Sunday, February 12, 2017

Old is New is Old... is New?

Some Painted Stuff

Games Workshop has really stepped up their retro game in the past few years, which I think is great because they had really neglected some of their best games for a few years. While it's great to see games like Blood Bowl and supposedly Adeptus Titanicus come back, that ship sailed for me a while ago. I still snag up some current GW stuff from time to time, but with the exception of Forge World's Horus Heresy line, I pretty much leave it alone. Every now and then i'll snag up a miniature or a box of stuff because something catches my eye. One of those miniatures was the 30th anniversary marine.

I have to admit that I was not a fan of the first pictures of the re-imagined plastic LE2 marine. I could complain about how plastics don't have same character that metals do, but i'd be preaching to the choir. I probably wouldn't even have this figure if someone else hadn't offered to pick one up for me.

The quality of the miniature is excellent, but I just didn't like the way it was presented. Obviously it's well painted, but something about a sharp paint job falls flat against the gritty setting of Rogue Trader. I prefer the aesthetic of the versions seen in the Rogue Trader rulebook and in the Heros For Wargames book. 

The conversion with the bare head is so evocative and foreign looking. He looks nothing like his nauseatingly noble modern Space Marine counterparts. I really love the idea of psychopathic murderous Imperial Space Marines and wanted to try and velop that idea. So with that in mind, I went digging through my bits box, tossed the silly beakie head and the overly streamlined shoulder pads and came up with this guy.

Some of you may recognize the head from the first box of modern plastic Space Marines. It was the only plastic bare Space Marine head for like a decade and it's been bouncing around my bits box for that long. The shoulder pads came from Anvil Industries, who make some really fantastic bits if you're into Pre-Heresy modelling. I really wanted to try and evoke the same feeling I got from looking at that bare head LE2, so I left him free of any markings and painted the bare head to look like helmetless Darth Vader.

I painted the flesh as pale as I could and used several washes of purple and red where the skin meets armor and the random cables on the back of the head. I tried to imagine what he would look like after fighting in power armor for months on end without taking a shower... kind of like a smelly bruised foot with prune-looking skin that looks like you just got out of the pool... with eyes.

I didn't try to evoke the look of any specific chapter, but I stuck with the red color with gunmetal pads. I wouldn't say I heavily weathered the model, but I did paint on a good number of scratches and chips in the armor and used many many layers of washes, drybrushing, stippling, and cursing to create a beaten look to the metal parts. Again, I really wanted to make him look like he's months into a long campaign. The Mk II helmet on the base suggests he is fighting during the Horus Heresy, but I didn't do anything to explicitly place this model in that era.

Overall i'm pretty pleased with the end result. A Marine who could be a Blood Angel, Flesh Tearer, or maybe a Word Bearer at the outset of the Horus Heresy. I will say that I really like the way the armor was developed on this model, especially the leg armor and the elbow and knee pads. If the power that be made a set of miniatures in this particular style I would probably buy up a squad. On a painting and modelling note, it was kind of nice to take a break from single-pose lead figures for a bit and create a standalone figure. The great thing about modern GW plastics is that you really can let your imagination run wild. Does this mean i'll be getting into Inq28? Absolutely not. I have far too many little lead men to paint.... like this guy.


  1. I immediately thought of the original when I saw your bare headed marine. True to the spirit of the first one.

  2. One tough hombre! An excellent use of bits.

  3. Really nice work.

    It was a great idea to reference the old converted model.

  4. I couldn't agree with you more regarding the modern, super clean GW styling. The conversion potential of the modern stuff into RT is fantastic though isn't it!

    Love the Merc with his sword/gun thingy too. Could never figure out what it was supposed to be :)

  5. Brilliant work, BDL!

    I completely agree with your preference for "psychopathic murderous Imperial Space Marines". The RT era Marines are be-fanged, hormone-charged monsters.

  6. This figure looks awesome. I like the Vader call out and I think you nailed it. I also like your Obiwan Sherlock Clousseau. I've been thinking along the lines of Inquisimunda myself.

    1. Thanks man. I had fun with the kit bashing, but i'm sticking to lead for now. I'll do a few one-offs here and there.

  7. Awesome work!.. When I saw the new plastic release I went in the other direction and dug out the old lead and some clippers-