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  • Writer's pictureMatt

Chevaliers de Imperator - A Primaris Space Marine Chapter

Updated: Aug 3, 2021

So I've been toying with the idea of a new Space Marine army since the release of the Primaris Marines, and last year even painted a unit up as Blood Ravens.

However it wasn't until the pictures of the new Primaris Outrides that I finally decided to give it a go. As for the conversions, I had seen a couple of images on Instagram of Brettonian head swaps, something I had tried as kid but never felt it worked on traditional Space Marines. However the head swaps looked more suitable with the larger "true scale" size of the Primaris.

I had also been waiting to try my painting hand at a non-gloss/shiny armour technique I had seen and coupled with the fact I never collected a WFB Brettonian army, a concept formed in my head.

In the blog I want to start of with a bit of fluff setting the scene for this new Chapter, as well as covering the conversion work and painting done to get these mini's table top ready.

Please note that all of this is a work in progress, suggestions are most welcome.

The Fluff!

Located at the very edge of the Segmentum Ultima, Brettoncourt IV is a fertile farming planet designated by the Imperium as a Feudal World. The land is mostly covered by dense forest, lush grassland and rolling foothills with the populace and culture somewhat reminiscent of 1400 AD Terra. The planet was first rediscovered and bought back to the Emperors light by the Black Templars sometime around the 38th millennium.

Prior to being exposed to the Imperium, the many Lords and landowners of the planet had waged countless battles and skirmishes with their neighbours. Forever seeking to expand their kingdoms boarders, unaware the wars they fought were but a rehearsal to what was to be expected of them.

It was this near constant sacking and rebuilding of villages that had kept the technology of the planet stagnant. By the time of the first Black Templar planetfall, the armies of Brettoncourt IV were equipped with plate, mail, longbow or sword.

Due to the similar aesthetic between the Black Templars and the warriors of Brettoncourt, most of the ruling monotheistic Lords accepted the Imperial decree and the Emperors divine rule. The notion of burning the witch, heretic or mutant also struck a chord. However, there were some who resisted, notably those who believed in multiple Gods. The natives of Brettoncourt witnessed first hand how utterly outclassed they were and what little was left of the rebellion was soon quelled.

Early on, Brettoncourt IV supplied the Black Templars of the Arkron Crusade with new recruits, as the planets isolation had guarded its inhabitants against outside corruption. Purity, was of course something the Black Templars held in high regard.

It was this absence of Xenos taint that made Brettoncourt IV an ideal candidate for the home-world of a new Chapter of Primaris Space Marines.

Upon hearing the news of their planet being selected to raise a new bulwark against the enemies of Mankind, the noble families of Brettoncourt were quick to volunteer their sons. Something they considered to be a great honour for their household.

It was this family pride and planetary culture which first saw raise to the unique colour scheme of the Chapter. So long as the left shoulder guard sported the Chapter colours which had already been selected (half red, half blue with a gold Fleur de lis), the warriors were permitted to display their families heraldry on the rest of their wargear. While those initiates from lowborn families often wore the intended red and blue battle plate, until which time they earned a crest in the traditional way a coat of arms was awarded.

"By bolter and chainsword, it matters not the colour of your plate. Only that you purge the enemies of Mankind!"

As for the Chapter's culture, it is as one could expect from a people propelled into the 41st millennium. The warriors are new and eager to wage war against the countless threats amongst the stars. Often clinging on to their old ways of riding into battle, albeit upon motorised bikes rather than valiant steeds. The presence of the Black Templars on the planet for many years is also notable, manifesting chiefly as a strong distrust of those who can command the powers of the Warp.

Although the Chapter has a full compliment of weapons and armoury, they largely prefer to avoid the use of tanks, especially transport vehicles. This trait is expected to subside as the chapter ages, but for now being enclosed within the loud confines of an armoured vehicle does not come naturally to the Chapter.

The Mini's

The most obvious conversion work will be the helmets, specifically the addition of the Brettonian head crests. For the first 3 models I cut away the back and bottom of a Bretonnian Knight helmet and removed the front and top of a Space Marine helmet. A little bit of green stuff was then used to join the two parts together.

I am also considering adding the head crests to a standard Mk3 Space Marine helmet if I can find any. Might just mix it up a little.

I also sculpted the Fleur-de-lis onto the left shoulder guards. If anyone wants to give it a go, I've added a tutorial on sculpting these to my YouTube channel here.

For the sergeant, I wanted a bare head but couldn't find any Bretonnian helmet-less heads in my bitz box. Instead I opted for the traditional knightly chainmail coif, sculpted over a Primaris shouty head.

