Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Grizzled Veterans: Part 2 - Please Shoot Me in the Face

The first thing to say about this post is that, of course, it is not an appeal for anyone who reads it to actually shoot me in the face or any part of my anatomy, assuming that anyone actually reads it...It is of course a brief and light-hearted look at the marines from the RT era who for reasons best known to themselves decided to enter the fray on a futuristic battlefield where weapons that could blow you into atoms are wielded by men of questionable sanity and aim without the aid of a helmet.

I should stress that I don't fall into that strange category of forum-users who seem to think that the fact a mini has been sculpted without a helmet means that the actual in-game entity they represent counts as having no protection on his/her/its head as a result. The pose is just intended to convey the energy and heroism of the character, not define his physical parameters on such a mundane level. Even if the mini has no helmet on his person, I think you'd have to be mental to assume otherwise.

Let's start with a both a sergeant and somewhat of a cheat on my part in that I hated the head of this old chap so much that I lopped it off and replaced it with that of a plastic scout. The interesting thing about this marine is the weapon mounted on his right arm in combination with the power fist, which makes me wonder if he was an early, vague idea of what would become Pedro Cantor. There is actually a weapon like this being wielded by one of the marines on the front of the original 40K hardback.

I had to have this mini up near the top of the post as he's possibly the ugliest marine in history, just have a look at the uneven features and the hunched posture that always remind me of the Hunchback of Notre Damme. I assume that his weapon is a power axe, I realise that it looks like a glaive or halberd of some kind, but that was what passed for an axe back then.

Too much wash on the face here makes this guy look as though he's been out in the sun too long. One issue that I find is the fact that people often assume a marine with no helmet has to be a sergeant or other officer, but that way I seem to have too many chiefs and not enough Indians. I like to think that if the squad splits in two, this is the guy who serves as the "other" sergeant...or something like that.

I think this is described as a captain or similar commanding officer in the old catalogues, but he'll probably end up as no more than a sergeant in my chapter, it's just that tough to get to the top! He managed to keep his power sword for the simple reason that it's a pain to attach a new one at that particular angle.

Some marines were originally intended to hang off the side of the old rhino and ride it into battle, but whether they were supposed to be part of the crew or part of the squad inside is something I never figured out. Luckily for me GW put tabs on the bottom of the minis as well intending them to be removed before being mounted on the rhino, so they fit a base quite well. Personally I hate the idea of having marines hanging off the side of a rhino (it just looks like a disaster waiting to happen) and think he makes a fairly good veteran who looks as though he's just jumped back in surprise before reacting to the threat before him.

For me this is one of the best minis from the RT era, simply because of the fact that while it's not OTT the details are well done and the proportions of the body seem to work better than most others from the same time. The flamer pistol is lacking in detail, but I may remove that in the future.

Wonder how he ended up with that augmetic implant in place of his eye? Probably nothing to do with a habit of waving his chain sword in his face. This mini also shows the fact that the sculptors at the time were capable of fine detail when they needed to include it. Just look at the interior of the left shoulder pad that would be out of the way were the arm in almost any other position.

This mini had another awful power sword that just had to go and the addition of the bolt pistol makes this a very simple and understated marine. Perhaps the only really outstanding feature here is the eyebrows, how big and thick do you need to sculpt them? Is that why most marines simply don't have them?

You really should see the greaser quiff that this guy has from the other side, it's quite impressive. As far as I know there's no real reason for him to have a skull on his shoulder, but back in the RT era there was really no reason not to simply add stuff that just looked mean and tough. I think it looks good, for what it's worth.

The thing on this marine's nose looked like a sticking plaster to me, so that's the way I painted it. Perhaps it's one of those little devices that's supposed to keep your nostrils open and stop you snoring in the night? Apart from the odd nasal detail, this is a nice and compact mini who looks as though he could punch well above his height.

Lastly we have one of those marines from the RT era that I just love for the fact that you would never see anything like them again. A head full of implants and bulging augmetic eyes make this guy look like a specialist in whatever he's twiddling with who's not a man to be messed with.


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