Friday, February 11, 2022

Paul-Friedrich von Bargen's 3D printable Space Marines

MKV Heresy Armor next to a True-scale Dark Angel.

With the advent of relatively inexpensive, high quality 3d printers and 3d sculpting software, more people are experimenting with creating their own unique models. In particular, recognizing the demand for better-scaled and proportioned Space Marines, a host of people are creating “True-scale” Space Marine models. These eliminate the need for extensive Primaris conversions to create models that fit alongside the other 40k model ranges. Not all of these are created equal: some do not take the opportunity to fix the anatomical issues inherent to classic Space Marine models, and just copy the GW design, but make them bigger. Paul-Friedrich von Bargen, or bolterjugend.idstein on Instagram, recently started creating 3d printable files for different Power Armor marks, starting with MKIII Iron Armor, before creating MKIV and MKV, along with Terminator armor. Importantly, he corrected some of the more egregious anatomical issues with the classic GW Marine design, such as giving the models a proper abdomen. While you can get his 3D printable files to print them yourself, not having a printer, I contacted him directly to get some of his MKIII Iron Armor Space Marines. To my surprise, he sent a lot of additional printed models, including a single MKV Heresy Armor marine! With this post I wanted to talk a little about the quality of the models and show one I built!

From left to right: 15mm MKIII Iron armor, MKIII Iron Armor, Tactical Dreadnought Armor, Space Marine power sword, Terminator power sword.

A selection of Paul’s 3D printed weapons (light gray) next to traditional Games Workshop plastic weapons.

All of the models I was sent were printed in a gray resin with the supports removed and very few printing artifacts. The detail on the models is fantastic, similar to any Games Workshop model. Unlike Games Workshop’s models, however, these are all in believable poses, not squatting or standing on scenic rocks. While the models follow the basic look of the armor marks they are mimicking, they are better proportioned and have additional details in hidden areas like the groin armor. He included a variety of different weapons, like bolters and a few swords. These are all designed to be roughly the same size as the plastic equivalents from other GW kits, allowing one to easily mix pieces from your bitz box. While the firearms do not diverge from Games Workshop’s designs, the swords he created are unique and much thinner, making them look substantially better and more lethal. His Terminator armor is substantially bulkier than the GW versions, fitting the description of tactical dreadnought armor. To my delight, he also sent a few tiny 15mm Space Marines. The detail on them is remarkable, making me want to build an entire diminutive army of the little warriors.

The MKV Space Marine sculpt is very ominous and imposing.

I added a bunch of pouches and a scabbard to make it look like the model was prepared for battle.

I decided to assemble the single MKV marine he sent, due to the model primarily being a single piece, with the backpack and arms already attached and their legs being in an imposing stride. Very little cleanup was needed, other than a little sanding in areas, and filling in a few minor defects with modeling putty. Although I could have used some of the weapons he included, I thought their hands were slightly small for my liking (as I mentioned above, this was to make it easier for people to use plastic components they already had), so I decided to use plastic terminator hands instead. I decided to give the model a plasma pistol, using the plastic version that comes in the MKIV plastic kit, due to its long dueling pistol design. While the weapon is comically large on most Games Workshop models, the increased size of the 3D prints makes it more acceptable (Still a little too large if I am honest, but I wanted to get the model together quickly!). I modified the weapon a little, adding front and rear sights, replacing the barrel with brass tubing, and modifying the trigger guard. I decided to give the model a power sword, and ended up using one from the plastic Necromunda Escher plastic kit because it is thin and not overly large. I gave the model a scabbard for the sword, taken from the Sisters of Battle special character Aestred Thurga.

The Marine’s plasma pistol and power sword. Notice a trigger and sights were added to the pistol.

A scabbard was added to the Marine’s waist, using a small strip of plastic card and modeling putty to create leather straps to fasten it.

If you cannot tell, I am really happy with Paul-Friedrich von Bargen's Space Marine designs! They are slightly larger than Primaris Space Marines, which works well for my current Dark Angels Kill Team which is lightly converted from Primaris Marines. I always imagined most of the older Heresy era armor variants being bulkier than the later ones, so the size difference makes sense. I think the model will fit nicely alongside my other Dark Angels; I just need to paint them! If you like the model, I would strongly encourage you to consider buying some of the 3D files and build some of your own!

- Eric Wier


  1. Very cool - very stylised (is it impolite to say "chonky"?) but still looking quite anatomically believable - yours looks great and I look forward to seeing it painted.

    15mm 40K is very cool but I suppose a hobby in its own right really. I'd prefer GW (and everyone else!!) had stayed with 25mm miniatures really.

    1. It sure would have been great if GW stuck with 25mm...

    2. If you reduce those prints back to old marine size and use historical kits in 1/72 for the normal humans you get yourself some nice looking 25mm 40k

  2. 40k and 30k would have been better at 15mm.