Where It All Started: Ultramarines

Time for even more old minis, and this time we’re going right to the beginning! Last week was winter/skiing holiday and I got to spend some time in our summer cottage (I know, I know.. It’s Finland!). I’ve got all my old minis from my (pre-)teenage years there and I thought that I’d document them. Beware, less-than-stellar paintjobs, a mis-mash of different edition models and Goblin Green bases inbound!

I started the hobby, like many others, with Space Marines. I also had this strange notion that I had to replicate the box art, both in painting and even in modelling (ughh..). The first box I bought was a Space Marine (or WH40k?) paint set, which came with nine pots of paint, a brush and five 2nd ed. monopose marines. Below, my first ever GW miniature!

Okay, so I’m pretty sure he’s not my first one.. They’re monopose! Actually, I think he was originally painted by my brother, who also bought the same box, but didn’t care for the hobby in the end. I got his models, touched them up a bit and formed a full Tactical Squad. But, this one model is the only one I have that has the original yellow shoulder pad trim, so for all intents and purposes, he’s my first one!

Somewhere along the line I ended up switching from the 2nd company yellow to the 3rd company red. It was to do with the box arts, what else? Originally I had no idea what the trim colors meant, I just followed the ‘Eavy Metal examples, and so my Command Squad (below) was always in 3rd company colors, while the rest of the models were in 2nd company. When I eventually got the new Command Squad, which had the new 2nd company color scheme on the box, I decided to switch everything to 3rd company as they had the cooler banner!

Speaking about banners, they were all drawn on paper with a pencil and painted with the same undiluted GW paints that I used on the minis as well. I didn’t actually have pink paint, so the Tyranid head on the Standard Bearer’s flag is colored with a pencil. As the standard in the new Command Squad was plastic, so I couldn’t use pencils, I had to man up and mix my own pink paint!

As you can tell, my force was pretty HQ-heavy. Part of it was that they were cool models, and maybe a bigger part was that I bought whatever my meager pocket money could afford and what was available locally. Blisters were cheaper than full boxes!

The final two pictures are of the new Command Squad, which as I recall was the final box of marines that I painted before quitting the hobby (or going on a long hiatus, as it turned out). The reason that they’re not in the same photo is that I’ve been keeping the sarge and the banner bearer with me all this time. The squad as a whole shows the height of my teenage marine painting skills, and provides a reference for comparing where I’m now with my painting.

I do have to say that while these are not great paintjobs by any means, they’re not bad either. Especially the last minis that I did would be on a very respectable tabletop standard if you’d only throw a wash on them. I’ve always tried to be tidy with my painting and keep the colors in-between the lines, which does take quite a lot of time but I reckon is worth it in the end.

16 thoughts on “Where It All Started: Ultramarines

    1. Thanks eloth! There’s only one painted mini that I can think of that I have no idea where it is/what happened to it: I had an old Vindicare assassin (with the somewhat lame posing pose), but he was nowhere to be found. But yeah, other than that I’ve kept a close eye on my minis; after all, they were pretty expensive!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thanks for sharing them! I’ve always wondered about digging out some more old WW2 figures from XX years ago and putting a wash on them to make ’em closer to what I paint today. Quick and dirty but OK if it does the job!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s always great seeing peoples origins in the hobby!
    It’s fun seeing what inspired to get started.
    Your post was a great read and the part about the banners – how you made & painted them was a giggle

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love seeing old marines, they are so cool and bring back fond memories of being in school. What an awesome collection you have.

    I used to hate the paper banners though, they wound me up to no end haha

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    1. Thanks Steve!
      Paper banners were no cake walk! I did hear rumours that there were some sort of official sticker banners available back in the day, but of course didn’t have any myself. I was actually going to leave the banners off originally (just have the pole), but then the standard bearer looked so silly that I had to get some banners, and doing them from scratch was basically the only option. Never again though! If I had to do more paper banners some day, I’d just print them!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had heard of sticker banners too, but again never found any for myself. Mine were coloured in with felt tips 😂 I left the pole bare for some models and they did look daft. Good times though haha

        Liked by 1 person

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