Space Marines – Crimson Fists, by James Dillon-Lee

7 Apr

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by James Dillon-Lee

Age of Armies, 6th Edition, and a change of heart

I’ve been in the hobby a long time (on and off, but mostly off), and currently have a good sized Eldar army (shelved waiting for the new codex) and a fairly solid Chaos Marine Army (still finding its feet, but infinitely more fun to play). But it’s always fun to start something new.  Since the Eldar were my 5th Ed army, and the CSM’s are technically the remains of my 2nd and 3rd Ed army, with some extra bits to make it work in 6th, I’m gonna need to try something new.

Or rather, ‘old’.

What was it that got me started all those years ago? (20 of ‘em at that. Damn I feel old)

THIS is the pic which got me into the hobby, so it seems fitting to go back there, since I’ve never actually managed to come up with a marine army I’m happy with:


If you’ve ever played me, the sight of my chosen army getting stomped seems strangely fitting. Also, I don’t know what it is about beaky marines, I just prefer them.

I happen to know that one of the other AoA entrants, who just happens to be my usual opponent, is doing an Ork army (there’s a fluff history there) so along the way, I guess we’ll get to re-enact the battle for New Rynn city (or that farm from the 1st Edn rulebook, where all the marines start off asleep).

As I said, deep down I prefer the look of the old Rogue Trader minis, so, if possible, I’m aiming to source everything from that era (or have a reasonable proxy). No real reason for this other than, I just think they look cooler, but it’s a decent enough hook for justifying giving over yet more space in my house to plastic soldiers. Oh, as they’re also shorter by at least a head, I’ll need to try my hand at some fancy basing, so they can see over wall without stretching too hard.

So, with the equivalent of £50 a month, let’s see what I can do….

Month 1 – March


Well, straight up, every army needs a commander, and Pedro Kantor would seem to be the obvious choice – as Marine HQ’s go, he’s not too overpriced, and doesn’t have any really silly rules to annoy opponents with, and the chapter tactics and +1 attack for everyone in 12” sound pretty good. Oh and a pie plate too (not a thing to ever rely on, but fun nevertheless). He’s also one of the first named marine characters (ever) even if he has changed how he spells his name along the way. So to represent him, I’ll need an old school mini with a power-fist, and some way of holding a storm bolter. I used to own this dude, back in the day, so went looking for a replacement on a certain internet auction house:


While I did find and purchase one (marked as ‘Crimson Fists Captain), it wasn’t till I unwrapped it I realised that this was what I had bought:


(that isn’t MY mini, just a pic of a similar one)

He’s actually got sculpted fist icons already – so, not only do I now NOT have to sculpt or freehand them, I can make some greenstuff press moulds to create more when I need them. Finally, I’ve now changed the boltgun for a storm bolter to represent Dorn’s arrow.

At the same time I was bidding on Kantor-to-be, there was also a squad of Rogue trader era terminators. But they were a bit bashed up. One seems to have had the top of his ‘hood’ shaved (calling that ‘battle damage’); another had to get a false leg (thanks maxi mini) and a third has an assault cannon which has been ‘fixed’ (with a hades autocannon from a heldrake, more greenstuff and a pin-vice). I prefer the assault cannon to the heavy flamer, since a) it’s got better range and b) it can take on vehicles’ rear armour fairly comfortably. That whole rending thing is just gravy.

So I now have a solid, if a touch pricey HQ, and a shock unit to give serious annoyance to any opponent, except orks, ironically. I generally prefer to deep-strike shooty-terminators in to the heart of my opponent’s deployment zone – if they try to shift the terminators, it’ll probably take a good turn’s shooting, if they ignore them, that’s ‘line breaker’, and possibly a denied objective. I’ll need more bodies and boots on the ground in the long run to make the army even halfway viable, but for now, it’s a sound investment.

In theory.


Now, I’d been under the impression this would START in April, so by March 25th, I hadn’t even started – I’ve been painting chaos tanks – so, my Easter weekend was mostly spent painting or trying to find cork matting (more on that later).  I managed to get most of it done over two days – and a huge chuck done whilst watching ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, fuelled by hot cross buns and tea.

Lots of tea.

But, I managed it, and they’re done – apologies for some of the pics, but the light was shocking all weekend.

So, first off – Army Painter (AP) navy blue primer, Games Workshop (GW) Drakenhof Nightshade wash, and then AP gun metal and GW Nuln Oil, and Vallejo (V) Escorpena Green ( I think that’s supposed to be ‘Scorpion’). They’re on 25mm bases for now, but that’ll change later:


But they’re now basically glittery smurfs; on to the crimson:

(V Gory Red, V Scarlett Red & GW Nuln Oil)


Oh, and that’s GW Snakebite Leather on the ‘Dorns Arrow’ strap, and some V Glorious Gold on Kantors terminator badge and the storm bolters magazine ‘innards’, washed with GW Agrax Earthshaker. The Crux Terminatus’ are V Bonewhite, GW Agrax Earthshaker, then Bonewhite again.

Now, proper bases:


(5mm thick cork floor tiles from Homebase, ripped into chunks and stuck to 40mm bases, primed white, and sand glued on everywhere else. To keep the minis in place, they’re pinned all the way through to the plastic on the base itself)

And then the ‘rocks’ painted with V Cold Grey, and washed with GW Nuln Oil:


Now, I can’t help but think that something’s missing.


Kantor’s backpack.



And all together, with a background that isn’t a palette:


I mentioned earlier I was using Kantor’s various fist embellishments as a guide for some greenstuff press moulds: the terminators’ shoulder pad icons were taken from Kantor’s left shoulder pad.

They’re not perfect, but they definitely came out ‘ok’:


So, at the moment a Finecast Kantor would have set me back £11, and the shooty Terminators another £28. So this month I’m £11 under budget, leaving me £61 for next month.

Plan for Month 2

As I said, I need bodies. So a Tactical Squad and a Rhino is on the cards. A couple of fortuitous eBay postings later, and these are waiting for me:


Now, they all started off like the two on the right, but I’d stripped eight before realising I should probably get some sort of record of my starting point made. (I have been using fairy power spray to take paint off, but I’ve had some problems with plastics before, and I don’t want to risk the beakies, so I’m trying acetone free nail varnish remover. It’s REALLY good, but make sure it’s the acetone free stuff. That bit’s important.) The rhino’s in a bit of a state, but it’s been sloppily glued, so it easily snapped apart again. This wasn’t really a hard choice – marines, good; rhino, crap on its own, but good for carrying dudes, then randomly going full throttle at the end of the shooting phase to give cover or block the enemy’ line of sight, or even tank shocking the enemy into a nice cluster for the flamer.

That comes to £45.50, which leaves me £15.50, should I need it. Oh, and I won’t/can’t use the army painter spray – it kept coming off the terminators, so I spent about a quarter of the time touching edges back up again. And it’s been discontinued. So I guess I’ll be painting with the Ultramarine spray, and LOTS of wash to darken it back down again.


One Response to “Space Marines – Crimson Fists, by James Dillon-Lee”

  1. Daniel K April 7, 2013 at 18:03 #

    Loving the old school models. 🙂 keep up the excellent work mate 🙂

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