Tag Archives: Chaos Daemons

The Unforgotten – Part 8

At times it seemed like a desperate flight with a deadline snapping at my heels, at others like a heroic last stand against a rising tide of unpainted models, but with the end of the month upon us I’m pleased to say that victory has been achieved!

Convert Or Die (3)

For those coming late to the party, blogger Azazel has declared May to be Neglected Model Month, challenging himself and other hobbyists who wanted to take part to finish off some of those old, unfinished models which have been left to gather dust. I took on a rather ambitious goal, by my standards, and at the time worried a little that I might have bitten off more than I could chew. In retrospect however I’m pleased not have stinted in my efforts and to have managed a sizable addition to my chaos collection.

The forces of Khorne for instance grew significantly with the return of an old helbrute, a pack of ravenous flesh hounds and an ogryn berserker.

Convert Or Die (4)

Meanwhile Nurgle gained  a bloat-drone and a heap of happy nurglings.

Convert Or Die (1)

Even Tzeentch got in on the act with this unplanned “stretch goal” – a converted tzaangor.

Tzangor Convert Or Die (1)

The eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted that the nurglings have had a little update since I first showed them. That’s right – I forgot the nasty green gunk on the bases. Hopefully the plague father will forgive me this transgression and won’t bestow any of his gifts upon me.

Convert Or Die (2)

In spite of the pressure I felt at times not one of these models took me more than an hour to finish – with the arguable exception of the ogryn where I found myself hating everything about the banner and repainting it from scratch when it was almost finished. Nonetheless, even in what was, for me, a very busy month at work I still managed to complete ten neglected models – plus the additions* to my Skaven that I’ll show you tomorrow.

*”Additions” being an ambitious plural right now as only one is actually done at the time of writing, however there are at least a couple more I’d like to finish off to join it if times allows.

Still, with none of these taking more than an hour to finish, and with a whole day of May still to go, a dedicated person could shift twenty-four models from the shelf of shame (although the last few would undoubtedly be of variable quality…). Silliness aside though it goes to show what can be achieved if one just breaks the deadlock, picks up the brush and a half-painted model and just gets on with it. All too often they just sit there, unfinished and shameful, and it doesn’t need to be this way.

Huge thanks once again to Azazel for creating the challenge, without which I would never have been inspired to finish these – at least not this decade. Now back to your brushes the lot of you, you could have finished another model in the time you spent reading this!

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A Darker World Is Not Far From Us

Chaos has always been portrayed as more than just another enemy. Whilst the Imperium stood at the heart of the 40k story with the xenos races arrayed around it like wolves waiting to pull the big beast down, Chaos was the Imperium’s equal – its dark reflection. One is led to believe that the Imperium could hold back any one of the xenos threats with ease, if only they were attacking it one at a time like bad guys in a martial arts film. The eldar are too few now to present a real danger, the tau too small and isolated. The orks, as is always noted, could destroy us all – if only they stopped fighting each other for long enough to knock over humanity’s sandcastles. Of course we’re told that the tyranids and/or necrons will soon kill everyone, but this is generally presented as something of a “by-the-way” which to me means it has often seemed either a distant threat, or so overwhelming as to make all other faction’s involvement seem pointless.

Plague Marines 2

Not chaos though. Chaos is in all of us. Every man who marches in the armies of the Imperium could someday turn his coat and fight beneath the eight-pointed star instead. If the Imperium fielded an army of just one man then that man might turn his back on the Emperor and fight instead for the Ruinous Powers. If they sent an army a billion strong to defeat him then they might win… or they might find a billion new enemies marching back towards them. The tau can be eradicated, the eldar driven to extinction, the Imperium brought to ruin and the numberless swarms of the tyranids exhausted, but so long as a single human remains alive in the galaxy Chaos will never die.

Like an infection it leaps from one carrier to the next. No-one is entirely immune, regardless of what the Grey Knights will tell you, and once a person is corrupted they will inevitably seek to corrupt others. Should the right person fall billions more can fall with them. Corrupt a planetary governor and a whole world can tumble. When Horus fell half the Imperium followed.

Fight it head on and you only feed it. Try to ignore it, deny its reality, smash the churches and burn the holy books, and Chaos sneaks back in via the back door.

