Dark Angels Intercessor Sergeant

I’ve finished another one-off mini, an Intercessor sergeant of the “First Legion”. It’s also a bit of a special model, as it’s the first one I’ve entered into a painting competition. More on that at the end of the post…

For the longest time I’ve had an idea of painting an example of each of the 18 original Space Marine legions, or their 40k equivalents. Not much has happened with the project, other than the retro-scheme Space Wolf. But now I’ve taken a step forward with a Primaris version of a Dark Angel. The model is built with a mix of bits from Intercessor, mk3 and mk7 bits, as well as the DA Primaris upgrade set. Going forward, I’d like to customize the rest of the Primaris Marines in a similar way, but that depends on if I can find some good deals on the chapter upgrade bits.

For painting the figure I mostly followed a Tale of Painters tutorial, but added some extra highlights and a bit more volumetric highlights. The goal was to have a well defined model with high contrast edges á la ‘Eavy Metal, but also explore the volumes a bit more. Now, while my edging is still waaays off of the gold standard, I’m getting more confident with it, and am very happy with the final look. Painting the volumes was also interesting and a learning experience, as I did quite a bit of back-and-forth adjusting the tone by glazing and layering.

While most of the model was painting the armor – a paint-by-numbers affair – I did a couple of freehand details as well. The main one is the company marking on his left knee. As this is just a one-off, I picked what looked to be the most complex one, the 4th company. I got to say, painting it would’ve been a whole lot easier if I’d kept the sword separate. Would’ve also helped with the backside of the sword… The other detail was the “Caliban” text on the left shoulder. I’m still struggling with doing an interesting font, something other than just block letters. Maybe I should practice on paper first? Anyway, good enough I say.

For the markings on the right shoulder pauldron I used transfers. They were from my stock of vintage 3rd edition era Space Marine transfer sheets, from back when they came with more than just Ultramarine markings. The decals still work fine, but the film on them seems to be pretty thick and MicroSol doesn’t seem to get all the wrinkles out of them. I ended up scratching the wrinkles off very carefully with a hobby blade, and smoothing everything up with a layer of gloss varnish. Of course, as there are two decals there on top of each other, it was very slow work setting up those transfers. I might have to look into getting a stronger decal solvent…

There are a couple of things that I’m not a 100% happy with. His one eye is one of the weakest I’ve painted. I think I used a little too thick paint and lost the sculpted detail, not knowing exactly where the eye and the lower eye lid were supposed to be, and that’s why I didn’t repaint it. It’s not horrible, but should’ve been better. (Again, need to leave bare heads as sub-assemblies in the future!) The other thing is the plasma coils on the pistol: I did the contemporary “inverted” glow and like the sides very much, but the top of the coils doesn’t really work. I’m not sure if there’s some way to make it credible, or if the old boxy flat-top coils are just unsuitable for this effect. I left the effect be, however, as the blue color makes a nice triangle together with the bionic eye and the sword’s power node.

Happily, I get to claim another bingo square with this model. There were a couple that would’ve applied, but I went with the “paint a model from a new army or faction”.

Finally, the competition. It’s my old hometown’s game shop’s annual painting competition, which I always missed when I lived there. What better time to enter than now that I’ve moved away! 😀 The comp has two categories (“big” and “small”), and the winners are decided by customers’ votes, so it’s not all that serious. The voting goes on until the end of August, and I’ll go pick up my model then and see how the Dark Angel has done. I don’t know about my chances of winning, but I was really excited to get to show off my model live, and to see what others have done. There were a lot of cool models and a few superbly painted ones. My personal favorites on both categories were converted Nurgle models with awesome NMM effects and really cool display bases.

The “small” models
My favorite of the “big” models

14 thoughts on “Dark Angels Intercessor Sergeant

  1. That looks like it came straight off of GW’s site! Well, actually better. Hope you take home the gold. I also really like that Doom mini in the showcase, whomever that was did a pretty bang-up job on that one!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Much appreciated John! Yeah, that might be true. I do love the model, and it’s probably the best marine I’ve painted, but there’s still things that could be improved. Of course, the fact that I was painting this for a competition surely made me a bit more critical than with another model.


  2. Truly Beautiful work!
    I can tell you that your self-criticisms are just that – the flaws that basically only the artist sees. Perhaps an experienced (not a regular store manager) painting judge might pick some as well, but yeah, they’re not something that’s anyone on the blog is going to be concerned about, as the amount of amazingness completely overwhelms anything that’s imperfect – and besides, YOU know where to look and what YOU’re not 100% happy with.

    I can tell you that Faust is dead on – this model is well past the standard GW studio/box art level and is in the “WD showcase” tier for sure.

    I personally really like the font on the scrollwork – legibility is a bitch at this scale, but even if *you* can do it, getting the brush to fully cooperate with what your hand can actually do is the hardest part for me – and you’ve done amazingly well here. I also really like the subtle wear on the armour plates across the model – basically invisible-tier details that I’m too lazy to ever bother with – so I doff my hat to you and your fine work, sir!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much Azazel! Yeah, I recognize that most viewers are probably not going to find much to fault, or even see some/many of the details that I’ve painted there, as the figs sit in the cabinet. (Also, I’ve kinda chosen the picture angles here so that you don’t see the face head-on ;)) But still, I guess we can’t help being our own biggest critics!

      Heh, I guess I’ll try to send this guy to WarCom, maybe we’ll see him on the mag in six months or so 😀 That would be cool…

      And funny thing, while doing the script here I kept thinking “how the hell does Az do it?” I seem to recall seeing so many great examples from you.

      I’m glad you noticed the subtle weathering on the armor. Subtlety was the goal here, and I was a bit worried about painting them at first, as I’ve previously often pressed too hard and made the scratches look like random splotches. But it seems practice makes better!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. WordPress notifications – wonky as all hell!
        You’re not wrong on us being our own biggest critics most of the itme, but it’s part of the deal, I guess. At least I mostly know when I take short cuts to get things done! 😀
        And you’re right that many/most people won’t see the smallest details, because of shelf/angle and even if you were to game with them, your opponent isn’t likely to pick up and finely inspect each and every model. I guess that’s where the blogs come in to give models that would otherwise only be seen by a handful of people (or fewer in many cases) a chance to shine for a day or two, and a bit longer via google image search!


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