Tag Archives: Chaos Space Marines

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!

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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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The Unforgotten – Part 4

What’s this? Four neglected models in one week? And the long overlooked bloat-drone finally finished to boot? Surely some madness is occurring?

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Although I ended up taking a lot longer over this model than I intended to, I’m still glad I took my time and didn’t rush it. Even with a range of vehicles now available for the Death Guard the quirky strangeness of the bloat-drone means it remains my favourite.

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The bloated, fleshy back was a real joy to paint.

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In the long term I’d like to add a couple more of these to the collection to create a suitably Nurgly triumvirate, and of course to allow me to model all three weapon options. Before I even think about buying any more of them however there are plenty more neglected models to deal with before the end of the month.


The Unforgotten – Part 2

The flail-wielding Helbrute is done, making it the first victory in this month’s campaign to rid the shelf of shame of at least some of its denizens. Inspired by fellow blogger Azazel, who declared May to be Neglected Model Month, I’ve decided to work my way through this little lot, all of whom have been in need of paint for quite some time. To recap, this Helbrute was first built in 2014, painted in Dreadtober 2015 and was due to be repaired in Dreadtober 2017. Now, in May 2018, he’s done at last.

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I also made some quick improvements to his face, the wash and highlight he got back in 2015 may have impressed me then but wasn’t doing him any favours now.

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Here he is hanging out with his buddies. Seeing them all together makes me wonder once again about building a Tzeentchian dread to complete the set.

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Before that though it’s time to turn my attention to the rest of the Neglected Models, probably starting with a flesh hound or two…


Get Sick Or Die Trying – Part 5

Two more shambling corpses emerge from the plague pit that is my painting desk (which is quite an accurate metaphor actually – the desk has been choked with bodies lately, littered with the severed limbs of feverish converting and – sadly – all too often the cheerless remnants of projects which have gone there to die). However as Nurgle knows such places are also home to the potential for bountiful life so it’s time to channel my inner necromancer and start resurrecting some models!

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More zombies will be on their way, hopefully soon, but first I’ve got plans to turn my attention to Nurgle’s brother Tzeentch. Watch this space.


Our Rage Won’t Die – Part 4

The story of this model begins way back in the early days of my chaos collection, although the seeds of inspiration that led to his rebirth are rather more recent. Back in the early autumn I started working on a small group of Khorne Berserkers. I’m still pleased with them, and the feedback I’ve received has been overwhelmingly positive, so it’s time to keep the creative pot boiling by adding a leader to the squad. Here we have the Berserkers as they looked last time we saw them.

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You’ll have to trust me when I say that the project hasn’t entirely died in the meantime, although primarily it has been resting, waiting for inspiration to strike and work to resume. That inspiration arrived in the form of fellow hobbyist Azazel, who’s been setting a series of monthly challenges, both for himself and his readers. This month the challenge was to build a model, something I don’t usually struggle with. However I’d been putting off actually doing the disassembling required to make this model, and may well have continued to do so indefinitely if I hadn’t seen Azazel’s challenge

Enter; this elderly model. I’m not entirely sure when I painted him, I’d estimate 2010 or 2011 at the latest, but whenever it was I was already old and experienced enough to know better. Take a good look at him because this is the last chance we’ll get.

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Let’s be honest here, he hasn’t aged well. Even when I first built him he probably wasn’t nearly as good as I thought he was and time has not been kind. I like to think my painting skills have grown a long way over the years (although I’m still rather taken with that blood spatter – if I may say so myself – especially as it pre-dates the now ubiquitous Blood For The Blood God paint). On the whole though, he’s ugly and painfully short in comparison to the new generation of space marines. Over time he’s been shoved further and further back on the shelf. Some might even say I’m ashamed of him.

Despite these flaws I must confess I’m fond of him and that left me with a quandary. On the one hand he really has no place in the collection of models I’m aiming to create, on the other I’d be sad to see him bundled off into a box of old miniatures to gather dust. It would be an inglorious end for such proud old warrior and I for one am not ready to cast him aside just yet. He speaks to an era in my creative development when my ideas were far bigger than my talents and I was only just scratching the surface of what this hobby really offers. That said I’m not going to let nostalgia cloud my judgement. However no servant of the gods need retire when they could just as easily ascend! Not for him the bitter, lonely silence of the bitsbox, not when he can rise again as a warrior reborn, key components snipped away and reused to allow his resurrection. Time for the old brute to get a facelift.

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Hopefully you’ll agree that he’s a bit more imposing now, whilst still maintaining the spirit of the original. Who knows, this may even inspire me to make some more berserkers. In the meantime, I await your feedback.


Get Sick Or Die Trying – Part 4

Lately my poxwalkers have been crying out for more attention (not strictly true – they’ve mostly just been making a low moaning that sounds a bit like the word “brains” over and over). The horde hasn’t been growing as quickly as I’d planned so I may try to rectify that soon by taking some time to just concentrate on zombies. In the meantime here’s two more for the slow-growing army of the undead.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.