Deathwatch: a marine chapter for a different generation.

Now, I freely admit that I have some form of retro-love going on for Warhammer. I know not why I love the old Bob Olley Genestealer Cult sculpts and the frankly ridiculous old fluff, but I really do, and like to reference back to it. Sometimes this is less obvious, BUT NOT TODAY. Today, we are charging full pelt into Oldhammer, which I was never around for.

My initial research for Deathwatch basically consisted of me reading EVERY Chapter article on the Warhammer 40k Wikia, Lexicanum and most hilariously 1d4chan. the last one is…questionable at times, and certianly shouldn’t be treated as canon, but does contain some real gems, although I’d say you should probably steer clear until you’re 18. Anyway, sidetracked, the real point of this article is that I’ve made another throwback model for my Deathwatch.

Now, does anyone remember the worst named GW invention of the “good old days”? (i.e. before literally every release had some form of death, storm or blood in the name). That’s right, it’s RAINBOW WARRIOR TIME. Up first is the original Rogue Trader colour scheme for these guys, along with a couple of “updated” versions that take an Aztec/Mayan theme and apply it to the Chapter. Phil Sibbering’s site details his fluff, and I believe the second update came through 4chan at some point.

Colour scheme-wise, my Rainbow Warrior will be part of my Deathwatch, and mostly black, but I plan on adding the same stripes to his helm, which will be extended into the…you’ll see! I may follow Tarvick’s example and minimise the symbol on his pad in favour of some more stripes, but I don’t exactly have much freehand experience at the moment. This is probably just an excuse to put up his awesome conversion…


Incidentally, while looking for the colour scheme of the Rainbow Warriors, I stumbled upon a whole blog dedicated to Rogue Trader, and this page showcases the variety of interesting art styles and mishmashed themes of the 80’s time period.

My first thought was to use a build a headdress for the Marine, using small feathers to add to the bird-like look of a beakie helmet. That inspired this sketch,  obviously still mostly unfinished, but leaning into a few of the Aztec influences:


While messing around with parts, I quickly realised that I didn’t have small enough feathers and I’m not confident enough in my greenstuff skills to attempt a proper headdress, so I came up with an alternative solution, you’ll see in a minute. I have a bunch of old Lizardmen Saurus parts lying around from when my brother and I started Warhammer in the mid-2000’s, so a cleaned-up sword from these guys made a perfect conversion onto a DW Veteran arm.


I pride myself on being able to rebuild from parts that have been broken or damaged, and the torso back that I used for this needed a bit of a shoulder rebuild, some out came the plasticard! Top tip for rebuilding with plasticard when you have space to play with: cut a piece that fits the space you need it to, but bigger such that you can maneuver it. Then, you can shave it down or file it to fit the shape you need. The number of times I’ve been stuck together or messed up with tiny pieces…

You’ll also see a little piece of plasticard in the head socket, which I needed to add to make sure the head was high enough. For this build, I chose to use the really old, RTB01 beakie marine head I had lying around, it really suits the old, mothballed Chapter.


The rest of the mini is made up of a pair of salvaged legs similar to last week’s, a new Deathwatch Veteran fancy bolter and a shoulder pad that may have come from some old Grey Knights? I’m not sure on that one.

And here’s the bit of the conversion that I was most pleased with. I’ve always been quite clumsy, so to get away with making a frill on the back of the power pack was a particularly challenging feat for me. The feathers come from the back of Saurus standards, complete with circular attachment, the plates are Saurus shoulder scales, and a little piece of plasticard makes a neat border between the plates and frill. As you can see, i had a little trouble cutting the whole thing off my fingers!

I’m am so happy with the final state of this model, and as such he will probably be one of the last Deathwatch I paint, as I want to do him justice. Mostly black, silver arm as usual, but I’ll be adding stripes on his helmet that match the feather colours behind him. The Chapter symbol will be an interesting challenge, and the Aztec/Lizardmen bits will probably be a mix of gold and onyx/grey. ut here are the finished picks, and boy am I happy.

Now, for a little fluff:

Xipil Cuauhtémoc, Rainbow Warrior

“The Space Marine known only as Xipil, for none can pronounce his second name Cuauhtémoc, heralds from the ancient Rainbow Warrior Chapter, whose deeds have been shrouded in mystery since their inception. There jungle deathworld of a home planet produces hardy fighters, but their tongue is so alien to the other Veterans of the Watch Fortress that he struggles to communicate other than in the heat of battle. He clearly enjoys the company of others despite the language barrier, and works perfectly through team training and in the field. From what his teammates have gathers, he must surely have felled great beasts on his homeworld, to have earnt his name in their culture. It roughly translates to Falling Eagle Titled In Fire, and he proudly displays feathers that seem unbreakable on his power pack,implying some connection between the two.

Xipil adapted quickly to the techniques of the Deathwatch, and follows orders from his commander with no hesitation. His bolter is programmed to switch ammunition with the sound of his native tongue, and he employs his ancestral weapon so well as to eclipse the common chainsword, even on par with the destructive power sword.”

Deathwatch: a marine chapter for a different generation.
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