There’s no ‘I’ in ‘Killteam’ — oh wait, there is!

For this week’s update, let’s return to the wonderful world of true scale Astartes for a bit: While I am not exactly a fan of how their lore seems to have been wedged sideways into the 40k background, there’s little doubt that the release of the Primaris Space Marines has provided us with an excellent way of building decently proportioned true scale models for INQ28 without having to spend ages on getting the basic build right. For instance, I had lots of fun building and painting the most archetypal, 2nd edition-style Space Marine I could come up with a while ago, Brother Arcturus Diomedes of the Ultramarines:

Back when the Primaris Marines were released, I picked up the box with three “Easy To Build” Primaris with the plan of eventually turning them into more Deatwatch Marines and end up with small a true scale killteam for my INQ28 collection — even if an entire squad of Astartes would be complete overkill in an actual game. The project just seemed too interesting to get hung up on the practicalities — well, that and true scale Deathwatch Marines have been a bit of a hobby horse for Commissar Molotov, one of the godfathers of INQ28, so working on my own killteam would also be a nice tribute to his own work.

However, progress with the actual assembly of the killteam’s members turned out to be slower than expected for two particular reasons: One, it did take quite some time for me to choose which chapters to go with for the members of the squad. In theory, their chapter identity is only really shown on their left shoulder pad, admittedly, but I really wanted to include various callbacks to their chapter of origin on the rest of the models as well. And while it felt tempting to just go with all the classic First Founding chapters, it would also have been a bit lazy — there are 1,000 chapters in the galaxy, after all. How likely would it be, then, that any given killteam should only feature members from the original Space Marine legions/chapters?

The other difficulty came in the form of the seriously weird poses on some of the snapfit Primaris — I only have myself to blame for that, however, as I could simply have purchased the “proper” multi-part kit.

Anyway, the first additional member for the killteam was converted fairly quickly last year: A Watch-Brother hailing the Iron Hands (and possibly the Killteam’s squad leader):

We’ll be seeing this guy again in a little bit…

And then the rest of the team just somehow refused to come together for the aforementioned reasons — until I had an idea recently: How about going with a Crimson Fist as one of the next members? And how about building him as an homage to this particular piece of artwork by Karl Kopinski:

Artwork by Karl Kopinski

Building models to resemble artwork has become a bit of a sub-hobby of mine lately, and so the task quickly drew me in. And I made this guy:

Granted, I had to simplify some parts of the illustration – mostly due to the fact that, funnily enough, even the Primaris’ bigger scale does not allow for all the detail present in the art – and I also made some minor adaptations, allowing for the fact that my version is intended as a member of the Deatwatch, but I am pretty happy with the kitbash — if nothing else, it definitely does mitigate the stock model’s super weird pose.

The conversion is also a bit of a lesson in thriftiness, as the model uses leftover parts from a plastic chaplain Cassius I picked up a while ago to build a (30k) Word Bearers chaplain. That project left me with Cassius’ left arm and right (Deathwatch) shoulder pad, and ultimately both the shoulder pad and his left hand (complete with snazzy Deathwatch bolt pistol) were grafted onto my Crimson Fist.

I also didn’t have any proper Deathwatch backpacks left, so I had to kitbash one using a regular Space Marine backpack, a sensor array from a Terminator torso front and some small aerials painstakingly shaved off a Space Marines auspex.

So that left me with three members for the killteam, at least:

And I was also really in love with the Crimson Fist conversion, so I decided to paint him right away.

One thing that I decided fairly early during the painting process was that I wanted to use a different skin tone this time around, due to the fact that the Crimson Fists seem to have a distinct Latin American/Hispanic element in their background. So I decided to forego my usual recipe for baseline (caucasian) Astartes skin and go for something slightly different. And in a flight of fancy, I decided to use some very old GW Bronzed Flesh paint that must be more than 20 years old at this point:

And it still worked just fine, too! Most importantly, though, it made for a slightly different skin tone, which seemed like a good way to introduce some much needed ethnic diversity and also underline the fact that all members of the killteam hail from different chapters and, by extension, different planets as well.

