Bob Naismith, the man credited with designing the original Space Marine miniature for Games Workshop had a lot to say on the record about their origins…
Mr Naismith was recently deposed in relation to the Games Workshop vs Chapterhouse case and the questions dealt specifically with the design and origin of that first Space Marine miniature. You’ve going to learn a whole lot you never know about the misty heritage of the Adeptus Astartes.
Some choice quotes from the deposition:
Q Did you design the first Space Marine?
Q Was the concept of a futuristic soldier original in the 1980s?
A No, it is not, no. It was predated, like by the books and so on.
Q How did you go about determining what artistic design elements went into the Space Marine?
A …The all enclosing armor was really a development of again my historical information, you know, the idea of like Medieval armor with knee armor that had to articulate, you know that the feet would have to articulate but still be armored. These are common elements in Medieval play armor, full play armor. The helmet, again, we knew it was fully enclosed. We knew that these guys were going to be I suppose kind of like Roman soldiers. So they were like legions. There were going to be loads of these guys, loads of them. So the helmet was loosely based on I suppose like a Roman legionary’s helmet with neck, neck protector, ear protectors that roll-over the ear, and sometimes you would have a heavy browband….
…Now, the backpack was kind of, in design terms, again it was almost kind of like it had a historical root in my mind, in the sense that it is a cylindrical form at the top which was — you could say it was like based on a rolled blanket from historical periods, like the Napoleonics. There was a backpack type shape in the center, which if anything probably resembles like a Second World War American GI’s backpack. Then the nozzles at the bottom were surrogates for some of the equipment packs that I referred to earlier on. So that the guy looked like he always had equipment with him.
There is much more… go read it.
~ I for one will never look at a Astartes backpack again and not see it in it’s historical context. Fascinating! Have at it folks, what’s your take on this?