Friday, 15 March 2013

The creation of the first Space Marine: an explanation by their first sculptor

BellofSouls posted a link to something I think any fan of Warhammer 40,000 would appreciate: a deposition regarding the creation of Games Workshop's most recognizable intellectual property: the Space Marine.

In it, Bob Naismith (a sculptor for Games Workshop back in the '80s) explains how he came up with the design for the very first Space Marine model, with some design input from Rick Priestley (one of the designers of "Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader").  Titled, "Exhibit H" in a civil action case between Games Workshop and ChapterHouse Studios, in it, Games Workshop's lawyer grills Mr. Naismith on various aspects of the Space Marine's design, it's design inspirations, and whether or not he was aware that the term, "Space Marine" was in use before he came up with his take on it.

Now, I'm no lawyer, and the only legal show I've ever watched on TV was "Night Court" (that should tell you how old I am), so I focused on the story behind the creative process that brought this iconic sci-fi soldier to life.  It's amazing how this man thought, and to think that if he hadn't been so knowledgeable about ancient Roman armour, or been a bigger fan of any other ancient or medieval time period (for example, the feudal Samurai???), Space Marines as we know it would have turned out very differently.

One thing that puzzles me is why a U.K. game company and design studio is so fascinated with American-style football?  I mean, there was Bloodbowl, but now we find out that Space Marine shoulder pads were inspired by NFL-style football player shoulder guards?  Whaaaa?

Anyway, it's definately worth checking out:

And a pic of the very first Space Marine (GW's take on the concept, anyway) model ever sculpted:

I know... to the average everyday person, this is probably boring as all heck, but for a GW geek like myself, this is the coolest thing I've read in quite some time!


  1. The real shocker of the whole trial was reveiling that the beak if the infamous beakie, is in fact a gas mask!

    Not that I know, it deffinetly reminds me of a plauge doctor.

    1. I love those beakie helms. So characterful.

  2. I have this model! I've been using him as an Inquisitor in power armor for the last couple of years! And yeah, I did buy it from GW when it came out..... sheesh 30 years in this hobby.....

    1. The old marines would work great as Inquisitors. They were slightly smaller scaled, which would be totally appropriate!

    2. As for having that model for 30 years... I wish I had kept all my models from back then.

      Or failing that, I wish I had a time machine, so I could go back and visit a GW store back then, and buy armloads of blister packs.