Marine Power Armour Stealth tech
30th Sep, 2009

This has been added to the Tactical Gear page of the main site. It details the marine's steal technologies, both evasion and detection. I wanted to introduce some ideas for tactical options when out in the field, especially is caught in the open. Active camouflage is something modern militaries have been working on for a while, though how useful it would be against IR sensors etc. is debatable (hence I also threw in IR suppression tech.)

Active Camouflage

The armour is covered in coating which adapts its colour to it's surroundings. Depending on the coating types the surface of the armour can alter it's appearance, colour, luminance and reflective properties to allow the marine to blend into his surroundings. The camouflage is used by the marine when out in the open (not within STC like structures/ Ecorium) and allows them to close with enemies that may fee the Emperor's justice.

  • Dark Age technomancy: A mythical cloaking device. A marine wearing this disappears and can not be detected.
  • 'OLED' based AC: The armour is coating in a form if 'organic light emitting diodes' only more complex and technically 'alive'. The armour collects video data of the surroundings an maps it onto the surface of the armour, and can match most luminance levels. It is not perfect, the marines can still be seen, and any movement really gives the game away. If stationary the marine is practically invisible, though 'unnoticeable' would be a better description, especially in complex and detailed environments like jungle or rubble.
  • Pigment based AC: A simpler form of AC similar to 'e-paper'. It lacks luminance, and can not match ambient light levels.
  • None: Some Chapters do not have this function, or refuse to use it. The armour is locked to chapter colours, or painted over.

Some radiation is harder to suppress like infra-red. To deal with this the armour's cooling system is routed through heat exchangers to power up 'Thermoelectric cells'. The takes all heat and converts it to electricity and is mainly a power conservation system. Combined with the ceramite insulation properties of the armour, the conservation system as the side effect of dropping the IR signature of the marine to virtually nil. The marines can still be seen, the outline etc. but they blend in with the background temp perfectly. However if they stand in front of a heat source their body will block it and they can be seen. Positioning is important when utilizing IR 'invisibility'.

Use of this AC function allows marines to suddenly appear from nowhere and get into the thick of melee causing havoc (and uses the local enemy as a 'meat shield'). Once in close the armour flashes to their Chapter colours as they butcher the enemy. If the enemy is ruthless and fires on their own kind in an attempt to kill the marines they find that marines are quite hard to kill and such actions can be detrimental to morale. This 'sneak and explode' style of combat is the hall mark of marines, but they also use sniper tactics and will often take out artillery and other snipers before getting into the thick of it (they do not assume the enemy command will respect the lives of their own side). The marines are less famous for this tactic but only because they are so good at it - as often the enemy has a clue where or who the sniper is.

Eye system

The auto-sense system includes two front mounted (stereoscopic) vid-sensors in the helmet. These sensors are surface mounted into a recesses, so that behind the eye is solid armour. The sensors are linked to the Convent, which in turn is linked directly into the marines's visual cortex. The auto-sense system bypasses the marine's natural eyes. The eye sensor has a number of interesting technologies.

  • Wide spectrum: The sensors can detect a wide spectrum of radiation, including infra-red and ultraviolet (black light). All the information is processed by the Covenet to render the image the marines will see. Often non-visible light is used by the Covenet to figure out what object are, and outline and mark them with icons.
  • Non-stick: The eye lens of the auto-sense system is hydrophobic and naturally resists water, and other fluids. It is a form of non-stick surface, like Polyester (teflon), only better. Fluid and gore may simply not stick and is repelled.
  • Eyelid: In reality the non-stick coating is not 100%, and some sticking occurs; scratches or acid damage would give some purchase. It is almost impossible for the marine to use his armoured gauntlets to wipe his eyes as they are too hard, even the padded grip tips do no yield enough due to their solid backing. To clear the lens of contamination a mechanical lid, made of a tough transparent membrane, is used. It is housed in the upper part of the eye armour.