Horrors

We know of course that there are various factions within all of the races, clans of orks, necron dynasties, tyranid hive fleets and so on. You’re encouraged to paint them different colours, and – especially since the arrival of Warhammer 40k’s 8th edition – there are even rules so that they perform differently in the game. The eldar have a bit more depth; there are the craftworlders, the dark kin of Commortagh, the dancing harlequins of the Black Library, the newly formed Ynnari and, for enthusiast convertors, even exodites and corsairs. Really though it’s the Imperium to whom the greatest attention has been devoted. We have six brands of space marine alone, various imperial guard regiments, the wonderfully weird tech-cult of the Adeptus Mechanicis, the towering knights, the golden armoured Custodes, the shadowy Inquisitors, the one man armies of the Assassinorum and those perpetually overlooked nuns with guns – the Sisters of Battle. The thing is, Chaos is always described as having all that and more. Four distinct gods place their influence upon chaos space marine legions, traitor primarchs, rebel guard regiments, beastmen herds, daemonic choirs, fallen knight households and the daemon-smiths of the Dark Mechanicus. It’s as if there was another Imperium, a twisted reflection of the first, a Dark Imperium if you will.

The battle between the Imperium and Chaos then is not the story of the old empire falling to the barbarians at the gates but the story of two equals fighting for dominance. The Empire of the Eye has stood almost as long as the Imperium and its history is just as rich and complex as that of its real space reflection.

Roboute Guilliman

When Roboute Guilliman arrived in the 40k setting earlier this year I was furious. I even wrote a long and extremely angry blog post, which thankfully I never posted, decrying the state of the world and GW’s decision to put profit over quality. To me the daemon primarchs belonged in the setting and their return was welcome but their flesh and blood brothers should have stayed dead. I got over it though. Guilliman may walk and talk but the galaxy is a big place and his presence hasn’t impinged on my enjoyment of the game one way or another. I even read Guy Haley’s Dark Imperium (and, beneath my dwarf-like contempt for this newfangled tinkering with the established lore, secretly rather enjoyed it).

The age of the Emperor ended when he was placed upon the golden throne. This is the story of twin empires locked in a struggle to the death and of brothers fighting over their father’s kingdom.

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Warhammer as was told the story of many races, empires and nations. Age of Sigmar is a veritable soup of them. Nor do all of those stories focus around human protagonists. Central themes in the World That Was included the age long struggle between the self-righteous Elves of Ulthuan and their infinitely superior kin in Naggaroth, whilst dwarves, skaven and goblins battled in the sunless depths without anyone in the Empire or Bretonnia even knowing about it.

Without Chaos however 40k runs the risk of being a one horse town, with the Imperium at the heart of every story. Sure there are epic confrontations going on in the margins, the Eldar battling the Tyranids at Valedor, the Orks also fighting the Tyranids in Octarius, but in the main it’s all been about the Imperium. What’s more, for all the Chaos has traditionally been presented as the biggest baddy of them all, in recent years it’s star had started to wane. Bigger threats were descending on the galaxy, threats which would see all human life obliterated regardless of whether they worshipped a corpse god or grew tentacles from their ears. Either the Necrons were going to wake up and obliterate all organic life with the flick of a switch or the Tyranids were going to eat everyone. Against this Chaos was starting to feel a little weak. To criticise poor old Abaddon because you’ve never read the background and his arms keep falling off has long been akin to waving a flag and publicly declaring you’re an ass but even so one started to wonder if his long war wasn’t taking a little bit too long. Surely if he didn’t crack on his hordes would eventually come pouring from the Eye of Terror only to find a galaxy stripped of life and nothing left to fight but a lone genestealer fighting a broken necron in the ruins of the Imperial Palace. It’s one thing to unite the warring Chaos legions beneath one banner, quite another to take so long doing it that you end up missing the apocalypse you were planning to unleash. Yet whilst Abaddon was running the risk of being the big baddie who get’s beaten at the end of every episode some filthy xenos were about to blow up the whole galaxy – and that would never do.

