As some of you will have read in my previous posts, my big collecting/painting project for the first half of this year was the Brazen Angels, my DIY Blood Angels successor chapter for Warhammer 40,000.
The project is currently on hiatus as I have shifted my focus to collecting my fleets for Dystopian Wars and Firestorm Armada. However it was actually an extremely satisfying project and is actually the most successful collecting project I’ve worked on for Warhammer 40k in a good few years.
I must admit that what attarcted me to the Blood Angels list was their selection of shiny exclusive toys, in particular the Storm Raven gunship and the Baal Predator tank. I had previously been collecting Space Marine models to use as a Blood Ravens army using the standard Codex Space Marine rules. But seeing the options available to the Blood Angels list I quickly re-purposed those models.
I knew however that I wanted to do a successor chapter rather than the Blood Angels themselves as it would allow me to choose a colour scheme I liked and have some input to the iconography I used. Also, after years of eschewing ‘home brew’ chapter creation I suddenly felt motivated to invent something of my own.
The original Brazen Angel was one of a half dozen or so test models I painted up to try out different colour ideas. Not all of them were particularly well thought through, but a couple I was quite pleased with. I’ve always liked the idea of bronze painted Space Marines so this was a good opportunity to test what it would look like. The black and red shoulder pads were chosen because they contrasted well with the bronze, but the red chest eagle was intending to be a deliberate reference to the red of the Blood Angels.
Once I had decided that I wanted to take the colour scheme forward, I spent a lot of time trying to think of a good name for the chapter. A lot of the time this took was due to an initial determination to crowbar the word ‘praetorian’ into the name. I wanted to avoid the use of ‘blood’ in the name too, as I thought that was a bit too obvious and unoriginal in a Blood Angels successor.
In the end I chose ‘Brazen Angels’, which I actually really liked, and had the virtue of being simple and still referencing the parent chapter, but not in the obvious way.
The background I wrote for the chapter can be found here: https://paintandbiscuits.wordpress.com/2011/07/31/the-brazen-angels/
The colour scheme was originally Tin Bitz, highlighted with Dwarf Bronze and Shining Gold. However, expediency and/or laziness led to be changing it to Humbrol bronze spray paint, shaded with Devlen Mud and then highlighted with Shining Gold.
I must admit that so far, the army lacks much in the way of Blood Angels-esque decoration, or signature items such as the Infernus Pistol. This is largely because most of them were originally assembled as a Codex army. Over time though, I might be able to remedy this.
Like all projects, the ideas had to develop as work went on. After painting up three tactical squads it was time to paint up my assault squad. This forced me to consider whether to introduce the traditional yellow markings of assault squads into the design. After due consideration, the red shoulder pad of the models painted so far was retroactively designated a ‘tactical’ marking and the assault squad instead were painted with shoulder pads in assault yellow, but retaining the all important red chest eagle. When I paint up my devastator squad they will have blue shoulders.
My original plan for the army was to make use of the fact that the Blood Angels list allowed Land Raiders to be taken as dedicated transports to design an= 3000 point armoured heavy assault force based around tactical squads in Land Raiders supported by a Baal Predator and Predator Annihilator as well as another squad in a Storm Raven with mobile backup coming from a deep striking assault squad and some Land Speeder Tornadoes.
Since that original plan however, I came to the decision to step back from Games Workshop games and products owing to their ever rising prices and my feeling that I was getting less and less value for money. As result I have scaled back my plan to a more modest 2000 point force. I will be making the last two purchases necessary to complete this force soon, and as things stand, they may be my last purchases from GW for some time.
Nevertheless, I’m pleased with the army I’ve designed and very happy to have actually more or less completed a 40k army for the first time in quite a few years. Once everything is assembled and painted I hope I will be able to take the army for a spin or two on the gaming table. I think building an army of my own invention really helped motivate me to get the army properly collected and painted and I think made it a more treasured possession than some I’ve had in the past. Certainly I wasn’t tempted to sell my models off like I was with other GW odds and ends I’ve got lying around.
Hopefully I will be able to update another time with some more painted models, maybe even the Storm Raven