Ultra-Marines: a new-old army

The Ultra-Marines are a ‘work in progress’ Space Marines army for Warhammer 40,000.

Project Log

This one kind of snuck up on me. For a long time I’ve been an ‘anti-Marine’ player – after all, they are the ‘poster boys’ of the 40k universe, which everyone has. So I didn’t want to be part of that. But I did have some.

In the ‘1st Ed.’ era I got a squad to use as an allied unit. In the ‘2nd Ed.’ starter set, I got the included basic troops. In the ‘late teens/early 20s’ era I ‘inherited’ collections of bits from friends who had given up the game. In the ‘3rd Ed.’ era I started my Chaos Marine army and mixed up Imperial and Chaos bits to get the look I wanted.

Around the start of 2012 I realised that: I didn’t feel much like expanding my Chaos or Sisters armies any more; and I had enough bits lying around to build a Space Marine army. And it’s no longer going to be the same as ‘everyone else’ because lots of the models are old.

Colour Scheme

Since I’ve had to think about what colours to paint the models, I’ve been doing some research into old school colour schemes . Several different ideas there.

In practice, because my models are from a mixture of eras I want to try and paint them as similarly as possible to create a cohesive force. The RTB01 marines present a problem because they have no trim on their shoulder armour, and also have studs on their left shoulders, which means fewer places to paint markings. The current Codex shows Marines with studded shoulder pads having the ‘U’ emblem and squad type emblem overlaid together on the right shoulder, which seems complicated to paint!

I’m not very keen on the company colour trim which is ‘Codex’ now, either. It leads to some strange colour combinations: e.g. green trim on blue armour does not look good. This explains why most of GW’s Ultramarines are from the 2nd Company, since blue and yellow/gold works.

Now I noticed that my Scouts only have a left shoulder pad – so they’ll need the ‘U’ on that shoulder.

Plan

  • Chapter Symbol – for models with only one plain shoulder pad, put the symbol there. For others, it goes on the left per Codex.
  • Company marking – don’t do trim. Put a red disk on the right knee. (3rd Company). Scouts do not have a company marking since they are always in the 10th Company. Veterans per Codex would be 1st Company but I like the idea of Company Veterans.
  • Squad type – skip on marines with only one plain shoulder. Put symbol on right shoulder for others per Codex.
    • Tactical – arrow
    • Veteran – crux
    • Assault – diagonal cross
    • Devastator – lambda
    • Scouts – open circle
  • Squad number – skip – all my squads look different so far and numbers are fiddly to paint!
  • Rank badges – red powerfist and helmet on sergeants. White helmet on veterans.

Painting Technique

With a full time job and two small children I have very little time for painting these days, so I’ve switched to a painting style which is quick and basic. I think it works well for this clean and regimented army.

1. Build the model – sadly no shortcuts here.
2. Glue sand on the base – I much prefer to do this before painting, so the primer helps hold it in place.
3. Blue primer. I’m using Army Painter Crystal Blue which gives the primer coat and main base colour all in one go! I follow this on infantry with an all over wash of 50% Asurmen Blue to give shading. On vehicles I just paint the Asurmen Blue in the recesses, and also paint an edge highlight with 50/50 White and Crystal Blue.
4. Other base colours. A solid coat on the areas which should be other colours. Mostly Red, Gunmetal, White and some Dwarf Flesh.
5. Now wash with the magical Devlan Mud on the areas which are not blue, to give general shading. (I’ve used Badab Black on some of the vehicles instead.)
6. Detailing is mainly just the markings as mentioned above – hand-painted. I’m also experimenting with using a fine-point marker as recommended by one of my gaming club.
7. The base gets a coat of a watered down Black craft paint, and a drybrush of Codex Grey. (Which matches all my other recent models).

Progress

List is roughly in intended order to paint, though I swap things around occasionally.

Unit Build Sand Blue Primer Colour Wash Detail Base Complete!
Tactical Squad ‘Corvus’ x x x x x x x x
Scout Squad x x x x x x x x
Librarian ‘Gaius’ x x x x x x x x
Rhino ‘Corvus’ x N/A x x x x N/A x
Sternguard Veterans x x x x x x x x
Land Raider ‘Bellerophon’ x N/A x x x x N/A x
Custodian ‘Valerius’ x x white x x x x x
Terminator Squad x x x x x x x x
25th Anniversary Marine2 x x white
Bike Squad x x x x x x x x
Techmarine on Jetbike x x x x x x x x
Tactical Squad ‘Aquila’ x x x x x x x x
Devastator Squad x x x x x x x x
Rhino ‘Aquila’ x N/A x x x x N/A x
Land Raider Redeemer/Crusader ‘Cadmus’ x N/A
Land Raider Spartan ‘Verulam’
Assault Squad (Infantry) x x
Dreadnought x x x x x x x x

2 Not likely to be fielded, but need to include it in my painting schedule.

Tactical Squad ‘Corvus’

Alpha section
Alpha section
Beta section
Beta section
Rhino

Scout Squad

Alpha section
Alpha section
Beta section
Beta section

Librarians

Gaius
Gaius
Appius, Rushe
Appius, Rushe
Librarius Conclave
Librarius Conclave

Sternguard Veterans

For reference, the old catalogue page where these appear. The Armour Marks 1, 3 and 5 are relatively well know, but Artificer Armour 1 and 2 not so much.

Custodian ‘Valerius’

Counts-As: Captain

Land Raider ‘Bellerophon’

Land Raider Redeemer ‘Cadmus’

Terminator Squad

Assault Squad

Sergeant and troops
Sergeant and troops
Alternative sergeant and Flamer models
Alternative sergeant and Flamer models
Alternative troops plus an extra Tactical marine who snuck into this batch.
Alternative troops plus an extra Tactical marine who snuck into this batch.

Dreadnought

With converted autocannon arm. I might get around to painting the other original arm sometime – they are magnetised.
With converted autocannon arm. I might get around to painting the other original arm sometime – they are magnetised.

Techmarine

Bike Squadron

Devastator Squad

Plasma Cannon section.
Plasma Cannon section.
Lascannon section.
Lascannon section.
Alternate heavy weapons.
Alternate heavy weapons.

Tactical Squad ‘Aquila’

Melta section.
Melta section.
Bolter section.
Bolter section.
Alternate models.
Alternate models.

Leviathan Crusader

Haven’t figured out if this counts as something in the game yet, but it’s a nice model

Terminator Chaplain ‘Egnatius’

Terminator Captain ‘Longinus’

Legio Cybernetica Auxilia

Counts as: Devastator Centurions

Honour the Fallen

Casualties as objective markers.

1,2,2,3
1,2,2,3
3,4,5,6
3,4,5,6

Army List

My army is selected more on the basis of what models I could find in my old collection, than on what is considered ‘competitive’. Here’s a link to my ‘I finished painting 1850 points’ list

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