I am really into your project. Apart from the painting scheme (and the full helmet stripes that I really like) I also like how you build on the idea of having two kinds of squad leaders: Veterans #1 (Candidates) and Veterans #2 (fully fledged Deathwalkers). This is unique to your chapter. However I think there are too many visual signifiers that lead to too many messages that can be confusing. As I said earlier, if it makes sense to you that’s great! Let other people trying to work out your Chapter’s internal structure – outsiders should be kept in the dark! Have you made any fluff relating to your Stoneburners?
However I have a few thoughts I’d like to share that will help streamline the appearance of your army. These are suggestions based on personal preferences so feel free to put them straight to the garbage bin
You are using too many signifiers to denote simple elevations in rank. For example, the Veteran Sergeant (the Deathwalker Candidate) has two differences from the normal trooper: helmet color (black vs. green for the normal troopers) AND the white stripe. Two differences in appearance lead to visually saying that this guy is two levels above the troopers where in fact he’s only one level (ok he is a Veteran AND a Sergeant but we only get this kind of Sergeants anyway – so the extra signifier is kind of repeating the same point, especially as you also get another kind of veterans, the Deathwalkers).
Using the exact same scheme for the “Company Veterans” makes sense as they are effectively from the same pool or warriors as the Veteran Sergeants. However, as they will be in a squad of their own it will be easier to visually accept a difference to the normal squads’ Veteran Sergeants. If you really want to do the black helmet/white stripe thing I’d say use it for the Company Veterans squads while keep the Veteran Sergeants with Green helmets and a white stripe. Or, better yet, use black helmets for your standard troopers. This will solve everything and place them visually more apart to Disciples (you have to admit the schemes are very close for standard marines)! As you can tell I am a big fan of your stripes
With Deathwalkers it’s the same principle. You get differently painted armor (no greens), differently painted helmet (white) AND a red stripe. So there are three signifiers to denote that these guys are effectively one step up from the Deathwalker Candidates. But Deathwalkers need to be visually tied with your Terminators for which you chose a black/white theme with no greens. So where does the red stripe come into play? If you use the power armor version of the Terminator armor the red stripe is (unfortunately) superfluous. This can be solved by painting a red stripe to the Sergeant Terminator helmets - which will link them to UM practice of painting a white stripe on the red helmet – and it is an easy visual reference for anybody to see and easily understand.
If you want to have 1st Company troopers “returning” to other Battle Companies (a heretical notion that borders to Wolf Guard practices
) I’d say keep them as Command Squads – in the fashion of “Honor Guard” with white helmets and then have the ones that lead squads like (super) sergeants with the red stripes.
Which brings me to Boneseekers. Keep them as is but make the normal bikers’ helmets single color – say black to tie it to the rest of the chapter (assuming that you adopted the black helmet for normal marines) and as a nod to the “parent” chapter’s Ravenwing. You also save the white helmet as a privilege for the Deathwalkers. Then sergeants (Deathwalker Candidates) will get a white stripe on the helmet while Deathwalkers returning will be Deathwalker colors and with a red stripe if they act as sergeants or no stripe for the Command squad.
So my take on the scheme would be:
Normal marines: As you have them but with black helmet.
Veteran Sergeants = Deathwalker Candidates: As normal marines with a white stripe on the helmet.
Company Veterans = Deathwalker Candidates: normal marines with a white stripe on the helmet (effectively you group some sergeants together to fight as one unit).
Command squad (“Honor Guard-ish”) = Deathwalkers: (see further below)
Boneseekers: As you have them but with totally black helmet.
Boneseekers Veteran Sergeants = Deathwalker Candidates: As normal bikers with a white stripe on the helmet.
Command squad (again kind of “Honor Guard-ish”) = Deathwalkers: (see below)
Deathwalkers (in TDA
or PA): Black with white helmet
Deathwalker sergeants (in TDA
or PA): Black with white helmet and red stripe. These guys in PA can lead other squads from other Battle Companies or the 2nd Company.
My two cents to keep everything consistent and simple. The main idea here is “stripe = sergeant” of some sort or another.
I also would like to thank you for the images from the RT era. I think I am well versed in the DA lore since I have read/seen almost everything since 2nd ed. and RT will always come back to haunt me! However I think although not retconned per se the thin red stripe has been silently dropped from the background (see Index Astartes article about DA) much like the chevrons that denoted sergeants. Obviously the Consecrators scheme is an insider nod to RT era… I’m just not sure that current background acknowledges the red stripe as part of the pre-Heresy livery.
Boy, was that long or what?