What if…the Ultramarine from the ‘Epic Space Marine’ box art had survived to cross the Rubicon Primaris? That’s the question that I asked myself for this year’s #MarchForMacragge side-project!
If you’re on the ‘hobby’ parts of social media then you may have seen the #MarchForMacragge hashtag being used a lot in the last few weeks. The premise is simple – paint something Ultramarine-related at some point during March and then share the results. Last year I painted an Ultramarine Veteran, and this year I tasked myself with recreating and updating the Ultramarine shown in the central image above. My goal was to bring the character up-to-date with Primaris proportions and Mk X armour, while retaining as many of the characterful details of the artwork as possible.
Building & Painting
For those not familiar with the artwork I’m referencing, here is the cover art for the ‘Space Marine’ box. This version of ‘Space Marine’ was the second edition of the 6mm ‘Epic’ game system, a successor to the original ‘Adeptus Titanicus’ game, and a precursor to today’s game of the same name. This art is one of the iconic pieces from GW in the early 90s, in my opinion, and we saw it reproduced and reused on book covers and promotional materials throughout the decade.
The Lieutenant is mostly based on the limited edition ‘Lieutenant Amulius’ model, only with the head replaced with a Blood Angels head and that arms from an ‘Easy to Build’ Primaris Intercessor to more closely match the pose in the artwork. The laurel wreaths on his head and chest were sculpted from modelling putty. This is what my gaming group jokingly refer to as a “wallet bleed” class conversion, i.e. something that requires the cutting-up and repurposing of rare or difficult to obtain miniatures.
The LED bionic eye was mostly achieved using the basic techniques described in my LED eye lens tutorial, with one key exception; instead of recasting the head in resin I used one of the GW plastic heads. I drilled a 1mm hole into the bionic eye of the plastic head, and then a larger hole up through the neck to meet the eye hole in the middle of the head. I then fed the wires of my 3V red ultra nano SMD chip LED in through the eye hole and out of the neck, then gently pulled the LED into the hole. I then ran the wires through the torso and legs – again, as described in my LED eye lens tutorial – to connect to the battery in the base. Then I applied a small blob of Water Splash Effect Gel, available from Green Stuff World, to fill in the hole of the bionic eye.
Once the gel was dry I applied three successive coats of Citadel ‘Technical’ Spiritstone Red to give the eye some colour when the LED is off and also to prevent the LED appearing too bright. Looking at the two pictures above, the LED is switched on in the left hand image and turned off in the right hand image.
When it came to the heraldry on his right shoulder pad, I thought I was going to have to make an educated guess as to what was on the rear half of the pad. That was until I realised that the full heraldry is repeated on the flag of the Land Raider! At first I assumed those were small stars in the top right blue square of the banner, but it was only when I noticed they weren’t on the Lieutenant’s shoulder pad that it occurred to me they were probably bullet holes in the banner.
The heraldry is painted on freehand, except for the Ultramarine symbol on the left, which is painted over a small transfer. One of the best tips I’ve ever received about freehand heraldry is from my good friend Apologist, and that was never to use pure black or pure white for heraldry and text in miniature painting. The reason for this is that the pure colours really stand out and draw the eye too much. Therefore the dark lines in the heraldry and 50:50 Abaddon Black / Mechanicus Standard Grey, and the white areas are Corax White.