Dreadnaughts I Have Known


I painted my first dreadnaught at some indeterminate point in the past, although exactly when is hard to tie down now. Assault on Black Reach had been released and the Orks had drawn me into 40k’s grim darkness at last but I was still unfamiliar with the universe and its protagonists. Having picked up the Black Reach boxset purely for the greenskins within I found myself with a bundle of space marines as well – and almost no interest in painting them. Only a grudging sense of duty got me through the tactical squad, although I admit I tackled the terminators with rather more enthusiasm. The only thing that really grabbed me however was the dreadnaught.


He’s been tweaked and improved once or twice over the years but even those improvements still look rather old and somewhat lacking in comparison to my modern standard. Still I was hooked, on dreadnaughts if not on space marines. Thus when a friend of mine was clearing out his cupboards and gave me his copy of Assault on Black Reach and the Chaos Space Marines codex I knew straight away that the next dreadnaught I painted would be something much darker, angrier and spikier than before. It was also at this point that I was discovering the joy of converting models and, although there remained much for me to learn, I was well on my way to becoming the kitbashing, greenstuffing heretic I am today.


Next up was an Ork deff dread – completed mere days before Games Workshop announced the release of the current plastic model. Sadly he was never the best of creations, leaning rather too heavily on Orky qualities of ‘cobble it together and hope for the best’ and now resides in the bottom of the bits box waiting for redemption and reconstruction.

With Dark Vengeance the chaos dreadnaught was reborn as the helbrute; the angry, spikey box of before replaced instead by the fleshy, unnaturally-organic beast of today.


Of course painting one of them wasn’t enough for me, especially after the release of the putrid blightkings made it possible to create a bloated, Nurgly hulk.


Nor was that the end of my dreadnaught obsession. Last October feedyournerd ran the Dreadtober event which aimed to encourage as many people as possible to paint a dreadnaught (or similar sized model) in the month of October. Seeing the brilliant work that others were producing provided the spur I needed to crack on and bring this Khornate monster into being.


At the time I asserted (rather boldly) that if this event happened again I’d be sure to join in. One year on and it’s time to live up to that claim as DreadTober returns. This time responsibility for the event lies with Broken Paintbrush so I’d recommend getting across there to take a look at what’s planned. I’ll be taking on this unfortunate-looking former Crimson Fists dreadnaught. His loyalist masters may have abandoned him to ebay but I feel sure that, with Nurgley and Khornate dreadnaughts already in the bag, he’ll do very well indeed in the subtle embrace of Slaanesh. dreadnaught-convertordie-2

Naturally these events work best when lots of people join in so I encourage (nay – implore!) you to dig your own battered and abandoned dreadnaught projects out of the bitsbox, or take them down from the shelf of shame, and get to work on them. This is their moment!

13 responses to “Dreadnaughts I Have Known

  • Thomas

    Yes! You’re in too. Can’t wait to see you corrupt that loyalist sucker.

    • Wudugast

      How could I resist?! I did wonder about tackling a chaos corrupted contemptor myself but inspiration is falling a little flat at the moment so I’ll be leaving it on the desk in bits and watching what you, and any other dreadtober chaos contemptor fans, produce with beady-eyed interest 🙂

  • bigbossredskullz

    Great stuff, gotta love dreads! In fact they where probably the first really grimdark miniatures come to think of it where they not?

    • Wudugast

      Now I think about it you may well be right. They’re certainly iconic of the setting. Other companies have super-soldiers, dark gods and alien monsters but nothing says 40k like a martyr in a walking coffin.

  • imperialrebelork

    Great stuff mate. I look forward to seeing your entry….. Errrrr you know what I mean haha

  • Alex

    Dreads are part of the very bedrock of 40k for me – love ’em, but never seem to have any desire to do them myself! I’ve always fancied doing an Orky dreadmob though… that would be cool 😉

  • Joe B.

    The dive into your dread history is awesome! Sometimes I wish I still had the pictures of my first dreadnought (old metal chaos beast) as it was horrendous!
    Your recent creations are amazing, I love how the Nurgle and Khorne are clearly part of your army and exemplify their deities. Can’t wait to see what your up to on the Slaneshi one

    • Wudugast

      Cheers! They may be showing their age now but I’m glad I’ve still got some of those old models, including the dreads, kicking around. Without wanting to sound too pretentious they add a bit of personal history to the character of the collection. As well as describing an idea (i.e. my concept of what a 40k army would look like) they also say something about myself and the way my ideas and abilities have progressed over time.

      Thanks for the very positive feedback on the Nurgly and Khornate elements of the army. Over time I’m planning to add in the other two gods with the Sonic Dread being a large first step towards that. Right now he’s an angry hodgepodge of greenstuff, metal and plastic but hopefully he’ll be ready for the big reveal by the weekend.

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