Tag Archives: Chaos

What Next Dark Gods?

Ask any fan of Chaos in the Mortal Realms where the biggest gap in the range was and, if they were honest with themselves, most would probably have agreed it was Slaaneshi mortals. Over the last few years times have been good for those like me who worship the Ruinous Powers. We now have well developed ranges with unique models and a distinctive aesthetic for each of the gods (that’s Khorne; god of war and violence, Nurgle; god of plague and decay, Tzeentch; god of magic and change and Slaanesh; god of decadence and excess). Gone are the days when I differentiated my Khornate troops from your followers of Nurgle because I painted mine red and you painted yours green. For a while there only Slaanesh, the longest neglected of the four gods, was left with a limited range but Games Workshop have turned that around in style, first by bolstering the daemons with some fantastic new recruits and now with a soon to be released wave of mortal followers, the first we’ve seen for Slaanesh in a very long time.

Shardspeaker

It’s a huge boost to the range and the miniatures are exquisite, but rather than talk about them I’m here to speculate baselessly instead! Once the Dark Prince has his mortal followers in tow where might Games Workshop turn their attention next? Of course they might come up with something wildly different, the Mortal Realms offers a lot of scope and potential as the Warcry warbands proved, and if they went off to stake out new territory with something a bit more unusual I’d be all in favour. Plus there still gaps to be filled in the current ranges, I’d like to see unique looking daemon princes for each god for instance, light infantry for Nurgle and beastmen for both Nurgle and Khorne.

Indeed, speaking of which I just kitbashed a pestigor to join a little Nurgle warband which has been whispering in the corner of my brain lately. Shall we sneak a peek at him before we begin? Oh go on then!

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Beastmen

Ah the beastmen, men who have become beasts and beasts who have devolved into something akin to men. The horned ones, the true children of ruin who lurk in the wild places, driven by a hatred of all that is civilised and orderly. I’ve always had a bit of a soft-spot for these shaggy barbarians, being hairy and uncouth myself. In fact, now I think about it it’s strange that I’ve never really painted many of them – something I’ll have to rectify.

Beastmen 2

This range of models dates back to Warhammer as was, and although there are some excellent models in there it also leans heavily on a lot of older sculpts, bulked out by models borrowed from other ranges like the Tzaangors. Plus there’s the fact that, despite beastmen being traditionally described as an amalgamation of beasts and men, “goatmen” might be a better name for them nowadays. Those of us who are still steeped in the old Realm of Chaos era will recall beastmen which hybridised all kinds of beasts with all kinds of men, but nowadays the braying despoilers of the forests seem to be almost exclusively Pan-like creatures with hooves, horns and long ovine faces. Far be it from me to question their commitment to disorder but a little more chaos in the mix wouldn’t hurt! The birdlike Tzaangors (see below for a couple of them that I’m currently working on) and the lanky, sinuous Slaangors which are soon to be released go to prove that Games Workshop aren’t unwilling to break out of the goat archetype however, and beasts of Khorne and Nurgle don’t seem too much to hope for someday either.

Tzaangors AoS Chaos Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer

Slaves To Darkness

Take a look at the Slaves to Darkness range (that’s humans sworn to serve Chaos undivided rather than dedicated to just one of the gods) and at first glance it looks pretty healthy, packed with lots of kits, many of which were released in the last year or so. Dig a little deeper however and you start to release that most of the range comes either from the Warriors of Chaos from the WHFB era or, in the case of the newer models, are borrowed from Warcry. Now personally I love Warcry, in fact I tend to take things from Age of Sigmar to make Warcry warbands rather than the other way around, but I’m glad to see the Warcry warbands given a home in AoS armies all the same. Likewise I was a big fan of the Warriors of Chaos and that range has some great miniatures that I’m pleased to see are still available.

