I have been feeling rather under the weather for the last few days, and last night I was restless. I decided to visit my happy place at the hobby desk. However, painting wasn't going to happen, coughing and generally feeling rough precludes pretty much everything except basecoating. Instead I decided to assemble some more Ultramarines for my Horus Heresy Army.
I must confess that since the release of the Battle for Calth boxed set I have been reticent to "waste" my resin on Line Marines. But at the end of the day, the miniatures I have are essentially just line bods anyway, besides converting a few as nuncio-vox operators or standard bearers. There is little virtue in dwelling on the resin-plastic gap and feeling sad about it all.
I am in the process of a little bit of a reorganisation with my Ultramarines. Firstly, I have decided that I simply cannot afford to give everyone a moulded shoulder pad, it simply isn't cost effective, so decals it shall be. However, I have decided that Veterans would get moulded shoulder pads, so as to elevate them above their line infantry peers. The results will become clear once units start taking shape. At present I have two veteran squads planned, and two tactical squads.
There is also the matter of base sizes. Games Workshop's decision to move Marines to 32mm bases might be met with cynicism some, but I think that the aesthetic pay off is worth it. For now I will not rebase my miniatures, I don't think I have the heart to pry them off of their bases just now, but all new built miniatures will use the bigger bases. The added space leaves me with the ability to do a little more with their bases, so I have been thinking of ways in which I can decorate them to look more interesting.
This leads me to theming. At present I do not own a Heresy sourcebook. At £80, I was keen to wait for the Ultramarine one, and it is now here. In due course this will be purchased, but this pause gives me a moment to consider what I want the shape of the force to be. I have been thinking about it for some time, and my thoughts consistently wander back to a trench war/siege force. I ostensibly want an infantry force, and I think a trench line theme would look pretty awesome.
To that end I will be using Sidney Roundwood's excellent technique for painting World War I Western Front bases, which I have used with my Polish. I have the corrugated iron and trench boards, I just need some bricks, which I'll get off eBay. The varied colours one the bases should hopefully give them some dimensionality.