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Title: Astartes Power Armour Identification
Description: For the new & a reminder for the old

Gagoc TheAncient - September 13, 2008 06:49 PM (GMT)
A Guide to Astartes Power Armour Identification

As Artificers and members of the Cult Mechanicus it is part of our responsibility to correctly identify pieces of armour.
This guide is written as an introduction for the new acolytes, and a refresher for the adepts.
The typical archetypes of each Mark of armour is used in these descriptions as the variants and unique pieces of armour are too varied to enclose in such a simple guide.

Part: 1

Mark I, Thunder Armour:

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This is a rather basic form of power armour common to Terra during the Age of Strife and the Unification wars. The power coils of this suit are focused on the upper body, whether this is due to the preference for close combat at this time, or vice versa, is up for debate. This suit was only used in breathable atmosphere’s as it has protection against hostile environments, or life-support facilities.

Helmet: The helmet of a Mk I is free moving, and seems to come in five distinct parts.
There is the crest on the on top, which is usually either a Horse-tail topknot or a Greco-Roman horsehair brush, which itself can be front to back or side on.
The crest sits on top of the rounded, circular dome of the helmet, which itself maybe ornamented by a diamond pattern around the topknot, or a laurel around the brush.
Below is the main body of the helmet which slopes outward from the dome in a similar fashion to an upside down bucket (but don‘t tell the Astartes that!). Most versions of this type of helmet have the dome set in from the edge of the helmet’s dome, possibly so that the main body can house the vox gear, and other electronics, without compromising the helmets protection.
On each side of the main body are round ear guards possibly housing part of the vox gear and possibly aural sensors and filters.
The final piece is the visor which tends to be a single piece covering both eyes shaped either as a straight piece across the eyes, a sunglasses type shape with a gap for the bridge of the nose, or a V-shape that covers both eyes and at least the majority of the nose.

Note that there is nothing covering the face of the wearer. This suit is completely open to the atmosphere.

Breastplate: This too has distinct pieces. Four if you include the belt.
The back plate, which is non-descript but covers the back well. It does seem to bear some resemblance to the back of modern Astartes Scout armour.
The Breastplate it self covers the upper chest, and from just below the mid-shoulder, it curves in to provide some armour to the stomach. There is usually an embossed symbol upon it.
The power cables can be seen in gaps left by the breastplate where a Plackart would be. There are at least two to three cables visible on each side.
The belt itself has a round boss for a buckle, with holsters, sheaths and equipment pouches of various size within easy reach of the wearer.

At the time this armour was in use the embossed symbol upon the Breastplate, was usually the Thunder and Lightning symbol the holy Emperor used during the Wars of Unification. Though there may be examples of the Breastplate in use with an Aquila, a symbol such as a Laurel wreath, or some iconography unique to the individual or chapter. There may even be examples with no embossing at all.

Shoulders & Arms: The shoulders Pauldrons tend to be and made up of overlapping plates. These plates may, or may not, be designed to move over one another to provide an exceptional range of movement like Lorica Segmentata of the Romans.
The arms were usually wrapped in a protective layer of chainmail with a leather Gauntlet providing protection to the hands, wrist and forearms.
There are rare examples where at least the lower part of the arms were shod in overlapping plates with a Couter protecting the elbow.

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Legs & Extremities: The Legs themselves were clad in tough leather breeches and had a layer of chainmail on top. Some even had Cuisse and Greaves strapped over the front as an extra layer of protection.
The groin is protected by a ‘box’ seemingly attached to either the belt boss or the breastplate. The rear also has a protective plate to cover the lower Lumbar region.
The feet are shod in leather boots with metal plates attached by studs to protect the top of the foot.

Mark II, Crusade Armour

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This was a suit designed using the knowledge of the Mechanicus. The design criteria took into account the fact that this suit would have to fight in myriad hostile environments. It’s battlefields ranging from Death Worlds, through lethal alien environments, to the frigid depths of the void of space.
It also was the first design to carry the auto-senses common to later suits of Astartes armour, and it may be possible to see sensors behind the visor as a single glow or two, one for each eye providing stereoscopic input.

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Helmet: The helmet bears more than a passing resemblance to that of the Mark I. In fact it is probable that the Mark II helmet is derived from its predecessor.
Though the early versions of this helmet overcame the problem of total enclosure by simply bolting the helmet directly to the upper Breastplate. Later versions were made to be both enclosing and have a degree of free movement.
This helmet also appears to have five distinct parts.
The dome of the helmet, though similar to a Mk I’s, is actually more of an oval skullcap to better accommodate the shape of the human skull.
The Main body also slopes outward, but at far less a degree than its predecessor. In fact on some examples it looks vertical. Incorporated into this is a face-plate, made from one or two main pieces, which follows the front curve of the dome skullcap but seems to a near vertical front. There are six vertical vents on the faceplate, spread out along its front below the visor. Usually with three either side of the brace.
And this helmet also has round ear guards, but they are sure to enclose the vox gear plus aural sensors and filters.
There is also a visor that covers both eyes and is part of the auto-senses system. This too can have two or three shapes, the most prevalent being either the sunglasses or straight strip shapes.
Wrapping around the base of the skullcap, separating it from the main body, is a raised studded brace.
There is another piece of bracing bisecting and along the bottom edge of the faceplate. The piece bisecting the faceplate also separates the vertical vents into two sets of three.

