INQ28: Suffer Not The Alien to Live

Back when the Primaris Marines were first released, I got myself a single snapfit model from the Dark Imperium boxed set to take a firsthand look at the scale and experiment a bit. Those early experiments were both interesting and educational — but of course I at least wanted to get a finished model out of it all. So after a bit of thought, I came to the conclusion that it might be fun to make my first modern Primaris Marine into the most archetypal Space Marine I could possibly come up with.

It was also clear to me that the model would become a part of my INQ28 collection, so I thought about what kind of Astartes would make sense. I already had two members of the Golden Legion, my DIY chapter (the finished model for Praetor Janus Auriga and a converted Chapter Master), so I wanted to try something different. And then it hit me — why not turn this guy into a Deathwatch Marine?

Now the 2016 Deathwatch craze left me mostly cold back when it happened, but there were still several reasons for going with a Watch-Brother: Tying Space Marines into Inquisitor can be a slightly delicate proposition, but the Deathwatch, with its direct Ordo Xenos affiliation, would at least provide a decent excuse. I also fondly reflected on Commissar Molotov’s work, that is his original Deathwatch Marine (created many years ago) as well as the kick-ass Deathwatch killteam he has been working on for years.

And finally, let’s not forget that one of the most iconic models of the 54mm Inquisitor range was a Deathwatch Marine as well:

That’s right, dear old Artemis! In fact, the model actually checked several boxes: He’s an Inquisitor character, he’s a member of the Deathwatch, and he also has that clean, 2nd edition inspired look that seems so archetypal of the Space Marines to me. His hairstyle alone instantly recalls this old chestnut here:

There’s a certain nostalgia about the Space Marines from those years, especially about the plastic models from the 2nd edition starter box, with each of the officers impeccably groomed like a news anchor. Unfortunately, the 2nd edition plastic Marine models haven’t really aged all that well, and the only time I’ve ever used one of those was for a rather depressing piece of terrain:

But I thought that it might be fun to channel this older look for a change, while also creating something that drew from the classic Artemis model at the same time. So I picked up some Deathwatch bitz and also had a scrounge through the old bitzbox. And after a while, I finally came up with a version I liked:

Everything I wanted to do was basically already there: the boltgun as the iconic weapon for a Space Marine. The 80s news anchor haircut. And a bit of bling that sells the model as a brother of the Deathwatch.

I still made some final tweaks before I was completely happy with the model, though: The original Primaris backpack was replaced with an actual Deathwatch backpack, I added a helmet clipped to the model’s belt and tweaked the arrangement of the various gear until I was happy — I actually love how the extra space that comes with the bigger Primaris scale allows for adding a more realistic amount of gear to the models without the Marines looking overcluttered!

Anyway, here’s the completed build I went with in the end:

I went with an Mk. IV helmet, both because I love the design and because I wanted to make it clear that, “in universe”, the model isn’t actually a Primaris Marine, but rather a regularly sized – if true scaled – Space Marine. As for the gun, after a bit of hemming and hawing, I ended up not replacing the bolt rifle with an actual Deathwatch bolter, mostly because I really liked the way it looked on the model. It’s also arguably hi-tech enough to serve as a suitable standin for the kind of weapons used by the Deathwatch, even if it’s not quite the genuine article. Apart from that, I tried to incorporate all the gear that would make sense: The Marine has a boltgun, a helmet, a combat knife, several grenades, and even some alternate ammunition (for those especially pesky aliens, you know? ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

And while it would only affect his right shoulder pad, I also needed to decide which chapter of origin to go with. I thought back to my original mission statement: the most archetypal classic Astartes imaginable — and what could be more archetypal than the Ultramarines?

To be perfectly honest with you, I also felt like I needed to cut the XIII Legion some slack after draping so many dead or dying Ultramarines across the bases of my 30k World Eaters ๐Ÿ˜‰

When it came to the actual paintjob, the black armour was a concern, obviously: Use dark grey as a base colour, and the armour wouldn’t end up looking black. Use pure black and it would look as though I’d forgotten to paint that area. In the end, I mostly played it by ear and combined edge highlighting with a bit of sponge weathering — carefully and selectively sponging on some Leadbelcher added visual texture to the armour and also had the added benefit of drawing the eye away from my sloppy line work ๐Ÿ˜‰

During the painting process, Jeff Vader’s Deathwatch Marines were an invaluable source: There’s one older pre-primaris model and one guy converted from one of the new models. and I kept looking at these for reference while painting. Now I’ll never be ableย to paint like Jeff Vader – not by a long shot – but having the inspiration there was a huge help, indeed!

Speaking of Jeff Vader, I also nicked another idea from him: A while ago, he mentioned that he was using an ultra thin pigment liner for some of the symbols and freehands on his models, and after unsuccessfully experimenting with several pens, I ended up getting the one he had recommended, a Staedtler 0,05 mm pigment liner:

The tip is so thin that it’s really easy to add rather elaborate designs to your models. The ink is also waterproof — although I found that it’s really easy to rub off with your fingers, so I added a layer of thinned sepia glaze on top to seal the ink.

