Armies on Parade – Blood Angels

This is the first of a series of Warhammer 40,000 Army Showcases from the staff here at towers. This Blood Angels army has been in the works since the mid 1990s and consists of minis old and new, metal, plastic and resin and has been adapted over the years to reflect changes in the rules from 3rd edition through 5th, 6th and 7th and now 8th. Finishing touches are now being applied including repainting bases from green to ‘moon dust’, and adding transfers for chapter icons and banners. The red armours are done in a deliberately glossy style, as one can well imagine the Blood Angels waxing their armour coating to a fine shine, and gloss paint is much more often used over metal than matte, so we find this scheme to be much more realistic, and visually stimulating.

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Commander Dante An original metal Dante. Despite being made defacto regent of the Imperium Nihilus at the end of Devastation of Baal, it’s surprising Games Workshop haven’t given him a buff rule that affects IMPERIUM keyword units beyond the buff he gives Blood Angels units.

Captain Karlaen of the 1st Company Just the standard Terminator Captain miniature originally from the Deathstorm box set. He often takes the Hammer of Baal relic.

Captain Aphael of the 2nd Company Although a regular captain with no special rules, like Karlaen, Aphael features heavily in the 6th and 7th edition books, and survives the Battle of Baal, remaining captain of the 2nd company. This Aphael is made from space marine commander and sanguinary guard parts and although posed differently, is painted to match Aphael as illustrated in the Sons of Sanguinius painting guide. He can always take a relic weapon if he wants to be more special than a regular captain.

Captain Tycho of the 3rd Company Here we have two versions of Tycho in fact. Both are metal, and only the newer version was ever redone in resin. The model with the complete Death Mask is the original Blood Angels captain miniature and in fact you can see many elements that made it into the much later Sanguinary Guard design, including the whole lower legs, and the breastplate. Although predating the days of named characters, this miniature was used to represent a certain Captain Tycho in the original White Dwarf battle report all the way back in issue 139. We can be pretty sure it really is Tycho, because he shares the same 3rd company sigil on his left shoulder plate too.

Captain Limited edition games day captain in Finecast based on the 2nd Edition 40K cover art. Armed with Power Fist and Master Crafted Boltgun.

Captain Leonatos Super rare limited edition miniature of the star of the Bloodquest comic series, equipped with Iron Halo and the Blade Encarmine relic weapon.

Lieutenants New in 8th Edition, at least, for the first time since Rogue Trader! Having painted up a few too many Captain miniatures, these captains have been repurposed as lieutenants. The first is based on the Executioner chapter hero miniature, with a minor head swap and some Blood Angels accessorisation. He can of course still be used as a Captain, none of the named Captains have jump packs so this guy has one, with bronze painted armour as other officers like Tycho do. Blood Angels lieutenants apparently adopt either the role of front line leader, or stay back in case they need to take over from a commander in the grip of Black Rage. So we have here one battle crazed axe wielding murder machine, and one seasoned, calm veteran worldly wise through his time in the Deathwatch. He’s a custom build representing the Sanguinary Guard character from the Deathwatch mobile game in fact. Albeit looking slightly ridiculous with his spiky golden helmet, he’s loaded up with equipment for a bit of dungeon crawling and not really meant to be used on the tabletop.

Mephiston Again, an original metal Mephiston.

Librarian This Librarian is largely made from Space Marine Commander sprue parts, as well as a Grey Knights psychic hood head. Yes, the backpack is actually a Chaos one. This is both a subtle nod to the old rumours that it would be Blood Angels that turned to Chaos (they really won’t though), a subtle nod to Blood Angels vampiric tendencies with its bat-like outline, and also to suggest that this pack has been modded to better support stability in flight when using the Wings of Sanguinius psychic power, and after all the Chaos backpacks had to come from somewhere, who says there aren’t older variants around that looked like this? He has a Storm Bolter, a valid option for Librarians until the new 8th Edition Codex restricted them to pistols only for no good reason.

Terminator Librarian Just the standard Terminator Librarian Blood Angels mini, with Combi-melta option. Force weapons are consistently painted green throughout the army to differentiate them from power weapons which are blue.

Photos coming soon

Astorath the Grim While Astorath is often painted with black hair and pallid skin, the most vampiric of all Blood Angels, that has never rung true for us. Why would he be the only one not to share Sanguinius’ blonde hair and fair complexion? So this Astorath is also blonde and not quite as grim and dark as usual.

Lemartes Like a boss. From the worst ever mini (see below) to one of the best.

Chaplains here we have a variety of chaplains including the original Lemartes, now relegated to generic chaplain status. It really is one of the worst posed miniatures Games Workshop ever made but saved from the scrapheap here by a great paint job. There’s also the original Death Company metal chaplain, upgraded with a jump pack – ironically he has a Boltgun, no longer a valid option for Chaplains who can only take pistols in 8th Edition – and the modern iteration with the fancy jump pack design.