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Some of these helmets have a Prussian spike atop the skullcap as an embellishment. Some of those that can move have air hoses that attach below the faceplate, that originate at an armoured pack on the back.

Breastplate: This has four or five distinctive pieces, if you include the belt.
Upon the shoulders is a thick armour plate which stretches from at least the mid-shoulder blade over the chest. It is to this that those helmets set in place were bolted.
Down the centre of the stomach and chest is a wide, flattened and ribbed power cable, though it could appear to be two cables one on the chest and one on the stomach.
Either side of the stomach’s power cable are the segments of horizontal flexible armour that wrap around the back. These take the form of either overlapping plates or seemingly separated hoops.
This belt also has a boss buckle, but is studded. It can also accommodate holsters and pouches. I have yet to see any blade sheaths upon one. Most examples of the boss bear a form of the Imperial Aquila.
Certain examples of this suit bear an armoured pack upon the back from which come air hoses that either attach directly to the helmet beneath the faceplate, or pass through the rear collar armour to a regulator.

Shoulders & Arms: The Pauldrons on this armour are solid pieces of armour that have a raised border with studs on the inside of it. On the left pauldrons is a disc attached with studs along its edge. This is possibly to display icons or insignia of the chapter.
The arms are also protected by the hooped plates of armour in the same pattern as the rest.
There are metal Gauntlets to protect the hands, wrists and forearms.

Legs & Extremities: The legs also have the same plates as the stomach and arms for protection. On the calf there is a piece of wide, flattened and ribbed cabling. And their seems to be an axle type joint at the ankle probably connecting the armour of the legs to that of the feet.
The knees have a Polleyn that also has a strip that goes behind the knee to provide all round protection to the joint.
On each upper thigh there is a pair of cables that connect the legs to the power system by passing under the belt.
The groin is protected by either segmented overlapping horizontally plated box, or a solid box.
The rear is protected by two overlapping horizontal plates.
Footwear is of the Sabaton pattern armoured with a toecap attached to the rest of the foots armour with studs.

Gagoc TheAncient - September 16, 2008 11:49 PM (GMT)
Part 2,

Mark III, Iron Armour

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And so we move on to the Mk III armour. Unlike it’s two predecessors, this armour cannot be easily delineated from the preceding Mark. This is because this design is at least an adaptation, if not an outgrowth of the Mark II’s design.
Though the helmet is markedly different, and this may be due to a link with the design of the helmet of the Cataphractii Terminator suit.
The design of this suit was battlefield led and it had precursors built by Artificers. These artificer modified suits were usually formed by fixing the armour plates of the Mark I suit to the armour of the Mark II.

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Helmet: This piece of the armour has at basically four distinct pieces, though some may have as many as six or more. There are at least three known standard variants of this helmet.
The top of the helmet is an oval shaped dome. Most if not all versions have studs on this part, each with at least a line of studs above the lenses in the brow region.
Across the top of the dome running from the crown to the rear is a brace, that can also acts as either a vent or light source. This width of this brace is usually measured millimetres, but there are wider versions.
One variant of the helmet doesn’t even have the brace. Instead they have a line of studs running from above the bridge of the nose, over the crown and towards the back of the neck.
Unlike it’s predecessors the Mark III helmet has two lenses for the eyes instead of the cyclopean visor. This is obviously due to an advancement in technology.
The faceplate of the helmet has sloped plates coming to a slanted vertical edge at the front. These plates have a slight convex curve from the ear cup to the point on each side, reminiscent of the prow of a sea ship or, more correctly, that of an Imperial Warship, an innovation not seen on previous Marks, designed to deflect incoming fire to the sides.
Like the Mark II, this faceplate has six vertical vents, three on each side. Unlike the Mark II this faceplate covers the bridge of the nose.
This design is to provide better protection to the face of the wearer through deflection of incoming fire and by presenting a greater depth of armour head-on.
What appears to be an original variant of this helm is an exception to this design of faceplate.

It’s unblemished faceplate is curved around the face from ear-to-ear, whilst being straight or even slightly concave from top to bottom.
The reason it an early variant is due to the fact that the helmet appears directly fixed the breast and back plate.

The Mark III helmet does not vary from the previous design in the way it connects to an air supply.
Of the three common variants, the one with the studded crown has two air hoses connecting the neck armour with an armoured air supply, the other has two air hoses connect the rear tank and attach directly to the helmet beneath the faceplate. The third is the helmet fixed in place and is a forerunner of later Marks. It connects the fixing point for the backpack directly to the neck armour through a single wide hose.

