Samurai-themed Space Marines – Pt.2

In the last post, I explained the background of my Space Chapter paint scheme and the motto they use “Furinkazan”. For the longest time, that was about all I did if and when I painted Marines in these colors. I wasn’t actively collecting the minis or playing the game so I didn’t feel any drive to expand on things. But when I did at last get into the game, I realized I needed to expand the heraldry and colors a bit.

When you sit down to paint your minis you need a plan, at least if you want them to look like a cohesive force on the table. The basic colors of the individual Rising Sun Marines is what I drew from. Everything in the Chapter armory would have the same base color – grey – and gold trim. These two colors go well with the red and white of the Chapter emblem, and so I use this color palette for all my models. On the table, this gives my force a unified look.

Even with slightly different color, such as on the Chaplain, the Chapter colors still link him to the main force.

I write Japanese kanji characters all over my minis now, but the one character I try to find a place for on each figure or model is 「風」kaze (wind). This is another element that ties my force together visually.

Now as far as kanji goes, I’ve talked about how I do it in other posts, but I have to say that it’s damned hard to do them that small. Most of the time, the characters wind up being illegible, but unless you look at them very closely, it doesn’t matter much – the basic shapes are apparent and create another visual element that sets my Marines apart. The Chaplain is a good example. I tried to write Buddhist death sutras on the tabards and banners and whatnot, but because they’re so small you can’t really read them (sorta). I was pleased with the overall effect though – the vertical writing looks good.

Now, all of this doesn’t exactly make my Marines “samurai”, at least visually. For that, I used samurai family crests, called mon. I’ll talk about that in my next post.


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