Having painted up most of the baddies from the Blackstone Fortress, and enough of the heroes for a crew of adventurers, my attention has turned to the traitor guardsmen who make up a large part of the Chaos forces in the game. Until now we’ve been reliant on raiding my existing collection of traitor guard to represent these turncoats but the models from the Blackstone Fortress set really are impressive and I’ve been looking forward to getting to work on them properly. Each squad contains seven guardsmen and, with three already painted and shown previously, I decided to start by tackling four more to round out the first group.
First up, two guardsmen armed with the ubiquitous lasgun.
Of course, when you really need to show that you mean business, and the dark gods are watching but need some light to see by, you can’t go wrong with a flamer.
Lastly we have the squad’s champion, this sergeant who has embraced his new creed with dark fervour.
And there we have it, a whole squad ready for action and another step closer to getting the original Blackstone Fortress boxset completed.
Working on these I’m struck, once again, by the degree to which they outshine the old loyalist Cadians. Looking at them, and the gorgeous new Sisters of Battle range, we can only hope that some new regiments will be emerging to fight in the Emperor’s name in the near-ish future. Of course, I’m also still hoping for a full lost-and-the-damned/traitor guard range at some stage too.
Glory to Khorne – the ogryn with the banner is ready for battle!
When the Age of Sigmar First Edition boxset was released I loved the look of the Bloodsecrator; a hulking warrior with a huge sigil with which to draw the Blood God’s gaze. At the time many people were still operating in an old Warhammer mindset and thought it would make an excellent battle-standard bearer for a Khorne themed Warriors of Chaos army – and indeed the whole Khornate side of the box could have translated onto square bases quite easily. In many ways the model proved adept at multi-tasking, as well joining armies in both the Old World and the Age of Sigmar it also made a natural step into the 41st Millennium, albeit with some suitable sci-fi tweaking here and there. As an avowed heretic and solider of the Long War I naturally wanted to put him to work in the latter setting. The trouble is, the banner is just too damn big for a human to carry – even a space marine, indeed even a terminator, is going to struggle to lug that great lump around. The original Bloodsecrator suffers not just from having a silly name but from being a model of two mismatched parts, the sum of which just doesn’t work cohesively. How is any warrior supposed to reap skulls whilst also struggling to hump this great, awkwardly shaped banner around the battlefield? The Imperium would undoubtedly employ a servitor for exactly this job but the followers of Khorne are far too practical for that, anything that hampers the spilling of blood or fails to get on with the job of slaughtering of one’s enemies has no place in their austere lives.
For a while I considered mounting the icon on a helbrute but in the end, partly because I’d already seen so many others do a better job of that than me, I decided to branch out and try giving it to an ogryn instead.
Seeing him next to my original ogryn berserker serves as a reminder of how much my painting style has evolved and improved over the last few years. Perhaps it’s time to give the first one a repaint too – after all I can’t have the poor old chap being outshone by his younger rival. Plus he’d make a powerful-looking repurposed mining ogryn for a chaos worshipping Necromunda gang…
What is one to do when one finds oneself in a situation that even a berserk, Khorne-worshipping space marine cannot fix? Why throw an Ogren berserker at it instead of course! Cashing in on my current Khorne-fever I decided to extract this angry young man from the shelf of shame where he had been lingering in dusty ignominy since I first assembled him way back in March last year.
I should probably be more modest but – damn, I’m proud of that blood stained effect!
One thing that does concern me is the aquila brand on his shoulder. On the model it’s not particularly noticeable now (or so I believed) and I’d thought a quick bit of filing had as good as obliterated it. However the photographs have shown it as being rather obvious and now I’ve seen it I can’t unsee it. I suspect in the near future he’ll have a quick trip back to the painting desk for a touch up – I think I’ll try to turn it into a faded tattoo, perhaps with a scar through it, but any alternative suggestions are very welcome.The Siege of Vrax books described Ogren Berserkers as being ‘created’ from Ogren slaves through lobotomy and the installation of drug injectors which deliver a cocktail of combat stimulators immediately prior to the poor creature being unleashed in the general direction of the enemy. For my Ogren however I decided to take a rather different path. His higher brain functions (such as they are – he is an Ogren after all) remain unimpaired. Personally I think he just likes smashing things.
Ogrens are noted for their loyalty, particularly to their friends rather than to some obscure and distant concept like the Imperium. Should the humans that feed and house it turn to the worship of the ruinous powers so the Ogren will too. Indeed the small minds of these abhumans, it is often noted, are ‘easily filled with faith’ and given their disinterest in over-thinking things I have no doubt that they can be quite easily convinced to kill for Khorne rather than the Emperor, if that’s what their friends think is best.
When I first showed you this model of a chaos demagogue a few weeks ago several readers pointed out something that should have been obvious to me – but of course hadn’t been.
As you can see he’s holding a couple of decapitated heads and so the question was asked – how did he chop off those heads when he doesn’t have a knife? Did he use his teeth? Twist them off with his bare hands? Find them lying around somewhere and borrow them to pose with?
Obviously I needed to provide him with a blade but what to use? I had a plan to use a long bladed axe until KrautScientist suggested a hammer as a way of capturing the chaotic revolutionary vibe (in a style similar to the “Workers rising up with hammer in hand Soviet propaganda!”). Suddenly my brain kicked into gear. A hammer isn’t the best tool to use when chopping off heads but even those like me – who’s knowledge of modern European history has been somewhat muddied by playing too much Command and Conquer as a youth – knows that where there’s a hammer a sickle can’t be far away.
I was tempted to put a hammer in his hand (and I am still a little) but I actually rather like his lack of obvious weapons and didn’t want to over-egg a model which uses simplicity as its core virtue. Needless to say of course, that if you agree or disagree I’d be interested to get your feedback.
Anyway, whilst I was working on the demagogue I decided to go back to this traitor guardsman who I was less than satisfied with when I first showed him. Particularly I thought the rust on his weapon – something of a signature element of mine – looked pretty shoddy. So I gave him a little trip back to the painting table for an update.
As usual if you have thoughts it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Get them off your chest in the box below – I won’t tell a soul!