So, a brand new army!
Always fun to start something new, and this is one I have been looking at for a while – the Ultramar Auxilia, effectively the Planetary Defence Force for the worlds of Ultramar. Despite being a PDF force, the Ultramar Auxilia are a ‘cut above’ and in terms of discipline and equipment can outpace most Astra Militarum regiments (the benefit of having the Ultramarines as overlords…).
I wanted the Ultramar Auxilia to look different from regular Cadians but, at the same time, did not want to go overboard as I could well end up doing a lot of these guys. In the end, I went with simple headswaps, taking a mix of heads from both Scibor and Anvil Industry, all with a decent Roman theme to link these models to the Ultramarines. Sergeants get a crested helmet while officers get an even bigger crest with a fully sealed helmet.
Originally, I was thinking of adding Roman Legionary-style shoulder plates as well, but with Cadian arms already having armour there, it would have required some serious hacking on each and every model, and I did not fancy that.
Speaking of sealed helmets, most of the basic infantry get them as well – it is a very good idea to have them when fighting the Death Guard and other Nurgle forces…
In terms of equipment in general, I kept in mind that the Ultramar Auxilia are a ‘cut above’, and so if they have an equipment option, they usually receive it. I seem to recall reading somewhere that a certain Astra Militarum force had one plasma gun in a whole regiment, the weapon being relatively rare – however the Command Squad in this platoon has two plasma guns and a plasma pistol, as the Ultramar Auxilia have far better access to the nice toys.
Also, no abhumans or Commissars. The Ultramar Auxilia do neither.
How to paint them though? GW have given us no guidelines here, though others have had a crack at them. For my part, I thought they would mirror the Ultramarines in some way but be a bit… lesser. My first choice was to do them white with blue as a secondary colour, but then I painted up a Munitorum Container following Duncan’s suggestions on Warhammer TV.
I had found my solution.
Grey is a dirtier colour (especially when washed with Agrax) than white and with the blue somewhat muted, I had a scheme that suggested affiliation with the Ultramarines but still made it very obvious that the Ultramar Auxilia were not on the same level.
Painting-wise, these models are dead quick and dead easy – a distinct benefit when doing Guardsmen.
Everything starts off with an undercoat of Mechanicus Standard Grey, and then everything blue (body armour, helmets and the odd bit of equipment such as water bottles) is done with Macragge Blue. Then the whole lot gets washed with Agrax.
The blue areas get touched up with Calgar Blue, and then the whole lot gets drybrushed first with Dawnstone and then very lightly with Tyrant Skull.
And that is 80% of the miniatures done!
They then get their metalwork done (highlighted with Runefang Steel rather than the Stormhost Silver that the Ultramarines get – because they are not quite as good/shiny), followed by black weapon casings, boots and other areas.
It is then just a case of the detailwork getting done, such as faces, targeting sensors (not as many as the Ultramarines – I do not do them on Lasguns, for example, leaving them ‘unpowered’) and the gold (Balthasar, Agrax, and Gehenna – again, keeping them less shiny than the Ultramarines).
As I say, this is all super quick, and I was able to do three squads (infantry, command and heavy weapons) plus a Chimera for the Lieutenant to roll about in over a very short period of time.
I have plenty planned out for the Ultramar Auxilia – ultimately I want to build up an entire infantry company, plus I already have three Leman Russ and a Manticore to put together… and I just have to have a Baneblade…
First though, I have some Death Guard to catch up with, then some more Ultramarines as I close in on finishing their second company completely.