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I've started a Raven Guard army but so far have neglected to paint any insignia on them yet. I'm hoping Forgeworld are going to be releasing some RG shoulder pads or brass etchings.. but that's another story. My problem is with the Company/Squad markings.
Various sources seem to have varying ideas on what these should be.
- Right Shoulder trim denotes Squad type. Red for Assault, Green for Tactical, Yellow for Devastator, White for Veteran.
- Right Shoulder trim denotes Company. Yellow for 2nd, Red for 3rd, Green for 4th, Black for 5th.
- Right Shoulder trim is always red.
Which is correct? Confusingly, pictures in Codex: Space Marines seem to vary too. White shoulder pads/arms are used willy nilly (even on a Scout in one place) so is this just decoration or does it denote Veteran status?
How are Squad Number markings placed too? Numeral on the left kneepad?
Raven Guard are noted as being strict adherents to the Codex Astartes, so I'm more inclined to believe the 2nd statement.
Does anyone have Insignum Astartes? Are the Raven Guard mentioned at all?
This is really annoying me. I'd like to stick to the fluff as closely as possible.
Honestly, Ravendove, your guess is as good as anyone's. Various sources are all official; the codex, the rulebook, Index Astartes, etc. I was planning on going with the Index Astartes look at one point (your first in the list) as it was the 'oldest' therefore the 'best,' but after painting up some models, it didn't look quite right to me. Bottom line after that is just to go with what you want. The Raven Guard strike me as a force that will paint their armour to their needs, and if they want to show off company, squad or personal allegiance insignia on their shoulderpads, then power to them.
I had the Index Astartes article, which is why I followed that; I don't have Insignum Astartes, but even then... it's not going to do anything but possibly give you one more of those 'various sources,' as each of the sources are technically official. A pain in the rear, but it's the best we've got to work with!
Insignum Astartes isn't very helpful, the only Raven Guard mention it has is at the back with Codex chapter paint schemes. The Raven Guard image has black rims on the shoulder pad. The Marine's right shoulder pad has the upward arrow to denote a tactical marine with a Roman numeral denoting the squad. It also mentions that the left kneepad denotes the Company number.
Personally I've been going with the post-Heresy markings from Index Astartes (scheme 1), although I've used white trim for veterans instead of the black trim the article shows as I don't like the white arms.
The pre-Heresy scheme is interesting; black rims, instead the unit type is denoted by the design of the right shoulderpad. Tacticals are a green halved scheme (front half green, back half black), Assault is a red diagonal quartered scheme (top and bottom red, front and back black), Devestators are a yellow upwards pointing triangle, there is no mention of pre-Heresy veteran markings.
Basically there are many different schemes, so take your pick. Based on their tactics not including any markings would also be valid as every Marine would then look identical and would help to hide their numbers.
I've seen trim schemes to this effect, all within the overall black/white scheme:
HQ - Black or white
Troops - Black
Elites- White/Red (the latter for vanguard vets. w/ backpacks)
FA - Red trim
HS - Black or white
Really, it comes down to you, thoughI would look favorably on more blinged-out command units. It just doesn't feel like a captain if he isn't wearing his own weight in gold.
Terminator armor going critical would be like Three Mile Island only very, VERY angry, and carrying a hammer.
LO rules in a nutshell: Don't post unit costs, be polite, rep posts containing of win.
I'm going to go through the Codex: SM (arguably the safest tome to rely on) and work this out, picture by picture.
Inside back cover:
Combat Squad, red trim
Assault Squad, red trim
Land Speeder, crew with red trim
Biker, green trim
Assault Marine, red trim
Tactical Sergeant, red trim
Shrike, red trim
Captain, white shoulder pads (no trim)
Illustrated Tactical Marine, red trim
Additionaly, in Index Astartes IV, we had this picture:
File:Raven guard marine.JPG - Lexicanum
showing a Tactical Marine with Green Trim.
Now there are three major theories here:
- Trim designates squad type (Tactical: green, Assault: red, Devastator: yellow)
- Trim designates company (2nd: yellow, 3rd: red, 4th: green)
- Trim is always red
As demonstrated above, the first statement cannot be true because pages 25, 115 and inside rear cover of Codex: Space Marines show Tactical Marines with red trim. We also see a Biker with green trim on page 117. This biker also illustrates that the last statement cannot be true either, as does the Index Astartes image.
My conclusion is therefore thus:
As a chapter adherent to Codex Astartes, the Raven Guard operate under the traditional heraldry and insignia within. Shoulder pad trim (on right pad) denotes Company number. White shoulder pads correctly identifying Veteran status. The large number of pictures of Raven Guard marines with red trim is most likely due to the presence of Shrike, Captain of the 3rd Company, who himself has red trim. The two images of Raven Guard marines with green trim are assumed to belong to the 4th Company.
I think that's a logical way to approach the scheme, Ravendove. Just keep in mind that it isn't officially said anywhere, and GW tends not to follow logic in fluff or rules, so I don't see them following logic with their models either. I was planning on a Raven Guard strike force, sort of a mix-and-match of various companies, and their trim would be white or blue or another colour I chose myself; this would be to denote their strike force affiliation, as opposed to a colour for their company. It's really up to you; fluffwise, the red trim has never been mentioned besides for Fast Attack, I believe it was, so you're following GW's models and not their fluff. Index Astartes is probably your safest bet on the fluff as we know it so far.
What we have are 2 primary sources: Index Astartes IV and Codex: Space Marines. Codex: Space Marines provides a generic definition for the trim colour, Index Astartes provides a definition specific to the Raven Guard. The Studio Raven Guard army (as displayed in the Codex) were most likely painted using the generic definition to avoid confusion for people who haven't read Index Astartes.
Of course we can easily justify both definitions as being correct as due to change over time and we have precedents that this does happen. Pre-Heresy Dark Angel armour was black, now it is green. Index Astartes also provides a different shoulder pad scheme the Raven Guard used pre-Heresy. Presumably the Raven Guard first used the pre-Heresy scheme, then changed to the "trim = squad type" scheme before finally changing to the "trim = company" scheme. It may even be that the "trim = squad type" scheme was only used during the Heresy, the first change being made after the Istvaan V massacre, the second change being made with the publication of the Codex Astartes and the Second Founding.
The fact is that we just don't know what the truth is but Index Astartes tells us that the "trim = squad type" scheme was in use around the time of the Heresy and 10,000 years have now passed giving them enough time to decide to adopt the Codex markings.