Trial of Fear - Update
16th Sep, 2009

This has been added to the Space Marine Creation page on the main website. It is a reworking of the trail of fear and incorporates some ideas that have been floating around in my head for a while. I was reminded of it when posting on WarSeer about marines. There are a lot of things that need updating and bring into line with the background (or explaining the loop holes better 😉 )

A full battle brother's blood and bodily fluids contains potent genetic maintenance agents that if ingested by a normal human will alter their genetic structure. This agent is the basis of the marines acidic and poisonous spit, and the ingestion of this is fundamental first step in altering a human into a marine. All chapters require the recruit to drink the blood of the chapter from the chapter's grail. The grail ritual appears in all the chapters, and in all cases it includes the drinking of the blood of full marines and in some cases the blood of the Primarch!

Once these agents are ingested the effects on the body are traumatic and pronounced and many recruits will not survive. The Space Wolves 'Canis Helix' is probably the strongest of these agents and many die in the ice fields of Fenris screaming in pain. The Blood Angel's seems just as virulent and perhaps produce the greatest physical changes, those mutants who survive the blood of Sanguinius, and the sarcophagus, emerge as a vision of their Primarch.

Genetic Alterations: As the agent invades the body now produces a range of hormones and proteins that are mostly completely useless to the normal human body, and in many cases harmful to the human body. As the recruit endures the levels of these new hormones and chemicals rise and induce great pain and madness. The perceptions of the initiate so they see things that aren't there and are prone to suggestion. This is the time when the Chapter moulds the core mind on the future marine. Working with the sickness induced by the new hormones, the initiate is put through the ringer of madness until utterly broken. Then they are rebuilt and taught how focus, how to deal with pain. As they learn these lessons they are injected with geneseeds, which as they grow, the use the hormones and this in turn lifts the madness, restoring metal functioning. The initiate is then thrown into the Trial of Solitude.

Geneseeds: These new proteins and hormones are designed to support and feed 'geneseeds'. Geneseeds cultivated chimera stem cells that under the influence of the new hormones and proteins flourish into new organs that further modify the initiate's body. The geneseeds are invasive and can cannibalise surrounding tissue and convert them, they act like targeted cancer. As geneseeds are added they absorb the new hormones, and they absorb a lot when growing. New geneseeds have to be added at regular intervals to balance the system, and the penultimate geneseed of the Progenoids which regulate the whole system. The Progenoids can not go in until all the other implants are in place.

The first implant results in a major cardiovascular alteration often referred to as 'a second heart' but that is a gross simplification. This is sometime accompanied with corrective surgery, though many Chapters will leave a recruit experiencing complications to die.

Implants: Secondary 'Heart' geneseed implanted, Ossmodula geneseed implanted.

Psalm Verse: Text II

15th Sep, 2009

I've added a new Projects Page to the main website. It covers my own projects I am working on, project of others that I participate in, and projects I have influenced. Some are just project I really like!

Projects Page

The most recent additions is the 'Actual Scale' projects list; these are projects by other fans (Doghouse, Synapse and Lamenter) who have converted Space Marines into something more appropriate in regard to the 40K background. I have had a hand in these, as Doghouse  (the first to go 'true scale'  - a term he no longer uses) and I chatted about my designs when he first started out. It seems Synapse was also influenced by my diagrams of Space Marine Morphology and Doghouse's pioneering efforts. Though I have never spoken to Lamenter and only recently became aware of his phenomenal 'Artscale' (a re-branding of 'Actual Scale') marines - he too was inspired in turn by Doghouse and Synapse.

Quite a legacy Doghouse has created, and it seems this movement towards proper marines is gaining momentum. All we need now is for TFM to cast up some SM dollies and things could really take off (not sure how you would create them without infringing GW IP but their must be a way.

New Project: 1000 Chapters
11th Sep, 2009

Dazzo over on Bolter and Chainsword has been busy pulling together hundreds of images of know chapters, both official Games Workshop chapters and fan made chapters. I had a chat with him, and I put together an visual index of the 600 he has completed so far (and my chapters are in there too!). We are trying to get the word out so others can chip in their ideas and hopefully submit their chapters too (you need a colour scheme image created with the  Bolter and Chainsword Space Marine painter, and a link to an IA). If this is of interest to you, check out the 1000 chapters index on  my site, and the thread on Bolter and Chainsword.