Certain Legions, mainly the Death Guard, embellished this helmet with a Prussian spike.
Any other variation in the design usually occurs in the prow like faceplate, variations in the sharpness of the point, differences in the curvature from ear cup to point, some examples are even concave instead of convex, and then there are the different vent shapes.
Some have rearward facing vents whilst others have vents that are a series of holes or even a single large vent sometimes shaped in a form particular to chapter, for example the Black Templars can have these vents shaped as their cross, whilst the Dark Angels would choose a vent shaped as a sword.
Then, of course, there are those forms of Mark III helmet with no visible vents at all.

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Breastplate: Though the entire torso is a single piece of armour, the Mark II seems to bear an extra layer in the form of a breastplate that curves inwards from the armpit to just inside the hips.
The classic design has a gap in this breastplate at belt level, in which can be seen to widely spaced studs.
The breastplate appears to be secured onto the torso armour with studs along its edge.
On one particular form of this breastplate, there is a gap at the neck through which comes either a wide power cable or a ribbed neck joint, which connects to the underside of the armour between two air hoses.
A segmented belt connects to either side of the base of the breastplate to which can be attached pouches above the hips.
On the back there is either an armoured air tank, or a connector for the backpack.
The breastplate can be adorned with an Aquila or a Death Bird, a bird with a jawless human skull for a head.
There is a variant of the Mark III, more prevalent in modern times, that has the breastplate only covering the chest and an oval shaped piece of Plackart armour covering the stomach and overlaying the armour beneath.

Shoulders & Arms: The Pauldron shoulder pads of Mark III suits comes in two versions.
The first is a solid pad with a raised border affixed with studs at regular intervals.
The second also has a raised border affixed with studs, but this border also curves up to form a piece of armour at right angles to the border along it’s outside edge. Some examples have this extra armour all around the Pauldron, others only along the border next the helmet.
The arms are protect by singular plates of armour forming Rerebraces, Couters and Vambraces.
There are two forms of Couter, one is a plate that comes from under the Gauntlet and stretches to the point of the elbow joint, the other is the type that covers the entire underside of the elbow and is prevalent on later marks of armour.
There is an armoured Gauntlet that covers the forearm from the Couter to the back of the hand or the knuckles.
Even the fingers are armoured.

Legs & Extremities: The armour of the lower limbs is basically that of the Mark II, but with a few crucial differences. They have the flexible hooped armour of the Mark II with the wide, flattened and ribbed power cable on the calf, but with armour plates fixed to the front.
The box protecting the groin is not the flexible segmented plates of the previous suit, but usually a more robust item that is wider.
There are Cuisse and Greave plates covering the front of the thighs and shins respectively.
The knee is protected by a round Poleyn that curves around the kneecap. The back of the joint does not have the strip covering it that was on the previous armour.
Also, unlike its predecessor, the hooped armour and the boot-style sabaton are one unit, and there is a ribbed joint at the top of the thigh.

Some examples of Mark III have the ribbed knee joints at the back of the knee that were a mainstay of later designs.

Gagoc TheAncient - September 21, 2008 06:05 PM (GMT)
As some of you may have noticed I've adjusted the previous posts, generally as stuff has come up or I've thought of something as I'm writing the next piece.
I guess that makes this WIP!

Mark IV, Maximus Suit

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The Maximus Suit was something of a departure from previous Astartes power suit design.
Where as its predecessors relied on a flexible layer of armour with stiff plates attached, as with the Mark I and Mark III suits, this suit used inflexible casings with flexible joints.
As such it compromised movement and flexibility, even constricting the wearers agility, in favour of streamlining production and maintenance.
The grade of armour was lightened, more efficient, and made out of more advanced materials.
Even the power cables had improvements in manufacture, were made of more advanced materials, and had better protection leading to a reduction of size and numbers.

All of these factors helped influence the design of the Maximus suit, and should be kept in mind whilst reviewing the armour itself.

Helmet: The Maximus helmet comes in four main variants, due to its design process which also spawned the Corvus helm. The obvious difference between them is in the faceplate, but there are other, subtler differences. As such each helmet will be listed independently by type.

Type A: The oldest.
The main body of this helm is a dome that stretches from the back of the neck to the brow. There is a thin brace running mid line from the back of the neck the top of the dome which appears to be a vent, but could be a recessed light or sensor.
The brow itself points down and has a stud above the bridge of the nose. This is above the two recessed eyepieces.
The ear cups are oblong with a semi circular curve on top. Upon the outer face of this is the round earpiece.
The faceplate has two pieces, the first seems to cover the face entirely and has what could be described as “Cheekbones”. The second sits upon the first and covers the nasal and mouth areas of the faceplate. This part is a form of classic diamond or “Kite” shape, with the top point disappearing under the brow and the bottom not ending in a point but ending with a flat plane. This plate stretches from the brow to below the chin and helps shield the neck at the front.
The second plate also slopes down onto the cheeks creating a vertical ridge down its centre.
Either side of the ridge are three vents that diagonally slope downwards and outwards from the ridgeline.
This second faceplate is attached to the ear cups by two lengths of hose.

