“It is easy to volunteer to die. Instead, you will endure extreme pain and hardship with unflinching resolve.”
-Avitus Varro, Academy Headmaster, Invectors Chapter
Brother Gnaeus Corto, Squad Lepidus, 5th Company, Invectors
Cited for Ingenuity and Valor, Boarding Action, 997.M41
When I was kid in the 90s playing RT and 2nd Edition, I had always wanted to have my own Battle Company of Marines. Problem was, I never had the money available to just flat out waste on frivolous, excessive Space Marines. However now, as an adult, I find myself better funded.
However, it would be too easy to just buy 100 Space Marines. Anyone with cash to blow can have 100 Space Marines. Nope, I'm going to convert them all. All of them. Everything in my army will be converted, somehow, no matter how small.
Very quickly, I decided that my project would address my long standing problems with Space Marine models:
- They are too short, obviously. Space Marines should be 7-7.5 foot super-soldiers. The GW human figures are probably just too tall, but too late to fix that; gotta make the Marines bigger.
- Marines need to be loaded for bear and look like they could actually fight a war. So all of my figures would have ammunition pouches, grenades, combat knives, etc, in a realistic configuration.
- All the Marines should have helmets because no good Marine would be without his helmet. It's just dumb. Encased in nearly impenetrable ceramite, only to leave you nugget exposed, and lose all the life support, communications, imaging and targeting enhancements of the helmet? Silly.
Also, the Battle Company had to be "Counts As", WYSIWYG for the all existing codex lists (why make it easy?).
My last challenge was to only use Mk VII parts, but also ensure that every model had a character of its own. This of course is not going to be easy with a whopping fifty two bolter Marines in a Battle Company, and forcing them to wear helmets.
So, there you go. No mixing and matching armor marks. Too easy. No bare heads. Too easy. I'm taking away pretty much any shortcuts for the maximum amount of posing and conversion challenge.
So I set to work, with some plastic card, and a dream. A lot of these early ones are old photos of rough prototypes that I didn't fully sand, or gap fill, etc. Excuse any rough early modeling problems. At first, I wasn't sure how tall I wanted them to be. So I went with 1mm extensions to the thighs (which I thought were too short anyway) and an extra .5mm at the waist. The results were decent:
The tall walking stance makes him a bit taller than he actually is, but it was a good start. Next to him are Hasslefree's McKenzie, a 2E metal Cadian, and Sgt Bylkow (one of of my favorite Squat models). Left his weapon off for the detail.
Decided this wasn't tall enough. So I moved up to 1mm at the waist. This was starting to give the height I wanted, but I only had about 25 or so walking legs, and they aren't cheap on EBay, and well, if they were all walking it would be a bit homogenous. So the firing stance models had to retain height too.
So far, so good. Time to start working on some more individual models.
This guy was posed to be pulling a grenade off of his belt. But instead of using a pre-posed hand, I cut and repositioned one of the bolter support arms, bent the fingers closed around a grenade separated from the grenade bundles.
Arms have all been cut and re-positioned, for two reasons. The standard "hip firing" bolter cradle formed by the arms in stock form looks dumb to me. I was a weapons trainer and attached to infantry units in the Marines. And second, I wanted some more dynamic looking poses, not just the more realistic ones. The metal arm is from an old Devastator sergeant.
I always liked the old Auspex, in theory. But the bit for it seems way too big and way too clunky. I thought about a flip up wrist display. More on this guy later.
Of course, I learned quickly that un-drilled barrels were out of the question, so that was rectified. Some of the models look like they're standing weird, but that is actually intentional so I will have to create more complex bases for them.
Now I needed some special weapons. But the standard ones are just too big for the kinds of close and dirty fighting my Space Marines will be known for.
I present the shortened Cerceus-Pattern flamers and meltaguns:
All of the Special Weapons carrying Marines are modular. I've also created custom, deeper pouches for them to simulate extra melta canisters/flamer fuel, etc.
Some more Marines:
This guy is in the middle of drawing his combat blade. Arm cut and the the fingers bent to be in the process of tightening around the grip.
I have decided that the heavy weapons Marines will have the helmets with the extra targeter mounted on it. Plus, I decided the Heavy Botlers will have box mags instead of the giant belt fed apparatus. This is an early version, and I have since modified the box mag to be better looking. Plus, there will be Bolter Marines from the rest of the squads who will be carrying extra heavy weapon ammo (missiles or bolter mag boxes).
This one is the newest. A severely in-progress WIP. I wanted to inflect some more Rogue Trader era brutality to this army. I'm a huge fan of the darker, more brutal Space Marines of the old days. This one needs a ton of work, obviously, but here's the start. The Tau helmet mounted on the shoulder pad came from the Chaos tank sprue, and was clipped and filed down to match the shoulderpad contours. The idea of a mounted helmet came from the multitude of RT era drawings with severed heads. But I didn't want it to be too brutal and cross into Chaos tainted territory. I feel the Chaplain, once he's been modeled up, will be keeping a close eye on Brother Brutus.
The severed head is a Wood Elf sorceress head, the hand is the Grey Knight Daemonette head hand. The Dark Eldar is a classic 3rd Edition warrior that we had piles of from the three 3rd Edition boxed sets that nobody ever bothered to assemble. The helmet is a Black Templar helmet with studs, to mix up some of the helmet appearances. Plus, I think it makes Brother Brutus look a bit more harsh and maybe a bit more unbalanced and potentially vicious.
Part of the feeling I'm trying to evoke with this "army" is that of how I envision the Space Marines. These guys are seven and a half foot, functionally immortal, genetically engineered super warriors. Human, but something more than human. And something a little less. I want to illustrate a bit of brutality, and ruthlessness.
Anyhow, I hope this work interests you guys. Thanks for any thoughts you guys have. Especially any criticisms, ideas you don't like, Ideas you might have, etc. I'm definitely open for anything constructive or suggestions. Heck, I might even entertain requests.
Not tall enough yet though, and I was still trying to perfect their proportions. So I added another 1mm spacer to their shins.
Did it work?
Let's ask Leonardo Da Vinci.
Update: 26 February 2014. Wow. Almost two and a half years I've been working on this. A lot of the pictures in this first post are the rough drafts of the earliest models. I cleaned up this first post, eliminating some of the rambling I originally did. The project has continued to evolve along the way, which is probably why it isn't too close to finishing. Though I am at approximately 60 Marines at this point. There has also been a fair amount of ongoing backstory and fluff for these guys. Click the chapter logo in my signature for Index Astartes: Invectors. I think you'll enjoy it. They're like Ultramarines, but shady galactic space jerks.
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Edited by Veteran Sergeant, 04 May 2016 - 01:39 AM.