Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine Build Part 7: Badges, Patches, and Other Widgets

In case you've been following along, I apologize for neglecting to write up the rest of the build notes for the Space Marine build.  If you're just now stumbling across my blog, you can find the other parts of this build by following these links:

Space Marine Build Part 1: an Overview
Space Marine Build Part 2: the Backpack
Space Marine Build Part 3: the Boots
Space Marine Build Part 4: the Rubber Bits
Space Marine Build Part 5: the Helmets
Space Marine Build Part 6: the Hands

Now onto the next part: decoration.  Because giganting superhuman warrior-gods don't look right without all the trim:
Paintjob Closeup Glamor Shot

Read on for details.



The best part about the Space Marines and the Warhammer 40,000 universe in general is the infinitely customizable nature of it all. Even within chapters with clearly delineated livery and heraldry, there's countless options for making your characters your own. Each individual piece can be tweaked and converted and made into something unique.

This is the fun part.

Since I was making more than one suit, it was even more important to differentiate them from one another in as many ways as possible.  I suppose I could have made them look like they were all from different chapters, but I really wanted the group to look like a cohesive unit when they were together.  Instead, it was vital to make them all individuals while still maintaining consistency in colors and unit markings.  The plan was for the paintjobs to make them brothers but the details to keep them from being clones.

Since at least three of them would have some sort of winged icon on the chest, I began by sculpting out a pair of wings:

SM Shoulder Chest Test Fitting

With the sculpt finalized, the next step was to begin the moldmaking process by building up a clay drip wall: Wing Mold 1

The sculpt was then layered over with silicone rubber:
Wing Mold 4

Over the silicone I built a fiberglass mothermold to keep everything lined up.  Then I pulled it all off of the sculpt, cleaned out all of the clay, and cast the first pair of wings:
Aquila test fit

It turns out they fit:
SM MkVII Helmet Smoothed

After casting multiple pairs of the wings, I set about sculpting the individual icons to go in the center.  First, a skull:
SM Chest Skull Sculpted

Then the Imperial double-headed eagle:
SM Aquila Chest Sculpt

Finally, I sculpted out the winged sword motif of the Dark Angels chapter of Space Marines:
SM Chest Decoration Variants

In between chest sculpts I put together some of the small detail parts for the legs.  These were mostly made by putting scrap blocks of wood on the forming table while making other parts.  After some fine trimming and shaping, the resulting little plastic boxes became the vents and patches found all over the miniatures:
SM Thigh Details

SM Shin Details

The last little detail to add to the build was the pile of random purity seals.  For starters, I pressed the end of a brass rod into several large wads of clay to give the impression of a wax seal approximately 1-1/4" in diameter.  Then I stuck some found items into a few of them before spraying them with a gloss coat.  After making a mold, I cast copies in red-tinted resin and they looked like so:
Purity Seals2

For the printed fabric portion, I used a product called Printed Treasures, a cotton fabric that comes in 8.5"x11" sheets that you can run through your inkjet printer.  You can pick it up at your local craft store or by clicking HERE.

Once the lettering was printed, I peeled off the backing paper (which keeps the fabric from crumpling up and jamming the printer), cut the strips of lettering out, and soaked them in tea to give them an appropriately aged look:
Purity Seals

For the lettering, I started by combing through the 40k rulebook for different prayers and litanies that seemed appropriate to the Space Marines.  Then I realized that nobody was going to get close enough to actually read them, so I started just stacking up blocks of text and running them through the Google Latin translator to make them seem more significant and meaningful than they really were.  These were the longer strips of cloth and they were filled with things like the lyrics to the Mr. Ed theme song or Ke$ha's "Tick Tock."

Still, the most important seal, which I made sure to put on the left shoulder of each of the costumes I made, was this one:
SM Copyright Purity Seal

This web site is completely unofficial and in no way endorsed by Games Workshop Limited.

Adeptus Astartes, Games Workshop, Games Workshop logo, Space Marine, Space Marine chapters, Space Marine chapter logos, Ultramarines, Warhammer, Warhammer 40k Device, and all associated marks, names, races, race insignia, characters, vehicles, locations, units, illustrations and images from the Warhammer 40,000 universe are either ®, TM and/or © Copyright Games Workshop Ltd 2000-2012, variably registered in the UK and other countries around the world. Used without permission. No challenge to their status intended. All Rights Reserved to their respective owners.

9 comments:

  1. Love it. Still havn't finished the Halo armor you sent me. Like a year ago, lol.

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  2. Where's part 6? o.O

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    1. You got me. I was actually missing part 5 and had them numbered wrong. I've fixed the list of links. Thanks for the heads up.

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    2. My pleasure. I absolutely love reading your blog.

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  3. And how much do you charge for making one of these sets of Mk VII armour?

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    1. These suits are not for sale.

      If there's something custom you'd like me to make for you, shoot me an email at sthorsson99@yahoo.com and we can discuss it.

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  4. Question for you:

    I've got a tech-priest costume that I've been bringing around to a lot of conventions, and it's drawn a lot of attention both in person and on the net. I'd like to do something similar to the purity seal you did with the disclaimer, for the same reason you did yours. Would you mind sharing the text you wrote so that I and others who do 40k costuming may do something similar? It's a brilliant idea!

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    1. The text was essentially copied and pasted from the IP Policy section of the Games Workshop website. There are two strips with quotes on them.

      The one tucked in the back reads:

      "From the Games Workshop Intellectual Property Policy:

      'We frequently get requests from the hobbyists out there that love our game worlds so much that they want to make costumes so as to bring them to life even more. To this end, this section does not contain special rules for costumes or live role-play - it is only to say that provided you comply with all the contents of this policy, it is something we are unlikely to object to.'"

      The one in the front reads:

      "This costume is completely unofficial and in no way endorsed by Games Workshop Limited.
      Adeptus Astartes, Dark Angels, Games Workshop, Games Workshop logo, Space Marine, Space Marine chapters, Space Marine chapter logos, Warhammer, Warhammer 40k Device, and all associated marks, names, races, race insignia, characters, vehicles, locations, units, illustrations and images from the Warhammer 40,000 universe are either ®, TM and/or © Copyright Games Workshop Ltd 2000-2012, variably registered in the UK and other countries around the world. Used without permission. No challenge to their status intended. All Rights Reserved to their respective owners."

      This is also essentially the same disclaimer I add at the end of all my blog entries regarding any GW stuff.

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