Arthurian / Celtic Space Marine Captain Conversion

 UPDATED 03/04/12 (13:37 GMT)

Attempting an heroic pose....
Firstly, not sure what happened to my blog layout, got back to my PC after a week away and it looked like nothing I've ever selected. Anyhoo, sorted that for now.

This week I have purchased copious amounts of bits from Bitz Box for my Arthurian/Celtic-themed and Welsh-named Mawdryn Space Marines. As the existing ones were built rather hastily to get a few games in whilst myself and Colonel Scipio had windows in our hectic schedules, I wanted to go back to them and rebuild them with a little more loving care and attention.

Firstly though, I wanted to create a HQ figure as I only had a stand-in for my Captain previously......

The inspiration for my Capta
Being mostly Arthurian with interwoved Celtic elements (notably shield designs, carnyx, chariots, druids/bards etc.) I really wanted to capture that feel of a once proud Empire that's now crumbling - and even elements at there best are little rough around the edges (the end of Roman Britain is reflected in the Mawdryn history fluff, albeit not directly). Naturally, given the sub-Roman/Romano-British inspiration, most components come from Ultramarines and Space Wolves, and if there was a transitionary Chapter between the two (aesthetically) it would be the Spears of Mawdryn.

Anyhoo, back on track, I really wanted a tattered, fur-trimmed cloak for the commander - for that frontier, edges-of-the-Empire look. Trawling Bitz Box I found just the cloaks I was looking for - the back component of Warhammer Chaos Warriors. Unfortunately the ones that looked easiest to modify (with just a spike on the shoulder) were out of stock, but rather than wait I took what was available.

The Chaos Warrior cloak prior to hacking and gouging

It took rather a while to cut away the skull trophy and the inside of the cloak, but got there in the end. Unfortunately, the cloak was a little longer than the legs, so a stone from the garden sorted that (can pass as a rocky outcrop or rubble on city boards). The legs are of course Forge World Mk II armour, used to represent the artificer armour. The arm is a standard Space Marine Commander power sword, as is the torso front.

The Captain dons his skull-less cloak

Given the size of the cloak, I trimmed it down a little at the edges and decided to try and bulk out the model a little more, to make him look more commandery. For this I decided to use half an ammo pouch (the full thing looked too bulky) one of the various knives I'd acquired on Bitz Box (a few more of the standard marines will be getting one - mostly from other ranges rather than the modern-looking Marine ones). In this instance, the knife is a Blood Angels sanguinary knife, I rather like the look of these - although it was a pain trying to glue it to resin legs, took a couple of attempts... Lastly the characteristic Late Roman crest, solid metal rather than horse hair. This was cut from plasticard and carefully filed into shape. I filed a narrow groove into the top of the helmet to make the crest more sturdy, and voila. One (almost) complete Mawdryn Captain.

The left arm is a temporary one at the moment until I can find a better one. This arm will be holding a round shield, and I should have that done by tomorrow hopefully. The shield will be bleached bone with the Mawdryn Chapter badge (time-travel link: see future post on shields) shown above (and based on the Chi Rho - a common Late Roman/Arthurian symbol) in dark red on it. Simple and straightforward.

One bitz box built Captain, rough edges to be removed

 Note: The Late Roman chap above was painted (outstandingly) by Dave at The Saxon Dog 


  1. Great! A really inspiring pose, and the garden stone is a nice touch, looks very natural and spontaneous.

    1. Thanks very much, the stone was a lucky find. The left arm looks a little odd at the moment, but it's only blu-tacked on. Going to work on the Sergeants next, and trying to make the Scouts look more "Scouty" - like proper light, irregular infantry

    2. I must remember to write blog posts when I'm not half alseep in future, it's a slightly dry read lol, apologies folks

  2. That chapter badge is Badius Assius, as one might say in Latin. I've always enjoyed the Romano-British look, I don't think Ive ever seen it done before on Space Marines. Any plans for a Druid Librarian?

    1. Thanks very much, I wanted something that looked like the Chi Rho as it's basically shorthand for these are Romano-British. Tried a few variants but the simplest one was best as ever.

      Yup you've got it in one. Librarians (Cerddor) are certainly druidy and their armour will make extensive use of the ogham runes above, and their staffs are topped with gnarly branches. I've also combined Chaplain-Apothecaries (much like Wolf Priests) and they are actually known as Dwyrydd, they have a penchant for hoods and robes, carry a sickle-topped crozius and have vials of various balms and potions on their belts

    2. That sounds very cool indeed, I've been playing Skyrim a lot lately and have been itching to make some Norse-like somethings, I might have to go through my spare Space Marines and work on something. Not barbarian Space Wolves more like proper vikings, maybe Imperial Guard would be better but I don't know.

    3. Haha excellent, I really like the sound of that and I think it would work really well, that's really my approach with this, yes there are some elements of "traditional" iron age celts in the mix, but largely I wanted it to be quite realistic, not woad painted beserkers and the like. I always thought that proper Norse raven iconography would work well with Marines, and perhaps a fleet-centric Chapter that does "hit-and-run" (almost raid-like...) assaults? i'm getting carried away now lol.


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