*For full effect, the above title should be sung to the tune of Katy Perry’s I Kissed A Girl…
Now, many hobbyists who know me, know exactly how I feel about the 1st Legion and their successor chapters – I hate them. I hate their stupid green armour, their silly secret stuff, their soppy robes, and everything else about them. They’re just so… extra. In my list of best to worst Space Marine Legions, I had them at 20th. Behind the Word Bearers. Behind the two Legions we know nothing about even! It all comes from my time back in 2nd Edition when my beloved, glorious Blood Angels had to share their codex with them. That just wasn’t fair.
So when GW very kindly sent the new The Lion and Retinue box to me, it was with some trepidation that I opened it. And what I have to tell you next will be shocking, upsetting and a betrayal of all my aforementioned beliefs; it’s a really cool model.
Ugh. Yuk. Did I just say that about about a Dark Angel? Well, yes, I did. This miniature is actually quite fantastic and I had an absolute blast painting him up. I suppose I should tell you about that process but I just need to choke back the rising bile in my gullet first.
When I first saw the miniature in the flesh (or plastic) I got a real Arthurian Knight sort of feel from it. It fits with the idea of the Lion’s return that he should be striding forth like an avenging, armour-clad knight, with ideas of chivalry, heraldry and holy vows at the forefront of his mind. So that led me to the decision that rather than paint his armour green (or even bone-coloured), I would go with a metallic Iron look. Green would be an accent, and details would be wrought in brass (which looks like gold but you’re more likely to feel ok about taking it to a fight). To contrast the silver armour, and stick with the lore a little, the Emperor’s shield would be a faded gold, also representing the decaying decadence of the Imperium; a marked difference to the workmanlike Steel of the rest of his garb.
The only rule I had is that I didn’t want to use Red anywhere on a model that was primarily accented with Green, as I do hold that the two colours can very easily look a little too Christmassy when put together. So glowing eyes and gems would have to be blue, and the wax of the purity seals black – this all helped to give the model a very natural, and even understated look.
This was a remarkably easy model to tackle really and the simple scheme meant that I wanted the base to have some punch. And as I had so much gold and silver, a bit of bronze felt like the right way to go. I’ve been doing this a lot recently because that weathered bronze is so simple and satisfying to do.
So there you have it. I enjoyed painting a Dark Angel and I’ve admitted that it’s a pretty awesome model. I may need to paint Commander Dante next just to reaffirm my beliefs that red angels and far better than green ones.
If you want the challenge of painting a very big Space Marine, I’d pick this one over Bobby G too – less tactical rock, more cape. Does he need to come in a box with some Bladeguard Vets? Probably not, but there is something thematic about it and this is just the limited edition version as I understand it. Another great piece of work from GW. Just don’t ever remind me that I said that about a Dark Angel. Ugh. Onwards.