Warriors of Chaos

However there are some models in there which are undoubtedly past their best, like the Chosen and the Marauders. Plus there’s the fact that, before the End Times, the Warriors of Chaos made use of all kinds of troops dedicated to specific gods, all of which have since been split off to form new factions of their own. With them gone the range has been left looking a little thin. Time to give it a bit of a boost. Thanks to Warcry we know what the warbands seeking to join the Everchosen’s legions look like, but what about those legions themselves. Time to bring the warriors Sigmar abandoned into the modern era – after all we don’t want that weakling thunder god to think he’s getting everything his own way now do we?

Darkoath Tribesmen

In the old days, when the heavily armoured warriors of chaos marched south to attack the Old World they did so surrounded by hordes of barbarian tribesmen, clothes-phobic folk who’s hardiness and bitterness against the weakling southerners may be partially explained by the fact that they lived in a frozen wasteland but nobody seemed to own a shirt. In this regard people from the British Isles will recognise them as being essentially Geordies.

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There are a few contenders for the title of “Worst Model in the GW Stable”, the Zombies and Skaven Plague Monks spring to mind, but the Chaos Marauders really have made a spirited attempt to claim that throne. Just a quick glance is enough to tell you that they’re past their best, if indeed there was ever a time when they looked anything other than awful.

Marauders models

 For a while there was a persistent rumour (and we all know how reliable those are eh!) from those who claimed to be “in the know” that Games Workshop were planning a new faction based around a range of new Marauder kits. Nothing has ever come of it, although we have seen a range of new Marauder equivalents in the form of the Warcry warbands, as well as troops dedicated to specific gods like the Bloodreavers of Khorne, the Kairic Acolytes of Tzeentch and the forthcoming Blissbarb Archers of Slaanesh, each of which is close to the Marauder archetype of old, and the Godsworn Hunt from Warhammer Underworlds. The rumour may have proved to be either a case of mistaken identity or wishful thinking but it’s still a good idea so who knows, perhaps someday we shall see the Slaves to Darkness split into two factions, the grim heavily armoured foot soldiers of the gods and the shirtless savages of the tribes?

Skaven

I know I sound like a stuck record here so I’ll keep it brief. The perfidious ratmen were my favourite faction from WHFB and over recent years I’ve painted up quite an army of them. Shall we remind ourselves of how they look? How could I ever pass up the opportunity!

Skaven Army Shot 3

Of course being a fan of the Skaven means being a glutton for punishment. Despite their ongoing popularity the range hasn’t seen much love in a long time and many of them models are so old they came off the Ark, and so rough they look like they were sculpted by the animals therein (and not the ones with opposable thumbs) rather than Noah himself. Get the finger out GW, give my rats some love!

Chaos Dwarfs

An industrious race of slavers and daemonsmiths the Chaos Dwarfs were the Old World’s finest bull-appreciators and big hat wearers, famed for putting Nagash to shame when it came to outsized headgear. They were also wearing big cow horns on their hats long before Johnny-come-latelys like the Lumineth Realmlords rocked up.

Chaos Dwarfs

By the later era of WHFB however they were almost extinct, their range of models long out of production and their sole surviving representatives the crew of the Hellcannon.

Chaos Dwarfs 2

With the Hellcannon going the way of all things when AoS was launched the Chaos Dwarves passed into history, in the main Games Workshop range at least. Forge World however have done their bit to keep them alive in the form of the Legion of Azgorh.  

Infernal Guard Command

Fantastic those these models are, a range which leans heavily on large and complicated daemon engines such as the Dreadquake Mortar (below) is going to be tricky in resin, and much easier for the average hobbyist to manage in plastic. Time to bring the bearded ones back I say!

Dreadquake Mortar

Chaos Gargants

From one end of the scale to the other, if we’re going to have Chaos Dwarves then why not Chaos Gargants? It’s not much of a leap really, there are already Chaos Giants and the new Mega Gargant kit contains a variant, the Warstomper, which can be taken by Chaos forces. Already I’ve seen plenty of them converted to be even more chaotic just as when the Imperial Knight kit was released many of us started welding on spikes to turn them into engines of the gods. After a few years of this GW yielded to the inevitable and produced a dedicated Chaos Knight kit, so it doesn’t seem beyond the realms of possibility that the same thing might happen with the Gargants.

