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In Warhammer 40,000 the Space Marines wear the iconic power armor into battle. However, when not in action, or not expecting to be, are they able to remove their armor?

I had thought that a space marine was joined with their armor as part of the process, but the Lexicanum site indicates that the Mark-VIII armor is often worn by veteran marines, which would indicate that they had to take off their old armor first.

  • I was sure there had been a prior Q about this, but I couldn't find it. I seem to remember the other one indicating that they can take it off, but don't do so very often. – eidylon Jun 16 '14 at 19:42
  • IIRC the armor itself isn't joined with them, but many of the underlying components are surgically inserted as implants. – Omegacron Jun 16 '14 at 19:55
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    FWIW - I give you the coolness! youtu.be/JjaYW5Cnr5k – eidylon Jun 22 '14 at 23:56
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Yes. A Space Marine can remove their armor.

enter image description here Space Marines Armour types in comparison: Dreadnought Armour, Centurion Armour, tactical Dreadnought Armour or Terminator Armour, Power Armour, Scout Armour (from left to right)

  • All of the listed armors above with the exception of the Dreadnought are all able be worn by Space Marines after their final gene-seed technologies are installed.

  • In the case of the dreadnought, only the brain of the Marine is required for the device to function. It is the final transformation of Space Marine too injured to recover but unwilling to stop fighting.

What's Underneath the Armor? The Black Carapace

enter image description here

Underneath the impressive armor of the Space Marine, lies one of the final gene-seed technologies which allows them to interface with their exoskeleton armor. This final gene-seed process is called The Black Carapace.

The Black Carapace, also known as the Interface, is the last and one of the most important of all the 19 gene-seed organ implants a Space Marine Neophyte will receive as he is transformed from a normal, adolescent human male into a superhuman Astartes. This neuroreactive, black organic fibrous material is implanted directly under the skin of the Neophyte's torso. Points are then cut through the Carapace by an Apothecary using surgical tools that allow a Space Marine to directly interface his central nervous system with his Power Armour's cybernetic systems.

  • Whenever a piece of Space Marine armor is damaged and needs repair or has been salvaged from a battlefield, it can be completely removed for service by a techpriest.

  • Once the repairs are complete, the armor can be blessed, repainted and integrated into an active suit of armor.

  • The Black Carapace is the interface system between the suit and the Space Marine and is the primary reason their combat ability in the power suit is far greater than the exosuits worn by other Imperial servants.

  • Inquisitors, Battle Maidens or Imperial Guardsmen whose Carapace Armors are NOT integrated through the neo-organic Black Carapace neural network are not nearly as nimble, reactive or responsive as the Space Marine Armor.

  • +1 for pretty pictures. Ok, and the carapace mention. – Omegacron Jun 17 '14 at 15:00
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Short answer is yes, as evidenced by a few different illustrations. One particular one is of a Dark Angel surrounded by as many as two dozen serfs and servitors, apparently having his armour put on. Since he doesn't look young, it's not the first time, so the implication is that if it can be put on, it can be taken off.

Furthermore, the 1st company swap between Terminator and standard power armour according to the needs of the mission.

The 3rd edition Space Marine codex gave a daily itinerary of Astartes not on the front line, which featured almost continuous combat training 24 hours a day, with a brief interlude for prayer and contemplation. This suggests then that armour is not removed often, as the demands of continuous training would preclude this.

  • Can you include or link an illustration of a Space Marine without their armor on? – Xantec Jun 16 '14 at 19:49
  • There's this guy, which wasn't the one I was thinking of, but similar. I don't seem to be able to find the initial one I thought of. – Tom W Jun 16 '14 at 20:04
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Space marines enter their body armour like ironman. While the genetic code of all space marines has been altered for strength, size. The human body in all it's perfection has remained.

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    Welcome to the site. Do you have a source for this? – Rogue Jedi Apr 15 '16 at 1:10

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