40K Retro: Insignium Astartes – Official Regalia of The Ultramarines
Have you ever wondered what the official color, uniforms, and armor for the Ultramarines were? What about for all those other companies that don’t get any art work or attention in the photos? Well the Insignium Astartes has all of that at much more!
The Ultramarines are the Poster-boys for Warhammer 40,000 and they have a very distinct look. They are also the template that is replicated for all Space Marines Chapters to some extent. For that reason, we decided to delve into the Insignium Astartes and take a look at how the Ultramarines are organized and how each company in the chapter is uniquely represented in the official color-coded lore:
Insignium Astartes is a Warhammer 40,000 background book written by Alan Merrett. It focuses primarily on the uniforms, armour and organisation of the Ultramarines Chapter but also features the basic regalia of numerous other chapters – many of which are seldom mentioned elsewhere. Every chapter featured is believed to conform to the rules of the Codex Astartes which was written by Ultramarines Primarch Roboute Guilliman following the Horus Heresy.
This book breaks the Ultramarines Chapter, it’s organization structure, and each company’s colors within the overall chapter. It’s a great piece of inspiration if you’re looking to start an Ultramarines army and if you want to go even further, it even has names for your Company Captains. It breaks down all the differences in units, markings, and even weapons in some instance.
The Insignium Astartes even go so far as to cover all the different vehicles and support units in the chapter. It’s super detailed and a wonderful resource for the Ultramarines.
“But what if I don’t play Ultramarines?” That’s okay – because you can still use this book as a reference for your army! You can just swap the colors out for your paint scheme and you’ll be well on your way to replicating your chapter. If you’re choosing to do a custom chapter and want to get really deep in that rabbit hole, you can go page by page and rework how your chapter would do things – it’s a perfect road map for that. The colors and names might change, but the organizational structure is the same for all standard codex Space Marine armies.
It’s also a great reference point to compare to were the Space Marines were circa 2002 compared to where they are now. With the return of Guilliman, it’s very interesting to compare the modern look of Space Marines with their new Primaris Brothers and the old school look from this book. They share similar DNA for sure, but you can see a clear progression between the two.
Put on your dress blues!