Bloodthirster

Now this isn’t intended to do down the xenos (some of my best friends are xenos) who enrich the setting so deeply or to claim special treatment for my army just because I’m super special myself. Indeed I’d like to see the various alien races expanded upon further and with luck GW are cracking on behind the scenes with exactly that. However when the threat they pose reaches apocalyptic levels it risks becoming too abstract, too overwhelming, to engage with alone. When one looks at the innumerable hordes of the Tyranids pouring in from the depths of space one tends to think that the Imperium might as well just go home and put their feet up, they’re all going to be eaten whatever they do so there’s not much point struggling especially not when they already have a galaxy-sized guass flayer to their collective heads. Chaos though is an enemy you can fight – not just with your bolters in the burning streets, not just on the tabletop, but in your own heart and soul. No-one looks at a Tyranid and thinks “I really understand where these guys are coming from! If I was living in the 41st Millennium I’d want to strip planets of their biomass too!” I can’t put myself in the shoes of a soulless Necron automaton, and even the Eldar and Orks are relatively inscrutable and inhuman to our gaze. Chaos though speaks to us, to our ambition, to our righteous anger, to our will to freedom and self-determination, to our hunger to live, to our moral drives and the very emotions that make us human.

The Imperium needs an enemy we can empathise with, an enemy that speaks to us in our own voice so that we can cringe with horrified fascination as they tear each other apart. Ultimately if GW are serious about the 40k setting evolving then the Imperium needs an equal. It needs Chaos.

All artwork used belongs to Games Workshop and is used without permission as a result of sheer badness on my part.


Heresy of Us

If you haven’t already been to check out the blog Heresy of Us then it really is about time you did. Chock full of the kind of grubby, Blanchesque madness that makes 40k great its host takes things up a notch by combining the traditional kitbashing and greenstuff with bespoke components brought to life by the modern wizardry of 3d-printing. Best of all, for those of us less technologically gifted, there is Black Earth.black-earth-logoAs producers of additional components for converters go Black Earth is a company so new it’s positively embryonic but given the depths of creativity on show at Heresy of Us expectations are already running high. In time it’s planned for the project to grow into a webstore providing a range of bases and other bits for convertors looking to add a unique spin to their models. One of the first creations to be unveiled have been a set of prototype Demonic Femes (see the image below which shows the figure looking disturbingly like a serial killer’s victim in its unassembled state).dfemme-teaserObviously these are perfect for those who’re looking to convert daemonettes which nod more towards Slaanesh’s aspect as a god of twisted sexuality than the comparatively family friendly models of GW’s recent past. With their outsize, balloon-like breasts and near skeletal thinness they take many of the tropes associated with modern ideas of beauty and stretch them to breaking point. This is where the very worst of body image problems takes us. It works because it isn’t trying to be sexy. If anything its disturbing. Too often those who try to ‘adult-up’ Slaanesh end up with a clumsy attempt at soft-core pornography (and regardless of how exciting one might find the latest plastic kit, or a rediscovered oldhammer classic – if you’re aroused by your toy soldiers you probably have a problem. Sorry it had to be me that told you…). These however circumnavigate such silliness and go straight for being disquieting. Placed firmly in the badlands of the uncanny valley they flaunt their sexual aspects in a way that could never be actually sexy and pricks uncomfortably at our mental programing. Of course depending on how adventurous one wishes to be there’s no need to stick to Slaanesh with a brainstorming session raising ideas that ranged from arco-flagellants  and dark eldar to beastwomen and wood elf wardancers. What’s more I’m able to put one of these ideas into practice as Mark, the man behind Heresy of Us, was kind enough to send me one to review.

I knew straight away I didn’t want to just add her to the ranks of my much neglected daemonettes where she would have stood out like a sore thumb (being for one thing a little on the tall side compared to the GW plastics) and which would have failed to do justice to what is after all an almost unique prototype model. Instead I decided to create a daemonic champion, thus giving myself the opportunity to let my hair down and create something suitably strange and ghastly. The result is this Slaaneshi gladiator. Who says the champions of Khorne should rule the fighting pits? black-earth-demonic-femme-convert-or-die-3

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black-earth-demonic-femme-convert-or-die-4 As with any conversion feedback is greatly appreciated. I also strongly advise you to swing by Heresy of Us and take a look at some of the other weird and wonderful creations on show there. At the moment  they’re running a promotion to give away some of their new skull stacks (and as everyone who loves the Warhammer universes knows you can never have too many skulls). skull-stackAll you have to do is click this link to find their contact details (and get a look at those skulls) then drop them an email and ask nicely and they’ll send you a stack of skulls absolutely free. Best to get on with it though as I’m led to understand that they’ve only got so many to give away and when they’re gone they’re gone. All they ask in return is that you send in a picture of what you use your skulls for, so what are you waiting for – they’re free!


