• Dark Angels 4th Company, "The Feared"

    Issue 195 of White Dwarf magazine came out in early 1996. I had recently started playing Warhammer 40,000, and this issue was a big deal in two ways. First, it had a cool cover featuring Asmodai, and I was playing Dark Angels. Second, on page 81 there was a feature showing the entire chapter of the Ultramarines. This seemed absolutely mad to me—over 1000 Space Marines!


    Well, I’m not there yet, but I’m excited to now be able to show off an entire battle company that I’ve painted. Allow me to present the Dark Angels’ 4th company, “The Feared.”

    Full company

    (Click images to enlarge)

    The Feared are entirely codex-compliant: six battleline squads (40 Intercessors, 10 Heavy Intercessors, 10 Infiltrators); two close support squads (10 Inceptors, 10 Assault Intercessors); two fire support squads (20 Hellblasters).

    Master and Its

    They are led by Company Master Larathiel Adellum and his two Lieutenants, Astrovel Soriel and Yofiel Seraphus, made from the Dark Angels Captain kit, the Dark Angels Lt kit, and the Warhammer Day Primaris Lt (kitbashed with the shield from the Forgeworld Dark Angles Praetor and a few other bits).

    The command squad consists of a Company Ancient, chaplain, champion, apothecary, and five Veteran Intercessors.

    Company Champion

    The Company Champion is last year’s limited edition Primaris Champion kit. The wings on his helmet were carefully shaved off the piece from the firstborn upgrade sprue. The sword comes from that kit, too.


    The Ancient has a laurel on his shoulder, which comes from the Dark Angels veterans box, and has a Dark Angels sword, too. The traditional heraldic device for a marine fourth company is the chief (half and half top/bottom). The Dark Angels bling theirs up with some checkers. You can see it on his banner. The gem at the top is green, a nod to the traditional color of the 4th company. Purity seals throughout are transfers from Forgotten Chapters.


    Yes, this did mean hand painting over 100 knee checkerboards. Some look better than others. (Ska may have faded with the 90s, but the two-tone army is still here on my table! Though Dark Angels would hate ska—they only listen to emotional hardcore.)


    Every model has a crusade badge—the red sword with a skull—on the right greave.


    Sergeants have bare heads, backpack ornaments, and flowers on their base. Everything is organized around 10-man squads. When I field them in a game, squads are usually broken up and grouped as five, so each set of ten has a battle brother with a sword on his helmet who leads the second squad. This let me use all the sergeant poses. The bare heads are also (nearly) all from Dark Angels-specific kits. I tried not to repeat the backpack doodads but may have a few duplicates.


    Dark Angels don’t recruit from any one particular world, so I worked to vary their skin tones across the army. Most everything is done with Contrast paint, from armor to robes to faces.

    tablewar case

    Excepting the dreadnoughts and tanks, the whole company fits in one full-size Table War case.

    Using current point values, the company comes to 3855 points.

    Not pictured are several thousand more points of Ravenwing, Deathwing, the entire Phobos army I took to NOVA last year, Aeronautica Imperialis Dark Angels, and some Heresy models I’ve started. My “pile of shame” is shrinking but I still have a bit more to finish. Up next is the new Azrael model.

    More Dark Angels stuff I’ve written:

    1. Shoulder Pads of the Dark Angels
    2. Dark Angels Apothecaries
    3. Why the Dark Angels Really Changed from Black to Green?
    4. How the Dark Angels story developed, from Rogue Trader to 2nd edition
    5. Successor Chapters
    6. My 4th company, “The Feared”
  • Dark Angels Successors Chapters

    I’ve written before about heraldry and markings for Dark Angels Space Marines in Warhammer: 40,000. Today I’ll go over successor chapters. There are a number of named chapters that Games Workshop has developed, so you’re free to use one of those, or make up a new one entirely.


    Some Dark Angels successor chapters are going to hew closely to how the parent chapter is organized and operates. Some could be totally different. There are even brand new Ultima Founding chapters that don’t even know anything about the Fallen and just go about doing normal Space Marine things.

    By default I would recommend that your chapter follow the Codex Astartes, or a modified version like the Dark Angels use—ten companies of 100 marines plus command personnel. Whether you use colored helmets and company colors or Dark-Angels-style heraldic devices is up to you.

    Note that successor chapters that use Dark Angels-style kneepads to designate their companies tend to use the model’s right kneepad (not left). The symbols will generally match the Dark Angels’, but you may need to change the colors to match your scheme. If your chapter has a normal 2nd codex battle company (that is, not a Ravenwing-equivalent—see below), the 2nd’s kneepad would be a vertical line (a pale).

    Your chapter can have Deathwing or Ravenwing analogues, but it doesn’t need to. Perhaps your chapter master distributes knowledge of the Fallen throughout the companies to trusted veteran sergeants. In-game you’ll still only get the Deathwing keyword on the appropriate squads, but the story is yours to make up. Likewise with the Ravenwing. You can have the bikes be part of normal companies, not all grouped together in the 2nd.