1000 Chapters Index
Bolter and Chainsword Thread

Thoughts of Grimdark...
25th Aug, 2009

In the original discussions of WarSpike the idea of a 40K mod came up. It was one of the ideas Malika came up with, and the reason there is a WarSpike forum over on Anargo. Great system ideas are easy to come up with, and they seem airtight when musing about them, but no idea survives contact with paper. This what happened with WarSpike, and in writing it up it snowballed into a thousand variables that all needed to be sorted out. All while keeping on track. Suffice to say, it took longer than I thought to get the framework done, and the 40K mod on Anargo has revived little attention these past few months.

Now wounds are going in, and the arms and armour are going to get a brush up may thoughts of a 40K mod are starting come to the fore. With the new Space Hulk the idea of a WarSpike 'Space Hulk' mod, and 40K mod seems very appealing. In further daydreams of the mod, and pondering copyright issues, my mind turned to a satirical take on Grimdark.


The idea is to make a Sciror setting that is 'grimdark' and a parody of 40K. This means ramping up the grimdark to new levels. I am reminded of discussions on the old Black Library forums were my discussion of 'Philverse' often brought exclamations of horror and disturbance. It seems the greater 'reality' of Philverse has a greater power to induce 'grimdark'. This is to be more grimdark by using Philverse (which Sciror basically is) to ramp up the logic and explanation of '40K' and hence contrast with the madness (because fact is stranger than fiction - unless you have my brain!). The madness comes from the thoughts and concepts of Philverse taken to their logical conclusion.

Armed with this new idea I popped off to grab '' but obviously someone has already grabbed that, and so I had to come up with another...

Stare into the Abyss

Yep, that is what I came up with: ''. Not perfect, and it's a bit of am mouthful (SitA), but it taps into a popular meme about madness and nihilism and seems like a good place to start. Next up was to come up with the setting, or which bit to rip off, but then it occurred to me why not go full Philverse? I thought it should to analogous to the fall of mankind in 40k, and the beginning of the age of strife, as there is very little detail for GW and I filled in all the blanks. This is easy to do with Sciror as all the explanations of the setting are in place. All it required is dropping the threshold for psionic manefestion and the result is basically a scenario where the vanilla Sciror setting goes tit's up. This would be along the lines of the 'psyker epidemic' of 40K, except here it is brought about by latent psionic powers combining due to population density. Along with this we can chuck in the withdraw of the Artilects from the Mars Accord and the loss of all advanced technology, and to top it off the loss of billions of colonies and the death of untold trillion, upon trillions, of humans.

Colour Text: This is the end of a civilization...

The war is over. We lost. Mankind is extinct. Only the bio-construct remain, mere echoes of humanity, built for war. This is their story, their fight for survival, and their search of the Venus Bluegenes, Battle Nuns, Sisters of Sin, Amazons of Isha, Sirens of the Core, to continue their species. Their inability to form lasting relationships...  (OK, that end bit went too far!  :P)


Anyway, the idea being that all the characters and troops types in grimdark, I mean; 'Stare Into The Abyss', would be place-holders/ stand ins for other Sci-Fi games, like 40K or AT-43.

So a 'armoured flesh golem' = 40K space marine, whereas 'Humo-Exo-Suit' = AT-43 UNA TacArms (or Tau Battle Suit).

It means new designs for all the characters but the archetypes would be preserved. They would be similar to other games (as all these games are very similar). I may change the weapons for the 'default' but a weapon upgrade would bring them into line. So the Armoured Flesh Golem (AFG?) would use SSG (Steaming Stun Gun) but could upgrade to 'auto gyro-jet launcher' which would basically be my version of the bolter (with modal bolts).

