Tag Archives: Chaos

The Knight Is Young

If you’re a follower of 40k, and especially if you’ve sworn your soul to the dark powers, you’ve almost certainly noticed that last weekend saw the release of a new kit and codex covering the wrathful and rapacious Knights of Chaos. Like the Space Marines long before them these once noble and hale warriors of the Imperium have been twisted and corrupted into monstrous servants of the thirsting gods.

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I’ve yet to get a proper chance to read through the new codex, or pour over the new kit as much as I’d like, but it goes without saying that this release grabbed me by the throat from the very beginning.

Most of us I think assumed that this kind of release would never come or, perhaps more accurately, wouldn’t appear for many years yet. On the other hand there really isn’t any reason to be surprised. To a casual observer (without the benefit of any statistics to back this claim) it often seemed that the popularity of the original Knight kit was almost as high amongst Chaos fans as it was amongst those sworn to the Corpse-Emperor. Indeed the first words on everyone’s lips when the model was first revealed seemed to be “how can I create a Chaos version of that?”

Chaos Knight 2

In a lot of ways this is democracy for Titans, or at least Titan ownership. My vision for my Chaos army has always been a massive horde not dissimilar to an army of fantasy barbarians, the traitor marines surrounded by swarms of twisted cultists and mutants, whilst amongst them daemon engines and hellbrutes come stomping out of the murk like monstrous beasts. Greatest of all would be the Titans, looming over the advancing masses like the terrible gods themselves.

However, truth be told, the chances of me ever owning a Titan are next to nonexistent. If, by some strike of fortune or considerable hard-work and careful budgeting, I was able to afford one I’d almost certainly choose to spend the money on something else instead. Either that would be something else for the hobby (there’s always so many awesome things I’m interested in – and they all add up!) or, more likely, just the demands of everything else I want out of life. After all, having a Titan is nice, but having a home, good food, clothes, books and other creature comforts is altogether nicer. And even if I did acquire the necessary wealth, and the will to spend it on a Titan rather than something else, I’d still have to paint the damn thing – which looks like a lifetime of work in and of itself. Just look at how long it’s taken me to paint a single knight for instance (more on that below)…

However, whilst Titans may be beyond the grasp of almost all of us, a Knight is a little more affordable. It’s still pricey, there’s no getting around that fact, but it’s a lot closer to the realms of the possible. In the UK they may come in at almost £100 currently, a sharp kick to the wallet by anyone’s standards, but a Warlord is more than ten times as expensive. At that price a Titan simply ceases to be appealing, but a Knight – now there’s a proposition I can get my teeth into.

Crazy Knight

Let’s not beat about the bush here, the new kit is gorgeous. If you like big angry robots who’ve been corrupted by hellish powers then this is sure to appeal. It builds either the Knight Rampager, a true close-combat monster (and co-incidentally, also a communications device handy for contacting a sheep) or the slightly more restrained Desecrator, which prefers to stand back and shoot you a few times before tearing you to bits with a claw the size of a small house. Add to that the ability to mix-and-match bits with loyalist Knights and a whole world of conversion opportunities opens up – and if you want an army of these bad boys those are skills you’re going to want to call upon. After all, whilst the Rampager and Desecrator are things of beauty in and of themselves, there are other options laid out in the codex for which the kits are rather less ready to lay waste to the Imperium the moment they leave the box.

In an element of the new codex which to a modern fan must seem quite shocking, the majority of the entries have no official miniature to represent them. When I first got into 40K and Warhammer this was standard practice and in the Specialist Games like Necromunda and Blood Bowl it still is to an extent, but in the core range it’s long since been weeded out. GW have been firm; they are not in the business of making rules that are not accompanied by suitable models. Of course in this instance they find themselves between a rock and a hard place. Imagine the discontent amongst those who had carried a torch for Chaos Knights all these years were they do be told that their lovingly converted army could no longer take to the gaming table under the current rules. Thus the Chaos Knights range sits in a liminal space with most of the options borrowed from the loyalist cousins. One could just paint on a few chaos stars and have done with it but we’re encouraged to push the boundaries, to explore creatively, to kitbash and convert. How long, I find myself wondering, will this situation be allowed to stand? How long before official kits are produced for the War Dogs (Armigers) and their ilk?