Sanguinary Priest Unusually, he is equipped with a Power Axe, a valid option up until the new 8th Edition Codex pared back equipment options. With axes uncommonly seen on Space Marines, it makes sense for the one available to be assigned to a medic for use in cutting the wounded free from damaged armour or vehicles, or administering a swift Emperor’s mercy. While Sanguinary Priests are supposed to carry a Grail, especially in 5th Edition, in practice it makes more sense if the shoulder pad carries a grail icon. Hence all of the medics in this army can be found to have a grail icon on shoulder or helmet, as well as sporting the long nose helmet variant, ostensibly because this contains extra diagnostic sensors and communications equipment needed to support a medic’s field work.

Sanguinary Priest This alternative priest-medic is the standard plastic kit figure. Based on the pose and equipment it’s long been though this was meant to be a replacement for the older Corbulo miniature before a last minute change to make him more generic.

Brother Corbulo This is the original Corbulo, also in metal. His Red Grail is of course overflowing with juicy red blood. Unlike most of the other minis here, he was painted in the original Blood Angels red, not the more recent Mephiston red, and is noticeably more scarlet in shade.

The Sanguinor Surely based on the golden knight from the movie Excalibur don’t you think? Don’t be surprised to see a much larger, daemon prince sized Sanguinor in plastic whenever Games Workshop gets around to doing a story campaign featuring Blood Angels. Triumvirate box with new Dante, Mephiston and Sanguinor any one?

Sternguard Veteran Squad The Sternguard are where the rare and exotic weapons should go, hence this squad is equipped with Grav-gun, Grav-pistol, a variety of Combi weapons, and a Heavy Bolter. It mostly uses parts from the Blood Angels Tactical Squad boxset, which seemed too ornate to be used on standard troops. One the chaps is carrying a Melta Bomb – yet another option removed in 8th Edition. Oh well, let’s pretend it’s a Krak grenade.

Vanguard Veteran Squad The Sergeant here is carrying a Relic Blade, which is differentiated from regular power or force weapons by being painted up in a glowing ‘laser’ blood effect, because Blood Angels. The other veterans are armed with either plasma pistols and chainswords, or with combat weapons – Thunder Hammers, Lightning Claws and in one case a Power Fist and Storm Shield (for tanking wounds) – note the power fist itself is right-handed, which means it’s from the original RTB01 Imperial Space Marines box set! The Lightning Claws marine was inspired by the Kayvaan Shrike miniature, where he corkscrews into the sky. This squad has taken it upon themselves to choose mostly spiky helmets for unknown reasons. This squad is made from a variety of Death Company and original plastic Assault Squad kit parts, plus spiked helmets and decorations leftover from a Sanguinary Guard kit.

Scout Squad Not quite a full squad of 10, after all the number of scouts varies depending on viable recruits, but also because 5 of these are from the original metal box set, and 3 more are plastics picked up at a flea market. The faces on the metals are much better than the goofy plastic scouts faces. The plastic scouts are probably one of the worse plastic kits Games Workshop ever did with the current generation manufacturing. Only 2nd edition starter sets were worse.

Death Company These Death Company use a variety of parts from original metal Death Company set, to the more recent plastic Death Company kit, plus resin jump packs from both Forgeworld and third parties, the reasoning being that you equip these guys with your oldest, most broken equipment since you know it’s likely to get destroyed. Where bare heads are used, only those with the spikiest canines and wildest expressions are used. The best thing about Death Company is it can be easily padded out with all those spare marine bodies reclaimed from flea market junkers or old second and third edition era plastics.

Moriar the Chosen The original Death Company Dreadnought from 3rd edition was a named character, although he was still built with the regular Furioso kit which at the same was just a regular Dreadnought with a right arm power fist. He’s metal, and weighs a tonne. Stick him in a sock for an improvised anti burglary device. Games Workshop’s only illustration of Moriar only showed the sarcophagus. We’ve elaborated on his design with blood filled tanks (made from Mk1 Baal Predator bits) to help keep him satiated and raging as required.

Photos coming soon

Cassor the Damned Another named Death Company Dreadnought, this time from the Deathstorm campaign book. Note the tow hooks used for chaining him up in between deployments.

Honour Guard For those captains and heroes not equipped with a jump pack, this Honour Guard or Company Veterans squad as they are now called. they will shortly be joined by a Veteran Sergeant inspired by the cover of the novel Devastation of Baal. The Sanguinary Novitiate is similarly equipped as the Priest above with his medic’s helmet and a portable Grail.

Honour Guard with Jump Packs The original Blood Angels honour guard box set included a Techmarine, Apothecary, Banner bearer, a Veteran Sergeant and a veteran. Three of those original miniatures find their way into this modern updated Honour Guard, as a Sanguinary Novitiate, Veteran Sergeant and Veteran with Plasma Gun. They are joined by a Company Champion and another Veteran with Plasma Gun, this one made using parts from Death Company and Tactical Squad kits. Unfortunately in the 8th Edition Codex, the ‘Company Veterans’ squad no longer has a Jump Pack option, although it’s still permissible to use the version in the Index books which are able to. As a defining feature of a Blood Angels army however we look forward to its return in 9th Edition one day.