There is also a variant of this helmet where the two faceplates are melded into one, and so covers the face from side to side, as well as the neck area below. This design also retains the six diagonal vents and usually the air hoses.

Type B: Thought to be the next oldest type.
The main body of this helmet has a similar shape to “Type A”, and even has the main brace. Unlike the other type it has a block at the rear of the helmet, just above the neck, the first design of Astartes helmet to have such a design feature.
It also has a pointed brow and recessed eyepieces, and even similarly shaped ear cups. But then the differences start to become apparent.
The circular earpiece is now cupped by the ear cups, and there is a single faceplate and it has no “Cheekbones” but has a “Snout” instead.
The snout is a cone like faceplate that comes out beyond the nose of any wearer, has a ridge from brow to tip, a flat underside and ends in a flat plate angling inwards towards the chin. End-on it looks semicircular with its base slightly elongated down.
This too has six vents, three either side of the ridge that are almost at right angles to the ridge, but slope slightly down.
It too has two hoses. These attach either side of the front of this faceplate, near its end, and connect to the block at the rear of the helmet.

Type C: Tends to be more common than its two predecessor types. And it has elements more common to later Marks helmets.
It has the T-block at the back of the helmet, above the neck joint, that connects the two ear cops and goes up the back of the helmet to form a wide vent on top of the dome of the helmet.
The domed main body of the helmet is more oval than round, with flat sides and a point over the brow.
It has the now common recessed eyepieces and the curved topped block ear cups with the round earpieces that have notches to the front and rear of the discs.
The faceplate has a similar appearance to the “Snout” like Type B, but it’s ridge is much steeper with a triangular aspect and no end plate. Recessed underneath this faceplate is a plate that protects the lower jaw.
This too has two air hoses connecting the faceplate, near it pointed end, to the ear cups.

Type D: Is of a very similar design to Type C and appears to be the most common of all Mark IV helmets.
The main, and possibly only difference it has to Type C, is in the faceplate.
This has no recessed plate to protect the jaw, but has a flat underside. The ridge and plate is slightly more elongated, and the triangular has a recessed grille.

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Breastplate: Luckily for us there is less variation in the rest of the armour, such as the Breastplate.
He elements of each Mark IV breastplate can easily be broken down into six pieces.
The body of the chests armour is a single piece of encompassing plate, both back and breast.
Overlaying this is another layer of armour at the front that curves in from the armpit down to the front of the hips. On some armours this plate ends halfway down the belt, on others below it.
On the back is a connection point for the backpack either octagonally shaped, like a square with its corners removed, or as the standard Codex pattern.
From this rear connector there usually comes four wide, flattened and ribbed power cables that loop round the chest, one passing over each shoulder and around either side of the stomach, that meet in the middle of the chest at a hexagonal or circular connector. There are examples of this armour piece where two smaller power cables are used in the place of each of the four normal cables.
A standard Power armour belt that passes under the extra breastplate finishes off the chest armour and accoutrements.

On the round chest connector there is usually a chapter symbol.
Between the two lower cables, on the extra breastplate, there can be displayed an embossed icon, usually either a skull or Aquila.
And there are indications that honorary symbols can overlay the upper cables, and even the cheat connector.

Shoulders & Arms: Pauldron protecting each shoulder is of more conventional design, it has the standard curved plate with a border. But on the Mark IV the border of the pauldron is only slightly higher than the main plate and the main plate itself dips inward just before it reaches the border.
The border, though usually of standard width, is sometimes narrow.
Both Vambrace and Rerebrace are the armour plate casings common to this and later suits.
The Couter is also of the now common design which comes to a ridge along the outside of the elbow joint.
The hands of the wearer are covered by an armoured glove, though later wearers of these suits adopted the gloves with armoured segmented fingers, flexible palms and armour plates on the back of the hands.

Legs & Extremities: The groin of the wearer is protected by a box, similar in design to some of those of Mark III’s but which come to a point along the bottom edge. On the breastplate that ends halfway down the belt, there seems to bee four vertical straps that come from under the extra breast plate, pass over the belt and connect to the box under its top edge.
The legs have both Cuisse and Greave of the armour plate to protect them. On some examples of these plates, there inward joint seams running down the inside and outside of the leg.
The Poleyn, or kneepad, is almost rectangular, with the two upper corners cut off, in appearance, and wraps around the knee. There are three design variants of them, on has a border and a larger stud in the middle, the other has two studs one near the outside edges of the Poleyn, with a skull in the middle. The last is a plain design with no studs, borders, or embossed symbols.
The armour of the sabaton is usually an all in one piece on older armours, but can have a recessed armoured ribbing over the toes, or is the now common jointed armour.

