Full disclosure: I think “Touch Me I’m Sick” is a better Mudhoney song than “Here Comes Sickness“, but if I title an article “Touch Me I’m Thicc” Rob probably won’t let me write anymore.
SRM’s Road to the Roadshow: US Open Seattle 2022: Part 4: here comes thiccness: 240 points of edge highlights and regret
Every so often an exceptionally bad idea gets stuck in my craw, and while that generally applies to the decisions I make in my broader life, it certainly applies to my hobby. Just recently, I purchased a trio of Aggressors from my friend and coworker with the express purpose of giving them their worst weapon options and equipping them with Flamestorm Gauntlets. These Firebat-adjacent idiots have never been the better build option of their kit, yet I found myself drawn to their chonky aesthetic. The last thing my 5,117 points of Black Templars needs is another expensive elite unit that wants to be within 12″ of an enemy, yet here we are. Really, I just don’t want to paint another stupid tank.
Building this first trio of Aggressors was a pretty simple affair; they’re typical modern multipart plastic Games Workshop models with somewhat restrictive posing options. I had some fun Templaring them up with parts from the Templar upgrade sprue as well as leftover bits from my other infantry kits. However, the moment the primer was dry on them, a mysterious package arrived at my doorstep.
Said package was from Hachette Partworks, and included my newest batch of Imperium Magazines to review. While there were some paints and a unique captain in there, there was also a trio of Easy to Build Flamestorm Aggressors. They stared at me, dead-eyed, through the acetate wrapping of the magazine, daring me to paint even more thicc Space Marines. Almost instantly, my 120 point joke unit had become a 240 point joke unit.
Immediately, I was reminded of the Heavy Intercessor squad I painted last year while I was exorcising various spiritual poisons from my person. Batch painting 5 of these lads was an absolute slog. Edge highlighting Mk. X Gravis Moon Boots is a Sisyphean process, and unlike my Ultramarines, I can’t cheat those highlights away with weathering. My Templars are largely clean, and consistency is key to a good looking army.
Building the Easy to Build Aggressors was surprisingly tricky, contrary to their beginner-friendly branding. I go more in depth on it in my Imperium review article on the matter, but there’s some weirdness going on there that somehow makes them more difficult to build than the standard kit, and extremely hard to doll up with chapter-specific trinkets and doodaddery. All I was really able to swing were a couple purity and crusader seals, plus the candles carved from the back of a backpack bit. Transfers and paint will do the rest, but those will have to wait until I finish the other guys.
As I started painting the first batch of Aggressors, I did a quick timecheck. I clocked the first round of highlights – Dark Reaper on all the black power armor – to take 47 minutes. The second round of highlights, Fenrisian Grey, took a mere 24 minutes. This means that on each dude I’m spending 71 minutes painting black power armor. Dependent on how steady my hand is during the initial highlight process, I could spend up to another 20 minutes cleaning up said power armor with another coat of P3 Thamar Black. I now understand why that 5-man Heavy Intercessor squad was such a colossal keister-adjacent pain – edging hell is bad enough at the 3 hour mark, let alone once you hit hours 4, 5, or 6.
Fortunately, these guys were surprisingly pleasant after that. Turns out painting half as many guys is much more manageable – who knew? I went with the black on black of Black Templars Fire Support units instead of the more recent pivot to black with white pauldrons like the Battleline guys wear. It gives them a different, more sinister identity that appeals to me an awful lot. The Sword Brother, of course, is wearing the black and red of his rank but I decided not to give him big ol’ golden gauntlets in an attempt to tie him in with my other Super Sword Bros. I figure the golden decals will do just fine. Speaking of, man I had fun just slapping transfers on these guys like they were racing sponsors.
I’m yet to test them out on the tabletop, but at the rate I’m going I should be able to wrap the full 6 man unit up before Seattle with time to spare. I’ll see if I can get a small game going to get a grasp on these chonky idiots before I paint another 120 points of them. Will they delight me? Disappoint me? First one then the other? Tune in at [indeterminate time] and I’ll probably tell you! Until next time, keep my stupid fat sons in your heart.
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