The Bloodied Knight

So, some new space marines are on their way and some people – myself included – are terribly excited about it all. It’s been a while since I did anything with my Angels Mortis but since seeing the new models revealed at the weekend I’m feeling the temptation to dig out some of my neglected power armour (and not the chaotic kind for once!). Also, it’s time for a quick break from painting Cawdor gangers before all those fiddly robes drive me utterly bonkers. Pretty much every 40k fan, I would argue, has a favourite space marine chapter. You need not necessarily be that keen on space marines – I myself am a foul heretic at heart – but they’re so ubiquitous that we’ve all had that “name your favourite chapter” conversation at one point or another. For myself there are a few contenders, all at the more obscure end of the spectrum (because I’m a 41st Millennium hipster). I don’t have any particular beef with the Ultramarines, Imperial Fists or Blood Angels (but don’t get me started on the Space Wolves and the Sillymanders!) but I prefer the Carcharodons, Minotaurs, Exorcists, Angels Penitent and Star Phantoms.

However when push comes to shove I’d have to pick the Knights of Blood as the one for me. The first time I saw the Knights of Blood was back in the old 4th Edition Chaos Codex (which was given to me by a good friend and which set me on the path to damnation). Back then they were clearly fighting for Khorne, their shoulder pad icon shown as a Juggernaught’s head and their sole scrap of descriptive text describing them as “frenzied warriors”. As two word entries go I suppose it beats “mostly harmless”.

Chaos Knights of Blood

A Chaos Knight of Blood from the 4th Edition Chaos Marines Codex, trying to look as though he’s mostly harmless…

After that they reappeared on my radar as successors to the Blood Angels which lurked on the edge of the background, with only a few scattered lines and a single short-story to their name, as far as I could discover, until their untimely extinction during the Siege of Baal. Much like the Flesh Tearers (and various other Blood Angel’s successors over the millennia) they fell foul of their own inner daemons and repeatedly ran amok, butchering allied troops and civilian populations alike, until the Imperium finally tired of their antics and declared them heretics. So far so standard, and many chapters before and since have suffered a similar fate, either hunted down and slaughtered for their crimes or driven into the always welcoming arms of the dark gods. The Knights of Blood however were having none of it, swore that they were still loyal to the Imperium and continued to fight in the Emperor’s name, even doing any other loyalist troops in the area the favour of not fighting directly alongside them – thus going some way towards protecting those other troops from both the Knight’s violent excesses and the wrath of the Inquisition. According to the novel The Devastation of Baal by Guy Haley they even managed to nullify some of the effects of the Black Rage (admittedly by preying vampirically on unfortunate Imperial serfs but nobody’s perfect eh). Without spoiling too much of an excellent novel (although if you really don’t want to know don’t highlight the following text) they went out like bosses taking on Khornate daemons and tyranid monsters at the same time and allowing the Flesh Tearers to escape (so anyone out there with a Flesh Tearers army – you’re welcome).

Knights of Blood

A “loyalist” Knight of Blood – planning to devour the next hapless soul to pass his way.

I’ve had a bit of a soft spot for these berserk vampires since I first encountered them but I’ve never actually painted one, nor have I ever seen a painted army of them (so if you’ve painted one or you know of one please put a link in the comments – I’d be very curious to see it, us excommunicated heroes of the Imperium need to stick together!). I was thinking about this the other day and decided that it was past time to try painting one for myself so I had a dig around in the pile of shame and found this space marine, assembled (and slightly kitbashed into something suitably aggressive looking) but unpainted. When I built him I didn’t intend him to be a Knight of Blood, if I had I would have used a Blood Angel’s shoulderpad rather than the slim reaver-style shoulderpad I gave him, and I would have covered his head (the Knights tending to avoid showing their faces, partly – I’m sure – because that made them seem more awesome and sinister and partly because they didn’t want people to know that they were becoming increasingly gnarly, red and – dare I say it – Khornate in appearance as the years passed). Perhaps this Knight pre-dates the later years of their fall from grace, or perhaps he’s just not been as badly affected as his battle brothers.