    Successor Terminators and bikes can be the same color as the rest of your army; they don’t need to be different like with the Dark Angels. If you do want to give them their own color schemes, I recommend picking your palette with this in mind. Use the secondary color on the main troopers as the primary color on the veterans. Or just mark your Deathwing-equivalent with, say, gold trim instead of black. There are plenty of ways to distinguish them.

    The Unforgiven

    2nd edition Angels of Death codex:

    The three Space Marine Chapters shown here and the Dark Angels Chapter comprised the original Dark Angels Legion before the Second Founding. […] Collectively the four Chapters are known as the Unforgiven. The Angels of Absolution, the Angels of Vengeance and the Angels of Redemptionm share the ancient secret of the Dark Angels and that Chapter’s mission to reclaim its honour and eradicate the terrible shame of their part in the history.

    The three Chapters follow the Dark Angels’ pattern of organization closely and each has its own Inner Circle. They all have formations which are similar to the Deathwing and Ravenwing companies although they are not named as such. The Chapters of the Unforgiven coordinate their activites in regard of their secret mission and it is not unknown for the Supreme Grand Masters of the four Chapters to hold summit meetings on the Rock.

    Angels of Absolution: Accoding to Angels of Death, “all of the Chapter’s warriors wear bone-white armour.” This would include its Deathwing and Ravenwing analogues. Their robes are green. Their backpacks are black in earlier codex art but white in some. Their inner circle is called the Hidden Brotherhood.

    Angels of Vengeance: “The First Company wears black Terminator armour and the monkish robes of the Inner Circle are jet-black.” Some GW studio models have red tabards. Squad markings are inverted from Dark Angels—white with red numbers. “The Angels of Vengeance use a Terminator-armoured company known as the Dreadwing and a mobile Raptorwing to carry out the hunt for the Fallen (8th ed codex, page 45).

    Angels of Redemption: Red Robes. “The Angels of Redemption have the Redwings, their 1st and 2nd companies” (ibid).

    Other Named Successors

    Guardians of the Covenant wear red robes. Their bikers use the same silver colors as their battle companies, with some red panelling. Very monastic in their styling—probably hard to do these days without Primaris-sized robes but one could maybe use Black Templar pieces. Their inner cirlce is known as the Secret Order.

    Consecrators used to only wear MK VI armor but now have Primaris members. Their robes are red. Squad markings are inverted from Dark Angels—white with red numbers.

    Disciples of Caliban’s Terminators wear the same green and black as their battle company do. They have lots of relics so I’d recommend some cool ancient conversions. White/bone robes.

    Angels of Defiance have quartered blakc and bone armor. Black on the models’ upper-left and lower-right, bone on the top-left and bottom-right. Green robes.

    That’s just a few of the ones GW has made up. If I were starting over I’d probably so a codex-style chapter with black armor like the Heresy scheme. For ease I’d likely also try to use regular SM models so that I wouldn’t have to source chapter-specific parts.

    More in this series:

    1. Shoulder Pads of the Dark Angels
    2. Dark Angels Apothecaries
    3. Why the Dark Angels Really Changed from Black to Green?
    4. How the Dark Angels story developed, from Rogue Trader to 2nd edition
    5. Successor Chapters
    6. My 4th company, “The Feared”
  • Finished up The Expanse last night. I’m glad I went back to it after finishing the novels, even if my feelings about the casting never really changed. Great space combat, though.

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    Demo video.

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    I appreciate the effort but it loses the bite of the original. I think maybe I’d just rewrite the couplet entirely.


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  • Christmas Playlist ’22

    I’ve been carefully building a Christmas playlist for over two decades, adding one track a year. There are now twenty-two songs on the list.

    1. “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” by Darlene Love
    2. “Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley
    3. “The Fairytale of New York” by The Pogues
    4. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Judy Garland
    5. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee
    6. “A Holly Jolly Christmas” by Burl Ives
    7. “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby
    8. “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” By Dean Martin
    9. “Christmas Time is Here (Instrumental)” by Vince Guaraldi Trio
    10. “The Christmas Song” by Nat “King” Cole
    11. “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson
    12. “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” by John Lennon
    13. “Step into Christmas” by Elton John
    14. “I Wish It Could be Christmas Everyday” by Wizzard
    15. “Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses
    16. “Here Comes Santa Claus” by Elvis Presley
    17. “What Christmas Means to Me” by Stevie Wonder
    18. “All I Want For Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey
    19. “What a Wonderful World” by Joey Ramone
    20. “Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy” by David Bowie & Bing Crosby
    21. “Father Christmas” by The Kinks
    22. “Merry Xmas Everybody” by Slade

    I typed up this year’s post a week ago with another song on the list, but then Elton John played his last US show and I realized that “Step into Christmas” needed to be the pick. I’m not quite sure what saves this song from being—I don’t know—a bit too top 40?—like it totally is, but I dig it.

    Listen on Apple Music

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    The full teamMinst, Vhane, and Lectro-MaesterAximillion and Knosso ProndNitsch and his Voidsmen

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