As you can see, my Staedtler pigment liner really came in handy once again, and I really went to town on all the little pieces of parchment 😉 The bottles of Microsol and Microset I picked up in Amsterdam last year, also ended up being supremely helpful when it came to making that Crimson Fists decal conform to the shoulder pad’s curved surface.

As for the armour, I followed the same approach I had developed for Brother Diomedes: Cover up any sub-par edge highlighting with sponged-on scratches and damage — fortunately enough, the resulting look really fits the Deathwatch rather nicely, if I do say so myself 😉

So after another round of fine tuning, and after completing the base, the killteam’s next member was finished:



Vargo Diaz
Brother of the Deathwatch
Crimson Fists Astartes Chapter

As you can see, he does have one …erm crimson fist, at least.  I did consider painting the power fist red as well, but then the arm would have ended up being predominantly not-silver, when a silver arm is such an integral part of the Deathwatch livery, so limited the use of red to the right hand.

There’s also another little element I wanted to include: In the original Inquisitor rulebook, the 54mm model for Brother Artemis (basically the forefather to all Deathwatch Marines) had those little rectangles on his bolter designed as displays/buttons for the different kinds of ammunition stored in the weapon:

so I thought it might be fun to include this in a bit of a shout out to the classic model and its paintjob. So I put some Roman numerals on the panels: The right side side has ‘I’ and ‘II’, as shown above, the other one has ‘III’ and ‘IV’:

When it came to basing Brother Diaz, I went for the same basic look I had already used on my first Deathwatch Marine. I included an ork skull this time around, however — I think it’s an entertaining little meta touch to feature an alien skull from the respective chapter’s nemesis Xenos race, so Tyranids for Ultramarines, Orks for Crimson Fists and a Necron head for the Iron Hand. Speaking of which…

There was still this guy:

And, still feeling motivated after my quick completion of Brother Diaz, I decided to paint him as well. After all, I am still very happy with the conversion, based on combining a snapfit Primaris with quite a few parts from Ennox Sorrlock, from Deathwatch:Overkill…

…as well as a new breastplate and left arm courtesy of the Kataphron Destroyers.

Anyway, I quickly got to work and dressed the Iron Hand in the same kind of scuffed black armour as his peers:

In this case, the paintjob also had the added benefit of tying together the various parts of the slightly more eclectic conversion.

According to the underlying basing theme, I also constructed a base, featuring a half-buried Necron skull and spine this time around:

Remembering the (brilliant) alternate history Dornian Heresy and the various more or less obvious parallels and connections between the Necrons and Iron Hands, I decided to mirror the blue glow I used on the Iron Hand in the eye of the Necron skull — it seemed like a nice tongue in cheek meta joke 😉

The model’s arms and backpack were painted separately, for the most part — although I couldn’t really help myself, as usual, and had to glue everything together, even while the last few painting steps were still happening:

Putting the finishing touches on the model turned out to be quite a bit of fun, however, so I already have the (mostly) finished model to share with you:


Vorlik Ulrach
Brother of the Deathwatch
Iron Hands Astartes Chapter

I really like the model, and I think his armoured bulk works really well now that he’s been painted — both for an Iron Hand and for the leader of a Deathwatch killteam!

And there’s more, as I have already started assembling yet another possible member for the team, provisionally from the Celestial Lions, wearing a suit of Recon armour:

Yeah, I know: Technically speaking, the model is basically a Primaris Reiver. But after seeing a particularly nice Reiver-based Deathwatch Marine converted and painted by Jeff Vader, I realised that the stripped-down, sleeker armour matches the “Special Ops” look of the Deathwatch rather nicely — I also think it makes sense for the killteam to have a recon expert.

