View Full Version : Thinking about a space marine bike army

16-02-2011, 18:27
Hey everyone, I'm still trying to decide on what to collect and how to model it :)

Have been looking at the dark angel and templar bits... but have decided I'm not that rich haha!
Im brought round to the bike themed armies. I used to have a 2k Ravenwing force a long time ago, and I loved it!... I had to convert a command squad, and all my characters at the time. it was much fun.

Now im into airbrushing and have thaught about building a new bike themed list.
I know the new marine codex allows for all bikes, but I've got a few questions;

I dont know the new rule set yet as I've been away from the hobby. Im aware of its emphasis on troops choices, so if I took a marine captain on a bike to allow for 5man+ biker squads to be troops (or took the ravenwing list) can I capture and hold objectives with bike squads? or would I have to play to anihilate every game?

Would you like to see a marine biker army where every bike (speeders too perhaps) has a unique custom paint job/effect, yet the actual riders have a uniform colour?
this could be anything I can think of from flames, stripes, colour fades, sparkle paints, checkers... endless options.
This would actually combine my current hobby with the gw one (I used to be an avid collector)

Any suggestions on what and what not to use in a list of this style from any current players? (the ins and outs of the rules I dont know anymore unfortunatly so im not sure how everything will perform on the table) I wont be making my list purely to play its best, largly I want it to look nice, but I will always consider tabletop tactics and what units I could actually use effectively aswell as what I would like to paint and model.

A couple of modeling ideas I've had is to get a templar upgrade frame and give a select few guys weapons chained to their arms. For once they could serve a real purpose... if the biker drops his weapon its probably long gone! but we gots chains!!! I actually cant imagine any marine would ever drop his weapon, surely power armour has a power grip too :P but a biker may need both arms on the bars once in a while. also this sprue would give me a couple of special weapons to spread around my bikers, always useful. also I might use the templar badge, havent decided yet.

Comments? Critiscisms? advice? any feedback is welcome :)

16-02-2011, 19:53
If money is an issue, I'd think bikes would be a bad choice - they are not cheap models.

Not sure about the idea of every bike having a custom paint job - would be fabulous and fluffy for say a ork bike army, but maybe a bit weird for marines. Unless you're going for some kind of nonstandard whacky chapter where they believe in customising their own equipment?

Can't comment on bike tactics or which codex to use, but i believe some players have good results with bike lists.

16-02-2011, 20:03
Bikes can hold seize or hold objectives as long as they're troops since they are not "vehicles", so you should be fine on that score.

As Clang said, an all bike army will not be cheap no matter which Codex you use.

16-02-2011, 20:11
Yeah the bikes arent that cheap, but the Ravenwing Battleforce does give excelent value, even better if you look elsewhere than gw for it (can be found for around 40); its got a landspeeder, an attack bike, and 6 regular bikes in with some ravenwing sprues too.

il explain how this is cheaper than my previous idea, which im still open to... just will be a slow build; every single man would have dark angel robed body and templar chained weapons... at 25 for five average marines, thats a particularly pricy army to collect!
bikes look just as pricy except you require less of them to make up the points on the army list.

Im just throwing ideas around in my head really, im pretty sure im going to start the hobby up again just want to make my army have a unique character to it in some way.
Years ago when Ravenwing lists were published in WD i had a list, and i enjoyed it thoroughly, its got ups and downs... the downs mostly being lack of numbers on the battlefield. I am keen to know if a bike squad made to troops choice is a 'scoring' unit though. it would make so much difference as i understand the rules now need you to use troops types or something? im not totaly clear on it and havent purchased the new books just yet.

I get what your saying about the colour being a bit non standard, to be honest the concept reminds me of bretonia from fantasy battles. I could just as easily do custom paint work along a colour theme... theres a lot you can do with one main colour in the custom paintwork industry. Iv thaught about pearlescent, or hotrod sparkles, or colour shift paint finishes for the marine vehicles body work. they dont all have to be totally different, i can see how it would look a bit rainbowy! :P

EDIT : Awesome, you answered my question while i was typing :) thanks.
so i could atleast feasably hold and contest objectives with bikes. thats a start. :)
I plan to place an order for some figures next week, It will either be a few ravenwing battleforces, or lots of darkangels and templar bits. i like both ideas, so i best find something to tip me one way or the other... nostalgia of my old bike army is becoming a factor i think! although trying something new is often good.