Warstomper

Ogres and Trolls

Back in the old days all kinds of trolls and ogres shambled to war alongside the Warriors of Chaos. These days however such creatures exist almost exclusively under the remit of the Destruction faction (those who are particularly long in the tooth will recall Chaos orcs but let’s not go that far back!). There’s no reason not to bring these brutes back though, perhaps under the banner of the Slaves to Darkness or the Beastmen, or even as a faction of their own. Alternatively there could be versions of each of these incorporated into the four armies of the gods, each tainted and twisted by the favour of their particular patron, just like the Bile Trolls and Plague Ogres that formed part of Tamurkhan’s Horde in the latter days of WHFB. Regardless of which route was taken these brutes have plenty of potential, after all, as the Trogherds of the Gloomspite Gits demonstrated, people love big ugly monsters. 

Those are my picks for the future development of Chaos in the Mortal Realms but what about you? Are there any of the candidates above you think are particularly deserving, or any that you would have preferred to see abandoned to the history books? Is there a faction in waiting that I’ve overlooked? As ever the comments section is all yours. 


Change Need We – Part 4

Just a quick update to the Tzeentchian cult as, with complex and arcane movements of my brushes, I summon a Flamer from the Realm of Chaos. This is a hell of a weird creature isn’t it, I must admit before I painted one myself I didn’t ‘get’ it at all. It grew on me whilst I was working on it though and it was certainly a fine chance to play around with bright colours and magical effects.

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Next up, more misguided humans who have sold their souls to the Changer of Ways.


Need We Change? – Part 3

For my Tzeentchian cult I want a proper mix of Chaos monstrosities and other dubious characters. Those that have been following me for a while will know that alongside humans and daemons a few beastmen are an absolute must in my book. Plus I’ve been wanting to paint some of the new Tzaangors since they were first released back in November of 2016 (which I guess means they’re not exactly new are they? Time I got on with it then eh!). I really like these models but they are hellishly fiddly to paint, you’ve got to be in the mood for all the little details if you’re going to do them justice. The other thing which delayed me has been trying to choose a suitable colour scheme, I’m not overly enamoured of the blue skin used by the Games Workshop studio team, despite weird colours being very much part of Tzeentch’s repertoire I want something a little more natural for mine. Of course when it comes to Tzeentch natural is a relative term…

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However that doesn’t mean I’ve packed the blue paints away – in fact they’ve been hard at work as I powered through a few more Blue Horrors.

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Some readers may recall this partly-pink Blue Horror which I showed recently.

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He got quite a good response from everyone who saw him and I enjoyed painting him so much that I took the idea even further with this one. Don’t worry though, it’s not a trick I’m planning to overuse until it descends into cliché, I’ll keep the others relatively normal looking and blue from now on.

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Lastly I painted up a few more Brimstone Horrors, so that should those Blue Horrors meet their unnatural end they too can divide into malevolent magical sprites. I painted the first one as living flame in the same style as the studio models but with these I decided to go for a range of different colours. That way in the middle of a game it’s easier to point out exactly which one you’re talking about “I’ll attack the green one” rather than “No the one on the left, no my left, no not that one… etc”. Who could have guessed that someday I’d use gaming rather than purely aesthetic reasons for choosing a paint scheme – it seems we live in strange and interesting times indeed! That said I reckon the range of bright colours look great, they were fun to do and they add to the Tzeentchian aesthetic so it’s all to the good.

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Anyway, that’s it for the moment, I’ve still got various other Tzeentchian oddballs sitting around on the desk and at the moment I’m not sure which I’ll tackle next, but I’ll aim to have something else finished for the Changer of Ways by the end of the week.


