Deathwing Strikeforce by Brice Beale
Rarely is a whole army seen on display here, normally it's the odd unit or two so this one is a good catch. The army works out at around 1750 points and was built specifically for a tournament (Las Vegas GT '08) — hence the rather snazzy display mounting plinth with insets for everything. Good too that this army featured on Games Workshop's own site so well done for that.
It's a great example of what can be achieved with a well planned and coherent approach to 'style' modelled and painted with create skill and care. Everything in it complements everything else by using the same muted colour palette with a limited number of colours, just mixing them around, even the predominantly red Techmarine fits in neatly with the bone of the Deathwing.
On to the details, the faces are excellent and set out the 'character' of the army, by the look of their beard-shadowed chins they have been in the field for some time and are looking very grizzled. Also note the weathering applied to everything but more visible on the Land Raiders. It takes confidence in your own abilities to paint something so beautifully and then apply a layer of mud, dirt and battle damage! It's a tough-looking Deathwing force for sure.
Looking closely at the models there are some neat little touches: Forge World's Commander Culln has been used as the basis for a very dramatic Belial armed with a thunder hammer and power sword (counting as a thunder hammer); while the sergeants have been given hoods — small but skillful touches.
One painted effect that works well is the shining eye lenses — it brings the models to life and hasn't been overdone as can sometimes be the case. The whole lot is then mounted upon industrial-style bases that reflect the gritty style of the models.
Just as an added refinement, Brice used decals from the Deathwing Decal set that I produced a year or so ago — it's good to see them being used and on an army featured on Games Workshop's website no less.