Monday, September 1, 2008

Iron Snakes Space Marines

I have become obsessed once again with a smaller but wonderful project: a command squad of Iron Snakes. The Iron Snakes are a space marine chapter envisioned by Dan Abnett, that wonderous Englishman who keeps pumping out excellent novels about the world we love. Anyway this is the book and I can highly recommend it. The cover shows the paint scheme.

There are definitely more Iron Snakes Armies out there (you can google them) and most of them are better looking then mine but I don't care; it's exciting to do something else and try to match up the characters that you love in the book with some real models. (My apologies for the poor quality of the photos, I worked on this while camping in the mountains)
I started out demolishing my Blood Angels and taking bitz and pieces to make ten guys.

One sergeant with a lighting claw, one with the plasma gun and one with a banner, the rest are normal. It's fun to match the names in the stories with the models, weapon and gear, I tried as much as possible, but they also carry lances into battle and I don't know how that would be modeled, let alone how that would fit into the rules.

So first a coat of Boltgun Metal, A wash of Badab black and then the hard part, instead of drybrushing I tried the lines method, which is really hard and not always successful. After that I used black ink to contrast all the Mithril Silver lines; that worked well. Don't toss your inks, they work much better for shading if you want to show it off, washes are too muted for this job.
On the left shoulderpad I painted the snake. It's weird, online the snakes have 3 different forms:
here are the two I am not using (the decal sheet is from Bell of Lost Souls)

I am using the one that's used above each chapter in the book, where the parts of the snake don't really touch each other. It's pretty stressful to paint these. All the red lining has a small line of black to separate it from the white.

The other pad has a squad insignia.

Here's the segeants lightning claw

Here's the banner: the front is my design, I tried..

I did make a huge mistake, the snake is NOT matching the logo, but I ain't changing it any more, that's it. The D is for Damocles Squad which the the group portrayed in the novel. The bottom circle is supposed to resemble the water world of Ithaka where they are from.
Here's the back of the banner, I tried but that eagle is NOT easy to paint, it looks better in real life.

All in all, lots of challenges but fun and satisfying and hopefully I will end this on a good note.
Click here for more info on the Iron Snakes: thanks to Lexicanum.
More later.



  1. It's always fun to model a squad or even a whole army after the subject of a good book. I've not read the Iron Snakes, but I like the work you've done on the minis. That snake looks like it would be a pain to paint for sure!

  2. So far they're looking really good!

    Brothers of the snake is the one Abnett 40k book I haven't read yet (most of the others I've read twice!).

    I gotta say though, anyone who paints up some minis (or even a whole army) based on a abnett book is crazy!
    +++whistles innocently+++

  3. Well, part of this hobby is to be crazy and obsessive and full of love for the hobby. I'm an old guy (39), so I tend to focus on lore and fluff (like science fiction) to place my models in a world.
    Mike at SCW

  4. They don't look bad at all.

    Two things...

    1. It can be hard to copy a chapter where your research material may be limited (lots of words, only a few images).

    2. And painting a two sided banner can be real tough to do. I've only done one in my time and it was a huge pain to do. Having both sides done looks great but it's tough as you now know.

    I like how your metals turned out. I like the lining method but it can be time consuming. I think it's a cleaner look overall than drybrushing. I painted a squad of GKTs using the line method.