Gagoc TheAncient - September 28, 2008 10:38 PM (GMT)
Mark V, Heresy Armour

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The invention of this suit was driven by necessity during a state of war. Many of the various Legions armourers, both Techmarines and Artificers, had very little time to become familiar with the Mark IV suit before the outbreak of conflict. Their lack of experience with the Mark IV led to problems maintaining, repairing and duplicating the armour and it’s high-end technologies, causing both shortfalls and a high attrition of Maximus armour.
A solution to the Mark IV had to be developed in short order, and the Mark V suit, in it’s official entirety, was quite literally born overnight.
Though history tells that the Mark V suit was born out of this time of strife, as indicated by its name, there appears to be evidence that the types of modifications and localised manufacturing techniques used in the production this suit, were in use during the Great Crusade.
And the helmet itself seems to have been in use at least toward the latter stages of the Great Crusade.
So when it comes to dating certain pieces of Mark V, the studs are the key. A few studs on the armour plate of a piece would be indicative of manufacture or modification during the Great Crusade. A generous amount of evenly spaced studs indicates at least modification, if not manufacture, during the Heresy period.
The pieces of amour in question are the helmet, the pauldrons, and the greaves.

Helmet: This helmet is supposedly derived from the design process that led to the creation of the modern Tactical Dreadnought, or Terminator, armour. And there design prototype suits that do bear a similar helmet.
The main body of the helmet is the now common oval-esque shape common to later Mk IV’s and later helmet Marks.
All variants of this helmet have the central brace running from it’s back to the top of the dome, common to both Mark III and Mark IV. And as with those on the preceding Marks, this can be of narrow width or broad.
One particular variant of this helm instead of studs has two additional thin braces, each running from the side of the back of the neck towards the brow. They curve over the ear cups and end in line with them, but slightly behind the central brace. The only studs visible on the helm is one centre of the brow just above the eyepieces, and one on the faceplate.
On quite a few of these helmets there is a protective squared flange that covers the top of the faceplate at the bridge of the nose area.
Those helmets with studs tend to have all but one restricted to the main body of the helm. And all typical variants of Mark V helmet have a stud in the centre of the brow, though some are just above the eyepieces, others are a few centimetres higher.
Each has the now standard ear cups and pieces, as well as standard eyepieces.
The faceplate is the piece that is the most obvious derivation from the Terminator project.
Unlike any of it’s predecessors it is more akin to a filter breathing mask in aspect. It has an arched, almost triangular, recessed grille over the nose and mouth of the wearer which is protected by a similarly shaped, flat under-sided cowl that curves out and around the cheek area. Next to the bottom corners of this grille are two round protuberances which project from a jowl-like area of the faceplate that closely resembles a similar jowl-like area on Terminator helmets.
There are one or two air hoses that connect each side to a small armoured collar piece at the back of the neck, or in more refined models the ear cups.
It is on top of this ‘breather’ that another stud may be found, and if there is a square flange, the stud would be centred on it.

There are some Legion and Chapter specific variants of this helmet where the front of the grille is shaped and can be capped with patterned or shaped metal.
I have knowledge of two such helmets dating from the Great Crusade, one reddish magenta which has Terminator jowls that extend slightly below the bottom of the faceplate and whose grille was narrower, with straight outwardly slanted sides and a outwardly curved upper and lower edge; and another white helm with a grilles whose front has a silver cap and the grille itself is widely arched with an outward at the bottom edge whilst not compromising the flat underside of the faceplate.

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Breastplate: Initial versions of the breast- and back plate of armour seemed to use a basic torso covering piece of armour, similar to that of both Mark III and Mark IV minus the extra overlaying breastplate.
Later editions seem to be formed from separate Cuirass and Plackart pieces that cover the torso.
There is similar pattern of editions with the cabling. Early suits had an armoured, segmented set of cables, similar to the belts on Mark III’s. These cables are attached to the breastplate in a fashion derived from that of the Maximus suit. Four cables from the backpack with one across each shoulder, and around both sides of the ribcage, meeting in the middle of the chest to lock into a large and bulky junction connector.
In later examples these apparently armoured cables are replace with the more usual wide ribbed cables.
All editions have another wide, ribbed cable connects a boss on the waist to the junction connector on the chest.
Mores small ribbed secondary cables, three either side, radiate out horizontally from under the junction connector, and pass under the pauldrons, where they meet the shoulders and upper arms.
There are some that actually meet under the armpits, this is especially true with later examples that also have less of these secondary cables, and in a few cases one of these secondary cables seems to replaced a main ripped cable on one shoulder.
The earlier versions of this breastplate did not have belts per se, instead the groin, waist and backside were protected by a single piece of armour with a large, round boss where a belt buckle would be on the waist. The boss either had a skull or Aquila in relief.
Later versions had a more standard belt-type arrangement with a square-type buckle displaying a skull upon it.