I also didn’t get bogged down in painting the chapter icon on his shoulderpad, instead leaving a blank space where I can paint it on later if I feel inclined. I know that’s the height of laziness, but the aim of the exercise here was to play around with the colour-scheme and give myself a break from Cawdor, not to get bogged down. If I decide to tackle more of these then I’ll come back to him and add in a little iconography, but for now he’s a quick sketch and that means painting him to a level I’m happy with and moving on, rather than obsessing over any details.

Knight of Blood Blood Angels 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)Knight of Blood Blood Angels 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)

No matter what I do, or how many photographs I take, his left shoulderpad (his left, our right) comes out looking really flat. I’m sure this is something familiar to all bloggers, you slave away getting the highlights looking right (and is there anything on earth harder to highlight than the shoulderpad of a space marine?) and the photos just don’t capture it and part of you always thinks “does anyone believe me? Perhaps they all think I just couldn’t be arsed to highlight it and I’m just making excuses!”. Ah well, you’ll just have to trust me.

He was a fun little diversion to tackle and for the moment that’s all I’m intending, although at some point I may – or may not – put together a few more. As ever I’m also curious to get your thoughts on the model, whether or not the Knights were filthy heretics or hard-pressed heroes doing a difficult job in a dangerous time and of course, for the 40k fans amongst you, if you had to pick a favourite space marine chapter which one would you declare your loyalty to?

24 responses to “The Bloodied Knight

  • Pete S/ SP

    Great work on that.

    I like the Characdons too, those and Alpha Legion….



    • Wudugast

      Cheers! Of course, the Alpha Legion – why didn’t I think of them? Definitely the best loyalists, and very cool that GW made their primarch Lord Commander of the Imperium…

  • theimperfectmodeller

    Hard for me to comment on Chapters and the like but what I will say is I can see why people like space marines. They are very cool and I love your figure but if I had to paint some I would be very tempted to go down the Buzz Lightyear colour scheme. 😊

    • Wudugast

      You know, I hadn’t considered that until you said it but google confirms – people have painted 40k space marines in the style of Buzz Lightyear. Some of them very well I should add. There’s some very clever and creative people out there! 🙂

  • B

    I have a Mantis Warriors army, but my favourites might actually be Lamenters. They’re just trying their best.

    • Wudugast

      Ah, the Lamenters! Bless them, it’s not their fault! Damn tricky to paint mind you. The Mantis Warriors are cool too – I always thought that their chief librarian during the Badab War sounded like a really interesting character (and “The Dust Prophet” is such a cool name!). I was just taking a look at your Mantis Warriors, hadn’t seen the ones in the Tranquillity Camouflage before but that’s awesome, it’s a colour scheme that I really couldn’t imagine working until I saw how you’d done it.

      • B

        Thank you!

        I really need to post up some more. I need to sort out some decals and other markings, though. The problem with doing a Chapter without the materiel GW produces for others.

        I do have a converted Dust Prophet amidst the lads. It was a cool idea, so I wanted one.

  • Alex

    Nice job dude, looking good!

  • imperialrebelork

    Great work. I don’t think the shoulder pad looks flat at all mate. I like making up my own chapters eg The Purge Cardinals.

    • Wudugast

      Cheers dude! I’m with you there, much as I enjoy cannon factions there’s nothing quite like making up your own stuff. Funnily enough since I painted this guy I’ve been itching to get back to my own Space Marines, I’m feeling a lot more certain about their background and that in turn is giving me loads of ideas for new things to make and paint. Just need to find some time…

  • Kuribo

    I enjoyed reading about your favorite space marine chapter. For me, I like Emperor’s Children and the Black Legion best though I painted a lot of Ultramarines in my youth since that is what you did when you were new to 40k in the early 2000’s 😀

    Based on what I can see in the pictures, the issue you mentioned with the shoulder pads is a problem I’ve run into a lot. TMM is really hard to photograph well and you really have to push contrast to notice differences you can already see in-hand 😦 For something as small as the shoulder plates, its nearly impossible but using washes and dulling down the shine is a decent solution I’ve found on larger models.