Something which would have been nice to see alongside this release was a new version of the Chaos upgrade sprue. Naturally the best conversions and kitbashes of other classes of Knight (that’s everything in the range apart from the Rampager and Desecrator) will be those where the person responsible simply lets loose and allows their creativity free-reign. Unfortunately there’s always a risk that such enthusiasm will also produce rather shonky results. In GW’s own previews Armigers etc were shown decorated with the old Chaos upgrade sprue but it’s really showing its age now, the chunky, low detail components sticking out like a sore thumb amid the smooth lines of the new kits.

Knight Faces

As it happens I have a couple of Armigers that I picked up at a bargain price when Forgebane was released. My plan was to add them to my Adeptus Mechanicus army (the one you didn’t know anything about because I’ve still never built any of it? Yeah, that’s the one…). Like the rest of the army they’ve been gathering dust but now I’m finding myself reappraising them and I’m strongly tempted to liberate them from the clutches of the machine god and swear their iron souls to the True Mechanicum instead. And, although money may prove to be the sticking factor here, I must confess that, although I wasn’t terribly impressed with the look of the Valiant/Castellan as a loyalist warmachine a Chaotic version could be a whole other kettle of fish. Most obvious of all we have the Rampager/Desecrator itself, which has grabbed my heart in it’s savage claw and refuses to let go (a feeling which, although hard on the wallet, is a lot more pleasant than it sounds at first).

However before I run off to buy myself a new Chaos Knight I really ought to do something about the one I already own…

I last worked on it back in 2015, since which time it’s life has been one of ups and downs, but mostly – if I’m honest – downs. Here’s how it looked last time we saw it, all those years ago when it was just a pair of legs…

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And here are those same legs now. I decided to rework them a little, adjusting the pose into something more fearsome and aggressive.

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As you can see the armour panels have been removed, allowing me access all over the model to make the required adjustments. Whilst I was about it I gave all the metalwork a quick spray of leadbelcher to allow me to start again with a newer, nicer paintjob rather than trying to touch up and work over the older paintwork.

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The main torso is assembled, including a suitably chaotic face looted from the warshrine (and idea which I may, I now realise, have borrowed from KrautScientist, the creator of one of my favourite Chaos Knight conversions). Again the metal parts have been sprayed with leadbelcher whilst the carapace (not yet glued in place) was sprayed with Army Painter Skeleton Bone. In many ways this proved to be a mistake, the coverage has turned out a little lumpy and “bubbly” – my error for trying out an untested paint on such an important and expensive model. Luckily, as far as the carapace goes at any rate, the damage is slight enough that I can cover it up with weathering. For a long time I planned to leave the carapace separate, so that it could be removed to reveal the inner workings of the knight, complete with pilot, engine and other chaotic gubbins. However at the moment I’m finding myself leaning away from this idea. Although it sounds in theory like an exciting mini-project to get my teeth into, and I’ve certainly enjoyed thinking through some of the possibilities I could explore with it, my concern is that the more extra challenges I add to the model overall the more likely it is that I’ll never get it finished at all. As there are already quite a number of issues and problems to overcome with this model adding more to the list when I don’t need to seems like making a rod for my own back.

Rather than just spray one panel of the kit (or better yet a suitable test model) with the untested Army Painter spray I decided to compound my foolishness by spraying both of the shoulderpads as well. This was where things went from “minor but fixable mistake” to “monumental fuck up” in short order. As an aside I’m not knocking the Army Painter spray, they seem to work well for some people, it’s just unfortunate that my only experience of them proved to be such a headache but I can’t pretend to have tested them exhaustively.

On one of the shoulder pads the result was pretty much perfect, a lovely smooth coat of bone coloured white that would have taken considerable time to paint, instead created in an instant. On the other shoulderpad however I found myself staring in horror at a gummy, lumpy mess of clogged details and fouled surfaces. Rather than step back and consider my options I panicked and doubled-down on the mistake. Surely another quick coat would smooth things out (two thin coats and all that right?). So I looked up into the clear, cloudless sky, shook the can like a terrier with a rat and fatefully sprayed the offending shouldpad again. I popped the piece to dry in the sunshine on a seat by the front door, stepped round the corner to get something from the shed… and the heavens opened…

Everyone knows that if you’re going to spray a model you do it in a well ventilated area, with nothing that can be caught by a dusting of paint (I once watched in horror as a colleague accidently sprayed the lenses of an expensive pair of binoculars with white paint – now there’s a screw-up for the ages). There’s really nowhere that fits that description better than the great outdoors, so long as any passing raindrops stay firmly up in the sky. A damp environment is death to a freshly sprayed model, a shower of rain is utterly cataclysmic. The most expensive model I’d ever bought, the product of careful saving up and planning, was now well and truly bollocksed.

