The Blood Angels are one of the 20 original Founding Chapters of Space Marines. The Chapter is loyal to the Emperor, but plagued by a flaw in their genetic heritage. The naturally strong warriors of Chapter occasionally succumb to the Black Rage – a kind of berserker mode where all reasoning is lost and the afflicted Space Marine is outcast into the Death Company. Blood, vampirism and angels are the core themes of the Blood Angel Chapter and I wanted my force to reflect this through a dark, gritty paint scheme (no shiny red armour here).
The models are mostly converted from plastic kits with the odd metal character thrown in. I used an airbrush to to some zenithal highlights and then washes to get the dark look. The airbrush was also used to make the power weapons. The shoulder pads are the old metal pads that Games Workshop used to carry – slightly smaller than the new plastic pads but I actually find them to be better proportioned than the new giant pads. The bases are made from cork covered in generous amounts of weathering powders.
The force contains over a hundred magnets to provide as much game play flexibility as possible. Wherever the rules allow, power packs are exchangeable for jump packs, special weapons can be swapped out, and Sergeants (as well as Honor Guards) can replace entire arms for a wide assorted of weapons. The example below shows the effect of such swaps on one base models (I usually only photographed one configuration for the core units).
HQ: The Blood Angel Chapter is full of wonderfully thematic characters – shown here in double sized glory (all mounted on 40mm round bases to make them stand out as heroes.
Following these mighty heroes are the regular headquarter/elite units of the Blood Angels (mostly on 25mm bases):
Sanguinary Priesthood: Brother Corbulo leads two other regular Sanguinary Priests and one Priest in Terminator Armour. The latter is converted with a plastic Black Reach model with a grail (from Space Hulk). The regular Priests have have magnetic power packs and magnetic weapon arms. The reductor is build from small bits.
Librarius: Three Librarians, including one in Terminator Armour, form the psychic support of the Chapter. Like the Priests, they have magnets for power packs and weapon configurations. The Terminator model is straight from the Space Hulk game.
Reclusiam: Several Chaplains accompany the Red Host, including one in Terminator Armour and the mighty Lemartes.
Logistarium: A Tech Marine rounds out the specialists.
Elites: The Blood Angels Chapters can field some of the most lethal elite troops in the galaxy. Two squads of Terminators form the core of the Elites section – one with assault weapons and one with ranged weapons (both squads are build around the Space Hulk game.
Next are two squads of Sanguinary Guard, again with variable weapon load-out.
Troops: At the heart of any Space Marine Chapter are the stalwart Tactical Marines of which two squads are included in this force. Special weapons and the arms of the Sergeant are interchangeable.
Unlike many other Chapters, the Blood Angels can also field Assault Marines as Troop choices so another two squads of those are available. They can be fielded with jump packs or regular power packs (see example of exchange for the first combat squad).
The last traditional Troop choice are the Scouts of which I added two small squads made from a mix of old metal models and some new plastics for variety.
The Death Company is composed of Blood Angels overcome by the Black Rage. They don black armour and turn into savage close combat specialists – even more so than their brethren. The Death Company can be used with jump packs or regular power packs. In the latter configuration they can be transported by a Death Company Rhino.
Fast Attack: Vanguard Veterans are basically super Assault Marines. The models can be highly customized with about half of the arms being exchangeable for different close combat weapon combinations. The jump packs can of course also be replaced with regular power packs.
I deliberately didn’t add Bike and Landspeeder units to the Blood Angel force – partly because they don’t seem to fit with my view of the background and partly because they already feature prominently in my Ultramarine force. So the only other Fast Attack choice the Baal Predator options (see Armoury below).
Heavy Support: Devastators are the heavy support arm of the Blood Angel infantry. Two squads, with a wide range of weapons, offer plenty of long range firepower (technically, there are too many heavy weapons but I wanted to have a couple of each type for variety).
Armoury: A host of vehicles can support the Blood Angels in times of war. All vehicles are heavily magnetized to allow for pretty much any weapon configuration. There are four Rhino chassis (with enough weapon options to make four Rhinos, four Razorbacks with all available options, two Baal Predators, or two regular Predators), one Land Raider chassis (allowing for all variants), a Vindicator, a Drop Pod and a Stormraven Gunship.