Finishing your own army is core to the Warhammer 40,000 hobby. In our Army Showcase series, Goonhammer contributors take a look at the armies we’ve been collecting for years, and the new ones we’ve just finished – what drew us to them, why we keep building and painting, and how they play on the table. This week, Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones is talking about his Deathwatch army.
Don’t tell anyone but, at some point, I got a little sick of painting Chaos Space Marines.
I know! I know. Chaos Marines are extremely my jam. But hear me out — painting all that trim sucks ass. Especially when, like me, you’ve painted 5 Heldrakes. So, in early 2016, I decided I wanted to paint some regular Space Marines. But I didn’t want to paint a full chapter of them, not while I had my White Panthers around. No, what I wanted to do was do a bunch of single models from each chapter. That felt like a fun project. So I started rummaging through my bitz box, ordered some of the old metal Deatwatch bitz from GW, and started buying some bitz from eBay resellers to make my Deathwatch. I think they turned out pretty great!
So if you’re really trying to find out more about them, and you’re willing to keep that whole “got sick of painting Chaos trim” thing a total secret, we can talk about the time I decided to paint a bunch of Marines.
Anyways, meet my Deathwatch army:
The painter: TheChirurgeon
The Army: Deathwatch
Points: About 3,000
Collected: Since 2016, about 5 months before Deathwatch: Overkill was released.
You may remember my Deathwatch army from this week’s How to Paint Everything, where more than a few Deathwatch models showed up. I started the army in late 7th edition, and was lucky enough that I only glued on about 3 tiny metal Deathwatch shoulder pads before the Kill Team Cassius set came out, and after that it was only a few months before the Deathwatch got their first ever codex! As I said above, doing Deathwatch was really about painting a bunch of single Marines from different chapters, and playing around with all the bits I had in my bits box. Otherwise, there isn’t a lot of history between me and the Deathwatch; I remember liking them when they first showed up in Inquisitor with Brother Artemis and later in White Dwarf, but never really felt compelled to play or collect them until recently.
Almost every model in my Deathwatch army has a name and a backstory. I sometimes forget how I’ve named them, but I usually remember the backstories for each guy. Giving them backstories helps during the modeling and painting process, when deciding what details to add and how to paint them takes some consideration. I mentioned in my How to Paint Everything piece that one of the painting details of the army is that I paint the chest emblems and power weapons in-line with how I’d paint the original army, which leads to quirks where the Ultramarines get gold chest Aquilas and the Raven Guard’s are painted gray and highlighted white.
So the first thing you’ll notice is that there are no Primaris Marines in my Deathwatch army. This is because I haven’t really added to it since 8th edition came out. I’ve painted some backlog guys for it, but overall, I was ready to call this army “finished” or “near finished” for a while before I decided that they’d get the Primaris reinforcements I had lying around instead of my White Panthers Space Marines. So next up is to add 5 Intercessors, 5 Hellblasters, some Reivers, Aggressors, Inceptors, and a Repulsor Executioner. Then the army will be done. Probably. It’s getting there, anyways. I don’t know that I’m going to ever try and field the army competitively, but I would like to open up my options a bit and make them better. I’ll probably add some storm bolter/storm shield models at some point. I may also add a Leviathan Dreadnought at some point, just cause that would be cool.
One thing about painting the Deathwatch that I feel like no one tells you is that building and painting the models is an absolute blast but doing the vehicles is a total chore – Deathwatch Rhinos are exactly the same as Space Marine Rhinos and don’t have all the extra character the infantry mans do. So you’ll notice right away that the only transport in my army is a Corvus Blackstar. When I expand the army I’ll want to add maybe one or two more transports, possibly a Razorback at some point. I also still need to paint 2-3 more Vanguard Veterans, 1 bike, and 1 Terminator just so I could field some (ill-advised) squads of five.
Alright, let’s get on to the models.
Let’s start with the HQs. I have four HQ units in the army. The first is Watch Master Barrathos, one of the last surviving Scythes of the Emperor. He was in the Deathwatch when the chapter was all but destroyed by Hive Fleet Kraken and has chosen to devote himself to destroying the Tyranid scourge.
