Dark Angels army - Warhammer 40K

After recently paying a quick visit to a Gamesfest event in Tring, Hertfordshire, I felt obligated to dig out a Dark Angels army I had collected from way back as a teenager, and added to at University in the mid/late 90's. It was a great afternoon of re-discovering miniatures that I had safely tucked away for a rainy day. At the same time I also retrieved an Eldar army too... but that's in a separate post!

Warhammer 40K is a table top miniatures game and for those who don't know. These guys pictured here are Space Marines, fighting on behalf of the Emperor of humanity in the 41st millennium, with human kind spread thinly over multiple worlds, separated by vast space. Unfortunately, they also encounter many different threats to their survival, including Orks, Eldar (elvish beings) and the corrupting forces of Chaos.

According to Wikipedia; "the Dark Angels were once the 1st legion of the twenty original Space Marine legions. Their primarch, Lion El' Jonson, was renowned for his strategic level of tactical brilliance, but was distrusted by his brother primarchs for his secretive nature. The Dark Angels have a terrible secret that remains only known to the upper ranks of the chapter. At the very end of the Horus Heresy, half of the Legion rebelled against the Emperor under the command of Luther, a high ranking commander and Lion's own foster father. After a brutal battle, in which Lion disappeared, the traitors were sent through the Warp by a powerful warp storm and scattered across time and space. Now the Dark Angels seek to expunge their shame by bringing each and every one of these traitors, the Fallen, to justice in secret. Their chapter is unique in that their 1st Company, colloquially known as the Deathwing, is composed solely of elite veterans outfitted with heavy white-coloured Terminator Armour, and their 2nd Company, colloquially known as the Ravenwing, is composed solely of black armoured skirmishers mounted on heavy combat bikes. Their chapter master, or Supreme Grand Master, is Azrael.".

Anyway... I took some time to photograph both the painted and unpainted miniatures in my collection. Bearing in mind all of the paint jobs shown are at least 20 years old (some are 30+!), it's interesting for me to see how my handiwork has improved a little over that time. I've never churned out lots of painted miniatures of a high standard, but I can certainly see I've improved with time. It would be nice to revisit this army one day and overhaul many of the miniatures I've shown here, and paint the as yet untouched miniatures too... but I know that will be a long time off... if ever! This is mainly because I've not played Warhammer 40K since in 20+ years since University... perhaps I might dip my toe in again at some stage.

Here's a run down of the units/models I've got stored away;

A few members of a command squad - (Left to right: Chapter Commander, a Librarian (pysker), a Standard Bearer, another Librarian and a 5th Company Captain);

I also was inspired to paint these Terminator models after reading a short story called Deathwing. I remember being particularly pleased with the Assault Cannon, Librarian and 1st Company Captain at the time (I must have been about 14/15 years old possibly). I do remember outlining some of the shoulder detail with feint pencil lines and giving the lightning claws and power axe a dry brush with electric blue to give a sense of a electrical halo to the weapons... doesn't show up here and wasn't that great looking back!. I also remember going over and back again on the white... trying to avoid going over the black recesses. Nowadays Deathwing armour has a more 'bone' look to it as opposed to brilliant white... again, I was starting out! I also recall thinking that it was a good idea to show some miniatures with green on them still, indicating how recently they had been promoted from the other Companies within the Chapter to the Deathwing... I don't think this ever featured in the background fluff but I thought it was a good idea at the time;

I remember having great fun assembling these multi-part plastic models shown below - MkVI 'beaky' armour. You could pose them in plentifully different positions... back in the day when you could buy 30 miniatures for £10!! They look very much like I've just painted them one shade of green... but they were highlighted. However, there is just too much green, especially with green grass bases too. I would definitely do the bases a non-green colour should I ever revisit these. Also, the chapter symbols via water transferred have suffered a great deal over time;

I think the Dreadnought (an injured space marine encased in a massively powerful exoskeleton) model really dates this army too... but the heavy weapons squad is from around the 1990's I think. You may notice here that I started putting a common 'army' badge on their right knees, which, I probably read somewhere at the time, was painted on for a particular campaign that the Chapter fought;

The front row of the picture below form a 10 man squad along with the 5 heavy weapon 'Devastator' marines pictured above. My favourite miniature of this squad is the model on the far right... I particularly liked the deep green tones and highlighting;

This Tactical Squad featuring 10 marines in MkVII armour, which consists of a sergeant (with really poor skin tone!!), 1 missile launcher and a flamer and 7 ordinary marines;

The Apothecary on the bike (shown below) looked much better to me in the pose of doing a wheelie... sort of went with the yeehaa chainsaw look. The bike helped the medic get around the battleground to tend to the injured or recover Progenoid Glands from his brother marines, allowing for the gene-seed material to be cultivated from these organs and re-implanted in to future marines.

Another nice piece is this Chaplain on a bike with sidecar... I painted the side car marine in black as I wanted to have a representative from the Ravenwing Chapter. I remember finally being pleased with the skin tone... took me a long time to get close to something vaguely passable!

To service the bikes & Rhino (see later) I painted up a TechMarine... love this model;

Back then I also had my mind set on an Assault squad (each marine armed with a duo of close combat weapons from chainsaws, bolt pistols, power swords and power fists). I also popped a couple of older armour models (see far left and far right) to represent veterans of the squad. Obviously these guys need painting, and I was pleased with the poses... but back then I don't remember 'jump packs' being available to add to models, so they don't look anything like their counterparts that Games Workshop produce today;

Speaking of veterans and old armour, these models are tucked away... don't know why I didn't paint them... especially as I really like the far left model (MkVI armour). My idea at the time was that as the Dark Angels are the 1st and therefore oldest Space Marine Chapter they really are most likely to honour their old veterans with ancient artefacts like these power armoured suits;

More models to paint... but much more new (relatively) than many of the models featured so far. I bought these at the time to form part of the command squad... (Left to right; Azrael - Supreme Grand Master, his helmet carrying 'Watcher', Ezekiel - Grand Master of Librarians, a standard bearer, a sergeant and a Chaplain);

Along the way I bought a Leman Russ tank, a newer type of dreadnought and a Rhino troop carrier... I customised the Rhino with a marine looking out of the top hatch... again, more painting to do one day!;

Lastly, although the following models aren't part of the Dark Angel army, it seemed fitting with the Dark Angel's pursuit of the Unforgiven to have an Inquisitor and a couple of Grey Knights;

Well, that's my Dark Angel army pretty well documented. Just shows why you shouldn't get distracted by other miniatures or games and actually finish an army off... I will one day with this lot and then put it in a nice display case (if the Mrs will let me!).

Hope this conjured up a few memories for some of you older 40Kers out there!


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