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"Rogue Trader Crimson Fists Space Marines" Topic

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1,451 hits since 24 May 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Ninjabread24 May 2018 4:32 a.m. PST

Time to collect a new Space Marine force! Crimson Fists the Rogue Trader poster boys. These Fists are hand-picked from the 19871989 Imperial Space Marine ranges sculpted by Bob Naismith, Aly Morrison and Mark Copplestone. I have a real soft spot for this era of Mk6 design. There's a certain je ne sais quoi to the early Warhammer 40,000 aesthetic that was lost when the Mk7 Jes Goodwin designs were introduced in 1990. There's a joyful bulbousness to them that reflects the early days of Rogue Trader, before it settled down into the tightly-codified juggernaut that endures to this day.

Fist in, last out Squad Onan.

Veteran Sergeant Onan's casting had a damaged head, and has had a new one grafted on from a Golden Heroes Supervillain. I added the bionic eye during painting to hide the incredibly long eyeball that continued round the side of his head. The banner is tomato puree foil mounted on a brass rod pole. The bladed bionic arm with its super-awkward pose is entirely original if anyone know what he's actually meant to be doing please leave a comment.

The backpacks and other elements were sculpted with a beautifully ham-fisted assymetry.

I've settled on the rule of left-hands-crimson on Battle Brothers, and both-hands-crimson on Veterans. The Heavy Bolter Marine has Veteran status to justify him wearing a Power Glove. I particularly love this model as his nonsensical wargear (that's illegal in all future editions of Warhammer 40,000) places him firmly in Rogue Trader territory.

Freehand Fist Icons

My rendition of the Crimson Fist icon is based on the banner from the Rogue Trader cover, but I've experimented with simplifying the thumb/forefinger area between Marines. Since their armour designs differ so much I'm not going to revisit and amend any designs once I've settled on the final iteration.

This hobby is called: The Freehand Fists Hobby.

I couldn't resist adding the correct weaponry icons and armour graffiti too. I've got to add a Medic to the force simply so I can scrawl "FIST AID" on his armour. I also fancy a Marine with "FIST BUMP". In fact I've got a whole list of quickfire "FIST" and "HAND" phrases ready to deploy.

Crimson Fists Grand Plan

I've planned 1,000 points using the Whitescars army list from the Book of the Astronomican. This era of army list is the sweet spot for me. Space Marines have been rounded out from the single squad type presented in the Rogue Trader rulebook, but it's before a lot of their iconic troop types have been dreamed up no Terminators, no Scouts, no Rhinos, no Techmarines. On one hand they're recognisable enough to a modern Warhammer 40,000 player, but on the other hand there's a smattering of ideas like "Cobra squad" and "Reconnaissance squad" that have since disappeared from the background. I love this particular early incarnation of the Warhammer 40,000 universe where the concepts are still crystallising.


1 Marine Champion [9], Bionic Arm [30], Bionic Eye [30]

3 Marines [3*8], 3 Bolt Guns [3*2] and 3 Frag Grenades [3*1]

1 Marine [8], Heavy Bolter [15], Power Glove [15], Targeter [5], 2 Suspensors [2*2]

Basic Equipment (all models): Bolt Pistol [1.5], Knife [0], Powered Armour [6] (with Communicator [0.5], Respirator [0.5], Auto-senses[0.5])


The full force (17 Marines on foot and a Dreadnought) is partially based on the seminal Rogue Trader Battle at the Farm scenario (which was Pedro Cantor plus fifteen Tactical Marines), but I've spiced up the weapon choices for the sake of variety and model availability. Here's the first squad defending make-shift farm barricades!

Bonus Ninjabread points if you can spot where Tech-priest Theodolitus is hiding.jpg

Sho3box has very generously lent me Skabsquig's Skallywags for these Battle at the Farm photos. You can see more of them here and here.

Crimson Fists parading their farm candy.

This terrain I'm using as the iconic Rogue Trader farm is going to launch on Kickstarter imminently from the excellent Fogou Models.. Mr. Fogou sent me an advance casting in return for me taking photographs like this.

Coming soon another Rogue Trader Crimson Fists squad and maybe a character!

Check out more of my miniatures at:
Check out more Rogue Trader at

Ping Pong24 May 2018 4:39 a.m. PST

Great stuff.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP24 May 2018 4:54 a.m. PST

Amazing work and love those beakies!

Capt Flash24 May 2018 6:55 a.m. PST

Just…. awesome…Thanks for sharing!

roving bandit24 May 2018 7:30 a.m. PST

"The bladed bionic arm with its super-awkward pose is entirely original if anyone know what he's actually meant to be doing please leave a comment."

He is telling all the abnormal freaky aliens of Rogue Trader days to "Suck This!"

Moonbeast24 May 2018 7:58 a.m. PST

Thanks very much for the trip down memory lane. I still have about 6 of the old Dreads (including a shorty or two) and a box of the beakies somewhere around here…

Personal logo The Beast Rampant Supporting Member of TMP24 May 2018 7:58 a.m. PST

I hate you. Quit showing me these things! grin

OldGrenadier at work24 May 2018 8:07 a.m. PST

Excellent work!

Hades wolf24 May 2018 8:59 a.m. PST

👍👍👍👍👍🖖 from me, good stuff sir!

Personal logo The Beast Rampant Supporting Member of TMP24 May 2018 9:07 a.m. PST

Those look awesome- absolutely fantastic paintwork, while still really capturing the sensibilities of the earliest days of 40K.

Thank you very much for sharing. Now, show us those orks!

roving bandit24 May 2018 9:59 a.m. PST

While I don't have those metal marines, I do have enough of the Rogue Trader plastic Marines for the Battle At The Farm. Also have the metal Space Ork box and a mixed box of early plastic Space Orks, not sure if they are pre-second edition or what, but the are pretty cool.

Personal logo The Beast Rampant Supporting Member of TMP24 May 2018 11:48 a.m. PST

I've always loved the heavy with the power glove- always thought there should be a serious morale check to close with that guy!

Darkest Star Games Sponsoring Member of TMP24 May 2018 12:22 p.m. PST

Rogue Trader was a great era for gaming and painting. The minis just had so much more character than the new ones (new ones just seem so… hardcore). there also seemed to be many more tactical options back then (like using Crack grenades to mousehole walls, or using frag grenades to scare the enemy to move out of LOS!). Good times…

Excellent painting sir, really like your force!

Zephyr124 May 2018 2:59 p.m. PST

" The bladed bionic arm with its super-awkward pose is entirely original if anyone know what he's actually meant to be doing please leave a comment."

Oh my, that's a really wicked 'inside joke' the sculptor slipped past almost everyone over all these years. Good catch… ;-)

Oberlindes Sol LIC24 May 2018 3:59 p.m. PST

Nice work.

Pontifex24 May 2018 4:44 p.m. PST

Superb work, there. It warms the ol' ticker.

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