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Creating Pre-Heresy marines – part 2

As part 1 was well received, I am quite hyped about producing more tutorials and extending the existing guide. A few questions have been asked in response to part 1 which I shall first address:

I do intend to paint the model created in part 1. I don’t intend to produce a guide for painting the model, but showing the finished item is a great way to round off the article.

The notch cut into the top of the chest is based on Games Workshop’s mark II power armour. Most of the chest is hidden by the boltgun and arms, so the rest of the chest was left untouched. As you will see below, I plan to address each mark of armour with their own article(s), so a full and accurate set of mark II chests will appear here in the future to explore this detail.

As for as requests are concerned, I have had suggestions to cover different marks of armour and different models – such as the standard multipart marines, rather than Blackreach marines. These will all be included in future articles of this series.

Onto part 2 – How to create Mark I power armour!

I feel this is one of the hardest marks to produce because of the amount of greenstuff required on the legs for chainmail and the layered shoulder pads. However, most of the model has very convenient parts available from GW’s range of models.

Here is a picture of GW’s mark I armour – Thunder armour. Picture is courtesy of Gagoc TheAncient:


First up is the list of components required:

A Cadian helmet:

mwg_mk1_02A topknot for the helmet:

mwg_mk1_03A mark IV chest:

mwg_mk1_04Mark V or VI legs:

mwg_mk1_05Suitable arms – gloved works best, although bare arms are workable too:

mwg_mk1_06A pair of plain pads -  unless you cheat and purchase some mark I pads from a third party, which I cannot publicly condone of course!

mwg_mk1_07Finally, you will need some basic modelling components:

Craft knife
Glue (I exclusively use superglue)
Modelling putty (Green or Grey stuff for me)
A leather hole punch or other tool for cutting circles

Building the model:

I began from the feet up. Choosing the Berserker legs, the trims had to first be cut and filed down to the armour plates:

mwg_mk1_08Now the areas that have to be carved out for chain mail need to be marked. I painted these on to illustrate the areas for the tutorial, but in practice this made the task a lot easier. Make sure you mark them somehow as a guide for cutting:

mwg_mk1_09Beginning with the lower legs, cut along the marked line or place the knife along it and put some pressure onto the knife. I cut about 1mm deep and then scraped the knife towards the back of the leg. Don’t cut too deep as you need to sculpt the boot tops out of this area too.

mwg_mk1_10Repeating this on both sides of the leg, I next marked a horizontal curve at the top half of the calf for the boot top and cut down. Ensure the area below the boot top is seamless with the foot of the leg by scraping or filing the area, defining the boot top and skin plates.

mwg_mk1_11Continue to cut the areas marked – above the knees and at the hips. There’s no issue with cutting too deep here as you will fill it with greenstuff later. Just ensure you dont cut the leg in half.


Then finish the carving with the back of the thighs. Like the shins, cut straight edges on the back to give the impression of plates.

mwg_mk1_13With the chest, only the wires and front panel need carving down to the breast plate. If you have pipes or protruding detail behind or beneathe the plate, cut this out too.

mwg_mk1_14Admire your work so far!

mwg_mk1_15The helmet needs a good trim. Cut down the blocks on the side, back and eagle on the front.


Mark a circle around the top of the head, leaving a small area above the face. Carve and file this smooth, and then attach the top knot. I cut 2 small plasticard studs using a leather punch and glued them to the sides of the helmet. If you want to be true to the original model, a small strip of green stuff can be placed across the eyes and smoothed out to be a visor:


Place the head onto the rest of the model to admire the composition so far!


View part 2.

Rusty Dice

Aint nothing but a horn

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4 Responses

  1. Itkovian says:

    Looking good so far. Couple of comments:

    – If you use the Sergeant Haas torso, you can just leave the pipes in place and shave off the aquila (at least judging by this: http://media.photobucket.com/image/thunder%20armour/Marshal_Weiss/mk1_thunder.jpg?o=24

    – Not sure about bare arms being a possibility seen as the whole point of Thunder Armour was to enhance upper body strength (that is, unless you meant that gauntlets would be sculpted over the top).

    Looking forward to the next instalment.

  2. Whitehorn says:

    The sergeant torso is a little harder to get (1 per pack) but works as you say. I’m trying to replicate the metal figures for the tutorial, so it will be chain mail where those pipes are.

    You’re right about the bare arms. Most of that area need to be chain mail – bare arms are less work to cut down for this.

  3. King Fluff says:

    great tutorial – was on the verge of making some MK1’s now I have a great starting point 🙂

  1. December 7, 2009

    […] I power armour: Part A Part B Part […]

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