Space Marines!

datetime August 9, 2014 6:00 PM

So, a few months ago, I made a really bad decision.

Yeah.

When I started playing, I came up with a colour scheme for my lovely new Space People using paper dolls in Photoshop; however, once this conceptual work was done, I then immediately proceeded to do anything but paint actual models for like four months. I drew pictures, I made terrain, I made fancy tokens, I made fancy scenario objectives, I made fancy transport cases… painting my Space Dudes was about the last thing I wanted to spend brainpower on, because for me painting isn’t really a creative endeavor– it’s more of a grudging obligation.

What finally made me pick up my paintbrush was a league my store scheduled for July and August. Someone else challenged the other members to be fully painted by the end of it, and while I’m nowhere near that level of completion just past the 3/4 point of the league, I have put paint on over half of my dudes. Which is, for me, a pretty incredible rate of painting progress. 🙂

I’ve delayed posting my Space Guys until I had them all done and could put them up all in one post, but given that I don’t think that day will come for several months, I figured I’d just bite the bullet and start posting what I have finished in little chunks. That will mean 3-4 small posts in August to cover what’s finished today, and then who-knows-how-many additional small updates later on spread over who-knows-how-long.

So, yeah. Let’s get started, shall we?

The army I play in Infinity is called PanOceania, which is a political entity in the far future that encompasses most of Europe, Africa, and current-day Oceania (though at the moment, the vast majority of its citizens live on other planets; it’s basically like if humanity went into space and still called the biggest government “the European Union”, despite it not actually being in Europe anymore). They’re the default “shiny happy good guy” faction; this is a good fit for me, being a person who chooses the “utter cookie-cutter wonderful goodness” path in all of the morality-based computer RPGs I play. I’m a horrible monster to real people in real life, but for some reason it feels weird to me to be mean to pretend people in a video game. Go figure. ~_~

Within the breadth of options in PanO, the specific sub-army that I really liked is called Military Orders– or, as I call them, SPAAAAAAAAAAACE CATHOLIIIIIIIIIIIIICS!. In the future setting of Infinity, the Space Pope has just, like, ridiculous amounts of influence in the politics of the galaxy, and explicitly-religious orders of Knights are fully integrated into the military as heavily-armed elite shock troops. The game has a number of different Knightly Orders (there’s a good summary here) that you’re free to mix-and-match when building an army, but I liked the idea of picking one to primarily theme my army around, and then have the others show up only as one-off guest stars.

Out of the available options, one of them struck me as easily the most badass-looking:

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Seriously, that single mini is about 70% of the reason I got into Infinity. >_<

While most of the Knightly Orders are based on various planets, the Knights of Santiago have no permanent headquarters, and live instead in space. Apparently, there are a large number of holy site between which Future Space Catholics rotate during Space Pilgrimmages (no, I’m not going to stop putting Space in front of everything); however, these travelers are frequently beset by Space Pirates, so the Space Pope tasked the Order of Santiago with tagging along on these journeys to protect the Space Pilgrims from Space Getting Shot With Machine Guns And Having All Their S*** Taken.

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Knights of Santiago are trained to fight in ship-to-ship combat, with gear that’s well-suited to fighting in cramped ship corridors or in the void of space. Which means they are literally marines. Marines in space.

They are Space Marines.

…yeah, nobody else finds that as funny as I do.

Infinity is a skirmish game where your army is purchased model-by-model instead of in groupings of units, so you don’t need to collect huge quantities of most of the minis in your army; most armies will have a half-dozen cheap “cheerleaders” who hang out at the back, and then a small number of expensive badass models who run around and do all the murder. So even though I’m basing my army around the Knights of Santiago, I don’t actually need that many of them; I can run at most 4 of them at a time, and even that is prohibitively expensive in all but the largest games.

All of which is to say: my army has three Knights of Santiago for now, and I figured it made the most sense to make them the first things I painted.

The model that made me want to play the game was a no-brainer, and there’s a second model with different weapons that you’ll see later. But while they’ve recently released two more Santiago sculpts, those didn’t exist when I was building my models, so I had to improvise a bit for my third Space Marine.

My two stock models are armed with a machine gun and an even bigger machine gun, but the third one would be wielding a much shorter-ranged shotgun.

I had ended up with a second copy of the awesome diving-forward model, so I turned it around at various angles to see what other poses it might be suited for. And as luck would have it, I found something pretty neat:

The same leg pose works perfectly for a guy being blown backward by the force of a shotgun. 😀

The top arm is what came with the model, and the bottom is the gun I scrounged from another model I had inherited.

The sword arm lost the sword, and the shotgun arm lost the arm. Both were done pretty quickly with hobby clippers, and then cleaned up a bit with a knife.

After adding a bend at the elbow, the right arm was looking pretty good. 🙂

The left arm also required a re-posed elbow, and I would need to completely add a new hand from scratch.

…like so. Other putty was added to fill in the gaps in the tabard (I didn’t take a picture of the finished cloth, but you can see it later)…

…and other miscellaneous filler like shoulder pads and reinforcements for the INFURIATINGLY BRITTLE back antennae.

Aaaaand… that’s pretty much it. Most of these conversion articles are going to be pretty quick. 😛

With my two stock models and my converted John Woo Shotgun Guy, I was ready for paint. I rigged up some paper dolls in Photoshop and tried out a few different schemes I liked, then sent them to my various nerd associates for feedback.

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I had been favouring the 2nd or 4th options, but when I polled other people, there was nearly unanimous support for #3: white and grey armor with black and red “squad markings” on the cloth and one arm. Usually I dismiss the opinions of others, but I figured out a way to incorporate both correct opinions (eg, mine) and incorrect ones (eg, other people’s) by fusing #2 and #3 together– I would stick with the majority of the Pale With Start Red scheme, but instead of using dark grey for the armor, I would borrow the dull purple I liked from the second scheme.

Here’s how that turned out on my first batch of models:

Overall, I’m reasonably happy with how they look– I love the colours, though I do find that the lopsided white almost makes them look like they’re wearing togas. I dunno– just me?

Unlike so many other armies I’ve done in the past, I had reproducibility and speed in mind when designing the scheme– each colour swatch uses a maximum of four layers, and I pre-mixed all of the necessary paints in dropper bottles so that I don’t need to mix anything when I’m working.

And that’s pretty much all I have to say about these ones. It’ll probably take me three more short articles to show you the models I currently have completed; I guess I’ll queue them up to publish weekly so that I don’t end up on any more two-month hiatuses.

After that, I hope to have enough work done on my terrain set to give you an update on that, and I’ve also got some art I put together for the league we’re running, and also some cool scenario objectives I made, and SQUEEEEEEEEE I’M HAVING SO MUCH FUN. XD

Ahem.

-Spud

2 thoughts on “Space Marines!

  • Captain Spud [Post author]

    I whip all my paper dolls up in Photoshop during my lunches at work. They’re very helpful for scheme planning. 🙂

    [Reply]

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