Primaris—an Introspective

Okay, this isn’t really a hobby/modeling post.  More of an idea that’s been bouncing around in my head for a few weeks now. A few meta/in-world thoughts about the new guys on the scene in Warhammer 40K, and I figured this was as good a place as any to let them all roll out...

So, a while back I came up with a rationalization for why Roboute Guilliman  would send a company’s worth of Primaris Marines to the Relictors to help bolster their near-decimated chapter.

I bring this up because I was at SDCC last month and got to sit in on a panel given by Titan Comics. They’re the folks doing the Warhammer 40K comic (really great—you should check it out), and as such they’ve got a hotline to Games Workshop. And they had some interesting information they shared about the Primaris Space Marines, who’ll be showing up in their stories soon enough...

Three fun facts. 

One is that every Chapters was offered Primaris marines to fill holes in their ranks.  Are you missing a key person here or there?  Maybe a squad.  Maybe a whole company or two?  Here are some troops to fill those gaps. Not everybody took them, but everybody got the offer.  Guilliman had plenty to spare.

Two is that every Chapter also got the how-to technology to make their own Primaris.  No more regular Marines for you.  From here on in, every new inductee will be two feet taller and broader.

Third is this...  Primaris gene seed can also be used to turn current, regular Space Marines into Primaris. Yep.  A few new glands, a little bit of downtime, and you’re one of the cool kids again.

Between two and three, I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing Primaris versions of most of the major Space Marine characters over the next year or three. Tigerius.  Dante.  Lysander.  Shrike. You could save time now and just convert an Aggressor into Primaris Marneus Calgar.

(try saying that five times fast...)

Although this does leave me wondering where—within the story of the game—this’ll leave the many, many relics and historic items each Chapter has in their respective armories.  We suddenly have a thousand suits of power armor and/or Terminator armor—each individual component with a long, storied history, some of them stretching back to the Heresy—and now none of them fit our new recruits.  All those bolters that are near-relics?  They’re all second-rate weapons now that we have bolt rifles.

But as I was thinking about all that, something else hit me.

How are any of the Primaris from that first group (point one) dealing with this?

Let’s look at a few of our First Founding chapters, shall we?  We’ve got the Dark Angels, who don’t even tell their Chapter’s true history to three-quarters of their own members.  The Iron Hands, who more or less all have surgical addiction and  mechanical fetishes.  The Imperial Fists have their OCD scrimshaw habit.  The Blood Angels are about two inches from being vampires and have a tendency to go into berserker rages.  The Space Wolves are about one inch from being werewolves, and ignore most of Gulliman’s rules about how a chapter should act.

And then, out of nowhere... new guys.  New, fully formed Space Marines who share the same gene-seed but haven’t gone through the chapter’s various indoctrinations.  Who’ve been re-engineered to get rid of all those pesky “defects.”

How are they really going to fit in? How are they going to react to their super-secretive Dark Angels brethren or the savage, bestial Space Wolves they’re now training with?  It’s easy enough to repaint your armor, but how do you go against the twenty-forty-sixty years of training you’ve had to deal with these... these other people and their way of doing things?

Plus, there’s one other important thing we all tend to forget sometimes.  Space Marines are these huge combat monsters now... but they were born human.  They had mothers and fathers, maybe siblings.  They got carried around, wrapped in blankets, burped, and even on the worst of worlds they played games with other kids and laughed.  Y’know, before being sent off to work in the adamantite mines for their fifth birthday.  No matter how much training and indoctrination they go through, there’s a core of humanity there.

The current Primaris don’t have any of that. They were all machine-raised.  One of the guys at the Titan panel made a great example—put a Space Marine in a room with a crying baby, and he’ll do his best to quiet it, probably try to find its mother or some suitable guardian for it, and protect it the whole time. 

Put a Primaris in a room with a crying baby and... he’ll probably just stare at it.

Some interesting food for thought, if you like thinking about such things.

Anyway, next time, I wanted to show you this cool Knight missile pod I made for just... well, nothing.  It was pretty much free.  I made it out of bitz I had laying around.

And then I might finally finish that friggin’ Destroyer..


Quick Dark Imperium Conversions

So, I’ve mentioned before (in a few places) my plan to use the Primaris Marines from the Dark Imperium set as my new Relictors second company.  Naturally, the Relictors Conclave isn’t going to tell the new guys everything about how their Chapter functions, but I still wanted to make a few small tweaks to some of the higher-ups, something to show just a small hint of... well, you know.

Here’s the Primaris Captain.  One of the first thing that struck me—a running theme I’ve noticed with the Primaris—is that he’s actually designed with a reliquary (a philatory, if you want to be exact) hanging at his waist.  That’s a good start.

I added a few skulls to the base.  It’s a habit I got into with Age of Sigmar models, because it’s an easy way to make characters stand out (and if you’ve been playing this game for a while, odds are you’re not short on skulls). It also helps fill some space, since Primaris are on 40mm bases.

I added more purity seals, because the Relictors love purity seals.  Some on the shoulder, a few on the cape.  I like them because the Chapter has such an overall simple color scheme that it isn’t always clear to some folks that they’re actually painted (I had once had a tournament judge comment on my “primer gray” army). So purity seals also serve to add some color and contrast to each model.

Finally, the biggest tweak, but it’s still kinda subtle.  Using a very sharp knife, I sliced the pommel off the Captain’s power sword and replaced it with a skull.  A deliberately large—perhaps even life-sized—skull.  He also got another purity seal on the back of his hand, as close to the sword as possible.  It doesn’t scream “Chaos weapon,” but it maybe mumbles it under its breath. I may give the blade a red-orange paint job, just to make it a bit more iffy.

Not bad, I think.