In Black Crusade's character generation it's said that the weight of a Chaos Space Marine is 500–1000 kg, depending on the armour. I have always wondered, can a Chaos Space Marine or a Space Marine remove their armour for taking a shower or even to have sex?

I have never seen a Space Marine without armour, but I have never read that it is attached to him permanently.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I can't cite it, but I recall that non-chaos can, but there is a lot of debate on if they can have sex. \$\endgroup\$ – Canageek Oct 28 '12 at 15:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ That kinda annoys me in the WH40K universe. So many basic questions are not officially answered. It sounds logical to me that having so much books written, somewhere should state this basic question. At least in FF RPGs they should tell the players. How can you roleplay your SM/CSM if you don't know if you can or cannot have sex? \$\endgroup\$ – Flamma Oct 28 '12 at 19:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ To be fair, they are writing a wargame, not an RPG, so such things aren't important to them. Also, it would mess with their epic, historical writing style to address such mundane concerns. Even if they did establish it, next edition could overwrite it. 1st or 2nd edition Orks codex had The Emperor open his eyes in fear of the Ork Waaagh, and that the Waaaagh happened for the first time when the orks saw a titan, not that it was a built in part of ork kulture. \$\endgroup\$ – Canageek Oct 28 '12 at 19:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ You have Deathwatch, a RPG in which you play Space Marines and Black Crusade, in which you can play Chaos Space Marines. Not knowing these basic details about your character discourage roleplay. \$\endgroup\$ – Flamma Oct 28 '12 at 21:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ Deathwatch wasn't written by Games Workshop though, so they may be limited in what they can add to the canon. Also the war game has been around since the 1980s, the RPG is only a few years old. \$\endgroup\$ – Canageek Oct 28 '12 at 21:18

I have been playing Warhammer 40k for over a decade but am not a complete authority.

Yes, a Space Marine can remove his armour according to the Deathwatch core rulebook.

The Deathwatch core rulebook's armour section explains that it takes around 30 minutes to remove or put on power armour with 3 chapter serfs (slaves). In an emergency it can be done in 10 minutes with one serf, but no less than that, as the proper rites must be observed.

I ran a Deathwatch game on a ship where they were not in their armour and had to either put it on or fight without it - very fun and lots of RP opportunities.

In the third Grey Knights novel, the main character is captured by Chaos and made to fight on an arena world. His armour is taken and the book deals with him adapting to not having it. Do note that when he gets it back near the end of the book, he carries it around, refusing to wear it until it can be purified by the tech-adepts. When he is forced to wear the storm bolter gauntlet it burns his skin.

Space Marines are trained to maintain a state of readiness so would remain in their armour at all times unless there was a point to removing it such as repair.

Space Marines have many enhancements such as extra organs and equipment built into their armour to deal with anything not related to killing the emperor's enemies, such as cleaning, eating or sleeping. They can do their activities in armour, they just don't have to.

As an aside: Space Marines don't have sex - they're eunuchs. Being genetically engineered to kill, genitals aren't necessary.


Yes armour can be removed, check deathwatch core rulebook.

Armour is taken with weapons when captured but is very difficult to get back on in this situation.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Many thanks for your answer. I didn't find that in DW. Also, I have read about organs replacement/enhacement, but I didn't know about organ removal, such as genitals (I thought testosterone was good for a warrior). In Broken Chains, Black Crusade specific adventure, PCs must retrieve their gear. It doesn't tell anything CSM must do to wear their armour (no tech test or anything). \$\endgroup\$ – Flamma Oct 29 '12 at 11:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ When I ran my ship mission we did agility tests with modifiers for what was going on at the time, each degree of success or failure reduced or increased the number of rounds it would take to wear it. I remember one darkangel having his helmet float off as he put his armour on as the gravity was out :) \$\endgroup\$ – Skeith Oct 29 '12 at 11:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ As for the eunuch part, I clearly remember in the Horus Ascension books of a part where the journalist comes to interview Loken (or whoever the main character is), and finds him naked. And she mentions that he is... well... bigger everywhere. So they cqn remove their armour, and even though they are sterile and possibly impotent, they still have stuff. \$\endgroup\$ – Cristol.GdM Oct 29 '12 at 16:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mikalichov now that's detail! \$\endgroup\$ – Flamma Oct 30 '12 at 9:19

A lot of prior discussions on this topic suggest that yes, a (non-Chaos) Space Marine can remove their armor, and when not in their armor they tend to wear robes.

For a concrete case: According to the Lexicanum, the Imperial Fists have Honour Duels in which two battle-brothers are stripped down to their torsos and a judge wears only a black robe and helmet. That would be hard if they were permanently fused with their armor.

As for Chaos Space Marines: Depending on their mutation (or the extent of it), they may be permanently fused with their armor, or they may still be free to remove it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ ...and some types of Chaos Space Marines (Thousand Sons) are their armor. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Jul 27 '17 at 17:41

On page 88 of the 2nd edition book Codex Imperialis by Rick Priestley & Andy Chambers it states

Champions of the God Khorne are savage fighters whose body armour grows to be part of their bodies so they can never remove it. […] Chaos Champions of the World Eaters Space Marine Legion wear armour of this kind: it remains part of their bodies forever and cannot be removed.

There is a note at the start of this section that "Chaos Champions" will refer to Champions, Heroes and Mighty Heroes for convenience.

So, from this we can infer that Space Marines can remove there armour, and non–World Eaters (except possibly some other Space Marine legions and chapters pledged to Khorne) can remove their armour.

Now, this source is rather old, so it may have been overridden in the meantime.


While there aren't completely armorless models, there are a number of normal "bare" heads included on a number of space marine sprues, as well as chaos space marines with different naked bits (arms/tentacles). So, while there are probably a number of "hoses" and whatnots associated with the suits, and probably a number of Inter-venous hookups, the suit wouldn't be like the shell of a turtle and required to survive, more like the shells of Hermit Crabs ;) ALMOST vital, but able to be removed for maintenance etc.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE, and thanks for your contribution! When answering questions subjectively, the answer should be based on something that happened to you personally or something that you can back up with a reference. Your final conclusion states your answer as if it were authoritative, so you want to watch that if you don't have a reference. Take a look at the good subjective, bad subjective article for more information. \$\endgroup\$ – Chuck Dee Oct 31 '12 at 17:15

The Thoursand Sons are burned into their armours. They cannot remove it as they are the armour with soul.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome, could you unpack this a bit? Perhaps provide some citations? \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Jun 4 '13 at 11:26

In the novel Storm of Iron, Kroeger the Iron Warrior Khorn berserker took off his armor & yes Space Marines can have kids. Salamanders have sex with women & they bear children.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Got a citation for that last one? I always thought marines were sterile. \$\endgroup\$ – YogoZuno Jun 5 '13 at 4:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have never, ever heard of a space marine getting jiggy with females and there's not much of the fluff I'm not familiar with. The closest what I recall to reading/hearing about the matter is that the marines are chemically neutered during the organ transplantation period though I cannot recall the source. On the other hand, I suppose a Chaos space marine dedicated to Slaanesh would make sweet love to any- and everything no matter whether it's living, dead, mechanical, alien or a stepladder. \$\endgroup\$ – Silver Streak Sep 25 '15 at 13:30

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