Demonic Munitions

So having worked on all those Nurglings it seems I’ve drawn the gaze of Grandfather Nurgle himself and been floored by a particularly hideous cold, slowing painting and everything else to a crawl. Anyway, I’ve finally managed to summon the energy to finish this off so, without further ado; we’ve seen the very small now let’s look at something larger (not a cue for innuendo I assure you).

You may recall that way back in May of last year I showed you this Maulerfiend. Like a lot of Games Workshop’s kits it actually makes two models based off a single chassis – in this case a Maulerfiend and a Forgefiend. As it happens I managed to pick up said chassis in amongst some other bitz for a knockdown price and, by combining it with the leftovers from the original box and a few other bits and bobs, came up with this monster.

I’m really pleased to have added this one to the ranks at last. I love a spiky tank (and especially a possessed and mutated tank!) as much as the next heretic, but it’s the daemon engines which really set the Chaos Marines apart from their ancient rivals, the Space Marines. We’re more than just the Astartes with spikes, we’re a twisted, ten-thousand year old thing in itself. We reference the Emperor’s Finest from whom we grew but we are not them and models like this set that beyond any doubt.

Having said that I do have a doodle in my notebook of a Maulerfiend converted into a huge, ice-scarred iron wolf stamping out of the Fenrisian night, so in theory at least there is something for the loyalists here.

As always if you have thoughts I want to know about it. Make them known in the box below.


2015 – For Anyone Who Missed It

Well here we are at the very end of 2015 and what a year it’s been! In fact as I sit down to write this review it’s hard to know what to pick as the standout moments. The death of Warhammer? The birth of its golden armoured offspring Age of Sigmar? Bloodthristers tearing their way out of the Warp and onto tabletops across the world? Harlequins?

If I had to pick one though it would be the arrival of the AdMech as a fully realised range of plastic miniatures. Now some of you are probably shaking your heads a little at that and thinking “What’s he on about? He’s not painted a single Skitarii! He can’t spell half their names! He’s a foul heritek, what does he care about the loyal servers of the Omnissiah?”

On that front I’ll admit to being guilty of all charges, but let me offer a few words in my defence. To me the Adeptus Mechanicus is the most iconic of all 40k’s factions (yeah, take it Space Marines!) but for a long time it looked like they were forever lost in the warp, their emergence onto the tabletop nothing more than a pipe dream. In many ways (and I’m sure some of you will be accusing me of being a GW apologist for this) their appearance gives me hope that – even if it takes a while – Thousand Sons, Noise Marines, Sisters of Battle, and all the other overlooked elements of 40k will someday make it onto the production line and into our homes. As a society we’re not very good at being patient but I’ve got plenty of models to paint and time enough to wait. The chances of anything coming from Mars was a million to one they said. Yet still they came.

I already expressed my enthusiasm for the release back here and trust me – I may not have painted any yet but their time will come.

Now before delving into my own output this year I do want to (briefly) mention Age of Sigmar (cue groans from the crowd and a hasty assumption of entrenched positions).

Warhammer fans study the latest release for Age of Sigmar.

I’ve not learned to stop worrying and love Age of Sigmar – in fact my long standing issues with Warhammer have been replaced by a rosy nostalgia that glosses over the cracks and makes AoS seem even more bland and uninspired than it would on its own merits. I’m from 40k after all where neophobia is less of a problem and more of a way of life. However I just read Godless by David Guymer and the Slaaneshi warriors are just spot on. The disappearance of their god has rendered them complex and nuanced in a way they could never quite reach when they were winning. Their lamenting, aching horror at the denial of their prince grants them a real depth and poignance. I almost don’t want them to find Slaanesh (in the overall story-arch of AoS I mean, not the short story itself – no spoilers here!). However I’m willing to guess that everything we’ve seen so far is the set up for the quest to see Slaanesh freed – accompanied by new models for the Elves and their Slaaneshi opponents. When that day comes I hope they take a few tips from Guymer’s text in describing the appearance of the Dark Prince’s servants – seeing characters of that style captured by the same team that brought us the Putrid Blightkings and Bloodreavers would restore Slaanesh to the glory she deserves both in the hearts and the collections of Chaos fans everywhere.

