Friday, July 31, 2009

The Return of the Blog - Shadow Hawk Designer Notes

So I finally return to the blog! Sorry for the delay, it has been a hectic summer. I haven't found much time to work on too many models, though I have been working on a bunch of Planetstrike terrain. I'll have more on that in a future post. Now, onto part 1 of my Space Marine army details.

The Shadow Hawks

I created the Shadow Hawks around 4 years ago now after ages of trying to decide what Marine Chapter to do. I had planned on Imperial Fists for a long time, but all that yellow was too daunting. I was then going to go with Crimson Fists, but deep down I knew I wanted to do something unique.

Now I needed a cool chapter symbol that I could easily replicate or find a good source for. It was around that time that Forge World released the Raptor Rhino and Land Raider doors and Terminator Shoulder pads. I immediately loved the iconography and jumped at the chance to use these as my Chapter Symbol. Plus, there are eagle/bird icons everywhere in various Marine bitz so I knew that would come in handy. I just needed to figure out a way to do my Power Armor Marines in a simple way. Luckily, Dave Taylor was nice in enough to volunteer to sculpt me some shoulder pads for my Power Armored Marines. I then had another friend cast me up a big batch for the army. Things were underway!

I experimented with a few options but really lucked into coming up with my color scheme pretty quickly. It is based on a Delta color called Charcoal as the base with a few other Delta colors to achieve the deep red of the accent. I am a big fan of the Delta Ceramacoat line available at Michaels. They are inexpensive paints with good coverage (for the most part).

With the basic color scheme worked out, it was time to figure out the other details, like what to use as the basis for the army's composition and rules.

When I created the army, I used the now nonexistent Trait system from the last Marine Codex. The Traits I chose were Bolt Pistol/Close Combat Weapon for Tactical Squads and two Special Weapons for Tactical Squads. I always found these to be very useful in my Black Legion army and wanted to use some tactics I was already familiar with.

Once the new book was happening and you could no longer use these things in your army, I needed to figure out what to do next. I settled on Blood Angels as the primary list since I could use the BP/CCW options as Assault Squads without Jump Packs. It also fit the idea I had for the army as a rapid striking force with Marines who were quick into the fight. Lots of Assault Squads would be perfect for this!

Overall I wanted the army to be able to represent a variety of different options though. With that in mind, I am not really settling on any one army book for the Chapter. I love Terminators, and I wanted to be able to field a First Company army at some point. For that I would use the Dark Angels book with Belial (and I created a Chapter Master based on him - pics in an upcoming post). I also have been incorporating some of the new units from the Marine Codex (Sternguard, Vanguard, Ironclads, etc.) so I will also be working on making the main army more based on the regular Marine book.

I want to explore all the various things you can do with a Marine army in my Chapter. Scout armies, bike forces, Techmarines and lots of Dreads, and more! So to that end, I will be continuing to grow the army with as many options as I can so I will have endless options!

In my next post, I will delve into the background of the army in the setting (Founding, History, etc.). I will also get a bunch of photos done finally to start showcasing the army's models. Until then, here are some pics of my Librarian in Terminator Armor. He is built off of a Lysander model as the base and he is one of my favorite conversions in the army. Enjoy and I welcome comments!


  1. You ought to repost this with a nice big pic of this model at the start of the post to get it the attention it deserves!
    The conversion work is fantastic, I love the eagle emblems... the colour scheme is great and you've done a fantastic job on the painting!!! big up your self and give this guy his own post!!

  2. Thanks! Looking closer at the photos, they need to be redone anyway. They did not come out nearly as nice as I thought when you blow them up. So I will definitely repost him after I take some better shots!

    Thanks for the nice comments.

  3. What program did you use to make those Index Astartes pics... photoshop? Do you have a template? Thanks Jeff... congrats on the little grot! We need to get together and get a game in soon! - Foley