We Need Change – Part 2

If I’m going to have a warband of creepy Tzeentchian types, dedicated to complex schemes and the destruction of order and structure in all forms, then a few daemons are a must. Unfortunately the rank and file of these daemons are the Pink Horrors and for my money they’re some of the worst models in GW’s catalogue.  Just take a look at these ghastly things.

Pink Horrors New

Horrors is definitely the word! Something else is clearly in order. I’ve kitbashed a few alternatives over the years but never really settled on anything that I liked. Continuing in that proud tradition these are my latest attempts to conjure up some horrors, this time blending the plague bearers (in my view the best of the four lesser daemons, these models practically paint themselves) with the less offensive parts of the standard horrors. I tried to pass off the various wounds in the plague bearers as the flesh of the horrors reshaping itself, with results which – to be frank – look mixed. I also went for a darker paint scheme which hopefully helps make them look more brooding and ghastly and less shite than the studio versions.

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I’m still not entirely satisfied with these and only time will tell whether I decided in the end that I’m happy with them or if I want to try something else. Either way I have another one part-painted on the desk so I’ll finish it up as well and see how I feel after that. As usual any thoughts or feedback is very welcome of course.


Change We Need – Part 1

Over Christmas and New Year, in between decking the halls with social baubles and passing round the hand-santaiser I found the time to fall under the sway of an insidious cult of madness and mutation, dedicating myself to change regardless of the cost. I’ve had a scheme for a while now to start a collection of Tzeentchian cabalists and their daemonic allies with which to either carry out labyrinthine schemes of complex evil or get a few games of Warcry in, whichever proves to be more straightforward. This time we’ll be taking a look at everything I finished over the break and hopefully later in the week I’ll have a couple more done as well.

My plan is to put together a warband containing both daemons and mortals with roughly a thousand points of each. That way I’ll end up with two warbands to use in the game, sometimes as allies sometimes as adversaries depending on the schemes of the Changer of Ways. At the same time I can paint the whole thing as a single project, with each “side” providing inspiration for the other. It should also help me not to get bogged down, if I get bored of daemons I can switch to mortals and vice versa. 

To get things started we have a pair of Kairic Acolytes. These are the human followers of Tzeentch, petty sorcerers and schemers who make up the rank and file of the cult. This first one is taken from the (now no longer available) Silver Tower game. Whilst I don’t own a copy of Silver Tower (sadly as I’ve heard it was a lot of fun) I do own some of the models from it and this guy is one of them. There was a bit of damage to the blade which I tried to cover over with a magical effect, although honestly I’m not entirely convinced it’s worked. It looks better in hand that it does in these pictures but it’s still not quite right. Damn it, what do you people want from me – perfection?!

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Whilst the last model was built exactly as the designer intended this one has been given a few tweaks as I tried to play up the strangeness that comes from being part of a Tzeentchian cabal. He’s also the first miniature that I completed in 2021, so he’s my contribution to the “First of the Year” challenge currently being run by Ann’s Immaterium.

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I also added some horrors which will form part of the daemonic contingent. My dislike of the Pink Horror models is well known, although I have a scheme to do something about that which should be ready to show off in a day or so. I am however rather fond of their smaller cousins the Blue Horrors and I’ve got quite a few of them gathered on the table waiting for attention.

When a Pink Horror is killed it splits in half, forming two bickering Blue Horrors, each of which is busy blaming the other and complaining about whose fault it is that they were slain and ended up losing their gestalt status as the superior pink form. I wanted to capture this by painting the large hand on this one in pink, it’s either the last part of him to dissolve or he’s just about to grow back into a fully fledged pink horror.

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Once he was finished I realised that I’d enjoyed painting him so much I painted another straight away. 

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If things go really badly a Blue Horror may end up getting killed again, at which point all that’s left is a spark of barely sentiment, spite driven magic; a Brimstone Horror.