All in all, i'm pretty happy with the conversions so far. Writing this after fully assembling the easy-build Marines, i'm thinking of adding embossed right shoulder guards to match the head dress of the helmet. Reinforcing the heraldry in any future builds. Might have to start scouting ebay for bitz.

For the undercoat, I have been totally converted to the Grey Primer team. No more Black undercoat for me I think. A grey undercoat works a lot better for an army which will end up red, blue, yellow and or black and white.

The painting technique itself takes inspiration from my non metallic gold, which at the time of typing there is a video tutorial here.

I've just changed up the colour palette and technique a little, one day I might even add another video to my YouTube channel.

Although this picture (above) was taken before the last two steps, it should give a preliminary idea as to the technique i'm aiming for.

As for the stages to the red armour, let me outline them below.

Base coat with Rhinox Hide and equal part Khorne Red,

Khorne Red layer,

Wash with Nuln Oil,

Khorne Red layer,

Khorne Red with larger quantity of Evil Sun Scarlet,

Evil Sunz Scarlet layer,

Evil Sunz Scarlet with a touch of Screaming Skull,

Same again but with equal parts Screaming Skull,

Tiny additions White Scar,

Carroburg Crimson wash

Technical Ardcoat thinned with some water.

Going to try painting some blue armour next which will follow a similar pattern of layers. I'll post the colours used once I've figured it out.


07th of June, 2020

So its day two and I've got the blue and red stages done. The stages are pretty much following the same as the red armour but i'll outline the process nevertheless;

Base coat with Regal Blue (this is an old paint of mine, not sure of the modern version),

Caledor Sky layer,

Wash with Nuln Oil,

Another Caledor Sky layer,

Caledor Sky with equal parts Teclis Blue,

Teclis Blue layer,

Teclis Blue with equal parts Screaming Skull,

One part Teclis Blue with two parts Screaming Skull,

Tiny highlights with White Scar.

Wash with Gulliman Glaze,

Technical Ardcoat thinned with some water.

Up next is the yellow stage, although i'm less certain on the various colours i'll need for this...

We'll see how it goes tonight.


20th of June, 2020

I wasn't really happy with the yellow stage. Not sure it came out as well as the blue and red, however yellow is always one of the harder colours to get right.

I started off with a base coat of 3 parts Skrag Brown and 1 part Averland Sunset.

This was followed by a wash of Nuln Oil. If i'm honest i'll avoid this stage next time, as it was only added as I had done the same with the blue and red layers.

Up next was a wash of Agrax Earthshade to bring it back to a brown tint.

Then came the usual staged layers listed below;

1 part Skrag and 1 part Averland Sunset

Averland Sunset

1 part Averland and 1 part Yriel Yellow

Yriel Yellow

1 part Yriel Yellow and 1 part Screaming Skull

Very edges painted with White Scar

A wash of Lamenters Yellow

'Ard coat Varnish thinned down a little.

For the rest of the techniques;

I painted the silver using mostly Greys and Whites with a bit of Rune Fang steel.

The Gold was based with Rhinox Hide mixing all the way into Gehanna's Gold, into Auric Armour and finally adding Screaming Skull. This was then washed with Lamenters Yellow and then Agrax Earthshade. I would have used my Non met gold technique but it relies to heavily on yellows and wouldn't work on with chapters paint scheme.

The leather pouches mixed Rhinox hide into magenta with a final wash of Agrax.

As for the sword, it was mostly trial and error. Using Hexwraith Flame and a Glow in the dark/day glo paint to lighten it up.

Any way, here are the finished models. I went with a Goblin Green and glassland base to pay homage to the Brettonians who have been nerfed :(

Think i'm going to be working on some spare helmets now. Get them all ready in time for the new Primaris Bikers which may or may not have lances in this army ;)


7th of July, 2020

So over the last couple of weeks I've been sculpting and converting some extra helmets and shoulder pads. Just so i'm ready when the new 9th ed mini's come out. Would have made a few more by now if it wasn't for accidentally sticking the hobby knife into my finger early on.

Here's looking at you helmet with the boar on top...

Above are a few I've done so far. I've also manged to get hold of some of the original Bretonnian plastic helmets too, just to mix it up a little. Not only that but I've sourced enough bits on ebay to keep me going for a while.

As for what's next, I've just bought some Hellblasters. I hadn't initially aimed on including any as I wanted to wait for the new outriders, but i'm getting impatient with all these converted bits laying about. I've also started work on another trio of marines;

Hopefully, once painted the little epic scale marine on the guys arm will look like a hologram.


