So, how exactly do you make True Scale Space Marines? Here’s a handy tutorial:
In the end, you’ll have turned a 10 part model into a 40 part model. Sound like fun?
My two primary demonstration models will be this Apothecary here:
And the Section Leader
Step 1: Preparing the models
Well, the first thing that needs to be done is to decide what you want to do with the model. In the case of the Apothecary, I liked the posture of his legs, so I was only going to be extending them, rather than a full rebuild. In the case of the section leader, I was using the old “squatting” legs from the old Tactical Squad kit, and wanted to do a fully new pose with him. This meant cutting the feet free of the model.
With these projects, I’ll typically work in batches. You’ll need to allow time for all the components to dry and set once you’ve glued them anyway, so doing them in groups of 4-5 may cut your downtime significantly. You can see with the ones below, I’ve removed their feet. The difference in the poses you can achieve can be dramatic since the foot will no longer be anchored to the leg in a static position.
However, if you’re using specialized legs, or if you’re simply happy with the pose the legs are currently in, you can leave them alone. In the case of the Apothecary, his legs came from the Death Company kit, and I was happy with the way they were standing. So I moved on to the next step, which was inserting plastic card spacers.
I use 1mm thick card on the legs. One in the shin, one at the hip. If you’re keeping the pose, you might want to do a mid-thigh cut, but I’ve found I like the waist cut better. It gives a lot more options later.
For the torsos, I use 1.5mm thick plastic card, cutting it into strips to line the outside of the torso “ring”. Cut/file the outside edge smooth, then, using a rounded-tip hobby blade, scrape the inner side into a rounded shape. Adding another small square inside (or some putty) will allow more contact points for gluing the torso to the legs later.
This will add length to the torso. Now, I add a lot of gear to my Space Marines because aesthetically I like them that way. If you aren’t going to be adding pouches and grenades, you will need to invest in some Green Stuff to model out their belt lines.
Step 2: Re-assembly.
Carefully, using hobby snips or a hobby blade, cut the excess down around the legs. Then, even more carefully, use the blade to trim it as close to the contour of the leg as possible. Once this is done, you can file it smooth if necessary.
Once you’ve shaved down the plastic inserts, you’ll want to use either Green Stuff or Liquid Green Stuff to fill the gaps.
Now to prepare the pose. What are your True Scale Marines doing? Are they aiming? Patroling? For the Apothecary, I wanted him to be holding his gun at the “alert”, which means with the muzzle pointing slightly downward, but ready to be brought up for firing. I felt this gave a certain “attitude” to the model. So how do we accomplish this with the lackluster arms provided in most Space Marine kits? With a knife of course.
Any time you’re posing a Space Marine (or any model for that matter), you want to be considering range of movement. At the very least, try the pose yourself. If you can’t do it comfortably, why would the Space Marine? If you’re trying to impart a swinging motion with a melee weapon for example, try a couple swings while watching yourself in the mirror. Make sure you know how that weapon is used in real life too. You swing a top-heavy weapon like an axe or a hammer much differently than you swing a sword which is balanced closer to the grip.
My Apothecary looks like this:
So, how do we get there?
Sorry I didn’t take any in-progress pictures of the arms. That was an oversight I’ll correct in the future. For now, I’ll get as good of shots as we can for it. Fortunately I couldn’t find my small drill bit for the barrel so the boltgun isn’t glued in place yet.
Here’s a basic diagram of the arm cuts.
First, we’re going to clip the arm just below the “under shoulder” that the shoulder pad attaches to. Once this is done, we can rotate the arm to do whatever we want, from an aiming pose, to the “alert” pose. This cut is fundamental to pretty much all the Space Marines I do, and is the base of posing. Think about your own body. Almost all of the directions you can move your arm start at the shoulder.
Second we’re going to clip the wrist and flip it around so that the wrist soft armor is sloping up, instead of down. Sounds confusing, but an upward slope will obviously give us a downward angled hand.
Now, since we’ve fundamentally altered the way the right hand sits, the left hand isn’t going to sit flush on the bolter. So it needs to be cut free and rotated. You can see this best on the Section Leader:
The Apothecary doesn’t make a great example because I had to cut the whole forearm off that model to replace it with the Narthecium anyway. Here it is on another model, and you can see the far more drastic angle that the cuts achieved.
And there you go. You’ve now made a 30-40 part model:
- Legs – 11 parts
- Torso – 6-7 parts
- Arms – 2-5 parts each
- Weapon (my Cerceus Pattern Bolters are 3 parts, but you don’t have to go that crazy)
- Gear (I use anywhere from 10-14 accessory parts per model)
Where do they stand next to other models in the Games Workshop range?
Next to some of my Eldar Corsairs here:
With a Steel Legion Ogryn here:
With a Tau Fire Warrior pulse rifle conversion and one of my Ork conversions. Though the Ork has been converted to be taller than the usual GW model. You can check out my article on Ork Boy Conversions if you’re interested on the details of that project.
Alongside Genestealer Cult conversions of Neophyte Hybrids from the Deathwatch Overkill game
So, do the new proportions work? Let’s ask Leonardo Da Vinci:
Questions? Comments? Leave one below!
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