Forward Planning: Marine Shield Designs

Yes, I am still here! As mentioned in my last post (way back in the depths of time), I said I would be taking a month off. That time s now up, and I'm back. After a hectic and stressful month, I am now trying to get back into the swing of finishing my Spears of Mawdryn Space Marines. With too many projects on the go, I am only allowing myself to start anything new once these are finished. Fluff and all. Thankfully, it's a rather enjoyable project.

Part of what is keeping me going with these is the character, there's hardly a model that will be left without even the smallest conversion. As my faithful readers may recall, the concept behind the Chapter is to seamlessly blend Arthurian (5th - 6th century Britain) and Iron Age Celtic elements, both in fluff terms and aesthetically. One area where these blend into one in a literal sense are the shields. I wanted to combine the Celtic check (and occasional boar or dragon), with the Late Roman/Arthurian Chi-Rho

As well as being a bit of a light way back into the blog, I thought I would also make this a small lesson on the importance of planning....

Here's some shields what I drew earlier....

Designs aren't limited to set shapes. Shields furtherst to right are for veterans and characters.

  I had planned to have various shield shapes, but I decide to limit it to two that could be considered Arthurian/Romano-British and two that could be considered Celtic - one large shield and one small shield respectively. The idea is that the small shields are to be used by the Bikers and the odd Scout (odd numerically not psychological...) as well as characters. The rest were for use by the "infantry" - and also characters that chose to.

With the minimising of shield types came the realisation there should be some consistency and uniformity of sorts, these Marines are somewhat ragtag, but they are still Marines. So, I decided I would limit the designs to two colours - the primary colours of the scheme: red and off-white. The designs themselve would also be limited to just a few elements (as well as the skulls shown, I may have the occasional boar, dragon or celtic swirl/spiral motif).

I have also set myself a rule, whilst a unit can have a majority of either relevant shield type, there should be (roughly) a 2:1 ratio of one type to the other. This makes it ragtag but with a degree of consistency (and they'll be mixed up within the unit too). Similarly, with the designs there will be a good number of the standard designs (on the right hand side, red spear on white background), maybe around half.

Of course, I probably won't be this obsessive about this, but it saves messing about and repainting, and cutting up yet more bits of plasticard when it comes to putting them on the table. I may even try and save myself some time and create versions that can be printed and stuck straight on the plasticard - a bit of varnish and should look alright...

Whilst no plan may entirely survive contact with the enemy, it's still worth having.


  1. Very cool! I'm looking forward to seeing them!

    1. Thanks very much, hopefully the wait won't be too long

  2. Great stuff - I don't do nearly as much planning as this and often find myself unpicking guns and repainting tunics...


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