Wednesday, 11 November 2015

From the ridiculous to the Sublime

Greetings Sinners!
With my tournament season over for this year, I'm struggling to find the motivation to paint anything at the moment. To get my painting mojo back, I'm going to embrace my Hobby Butterfly Syndrome and concentrate on one model at a time and then jump to something totally different. Lately, I've been speed painting ridiculously large models, so where better to start than with a member of Squad Sublime.

Squad Sublime has been a staple part of the Castigators pretty much since their inception. Their psychosonically explosive attacks have sent Bloodthirsters screaming back into the warp. Their Sonic energy has ripped through countless Space Marines, splitting their armour and bursting organs, leaving those that still lived sprawling in the dirt, wracked with brain-damaged spasms. They've even hacked down an Avatar of Khaine in combat using a Blastmaster as a club! But without a doubt, their greatest achievement was catching Vorlath of the Emperors Children in a carefully coordinated ambush and allowing Nestor to claim the title Chosen of Slaanesh.
Yes, throughout all of the editions of 40k, Squad Sublime have been there, teasing me, leading me down the dark twisted path of obsession on a journey that has shown me joy, pain, frustration, defeat, victory, pride and fulfilment.
With such a rich and glorious history, I figured it was only right that they should receive an update as they're looking a bit dated.

I've mentioned before that I'm not the biggest fan of the 2nd edition Noise Marines. Their bodies are too short, the skull-like heads don't really work with their torso and their back packs look a bit too inelegant for a Marine that appreciates aesthetics.
With this in mind, I set about converting one up last year in an attempt to make a Noise Marine that was aesthetically more pleasing, here's the result:

The Torso
I still like the old Noise Marine legs but the body just had to go, so I carefully sawed one in half and added a plastic chaos marine torso. This test Noise Marine wass going to be my Icon of Excess, so I've added the abs of an old metal daemonette as the torso will be open. For my others, I will probably use a standard plastic Chaos Marine torso as the Sonic Blaster will cover it, but if I'm just building them one at a time, I might do every one differently.

The Arms
This particular chap was going to be my Icon Bearer, so I used the upper left arm from a Raptor. I cut the glove off at the elbow and replaced it with the Chaos Terminator Sorceror hand that holds the Force Staff. The top of the Force Staff was replaced with a Slaanesh Icon from the Plastic Daemonette box.

His right arm would hold the newer Sonic Blaster that I got from GW. You get 5 Sonic Blasters and a Blastmaster for £9, so it’s not a bad deal. I was a bit hesitant at first because they’re finecast, but they all look pretty good and the reduced weight will, hopefully, make the finished model more stable. As this Noise Marine will be holding his weapon one handed, I had to adjust the angle of the arm from the shoulder pad. This is one of the advantages of fine cast, it was very easy to cut just below the Shoulder Pad, leaving the cabling intact. Then, after watching my mate Michael use a cup of tea to straighten his finecast staffs on his Necron warriors every time he took them out of their case, I simply dipped the arm in hot water and twisted it to the desired position.

The Back Pack
The backpack on my old Noise Marines is the one thing that I've never liked. The arms with the spiky speakers not only look like they were designed by an Ork, they also unbalance the model. The back pack that comes with the latest Noise Marine champion looks much better and is the one I plan on using…if I can find enough of them.

Putting it all together
This was how it looked when it all went together.

After showing this to the Cold Steel Mercs, Rob mentioned that the Sonic Blaster didn't look right being wielded one handed as the weapon looked too cumbersome to be used in such a way. I had to agree with him, so I chopped it off and repositioned it so that he is now carrying it rather than attempting to use it.

Painting it up
Although they're Noise Marines, I wanted no doubts that this Noise Marine was a Castigator before he became a Noise Marine, so instead of the usual pinks and blacks that are usually associated with them, I used a Lilac colour made from the Imperial Purple that is the Castigators colour. A few subtle washes were added to 'distort' the colour, giving it an almost iridescent effect when viewed in 'real life.'
I'm really pleased with how he turned out, I feel he screams Noise Marine but looks much more elegant than his contemporary 2nd edition brothers.