Of course I knew, even then, that I was just being melodramatic, that a fix could be found and that as an experienced and enthusiastic hobbyist I was more than capable of finding one. Still the whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth and so I kept putting it off and working on other things rather than face up to the chore of trying fix it.

Recently however I realised I really ought to man up and stop hiding from it so I set to work greenstuffing over the damage, adding some more chaotic elements and generally doing what I could to repair it and create the impression of corruption acquired over millennia of war rather than a few moments of carelessness. There’s still a little more to do on this front but here it is now, heading back in the right direction after a long and shameful period of abandonment.

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Lastly we have the Knights head. I’m particularly proud of this, the sweeping tasks really make it look especially fearsome and primeval in my opinion.

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Put it all together with a few lumps of bluetac and a whispered prayer that it doesn’t collapse until I’ve taken a photo or two and it looks like this. Obviously quite a lot to still needs to be painted and some parts still need to be assembled but he’s on his way again at last.

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The right arm is entirely standard at the moment but I’d like to make a few tweaks to add some chaotic flavour. Likewise the left shoulder pad (not shown) which survived the destruction which consumed it’s brother now needs a little corruption of its own. The armour panels on the legs need to be reattached and the base has hardly been started. The biggest job of all is the left arm, which looks as though it will need to be sculpted in part, probably my most ambitious use of green stuff yet and potentially almost a project in its own right. Still with chaos on the rise at the moment I’m feeling very enthused about this project for the first time since that disastrous moment back in 2015. Indeed I’m feeling the urge to resurrect my entire chaos army and its time there was a knight at the heart of that – or who knows perhaps even more than one…

 

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See You Later Alligator

Just a quick one today but this reptilian beastman (as opposed to a lizardman) has been sitting on my desk waiting to be finished for what seems like absolutely ages. A couple of days ago I realised that despite work on him stalling completely he really only needed another twenty minutes or so to be completed – and thus inspired I knuckled down.

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Amongst the various projects I have planned – but which are as yet untouched – I’d like to paint up an old school chaos warband based around the Knightmare Miniatures range, and so this cantankerous looking crocodile will hopefully be joined in due course by a savage brotherhood. Probably not for a while though as I’m trying to tame my spirit animal, the hobby butterfly, and focus on a few key projects for the time being.


Cursed In Eternity – Part 4

Since the release of the Chaos Marines back in April I’ve been feeling enthused about painting some more of these murderous power-armoured warriors. However having also set myself the task of painting up the contents of Blackstone Fortress I don’t want to allow myself to become too distracted by other projects just yet. Luckily there is a way to combine the two, by painting the pair of Chaos Marines who serve as henchman to Obsidius Mallex, the terrifying chaos lord who dwells in the heart of the fortress and serves as the games primary bad guy. Thus I’m able to kill two birds with one stone – and they say men can’t multitask!

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Rather than paint the second Blackstone Fortress Marine I decided to add some visual interest and paint one, suitably armed with a bolter of course, that I’d kitbashed based around the new plastic kit. Sooner or later I’ll get around to painting the second Blackstone Fortress chaos marine but for now this guy will do nicely.

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With these two done I’m another step closer to being able to play a game of Blackstone Fortress using only painted models, rather than the shameful display of bare plastic that I inflicted on my (very polite and tolerant) friends last time we played.

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What’s more, when I add them to the two I’ve already painted I have the beginnings of a squad which only needs a champion to be ready for action.

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Hopefully these two will scratch the chaos marine itch for a little while longer, allowing me to focus my attentions on the other inhabitants of the Blackstone fortress. Of course given the lure of Chaos its almost inevitable that, even with numerous mortal servants of the ruinous powers lurking in the fortress, I’ll find myself painting another power armoured giant or two  before long…


The Cult of Ruin – Part 6

Next up, something I can only describe as a rabble of Chaos cultists. As I’ve mentioned before work has been particularly crazy recently and, despite actually managing to finish some models last week, painting time has been thin on the ground. Thus when I did manage to claw back some painting time I went for a few “easy wins” and tackled some of the part-painted chaos cultists that have been waiting on the edge of the desk for some time.

