Corehammer Armies: Mark Frocker’s Blood Angels

CHBACOMMANDIn the latest of our ongoing series Corehammer Armies, CH’s resident explosives expert Gaz talks to Mark Frocker about his rather flipping awesome Blood Angels army. Big thanks to Mark for making the most of what Gaz sent him and for documenting his army with some decent photos, a first for CHA!

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Assault Squad

How long have you been working on Your Blood Angels?

This army has been an ongoing project for around two years now. I started on the scouts in late 2012 and really got going with the meat of the force in 2013. One of the reasons for starting them up was to enter the local GW ‘Armies on Parade’ competition which usually gets a good turnout – in the end it was just two of us that entered! Like the other forces I have, I imagine I’ll revisit it and keep adding bits to it, but nothing too major.

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Dreadnoughts

What was it that attracted you to the legion?

I’ve always had the thing for both the Dark Angels and Blood Angels since Codex ‘Angels of Death’ came out. Since I’ve already got quite a large DA force it seemed like the right time to start painting some red guys. As a kid my best friend had a Blood Angel army and he always kicked the shit out of me with it! Unfortunately I’m no longer in contact with him and painting this force was a bit of a sad bastard nostalgia trip for me. Plus, there’s some amazing models in the range that don’t get seen much these days.

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Death Company

Can you talk us through each of your units and key character models, and give us an overview of why you chose them?

The majority of the figures in the army are the older miniatures from the second edition of 40k which I still have an awful lot of affection for. There’s just something about the Jes Goodwin sculpts that really does it for me! As a kid I could never really afford to have a proper army so I went full attack on ebay and bought the force I would have wanted at that age. It’s put together to be as symmetrical and as fluffy a force as possible and is not designed for competitve play at all. That said, it has played well in the couple of games I’ve had – the Death Company are proper nails! The army is based on the 5th company led by Captain Sendini, whose iconography I’ve designed as to be similar to Tycho’s, mainly as I’m using the original Tycho model. There’s a few figures that stand out, namely the Gamesday Captain (which had to be included as he’s rad) the old veteran Captain (such a sick bionic leg!) both of the BA Sergeants that were available to buy in the 90’s and Mephiston. I’ve recently learned that it’s a bit of a gaming faux-pas to play him, but iI felt that an old BA force without him would be lacking – plus he was so much fun to paint. Everything was put together to give the feel of a 90’s force, but with the detail and depth of the newer plastics. I hope I’ve got the balance right!

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Death Company PT Deux

Can you talk us through your approach to painting these guys?

In keeping with the horrific amount of nostalgia already displayed, I wanted these to be as clean and bright as possible. I always looked up to Mike McVey as a kid and felt like his painting and artwork from the likes of Blanche, Gibbons and Gallagher really captured that particular phase of 40k well however, I still wanted them to have some grimdark about them as not too look too cartoony! I was pretty intimidated by painting red to begin with, but as long as you keep your brushes clean and work methodically it all seems to come together. All of the figures were first undercoated skull white (with the exception of the Death Company) and then based in blood red. They were washed in baal red and a little gryphonne sepia to give a little depth to the armour and then highlighted progressively by mixing of blood red with blazing orange and then with sunburst yellow. I found that red works best when layered very thinly across three to four coats. It’s a ball ache but it worked for me!

CHBARHINO1Do you have any tips for the less gifted amongst us who struggle with achieving acceptable results?

Just try and be as patient as possible, I doubt anyone is ever 100% happy with anything they finish and there’s still parts of this army I want to revisit in the future. I’m always revisiting projects, touching up models and adding bits, so I guess nothing I ever do is ever really finished! I think the most important part of any project is maintaining enthusiasm; I try and keep up this momentum by having side projects and little distractions in-between figures. That way there’s always something else to help re-focus attention. Every figure you paint is a learning experience, never be afraid to have a muck about!

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Tactical Squad

How long have you been involved in the hobby? Is this the first full army you’ve painted?

I started collecting in 1994 (I still have the receipt for the box of Genestealers and the paintbrush i murdered them with!) and did so solidly until 2000ish. I was always a 40k player, with a real soft spot for Necromunda, which in my opinion was one of the best games GW ever put together. I picked things up again on the coat tails of a degree around 2005 and have dabbled ever since. I currently own large, fully painted Imperial Guard, Eldar, Dark Angel and Blood Angel armies as well as having lots of fluffy Inquistorial guff laying around too, not to mention a couple of Necromunda gangs. Most of which have never seen a gaming table as I’m much more of a painter than a player. That said, I am attempting to get a handle on the new rules – everything is so much faster and cinematic than I remember! On the ever expanding ‘to-do’ list, I’ve a a load of Ravenwing, a small Chaos Cultist force and a Tyranid force made up of RT/old 40k figures, both of which I keep putting off because I’m lazy.

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Scouts

Do you have anything on in the background whilst you paint like music, an audio book, or maybe a film? If so, does the background chatter help you stay focused, or do you prefer to get in the zone?

Not so much TV or film, but always music. I don’t tend to listen to anything specific for a particular project – I tried that once, listening to a combination of Enya and VNV Nation to paint lots of craftworld Eldar in a white paint scheme. That got really old really quick! Music is pretty essential though, I try to listen to new stuff as much as I can whilst painting, been rinsing loads of old goth stuff that I’ve been meaning to check out for years, the Daucas Karota EP has been on repeat more times that I care to remember!
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What do you do outside of hobby?

I’ve been skateboarding for nearly 17 years now, so that takes up quite a bit of time, although I don’t get around with that half as much as I used to. Chester has a tight scene and we’re lucky in the NW to have so many good indoor and outdoor parks as well as some amazing street spots. Skateboarding is very much like the HC scene in the sense that we tend to organise our own events and build our own spots. I’ve organised loads of events at the local park as fun comps and charity fundraisers – DIY or die! We’ve also got some good (or bad depending on your musical tastes!) goth clubs as well as music venues up here so I try and catch as many bands as possible. My partner and I are also massive history geeks, so we visit lots of museums, galleries, English Heritage and National Trust properties. One day we’re going to get lifetime membership and get the logos tattooed on our wrists.

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