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Games Workshop Codex: Sentinels of Terra by ukitakumuki Games Workshop Codex: Sentinels of Terra by ukitakumuki
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Illustration Games Workshop
Art director/producer: Darius Hinks


Hi all, its been a while! I've been keeping busy working for the wonderful folks at GW/Black Library on illustrations for their various Codex covers, Novels and their audiobook line, as well as more IG covers for Fantasy Flight Games. For the fans of the franchise- that basically means there's quite a backlog now that have yet to be announced... ;)

Amidst all this grimdark carnage of the 41st Millenium I am spending my free time developing my indie "cyber spacepunk" game project which I'll be sharing more info on as soon as I can :v Not only is it a bucketlist item of mine but I find it keeps the voices of Chaos at bay...

So anyways, back to The Imperial Fists, and was probably the most self-pressuring coverwork to date simply because its former IFS colleague and now GW artist Kevin Chin's favourite chapter. The brief was as always, brief(hur hur), along the lines of "make 3rd coy marine look good while wielding a two handed bolter, and it would be nice to have some iron warriors in it if possible".

Tangent: I can tell you that my respect goes up exponentially to the artists at GW with every similar worded brief, for 'simply' being able to draw the same specce muhreens doing their thing for decades, and keeping it fresh somehow.

So like with my other GW illustrations, I turned to visual metaphor to hopefully add a little something extra for the fans. My first cheeky try was him looking like he was taking the full force of the explosion and trying to stay up, which was off brand and so heretical to see a marine flinch that I had to think of a different way to present my idea. :p In this final direction, the Fist is almost effortlessly bracing against the shockwave of some heavy artillery impacting next to him. I thought it was a subtle enough nod to their infamous fortitude and stubborness and almost natural enough to be handwaved as a natural byproduct of a crazy warzone. Form and function OCD streak not completely satisfied, I then turned my attention to the suit. I put this off objectively to incompetence on my end as an illustrator, but I find it quite a necessity to exaggerate certain proportions to lend personality to the characters that I illustrate. But I really hate to be too blatant about it and enjoy challenging myself to redesigning functional bits of armour to achieve that same aesthetic goal while hopefully maintaining the illusion that the human form within it remains unchanged. And where it comes to marines in armour, I've thankfully been given a pretty wide berth. For this Errant Pattern wearing soldier, one of the first things that came to mind was bulky arms, definitely Joe Mad inspired :) Something I felt would complement the wide collar and 'compact' 2-handed grip that was needed to keep a marine centered in a shot without going stylistically overboard. So one idea I had, more of a spillover from my Phobos Tactica piece was a dual layer gauntlet that doesnt add bulk to the hand -so dexterity can be maintained in the grip- but just adding protection to where its needed most, forearm and top of hand. The bevels and hinge were smoothened down to maintain the more classic space marine 'cut off at the cuff' gauntlet silhouette. Fingertips are tapered to better sink into the eye sockets of opponents I suppose?

One other element I fondly recall spending unnecessary time debating with myself on was the thigh bag which I really wanted in, cause if you're a heavy duty defender you're going to need ammo... and for some aesthetic reason a standard buckle just didn't seem right. It called too much attention to itself. So I decided with an inverse button setup or something that resembled a velcro-quick application( know..being..velcro..) with padded material to give it some bulk.

Lastly, one thing I really adored in the classic 40k imagery was that sexy fashion magazine waxy gloss on marine armour. And while hunting for more modern takes on the imperial fists, Neil Robert's Shadows of Treachery fists boarding party looked so sick especially with the gloss look I remembered as a kid I had to just throw in the gloss effect for inspiration sake. Seems legit enough even in ground war, plenty of downtime during the siege to polish up and keep your gear clean! Wax on... wax off... grasshoppah

In any case I hope you Imperial Fists loyalists out there enjoyed this tribute to your chapter, to Dorn, and to glory! :salute:
Add a Comment:
platformhudgames Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2019  New Deviant
So amazing
DJP15 Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2018  Student Digital Artist
This single image inspires me to create a Fists army!
Clankerflak Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2018
Nice work, my only critic is that the shells look to small for Bolt shells. 
Pink8118 Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2018
I have this wonderful piece of art (a cropped version found around the web) as desktop for a long time and now I find its author.
Great job!
Maybe it's just a thing of mine but I think the bullet case are too small, bolter fires a .75cal as the muzzle correctly suggest ;)
jeffszhang Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
this brings tears to my eyes Kai. I want to add it to my favorites like 50 goddamn times
CrouchingAllosaurus Featured By Owner May 1, 2017
Primarch-Progenitor! To your glory and to the glory if Him on Earth!
mcaraballo Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Great work!
CthulhuIsComing Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2016
This really looks damn awesome!
Ururuty Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2016
ijustloveit619 Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2016  Student Digital Artist
daftpunky Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2016
AgentJericho Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I prefer their little brothers Crimson Fists, but in any case, Imperial Fists are cool !
Thanks for your work, realy great.