13th of July 2020

So unfortunately we begin the week missing out on the new 40k 9th ed box set. Which is a shame as I really wanted some bikers and close combat guys for this army. Will just have to wait for them to come out separately. For my part, I was completely unaware this new Indomitus set was going to sell out so soon after pre-release. I checked the site at noon, finding out they had all gone a few minutes after 10am...

Anyway, I've got more than enough to keep me busy for the time being. Over the weekend I've finished building some Hellblasters and my Primaris Redemptor Dreadnought. I'm not convinced the Dread is done, looks too plain and can't quite figure out the best way to fill that huge base, wheat field perhaps?

As for the Dreadnought, I raided the bitz box to find something that would work for its heraldry. In the end I settled for a cow from the old plastic giant set, cutting the head off and green stuffing the rest completed the top mascot.

The crest on the right arm was also green stuffed together, matching my own family heraldry too, with the shield on the front being an old bull crest part I sculpted and cast up ages ago.

I'm planning on painting the

filigree to parts of the armour but we'll see how that goes.

I think it needs more trinkets and seals flowing from it...

Lastly I've started painting the three marines I started on the 7th, adding black and white to the range of colours the army will use.


19th of July, 2020

So I've been making significant progress with the trio of Marines i'm painting at the moment, but i'll share the photos once they're done I reckon.

This week has seen some more conversion work including some small additions to the Dreadnought, but more importantly the addition of a Chaplain. Something I picked up in the Worcester GW after a work trip.

Now before we get to the photos, I wanted to explain my idea to make the Chaplain stand out and add a little more character to the army. I was worried that the black armour of the Chaplain wouldn't stand out in an army that uses black intermittently with the various colour schemes.

Green however was a colour not used. As just like the Brettonians I was focusing on reds, blues, yellows, white and black. So thought i'd make the Chaplains of this chapter disciples of the fabled Green Knight. I think the concept works, the Green Knight is said to be blessed by the Lady of the Lake and represents the purity of the Brettonian religion (if you can use such a word in this example). And of course the Chaplains uphold faith in the Emperor across the chapter and should be the purest of all the marines.

The solitary green figure in the army would also make the Chaplain noticeable on the table top.

The first thing to convert up was the helmet. The Green Knight of course having a large feather on his helmet instead of the typical mascots other knights sport. For this I used a Knight of the Empire helmet with a suitable large feather, some green stuff to neaten the back of the helmet up was also an addition.

The top of the Crozius Arcanum was also swapped out. Luckily I still had some Blood Angel Sanguinary Guard bits kicking about. The banner topper with the little goblet was a good fit in my estimation, makes it look like he's quested for the Grail at some point in his career.

In fact I still have quite a few Blood Angel bits with goblets on them, shoulder guards and the like. The veterans of this army can now be Grail Knights. However all the old Grail Knights are white metal and the heads are attached to the bodies. Aside from being expensive to collect, I hate cutting up perfectly usable bits when all I really need are the head crests, especially now Brettonians are OOP.

Instead i've tracked down some 1.24th and 1.48th scale dollshouse goblets and cups. These can be stuck to the top of the helmets and with a bit of green stuff, boom! I've got some Grail Knight helmet mascots.

Lastly, and probably the luckiest find in the bitz box was an unused Green Knight shield. This replaces the book that would be hanging on his hip and will further complete the concept once painted.

Some eagle eyed amongst you might have noticed I've still not stuck a small trinket to the front of the Chaplains tabard. I want to hold out for a tiny Fleur-de-lis or something to add there.

The model isn't completely glued together just yet, it's going to be a very intricate paint job so I want to make my life easier when I finally get round to painting this guy.

Anyway, that's it for now.


23rd of July 2020

Mainly just a photo update this time as i've finished the 2nd trio of marines. I'm also pretty happy with how the hologram turned out too!

And lastly, the squad is taking shape;

I can't say i'll drill into this much detail for every marine moving forward, but for now I hope you like the individual images.


30th of August 2020

So there's been a bit of a delay finishing my unit of Hellblasters on account of moving house, but i'm pleased to say they're done now.

If anyone is interested in how I painted the plasma coils, i've included my process below;

* Base layer of white followed by a watered down Baharroth blue.

* Then in the corners of the coils, add some Guilliman glaze.

* Once dry, add some darker Drakenhof Nightshade in the far corners and also run a small amount of this along the bottom of the coil.

* Paint some white lines on the top middle of the coil. I then followed up with another wash of Baharroth Blue towards the middle.

* I repeated this last step again to brighten it up.