Wednesday, August 23, 2023

90's Marine Challenge: Dark Angel

Two Space Marines models from the 90’s, one just painted (left), the other when we just got into the hobby (right), circa 1997.

Over the last few years I have been painting Dark Angels Space Marines in honor of them being the first Space Marine Chapter we ever painted when starting in the hobby. Although it started primarily with Primaris Space Marines slightly converted to be true-scale Space Marines, I started to paint some older models to capture how Space Marines have changed over the years, including some Rogue Trader models, a MKIV, and a MKVI Space Marine. So when Darren Latham of Games Workshop fame started a 90’s Marine Challenge to paint a plastic 2nd edition Space Marine in a Chapter of your choice, it seemed like an ideal opportunity to paint one of the classic statuesque power armored warriors. Admittedly we did paint a bunch of the models when we first got into the hobby and got the 2nd edition boxed game of Warhammer 40,000. Space Marine models have come a long way since the 90s, and I am happy to say that I think I have too, at least in terms of painting!

The model was painted primarily via a stippling method using Caliban Green followed by another layer with a small amount of Vallejo Game Color Glacier Blue (72.095) mixed in. The method focuses on light volumes rather than lots of edge highlighting.

The large armor panels on Space Marines offer a good space to paint unit markings or heraldry, in this case an interesting kneepad.

I applied traditional decals using Tamiya Mark Fit, which after a few coats, allowed them to lay flat.

A dark brown oil wash was applied to the entire model to blend the stippled green of the armor.

The black elements of the model were painted using stippling with a few paints from Scale75’s Black and White paint set. Petroleum Grey (SC-57) is an excellent first highlight color for black.

The 2nd edition Space Marine is pretty similar in size to old Rogue Trader Space Marines from the 80s.

The 2nd edition Space Marine is much smaller than some of the later iterations of Space Marines, particularly the newer MkVI Space Marines (2nd from the right) and Primaris Space Marines (farthest to the right).

- Eric Wier


  1. This is a very well measured look at three decades of sculpting, great paint jobs to boot. Great article!

    1. Thank you! It is great looking back at all those old models!

  2. Lovely paint job and I still have a real soft spot for this version of the space marines!

    1. Yeah I have a soft spot for the models too. They are pretty odd looking, but so iconic!