After a bit of work I think the Sonic Blaster looks much better being carried properly.

The Raptor/Warp Talon shoulder pads are perfect for Noise Marines.

And finally, here's the Marine he replaced.

As I said earlier, this was done last year, so I think it's time to return to Squad Sublime once more, I think this time I'll build and paint the Blastmaster toting Noise Marine.
Until next time.....may Our Lady grant you her number ;-)


  1. Great stuff! Looking forward to seeing the rest of the squad.

    1. Cheers Phil. It could be a while before I get the whole squad done though ;-)

  2. Very good work, especially the muted lilac on the armour. I find that the classic Noise Marines I have don't fit at all with the aesthetic of the rest of the army, so mine are regrettably still at the unpainted/hand-wringing stage following the removal of their vintage coat at the moment. Your work has done a lot to inspire me down the path of excess, since the first of September there are thirty or so devotees on the tabletop and more on the way. Cheers.

    1. Cheers buddy, it's great to know that people are reading the blog and taking something from it (I'm never sure if my page views are spambots or not :D ) . I'm pleased to hear that you're following Slaanesh's divine path.....may Our Lady grant you her number ;-)

    2. It's a pity that resin and metal don't mix well together. The thing that I like the least of the 2nd Edition Noise Marines are the weapons. Sadly today's Finecast rendition won't stick well with the torso, and the whole model is top-heavy and prone to falling - though perhaps the larger bases that are now coming into fashion will help a little. I've based mine on them and they look more impressive than in the 'old' 25 mm ones. Cheers.

    3. I don't have a problem with metal and fincast sticking together, but I always pin mine and use 90 second epoxy glue. The 2nd edition models are terrible for falling over, as the whole model is unbalanced.
      I've been toying with the idea of re-basing my models onto 32mm bases, but to my knowledge there are no Chaos miniatures that are sold with them. Because of this I've been reluctant to do it in case a tournament disallows them.

    4. As far as I know the 'official' position of GW on bases is that they are not relevant to game play and one is free to use the bases provided with the model regardless of when it was purchased. This refers to the Old Times when Dreadnoughts came with square bases and suchlike, but I doubt that it is an issue nowadays. The 32 mm bases don't offer any decided advantage, in my opinion, other than the purely aesthetic one (this gets them the favour of our Divine Patron). It certainly makes large squads, a personal favourite of mine, more clumsy on the tabletop, as difficult terrain and the lack of cover may pose a problem for some scenarios. I won't be rebasing my previous armies, but after being a bit sceptical on the whole thing, I've come to like the appearance of large bases. Cheers.

    5. And there in lies the problem, as far as I know, none of the Chaos range have been provided with 32mm bases. Everybody naturally assumed that all Marines could be based on these new larger bases. So far, only the imperial variety have access to them in their boxes. I'm playing safe for now until I see the new bases included in a Chaos kit.....knowing my luck I'd re-base them all and a Tournament would disallow them ;-).
      I can see the disadvantages in using them, but the advantages far outweigh them IMO. My Blastmasters do considerably less damage against them (probably around 1 or 2 kills on 32mm bases compared to 3 or 4 kills on 25mm bases) and my Heldrake is less effective as well.
      However, they do look far better than the 25mm bases and really help to give Marines a bit more presence, especially when they are fielded with cultists or Daemons. They balance a lot better on the tabletop and it's easier to personalise them to make them look cooler.
      Now look what you've done, I'll be thinking about all the cool effects that I can do with those bases for the rest of the day now ;-)

  3. Just one question gaz! What you doing with all the old shoulder pads?

    1. They will probably be going on my Mk IV Heresy Marines ;-)

  4. Very pretty Brother. Keep your title for a while longer, I have all the time in the warp to regain it :)

    1. Keep sending these transmissions Oathbreaker, I will soon pin-point your location.....and then dear brother, your head is mine! ;-)

  5. Very nice as always. Keep it up Cuz.