Shoulders & Arms: The pauldrons lacked any rim or border, and at least the wearers left one was extensively studded, if not both.
The rerebrace, couter and vambrace were of the standard design common to the Maximus and all subsequent armours.
Though this armour did have one new innovation present for the arms, a raised rim or border of armour at the bottom of the vambrace to add protection for the wearers wrist.
The hands were protected by either the armoured glove or segmented gauntlet.

Legs & Extremities: As described above, the early versions of Mark V had pieces of armour that covered waist, groin and backside. Later Mark V’s had separate pieces of belt, cup and plates covering these parts.
The cuisse is a single plate protecting all the thigh and on the front and the outer side of it there is a cable, usually wide, flattened and ribbed, that comes from under the armour protecting the knee and ends near the top of the thigh, just before the ribbed joint. Above each of these cables is a single, small stud.
On quite a few of the Heresy suits in use there is a poleyn, or kneepad, that has slight curvature around the knee, meets the greave with a straight join and has an arched top, though it is almost triangular in shape. The back of the knee has the standard ribbed joint.
The greave is extensively covered in studs, and in some suits arches up to protect the knee and replace the poleyn.
On some suits the foot is covered by a single piece of sabaton armour, but in some cases the front of the foot has an additional armour plate cover the top, and the recessed ribbing covering the toes.

Gagoc TheAncient - October 8, 2008 10:10 PM (GMT)
I've performed another edit on these posts and inserted some more pics with the intention of better illustrating some of the descriptions, and I've also added in some minor details I'd previously missed.

Mark VI, Corvus Suit

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The Mark VI Corvus suit appears to have been derived from the Mark IV’s design project. I say this as the suits share certain features in their designs.
It is entirely possible that the Mark VI design is an evolution of the Mark IV, with the designers taking into account the Mark IV’s drawbacks that were exposed by the prosecution of war, as well as being informed by the Mark V’s strengths. In fact it entered combat just before the climactic series of battles of this great conflict.
The best description of its design is a combination of the best of both the new and the tried and tested technologies of Space Marine power armour. This mix at least being enhanced, if not made possible, by the dual technology circuits.
In the current age of M41, the Corvus Suit is one of the two most prevalent forms of power armour in use by the Astartes. This is in part due to the undeniable success of the design, its ease of repair and the ability to incorporate near-sacred older pieces of armour into the suit.
As there are Chapters that strongly favour Corvus armour, there may be some that still manufacture these suits for their own use.

It was so successful a design that it is rumoured that there was an attempt to develop a form of Corvus armour for female warriors in service to the Imperium. Though why someone would try to give our esteemed Sisters of Battle power armour based on a relatively outdated design, I cannot say.

Helmet: The helmet of the Mark VI suit holds a unique position in the history of power armour, as it was developed during the last stages of the Maximus suits design project and was apparently in use towards the end of the Great Crusade.
In some ways it could even be considered the fifth type of Mark IV helmets. And this mark of suit appears to have been named after the helmet and not the other way around.
This helm has the peaked browed dome, common to Mk IV helmet, as well as the thin bracing though on the Corvus helm it is offset over the left side of the wearers head that completely merges into the helmet at the back, and appears to have a sensor or light in the end.
Though early versions have the round earpieces and cups, they are rare as the more standard version developed in the Mark IV was quickly incorporated into the design.
Nearly all Corvus helms have the block at the nape of the neck, though early representations follow the pattern of type B, most have a block similar to that of the types C and D of Mark IV helmets but absent the vertical piece.
There are two eyepieces for all Corvus helms, though the earliest manufactured had them so close together that they could almost be mistaken for a visor.
The faceplate is cone shaped, of a relatively standard length, with a curve from brow to tip giving it a beak-like appearance and contributing to it’s name. There are three vertical vents on either side of the ‘beak’ usually just under the eyepieces.
Unlike it’s predecessors, there are no obvious hoses or power connectors visible on the helmet.

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Breastplate: This appears to be a single piece of armour covering the front and back of the user from the waist to the top of the shoulder and base of the neck.
Upon the front can be seen three substantial cables of varying design, originating from the top of either shoulder and the front of the armour protecting the neck. These three cables connect either directly to the buckle piece of the belt, or a connector that can be connected directly to the top of the buckle or placed in the middle of the chest. With the latter pattern there is another length of cable that connects the bottom of the connector to the top of the buckle.
The belt and buckle arrangement can be off standard power armour design, or can have ribbed cabling from the buckle to the top of the hips.

Shoulders & Arms: Nearly all of the Corvus armours still in use retain a studded left pauldron in remembrance of the conflict during which it was developed. On older versions there is also a raised disc on the right pauldron.
The older, venerable forms of Corvus armour have a special flexible couter that also acts as a flexible elbow joint.
All have except one version, have the extra piece of raised armour at the wrist.