If i am to go with the biker list; its looking like 3 Ravenwing battleforce boxes; comprising of a total 18 space marine bikes, 3 attack bikes and 3 landspeeders.
and one templar upgrade sprue to give me some fnacy posh parts to make distinctive squad leaders and convert me a captain on bike. (thinking about the dark angel veteran sprue for the book on it so i can make a librarian-equally could saw a librarian in half for his torsoe? i believe that was what i did last time round as a teenager)

16-02-2011, 21:11
I have a bike army with Khan giving the whole army Outflank which can be useful. One thing to note is that only the bikes taken as troops will score. Any further bike squads (or attack bike squads) taken as fast attack choices won't be able to score.

16-02-2011, 21:51
ahh that is a good point to make,
i know i 'could' take other units than bikes within the SM list, which opens up dreadnoughts, probably in drop pods to suit a fast paced bike army.

i dont want to take anything the doesnt particularly fit the style of the army... petrol heads is maybe a good description. maybe gear heads.

If i was to purchase the 3 RW battleforce boxes i mentioned, and build a force made up of;

1 captain on bike with a fist or something off the templar frame

5man bike squad (troops) plus one flamer, sgt power weapon from templar frame

6man bike squad (troops) plus one plasma gun, sgt power weapon from templar frame

6man bike squad (troops) with attack bike (multi melta) plus one melta gun, sgt power weapon from templar frame

2man attack bike squad (Fast attack) (both multi melta)

2 landspeeders with multimelta / assault cannon (fast attack)

1 landspeeder with typhoon missile (fast attack)

without atall knowing what kind of points army im looking at there... do you think i would really struggle to play an even game against any army (im aware its tough versus a horde when you have low unit count)

EDIT: Equally i could make that captain conversion into a librarian, and make the typhoon speeder into master of ravenwing speeder and play as dark angels codex. if anyone thinks that would be better? (dark angels do have my fav back story, and i would probably do one of the 2nd foundings, is one of them different to black ravenwing?)

16-02-2011, 23:03
If you need to get things cheaper, try Dark Sphere and BIts & Kits, both are UK websites. DS offers a 25% discount (making the already cheap for the price Ravenwing battleforce a steal) and Bits & Kits (when they have them in stock) sell Space Marine bikes for about half price (cheap for attack bikes and the older kit of the land speeder also).

Also keep the Dark Angels in mind since they can have Sammael in a land speeder (which is almost a land raider as a skimmer!) as well as attack bikes and land speeders that are scoring units. They cost more in points than the regular C: SM equivalents though :(

16-02-2011, 23:11
White Scars and Korsorro Khan is screaming to you, depends if you can paint white though...

16-02-2011, 23:31
Failing to see how it depends on my ability to paint a colour... i can operate a paint brush so i guess i have equal skill in painting any colour i dip a paintbrush into?

lol sorry for the sarcasm but your comment baffled me? how would painting white be any more difficult than painting any other colour?... I'm a paint sprayer,and airbrush artist, and find that gw hobby'ists tend to not use any paint that is actually difficult to apply consistantly and correctly (this would be candy colours, metal flakes, pearlescents, chameleon effects etc)

In respects to korsorro kahn, i seen the figure on the gw site to be infantry? is mounting him on a bike an option inside the codex listing or something? Id consider playing a counts as white scars army perhaps, personally im not so keen on plain white marines but im open to using their character listing :) (im afraid i dont really know what being able to outflank means yet)

Ravenwing can have landspeeders as scoring units too? i did not realise this? (sounds good to me, but iv been told vehicles cannot score- like with dreadnoughts having vehicle armour values and being unable to score)

16-02-2011, 23:41
Codex: Dark Angels states that LS taken in attack squadrons are scoring units. The Codex always supersedes the rulebook (which is useful in this case). Also thanks to the recent errata/FAQ update they now have the same updated equipment as those in Codex: Space Marines.

As for painting and painting miniatures, there are differences. I paint for a living myself (along with other things since I do things like illustration, animation and so on), but the differences are easy enough to pick up on and you'll be up and running in no time. White can be troublesome, but a test model (a cheap plastic model) can soon let you work that out. The GW Skull White is pretty thick so needs a little thinning, shading is also pretty simple to do depending on whether you want a more bone/brown or grey shade gradient.

