View Full Version: Salamanders definitely do have black skin now

The Great Crusade > XVIII: Salamanders > Salamanders definitely do have black skin now

Title: Salamanders definitely do have black skin now
Description: 5th edition rulebook

Magos Explorator - July 18, 2008 03:12 PM (GMT)
Something that's been suggested for a long time now, but rarely indicated by pictures of miniatures, was that the skin of Salamanders space marines turns very dark (almost jet black) due to one of the marines' implanted organs. I forget the name, but the one that changes the shade of their skin in response to changing light conditions.

A couple of miniatures in the past have shown central-African skin tones; in the 5th edition rulebook, however, is a picture of Salamanders containing two without helmets. Both have very dark (Chaos Black-Scorched Brown tone as opposed to Dark Flesh) skin; interestingly, the one with hair has very pale hair (while the other is bald), which is suggestive of it being a change after organ implantation (as, assuming the human phenotype in the 41st millennium is similar to that now, having very dark skin and very pale hair is almost unheard of). I don't have the book here now but can give you a page reference later, if it's of interest.

I don't know whether this change would have manifested itself in the beginning, or the mutation occurred somewhere in the millennia after the Heresy, but thought this was worth mentioning.

I think this is being extended to them having red eyes, too, according to a thread I read (on Warseer?) about a forthcoming Salamanders novel.

Weiss - July 18, 2008 04:01 PM (GMT)
They like their extremes don't they? I think it's quite cool though I'm not sure about the red eyes. I saw that post over on the B&C, I think.

Primarch Corax - July 18, 2008 06:21 PM (GMT)
How odd, thats exactly opposite to Raven guard marines. They have chalky white skin and jet black hair, and coal black eyes.

little horus - October 6, 2008 08:46 PM (GMT)
salamanders do have jet black skin and red eyes due to the radiation on nocturne

VESPASIAN - October 7, 2008 05:06 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (little horus @ Oct 6 2008, 08:46 PM)
salamanders do have jet black skin and red eyes due to the radiation on nocturne

You beat me to it Little Horus. :D

QUOTE (Space Marine Codex Page 26)
...the battle brothers of the Salamanders Chapter have jet-black skin and burning red eyes- a daemonic appearance brought about by a reaction between their unique genetics and the high levels of radiation on the Chapter planet of Nocturne.

I think that the Salamanders who were recruited from Terra itself would have originally not had this distinctive colouration; however after prolonged exposure to the radiation of Nocturne, they probably would have gradually attained the black skin and red eyes.

There are a couple of painted examples to be found in the codex, but it seems to me that it is going to be quite a challenge to paint an expressive face which has jet black skin.

Benedict Arnold - October 7, 2008 08:41 PM (GMT)
Bleh. Still unhappy about this. What was wrong with having one Legion who resembled Africans? Also, the coal black skin and red eyes is just a silly idea in my opinion. I'm sure it'll be easy for the Sallies to keep their reputation as one of the few Legions/Chapters to give a damn about civilians when those same civilians think they're demons or other chaos spawn. <_<

Whitehorn - October 8, 2008 08:10 AM (GMT)
'Africans' are part of a vast and varied skin spread on Terra. Why would an entire planet be black? If you want 'African' marines, paint some - they fit in anywhere, especially with a lot of Astartes originating from Terra in the Crusades.

Having the entirely of Salamanders be 'African' because they live on a Volcano planet.. its quite frankly daft.

Whitehorn - January 25, 2009 08:26 PM (GMT)
Hmm, so is Vulkan black skinned? He's not an Astartes, he wasn't born on Nocturne...

Battle Brother Loken - January 25, 2009 08:35 PM (GMT)
but didnt he grow up there?

W0lf - January 25, 2009 08:58 PM (GMT)
One of my gaming buddies whos just done a whole painted slamanders company (120 models, diff organisation) was really mad when he read the SM book about them.

It annoyed him the refrence tohow their 'daemonic appearance' had helped them to win battles. B)

Magos Explorator - January 25, 2009 11:52 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Whitehorn @ Jan 25 2009, 08:26 PM)
Hmm, so is Vulkan black skinned? He's not an Astartes, he wasn't born on Nocturne...

I don't think we know for sure. I'm tempted to say yes, as presumably it's his gene-seed which affects the appearance of the rest of the Legion. I suppose we have to wait and see how pre-Heresy Salamanders are described in future novels to work out the timing.

EDIT: Typo found a lot later!

lord_caldera - January 26, 2009 12:23 AM (GMT)
I think it would make sense for an entire planet to have dark skin. A high level of pigment may protect the citizens of Nocturne from the planet's radiation, or maybe the initial settlers were largely composed of Africans.

As for the Salamanders' appearance I don't agree with them having a demonic appearance however GW "justifies" it. This combined with their pyromania might draw an Inquisitorial investigation, though the SW and BA seem to have avoided that well...

How was Vulcan described in Fulgrim? I think that would be the best current source for clues.

Gagoc TheAncient - January 26, 2009 01:35 AM (GMT)
Fulgrim page 454:
Vulkan's skin was dark and swarthy, and his eyes carried a depth of wisdom that had humbled the greatest scholars of the Imperium.

It goes on to describe his armour as well.

But it doesn't sound as if he has 'Demonic' eyes or features.