Company Champions A closer look at the champions from the above Honour Guard squads. Since 8th Edition they count as separate units (as do the medics and standard bearers), mostly it seems to be to keep the data sheet for veteran squads taking up more than a page rather than for any logical reason. The Jump Pack equipped Champion is using an older mark of Jump Pack from an old Forgeworld kit to reflect the fact that they fight in ancient armour – indeed both are painted in a deliberately more metallic shade to hark back to the days of the Horus Heresy, though in fact also inspired by concept cover art of Marvel’s Iron Man wearing the armour of medieval knights. He also carries a two handed axe (from a Sanguinary Guard kit), a permissible option in 6th Edition now ruled out in 8th Edition though it can still ‘counts-as’ a power weapon. Annoyingly the Company Champion, unlike a Chapter Champion, cannot take a ‘relic blade’ which would give enough leeway to use an axe instead of a sword. Both Champions carry ‘Combat Shields’ made from vehicle icons from the Stormraven kit. Neither carry bolt pistols, a recent addition to their equipment that makes little sense given how much other stuff they have to carry and their battlefield role. Both carry scrolls listing all those they have bested in combat.

Sanguinary Guard All bear Death Masks otherwise they would just be glorified Honour Guard.


Sanguinary Ancient Originally meant to be an Honour Guard standard bearer wearing the bronze armour of 6th edition Honour Guard, in 8th edition the Sanguinary Ancient is the only banner bearer able to employ a jump pack, unless you resort to Index rules. He’s designed to mount on a flying base and his large unfurled wings actually come from a Dark Eldar kit. He carries a holstered pistol for those occasions where the Codex says he has a pistol.

Tactical Squads 3 10-man squads, one with the traditional flamer/missile launcher multi-role setup, one with melta weapons for anti vehicle missions and one with flamer weapons for anti horde infantry assignment. Made from the original Tactical Squad multi part kit, augmented with heavy and special weapon option spare parts leftover from making a Sternguard squad from the more recent Blood Angels Tactical Squad.

Photos coming soon

Assault Squads 1 10 man squad equipped with melta weapons, another 10 man squad with flamer weapons, and a 6 man squad without jump packs for travel by Razorback, also with melta weapons

Devastator Squads 1 10-man squad optimised for killing infantry and 1 6-man squad armed for tank killing, optimised for riding in a similarly armed Razorback. Made from original plastic and metal Devastator squad set, with additional parts from more recent sets. Some of the boltgun carrying marines are using Auspexes, as they are acting as spotters and rangefinders for their squad mates.

Photos coming soon

Terminator Squad

Photos coming soon

Terminator Assault Squad

Terminator Ancient Meet Bob. Bob was originally meant to be a Sanguinary Priest in Terminator armour (a valid option in 5th edition), and then in 6th edition, a Chaplain or Captain of some kind. His Chainfist was chosen to stand in for a Narthecium, a Terminator sized one only recently coming available as a Dark Angels option. Instead of a banner, he has a statue of Sanguinius and a grail accessory. He also exists because the Sanguinary Guard were jokingly referred to as flying Terminators, and between those and the AoS Stormcast we thought it would be interesting to see what a Sanguinary Terminator would look like. Thus this miniature uses an old Chaos terminator body (hence the spikes, which nicely augment the helmet in a classic Sanguinary Guard fashion) as well as a spare Librarian Dreadnought Death Mask for the face. He has a holstered pistol for WYSIWYG purposes of claiming he still has his Storm Bolter.

Wounded Terminator Included with the Tyranid Toxicrene, this miniature makes an excellent objective marker – painted up wounded but still alive, the player should send troops to retrieve both the precious geneseed and precious Terminator armour, especially as, armed with a power sword and decorated with robes he’s clearly an officer of some kind.

Techmarine with Jump Pack From the original Blood Angels Honour Guard box set released with 3rd Edition in the late 1990s, this mostly metal miniature is relegated to Index rules and missing from the 8th Edition codex, and now operates independently. Equipped with a power axe and bolt pistol. Another option for fielding him in 8th Edition is as a Lieutenant, although he loses any ability to repair vehicles in this case.

Predator The main turret is magnetised to allow switching between Annihilator and Destructor options. The front armour panel is from the Forgeworld chapter doors pack. With it’s lightning bolts it seems more appropriate for a Predator than a Rhino.

Land Speeder Magnetised weapon options.

Razorback / Rhino Featuring Forgeworld chapter doors and a Forgeworld LasPlas turret, relegated to Index options only as part of the 8th Edition paring back of options. The turret can be replaced with a simple hatch for use as a regular Rhino.

Mk1 Baal Predator An original Baal Predator from 3rd Edition, this kit consists of metal parts on a plastic Mk1 Rhino chassis.

Mk1 Rhino From the early 1990s, when 3 Rhinos cost only £10!

Photos coming soon

Land Raider

Photos coming soon

Stormraven Gunship