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So I'm thinking of buying my 3rd tac squad a rhino for christmas (merry christmas 3rd tac squad!). But I'm not sure what shoulder pad to put on the marine that runs the storm bolter, and I'm trying to do it as much "by the book" as I can. I don't think I ever heard any mention of who pilots the vehicles, but it's a marine sticking out the top, so he has to be part of some squad.
I feel that normally one of the squad members might man the storm bolter, but then when all 10 of them disembark, that would leave an 11th man still in the rhino. I've also heard that when not deployed on the field, assault marines will often be used to pilot vehicles, and I could see if they're the drivers, an assault marine might also be the gunner. Or, I could use the skull and cog of the techmarines, since that comes with the rhino box and all.
So, I know I'm being overly detail oriented, but who, according to the Codex Astartes, is the gunner or pilot for a tactical squad's rhino? What squad would the gunner come from?
I'd say it's probably a Techmarine but in all honesty I'm thinking any marine you wanted could man the gun. So decide based on what you'd like to paint for the crewman best!
I actually don't even know why they include the skull&cog shoulder in the kit. That symbol is reserved for the Ad-Mechanicus. The only reason Techs wear it is because they are part of the Machine Cult, having been trained on Mars.
If I recall, Rhinos have a crew of 2; a driver and navigator. As the pintle-mounted SB can be fired remotely and/or by the machine-spirit, I imagine that the navigator would man it, and only when the heightened accuracy of a marine's eye down the iron-sites is required.
As for squad markings, most Rhinos bear the tactical insignia of the unit they are assigned to; arrow for tactical, four-point for fast attack, etc. They are then marked out by company, with some form of numerical.
So if this is 3rd Tactical's rhino, it would probably have a gunner wearing the Arrow for tactical, and 3rd Squad or his Companies insignia. The exception is if this Rhino or crew has a history- in which case they might be allowed to bear some kind of honorific instead of the standard-issue insignia.
It varies from Chapter to Chapter - sometimes vehicle crew is drawn from the reserve companies, other times they're a dedicated pool of marines directly under the supervision of the Chapter's motor pool.
I tend to think of them as reserves from the Armoury (Motor Pool). Veteran Sergeant Chronus is the best example, he is not attached to any company.
However, Rhino crew will be closely associated with the company their vehicle is serving, and it is also true that every Space Marine trains to drive /
pilot every vehicle the Astartes have at their disposal - so in theory your crewman could be from ANY Company / Squad - although they are more likely to be trained in this manner when they are still in the reserve companies.
I'd suggest checking the Insignium Astartes or your Codex if you want the "Official" version though.
Thanks for your input, guys. On the exterior of the rhino, I'm going to paint up markings so that I know that rhino is dedicated to the 3rd tac squad, along with markings to indicate it's from a specific company (the same checkers as on the knee pad). But I might have to order the badge for the gunner, so I just didn't know which one it was to make sure I had the badge (since the badges are beveled and have the numbers imprinted on them).
I guess I'm just concerned as what a chapter like the Ultramarines would do, since you can't get much more "by the book" as those guys.
Thanks again for the help.
If you're fielding the squad with 10 guys, I'd say make him Assault and go with the Reserve Company explanation (even if it's 3rd's Rhino, you can say they tapped another Company for the driver).
Off topic, is that your color scheme on your avatar? Muy cool if so. Is it a homebrew Chapter, or your take on an existing one?
Sorry for not replying sooner!
Insignium Astartes is a BL publication that has details of Space Marine uniform (armour colours) and iconography. It was released normally a few years back but it's print on demand now. I had a look at my copy, but unfortunately it doesn't specifically mention who the Rhino Gunners are.
To be honest, as stated previously you have options. I know back when they brought out the Razorback during 2nd Ed, the gunner had the chapter icon on his left pad as nromal, and on his right pad he simply had a white circle with the vehicle number displayed in it, so he bore the vehicle number rather than any squad designation.
These days, dedicated transports tend to bear squad and company markings rather than vehicle numbers however.
It is quite a conundrum for any serious army builder, and one I can identify with, as I have a little bit of OCD and always like to know where every marine has come from!
I would like to think that the crews of attached transport vehicles fall into one of the following two categories:
1) Drawn from the company they are attached to (though they may be counted as support rather than as one of the Company's 100 "Battle Brothers"). In this case, I would be tempted to paint the gunner up as a member of the squad the Rhino would be carrying, as the Rhino crew are nominally attached to that squad even if they are not an intrinsic part of it. OF course whilst the squad are embarked, it could easily just be viewed as a member of the squad using the pintle mount.
2) Space Marines from the Chapter's armoury pool, like Chronus and those who crew Predators, Vindicators and so on - if we are imagining that they are Marines from the armoury, they would either wear standard chapter colours with vehicle numbers of designations on their right pad (or just some general Chapter imagery, or a Mechanicus symbol), or they might be attired junior Techmarines (so they would be in Mechanicus red with the BGM trims and so on - or whatever your chapter variant on the Techmarine colours are).
I hope this helps, I know it's a little rambling and inconclusive, but it's the best I can offer!
As far as I'm concerned a vehicle crew is drawn from it's adopted company. A companies vehicles are assigned (either permanently or temporarily, dependant on operational requirements or chapter history/tradition) from the chapters motor pool (which is usually under direct supervision of the Techmarines). Company badges/army badges are applied to said vehicle when it deploys to a company and remain there until it's next deployment to a different company.
I don't know of any chapters who keep a separate body of marines as dedicated crew (in the motor pool). As far as I know a vehicles driver and/or gunner is drawn from the company the vehicle/equipment is assigned to/deployed with.
As for the inclusion of the cog shoulder pad - that's a good question. I have always assumed it's in the kit so that you can assemble a "turret-mounted" techmarine should you wish to.
The crew of the vehicle probably belongs to the company in which the vehicle serves. I would classify them more as support staff than as part of a given squad (i.e. tactical, devastator). It doesn't make sense for a techmarine to crew a rhino, as they are usually only a handful of them in a chapter, and it doesn't make sense to have them diving into the thick of combat. Plus, if techmarines did indeed crew the rhinos, shouldn't they get a better repair rule? Now, since we established that the crew of the rhinos don't belong to any certain squad type, what shoulder pad should they wear? Here i would put the biggest argument towards the cog. In general, most vehicles fall under the armory (predators, whirlwinds, etc). From an organizational standpoint, it would make sense for them to wear the badge of the cog due to this. Rhino crews are no different. So all in all, I think rhino crews do indeed belong to companies, but they are part of the company support staff (if that makes any sense) rather than part of the squads.