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Posted 12/08/2019

Successor Chapter Showcase: Paul Norton’s Iron Ravens

Have you ever wanted to create your own Chapter of Space Marines? Thought so! In the new edition of Codex: Space Marines, you can do just that, with new rules for choosing customised Chapter Tactics. To celebrate, this week, we’re showing you a selection of successor Chapters painted by some of our talented hobbyists. First up are Paul Norton’s Iron Ravens. Paul was an Army Painter for several years before joining the ’Eavy Metal team – let’s hand over to Paul to tell us what inspired him to start his own Chapter…


Paul: My Iron Ravens are an all-Primaris successor Chapter – mainly because I wanted an excuse to paint some Primaris Space Marines! They share the genetic legacy of Corax’s Raven Guard but don’t fight in exactly the same way. Many of them would have fought as Unnumbered Sons during the early years of the Indomitus Crusade, so will have picked up a thing or two from the other Space Marines they fought alongside, making them more flexible. It’s not just about stealth with the Iron Ravens – they gather intelligence to adapt to whatever situation or enemy they’re facing. To my mind, they’re well-rounded enough that I can use them however I want, without having to limit myself to the same two Successor Tactics.

My colour scheme was one that could begin life as Battle Ready, then with the addition of a few key details turn into a more polished paint job. The bulk of the armour is Leadblecher with a single shade of 1:1 Nuln Oil and Nuln Oil Gloss. This finish catches the light to provide a natural highlight for them.

Not only that, but the two primary colours – Kantor Blue and Mephiston Red – are painted at points where your eyes are drawn anyway, so I painted those areas to a much higher standard to create an effective overall finish. You’re focusing on the highlights on their heads, shoulders and boltguns, but everything else is just painted to a Battle Ready standard. The gold trim and details that I applied not only denote them as belonging to the 2nd Company, but the contrast makes the other colours really pop!


With the Iron Ravens being a new Chapter, the narrative I created was that they’re seeking to master their own destiny. It all ties in with the ‘Iron’ part of their name – they may be forged of iron, but steel is stronger, so that’s what they aspire to become. Steel also has a subtle bluish hue, so the higher they rise in rank, the more blue the Iron Ravens wear on their armour. Deciding upon identifying details like these really helps when you’re painting, as you’ll almost certainly want to put a bit more emphasis on your Characters and elite units.

On that note, I made my Infiltrators Veterans, as identified by their blue arms. It also makes them look stealthier. After all, being descended from the Raven Guard, I imagine that the sneakier you are, the higher in the Chapter you’re likely to get! Thinking about it, I might do some Veteran Reivers in the near future too…


In the Iron Ravens, every single rank in the Chapter can be identified by their helmet. Battle-brothers have a red stripe going down their helmet, but Sergeants, Lieutenants and other senior officers have a distinguishing pattern on their helmets. Even on a busy battlefield with miniatures everywhere, it’s still easy to identify which unit and Character is which.

I spent a lot of time painting the Repulsor Executioner, as I used it as an opportunity to practice painting a vehicle to ’Eavy Metal standard. Every so often, it’s nice to treat yourself to painting a miniature to the best of your ability. Most of the army was designed to be painted fairly quickly, but in the case of the Repulsor Executioner and the Captain, I decided to take it much further (mainly because I love the models).

My favourite miniatures in the army are the Redemptor Dreadnoughts, as they look absolutely awesome (that’s why I’ve got two of them!) and the special edition Store Anniversary Captain, while my picks of the units are the Reivers and Infiltrators. I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on the new edition of Codex: Space Marines. One of the main reasons is that the Iron Ravens are in the book! They’re now part of the official lore of the Space Marines. That’s always been one of my hobby dreams and now it’s finally happening!

Thanks, Paul! If you’d like to start your own Iron Ravens collection – or design a Chapter of your own creation – you can go download our handy Adeptus Astartes Markings & Heraldry sheet to work out which colours you’d like to use, and you can pre-order the mighty new Codex: Space Marines right now!