Legs & Extremities: The older venerable versions of the leg armour greatly resemble the armour of the vastly ancient orders of knights. It has poleyns of similar design to the venerable couters, with a similarly designed pieces wrapping round the top of each calf and shin, just under the poleyn.
The greave is more form fitting than is usual for any power armour, and covers the heel from below the ankle back. The sabaton is formed from four overlapping pieces of plate with an additional ribbed section covering the toes.
Most Corvus suits have a an all-in-one greave that covers both the lower leg and knee.
These suits either have a sabaton made from a single piece covering the entire foot, have the ribbing over the toes, or have the version which is made from two pieces of armour at the front of the foot.

What do you think of it so far, now that I've covered the armours of the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy?
I do intend to continue and cover both Mk 7 and Mk 8 suits.

Benedict Arnold - October 8, 2008 11:41 PM (GMT)
A question: Is the Mk. VII with the skull actually being put forth and acceptable canon for Mk. III as I've seen around the net?

Aside from that, it's looking good, though maybe make the headers largers and a more distinct color than grey to help split the articles and add some order.

Lord_Mortirion - October 9, 2008 12:19 AM (GMT)
is that a mohawk on the mk1 with the hittystick???

Gagoc TheAncient - October 9, 2008 06:46 PM (GMT)
Benedict Arnold; Personally they're Mk VII's to me, and I'd have to convert them to count as Mk III's in my own army, but not everybody has the same idea of what Mk III's can look like.

So it's up to you if you want to use them as is or do some conversion work. And then there's this Chaos chest which can count as the Mk III with the seperate Plackart stomach armour.
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Lord Mortirion; Yes, the Mk I with the power halberd does have the Greco-Roman horsehair crest, and Laurels.

Gagoc TheAncient - October 19, 2008 09:35 PM (GMT)
Mark VII, Armorum Impetor or Eagle Armour

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This suit seems to be the final armour produced by the process that created its two predecessors.
It has all the best qualities of both Mark V and Mark VI, but improved to a greater degree.
As such this is one of the two, with the Corvus suit, most favoured suits of power armour in use by the Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes, and is the most commonly produced.
It should be noted that the most recent examples of this armour appear to have been influenced by the later Errant suit. Whether this is a change to the design of the Mark VII or a simple incorporation of Mk VIII parts is up for debate.

Helmet: This Mark of helmet shares most of its appearance with that of the Heresy armour, so much so that it would not be unreasonable to speculate that it is derived from its earlier counterpart.
It also seems to have the most variations in design.
The basic version of this helmet has the dome with the pointed brow, The ‘T’ shaped block at the back, with the wide vent on the crown. It even has the standard ear- and eyepieces.
Like the Mark V, this helmet has the triangular front and recessed grille covering the nasal and oral parts of the wearers face, though this does not extend as far away from the user’s face and there are no Terminator-like jowls so prominent on the Heresy suits helmet.
There is a hose that connects either side of the grille to the earpieces.

Some forms of this helmet have grille shape that is more vertically oblong and arch at the top with two hoses to each side connecting the grille to the earpieces.
Another variant does away with the hoses altogether and has a block either side that end with a single stud-like protuberance. This is reminiscent of the Terminator-type jowls of the Mark V.

Older versions of this helmet lacked the ‘T’ bar on their rear, and only had a thin brace running up the back of the helmet.

Breastplate: The entire chest armour comes in two basic pieces. One can be seen to cover the stomach and lower back and we call that a Plackart; the other covers the chest and upper back and is the Breastplate proper.
Of course, this is somewhat of an oversimplification, but is the means to best illustrate the breastplate’s design as there is also the armoured collar to protect the neck from behind, the back pack mounting block, and the cable and hoses.

Overlaying the Plackart, connecting the belt buckle to a point under the upper Breastplate, are three power cables which are broad and ribbed in newer suits, and thin and rounded in older ones.
There is a broad ribbed pipe that connects the Backpack mount to the back of the protective collar.
Around the waist is the standard belt configuration for power armour.

Upon the upper breastplate there is usually an embossed representation of the Aquila, leading to the armour’s name. But some versions instead bear a solitary skull in the centre, a winged skull, or even a winged gem. These are the decorations most commonly seen, but there are variations unique to Chapters and individuals to be found.

Shoulders & Arms: The pauldron is of the standard design, curved over and round the shoulder with a raised border. Beneath this is an interface layer that is smooth on currently produced, but has vertical strips on the older versions.
The armour for the arms, from rerebrace down to the fingertips of the gauntlet, is also of standard design.

Legs & Extremities: The biggest change to the armour of the lower limbs is the poleyn. On the Mark VII this is shaped like a drop of water, without any straight lines.
The rest of the leg, from box and cuisse down to greave and sabaton are of standard design.
Some examples do have a cable connecting greave to sabaton, but these are not common.

Legion XX - October 20, 2008 08:32 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Gagoc TheAncient @ Oct 19 2008, 09:35 PM)
Mark VII, Armorum Impetor or Eagle Armour

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This suit seems to be the final armour produced by the process that created its two predecessors.


No love for my favorite, the MKVIII "Errant" armor?

