Carrying the Colours

If there’s one thing that I really like about having space marine armies, it’s the option to have a company standard, flying the colours of the company, or the chapter, depending on how many are left. It’s one thing that I really like to spend time painting, because if the company standard looks good, then it’s a real eye-catcher for the army.

In recent years I’ve become a bit of a sucker for the underdog, and the Scythes of the Emperor summed that up for me, a chapter decimated by a hive fleet, losing all their heavy equipment, armour, homeworld and most of the fleet. The small force I have of them is based on their fluff, and is probably pretty ineffective on the battlefield. The standard though, I like a lot.

As with all the Scythes I’ve painted, they’re battered. Their armour is chipped and scratched, and I’ve used pigments to dirty them up and add grit and grime to the armour (nowadays I’d use shades for this).

The standard is kept crisp and clean though, and for me, shows their resolve to show the colours in all their glory, even when they’ve had the hiding of a lifetime.

When I got back into collecting and painting 40k back in 2008 (having sold all my first and second edition gear in 2006…), I was caught by the Space Wolves. I read a lot of the novels around them, and really liked their background, so quickly found myself painting a battle company of them. You can tell from the paint job that this guy was a while ago, but even so, I’m still happy with the standard even now.

The model itself is an old standard bearer which I had bought off Ebay and left in a mug of oven cleaner to strip the old paint off. Fast forward three months to the point when I remembered he was in there, and the oven cleaner had eaten into the metal, conveniently giving him some nice battle damage. As I hadn’t attached the banner pole to the Space Wolf venerable dreadnought, I used it for this miniature.

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The most recent banner I’ve painted up, was for the 30k Sons of Horus who I’ve almost finished. the banner model is the Forge World Sons of Horus HQ miniature, and has been painted up battered and scuffed like the rest of his company.

Having looked at a variety of chapter banners online, I decided to paint it using the same Non Metallic Metal techniques used to paint the Sanguinor (featured in White Dwarf many moons ago). I’m very happy with the way it turned out, and when he’s stood amidst the rabble of his battle company, you can always tell where the HQ is.

In the future, I’ve got standards for the Lamentors, 30k Ultramarines, and of course, the Death Guard – though I’m still trying to find a banner made from flayed skin for them. When I start the next one, I’ll complete a step by step for some of the freehand on the standard.

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