I have some ideas for the space marines - AFG - that are more like plate armour in look but use the newt suit joints. They originate from corporate 'paradise' worlds, are made by humans not machines, are compliant with the dictates of the Mars Accord, and used to kidnap/ fight between corporation houses, and also used to raid off-world Ecorium (flesh harvest for organs, DNA etc?) Therefore their design in 'logical' to the setting.

Your thoughts? Troll Forged Miniatures forum thread here;

Thoughts of Grimdark

Hive Trygon's second lot
18th Aug, 2009

Hive Trygon over at Troll Forged Miniatures is selling off yet more stuff, this time a massive lots of Confrontation miniature ranges. The new spin casting gear turns up Friday, and this is all in aid of buying supplies. Hive Trygon has put a lot of effort into building TFM, and the spin caster is going to improve output and make metal available too. This will benefit the TFM community tremendously, and get more sculpts into the store. So if you fancy getting some of your greens in TFM, now may be the best time to get cracking on that masterpiece!

If you are interested pop over to eBay and take a look: Hive Trygon on eBay

If you wish to find out more about Hive Trygon's plans you can read more on the forum thread: New metal set up


New TFM website
14th Aug, 2009

TFM_logoTroll Forged Miniatures (TFM) is a wonderful project and company started by Ed Fortae. It is one of those flash of inspiration ideas, combined with his hard work and strong vision, he has grown the project and attracted a great and very supportive community. TFM is simple at it's core: Sculptors send their greens to Ed, Ed cast them up and sell them in the TFM store and the sculptor receives a royalty for each sale. This gives the sculptor and ongoing revenue stream from their work rather than a one off payment. It also seems that the sculptors are investing in TFM and want it to succeed just as much as Ed!

I have been spending a lot of time there of late, originally for WarSpike discussion, but in my spare time I have be busying myself with updating the TFM website, and working on the infrastructure of this unique project. One of my aims was to keep cost down to a minimum, as this is a start-up, and so I wanted to leverage new technology - i.e. make use of free online tools like blogs hosted on The idea was to take those free tools and style them into a brand, but has some serious limitations, so the idea was to use the blog for what it does well; an interactive front end/ news page, and the hosted website as a static html website to handle orders (along with the PayPal cart system Ed set up). The two would then be blended together so it is hard to tell were one starts and the other ends.

All that was then needed was a way to tie them all together, so I used the theme for the blog and ported it over to the store too (with a bit of hacking!). Thinking ahead, and the need for access and easy to understand code layout - I put it into 'blocks' for easy cut and past to update. All in all it seems to work well, and keeps costs down. It also allows Ed to update his website much faster.

There results: The TFM Store | The TFM Blog | The TFM Forum*

* the forum looks nothing like the other two, but in a few years this may be updated and styled up too!

Anyway, I shall now go back to pondering the nature of WarSpike, and reading medical accounts of wounds!


Heavy Bolter / mainsite update
26th Jul, 2009

The Heavy Bolter issued to the Adeptus Astartes uses a larger calibre that their Standard Bolter, has a more powerful kicker charge gyro-jet. It is also fielded using the 'drum box' (see above). It has a slightly lower maximum rate of fire that the Standard Bolter, but due to the greater amounts ammo is more likely to actually be used in full auto (this leads many observers to conclude the Heavy Bolter is faster firing, but it is just the way they are used by marines). The Heavy Bolter is ideal for smashing strong points, buildings and light vehicles. Space Marines make good use of the to rapidly take out hardened positions within STC bunker complexes (Ecorium) or mow down hordes of xenos like 'nids.

Modern Equivalents

There are no directly comparable weapons systems, but the easiest way to figure out it's power is to think of a Mk 19 automatic grenade launcher but using 60-80mm grenades with rocket motors instead of its 40mm. This gives each heavy bolt about ten times the mass of a real 40mm grenade. It can punch through most modern light armour vehicles with ease (kinda like an automatic RPG-7 but far more compact) and clear most rooms in residential buildings with one shot.