First of all though there’s plenty of other gaps need filled if Age of Sigmar is to rise from Warhammer’s shadow and I think we’d all be highly surprised if a big chunk of 2016 isn’t devoted to this. Current rumours suggest that Dwarves may be just around the corner (and apparently they’ve taken to communicating in text-speak and they’re after your gold).

Let’s be honest – after all that talk of Slaanesh the skull is really thinking “5318008”

Anyway, I’m not just here to talk about what’s been going on in the wider hobby. I’m also here to talk about myself because, to be frank, I think I’m really quite interesting. For me it’s been a year in which my hobby output has been defined by Chaos (with both a capital and a small c). My loyalist space marines have slipped to the very back of the backburner and my poor Orks haven’t seen a brush since January but the Beasts of Ruin have gone from strength to strength.

As soon as I’d finished updating my Orks I started work on a little band of Khorne worshipping Terminators. At some point I’ll probably add another four to reach Khorne’s holy number of eight (someone at GW must be kicking themselves thinking ‘They keep adding models to make squads of eight. Why didn’t we think to make Khorne’s holy number 30?!’)

I also upped the number of Helbrutes in my collection to four – including the Nurgle infested Igorin Rotbringer (second from the right). To the left of him you’ll see the Ironghast Fury – another of this year’s new additions and the first model I’ve created as part of an online event. Dreadtober ran through October 2015 and encouraged as many people as possible to produce a Dreadnaught/Helbrute/Deff Dread or similar. If you’ve not already been to the site it really is time you did, feast your eyes on inspiration here. I’m not ashamed to admit that the Fury would still be unpainted if it wasn’t for this event so this won’t be the last time I do something like this either.
As well as the new Helbrutes I also added some new HQ units including a fallen Grey Knight, and finally got around to putting paint on the Chaos Lord from Dark Vengeance.

Nurgle continued to be a big influence on me throughout the year – mostly as a result of my ongoing experimentation with the Putrid Blightkings. As well as the Helbrute I showed above I also created this Daemon Prince – easily one of the most difficult conversions I’ve ever attempted and a forceful reminder to me that if you keep pushing yourself you’ll create better and better models (or stranger and stranger at least). Read more about him here.
Continuing the Nurgle theme I also decided to come back to my Plague Marines, another unit which dates back to the very beginning of my Chaos collection. I felt it was time to bring the squad to a conclusion (and so inevitably started another straight away). You can see what’s planned for the second squad here and here . Don’t worry though, this won’t be the last you see of Golothess and the boys.
I’ve also managed to add three Dark Apostles to the ranks this year. One to speak to the followers of Chaos Undivided.
One to consecrate the skulls taken in Khorne’s name.

And one to preach to the servants of Nurgle, from the smallest virus to the mightiest Daemon Prince.
Obviously that means I ought to make one each for Slaanesh and Tzeentch as well. A job for 2016 then…

Another job for 2016 will be continuing to build up my squads of Nurgle Chosen and Terminators. As it stands most of them are still in need of paint but here’s the first two finished.And of course I finished off my first full squad of Chaos Marines (which you may recall I showed just the other day).
Not all of the followers of the Dark Gods wear power armour however and this year I was able to get started on a long standing ambition; the Lost and the Damned. Alongside Ad Mech this is the army that I’ve aspired to most over the years so I’m extremely pleased to have this little lot painted at last. Expect to see a lot more of them in 2016.
If recaps of the year are your thing and you’re starting to panic that I’ve almost run out of words then I highly recommend heading to Heresy and Heroes or Big Boss Red Skulls (the latter is particularly exciting because he talks about me!). I’m also waiting (im)patiently for KrautScientist’s annual Eternal Hunt Awards but sadly they’re not up yet. Keep an eye out though – he assures us they’re on their way and they’re always well worth a look. Edit: And as promised the first part of the Eternal Hunt awards are now up so if you’ve missed them, have a look here.

