Creating Pre-Heresy marines – part 2c: Mark I Power Armour

How long should you try? Until.” – Jim Rohn

This is the third and final modeling part of the Mark I armour tutorial and quite a hefty article too, but I wanted to bring it to conclusion.

View part 2.

To recap where we left off, our Mark I power armour requires arms, shoulder pads, a backpack and some final details.

The arms, as previously selected, need little work. Thunder armour examples all have gloves, so choosing Chaos Space Marine arms with gloves is obvious. Removing any spikes, skulls or Chaotic insignia is highly recommended, lest we be labeled heretics. You may want to sculpt chainmail on the upper arms and elbows – refer to the previous article for a quick means of achieving this. Personally, I think the oversized elbow pads suit this mark of armour perfectly.


Creating mark I pads from scratch is probably the most lengthy task in this tutorial because you are sculpting a lot of putty onto such a small model, requiring each step to harden before continuing.

To begin, you should find a suitable pad to sculpt on, ensuring it is completely smooth. I took a basic marine pad and shaved off the trim. Then you need to mark lines on the pad to guide where each layer is to be sculpted.


Once you are happy with the guide lines, roll a small sausage of putty and lay it across the first layer of the pad. It does not need to be the exact length – being too long is better than short, as you can simply cut off the excess.


Take a sculpting tool with a flat edge and stroke the putty towards the top of the pad, all across the length. Again, do not worry about going beyond the edges of the pad – this can be cut off later.mwg_mk1_32

Now use the sculpting tool to straighten the edge of the putty, pushing up from the bottom of the pad towards the top, so that the line of putty has a flat, smooth edge. This will push the ‘contour’ line of the putty into an ridged edge.


Repeat the last two steps to smooth out the ridge and further define the required shape. Do not overwork the putty, aim for a rough shape and concentrate on getting the putty into the right place to form the layer of the pad. Any excess or uneven areas can be cut and filed once it hardens.


As the pad is being sculpted in small layers, it is best to approach a single layer at a time and let it harden. If you place the model under heat,  such as a lamp’s bulb, it will harden within 30 minutes rather than leaving it overnight. I found it to be workable after 10-15m using just a household lamp.

Once all 3 layers are sculpted, you should have a pad that looks a little less grissly than mine below. With the putty hardened, it can be attacked with knife and file. First cut off any putty that has gone beyond the edges of the pad. Then slice along the horizontal lines to achieve a straight edge. Finally file the curved areas smooth.


The final touch to the pad is adding studs.  I used the same simple method explained in an earlier tutorial. As an additional tip, you may need to glue the putty to the pad throughout drilling the holes for the studs. As the putty is so thin it can easily lose its grip on the pad when drilling into it. I use a flat sculpting tool to ‘spread’ a bit of glue onto the underside of any putty that comes loose.mwg_mk1_36

You will need 2 pads, so the above needs repeating in its entirety unless you cast your pads. Here’s one I made earlier, using grey putty!


The end is in sight! With the pads done there are only a few minor bits required to finish the model. The legs need addressing next. With the chainmail hardened and legs attached, the belts can be added. Each armour plate is strapped to the marine’s legs using crude belts.

To create the belt straps I cut very thin strips of plasticard. This stuff is paper thin, so very flexible. Cut the strips too long rather than short and glue one end to the edge of the Armour pads. Let the glue dry properly before continuing.


Paste some glue onto the inside of the strips and then ‘stroke’ the plasticard onto the model, starting from the tip already attached. A curved sculpting tool is ideal here, but your finger works too!


Use a very sharp knife to cut off any excess plasticard and press it firmly onto the back of the leg. It should reach to the opposide side of the armour plate. Repeat for the other leg. I found it easier to do 1 leg at a time so that the opposite straps of card don’t get in the way when trying to press one down.mwg_mk1_41

To complete the armour we need a backpack. Chaos Space Marine backpacks are perfect for this due to their industrial looking design – wires! I cut off the vents just past the point where the wires join the vent arms. mwg_mk1_42

Clean off the excess plastic from the now removed vents and reattach to the backpack.


Assemble the model and admire all your hard work! Mine looks a little tall here as he’s assembled with tac.



No doubt people will want to see this fellow painted, so my question to you is which legion?

Rusty Dice

Aint nothing but a horn

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10 Responses

  1. Apologise says:

    Looking great! These tutorials are fantastically well thought-out, clear and beautifully executed. As to legion, I’d love to see a Thunder-armoured Blood Angel. 🙂

  2. misterjustin says:

    Sons of Horus, of course. If you’re going to go for a pre-heresy Legion you might as well go straight to the top.

  3. King Fluff says:


  4. Itkovian says:

    Dusk Raiders! 😀 Either that or War Hounds.

    Very nicely done. I’m going to have to get me some more chaos backpacks, they look great modded.

  5. Bryant says:


  6. Neil of Orange says:

    Its gotta be one of the original 20, I’m thinking Fists or Ultra if you can bring yourself to do loyalists. Otherwise Emporer’s Son please!

  7. Averykess says:

    Luna Wolves

  8. Adam says:

    Imperial Fists, you could get nice contrasting colours with the topknot in red and the shades in blue.

  9. max says:

    no salamaders

  1. November 19, 2009

    […] Another head on my Mark I marine, as featured in a MWG tutorial. […]

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