16-02-2011, 23:41
White is hard to paint because of the difficulty of highlighting - you can't get a lighter shade of white :)

16-02-2011, 23:50
;) that you cant but you can 'low-light' as it were, sorry i didnt mean to sound like an ass ;) i can imagine that people new to painting do struggle with certain colours. Im fortunate enough to have been taught to paint via art classes.

Heres a tip from the custom paint work field for white... try a pearlescent white as a highlight to a solid white :) it reflects more light than a solid white and appears brighter.
citadel do not supply this kind of paint though, you would have to look at airbrush paints or custom auto paints for this i believe.

EDIT: Ohh im liking that extra feature of the ravenwing, suddenly they dont appear to have lost out as much with the SM codex being able to field all bikes. I shall investigate this. Being as iv always had a softspot for Dark Angels, and owned a ravenwing force as a teenager, it would be an enjoyable nostalgia purchase :)

So from what your saying, the ravenwing batle force box, can be fielded as a single troops choice? would you mind saying approx point cost of such a unit (i dunno nearest hundred?- natrually it varies with gear and options)

I've also looked at that 'Dark Sphere' shop and i think i will be ordering from there, 41 for a ravenwing battleforce box currently! cant argue with that :D

17-02-2011, 00:01
I find the trick to painting white so that it looks good is not to worry about the highlighting anyway. It's the shading that has to be right.

New Cult King
17-02-2011, 00:39
Damn you XMarvx - now you have me thinking about an all-bike army :p

17-02-2011, 00:51
On the topic of painting white Id strongly recommend the Vallejo "pale wash". Heres a review showing what the washes can do for you.


17-02-2011, 00:57
;) im just toying with how many ravenwing battleforces boxes i can afford ;)
and wether or not to get some templar upgrade boxes to give people shiny weapon arms and some bolt pistols etc. its an expensive uneccessary luxury lol.

i think im sold on ravenwing upon hearing about point scoring landspeeders.

master of the wing on jetbike, or speeder? its said earlier in the thread that the speeder is almost a landraider skimmer :D but that jet bike is rather posh looking! i might start off with the speeder and purchase the jetbike in future for a choice :)

colourwise... for ravenwing it feels wrong to stray away from black, i might do the vehicle body work pearlescent black, and the marines in the usual satin/matte black
within that i could come up with a number of custom paint effects using only black and pearlescent black. perhaps with a blank ink wash (believe its known as 'badab black' nowadays among citadel paints) - If anyone happens to look into airbrushing and auto paints, then candy pigments are much like washes, they should be sealed in with a clear intercoat before working over though as they bleed through. its a little inconvinient but has some of the best possible colour strengths out there. primarily for spraying in many thin coats, if anyone uses it with a brush please let me know how it goes.

17-02-2011, 01:00
If money is an issue, I'd think bikes would be a bad choice - they are not cheap models.

But you only have to buy relatively few, I've no done a price comparison or anything, but I doubt it's all the more expensive.
Except for Biker Scouts that cost WAY too much for what they are.

White Scars and Korsorro Khan is screaming to you, depends if you can paint white though...

There is a magic spell you can utter to make painting white no longer problem...
Pass your Ld test and reveal....
Thisimus Modellium Countius asium Kossaro Khanius

As for the custom vehicles/uniform trooper theme, why the hell not, a divergent chapter that prefers bike based combat and honours the achievments of it's vehicles as much as it does it's battle brothers.

17-02-2011, 01:13
I hear you on those scouts, but they do have a certain charm to them :)
I'm not sure you could ever have a ravenwing scout though... the very nature of the ravenwing would make it an absurdity! out of fluff interest, do any DA nuts out there happen to know if the darkangel 10th scout company have any bikers? because iv read the part saying 2nd company own ALL the bikes and their use and riders i guess would be loaned to the other companies upon tactical requirement. As a ravenwing marine i could fully imagine that 'this is my bike/speeder,there are many others like it,but this one is my own, without it i am useless, without me it is useless....' yadayada the whole fullmetaljacket parody!

and who doesnt wanna defy orders to get that fallen guy over there! ... word on the rock is that cypher nicked our best gucci battle gown and we just plain want it back is all.