Hopefully that little lot should give you something to read until I’m back in the new year, accompanied by a retinue of cheerful, excitable and unhygienic sidekicks. You have been warned!


Show ’em You’ve Got Guts!

It’s hard to believe but today the Putrid Blightkings are one year old. In that time they’ve become a firm favourite of hobbyists, making their way into Nurgle armies around the world. To celebrate our fat, evil baby’s first birthday I’d like to take a look back at what I’ve managed to do with the kit over the last year. However this isn’t just about reminiscing so let’s set the ball rolling by showing something I’ve actually managed to finish off – the first of my Chosen of Nurgle.

I mentioned when I first built him that I felt I hadn’t been that adventurous in converting him but now he’s finished I’m glad I stuck to my guns (or in his case simply stuck a gun to him). As a model he already stands out as a simply fantastic miniature so any wild or elaborate conversion work just wasn’t needed. And, as we shall see, I have managed to get a few crazy conversions out of the kit.

He’s joined in the squad by these two chaps (still awaiting paint).

I’m still planning to make two more for a complete squad, and yes it is embarrassing that I’ve only managed to build three despite having had a year to work on them. Thanks for mentioning that in front of everyone. Jeez!

When the Blightkings were first released I waxed rather enthusiastic about them, rattling off a list of ideas that probably meant next to nothing to anyone beside myself. At one point I claimed that I could foresee using them “or all kinds of Nurgle worshipping characters, ranging from Sorcerers and Dark Apostles up to a Daemon Prince”. Now the Sorcerer remains to appear, and the Dark Apostle ended up looking like this instead, but the Daemon Prince is finished at least.
He’s far and away the biggest and craziest thing I’ve managed to create from the Blightkings so far, as well as one of the most nerve wracking things I’ve ever put together, but the end result remains one of my favourite miniatures in the collection. You can read more about him here.

In my review of the kit I went on to suggest turning the Blightkings into Plague Ogrens or Nurgle Obliterators although once I had them in hand my suspicion that they were far too small was confirmed. I went on to suggest however: “Another possibility, and one which serves to balance out the size issue, would be to have one or two Blightkings wired or grafted into a motile, semi-sentient weapons platform.” My idea was for something not dissimilar to this demented contraption (and if you want to know more about it the place to look is here) but with the pilot physically wired in as with a Dreadnaught.
herald-of-nurgle-convert-or-die-11Anyway, this idea stuck with me and, although the original (fairly weird) concept has yet to see fruition, it did lead to the evolution of this rotund gentleman. You can find the story of how he came to be here and here.

Having discounted using them as Obliterators for the moment (and by the way Games Workshop, one year on we still don’t have decent models for them) I started thinking about what else they could be turned to. I already had the feeling they’d be too big to use as normal Plague Marines and so I started considering making Nurgle Possessed instead. As it was this idea evolved into the Nurgle Chosen you see above.

One thing that’s worth mentioning about the Blightkings, and makes them quite unusual, is the diversity in size of the heads. It’s worth noting here that there are 17 of them (I‘ve not counted them, Games Workshop’s advertising blurb told me so and they would never lie to me). These range from chunky bonces that look big on a Terminator, to little pin-heads that fit a guardsman. This is rather handy and allows the heads in the middle to be used on Plague Marines like the ones below. However it’s also worth being aware, especially if you’re buying a specific head separate from the rest of the kit through one of the third party bits sites.


I also said that I didn’t expect Gutrot Spume to be nearly as popular with convertors and, in my experience, this has proved to be correct. Having said that I’d still be curious to see what can be done with the model if it was brought into the 41st Millennium so if you know of any good conversions put a link in the box below.

The one thing I’ve not talked about much here are Nurgle Terminators, although many of the Blightking parts are a neat fit for this. My reticence is, in part, because my own efforts to make Nurgle Terminators based on the Blightkings hit the wall in short order and have yet to really bounce back. However I am starting to feel inspired in this direction once more so let’s give it some time and see what happens.

In the meantime hopefully you’ve enjoyed this look back at the Blightkings one year on and, as usual, if you have any comments or suggestions, know of any conversions based on this kit you think should be showcased or just want to be congratulated for having bothered to read this far, let me know in the comments box below.


Demon Stealer

This one is mostly about me griping!

