My anniversary marine, pending assembly.
The anniversary weekend of the Imperial Space Marine has come and gone and I was one of the lucky few (thousand) that managed to get one from the GW website. As I contemplate how exactly I am going to model him up, I am also considering what to do with the older, original, versions of this model.

The original Imperial Space Marine was still being sold in a blister pack when I got into the hobby in '89 alongside his brother (i.e. marine with same type of armor style and funky gun, but with his gun pointed upward) and with a commander-type-leader figure with funky blasters mounted on his power gloves ("Sgt. Blaster Fists" is my nickname for him). I feel like these 3 models were a huge inspiration for that famous painting of the Crimson Fists that adorned the cover of Rogue Trader and most recently reused as the cover of the Imperial Space Marine 30th anniversary box.

I am not sure why I bought this blister pack, as these models didn't fit too well with the plastic Space Marines of the time, I guess I just thought they were cool. Or maybe I wanted the leader guy? Regardless, I have always been fond of them. So they sat in my collection unused to this day mainly due to having no idea what they were actually armed with as their guns did not conform to any design in the game. Now, 30 years later, the two marines with their (finally) named and stat-ed weapons will find homes in my Space Marine armies, of which I have four.

There is a great side-by-side comparison of the original vs. the new to be found at Weemen's blog, as well as another nice painted example of the new version.

The original Space Marine
I haven't seen anything to indicate that I can't use one of these models in a Space Wolf or Dark Angel army. I think the plastic one will go to the Space Wolves as I have enough Space Wolf bitz to get this model looking good and wolfy. The metal guys will be divied up between my Ultramarines and Dark Angels. My 4th army, the Celestial Lions are all going to be using "newer" models and since they are not a First Founding Chapter they probably won't have access to ancient relics like Disintegration Guns. And, from a reality stand point, I have done far too little work on them. Also, I have been contemplating making a 30k army but I am very indecisive on which Legion to choose, and I am already seeing this model being Incorporated into 30k armies (it only makes sense really).

Imperial Space Marine #2?

And that is the crossroads I am at with this idea; Three Imperial Space Marines and far too many options. Still, after so long I am glad to see one of my oldest minis get a new lease for life. But 30 years on, we still don't have stats for "Sgt. Blaster Fists", so he shall remain in the collection, waiting...

Sgt. Blaster Fists