First up there’s this savage beastman. I built him a number of years ago (indeed a quick look back into the archives of this blog tells me it was 2015) but he’s spent most of the intervening time with nothing more than a few basecoats to his name. Time to put in the (fairly minimal when it came down to it) extra effort to get him finished and ready to rage through the Underhive in full colour!

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Whilst I was working on him I found my attention drawn to the traitor guardsmen from the Blackstone Fortress box. Now as I’ve previous noted my aim with Blackstone Fortress is to paint up those models that I can’t easily proxy from elsewhere in my collection and then work on the rest – that way we can actually play it with a full set of painted models sooner rather than later. Traitor guard are something which isn’t in short supply so my plan was to shove them to the back and crack on with things like Negavolt Cultists and Ur-Ghuls in the meantime. A good plan sure enough, but not one which survived first contact with the painting desk! After all, it’s all very well to have these organised and sensible aspirations but how could I allow models as cool as these to sit unpainted for long?

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In turn working on these gave me the impetus to go for a few more “easy wins”. All of the above models may well find their way into my long-gestated Chaos Cult gang for Necromunda. When I originally planned this gang last year the idea was that it would be quick and easy to put together, just a case of gathering models I’d already painted and going for it. However I quickly became dissatisfied with this idea. The models I had to hand had mostly been painted several years ago and the quality of the painting really didn’t hold up next to the newer stuff. Thus I picked out several cultists that I wanted to use in the gang and decided to make a start by giving them a quick repaint – and of course having made this plan then proceeded to do absolutely nothing about it.

However with other chaos models on the painting desk and feeling the temptation to do something quick and easy with what little painting time I could scrape together I finally got around giving these three the love and attention they deserve.

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Now I just need to find the time to get this month’s Skaven photographed and write some words about them. Perhaps if I give up sleep…


Cursed In Eternity – Part 3

Time for painting has been thin on the ground lately but over the last few days I have at least managed to squeeze in a bit of kitbashing and assembling models. Back when I reviewed the latest Chaos Space Marine releases I theorised that both the Master of Executions and the Dark Apostle would be greatly improved by a few judicious tweaks and adjustments. Time to put my money (or my foot) where my mouth was.

First off let’s take a look at the Master of Executions. For anyone who needs a reminder here’s the official studio model in all his gristly glory.

Master of Executions

My hypothesis was that this model would be a lot more inspiring, for me at least, if he was wearing an imposing Khornate helm, as opposed to either of the standard heads included in the kit. Did it work? Well I’m happy with it, although of course you’re welcome to draw your own conclusions…

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The only other major change I made was snipping away the helm of the Primaris marine impaled on the top of his backpack – it was making that part of the model rather busy and its impact was lost behind the Khornate crest. I’ll find a use for it somewhere else though – you can always use more spiked loyalists in a Chaos army!

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The Dark Apostle was a little more complex, whilst the Master of Executions just needed a little added visual interest this one had some elements I thought were genuinely bad, which – combined with a general overabundance of details – made for a model in dire need of improvement. Again, let’s remind ourselves of how the studio model looks.

Dark Apostle 1

…And that was the last time he was allowed in the library…

Given my often-expressed dislike of sculpted flame that was the first thing that had to go, followed by a lot of careful scraping and cleaning to hide the resultant damage. Some slight greenstuff touch-ups will undoubtedly follow before he’s completely ready for paint. The flames on the backpack also went although I kept the hideous drool emerging from the book. I also swapped out the head for something more reminiscent of a Space Marine chaplain – of which the Dark Apostles are very much the dark reflection. I’ve always thought the reaver heads would work nicely on Chaos models but so far I’ve only been using them for loyalists so this should be a fine chance to do something a little more grim and twisted with this particular component when it comes time for painting.

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Again any thoughts or suggestions are more than welcome, I feel he still needs a little extra before he’s ready to paint.

Whilst I was about it I also took the chance to explore more of what can be done with the new Chaos Marine kit, including making the champion for my first new squad.

