I first encountered Warhammer 40K in the early '90s, just as the "beakies" were replaced by the cylon-stormtroopers. The "oldhammer" miniatures are a bit wonky, but have a certain charm. The RTB-01 beaky sprues are also hard to beat in terms of cost and variety. And the Squats were still around. The game had a fun haphazardness to it. Later it became kinda rigid and... tonally... uh, monotone. I'm thinking about what BardicBroadcasts said in a recent Necromunda review video... about the 40K universe somehow becoming smaller. There's talk about advancing the big plot, but I think it's sort of fine where it is... it's the ranges which seem stuck.
Perhaps Space Crusade for the Amiga was my first encounter with 40K, rather than the miniatures. Looking at the boardgame, I prefer the variety it offers over e.g. Space Hulk. Space Crusade is much more of a "vertical slice"... meaning, the various factions are represented in a simple way. Your Space Marines could run into Orks, Gretchins, Soul-suckers (Gene Stealers), Chaos Marines, Chaos Dreadnoughts, Chaos Androids (now Necrons), Eldar pirates (now Dark Eldar?).
I started fiddling with a remake at some point. I think it would be interesting to use the vertical slice approach for the "good guys" (not really) as well, and a Rogue Trader strike team would fit the bill. My project below is from before GW's Blackstone Fortress which appears to have used a similar approach... and actually features a similar selection of figures.
I like my selection better, but some of my choices are not realistic, like Squats, Chaos Androids, Space Skaven, Femarines, Fimir, Imperial Beastman. I also prefer the old style Chaos Space marines with more distorted armour. Anyways, hold onto your hats, here comes a massive image:
Two sides with mixed characters.
I don't get why people are opposed to Femarines. "Never pass up a good thing." Who said that? Jean Rasczak did, and then we got that scene with Dizzy. "Aaah... build me a shrine out of human bone and skin, and the pleasures can commence!" Who said that? Seriously... who just said that? Anyways. Lore reasons could easily be worked around. I suspect though, that if you supersoldiergened up a woman it'd look like a musclemonsterman anyways, except... it wouldn't because art and fantasy can do whatever it damn well pleases!
I had some idea that these femarines were made early on (as indicated by armour type), so they're a bit unorthodox (even quite heretical) when they reemerge.
Though... maybe a primari-Sister of Battle would fit better. This design more styled like my own StarSword AstroKnight stuff though. Some female Imperial Guard would be much appreciated, like, geez. And... sniper nuns?
Tau XV8 suit paint over.