Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Ultramarine - RTB01 Sergeant

I managed to paint up another of my old plastic space marines. Not bad seeing as I only posted pics of the last one a month ago. I had a few different models prepped and ready to choose from and decided to go with the squad sergeant. Main reason was an excuse to have a stab at painting one of the bare heads. It's not the best bit of sculpting and even back in 1989 when I bought the RTB01 boxed set I thought the bare heads were a bit shit. That said, I do rather enjoy trying to do something with the less impressive models of old.

So, generally it's the same deal as the first model I painted although the head needed quite a bit of time to get right. The hair has no texture at all so I had to paint that all on. The bionic eye still looks a bit soft but there's not much I can do about that. The lens was tricky as it's just a hole and I wish I'd filled it before painting. Even after varnishing the model I went back to it and tweaked it and I think it looks alright now. I have seen some people improve these heads with putty or replace them entirely with better looking parts but I wanted to keep this real old school and not fuck about with things.

I'm not keen on the knife on the leg as it's not got a scabbard and looks a little odd just floating there but it was glued on with floods of liquid poly 25+ years ago and is utterly fused to the leg. I guess it's a reminder of my younger days. It's not the worst aesthetic choice I've seen though (look on Ebay for marines with arms up in the air and shit glued in all sorts of weird places). I was surprisingly sensible with my assembly of these originally.

I did briefly wonder about adding a back banner but with these intended for Space Hulk I decided that most marines would surely avoid something so cumbersome. 

Insignia on the shoulder was done the same way as the other marine. A couple of decals as a base and then over painted to look painted on. I decided to go with the sergeants cuff insignia from the 1989 space marine painting guide (the tactical arrow marking is from that same period). This was 'proper' freehand and took a couple of attempts to get right. 

I really liked the idea of adding kill markings to the bolter, either yellow stripes or a skull or something, but with the cuff insignia I thought it might look a bit much. I'll save that idea for another model.

Should I get any more models done I got a few more bases put together and painted. Just plastic sheet, strip and metal gauze. 

"It's alright Brother Marine, the xenos haven't been painted yet"


  1. Sweet job, it's amazing what you got out of the raw material!

  2. Having painted some of those back in the day, I have to say that's a very impressive piece of work. The hair is particularly effective in bringing the miniature to life.

    1. Cheers. Oddly enough I think the hair makes the whole model! Always difficult back in the day trying to paint it to look like anything other than melted plastic.

  3. Is it ok if I tell you that I'm a little hard at the moment Stone? :)

    It's really a strange feeling, seeing the RBT01 marine painted up to this outstanding level. Juxtaposed with how they were painted back in the day, from their inception, all though the Eavy Metal days, this is the bomb Stone! A bloody marvellous experience I tell ya :D

    I've always thought that to get the best out of marines is to add detail. It really makes a big difference. The insignia are a great touch.

    I had never thought of filling in the bionic eye socket previous to painting, but I think I'll give it a try the next time I attack some of my marines. The treatment you gave the metal on the his eye and the effort you paid to his face was worth it, his utterly fantastic!

    Ok, enough gushing. Could you tell me how you painted his hair? Just stippling?

    Fuckin amazing Stone!

    1. Also, did you paint him up all glued together? If so, that's even better! Much Kudos :)

    2. Some of the old paint jobs from White Dwarf and the various ads really don't show these models at their best. Rose tinted memories can sometimes be shattered after a quick thumb through an old WD. ;)

      These are simple models so keeping things clean and tidy pays off, but like you say some little insignia or detail can really set things off. There are a few insignia from that old painting guide that I think I'll use on the odd model, should I get around to more. I did wonder about adding old school slogans but I'd rather keep these a little more sedate. If I was to do the little assault squad from the Space Hulk list though I might add things like that to those models. Assault troops have to be a bit crazy so it might fit nicely with them (and an excuse to use the combat blade attachments too!).

      The hair was stippled on top, although I guess it was more controlled dots than stippling. The sides I painted lines on.

      And yeah, he was fully assembled before painting. A little awkward in places to paint but anything under his arm or out of sight needed minimal work anyway. A few of the models I've got prepped are as they were when I assembled them first time around in 1989. This one had his arms removed at some point so they got put back on last year. :)

  4. Brilliant work. The hair does indeed create a nice focal point for the figure. Great stuff.

  5. SCL -
    That is such beautiful work on one of the absolute classics. I just love your combination of soft tones and crisp details. Wonderful!

  6. That's awesome. Your paint job has really brought life to a not so detailed sculpt. /Hans