Whitehorn - May 16, 2009 11:34 PM (GMT)
How likely would Terran Salamanders actually fall to this trait? I mean, surely they were far beyond veteran enough to be permanently occupied with the crusade and not spend much time on Nocturne to warrant the exposure and thus black skin?

Thousand Son - May 12, 2010 11:18 PM (GMT)
This is a BIG classic example of 'taking it way too serious like'
I noticed that page in the rule book. They are black guys and the hair is 'greying white' like what old people get. Nelson Mandella style :lol:

If GW chucks in a few multi-cultural models are you suprised? They have had years and years of selling a concept of 'all aliens are scum' with the astartes. Just like the friendly Tau it's a little bit of PR or maybe not. maybe they are black 'cos some dude thought it would look cool. Come to think of it that's the most likely reason.

You guys amaze me with your knowledge of this subject and I'm learning loads of great stuff reading the posts here - but come on, sometimes there's less to it all then you'd like. Some (not all) GW people add fluff here and there without your full passion, respect and knowledge, I believe.

Magos Explorator - May 13, 2010 06:34 AM (GMT)
I think you're perhaps reading something into this thread that wasn't intentional (by me at least). :) When I first posted this thread a couple of years ago, I think this was pretty 'new' information. Previously there had been references to their skin darkening although the few GW-painted models themselves were painted with a variety of skin tones. We didn't know whether they were meant to be charcoal, African-esque or something else.

The fluff doesn't say they are 'multi-cultural' or of African ethnicity; I don't think we're trying to make any ethnic classifications here. Rather the newer fluff says their skin turns charcoal and they have red eyes, due to Nocturne/their geneseed rather than their branch of the human tree. Previously the fluff hadn't really said anything about their appearance.

What I'm getting at is that I don't think their ethnicity is the crux of the matter. I had a Salamanders force prior to the 3rd edition Codex: Armageddon about a decade ago. There wasn't much info on them before then. That Codex changed a lot of things for myself and other Salamanders players with its fluff (the different armour colour being just one). Then we learned more with 4th/5th edition and the newer novels. I guess that's just the evolution of fluff. GW's decisions (e.g. bright green armour and charcoal skin) proved different from the painting decisions I and others had made beforehand.

Hopefully this makes sense?

ShroudFilm - May 13, 2010 02:47 PM (GMT)
All fluff is created because it "sounds cool". GW are just like the rest of us - a massive bunch of fanboy geeks. Only thing is, what they make up gets made into canon.

Thousand Son - May 13, 2010 11:21 PM (GMT)
yeah, good points - taken.
So you build an army, paint it, then GW changes the rules / background fluff.
Don't you guys live in perpetual fear seeing as though you're all collecting and building PH armies from well known chapters? I know about the two deleted Primarchs, but that kind of makes it a bit wierd to come in and do an army that isn't supposed to have any record in 40k times. Has anyone done that?

All this reminds me about the troop numbers and weapon options for tactical squads. I'm still confused as to wether a marine should be modelled with a holstered bolt pistol as well as the bolt gun - or not. There must be loads of pissed off players who's particular squad here or there is rendered illegal as each version of the codex is recreated.

Thousand Son - June 8, 2010 11:25 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Magos Explorator @ May 13 2010, 06:34 AM)
I think you're perhaps reading something into this thread that wasn't intentional (by me at least). :)

Sorry magos. Never noticed that bit in the latest space marines codex about the salamanders skin. My bad. Not the first time I've waded in without the facts. I'll get points for dumb enthusiasm, none for facts in this thread ;) I'll try to leave old threads alone.

Magos Explorator - June 8, 2010 11:29 PM (GMT)
No worries - enthusiasm is what's most important! :)

Apologist - June 11, 2010 10:26 AM (GMT)
The black skin and red eyes thing actually predates the Afro-carribbean skintone interpretation it's in the original Salamanders background around WD120, along with their all-black banners (their infra-vision meant that their banners were only visible in infrared, and so appeared completely black to normal vision visible spectrum).

Their black skin was interpreted in Codex: Armageddon as an Afro-carribbean look; and it has now been retconned back to the original 'demonic' appearance of coal-black skin and glowing red eyes.

From an aesthetic point of view, I rather liked the Afro-carribbean interpretation: it's very difficult to get flesh painted jet black to look good. However, I didn't like the idea that the Salamanders were the token black Chapter I thought that was a bit dismissive, and prefer the idea that the populations of Space Marine worlds are as different as our own world (though of course the sci-fi/fantasy angle could mean whole worlds of one phenotype).

If you want to 'square the circle' and have ethnically diverse (white/black/asian etc) Salamanders, there's no reason that you can't invoke the Melanchrome organ and say that since your Salamanders haven't recently been on Nocturne (and thus bombarded with the radiation and thus turned protectively coal-black), their colouration has returned to a different tone.

Thousand Son - June 12, 2010 10:34 PM (GMT)
I think the coal black skin and red eyes is an amazing look. Pure evil. Theres a pic of a salamander captain in the latest marine codex that looks real otherworldly. It's a bit like those alien make-up jobs in star trek where they used to give the actors silver or green skin or something. I heard they (the sallys) fart flames too...

MrBojab - June 14, 2010 11:50 AM (GMT)
ha, brave heart refrance.
But seriously I am making an army after Istvaan V(With Vulkan) and I am having half terran marines(Caucasian) and half nocturne marines(Demon appearand with jet black skin and red eyes). My Vulkan is having African style skin and blue eyes just to add variety.

Cheers Mr Bojab

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