Monday, 5 May 2014

They Be Back

Space Marines are like twiglets, for me. I don't particularly like them, but I've had one, I can't stop myself.

It's a long time since this lot have

  • Seen a lick of paint
  • Got away with this size of base
  • Been used in a game of anything

But I didn't let that put me off. Originally belonging to my younger brother, these got painted as Dark Angels back before the Deathwing had been codified. And even before they turned dark green, apparently, they were all in black with red heraldry. I thought I'd taken 'before' shots of them, but sadly not. Or not sadly not, depending on how nostagically you're willing to view early teenage painting.

So just to clarify, these aren't 'before' shots. Everyone on board with that? Good.

This was the first ever lead Terminator pack GW released. They look tiny now, but they're still good casts, a set of eight that covered all your basic options for Space Hulk as well as the rules in the Deathwing expansion. Which leads me to re-examine the claim in the previous paragraph. Perhaps some kind of heretical digression from the Codex Astartes? The warp is obviously to blame.

I like the old heavy flamer. It's like something Blue Peter did with squeegy bottles.

The Librarian is missing, sadly. He must have gone with my big 40K sell-off, along with the Inquisitor and Daemonhunter in Terminator armour that we had. Or maybe he's still in the possession of his original owner, I don't know. It's also not quite the straight original set, there's an additional assault cannon and too many chainfists. No bad thing, really. I'm not sure you can actually have too many chainfists.

Sergeant with shield detail
All these paintobs suffer from the fact that I have no means (or inclination) of removing the original slap to hand, and was too lazy/poor to get one. So some details are lost under a wealth of elderly enamel, notably the remarkably number of tiny round skulls on the models. Most of them are just irregular blobs now, although that's nothing my painting would have fixed anyway.

Captain with heraldry details

Today's made up chapter are the Copperheads. They sport black, green and yellow armour, nothing like the actual snake, and in keeping with that theme have a red-and-copper helmet. Gothic and slightly medieval celtic swirls, rather neon trim - a little bit of everything, I thought. The logo is another piece of random imagery stolen from the net, I wasn't feeling inspired.

Lucky Cobra Studios. Whoever you are and whatever you did, you are now Space Marines. You're welcome.

My freehand is as accurate as ever (see also the gun barrels, painted on in classic 80s style and as cockeyed as any of the cocked eyes I've rendered in my time). I asked my wife what she made of it. After a long squint, "It looks like a cobra wearing a red beret," she said. So right ball park.

And to be fair, it's a much better chapter name.

The Red Beret Cobras - Chapter Approved

Painting notes:-

  • For anyone inexplicably wanting to copy the scheme, it's a green right shoulder and shin, black armour with silver aquila and yellow flourishes for weapons.
  • Green is Catachan Green with Goblin highlights and Green Ink swirls, Bilious Green piping washed over with Green Ink
  • Black is Abaddon Black with a thinned-down Codex Grey highlight
  • Red is Scab Red with Brown Ink shading, then edges trimmed with Tin Bitz followed by Beaten Copper highlights
  • Yellow is Golden Yellow with Flesh Wash and Brown Ink swirls, Bad Moon Yellow piping
  • Make sure the logo looks as impressionistic as possible. Because their fluff states they do a lot of shamanic drugs and see everything through a space peyote haze. That's official.
  • Coincidently, the Space Peyotes are a late Space Wolf offshoot. Their armour is mushroom brown. 

The final piece is one of my brother's paintjobs, tarted up. He was much better than me back in the day, neater and crisper, so I felt honour bound to respect his choice of chapter. I haven't painted a Blood Angel in many long years, because this is what happened last time I did.

I'd swear he wasn't trying to shoot his own face off before I painted him.
The plastics from the original boxset have quite nifty power gloves, I reckon, although their storm bolters look like shoe boxes. The tall aerials are all long-gone, of course. Back banners just don't last in the crawl spaces of a Hulk. 

This is some improvement, at least, although I'm not entirely convinced I shouldn't have just let him be. Again, no before-after comparisons, though, so nobody will ever be sure now.

Just to prove the gun barrels aren't a terrible mess, I've included this insert with better focus. No such luck with his right knee. 

The logo and industrial warning stripes, though, I'm dead certain are a step up. 

I'm running out of things to paint, other than about thirty identical Genestealers. And that's not happening any time this side retirement - any suggestions or requests from anyone? Or will I just have to wait until October?

(Which reminds me - I guess there wasn't time for any of my sidebar fluff ideas at the 'Boot. Any suggestions as to what should happen to the protagonists gladly taken, and the offer of minis still stands if anyone has requests? Have a look at the pdf below to see roughly what I'm getting. I neither need or will paint all of it. Even though that's the entire point of collecting miniatures, I'll still happily donate an item or two if anything takes your fancy!)

You may need to download this and zoom in to see much, sorry.


  1. In Civil War America, the anti-War Northern Democrats were called 'Copperheads', and viewed as traitors to the cause, so I'd check those marines for marks of chaos, if I were you.

    Nice restoration, I like the detailing on the weapons hands (and the 'Rushmore Serpent' motif, naturally). I'm very impressed with the photographic technique that makes the Assault Cannon look like it's spinning around in a blur.

    Thanks for the offer of a Reaper - I already have a leadpile several hundred strong, so I'd be a fool to take any more. That said, I *am* a fool, and given my next project is going to be Wood Elves, I could definitely find a use for anything from the Sylvan Creatures selection.

    1. Righto! There's a couple of nice elven hero types, or a pair of centaurs with spears who might not look amiss in a pack of Wild Riders or some such. I'll post options once they all arrive, perhaps.

    2. In fact, if you go to this webpage - - and scroll down for a while, you can find a much larger set of pictures of the core set. The Sylvan Creatures block is the one to look at, two horsey types and a pair of sprite/dryad creatures.

    3. Mmm, they all look good (I need to visit Reaper more), so I'd be happy for whichever one you could part with. In order of my preference, it would centaur - sprite - dryad.