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In turn this led to knocking together a few new plague marines. My love of Nurgle has drifted a bit lately but I felt pulled back to the plague god’s side whilst I worked on these so who knows, sooner or later I’ll give the Grandfather’s Legion the love they deserve.

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There’s certainly a lot of fun to be had by mixing parts from the plague marines and chaos marines kits together, something I’ll definitely explore more as I go on.

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Rather pleased with the choice of head on this one – anyone want to hazard a guess as to where it’s from? It’s not too obscure but I’ve not seen anyone else use it yet and I’m smugly proud of the fact (indeed the same goes for the head on the Plague Champion above).

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Anyway, that’s all for now but the weekend is almost upon us – who knows, I might even find an hour or two for painting!


Cursed In Eternity – Part 2

A few weeks ago I posted some pictures of my first new chaos space marine and noted that, as well as creating lots of new models from this versatile kit, I also wanted to try to recreate some of my favourites that I’d built with the old kit – but in a manner rather closer to the way I’d always imagined them. Well I’m pleased to say that the first of these experiments has now borne fruit.

I’m not entirely sure now when I painted this chap but I first featured him here way back in the heady days of 2014 when this blog was taking its first tentative steps into the world. Let’s take a look at him.

I’m not ashamed to admit, my ability as a painter wasn’t anything to write home about back then. With both my skills and those of GW’s sculptors having come on somewhat it was past time to give this poor warrior a new lease of life, so I plucked him from the box-of-shame in which he was now residing and set about recreating him in a form closer to the way I’d always imagined him.

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And here we have him next to the first of his brothers in depravity.

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Overall I’m pleased with how the evil old so-and-so has turned out, the new Chaos Marines kit is really proving itself to be extremely versatile, so expect to see more in this vein in the coming months.


HeroQuest

I’m definitely painting an eclectic mix of models lately (or to put it differently, I’m skipping around from one project to another with the attention span of a goldfish on a sugar rush). Fear not however, this isn’t the start of another new project – just a brief spin off. I’ve previously mentioned that I’m planning to get a full set of models painted up for Blackstone Fortress, on the grounds that the last time we played it we did so with unpainted figures despite the fact that I have an inordinate number of painted models kicking around the house. The motivation to get on and do something about this stems, in part at least, from the efforts of fellow blogger KrautScientist, who’s been busy painting up an entire set of HeroQuest miniatures (if you haven’t seen this project I highly recommend you check it out at once, the combination of quality and dedication to the task should warm the cockles of any hobbyist). 

What’s more, HeroQuest is thirty years old this year. I must admit it passed me by entirely the first time round, no real surprise as I was only four at the time. Still I wanted to do something to mark the anniversary of this venerable gaming institution (which has proved, after all, to be the gateway drug for a great many other hobbyists). Thus I’d been vaguely planning to do something HeroQuest related at some point between now and the end of the year, but I hadn’t made any actual efforts until KrautScientist inspired me into action.

Some time ago a good friend of mine gave me a box of retro models from his childhood, a wonderful gift full of some really classic miniatures of yesteryear. So far I’ve not got around to doing a great deal with them, although I’m aiming for them all to show up here sooner or later. In amongst them I found two HeroQuest figures, a Chaos Warrior and a Fimir. Let’s take a look at the Chaos Warrior first.

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Admittedly this model falls a long way short of the modern standard but I feel it still has a lovely, old-fashioned appeal to it that’s hard to resist. Alas the Fimir is less charming. Cool though a cyclopean chaos-lizardman might sound in theory these models don’t come close to doing the concept justice, the details were rather soft and ill-defined whilst the mould-lines were the kind of ridges normally thrown up by continental drift. Still, I did have fun painting him – although I don’t imagine I’d paint another in a hurry. 

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And here we have the two of them side by side, waiting for a hapless adventurer to happen along. They’ve been waiting for three decades now and so far, no luck! They must have picked the wrong dungeon to lurk in…

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Anyway, hopefully you enjoyed this salute to HeroQuest – and to all the talented hobbyists who took their first faltering steps into it’s dungeons and, in spirit at least, have never left. A big thanks to Tom for giving me the models and do go and take a look at KrautScientist’s work (without a trace of false modesty it puts these to shame and proves that chunky, thirty year old single-piece miniatures can still look absolutely magical in the right hands).