17-02-2011, 02:09
So from what your saying, the ravenwing batle force box, can be fielded as a single troops choice? would you mind saying approx point cost of such a unit (i dunno nearest hundred?- natrually it varies with gear and options)

Yep, it can be fielded as a single troops choice if Sammael is taken (6 bikes + attack bike + LS = 10 marines). As for the points cost, the Ravenwing are pretty expensive, you are likely looking at about 400 points when they are all kitted out. However, you only get power swords in the battleforce, you'll have to find special weapons and power fists elsewhere. But, you do get parts for the LS Tornado and Typhoon and parts to make the twin-linked heavy bolter and twin-linked assault cannon that Sammy's LS uses.

My current RW force has 4 complete Attack Squadrons along with as Interrogator Chaplain on bike, Sammy in LS and a few other LS to support them. I've collected them over a few years since I had other DA (and other army) projects on the go and you can play 40k at any points level :)

17-02-2011, 02:14
awsome, yeah i only asked about the rough points value to figure out what id come up against ;) its looking as if my funds allows me to get 3 battleforce boxes, and 2 maybe 3 other boxes to ransack parts from. im thinking a command squad on bike (my old one was fun, but no techmarine in the command squad any more is it?)
and templar / dark angel veterans for weapons, and decorative bits n bobs. some of those da baubles on sammys speeder could work :)
looking at 1000-1500 points ish by the sounds of it depending on what i gear up with. as good a start as any :)
i dont really want to play huuge battles, 2-2.5k is probably my limit

... Ive noticed that i could also go for an extra speeder instead of one of those boxes for parts. choices choices... (I'm only gonna buy the other s when iv built the first load anyway!) ;)

17-02-2011, 02:27
lol sorry for the sarcasm but your comment baffled me? how would painting white be any more difficult than painting any other colour?... I'm a paint sprayer,and airbrush artist, and find that gw hobby'ists tend to not use any paint that is actually difficult to apply consistantly and correctly (this would be candy colours, metal flakes, pearlescents, chameleon effects etc)

Hey marv, i don't suppose you could give me details on where you get you pearlescents could you, i've been looking for ages on the net and other means and have not found anything, i've seen it done on vehicles, but the stuff made for body work would be no good for mini's would it?
We have a lad at our store who has a whitescar army all bikers, very striking it is too, makes a good looking army good luck with it...

17-02-2011, 02:46
For mini's it should be fine, one example is 'createx' its water based acrylic airbrushing paint that is suitable for fabrics, wood, metal, plastics.... most things really, especially if you prime first which we all do ;) because its acrylic it should be compatible with your existing (citadel i guess) paints. but because its made for airbrushing its generally very thin already in the bottle.
a few shops sell it, 'everythingairbrush' and 'custom paintshop' and two i can think of that are uk based, try a google for the products if your outside the uk maybe? they boths sell a variety of brands for this kind of paint. aimed at different markets. 'auto air' is another line (actually made by createx) made for automotive work primarily, this will be pretty high quality paint and will include all the range of effects you see on custom cars and bikes. (some are amazing if you apply them correctly).
Also if your interested in airbrushing equipment, everything airbrush stock a very big range of it. from value to pro price ranges.... i personally wouldnt even bother with the citadel spray gun, im sure its great if youve only ever used a hairy stick... but a dual action airbrush with a small 0.2... maybe 0.3 tip is what id reccomend for painting warhammer, you could use larger but loose the chance to do some medium sized details with it. 0.15 tips do exist but tend to be expensive brushes.

EDIT another thaught for you is a company called Liquitex, they make all kinds of artists paints and equipment, but an 'acrylic irridescant medium' would be great to mix with your citadel colours to make pearly coloured paints. might be a cheaper option to buying custom auto paints, with similar enough results. (auto paints cost a lot mostly for their years of lasting in outdoor conditions) - they also happen to sell higher quality pigments than i can imagine games workshop use (but gamesworkshop paints will have their own unique mixture for the acrylic medium, other brands should feel different to use and you might well really like the citadel range)

2nd edit: hehe couldnt help myself, if your worried about loosing detail with the paint thickness: properly sprayed paint layers in the vehicle spraying industry are measured in microns... im pretty sure itle be fine aslong as you dont just drench the figures in paint, really light successive layers allowing drying inbetween is always best, which is fine because if your layer is adequately light then it drys in seconds ;)

theres a lot of technical infor and technique to spraying metallics, try to keep the same spray direction across the whole thing othwise your get streaks and patches within the sparkle its pretty strange looking :P anyway this isnt a spraying forum hehe if you wanna know anythin about spraying id be happy to help