Saturday, 10 July 2010

Guardians of Faith: Chaplains Part 2 - The Warhammer 40K Era

For me the chaplains have always been one of the strongest elements of the space marine range and in the 90s the quality of the miniatures on offer just seemed to get better. I seem to modify alsmost all the miniatures that I paint and this one was no exception. I found him in an odds and sods box at a local game store with the limb that should have been holding his crozius chopped off. A chaos marine chainsword and a powerfist from a chaos terminator with the pointy bits filed down gave the miniature what I think is a very distinctive look and makes him my favourite of the dozen or so chaplains I have painted.

This is another chaplain deprived of his crozius, but this time on purpose. Around the time one of the previous incarnations of the Legion of the Damned was released, White Dwarf suggested a conversion with this chaplain replacing the crozius with a powersword to make a captain or hero for the mysterious band of warriors. I made the conversion, but never completed him in the LotD colours and he sat around in by collection until I recently stripped off the old paint job and decided that he would look best as a chaplain after all.

This was one of the more "conventional" chaplains that I painted. Pretty simple and uncomplicated apart from the addition of the waistcloth and a skull-themed backpack from a Dark Angels character. I was amazed at how adding just those two elements to the miniature added a great deal of personality and depth. Is there any chaplain model out there that couldn't benefit from more skulls? If so then I haven't seen it yet.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Random Marine: Master of the Fleet

For some perverse reason I found that I couldn't assemble any of the four miniatures in the spacemarine chaptermasters box with the original heads and instead replaced them with pretty standard helmeted heads instead. One reason for this is that I believe less is more and in the case of more elaborate miniatures the addition of a bare head can be too much. Adding a standard helmet tones down the whole and puts the attention on the miniature as a whole. Conversely I find that adding a bare head to a simpler model such as a sergeant makes the miniature more interesting and enhamces the otherwise standard nature of the other compenents.

Random Marine: Mid 90s Spacemarine Captain

One thing I think is a constant for the marines sculpted in the 90s is the fact that they seem to have a good balance of pose, wargear and pomp to them. Take this guy for example: he has a powersword and a stormbolter, a bulky combination of weapons for a marine in standard powerarmour. But the addition of the dramatic pose and the sweeping cloak balance this well.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Cowboy Techadepts: Techmarines Part 1 - Rogue Trader Era

Techmarines inhabit a strange world of split loyalties with one foot in the chapters of the Emperor's spacemaines and the other in the cult of the Machine God of Mars. As such I always thought of them as somewhat akin to a cowboy builder or electrician who can talk a good fight but that you secretly suspect might be in over his head and telling porkies about the job at hand. I'm sure that's not the case and that no techmarine has ever looked at a totalled landraider and sucked his teeth or commented that the previous work done on a rhino was that of a "right amatuer".

Seems to me that the issues surrounding the RT era apothecaries sculpting are non-existant with the techmarines. Their poses are good, the detail fine and the proportions just right. In addition the theme of massive tools and the shoulderpads in the form of talons on the right and exposed tech on the left are something that unfortunately (in my opinion) never carried over into later editions of the range.

With the techmarines I thought that it was important to keep away from effects such as bone and gold detailling and instead to make them seem more functional. Growing up in Sheffield I was surrounded by museums full of machinery from the industrial age and most of these towering engines seemed to have been painted a deep green, so it was a logical step to apply that same colour scheme to the techmarines. Also I feel an odd echo of the "Green Goddesses" the military fire engines used by the British army.

I have to admit that I was a little disappointed this guy didn't have the same kind of oversized tool as the others (I'm still hunting for the techmarine with the massive monkeywrench!), so I console myself with the idea that he's looking at his wristchron in exasperation. Perhaps he's waiting for a transport that's late or cursing the servitor that he sent down to the stores to get him a screwdriver the size of a garden rake.