I’m back again, this time with some more pictures to show you! Tonight, I want to show you my converted Sternguard Veteran squad. I think these are a very cool and fluffy unit, and they offer some great possibilities to add character to an army by giving it a certain twist. Little details added to the Sternguard Veterans can give some flavour to the finished army as a whole. This is what I tried to achieve with this squad by using some interesting and unusual bitz. Without further ado, let’s get to it!
While Kenton’s original FTOV Sternguard units contained many Astartes using special weapons like plasma- and meltaguns, or even heavy flamers, I decided to go for a more uniform equipment with my squad. I had obtained enough minis from yet another used lot to make a full squad of ten Marines, and I decided to arm every single one of them with artificer boltguns capable of firing special issue ammunition. The idea was that, if I wanted to use some different guns in my Sternguard units (plasmaguns, meltaguns, flamers or even stormbolters), they could be substituted with surplus Marines or sergeants from tac
squads. I tried to make the veterans very distinct from my standard tac
Marines by putting way more effort into giving them extra dynamic poses and adding special wargear and pouches to them. Now, let’s take a look at the Sternguard Veteran Sergeant first, shall we?
I put some extra effort into giving this guy a cool pose, to make it obvious that he’s the guy in charge. I had a very specific idea what I wanted the pose to be like and I had to dig deep in my bitz box to pull it off. I actually managed to acquire a rare, white metal, pointing right arm that would be perfect for the conversion. For the head, I decided to use a special helmet with extra lenses and targeters to show the sergeant is very teched-out. To emphasize the importance of the mini, I added a decorative imperial eagle to his backpack which was taken from the top of a SM
banner pole. The final piece to complete the pose was the boltgun. Now, avid collectors among you might recognize this boltgun. That’s because I stole it from the ubiquitous AoBR
Captain and heavily modified it to fit a standard marine torso. This piece was actually left over from my “Raja Shamshir Talatra” character conversion, and it proved perfect for this Sternguard Sergeant. I carefully trimmed the arm down to be able to attach it to the shoulder. I also had to smooth out certain areas to allow a regular SM
pauldron to fit onto the shoulder joint. This was great for hiding some ugly seams of the conversion process, and now it’s not noticeable anymore I think. As you can see, the boltgun has also been converted. I attached a scope from a scout bolt pistol to the top of the gun. Furthermore, I carefully trimmed away the standard sickle magazine to make some room for a large box magazine, as seen on most artificer boltguns.
The mini was further detailed with some additional bitz like a holstered pistol and some grenades. I really like how the pose turned out, and I’m happy that I basically managed to pull off 100% what I had envisioned for this guy.
This shot nicely shows the Crux Terminatus detail on the left pauldron as well as the AoBR
Captain’s arm holding the converted boltgun.
A cool thing about the artificer boltguns is that they all have scopes, which gave me a nice excuse to paint all those pretty lens effects on them
Alright, moving on to the next Veteran Marine of the squad:
This time, a Beakie Marine. Kenton’army has lots of Beakie Marines because he bought many of them back in the RT
days. Using Beakie helmets is a nod to his inspirational army. This guy was converted to have a different pose, kind of holding his boltgun in a lower “at-ease” position. The right pauldron was smoothed out by removing its trim, and for the left pauldron, I used one of the classic studded ones. I also attached an extra cartridge belt slide to the right pauldron to get the Sternguard theme across. The boltgun was converted in the same manner as the Sergeant’s: it received a scout scope and the magazine was replaced with a large box magazine, sourced from some leftover Terminator Storm Bolter.
Again, this dude received some extra details to make him more interesting and more kitted out. Apart from the aforementioned cartridge belt slide, I attached a combat knife and some grenades to the mini’s belt.
The boltguns were painted bronze to emphasize that they are very valuable, ancient and irreplaceable relic weapons. I used the same painting recipe as I had for the Crozius Arcanum of the character “Daksha Ram”, which is simply a solid layer of GW
Dwarf Bronze, followed by a wash with GW
Reikland Fleshshade. Moving on to Veteran no. 3:
I tried out a slightly different pose for this guy. He has actually drawn his combat blade and is ready to engage the enemy close up. The boltgun was made using a trimmed-down Storm Bolter magazine and a boltgun scope. The knife arm was actually taken from a Chaos Space Marine, but is hopefully not too noticeable with some detail removed and given the right paintjob.
Again, the Marine received additional details: a holstered pistol and some grenades on his belt. Also note the small cartridge pendant on his right pauldron. It’s a special form of SM
marksman honours, denoting this Marine as one of the best shots the chapter has to offer. Only fitting that he should be in a Sternguard squad, right?
Alright, moving on to Veteran no. 4:
Nothing too unusual or spectacular here, this guy is pretty average pose-wise. His boltgun is different though. Seeing as my bitzbox is not an infinite well of awesome parts (much as I wish it were), I sometimes had to get creative to get the loadouts I wanted. In this case, I decided to use some leftover boltguns from scout bike kits to create custom Sternguard bolters. They work well because the already have a scope and box magazine modelled onto them. Only thing I had to do was make a fitting, straight end cap for the magazine (which normally ends in a slanted angle). I think this conversion creates a nice-looking, unique artificer boltgun without too much work.
To spruce up the mini a little, a cartridge slide, some grenades and a knife were added.
Time for Veteran no.5, which means we’re almost done with the first half of the squad:
This guy’s pose turned out quite nice I think. He received a boltgun from a tac
squad which was converted as explained above, as well as some extra bitz like grenades, marksman badge, spare cartridges and even some pouches with a knife taken from a sprue of Cadian Shock Troops.
And now, time from a group shot of the first five members of the squad:
With all the members of this squad being Veterans, everyone received the orange painted greaves which I use in this army instead of different coloured helmets. This is a nice touch as it easily let’s you tell apart the veterans from my regular tac
Marines. However, sergeants and other high-ranking warriors can be integrated easily into the squad without looking out of place because they share the same markings. Seeing as all Marines have the painted greaves, I had to give a little extra attention to the Veteran Sergeant, to make it obvious he’s the leader. That’s why I gave him the backpack decoration, the extra-fancy boltgun and the pointing pose. I think there’s no mistaking him anymore now. Alright then, time for the next Veteran, nr. 6:
This is one of my personal favourites in the squad because once again, I managed to pretty much nail the pose. This guy is aiming his boltgun one-handed, but has also drawn his combat knife in his offhand and is ready to strike.
This shot let’s you appreciate the pose a little better. The arm holding the knife was actually one of a pair used for holding a boltgun, but I cut and repositioned it at the elbow. I removed the small trigger guard bit between his fingers and then attached the knife. I’ve done this a couple of times now and I’ve developed a trusty technique that creates a sturdy bond even though the knives are rather flimsy. The trick is to cut the knife grip in half and shave down both sides to make them a little shorter and pointier. Then, I drill matching holes into the appropriate spots on the top and bottom of the closed fist, where the fingers would close around the knife grip. I then dab a droplet of crazy glue in these holes and stick in the knife part on one side and the pommel part on the other, making sure to align them properly. It’s basically a kind of pinning technique, but using part of the bit itself instead of separate pins. So far, this has worked out great and all the knives I have attached in this way are as sturdy as if they were a single, solid cast.
The helmet on this mini comes from a tac
or assault marine sprue I believe, and is supposed to be a sergeant helmet I think. I removed an extra targeter/lens from it though.
Like the other veterans in the squad, this guy also received extra pouches and grenades on his belt.
Many shots of this guy... can you tell I really like him?
One final angle on this guy. I used a leftover DA
pauldron on his left arm. The bit was changed a little by removing the blade from the DA
icon. Now, it’s just a winged skull, which could go with pretty much any chapter. Also, you can see the extra cartridges on his belt in this shot. Alright, moving on to Veteran nr. 7:
Only difference on this guy is that he received a boltgun with a lanyard. I think it came from a DA
The knife on this guy came from a box of Catachans. I like that they have some knives in sheaths in that set. These look great and they can be totally be used for Space Marines, because they are a little on the big side anyways.
Moving on to Veteran nr. 8:
One of the first minis I made for this squad. I tried to give him a very dynamic advancing pose, like he was leaning up against some cover, checking for enemies around a corner. I’m not sure I succeeded, but still, the pose works and looks at least a little exciting. This guy also received the cartridge belt slides on his left pauldron. The boltgun is once again a converted bit sourced from the scout bikers boxed set.
This guy got some extra pouches and a grenade from the Catachan set, as well as some SM
krak grenades added to his belt.
Next up, Veteran nr. 9:
Another Beakie Marine. You can see that I tried to stay as true as possible to the original design of full Mk. VI Corvus armor by giving this guy the breastplate with exposed cabling, the non-articulated greaves, the flat right pauldron and the studded left pauldron in addition to the obligatory helmet.
This Marine also got a Scout Bike bolter. Furthermore, the right arm was converted to hold the gun at a lower angle.
This Marine received a pistol sidearm and some grenades as extra wargear.
Time for the final Veteran in the squad:
This guy is once again pretty similar to his squad mates. His arms are from as CSM
set and had some of the details removed to hide that fact.
A notable difference is the combat blade on this guy, which I believe came from some CSM
set as well. I like the serrated, curved blade, as it goes well with the eastern aesthetic of this army.
Alright then, time for a group shot of the second half of the squad!
Alright, that’s it for tonight! I hope you liked this update and enjoyed the pictures.
I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts on this squad and I’m looking forward to your comments. Until next time!