|By the manner of their death we shall know them.|
Space Marine anatomy is an odd thing, something that I think is often ignored due to it being behind armor. And while the plastic Space Marine models will always have a place in my heart, they have a lot of problems (leg attachment is ridiculous; they have essentially only a ribcage attached to their hips; arms are attached too high for them to attach to the scapula). The artwork of Kopinski and Dainton were some of the first examples I saw of someone eschewing these things to create something more believable. Having said this, that does not make their artwork perfect, with even the artists themselves shifting style and proportion between different pieces of artwork. The classic Crimson Fist marine Kopkinski drew is a good example, as in much of his later work (like the cover of the Uriel Ventris novel The Killing Ground) he increased the head size such that a humanoid figure could conceivably fit inside the armor. I tried my hand at creating a more anatomically reasonable Space Marine earlier this year in a collaborative progect with Mig’s from Iron Sleet, and was quite pleased with the result. No project is ever perfect, so when I started to consider creating a second Space Marine for FPOA’s Green Mechanicvm, I began thinking of what I would do differently. In this post I wanted to share some pictures of the current status of this Elder One, and talk a little about the challenges in its creation, something that I think is particularly relevant with the recent pictures of the upcoming plastic Roboute Guilliman (who is an anatomical mess).
With the second marine, I wanted to make the model’s breastplate a little smaller. The first one was converted from a Grey Knight terminator body and the armor from an Adeptus Mechanicus Kataphron Breacher, and a lot of green stuff. I think it ended up being slightly too large in relationship to his legs. For the second one, I still based it around a Grey Knight torso, but used the abdomen from a Tartaros terminator. To fit with this styling, I used Tartaros legs to create the new marine’s legs. With the legs, I wanted to keep them relatively simple, extending them a little and correcting their attachment place. As I continued to work on them, however, with each correction I made, it necessitated another, until they have almost entirely been redone. After the obligatory extension of the shins, the thigh armor looked far too thin, and then after this was modified, the shins did not taper out enough at the end, etc. I admit, now that I am finally satisfied with the proportions of the marine’s legs and body, I think I may have made the model a little too large. He is now just a little shy of one of Forge World’s Primarch models!
|I am planning to create a mold to cast the marine to speed up future conversions. I also plan to try and create another set of arms to hold his bolter in two hands.|
Like the first marine, much of the upper part of the arms were created with green stuff, with the forearm from a Tartaros terminator. Unmodified terminator arms are simply too short to work well. To make the anatomy work properly, it was important to attach the arms in a reasonable place, and not too high, as is seen on many Space Marines (particularly on terminators). An important aspect of getting this right was extending/sculpting a neck on the chosen head, and not slotting it too deeply into the chest armor. I also decided I needed to increase the size of the model’s shoulderpads. Many people use terminator shoulderpads for their true-scale marines, and I decided to start there. To my surprise, however, when comparing them side by side to the standard power armor pads, they are almost identical in size, with the terminator ones being a more bulbous shape. Because of this, I decided to just use green stuff to build up the normal power armor ones. The process was quite tedious, trying to make sure both remained the same size, including the rims, but I think it worked out in the end.
|Although the basic power armor is just about finished, I want to add a lot of additional details to make him fit alongside FPOA’s Green Mechanicvm.|
|As you can see from this comparison to a Forge World Iron armor marine, this new true-scale marine is huge, possibly a little too big...|
At this point, I believe the core of the model is complete. To make him into an Elder One from the Thorn Moons, however, there is a lot of detail work that I want to do. Before continuing with this, however, I decided that I should try my hand at creating a silicone mold of the marine in his current state. The model has taken well over a month to sculpt, doing a little each evening, and the prospect of repeating the process every time I want to create another true-scale marine is enervating. With a cast, I could create resin copies of the model that I can cut up and modify each time I plan on making another marine. I have absolutely no experience in making silicone casts, but got a Smooth-On starter kit with all the necessary components, and have watched a few YouTube videos on the subject. Although it does not seem incredibly hard, the process is still rather intimidating, particularly after laboring so long over the model. If any of you have experience in the matter, any advice would be greatly appreciated!