+ inload: A Helping Hand +

+ Space Marine casualties +

+ The black soil of Isstvan V claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Astartes; the single largest loss of Space Marine up to that point in history. Three loyal Legions – the Raven Guard, Salamanders and Iron Hands – suffered ruinous, catastrophic casualties. However, they did not sell their leaves cheaply. Even given the advantages of surprise, encirclement and foreknowledge, the Traitors were bloodied. After all, the enemy were Astartes, and they do not die easily. +

+ The bulk of the Iron Warriors fought on the Eastern part of the Urgall Depression, the low valley selected as the now-infamous drop site. Here they were met by the X Legion. Many thousands fell on both sides. The image above shows an Iron Warrior supporting an injured comrade. +


+ Casualty markers +

+ While Astartes armour is good, there are plenty of things that can crack it open. It also strikes me as fairly unpleasant that Astartes have so many redundant organs and damage-mitigating alterations made to them that they're unable to fall into shock or pain-relieving unconsciousness at even the most horrendous wounds. War certainly is a grim affair, and in the darkness of the far future, sometimes in some surprising ways. +

+ I enjoy making casualty markers like those above, as they offer the chance to show another side of the Space Opera conflict we see; and add a sense of consequence and drama to the unfolding battles we play. +

+ They are perhaps a little morbid, but I find creating a convincingly injured figure a great exercise in posing and structuring. The slumped shoulders, staggering gait and similar postures are a world away from the combat-ready poise of most figures, and modelling battle damage is a great challenge. +

+ Because the armour is often badly damaged, it's a good opportunity to try out your sculpting work or new painting techniques. If it turns out a little rough, there's no harm – these figures are more for atmosphere and background than anything else. That said, they do make excellent objective markers; so you might like to think of them as terrain. I find that takes any pressure or expectation away from them. +

+ Work in progress +

+ I'm working on an unusual casualty type at the moment – walking wounded. 

+ The bulk of the structure is there, though some tweaks are still likely, particularly on the torsos. Both sets of legs are from the Space Hulk set, which provides for some unusual and dynamic poses. Oddly enough, I've found running poses often much better for converting into the slumped or resigned postures of the injured. In this instance, the injured marine is leaning on his comrade, so his trailing leg has little weight on it. As a result, the other marine has to have a strong centre of balance. +

Mark II 'Crusade' helmets

Mark III 'Armorum Ferrum' helmets

+ I'd love to put them on a combined base, as that'll give some space for some more interesting rubble and reinforce their connection. I'm in two minds about which heads to use. I've had a little play around with different heads (including bare heads), but I think I want to emphasise the similarities and should use as many bits which link the two as possible. Which do you think looks best? +


  1. MK III for me, they look bulkier and grittier.

    where on earth do you get the parts from? I have been trying to figure it out!

    1. Hey WW, here's a break-down of the parts:
      Head, gun, pouches and backpack: Forge World
      Arms: Terminator assault squad (the Storm Shield arm is good for this style of left arm)
      Legs: Space Hulk
      Shoulder pads: 3D prints and homecasts.

    2. (D'oh, forgot the torso, which is from the Grey Knight Terminator kits.)

    3. What do you use for the 3d prints? Is it difficult/expensive to get into?

  2. bare heads on both I think, the helms are too faceless for what you are going for.

    1. I am definitely tempted by bare heads – they'll really help to humanise them. However, I don't want to make the Iron Warriors too sympathetic. They are the bad guys after all! :)
      I had a good suggestion on a forum to try a broken helm that revealed a bloodied face inside. That definitely sounds like a challenge.

    2. Ooh, that would be a challenge... then you could have both the human and the monstrous in one figure.

  3. I actually made my first truescale marine, a tech-marine at that. I can actually understand the fascination now and I'm a bit interested in doing more eventually. Regarding bits sourcing. Do you just use any bits available or are there any gems among the kits that's a staple?

    1. Cool; I'd love to see a link to the techmarine :)
      I tend to use bits from all over the place (ebay and bits sellers are a godsend to keep the price fairly reasonable), but I think the Grey Knight Terminator kit is probably the 'go-to' box set as it contains everything you need except backpacks. Would a tutorial or something using that kit be of interest?

    2. I haven't prepared the blog post on the tech marine (bigbossredskullz) nor taken pics yet but I'll drop you a link when it's ready :)

      I'd definitely like to see that as the tutorial I used didn't really adress everything as I did meet a few bumps in the road while working on it. Nothing big but it's always cool having several references as it helps with progress when you hit those inevitable bumps in the road :)

  4. Perhaps have the walking wounded without his helm, a head with a suitably worn out expression. I'd go for a mk III helmet for the other legionary as they just feel more IV legion. Looking good Apologist

    1. Cheers – I'm pleased with how they're coming along. Perhaps I could re-add his lost hand clutching his helm, and have a bare head...?

  5. I'm surprised to see the Iron Armor in favor, though I totally understand using it to give them that greater sense of bulk which is so iconic of space marines and the Iron Warriors.

    For my part, I'd suggest the Crusade helmets. Looking at the mock-up, it seems that they are practical and clearly efficient, but give a slight sense of vulnerability that speaks to the scene. I worry that bare heads might make them appear too vulnerable, too human. Having spoken about posing the marines as weary and emphasizing weight in different directions, it seems that the heads could be hung in such a way as to suggest pained and defeated faces, letting the imagination run amok. If you're having trouble deciding, there are always magnets to fiddle with.

  6. A great sense of story with those two - though with the Iron Warriors I would see the one only helping his wounded brother to act as a shield - or that he is important to the captain. The fallen banner is also very poetic as well - great work!

    Oh and to your reply to Tommy, I would also love to see a tutorial on how you are making the true-scale


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