Friday, 23 August 2019

RTB01 - The ReBootening

Nothing like a passing bandwagon to encourage a little jumping!

The new Marine Codex is pretty damn good. New strategems, new relics, new traits, the ungodly shot enhancing of an already shooty army - there is very little not to like. Unless you don't have marines, an army I have struggled to beat in the last two years. Making them better has tipped me over the edge.

Turncoat I may be, but there were hobby reasons to do this too.

  1. Several of my Skype Battle pals use and like marines, so it's nice to be able to field something for them without proxies
  2. Tempestus Scions seem to do very well with the longer-ranged firepower of marines on their side
  3. I have (shame of shames) never painted an original RTB01 plastic marine

There was no budget at all for a third army. My wish list goes something like 'the other gangs for Necromunda, some of that new TT Combat Shattered Domain terrain, the Blackstone Fortress Expanions, More Tyranids, some new clothes for my naked back'. So this would have to be done from existing kit, and luckily, I had some of that.

Unluckily, it's all pretty old and pretty crappy! Original Space Hulk Terminators are not on the GW Greatest Hits collection. Even the RTB01 guys, although they have nostalgia value, are titchy (Gretchin sized, almost!) and not well posed. Or detailed. Or, well, there really isn't much to recommend them.

Except Bolter Drill and Tactical Doctrines! So, clippers and brushes out.

A quick spin through the chapter rolodex gave me Mantis Warriors. I remember reading about them in the original supplement. A little force of repentant Badab War veterans, is the theme for this lot, still trying to make up for their chapter's sins.

I had about fifteen wombles in a box, assembled in the late 80s and painted by my younger brother. Rather well, frankly, with a selection of founding chapter colours on display. Some of them were missing arms and most of them had power fists, but with a bit of swapping and bitz box work, there was enough for a tactical squad with a heavy weapon option. Two sergeants, because in a cheap allies detachment, they might be two tactical squads.

Ten Space Hulk guys, hoo boy. Not much you can do with these to improve them, sadly. A second squad of armoured humpty-dumpties. I did start converting them to updated storm bolters but quickly realised I didn't have enough parts. One got lightning claw for no reason, one got a banner, then I rolled my eyes and trusted in my painting to make them passable.

Except for the heavy flamer, that went. It's a dreadful weapon, the original, kind of like a super-soaker. I botched together a twin las/autocannon type thing instead, which is pretty silly-looking yet still, somehow, an improvement.

Also from vintage Space Hulk - plastic librarians. This model manages to be worse than the original Termies! Super-crude detail, a weird head, a force weapon that can't decide if its a halberd or not and that cruddy goat skull shoulderpad. Eesh. Ah well, a free model is a free model. But I had two, and that really would be too much to face.

One got converted to a Chaplain instead. Ogryn maul for his brutal crozius, a Goliath shoulderpad for a face and some trimmed bits from Centurion Hurricane Bolter Shoulders to pimp up his bolter. It's actually a quad-bolter (stormstorm bolter?), it might turn out to be a relic of some kind.

Having trudged through the painting of all this tat (and actually rather enjoying it, they do look decent with better paint), I thought I needed a treat. So I also redid the squad of lead Black Templar Sword Brethren I've had for a while. Not because they needed it, they had some experimental but decent chapter colours on previously. But because I needed something with nice crisp edges and detail to work on before my brain went soft.

In gameplay terms, the Mantis Warriors are a successor chapter of the White Scars. Their new chapter trait lets them advance and charge, and helps their bikes shoot better on the move. The first half is nice, the second does nothing for a man with no bikes. So it's likely that I'll discreetly ignore the option to take Inheritors of the Primarch and take homebrew traits that play to the chapter's history. Speedy and stealthy ambushers, they're supposed to be, like their namesakes. Stealthy and something like Duellists, maybe? I look forward to experimenting!

I know they all have the wrong sized bases! But there's not a chance I'm going to fork out for proper ones, I'll just have to rely on friendly and allowing opponents. These are all counts-as Tactical Marines, and I'm not currently going to do anything with them that base size is going to make a massive difference to, like deepstriking into small corners. Too much hassle for a limited return, I think. The RTB01 guys would look even smaller on a 32mm base, for starters, and the Humpty Marines aren't worth the money. Maybe the lead veterans, in time?

Painting Guide:

  • Green Armour - Army Painter's Greekskin, washed with Athonian Camoshade and highlighted with a Jungle Green/White mix
  • Yellow - Averland Sunset, Athonian Camoshade, Demon Yellow layer
  • Chest Eagles and Tabards- Leather Brown, Agrax Earthshade, Karak Stone layer, Terminatus Stone drybrush
  • Gear and Guns - Black, Dark Reaper layer, Russ Grey and Ulthuan Grey drybrush
  • Metal - Gun Metal, Nuln Oil Gloss, Shining Silver
  • Gold - Greedy Gold, Agrax Gloss wash
  • Robes - Fur Brown, Carroberg Crimson wash, Dragon Red layered up through Wild Rider Red to Lava Orange (same colours on lenses and gems)
  • Purity Seals - Rakarth Flesh, Flesh Wash, Pallid Wychflesh, Pure Red over Dragon Red for the wax
  • Power Weapons - Crystal Blue, Drakenhof Nightshade Wash, layers of Voidshield and Electric blue up to White
  • Skin - Tanned Flesh, Flesh Wash, Kislev Flesh and Flayed One Flesh layers
  • Bases - Sand and slate mixed with Dark Stone, Wasteland Tufts, a little dark green flock and birch seed scatter, black rims

In time - hah. There are already going to be more of these, some newer and shinier models to lead them and even a vehicle. And they'll need a rhino if I want those close combat vets to see any action. Nuts, my wish list just got jumped. Still, as long as I don't start a fourth army, I'll be fine.

Next - No, Warcry! Just put the knife down!


  1. Awesome. I think you you have done a grand job on these. They look great.

  2. Welcome to Club Astartes, brother.

    By the way, when you roll your eyes, can you use a Command Point?

  3. Looking about as good as can be expected for the sculpts. Nice work on the Chapter Icons, too! I actually do have a bit of a soft spot for those Termies, they're kinda cute, but I think that's mostly from painting the Epic ones, where that level of detail was a lot more acceptable. Good call on replacing the Heavy Flamer, tho, that thing is irredeemable.

  4. Finally painted some RTB01 now! Haha. These look great, I did the same recently too so joined the club. Mine: and a Rhino Mk1b: