Today I have another Army Showcase for you, with Ricki's Blades of Caliban Dark Angels force.
I spotted this army on one of the 40k facebook groups and was blown away by how impressive it is. I quickly contacted Ricki to see if I could feature it and ask some questions about how the army came together. This initial force is part of an escalation league he is taking part in, and I cannot wait to see how the army progresses in the coming months.
Here are Ricki's answers to my questions:
1. Why did you start the army?
For the past few years I have been primarily an Age of Sigmar player, having stopped playing Warhammer 40,000 midway through 7th edition as I sought the more narrative and open structure of Age of Sigmar to indulge my own personal obsession with conversion-based, narrative armies rather than the more competitive matched play scene perpetuated by Warhammer 40,000 in my area (entirely anecdotal of course). With my brother getting back into the Warhammer universe and picking up 40,000, and a friend nearby looking to start gaming for the very first time who also preferred the lore behind 40k, it seemed like a natural start point for me to rejoin the far future and put my Age of Sigmar projects temporarily on hold.
2. What drew you to the army?
I am at all times more narrative than matched play when gaming, I love conversion-centric armies and always strive to create something unique. I was also wowed by the latest Age of Sigmar release of the Sacrosanct chamber that I had earmarked for potential conversion projects down the road. Combining these sleek new kits with one of my favourite chapters (legion to me, chapter to be relevant) seemed like the natural modelling marriage; the heavy robes of the Sacrosanct and knightly army fitted the monastic and knightly vibes the Dark Angels are best known for. By creating my own founding the Blades of Caliban I could completely take control of the lore as it develops rather than feeling overtly constrained by what had come before.
3. Are there any special techniques or conversions you used for painting it?
As I’ve mentioned, the Sacrosanct models were my launching point for this army, forming a central basis for conversions for the army to grow around, they have definitely been the most commented on part of the army. The defined robes, sharp details on the armour and how effortlessly the parts blend into the Primaris kits made the conversion simple, and yet effective, with minor edits to the torso shoulder point Marine arms combined with the Sequitors to produce a more ornate Marine in Primaris size. When it came to painting, the inspiration was the original Dark Angels heresy era scheme, sleek black armour meshed with white guns had a simplistic and elegant vibe, it was, however, important to me to ensure a splash of colour, turning the otherwise monochromatic scheme into something with more depth. For this reason, the accent of blue can be found across all of the models in the army, whether from a powerpack glow, plasma weaponry or power swords.
4. Is it a gaming army, or simply for display?
Every model I build it meant to be played with, as many people comment on the comparative costs of what I build in order to justify it, I believe in engaging in all aspects of the hobby. Simply by gaming with the army, I get to enjoy it time after time and the results of these games then can inspire me to add new units as the narrative for the Chapter develops. We are soon to be embarking on a three player mini narrative campaign that will define which additions join the army in the next stages and add to each individual unit's backgrounds.
5. Do you have a favourite model and why?
For me, my favourite model is always the last one and the next one. I tend to fawn over the last model I have created, admiring what went into it, but am always seeking to make the next conversion, to develop the next idea and see it become more concrete. In this army, the last model made was the Talon Master, who needed something more sleek for his transport than a simple landspeeder. Instead, taking on a relic of times long since passed as the basis for his conversion, utilising the Forgeworld Javelin Pattern attack speeder.
As for the next one… that’s yet to come.
Many thanks to Ricki for taking the time to answer my questions and send me photos of his fantastic force. If you would like your own force to be presented on Army Showcase, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org