The Grey Knights, we’re told, never fall to the temptations of Chaos. Not rarely, or once in a blue moon, but never ever, not a single one in the last ten thousand years. I take this from the previous edition of the Grey Knight codex by the way – I’ll admit I’ve never read the current edition. Anyway, as a Chaos worshipping heretic myself this pisses me right off. Obviously this is intended as Imperial propaganda, wrapped up in the legendary – even semi-mythical – nature of this secret chapter, but I still find it pretty aggravating. It may just be a fairly minor bit of the background but it comes across as smugly condescending both to us Chaos fans and followers of the Imperium in all its other factions, most of which can’t get out of bed in the morning without falling to the worship of the Ruinous Powers. Rather than letting it bother me however I decided to take the narrative bull by the horns. If the Grey Knights wanted to thumb their nose at me by smugly resisting the dark powers I would thumb my nose right back.

Allow me to introduce Grey Yekub; the Fallen Knight.

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At this point some of you may be thinking ‘But… but… you can’t have a Chaos Grey Knight..!’ Let me assure you that you most certainly can and that I had great fun creating him. And yes, I’m aware that I’m a huge fan of the ‘lore’ of 40k, and tend not to do things that radically contradict it. However in this case I felt compelled to simply because this particular piece of lore is so restrictive, so utterly anathema to interesting story-writing, to model making and to the creation of compelling game scenarios. In short it makes the galaxy of the far future less exciting to be in, not more, and as such I feel obligated to struggle against it.

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For a while I considered giving him the standard issue ‘evil guy red eyes’ (because as you know all evil characters in miniatures games either work in very windy conditions or are massive hung-over all the time). Anyway, in the end I decided against it because I thought the ‘dead eyed killer’ look was more appropriate to this ruthless traitor.

Here’s a close up of his shoulder. This bit was definitely saved for a ‘steady hands day’ – and even then the writing is a little wonky.

Anyway, as well as the Knight himself I wanted to create some of the esoteric wargear they have access to. Clearly my imagination took a very literal turn when I read the words “Empyrean Brain Mines” as it wasn’t until I found the description in the codex that I discovered these mines affect the brain – rather than being made of brains. By then it was much too late and I’d started to make him some.

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Regular readers will know that with any new addition to the Beasts of Ruin I like to create a little bit of accompanying background, not a story exactly but a little sketch describing who they are, what motivates them, where they came from, etc. With this model however that’s almost impossible. With the arrogant claim that no Grey Knight has ever fallen to Chaos one is faced with something too insurmountable to easily explain. What events could I describe leading to this man’s corruption without seeming utterly overblown and preposterous? What could he have seen or experienced that his brothers have not, or have resisted for ten millennia? It would seem as tacky or improbable as writing in the missing Primarchs whilst I’m about it.

Anyway, for those who don’t mind a brief fan-fiction moment, this is what I came up with in the end:

Who knows what horrors or hidden desires caused the Knight who would become known as Grey Yekub to turn his back on the Emperor where for ten thousand years his brothers had remained stalwart? Perhaps Kell alone has discovered the secret but if he has he holds it close, for knowledge is power and power over one such as Yekub is a commodity to be jealously guarded. With merely a word, or the touch of his hand upon the hilt of his sword – a weapon, like its bearer, both blessed and damned in its time – the knight can quell even the most powerful and fractious of daemons. Thus the legions of the gods remains subservient to Kell, though he courts the power of all four yet bows to none with an arrogance to rival Abaddon alone. Often the daemons hunger to see him torn down for his hubris yet whilst Yekub stalks in his master’s shadow they dare not.

In this way the fallen knight serves also as a more subtle weapon, controlling the squabbling mortal servants of each god amongst Kell’s own ranks. Many powerful warlords would like to take his place in command of the Beasts and claim Princehood as reward for binding their warriors to one god alone but whilst Yekub lives they know such rebellion would be short-lived, whilst their punishment within a Hellbrute sarcophagus would last forever. 

Thus they scheme instead to see Kell’s bodyguard destroyed first. Those who attempt it however soon learn that in treachery he has lost none of the fabled might of the Grey Knights and remains an adversary that all who worship the ruinous powers are right to fear.

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Oh… one final point, Grey Knights. Primarchs fell to Chaos. Who the hell do you guys think you are?