The first Mark VI Tactical Squad (and a Praetor) is done from the new Horus Heresy box set – and they do appear to be sporting the colours of the Alpha Legion!

How I got here, however, is quite the tale…

When the Horus Heresy box set was revealed, it was good news for all. However, I had a bit of an issue – the (plentiful) Marines inside were all in MkVI armour. Which was great… but my current Heresy-era Space Wolves and Thousand Sons were battling on Prospero, which was a bit too soon for MkVI.

Fortunately, GW had just released a free download covering the battle on Pluto between the Imperial Fists and Alpha Legion right at the start of the Solar War – perfect timing for MkVI armour! Also, it had limited forces, so no big sprawling armies needed.

I had my use for MkVI armour.

The next issue was how to paint everything (and bear in mind, I still haven’t quite figured out the Imperial Fists yet, but that is a problem for Future Matthew).

I was quite enamoured with the idea of doing these new legions with Contrast paints to make them super-quick and easy to fly through, and I had been watching some YouTube videos that had gained some very good results with them. However, vehicles were always the problem. Using Contrast paints on infantry (even infantry with flat armour plates, like Space Marines) is one thing, but using them on a vehicle is quite another and I was not confident with my level of talent in doing that.

So, I tied myself in knots trying to find a Contrast scheme that would work with infantry and a matching more-traditional scheme that would replicate those colours on vehicles. I sort of found a workaround for the Imperial Fists, but there was nothing doing with the Alpha Legion.

Then I had an epiphany…

This is the Pluto campaign I was working on. It takes place purely on a space station.

No vehicles needed!

This thought pretty much removed my hesitation entirely and I messed around with a few suggested paint schemes for the Alpha Legion, settled on a handful and mashed them together… and came up with this:

And I think they work rather well – in fact, if it ever came to vehicles, I think I might be able to stretch the scheme to a Contemptor (but not Rhinos or Land Raiders, way too much streakiness-potential there).

All this scheme really is (and, incidentally, these MkVI Marines – sorry, Legionaries – are quicker to paint than Primaris Intercessors, as they are put together very nicely) a Leadbelcher spray undercoat washed over with Akhelian Green and (lightly) drybrushed with Stormhost Silver.

After that, do all the bare metal (usual Leadbelcher/Nuln Oil/Stormhost approach), the black weapon casing and undersuit (Abaddon Black & Eshin Grey) and the odd bit of leather for straps and belts.

For the eye lenses, the Alpha Legion are typically featured with glowing red but I had seen someone go for green, which looked suitably understated for these guys… so I went with that!

The base was kept simple, as they will be fighting on a space station, so no vegetation and I used a neutral Astrogranite rather than Astrogranite Debris or anything funky. I did (briefly) consider getting some of the moulded deck bases that GW do, but they are a bit inconsistent once you go beyond 32mm, and I think there will be a lot of Terminators coming for this campaign…

So, I am declaring this Alpha Legion paint scheme a success!

Moving forwards, I am a bit gutted that the MkVI armour does not have separate bodies and legs, as that means the Alpha Legion Kill Team kit I got from Forge World has to be used elsewhere… I need to find just five MkIV models somewhere so I can do this unit – and of course GW now only sell those in boxes of 20…

Also, I don’t really want any more Tactical Squads for the Alpha Legion (I want them led by Despoilers and Terminators, so I need to wait for the former to be released), but I can work on Tactical and Heavy Support Squads, as well as some Cataphractii in the meantime.

I also need to crack on with the Imperial Fists and settle on a paint scheme for them – should be a lot easier now I have made the decision not to do any vehicles for them!

Before all of that though, I have a feeling some new terrain will be completed…