Progress has been crawling along on my Blood Angels but I finally have enough done to a "tabletop standard" to start playing some small games. So far my force consists of; 2 five man Tactical Squads, 1 five man Terminator Squad, and Dante. The only real issue I have with playing with this is that Dante is the wrong leader to use.
Originally I painted Dante as my leader because my first 3 squads were going to be; Assault Marines, Sanguinary Guard and Death Company with Jump Packs so Dante seemed like the perfect officer model. Unfortunately following my fiasco with a bad batch of plastic cement last year those three squads all went directly in the trash and I started off by painting a bunch of units who will be walking to the fight. With that being the case I don't really want a jump pack equipped leader. The dilemma for me is exacerbated by the fact that I still plan to have an army that features a lot of jump troops when I'm done so I don't really want to buy another foot fig just to fill in while my army is under 1000 points (which if I'm being honest means I would only end up using that figure in a handful of games). Whatever shall I do?
I had a similar problem with a much different root YEARS ago when the worldwide Eye Of Terror campaign was kicking off. I was determined to play with the new Cadian models in the campaign but the hitch was that for the start of the campaign the only new Cadian models available were the basic troop box, so no heavy weapons and no officers.
Obviously conversions were the answer and I've got to say looking back I'm really happy this was a "problem" at the time or I probably wouldn't have bothered doing conversions for my Cadian army and I was ultimately very happy with how they turned out.
My Colonel was a simple head and hand swap. I took the second generation Storm Trooper Sgt (now known as the Inquisitorial Storm Troopers) and chopped off his head and Plasma Pistol hand. I replaced his head with a first generation Storm Trooper head (love the beret!) and the pointing hand from an Empire Cannon crewman.
For reasons I don't re-call I had also stockpiled a bunch of Scout Heavy Bolter arms so I was able to equip a platoon of Guardsmen with those to toughen up my squads.
Fast-forward to now. I need an officer to lead my Blood Angels army through it's early battles, in the depths of my backlog I found a 2006 Games Day Space Marine Veteran still hiding in his blister pack. I ditched his Storm-Bolter arm (which to me just looks awkwardly posed) and replaced it with a Plasma Pistol arm and a fancy Blood Angel shoulder pad. Hopefully a day or two from now he'll be ready to lead the troops into their first battle!
I should probably mention the only downside to every time I decide to 'temporarily substitute something that fig ends up staying in my army for YEARS. That Guard Colonel you saw....he's lead my Cadians in every game they're played in for 10+ years.