The Heavy Bolter is normally issued with modal Bolts much the same as the Standard Bolter. However there are variants that are sometimes employed is specific circumstances, such as single mode thermobaric Bolts. These variants are not common issue as Space Marines like to remain flexible, but some missions do allow for a certain level of predictability.

Thermobaric Bolts are effective against 'nids or Orks on 'paradise worlds', as well as renegade humans inside STC subterranean bunkers (where is consumes massive amounts of oxygen within the confines of the bunker). There are not so effective at penetrating fully armoured targets, or atmospheres/ areas with limited oxygen. totally ineffective in a vacuum.

Plasma Bolts to cut through almost anything, though ceramite armours offer some protection.

This is an update inserted into: Bolter info page

Hive Trygon's eBay auction
19th Jul, 2009

Hive Trygon over at Troll Forged Miniatures is gearing up to buy a spin caster, and to raise funds for this awesome piece of kit he is putting all his Games Workshop collection up for sale. For those of you who do not know TFM (Troll Forged Miniatures) is a cast of demand service and seller (muck like Lulu but for miniatures!) supporting new sculptors and getting their miniatures out to the public.

If you are interested pop over to eBay and take a look: Hive Trygon on eBay

If you wish to find out more about Hive Trygon's plans you can read more on the forum thread: New metal set up


13th Jul, 2009

It is not always clear to many why someone would worship Nurgle as it is the god of 'despair' and that hardly sounds like the basis of a chaos champion. However this is perhaps too narrow a take on 'Father Nurgle', and when we consider all 'his' characteristics it becomes clear why someone would worship 'him'. It is almost all the same reasons people turn to current religions in our world - peace, acceptance, forgiveness, caring, love, endurance etc. While hope is more the realm of Tzeentch, Nurgle seems to be about acceptance of one's situation and working with what you have rather than wishing on 'vein hope'. Nurlge seems to be eminently practical, a god of the people, the poor, the dispossessed, all those who want to survive without big dreams and ambitions, to bring up a family, to 'fit in', to be a part of a greater the community and accept restrictions to achieve that. To endure hard times, that is Nurgle, and even a slave would pray to Nurgle for salvation. For in doing so they are asking for help not empowerment (rather than the other chaos gods which seems to all be the go-getters and party animals).

Nurlge also seems to be quite complex, not merely despair, but also covers 'rebirth' and transformation after grief and loss, of changing (very chaos). Anyone that hate their life and undergoes a transformation after suffering is exhibiting emotions that feed Nurgle. There is more - it also seems to cover 'glee' (carnival of Nurgle) and entertainers (many who suffer from depression) and a sense of humour, and self depreciating humour at that (who doesn't think a Clown is an agent of Nurgle? An alcoholic Clown reeking of booze stumbling about the place?).

And while Slaanesh maybe a total crack head, and love stimulants, Nurgle seems to get all the depressants like alcohol, and all the drugs that aid in 'forgetting' and 'enduring' like pain killers (something I imagine Slaanesh would not like, or Khorne).

Nurlge is perhaps the greatest of all the chaos gods, and looking at this broader image of Nurgle it's clear to see why - we, the common man, already worship him; and we didn't even know it (but Nurlge is caring and does not demand recognition, it sustains us in our darkest hours...). Nurgle can be found at the bottom of a pint glass, it can be heard in the laughter down the pub, in the giggles of loose women, felt in the embrace of prostitutes, seen in the eyes of staving children, and smelt in the infections and STDs that plague humanity. It could even be said to be the driving force in reproduction, in the pain and madness of love, right down to the self sacrificing love and care a parent has for their child.

Nurgle is with us. Always. It is the default chaos god....

Well it would if we were in 40K!

As a last thought, St. Nicholas used to have a green costume before coca~cola got a hold of him. A portly gentlemen, full of glee, with gifts, and bring forth a time of drinking, and over indulgence, but also strife, debt and feelings guilt - all marking the winter solstice - Father Christmas is probably an aspect of Nurgle. A Greater Daemon? Sometimes chaos is tempting 😀