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! You know, when I wrote this I was thinking (in an unusual twist for me!) about loyalist chapters, I didn’t even consider favourite traitors. The trouble there is that I love them all, I’m a filthy heretic first and foremost so picking the best of that bunch wouldn’t be easy. I’ve always had a soft-spot for the Black Legion, especially since I read the ADB novels, and I’d love to see the World Eaters and Emperor’s Children given the full range treatment (ala Death Guard and Thousand Sons). Someday, if I keep some patience in my dark and evil heart, the Gods will smile on us!

      • Kuribo

        That is my hope too. Chaos doesn’t seem to get as much love from GW as it should and no World Eaters and Emperor’s Children sculpts (or even just some things to convert them) would be really appreciated. It would certainly get me to paint a couple 🙂 It sounds like I can look forward to seeing some CSM’s from you in the future!

  • WeebWIthADream

    Definitely Carcharodons. If only I could paint those cool markings on the armor…

    • Wudugast

      Oh I’m with you there, those markings look so cool but damn they look tricky to pull off (I’d say that’s true of their colour scheme in general, done well it looks awesome but the risk of ending up with a flat grey is always high). I remember when I first read about them in the FW Badab War books, thinking “Why would they bring back the Space Sharks, they were just a minor chapter with a silly name?” and then the more I read about them the more they blew me away. It may even have been that moment, now I look back, that sold me on the idea of loyalist space marines for the first time and made me realise just how grim and nasty these “Imperial Heroes” really are.

  • heresyofus

    Ah a fellow lover of the blood! Good choice of chapter mate. For me it’s the Flesh Eaters. Space vampires are just too cool!

    • Wudugast

      Cheers! Yup, good call – the Flesh Eaters are another favourite of mine (and the fact that they’re part of the Imperium, rather than Chaos, says it all about how far the Imperium has degenerated). Of the “Big 4” (or even the entire first founding) it was always Blood Angels for me, best background and coolest looking models by a long stretch. I’ve been thinking about going back to my own space marine collection and making them Blood Angels successors, just for all the cool things it would give me an excuse to do (Death Company, Sanguinary Guard, Death Company Dreadnaught, Sanguinary Priests etc etc). I’ve meant to paint some Blood Angels since I first got into the hobby and now I find myself turning round and wondering why I’ve never committed to it. Another project to add to the list I reckon!

      • heresyofus

        I’m going to be adding a Flesh Eater element to my Sisters army. The red will contrast well with my Orders bone, white and black scheme. From there I will go all out I think as I’ve always wanted to do a Librarian Dread. Like you say another project to the list! Oh and I have a soft spot for the Lamenters too 🙂

  • Azazel

    Looks interesting. Will you be doing models on both sides of the fence? As for a favourite chapter… there are too many for me to list. Funny thing is when I was younger I was more inclined to make up my own, while as an old fart I’m happy to adapt their existing schemed and heraldry… as long as I can do it with, like, 10 chapters..

    • Wudugast

      Cheers! You know I hadn’t thought of that but it’s a good suggestion, it might be quite fun to do a corrupted version. The trick would be making him look Khornate without anything strictly chaotic (so mutations are in, so long as he could potentially hide them under his armour, but spikes and icons are out). Another one to think about and see what, if anything, I come up with.

      • Azazel

        That was actually the original concept behind the models that eventually became my Flesh Tearers – models I could use for BA-successors or khornate berserkers. I had a whole scheme and series of markings worked out, too.
        Unfortunately, by the time I got back to them after a decade or so, I’d completely forgotten/lost my plans on how I had hoped to do it all, so just went with slightly-more-savage looking redmarines and got them done instead!
        I reckon if you reeeally wanted to, you could still do something with spikes. You’d just have to be careful in how you used them to not obviously look like Chaos. Probably straight spikes, stick with otherwise-clean armour… might be something worth me having a play with down the line. See what I can do with an Ultra or a Wolfy…

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