Ad majorem imperatoris gloriam ! Morituri por te sanctum tuum proelium te salutant !
TheMichaelMacRae Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Uuuuhhhg I'm doing an art test for games workshop. Trying to live up to your warhammer paintings is a chore. I haven't checked out your art in quite a while, doing so is reminding me why you're one of my faves
black-dog2008 Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
berserkpippin Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
What did you use to make this it's awesome
Ashoof Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2015
damnj thats intense
lostinparadise55 Featured By Owner May 20, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My favorite 40k art piece of loyalists.
Charios Featured By Owner May 14, 2015
This also makes me think how could one paint his imperial fists, bright color, heavy weathering instead of just damn Yellow with red>.>
TheJediClone Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2015  Student General Artist
Fantastic! Awesome!!!
SoveriegnofTruth Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2015
For the Emperor
DD2111 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2015  Student
Koji si ti zmaj. *.* Al fakat.
NJC21 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2014
Fan-Freakin'-Tastic-amazing-Awesome! That is amazing man!
Varia31 Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Spectacular piece, here! The Marines look amazing.
Yikari Featured By Owner Edited Oct 15, 2014
'More Iron Warriors' is always good! Is there a hope for them to get their own piece?
wombat-75 Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2014
Spess Muhreenz!  Uhhhtaackkk!
Garrision30 Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
they could also be the angry marines they are funny as hell. awesome work
Sergane Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
one day this universe the WH40K will have the game it deserves, a game that gets it all, the travel, the over the top grittitism (from the word gritty=) and the great imagery, and all the races and everything
I hope eternal crusade is such a game
and I hope they'll put Tau in it somedays, but even if not, eldars are fine (warlock rocks !) so yeah !
Oh btw, your art is the most EPIC stuff I've witnessed on this website, like, ever ! 
so yeah, thanks :)
Ulkreghz Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Space Marine did a damn good job :)
Krysnha Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2014
Nice thanks for sharing
J25TheArcKing Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Outstanding job, the colors!! Well done!
LRaphaelC Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2014  Student Digital Artist
This pretty much embodies everything I love about space marines, so epic :)
Real185Darkorder Featured By Owner May 14, 2014
Can i use this pic for my youtube channel?
and nice pic ;) (Wink)
Greetings Darkorder
TotallyOrdinary Featured By Owner May 11, 2014  Student General Artist
Such an intense atmosphere!
DARTHTURDER12 Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2014
die chos spawns
thepoweroflogic Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
For Dorn! I love this piece! The book had almost laughably bad fluff but this is just badass. Seriously whatever they paid you it wasn't enough! You have such a talent for portraying 40k in a dark, gritty, but most of all realistic form. Just awesome.
Bikerbloke Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Damn, he looks like a battleship on legs. Love the sense of heaviness and power this piece conveys. Fantastic gallery mate. Well done and thanks for sharing your talent with us
Uggybug Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My favorite chapter! Amazing work. On top of that, mentioning Joe Mad - you can have all my cool points, sir.
CapriciousAmber Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2014
Amazing work! Bravo for the artist
amirzand Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
i can't handle that much details ! WOW 
oxidbe Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2014
also there is an inconsistency between the barrel and the bullet casing. Still love the piece
oxidbe Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2014
The Bolter should be bigger .. me thinks
DarkSteelPenguin Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
OMG Epic !
redracer01 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013
Dont let the yellow armour fool you buddy these soldiers can kick ass.
AParasiticCyst Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You really captured a moment in the battle! EXCELLENT!!
Agathon Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013
this one is the best one.
glory to the Emperor of All Mankind
toht981 Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Your illustrations do not disappoint, and I must congratulate you on your employment.
JoshawaFrost Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Really awesome!
thealdor64 Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2013
wow, top stuff, his level of professional detail is incredible with true originality in it's fine details that make it stand apart from the million or so generics warhammer 40k, subjects out there
Serzart Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Amazing artwork! :)
Nanakaeha Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2013
superb! Best of the codex covers!
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Submitted on
October 19, 2013
Image Size
709 KB


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