Friday, June 30, 2017

True-scale Black Templar Space Marine

No Fear! No Pity! No Remorse!

Despite the release of the new Primaris Space Marines, which we think would be an
excellent foundation to create “true-scale” Space Marines, we have not given up on our efforts to create more anatomically correct Space Marines. We created silicone molds to cast our most recent attempt at a true-scale Space Marine, and as a proof of concept built a Black Templar Space Marine. I am pleased to say that this Black Templar is finally complete! With this post I want to talk a little about the painting process and show the completed model.


A wonderful John Blanche piece that helped define the Black Templar Space Marine Chapter.

When deciding that I wanted to paint the marine as a Black Templar, John Blanche’s classic painting for the cover of the 3rd edition of 40k came to mind immediately. His gritty and restricted color palette perfectly matches the somber tone of the 41st millennium, and seemed a good place to start determining the specifics of the Templar’s scheme. There were two things in the painting really stood out to me, 1) the Templars’ white eyes and 2) the sparing use of red to accent some of the marines’ armor. White is not a typical choice for the eye lens for power armor, but think it really imparts a sinister quality to the Black Templar marines. The touches of red on the armor help to add some vitality to what is largely all black.


The first fully painted cast of my “true-scale” Space Marine!

I took many cues from Blanche’s painting, including the inclusion of red and yellow into the predominately black color scheme.

Painting black can be a difficult thing. With most colors you can use blending to create subtle transitions, but doing this with black often just results in grey. This necessitates fine edge highlighting that is difficult to implement. For the Templar, I decided to restrict the colors that I used and limit myself to only a few highlights, both to save time keep the edges crisp and distinct. For the base coat, I used Vallejo Model Air Black. From there I did 3 successive highlights mixing in more and more GW Ushabti bone to get lighter and lighter greys. Finally, I added a highlight of Vallejo Pale greyblue to finish the black.


The shoulder pads gave me a chance to practice free-hand painting, and I decided to try two variants of the Templars’ Maltese Cross (and include some checkers!).

For this model I also wanted to try do more with weathering than I have done in the past. Shiny and polished armor is not something a crusading Chapter like the Black Templar is likely to have. Although I could simply use acrylic paints to achieve weathering effects, I have long been intrigued by the prospect of using oil paints to enhance my painting, and decided to try to use some to help with adding dirt and grime to the Templar. The oil paints that I ended up using are from AMMO by Mig Jimenez, a company the specializes in weathering products, called Oilbrushers. They are line of oil paints that, rather than being in large cumbersome tubes, are in little plastic vials that have a small brush attached to the lid. This allows you to simply take off the cap (after shaking it) and apply the paint directly with the provided brush, before closing it back up when you are done. This dramatically simplifies the process of using oil paints, largely eliminating clean-up, in addition to preventing you from wasting paint. I primarily used these to add mud and dirt around the Templar’s boots as well as a little on his white shoulder pads. The process was pretty simple, using the Oilbrusher’s built in brush to apply the paint to the general area I wanted it, before lightly wetting another brush with some odorless thinner and carefully blending the paint to how I wanted it. Since it is an oil-based paint, it dries very slowly, so you have quite a lot of time to get the effect how you want it. Ultimately, I am pretty happy with how it turned out, and would strongly suggest anyone to look into Oilbrushers if you want to experiment with oils in your miniature painting.


I wanted the base to be simple and grimy, to complement but not distract from the Templar.

I used oil paints to help achieve some of the dirt effects around his boots and on his shoulder pads.

Although it has been a long process of sculpting, casting, building, and finally painting, I am really pleased to have finally finished one of these “True-scale” Space Marines. In the future I hope to build a few more of these large Space Marines, but before that I need to get back to finishing the original sculpt and turning it into an Elder One for Iron Sleet’s Thorn Moons project. Let me know what you think of how the model turned out!

Adam Wier

16 comments:

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    1. Thanks for the comment! It feels great to finally have finished a model that I cast myself. :)

