Creating Pre-Heresy marines – part 4: Mark IV power armour

Continuing the guides for producing pre-Heresy armour, next in line we have Mark IV:Maximus.

The Maximus suit saw heavy production towards the end of the Great Crusade, so was very common amongst legions involved in the Horus Heresy.

Thanks to the Red Scorpion upgrade kit produced by Forgeworld, this set of armour is very easy to create, although there’s always room for improvement and variation. You can literally equip your entire army by purchasing the Red Scorpion kit, which gives you Mark IV chests and heads. There’s also a alternative head in the Black Templar upgrade sprue with the more ‘snouty’ beak plate on the helmet.

To create Mark IV power armour

First we need to source the most suitable pieces to build the suit. As mentioned the Red Scorpion kit from Forgeworld is perfect for the helmet and chest:


Both parts can be used as they are, but quite often we see the stomach plate on the chest extended below the waist.mwg_mk402

Two standard shoulder pads.


I use Chaos Space Marine backpacks almost exclusively for pre-heresy. There’s a guide to making these here.


The Blackreach boxed set has a marine with perfect Mark IV legs. For a very quick conversion using these marines as a basis, see this tutorial.mwg_mk405

Alternatively and to make this article a tutorial rather than just a bits guide, you can use Mark V/IV legs. They need to be the single plate variant on the lower legs, not those with round knee pads.

Any pair of modern arms (not gloved) are suitable for Mark IV.


To make the mark IV knee pads, mark lines across the top of the shin plates. Starting level with the lower half of the back of the knee mesh.mwg_mk407

Using a sharp craft knife, trace the line with the blade to score a line into the plastic. Keep repeating this until you get a decent depth cut across the line.


Then place the knife into the cut at one side and slowly but firmly scrape the knife upwards. Move the blade a little further along the line and then scrape again. Continue this all the way across the length of the line and repeat again, but scrape downwards.

This gives the cut a smooth but defined cut, separating the new knee pad from the rest of the plate. If the top of the pads are significantly curved, cut or file them flat a little.


To complete the knee pads, cut the ends at either side so that the pad edge is at a right angle with the shin plate.mwg_mk411

For the shoulder pads, they can be used without any adjustment, but in some concepts the trim is slimmer. I trace a line along the middle of the trim and cut away the inside edge, halving the width.


To lengthen the plate that extends down over the stomach area, first take some thing plasticard. Cut it to fit into the are below the cables. Glue this and let it fully set before moving on.


Then cut the plasticard into the desired shape, extending down beyond the torso.mwg_mk414

If you have made a very clean cut, you can conclude the chest here. Otherwise, I tidy up and further define this plate with modelling putty. Place a small sausage of putty onto the plasticard.


Work the putty across the plasticard and into the gaps at the sides. Prioritise getting the putty flat and smooth. Any excess on the edges can simply be cut and filed once the putty cures.


With all parts complete, your marine is ready to assemble. Certainly the easiest mark of armour to create yet!


Rusty Dice

Aint nothing but a horn

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2 Responses

  1. Itkovian says:

    Looking good sir! Another thing you could do is leave the torso as is and add that length of green stuff/plasticard to the legs as a crotch plate.

  2. David Symonds says:

    Thankyou so much! You have just saved me so much money on bits and FW legs. Right now onto soem mk4 Blood Angels….

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