Next up is Watch Captain Artemis, the only named character in the book. I’m really sad this guy doesn’t have better rules because I like the model a lot and I’m really happy with how the paint job on him turned out.
Next up is Chaplain Cassius, in his younger, more handsome form. Before he’d get half his face melted off and turn into a godawfully ugly finecast model. Again, also too bad Deathwatch Chaplain rules are trash because I’d love to use him more.
Finally in the HQ division is Jensus Natorian, a Blood Ravens Librarian. One of the things I liked about doing Deathwatch was the opportunity to do a bunch of neat specialists like the Kill Team: Cassius boxed set did, where the Librarian is a Blood Raven and the Biker is a White Scar.
OK, on to the Elites group. There are only two of these, and the first is Jovan, a Venerable Dreadnought. No one remembers what chapter he came from except for Barrathos, but he hates the the fuck out of Tyranids.
Kill Team Pugnus are the Terminators of my Deathwatch chapter. They’re led by Garan Branatar, a Salamanders First Company Veteran who served with Cassius on his kill team. He’s joined by Lancel Donovan, a Deathwing Knight, and Halfdan, a Wolf Guard of some repute. They’re constantly competing against each other to perform great deeds.
There are also two Fast Attack units in my current army. The first of these is Kill Team Volantis – a group of Vanguard Veterans, led by Edryc Setorax of the Raven Guard chapter. He’s joined by Auron Swiftclaw of the White Panthers, Akahata of the Carcharodons, Antor Delassio of the Blood Angels, Vermillion of the Rainbow Warriors, and Farron of the Dawn Eagles.
The other group are a unit of Deathwatch Bikers – Kill Team Velosus, led by Ravenwing Black Knight Josiah. He’s flanked by Jetek Suberei of the White Scars and Portus of the Ultramarines. You may notice that one of these is not like the others. Erik Grimsbane in the back there rides a Thunderwolf that he maintains is the equal of any bike.
Now, on to the Troops! I essentially have three squads of Veterans that I run with, outfitted for different tasks. I have a few more guys to add to these eventually, but right now it’s these three squads. The first are Kill Team Pugnus, outfitted for close combat. They’re led by Brother Angelos, a Veteran Sergeant of the Flesh Tearers chapter armed with a Xenophase blade. Notable members of his squad are Brother Xidias of the Minotaurs and Brother Kristos, a Black Shield.
The next squad is Kill Team Incendius, led by Zameon Gydrael of the Dark Angels. They’re also geared out for close combat. He’s joined by Drenn Redblade, Greven Redmaw of the Blades of Morkai and Malachai and Mordecai, twin brothers who are Sword Brethren of the Black Templars.
Kill Team Irae is focused on mid-range support for other units. They’re led by Brother Sergeant Norad of the Genesis Chapter of Space Marines. He’s flanked by Krieger Thann of the Red Scorpions, who I sometimes run as a Primaris Apothecary. Also in the squad are Vael Donatus of the Ultramarines, Lystan Parr of the Blood Angels, and Viktor of the Iron Skulls.
Kill Team Ferrox is all about heavy fire support, and one or two of these guys makes it into every game of Kill Team I play. They’re led by Ennox Sorrlock of the Iron Hands and joined by Rodricus Grytt of the Imperial Fists, Lief Deadeye of the Space Wolves, Miguel Santos of the Crimson Fists, and Alexi Demetov of the Howling Griffons.
Finally, Kill Team Oscurus isn’t finished yet. It will eventually contain a Raven Guard Veteran and a couple other guys but for now it’s just two Marines from the Raptors chapter, each armed with stalker bolt rifles. Brothers Orion and Daedelus.
Finally, my Deathwatch need a way to get around in style when they aren’t just teleporting into the battlefield. That’s where this bad boy comes in – a Corvus Blackstar.
What’s Next: Back to Chaos Mans
At some point, I’ll do another showcase on more of my Chaos mans. Probably Iron Warriors next.