As for his chapter, I chose the Celestial Lions mostly because they have a bit of an African influence, and I had originally picked up that particular head for its decidedly non-caucasian feature — once again, in an attempt to make my collection of models a bit more ethnically diverse than your usual gang of bald, white Astartes. That being said, I realised too late that the Lions have a bit of a history with the Inquisition — oh well, I’ll find some kind of explanation for it, I am sure — in fact, fellow hobbyist Aramis K brilliantly suggested over at The Bolter & Chainsword that this member of the Celestial Lions might be a specialist for hunting down “Ork Snipers”… 😉

Going forward, there are a few chapters I would definitely like to feature: Right now, I have plans for three more members for the killteam: A Carcharodon, a Lamenter and one of Commissar Molotov’s own Castigators, as an additional shout out 😉

But that’s a story for a future post. For now, here’s what Killteam Ulrach looks like right now:

And seeing how I am actually working towards the completion of a squad here, I think these guys make for a fairly cool contribution to Azazel’s current “June-Unit” community challenge as well! 😉

Once again, I would love to hear any thoughts you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!


24 Responses to “There’s no ‘I’ in ‘Killteam’ — oh wait, there is!”

  1. Inquisitor Mikhailovich Says:

    As always, the rest of us mere mortal kitbashers can only gawk in awe at the beauty of your models. Seriously, beautiful work. As a Deathwatch gamer, I am FLOORED. I thought my killteam was cool…

    • Mate, your Killteam IS cool — don’t sell yourself short! I will admit though that I am currently having a blast with these guys, and I think it shows a bit 😉

      • Inquisitor Mikhailovich Says:

        I won’t do myself the disrespect of claiming that my killteam isn’t cool – just that yours is cooler! Your superior skill and bitsbox show through just a little bit. 🙂

  2. Petitioner's City Says:

    These are beautiful, as always. I do want to ask where the Celestial Lion head comes from – I might want to use it for my Thousand Sons or Word Bearers or just another marine.

  3. They look brilliant man!

  4. Always loved that piece of artwork on the Crimson Fists! And great job with this DW kill-team of course, as usual your attention to details is stunning!

  5. Cracking job mate, superb conversions & beautifully painted! I confess that I wasn’t sure about the Ulrach at first, (something about that left arm in the WIP shots), but it all came good – I have reported myself to the Commisariat for my lapse of faith 🙂

    • And good thing you did, too. We cannot have any doubters around here — *BLAM!* 😉

      Seriously, though: Glad to have won you over! The bionic arm is a bit ridiculous, but I’d argue it works on the finished model.

  6. Pandoras Bitz Box Says:

    Hey Krautscientist, as you know I am a great fan of these guys as I expressed over on Bolter and Chainsword. However apart from gushing over your super cool Iron Hand (and sharing my frustrated confusion over some of the GW Techmarine Axe design…), I Never really gave enough credit to the beginnings of your killteam as a whole and the other players.

    That Crimson Fist homage is great, and I really like those little indicators on his gun. The Celestial lion is also super cool, where did his little ‘door knocker’ belt buckle come from? its awesomely appropriate. My favourite (and slightly shameful) take on all of this is… it never crossed my mind ot have ethnically diverse space marines. Granted, I don’t really have many space marines with skin showing but its such a great idea. I do have a lot of chaos cultists so I think I should probably repaint some of those. I like my Grey Knight helmets so they always have those apart from the characters. So I think I’ll do a similar thing with my deathwatch. It seems stupid to me that after being so obsessed with diversity in my Possessed Chaos Space Marines because of the infinite variety of beings that could inhabit them… it didn’t cross my mind that when I come to my deathwatch (or any humans/super humans really), their ethnicity would be from the infinite variety of people in the human race. As I said, shameful… but I’m glad your work has put me on the right path.

    I also wouldnt worry too much about the history between the Lions and the inquisition… as time goes by it seems like everyone has bad blood with the inquisition… not to mention that the more recent incarnations of the Deathwatch seemed to have Retconned the amount of influence the Inquisition has over the Deathwatch. Its and awesome idea, I’m glad you ran with it.

    • Thanks a lot, mate! Regarding the Celestial Lion’s background, it seems like I am actually in the clear, as the bad blood between the chapter and the Inquisition didn’t start until 948 M41, when my iNQ28 narrative is actually set at 200-ish years before that 😉

      That lion belt buckle is a bit from an old plastic WFB Empire cannon, by the way.