As my first proper experiment with this new tool, I carefully drew an Inquisition symbol onto the model’s right kneepad and also added the tri-barred ][ around the skull on the tilt plate. The pigment liner is also an awesome tool for adding fine script to purity seals!

Anyway, here’s what the mostly finished model looked like at this point:

When it came to basing the model, I decided to go with something pretty simple that would fit the lion’s share of my INQ28 collection (i.e. brownish and slightly underhive-y). I also wanted to include some Xenos related touches. Now for an Ultramarine, what would be more appropriate than some Tyranid remains, right? Good thing the new Citadel Skulls kit features lots and lots of beautiful gaunt skulls, among others — I may not be all that interested in Tyranids as a faction (the creepy awesomeness of Genestealer Cults notwithstanding), but I do love those gaunt skulls! The tip of a Termagaunt weapon was also added to the base to represent something glistening and Gigeresque.

So, without further ado, here’s the finished Watch-Brother:



Arcturus Diomedes

Brother of the Deathwatch
originally of the Ultramarines

This was my first experience with painting a Primaris, and I have to agree with the prevailing opinion I’ve seen online: These guys are pretty fun to paint! I am also really chuffed with how the model has turned out!

Here he is next to my first truescale Marine, Praetor Janus Auriga of the Golden Legion:

As you can see, Janus is a fair bit bulkier and also slightly taller — in all fairness, I had little to work from in pre-Primaris times, so the model was really a bit of a proof of concept. He still holds up rather well, though, if I do say so myself — I’ll just need to go with the old “tall, even for an Astartes” clichรฉ. Plus, in any case, Brother Diomedes certainly reads as a true scale Astartes when placed next to a model of “regular” human size:

As for how Diomedes ties into the Velsen Sector’s background and my overarching INQ28 narrative(s), that remains to be seen: I’ll happily admit that this was a case where I simply wanted to build and paint a character for the pure joy of it, then ask questions later. I am fairly certain he’ll end up as a member of a small Killteam, however — in fact, a second member from the Iron Hands, possibly even the killteam’s leader, has already been built a while ago:

There are also ideas regarding a Xenos-cultย (“The Children of Imago”) knocking around in the back of my head, so it stands to reason that Arcturus and his buddies may have to defend Velsen against the abomination of the alien at some point. And since fellow hobbyist PDH is currently working on some rather beautiful Deathwatch Marines as well, it looks as though I’ll have enough ideas to “borrow” for the foreseeable future ๐Ÿ˜‰

For now, however, I am really happy with the finished model. I rarely ever paint loyalist Space Marines, but when I do, I want to make each and every one of them count! ๐Ÿ™‚

As usual, I would love to hear any feedback you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

30 Responses to “INQ28: Suffer Not The Alien to Live”

  1. He’s brilliant mate – great pose, and I love how you’ve achieved the worn look on the black armour, while that smokey red is just beautiful. Nice job dude!

  2. Inquisitor Mikhailovich Says:

    Honestly, I’m kind of floored. You’ve done a better job with the Deathwatch than I have, that’s for sure – although you do have quite a bit more experience.

    Another one for the “inspiration” folder of bookmarks!

  3. Great work! That black turned out very nicely.

  4. Seems like this INQ28 train cannot be stopped! Great job on this, as usual! I’d love to see a review from your side on the primaris lore, though, as much as i like the models, i really cannot come to terms with their official background…

    • Hmm, I try to ignore the lore as much as I can, to be honest: It feels to me as though GW really wedged the Primaris into the existing background sideways. If you ask me, it would have been a mauch better call to just release these as a replacement for the older Marines, because I honestly cannot see any seasoned hobby veteran wanting to start a Marine army based on “normal” Space Marines now. Plus the scale creep was already fully underway anyway — just look at the Deathwatch, Thousand Sons or CSM special characters…

      • I totally agree, and hobby-wise I think yours is the best choice. Still I must admit that as a compulsive BL reader I’m a bit scared in a few years most of the material shall be primaris- related…

      • Hm, the cynical way to see this would be that regular marines will probably eventually go the way of the Dodo, both in model form AND in the fluff, so Primaris Marines should end up being the new standard anyway ๐Ÿ˜‰ After all, isn’t there a process in-universe to convert regular Astartes into Primaris, or is that just something I’ve heard somewhere?

      • Well, we can only wait and see, isn’t it? ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Very nice. My local GW was giving out Primaris for everyone to paint up a different chapter. I also went with an ultramarine deathwatch. Mine looks like garbage compared to yours though.
    Love the shouting head. There is something very rewarding about trying to capture the archetypal anything. Vanilla is a flavour too.
    The leather loin cloth is a great tie in with his Ultramarine roots. The helmet is a great little attention to detail.
    The pen idea is a great tip, I’m totally going to try that out.

