This is actually a work in collab with a writer trying to publish a manuscript to GW fiction, i am helping with some of the design and the above, the novel cover.
it was a year ago, suffice to say, we didn't made it. either gw does not have interest then or lack of funding (i didn't get paid as well). but the writer is really motivated and even we didn't make it, it is still a great shot at getting something new out there.
he basically wrote the whole codex and background on the imperial navy infantry, the arma aeronautica. Instead of a new guard army, now we have navy men (reference came from ww2 soviet sailor army) due to sometimes the navy have to deploy their own infantry on surface planets as well as boarding action and ship security. so, with this idea in mind, he wanted to get this new "race" out there, either in published fiction, table tops and minis. When we work together we are quite ambitious then, we even plan on unit details such as miniatures and how to paint it in color scheme.
i was too busy in my own studies and stuff, so this project does not get the attention it deserve, my bad.
anyway, the imperial navy infantry, refered as Armsman, is a galactically standardized organization, with armed sailors on the bottom, follow by navy security, then officers and helmsman followed by the top, the Lord Admiral. Armed with shotgun weaponries instead of bolter or lasgun, the armsman is an exciting new project.
we wanted a look that is different from the standard guard (and guard did came in all forms), so I face a bit of difficulty on illustrating the armsman. finally, i settle on the idea of navy pilot helms replacing all the head gears of the armsman, making all navy personnel generic. Uniform came in the form of heavy fabric space suits (pristine white or jet black) with golden chains and ornaments such as polished buttons and oxygen tubings. Finished with a touch of a shotgun catridge bandolier across the chest, wa la~ we have the armsman, Navy jackboots of the 40k universe. The no-nonsense sadistic automatons of the ruthless Imperial Navy. As for the officers, it is a move away from sci-fi into more classical antiquity. With tricorn hats, cloaks, blundebuss, cutlass and steel cap boots, I wanted them to have a distinct style away from the rank and file grunts of the armsman they commanded.
oh, and the shields displayed there is granted to first wave armsman, called the pavissaries, which is a holy artifact of the ship itself. the shield made out of the alloy of the ship's own bulkhead. Carried into battle, it not only serve as a protection but also as a banner to rally the armed sailors.
Who knows, maybe there will be a resurrectino to this project, emperor willing, may the day not be far away.