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Customizing Space Marine models

I've been thinking about doing this for a while, but yesterday I decided to put my hand towards model customization, including manipulating/altering molded bits. I haven't had any stuff on sprues to play with until this week, so I bought a razor saw and got to work. I decided to go kind of simple at first; an assault marine throwing a kick; something simple, but more dynamic than a standard marine.

Here's the end model -

Aside from choosing which molded bits I wanted for the model, I really only had to manipulate one joint; the left hip.

I took the razor saw to the hip, cutting the joint between the thigh and groin armour plates. It took a little bit of effort to get a clean cut without damaging the armour... and I didn't entirely succeed, but the marks weren't too bad. From there, I drilled out the leg and hip for a pin to help hold the final pose together.

I wasn't sure if I'd need to make any more cuts, or if what I'd done would be sufficient, so I grabbed some blue tack and started assembling/posing.

It was looking ok, so I went a bit further with the test posing, assembling more of the parts

Basically happy with the pose, I mixed up some green stuff, a standard modelling epoxy that comes in two parts (blue & yellow) you mix together into a pliable, slightly sticky putty. The green stuff forms both a bond and filler for the joint, stabilizing the model... I'm still waiting for it to finish drying/setting, though it should be fine now. You can see the green stuff in the joint on the upper image.

Next, I just need to paint it up. I may paint it in the colours of the Guradians of the Covenenant, though perhaps only if I add some robes, or other cloth; the red against the black/silver is really what sets them apart visually. Though, if I paint in standard Dark Angels colours, I can maybe use this for a tactical squad sergeant in my army... otherwise it may not be used in a game Razz

9 blog comments below

Nice work, Ankhanu! Have a picture of the warrior before you dismembered?
standready on Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:31 pm
I'm blown away with the creativity of it all. That is definitely amazing. Real fine work. Do you do that with the naked eye, or do you use special glasses as well? Cool
deanhills on Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:01 pm
They come unassembled, so the first image of just the legs is about as assembled as it was before I hacked into it Smile
This is what a standard type of build would look like:

Dean - no glasses, just used some direct sunlight to help with shadows Razz
Ankhanu on Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:01 pm
Great eye and steady hands for detail.
standready on Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:04 pm
Didn't realize I'd never posted the "finished" model, finished being assembled Wink

I'm considering using the model as part of a marine Command Squad, these are a retinue of honoured marines that accompany a leader on the battle field; skilled veterans. My chapter, the Dark Angels, wear dark green armour, which honours their homeworld, Caliban, which was destroyed in the 31st millenium during the Horus Heresy. Before the Heresy they wore black armour.
Standard colours for Dark Angels command squads is the same as the other basic marines in the chapter, green (though there are two Companies in the Chapter, the Deathwing (in heavy armour) and Ravenwing (vehicle group) that have different colours, bone white and black, respectively)... But, I think I've decided that my Command Squads will be painted to honour their pre-Heresy days, and paint them black, with the Caliban green on their shoulder pad with the Chapter emblem. I used this model to test the colour scheme, and to practice painting blacks:

It's turned out ok so far, but I need a lot more practice to actually get a black with colour depth, such that details pop out on the model and it doesn't look flat. Black is a bit of a challenge, as it doesn't really work like other colours, where you shade down and highlight... you can only highlight. It looks ok so far, but, I need to work on more techniques to make it actually good.
Ankhanu on Sat Jan 03, 2015 6:14 pm
The details are quite something. Must take plenty of concentration to get them this perfect.
deanhills on Sat Jan 03, 2015 11:45 pm
With this modification ability, your squad is vivid!
rx9876 on Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:53 am
This weekend I gave my hand at sculpting a robe on one of my unpainted marines. I chose one of the models that I'd received assembled, but was missing a hand. I didn't like the position of the handless arm, so I used a little force to break it off the model.
Grabbing some greenstuff, I mixed the blue and yellow components together and used a glass to roll it into a sheet between some waxed paper. I cut the sheet into a rectangle for the lower part and wrapped it around the legs, then used the scraps to do the chest. A little smoothing and positioning later, I had a finished product. It's not great, but for a first attempt, I'm basically pleased. I glued on an arm holding a grenade and gave him a holstered pistol, then gave it a quick and dirty paint job.

Not bad for a first go, and I've learned some ideas on how to do it better next time. Dark Angels are known for their robes, and almost none of my army has them... I have a lot of work to do Razz
Ankhanu on Mon Jan 12, 2015 5:58 pm
Being a Dark Angels player, I’ve had an interest in the half of the Chapter that fell to Chaos during the Horus Heresy, the Fallen. One of the most iconic and mysterious of the Fallen is a figure known as Cypher. Cypher appear almost randomly, apparently acting as a destabilizing agent, working as much with as agains the Imperium of Man… he dual wields an ancient bolt pistol and plasma pistol, and carries a large, Primarch-sized sheathed sword that he’s never been seen to draw.

I’ve wanted to make a Cypher model for some time… and decided to go ahead and do so. I intended to kitbash something from scratch… use a stock Marine of some kind and modify it with bits from here and there, and sculpt some robes for him. But, a little luck was on my side. A friend had a Dark Angels Deathwatch model that he didn’t use, and was willing to give me… it was an almost perfect basis from which to start a Cypher! I sourced an old plasma pistol from other players in the community and set to work modifying the Deathwatch marine for my purposes.

I had two arm-related issues to deal with. First, my friend used the left arm for the model that he did use for his game… so I needed a new arm and shoulder pad for the left. Second, the model was molded with the right arm attached, with a sword in its hand… which just would not do for Cypher. I had some arms and shoulder pads left from other kits, so that was no problem. The right arm took some extra work. I had to cut off the original and replace it with the new one. I got to work with my snips and an X-Acto knife, and eventually got it off without ruining the rest of the model. I put it together as you see below:

I still need to deal with the sword. I’ll likely use the one that’s tacked on in the image above, on one of those orientations… but it will need to be modified… including removing the hand molded to the hilt Razz I’m going to wrap the blade up with a molding medium, and chain it to his back with a fine metal chain.
I also have to tatter up the purity seals and such, but, it’s coming along.

Hopefully, this will just be the start of converting a force of marines into a Fallen army to play with Wink
Ankhanu on Sun May 15, 2016 12:24 am

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