    • Thanks a lot, mate! I had to smile at the GW Primaris promotion, because the same just happened here a fortnight ago, when a new Warhammer store actually opened in my hometown. Yay! I was to late to enter this guy, obviously, but my models made it to the store’s Facebook page the day I first went there, which was pretty nice too ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Nice work, man. Lovely clean paint job. Yeah, I wasn’t blown away by the Deathwatch range when they came out either. Lots of nice bits, and a nifty character, but the overall tone was off. Deathwatch marines are meant to bring their armour and war gear from their own chapter, so the homogenous “spec-ops” Deathwatch armour misses the point, for me. Deathwatch marines are better on their own, or with much more personalisation, which yours has in spades. Thumbs up for the red bolter, too.

    • Oh, I really liked the models (except maybe for some of the cornier weapon options), it was more that everyone seemed to go crazy over the release, when I thought to myself: “Huh, another Marine army.” Creating a small true scale killteam should still be fun, though.

      There was never really any question about which colour to go with for the bolter, both for nostalgia reasons and because the red does a terrific job of breaking up all the black.

  7. Oh wow… bad ass ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I love the way youโ€™ve channelled the feel of Artemis and the old 2nd edition sergeant while still guving him his own character, and putting your own spin on it! Liking the way the colours have turned out, too.

    I also think he complements your previous work on Janus, who seems much more โ€˜blinged upโ€™ with the gold armour and artificer detailing, whereas Diomedes seems much more practical (although as to noted, thereโ€™s still an awful lot goin* on there) – just a nice contrast between the two.

    Iโ€™m also really looking forward to seeing what you do with the Iron Hand marine – I still love the use of mechanicus parts there!

    • Thanks a lot, mate! Dear old Janus is still very close to my heart — and you are perfectly right, I think of him as wearing a particularly bulky and ornate suit of Artficer armour, due to his role as a (reluctant) ambassador of the chapter and political representative of the chapter master.

  8. Edmund Normal Says:

    Great work! I’m a huge fan of repurposing Primaris marines with a more INQ28 vibe. I shall definitely be giving the fineliner thing a go, too!

    • Cheers, man! Much as I loathe the Primaris fluff, the models are a godsend for making true scale (i.e. “Pre-Primaris”) Astartes in the INQ28 setting.

  9. He looks really great – I can’t fault your painting at all. But if I can be a slight bit critical… there’s so much red on the model that he doesn’t at all “read” as an Ultramarine to me. He feels more like a Blood Angel or other “red” chapter. I know the Inquisition loves them a lot of red, and 2e UM Bolters are also red.

    I know he’s already completed, but perhaps a white U on a blue field on his left knee would help to balance all the red spot colours on his pack and shield?

    Or you could ignore me and leave him as is. It’s not like he’s *bad* in any way.. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hmm, the thing is that this is actually the “proper” Deathwatch scheme, so I tried to recreate it fairly faithfully. You’re right that a blue Ultramarine keepad might be a cool addition, but I am honestly slightly afraid of messing up an otherwise good (or even great) model by adding a subpar decal (or freehand) to that small curved surface.

      Ultimately, I think the fact he’s an Ultramarine does come through in the build as well as in the paintjob, what with the classic XIII legion haircut and the pteryges, but it ultimately comes down to personal taste, of course.

      • Well, the black armour is proper. The red flourishes (backpack, shield) are optional (and cool looking) additions – and I do certainly see how they fit in with the standard Inquisitorial colour palette. As you say, the right knee often features red for unit markings with the newest model range.
        No argument that you’ve created a great looking model here, though! ๐Ÿ™‚

        Regarding decals – and no worries about *this* model, but I find that the Gloss Varnish/Micro Sol/Micro Set/Gloss Varnish method works really well. Especially when you want an icon somewhere but the build of the model just won’t allow for anything in relief. You’re probably already well familiar with it, but worth a mention just in case.

  10. […] I’ve painted a second 30k World Eaters Contemptor that I am still really happy with. My very first Primaris Marine has been painted. And I have finally managed to paint a RT era Imperial Guard trooper that had made […]

  11. […] and painting the most archetypal, 2nd edition-style Space Marine I could come up with a while ago, Brother Arcturus Diomedes of the […]

  12. […] projects that…just happened somehow, when the original plan was simply to build and paint one archetypal, 2nd edition influenced Space Marine. As you can see, four members have been finished so far, the bitz for a fifth member are currently […]

  13. […] bad for a problem that actually began as wanting to paint a single, quintessentially loyalist Astartes back in spring, wouldn’t you agree? I think I may have gotten any itch I might have had to paint loyal Space […]

  14. […] starters, here’s my new World Eater next to Brother Arcturus Diomedes, based on a Primaris […]

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