

Finally, the lenses. For the night vision goggles I went for a Splinter Cell looking scheme, with a light, ethereal green that seems to glow. To recreate this effect I started with goblin green, and then mixed it with scorpion green and white while working my way towards the centre. A green + black ink wash to soften the progression and a final glaze with an almost white green were the icing in the cake.

The cloaks

I wanted the cloaks to have a digital urban camo, yet this is easier said than done. The idea about "digital"  camo is that from close it looks like a pixelated image. After browsing some time on google I was unable to find a pattern that fulfilled all of conditions, namely i) that I liked it and especially ii) that I could paint it!. The thing with the pixels is that it is difficult to paint small squares in such a curved surface, much more than your standard camo pattern with seemingly random shapes.

At the end I just painted the cloaks in a dark grey/blue color, then added some grey pixels / shapes around, then smaller, darker squares and finally some black pixels. Can't say the results blew my off but look good enough, and I already spent too much time on those guys!

And finally... how to play them!

Blood Angels have some great options in their troops slot. Okay they have Assault Marines with jump packs or in Razorbacks. These guys are the jack of all trades of the army, able to assault / occupy / support pretty much anything as long as there are enough of them, and within 6" of a sanguinary priest.

But what if you want a small, cheap, expendable unit to camp back in the home base, hide from the enemy guns, be left unnoticed but at the same time able to be a nuissance if needed? enter sniper scouts. Under heavy suppression fire they can just go to ground for the 2+ joy (disclaimer: 5th edition! ;) ) and with their sniper rifles and ML, they can disturb these annoying long fangs, lootas, devs, IG heavy weapons teams that camp in some ruin far away from the reach of the main body of the army.

So to summarize:

  • They will sit in my home base, or move to claim a base near my deployment areas and sit there all game long.These guys won't scout, as they don't have the gear for it.
  • If the opponent wants to remove them from afar, a lot of firepower will be needed to go over 5 2++ saves.
  • If not, I will just shoot and annoy whatever enemy infantry in sight. A failed pinning check can mean 3-4 krak missiles less going my way.
  • Same story for annihilation. They will hide and do their best to not get killed, and maybe they'll do something else. It's just 5% of the points after all.

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