Monday, 27 June 2011

The Once and Future Captains...

Yaay for enigmatic titles! This post sees the completion of all available commanders for the third company of the Blood Angels. First, an unfortunate fall in the form of the Death Company Captain Tycho - or "Psycho" Tycho as he will henceforth be known:

For those who aren't familiar with the backstory of this figure: Captain Tycho is one of the few "historical" special characters as he has been dead in the current storyline for a century or so. He was killed during the third war for Armageddon against his old hated foes, the Orks. During this conflict he finally succumbed to the rage and hate that had built up in his heart following his disfigurement at the hands of an Ork Weirdboy. Tycho fell to the Black Rage and with a heavy heart his company inducted him into the Death Company, there to find death by the blades of his enemies rather than the slow slide into homicidal madness. Once you are inducted into the Death Company, your brothers repaint your armour in funereal Black and daub red saltires indicating the wounds that Sanguinius suffered in his fatal duel with Warmaster Horus.

Whilst the armour was not too terribly exciting, see the chaplain entry for details on how to achieve the subtle black armour I wanted his face to be very different to the original paint job, here it is for comparison:

This paint job represents early middle age for Erasmus Tycho, his skin is still ruddy and his hair a rich red-brown. Compare this with his final hours:

I wanted him to look, old, ill, disturbed. Old was handled by using a fair amount of Fortress Grey in the final highlights on the skin and strategically in the hair to give him patchy greying hair. Ill was achieved by using very pale mixes of colour on the skin and sucking any livid colour from his flesh. Finally disturbed was indicated by his unkempt appearance (stubble) and the dark purple-black shading around the eyes. All in all it is a much different man in the second picture to the first. Even the gold was painted a more aged hue, less polished to indicate the passage of time. So with the great Captain Tycho dead who took over? A quick squint at the Codex indicates that the current Captain of the Third is Machiavi who has brought the nickname "Ironhelms" to the third companies honour roll. So who is this chap?

Well, the codex is silent on that question so we make up our own backstory! I came up with Machiavi being Tycho's first sergeant all the way through the Armageddon campaigns, a confidant and advisor. Upon Tycho's death a grief-stricken Machiavi assumed command of the Third as senior NCO. Refusing all rights of personal heraldry he stripped the paint from his helm and declared that the iron helm of a tactical Space Marine would be his only mark. Since then he has been known as Ironhelm and the nickname has stuck with his company. With this in mind painting was easy! The model is a limited edition Space Marine Veteran Sergeant that I think was released for the 25th anniversary celebrations but someone with a better memory can correct me. I have wanted an excuse to use this model for some little while and Machiavi gave me that opportunity.

I wanted the bare helm to be the focal point of the miniature so lavished some attention on it to gain the most convincing iron texture that I could. First came a base coat of Boltgun Metal. This was highlighted sparingly with Chainmail. Next came a thin wash of Vermin Brown mostly in the recesses. Once this was fully dry a very thin wash of Dark Flesh was also applied to the recesses. Astute long term readers will recognise this as a reversal of my usual method for painting rust. I wanted tarnished rather than corroded here. Once the Dark Flesh was dry a wash of Badab Black and then Devlan Mud helped to deepen the colours and provide the darkest shading. Finally I gave the helm a light drybrush of Boltgun to bring out the metallic colour once more. Do check out the picture in enlarged form. It is one of the few helmets that I am totally happy with having expanded to 1000 pixels tall!

So I now have the option to field the past, present and future of the Chapter depending on my whims (and whether special characters are being used):

It has been an interesting project to do this as not many characters have multiple paint schemes or indeed are dead! Hope you like them too. Now to decide whether Terminators, Sanguinary Priests, Land Speeders or those accursed Drop Pods get my attention next! Until next time,



  1. Spectacular! I love what you've done with Tycho's face on the Death Company version, it really sells the whole 'broken madman' vibe that goes along with the fluff. Keep up the great work!

  2. The work on the different Tycho's is really excellent. I particularly like the right side of the the Death Company Tycho's mouth twisting down in a sneer/sad face. Great work!