I realize that its status as 'official' or not seems to be in question, but it certainly is one of my favorite armor marks, and I've got enough of the old metals (plus plastic conversions) to do a whole Marine force based on it...

What is the 'official' word on MKVIII armor?

Magos Explorator - October 21, 2008 07:46 AM (GMT)
I assume Gagoc's just not written that section yet. Errant armour is official.

If you're referring to the "final" comment, I think he's suggesting that Mark VIII has sufficiently different design principles to Marks V through VII.

Gagoc TheAncient - October 21, 2008 07:02 PM (GMT)
Actually I'd written it before I posted the Mark VII, I just thought I'd give people a chance to comment on what I'd already posted.

Mark VIII (IIX), Errant Armour

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In the millennia since the design of the Mark VII, only one new suit of power armour has been designed. The Mark VIII.
Though It is a new design, the suit does have the appearance of being a refinement of its predecessor with elements drawn from even older Marks, especially the Iron suit.

Helmet: The crown of this helmet has the standard pointed brow shape, but provides added protection by curving up around the earpieces, and forward to create cheek protection akin to that of ancient Greco-Roman helmets.
It has the broad, vent ended brace up the back of the helmet, but any of the rest of the ‘T’ is not visible above the collar.
What can be seen of the faceplate indicates a design similar to Mark VII but that lies closer to the wearers face with a smaller recessed grille.

Breastplate: Like the Mark VII the chest armour of this suit has two main pieces. Unlike the common representations of that armour, there are no cables upon the Plackart, instead there is a piece of armour that narrows down to the belt and seems to have two horizontal vents, though not all errant suits may actually have this.
This new piece of armour is also most likely to be seen on recently produced Eagle suits.

Another difference is the protective collar. On previous suits, when there was one it only protected from the top of the shoulders around the back of the neck.
On this suit the collar can wrap around the neck entirely, protecting both the neck joint and the lower part of the helmet. Usually this has a straight upper edge, but on some suits there are semicircular cut-outs either at the front of the neck, so that the grille operates better, or to either side, so that the aural sensors are uninterrupted, when the helmet looks ahead.

The belt has a buckle, usually of standard design, though some have an oblong with an embossed skull. The belt itself tends to follow the design of a single piece either side of the buckle, along to the front of the hips, then it becomes segmented like that of the Iron suit. Pouches, holsters, and pieces of kit can be attached as normal.

The original production of this suit also had extra power cables connecting to the upper arms, one across the top of each shoulder from the collar, and one under each shoulder blade, across the upper back from the back pack mount. Some even had cables connecting to the upper arms from the breastplate, just in front of the armpit.

The breastplate bears an embossed winged gem, winged skull and crossbones or winged grille with three vertical vents.

Shoulders & Arms: This shares the same design for the pauldrons, rerebrace and couter common to Marks VII and IV. But the vambrace’s design reflects that of the Mark III.
It connects normally to the armour of the upper arm, but continues down to cover the back of the gauntlet, ending in a straight edge just before the knuckles. This curves back and around to protect the inside of the wrist.

Legs & Extremities: The armour of the Errant suits lower limbs closely resembles that of Mark VII.
It has the same type of cuisse, poleyn and sabaton, but there is a difference on the greave.
On each greave’s lower inside edge there is an extra circular piece of armour covering the ankle joint. Though larger than those found on the Crusade suit, these ones obviously perform a similar function whilst increasing the wearers flexibility in this area.

Legion XX - October 23, 2008 10:21 AM (GMT)

Sorry for jumping the gun!


(And thanks for this excellent series!)

DaemonlordAbraxes - August 14, 2009 09:55 PM (GMT)
Sorry for the necro, bit, i need to know if the Assault Squad has a MK. 6 Torso in it, because i need to know, so that i can identify it/them later on. :huh:

Gagoc TheAncient - August 16, 2009 11:21 PM (GMT)
If you're talking about plastics, the only Mk 6 chest in the current range is on the Space Wolf sprue (the original one, Not sure about the new one). It's the one on the far right in the pic below.

The only other plastic Mk 6 torso is the RT one (RTB01), which is the one on the left in the pic below.
Besides that it's all metal.

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rabblerouser - October 30, 2009 08:22 PM (GMT)
please make this a sticky

Gagoc TheAncient - January 3, 2010 11:00 PM (GMT)
The article has been updated with some new photos.

Thousand Son - April 6, 2010 09:33 PM (GMT)
:huh: Mark VIII is just Mark VII with a polo neck. What's the deal there? Nothing really different, unless I missed it.

;) Really good post mind you - many thanks for clearing things up.

I bet that if GW realised how seriously some people would take the history of power armour, they'd have put more time into it. They should do little plastic kits for all the old armour types I rekon. I bet it would sell real nice.

Lunasteve - May 7, 2010 09:18 AM (GMT)
cheers mate this is really helpful!! will be using this alot in the coming months, thanks again!


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