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Like the Blue Horrors I’ve got plenty of these kicking around the painting desk so expect to see more of them in the coming weeks. First things first though, I need to do something about those horrible Pink Horror models. It’s a bit experimental and I’m not entirely sure it’s going to work so watch this space!


Iron Golem – Part 5

With the winter nights drawing in I’m taking advantage of spending more time indoors and making a concerted effort to finish some of the backlog of partly painted miniatures which are currently cluttering up the painting desk. After all, whilst a well painted, or even just competently painted collection is a sight to behold displayed on the shelf or marching across the gaming table, no-one has ever stopped to admire a load of miniatures with the base coats half-done. 

Today it’s the turn of the Signifer from my Iron Golem warband. As an optional extra that wasn’t included in my initial warband, he was somewhat left behind when I painted up the rest of them back in the spring.

The kit provides enough parts to build either a Signifer or a Prefector and, after considerable thought, I decided in the end to build the Prefector to begin with. However it was a close run thing and I was still keen to add the Signifer at some stage. Rather than buy a whole other box I hunted down the model individually, by which time the rest of the warband was almost finished.  The Signifer was built by the time I finished the warband but he’s lingered unfinished ever since. Time to do something about that! 

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Here he is next to his alternative build, the Prefector.

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And of course here’s the entire warband, completed at last. 

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For the moment I don’t plan to add anything else to this particular warband although I do enjoy unleashing them in the Bloodwind Spoil so who knows? In the meantime though there are plenty of other warbands vying for my attention!


Muties – Part 4

I reckon my mutie tribe could really use a bit of muscle, after all swarms of little gribbly dudes are all very well but mutants come in all shapes and sizes. Time for a big ugly to join up with the little uglies!

This chap comes from Mad Puppet Miniatures, who’s line of post-apocalyptic models would generally fit in well in Necromunda. Being mostly lumpen flesh his face tends to get a little lost against the background of the hump and although I did try to highlight the face up a little it hasn’t entirely worked enough to make it stand out in photographs. However as I write this it occurs to me that adding a red or purple wash to the hump might be a fine solution so I may well return to him at a later stage and try that out. Alternative suggestions are more than welcome however. For now though I’m calling him done. Oh and for those eagle-eyed readers currently peering at the pictures, he is indeed carrying a teddy bear.

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He’s not ridiculously massive in comparison to the other mutants, just big enough to add a variety of sizes to the group.

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As I mentioned a couple of days ago I’ve got a few more mutants knocking around which I’ll be adding to the gang at some point, as usual “watch this space”.


The Chosen One

For a while I’ve been kicking around the idea of making some chaos chosen for Age of Sigmar/WHFB/Warcry (the latter winning out when it came to deciding what shape of base to use!). I like the idea of chosen but the current miniatures are a funny-looking bunch, not bad all-in-all, but not half as good as I remember them being from my youth either, and certainly not worth the hefty price-tag that comes with them. I’ve tried out a few ideas over the last few months and finally found something I’m fairly happy with.

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He’s not a direct attempt to copy the official chosen champion but I do rather like that model so there’s a few references in there, particularly the mutated hand and arm (swiped from a very, very old, ill-conceived and horribly painted conversions, which even when I first made it – well over a decade ago, I knew was probably only fit for the bin). Here’s the official chosen champion from Games Workshop for reference.

Chaos Chosen Command

Without any official chosen to hand it’s hard to be sure but if I recall correctly, they don’t look all that big these days. Not something that this guy can be accused of, he looks suitably imposing next to a normal chaos warrior (one who’s yet to catch the eye of the gods).

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For reference his legs are from a stormcast eternals liberator, his head and axe are from the chaos knights, his torso the Khorne bloodwarriors, his shoulderpads from the bloodcrushers and his mutated arm from the chaos space marines possessed. The hideous mould-line down his arm, which I’m sure you all spotted and were repelled and disgusted by, will be dealt with ASAP (now that I’ve stopped being blind to it and it’s become glaringly and horribly obvious).


