New Space Marines

Well, I’ve got some pics of my newly painted Marines up here for you. There’s a little story behind these guys. It’s been maybe 20 years since the last time I painted some Space Marines – check out the pics of my standard bearer in my Epic Armies post a few months back. Having seen the huge improvements in the sculpting and detail on the newer models, I wanted to paint some up. So, I bought a squad off eBay and got to work.

I also went and bought two new brushes, a Windsor & Newton Series 7 #0 and a new #1 (I wanted a Series 7 #1 but the store was sold out – I’m using a Reaper #1 until I get that Series 7), and a bunch of the Reaper Triad colors. I’ve been painting with the same worn out Citadel brushes and dried out Citadel paints for 3 years now and it was time to upgrade. Now that I mention it, I’ve been using Citadel paints for over a decade and this was the first time I’ve switched paints. I like the results with the Reaper colors so far.

I also got some advice from award-winning minis painter extraordinaire, Finn Kisch, who I am lucky to say is a personal friend.

But, old dog, new tricks. I found it actually rather difficult to integrate Finn’s techniques with my own methods. It’s going to take a lot of practice before I can reconcile the two. Although I was going for display quality, what I got was (I feel) merely tabletop quality. It’s gonna take some time and more minis before I get this right. Oh well, something to shoot for anyway.

I’ve done two Marines so far, and I’m still going. These shots are of the preliminary paint schemes, the “proof of concept”. I’ve updated my personal Chapter colors (the Japanese -themed Rising Sun Chapter) a bit from 20 years ago and I like the way they turned out. The base is GW Astronomicon Grey, shaded with Reaper’s Cold Greys. I like the bluer tone of these greys. Compared to my old base color grey, this new one is brighter. Using gold instead of dark grey for the breastplate eagle and the shoulder pad trim also makes for a brighter look that catches the eye.


The kanji are handpainted, the four characters being 「風林火山」which are read “Fūrinkazan”. In order, each character means “Wind”, “Forest”, “Fire”, “Mountain”. This was the battle standard motto of the feudal Japanese warlord Takeda Shingen, which he got from Sun Tzu’s “Art of War”. They mean “Swift like the wind, silent as the forest, as fierce as fire, as strong as a mountain.”


The idea is the Tactical Squads have all four kanji characters on their armor. Scouts have the “forest” character only, Assault squads have the “wind” character only, and Devastator squads have the “fire” character only. After a Marine in the Rising Sun Chapter has served in each of these different roles, he earns a place in a Tactical squad. He may then add the “mountain” character to his armor, signifying the unity of these elements in a powerful, all-purpose combat unit.


Hmm. I have an old write-up of the Chapter history around somewhere. Maybe I’ll post it tomorrow.

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