Creating a Space Marines Chapter

Hi everyone!

If you’re wondering why there has been few devlogs about Minibots Arena, there’s two reasons. The first reason is that I haven’t been able to play-test the game as much as I’d like and I’ve hit a wall, design-wise.

Secondly is that I’ve been pouring my energy into a new hobby: Warhammer 40K.

At the moment I’m busy creating my own custom Space Marines chapter.

Now, I know very little about 40K and the lore is incredibly rich and deep. I’ve stopped buying gunpla kits and am spending money I shouldn’t be spending on miniatures instead (I classify it as “research” for my game).

Here in Vietnam, average salaries are much lower than Canada, America or England for example, so Games Workshop products are certainly a luxury. To make it more affordable, Warhammer hobbyists here have started doing “box shares” – someone will post an add with all units and squads separated and priced. Then it’s first come, first serve. Once each unit has been claimed and paid for, the box is ordered and the buyers agree on a meeting place, show up with nippers and the goods are distributed.


A recent box share on our group was for this set – Wake the Dead – and 3 boxes ended up being ordered. I got a 5-man squad and a Lieutenant for about 30% of the retail price that way.

And so I’ve been accumulating all sorts of 40K minis, mostly Space Marines.

I owned Space Marines when I was a teenager. Just one squad. They were painted deep purple and black. I liked the purple because it looked different than any other army I had seen in the magazines at the time.

This time around, I want to create my own chapter with custom colors and heroes and lore. I thought it would be a straight-forward process.

I was wrong. Oh, so wrong. But I welcome the creative challenge.

Firstly, the army colors. It’s been really hard to pick a theme, as everything I see looks cool as heck. I’ve been playing with a paint planner website and looking at the 1000 chapters already existing, canon.

The chapter colors I love.

Additionally, every chapter doesn’t play the same so if I want to go deeper in the lore and game coherence, I need to keep that in mind. For example, the Blood Angels and successor chapter Flesh Tearers focus on melee combat, and their lore is as appealing to me as their aesthetics, so I’ve been leaning towards red as the primary color.

Last month I also spent time on the Magic the Gathering: Arena beta, their new online platform, and I’ve recently unlocked the Vampires deck, which is pretty kick-ass. As always with MtG comes great art, and I finally had inspiration for my army colors.

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The Vampire Knights (conquistadors?) are simply awesome and look great to boot. I was then tempted to garb my Chapter in Gold armor over Black equipment, with white highlights. Here’s what I came up with for basic color schemes.

spacemarine (14)

Gold armor matched with black, and a tiny bit of white. The face is white to represent Vampires. However, after taking a look at gold-painted miniatures online I felt like they would look tacky instead of intimidating. Plus, the color scheme reminds me of the Boston Bruins which I detest. Back to square one.

While participating in box shares and scurrying the local groups for cheap minis I lucked out and was able to get my hands on 20 Skitarii and a tech-priest for incredibly cheap (since they were assembled and half-painted). I love pretty much every army featured in 40K (except the deamons) so I also added few Astra Militarum units to my collection.

Lore-wise, I’ve been trying to figure things out to make everything work together. Also, using various websites that offer guidance on creating custom chapters (This one and this one), I’m starting to see a clearer picture – but more on that later. For now let’s keep the focus on colors.

My chapter will be a successor chapter of Blood Angels, indebted to Adeptus Mechanicus forces of Mars and I want the colors to reflect that – so, red as primary color. Here’s two custom chapters that I’ve found online for inspiration.

The picture on the left, the Iron Dragons, look awesome and cemented my decision. My forces would be dabbed in red and black.

Meet the Red Platoon. Or the Iron Platoon. Or the Sons of Mars. Or the Blood Patrol. I’m not quite sure on the name yet, to be honest.

spacemarine (4).jpg

This is the color scheme I’ve settled on for now. I find that they look quite ominous this way and are a bit of an opposite to the Flesh Tearers – their ideologies are equally different so lore-wise it works for me.

I also quite like the Raptors color scheme (simple dull green) but I’m not sure I can pull it off without an airbrush, so for now those chapter colors are off the table.

If you have any suggestions, material or websites I should look at, please let me know in the comments.

Feel free to shamelessly promote your own chapter as well! I love to see that stuff!

Thanks for reading.


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