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  2. First and foremost, I am honored and humbled by your making this marine for me Adam, thank you very much! He represents a culmination of your continued skill development in painting and conversions, and I am happy to have him as the finest piece of my Marine army. For the record, he will likely be used either as a Primaris Lieutenant (or Captain), or as an Emperors Champion in crunch terms. I am not a real fan of weathering and damage effects for infantry models because I feel like sometimes they are taken a little too far, but that's definitely not the case with this model. The base effects really help blend the whole thing together. My idea of a Black Templar specifically is a vain, angry superhuman warrior clad in bright colors that contrast with the black of their armor. I feel like your use of subdued red alongside the bone-yellow pistol and the details on the shoulder pad do a much better job than most of expressing vanity and flashiness, while at the same time hearkening back to the 3rd and 4th edition grimdark heyday of my favorite Chapter. I REALLY like the freehand 3rd edition skull behind the litany on the shoulder pad too- and the litany itself actually looks like a holy document rather than just a few scribbles on a non-descript parchment! The MK III helm really helps give the model a knightly feel as well, and the white lenses are quite different but go very well with the color scheme of the model as a whole. His weaponry is believable in size as well- his sword actually looks a little short at first glance because it is appropriately sized for the model; he might actually be able to swing it effectively with one hand! Last but most certainly not least, I am a huge fan of the Maltese cross bisected on the knee pad. I have done a few simpler designs back when I used to actually paint models, and they always looked cool (but not that cool).

    In a few days I hope to send a few pictures of some of your earlier Black Templars works to compare to the model. I feel like this guy outshines even the Terminator Captain you painted long ago, who was probably my favorite Templar you painted.

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    1. I am glad you like the model! It has certainly been a labor of love and a culmination of a lot of years of work and experimentation. It looks like you have noticed a lot of the little details I worked into the model! He should fit right into your Black Templar force. :)

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  3. First of all, amazing.
    The painting scheme is great, and I must say that what I really like is not the true scale issue, but the fact that it is anatomically more correct than the SM and the new Primaris to my eyes. It really makes doubtful the 'big shoulder thing', and also the 'so big swords and weapons that I can barely use it thing', that GW has, despite I really like its miniatures. Your SM is very shapely and neat -for a SM-, your quest gives great results.

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    1. Thanks for the kind words! Space marine models have looked incredibly awkward for so long that it is almost easy to not notice how wrong they are. I am glad you appreciate all the effort that went into reworking the marine's anatomy. Eventually I would like to make another one that is a little smaller than the current one. He he

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  4. Some tremendous work on that black armor, both the original paint, and then the weathering. Makes me eye my own efforts in this area a bit more dubiously than I had before. The shoulder pads and the knee pad are quite excellent, and more than any other part evoke the artwork you were aiming for.

    So now that you have the molds, you are going to knock out a squad of these guys right? ;)

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    1. I am glad you like it! Weathering has been fun to experiment with. It is a lot easier to achieve neat effects with some of the specialized weathering products from AMMO or AK Interactive. If you have not tried any, I would recommend you looking into them! The shoulder pads were a good excuse to practice free hand work, but it is quite time consuming and really difficult.

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  5. Looks great! And I've been pondering how black Marine armor highlighted by mixing in bone would look, thanks for doing the experimenting for me!

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    1. It is a great and easy way to paint black without a lot of different paints. Hopefully it works well for you!

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  6. Very nice work. That is indeed one of the most classic pieces of 40k artwork following on from Blanche's Blood Angels piece for Epic 40,000. I have always been tempted to do a a Black Templars army for that reason, and for the fact that their colour scheme is so good; but, I hated 3rd edition. GW destroyed the 2nd ed I loved so much and replaced it with a pile of crap and I've always consequently hated Black Templars a bit since! :)
    Anyway you've done a great job on your marine and it's once again testing my resolve to never paint Black Templars!

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    1. The 3rd edition really did take a lot away from the game system and the narrative in actual games. I had wanted to start a Black Templar army for a while after seeing the 3rd edition cover artwork years ago too. Those aspirations largely left after one of my friends started a Black Templar army. :)

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  7. Absolutely wonderful as I have mentioned elsewhere! I was already on the fence about trying oilbrushers but now I will definitely have to give them a try. The third edition cover piece was the first 40k Artwork I ever saw and really instilled what 40k was to me then and even more so possibly to this day. I can say very clearly you have done a great job capturing the vibes of that excellent piece. Now to figure out what the hell I am going to do with mine :D

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    1. You really should look into getting some of those oilbrushers. They work really well and it is easy to get nice looking effects from them.

      John's artwork for the 3rd edition of Warhammer 40,000 really is something special and does a great job of establishing the mood and setting of the universe at war.

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  8. That is an excellent Marine. Nice work Adam. Your painting is superb. Is this the marine that was on Twitter a few weeks ago? The really big one? A head taller than a Primaris?

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    1. I am glad you like the marine! He is the same marine that we showed on Twitter a little while ago. He is quite a bit taller than the Primaris marines, more along the size of a Forge World Primarch model. Eventually I think I will try and make another one or two reposing the legs. :)

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