Cursed In Eternity – Part 6

It’s been ages since I last painted a chaos marine (in fact, looking back at the archives proves it to be almost exactly a year) – high time I cracked on and painted another one. This time it’s the turn of a chap so enthusiastic about burning his enemies with his flamer he’s been warped by Tzeentchian flame himself. These are the perils of life within the Eye of Terror!

I’ve got a couple more sitting on the painting desk and finishing them would round out a squad of ten, hopefully it won’t be another year before I get around to them!


You Shook Me All Knight Long

It’s been a long, long time coming… It was back in September of 2014 that my chaos knight first put in an appearance. Back then it was just a single leg. Six months later it had a second leg and everything seemed to be going swimmingly. Then progress slowed, mistakes were made, expensive and hard to replace parts were trashed in a moment of carelessness and the whole project lost momentum. Over the years I picked it up from time to time, working on it a little here and there, but it wasn’t until the summer of 2019, when the new Chaos Knight kit came storming onto the scene and reinvigorated my enthusiasm, that I really paid it proper attention again.

I began to chip away at it again, but it’s a big kit and a lot of work, and other projects kept grabbing my enthusiasm – easy wins and spur of the moment fancies that were relatively easy to power through, whilst the knight stamped along at the back of the queue, occasionally shaking off its coat of dust only to start gathering a new one.

How long it would have continued in this state is anyone’s guess but then Azazel, of Azazel’s Bitz Box, launched one of his painting challenges The Jewel of July (and also August as it turned out). The thing I really like about these challenges is there’s no pressure to “win”, or to paint something start-to-finish in a month or anything of that nature, just some good natured, friendly encouragement as hobbyists all over the world do what we can to clear the pile of grey plastic (or lead, or even resin) and replace it with the beautiful painted models we’d all far rather we had in our collections.

The Jewel of July has a very open remit, but at heart it’s looking for centrepiece models, the jewels of our collections as it were, and I thought the knight would fit the bill perfectly. Plus it would give me the motivation to actually get the damn thing finished at long last. Did I manage it? Did I hell!

July, as it turned out, was so busy with work that often, as I stumbled blearily to bed at the end of another long day, I passed myself getting up again. Time to work on the knight drained away and whilst progress was made it certainly wasn’t enough, nor did I want to rush finishing something that I was only painting for fun after all. Then, just as it seemed that the chances of getting it done in time were hopeless, Azazel extended the deadline for the challenge until the end of August. The game was still on!

Anyway, enough of this waffley back-story – which regular readers will have undoubtedly skipped anyway as they must know it off by heart – let’s take a look at some pictures, because it’s no longer true to say the knight is young – instead the knight is done!

I reckon he fits the bill nicely as a centrepiece model, towering over the rest of my Chaos forces and ready to scare the living daylights out of any filthy loyalists that might be passing.

I also managed to build him in such a way that some of the parts move. Not all of them do, doing anything that clever with the fleshy tentacle arm proved beyond me for instance. Likewise the head, which would normally be adjustable if you build the kit “as intended” proved to be locked in place once those enormous tusks were affixed. The gun arm however still tilts around freely…

…and the entire torso can be rotated.

Not only that but it can be lifted off entirely, making him easier to store and transport. A little magnet in the base of the torso, and another in the top of the legs, is enough to hold him together. It’s not the strongest bond, given the size and weight of the model it could have used something a little more powerful, but so long as he’s handled gently (and anyone who doesn’t handle their models gently is no friend of mine!) he’ll be fine.

Anyway, all that remains to be said is a big thank you to Azazel for running the Jewel of July challenge, I can only imagine how much time and effort goes into making these things happen – and also a second round of thanks to everyone’s offered feedback and encouragement along the way. Next up, something much, much smaller…