  7. Great work on these, and it makes me excited to see what you have coming up next… particularly a Lamentor!

    Also, are you going to do any heavy weapons? Signature (newly so) weapons of the Deathwatch like the frag cannon, or heavy shotgun?

    • Cheers, mate! And yeah, I want to include a heavy weapons specialistt (incidentally, it seems as though the job might fall to the Lamenter), although I am favouring a heavy bolter at the moment — purely based on visual preference, though.

  8. Alexis West Says:

    Excellent work! It wouldn’t really work across a full Army, but for a Kill Team like this, having a “signature” xenos skull on each base is a great touch. I particularly like the use of the Kataphron chest plate for the Iron Hand. I might have to borrow that idea for a Techmarine conversion at some point.

    His pose feels a little awkward, tho. Specifically, something about the angle the axe is at. Combined with the position of the bolter arm, it sort of feels like they’re both “standby” arm positions, each of which would look good if the other arm was doing something active, but having both arms like that is, yeah, a little awkward.

    Finally: I really miss those 90s paint pots. I’ve got a handful of them left, still as usable as they day I popped them open.

    • Thanks a lot, Alexis! I definitely see where you’re coming from regarding the Iron Hand’s pose — I didn’t have too many options, however, as the lenght of the axe really required it to be held like that, and the right arm is actually a slightly tweaked arm from Ennox Sorrlock, so I couldn’t do too much with that bit either. That being said, I felt that, due to the model’s extra bulk and the fact that he’s the leader, I could maybe get away with a bit of a 2nd editon style pose just this once 😉

      As for the paintjob, yeah, it beggars belief how they basically already had the perfect paint pot design, then managed to make it continuously worse over the last 20+ years 😉

  9. Michael Corr Says:

    Fantastic work, as always! A great looking Kill Team you’ve put together, very thematic.

  10. Once again, you’ve come up with fantastic work. I really like this new pair, particularly the Fist. I wouldn’t worry too much about the Lion being incorporated, as the Inquisition itself is pretty factionally diverse (fractured!) and full of in-fighting (often literally, it seems!)
    Additionally, the Ordo Xenos seems to be a bit more …straightforward in some ways than other arms of the Inquisition, and within that, the Deathwatch are an Astartes organisation. I had the same initial misgivings about the Flesh Tearer that I have in my own almost-finished Deathwatch squad, but GW themselves don’t seem to. Besides, he’s got his Fist-buddy there with him I do really like that head, though. It’d be a good one to track down.
    Once again, thank you for the shout-out, and I look forward to seeing the enhanced-completed squad!

    • Cheers, mate! Glad you like the model — as it happens, your own Celestial Lions were very much a part of my reference material 😉

      As for the background, like I said, everything happens to work out after all, because the Celestial Lions’ trouble with the Inquisition only starts towards the second half of M41.

  11. Really thought I’d commented on this before but I must have dreamt it in haze of excitement and inspiration. Anyway, these are really excellent, and well done on going for some of the more unusual and under-represented chapters rather than just the “Big 9” of the First Founding. You’ve even managed to get me excited about the Crimson Fists, some achievement as I’ve always found them faintly dull compared to the Templars or the Imperial Fists themselves (plus as an Ork fan there is enough bad blood there to put anything between the Celestial Lions and the Inquisition to shame…).

    You’ve even gone and inspired me to work on a few marines of my own (nothing as fancy as this yet mind, just want to finish off a few test models that have been gathering dust before I tackle some wilder conversions).

    • Haha, thanks a lot, mate! I actually agree with the Crimson Fists — they always did strike me as not all that interesting, but then there was that particular cool piece of artwork that I did want to emulate, so yeah…

      Saw your Primaris conversions and commented on them earlier. Glad to have inspired you! 🙂

  12. […] started when I was looking at KrautScientist’s awesome truescale Deathwatch. Once again I found myself looking at my own Astartes and tragically unpainted state. Picking up […]

  13. […] A blog about KrautScientist's wargaming exploits « There’s no ‘I’ in ‘Killteam’ — oh wait, there is! […]

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