Saturday, 6 July 2013

Planning 30k Ultramarines

My 30k Ultramarines project is well under way with the first tactical marine complete, the colour scheme nailed down, and the other four on their way. I have been thinking of ways to play with them, so that it isn't just an army of generic looking troops and I have decided to go for a very varied look. As I see it, every marine is a fighting unit and as such, during their long service will modify his kit and accumulate non standard pieces of equipment. Anyone who has ever served in the military will be familiar with that post-basic training desire to ditch all the poorly designed and seventeenth-hand equipment that marks one squarely as a crowbag. So I am going to make my marines a little different, whilst hoping to tie it all in. Here is my first marine again just as a reminder:


I have also thought long and hard about the "moment" I am trying to capture with this project. Having read, and thoroughly enjoyed "Mark of Calth" I think I will go for a post-Calth legion. So, red helmeted Sergeants will be the norm. However, to further extend the devastating effects of Calth on the legion I am going to try and make use of the Games Workshop Ultramarines successor shoulder pads. The idea being that after the devastation of the legion on Calth, as a mark of honour to the fallen, marines start embellishing their armour and equipment with items honouring the fallen. 

I saw a similar idea on a forum somewhere, though I cannot seem to find it now, in which a fellow did a Sons of Orpheus chapter within the legion as was. My idea is similar, though I imagine after being broken and battered many units would have had to be amalgamated into new squads. These marines then take their personal history with them to whichever newly reformed company they are assigned to, still honouring their fallen captains or commanders.

Some have wondered at my obsession with cast shoulder pads, and my dislike of transfers. First of all, I do not like decals, they just look flat, and never seem to look good for me. I have used them in the past with some Dark Angels, but I simply prefer moulded shoulder pads that allow me to do highlights that look good. Furthermore, as I have been reading the Heresy novels, one thing that is very striking is the rather Spartan existence of the Space Marines. There are several parts in which the authors emphasise the fact that the characters repair their own armour and that their armour and weapons are amongst the only only things they actually own. This idea of a personal piece of equipment speaks to my earlier assertion that the marines will modify their kit, but additionally, I like the idea of them mounting a former company marking onto the bare shoulder pad.

These are the shoulder pads I will be working with, which I found on Lexicanum:

Left to right: Aurora Chapter, Silver Skulls, Genesis Chapter, Howling Griffons and Praetors of Orpheus
All of the above are made by Games Workshop, apart from the Howling Griffon shoulder pad which is available from Chapterhouse Studios.

So without further ado, here are work in progress shots of my second marine, just to give readers a sense of what I am going for:





No doubt you will notice that the metal Aurora Chapter shoulder pad is significantly bulkier than the resin Ultramarine shoulder pad. I think that in future I will switch them around with the bulkier shoulder pad on the left shoulder facing the enemy when firing. Reinforced armour? Also, I will use colours on the custom shoulder pads which I feel like using, not necessarily those in the picture above. I really want to combine the personal heraldry with the idea that those symbols refer to companies in the legion.

The first deadline for our five marines is the 14th of July, so I need to go get some painting done now. I hope that my idea will become clearer as I paint up my figures and fill in their back story.