Tag Archives: Daemon

Even the Gods Can Bleed

“All gods are dead – except the God of War”.

Phrase repeatedly found carved into the flesh of the loyalist dead, Isstvan V Dropsite Massacre war zone.

From Forgeworld’s The Horus Heresy: Massacre And Skulls For His Throne Khorne; now there’s a chap who knows a thing or two about demonic steeds. He wouldn’t be seen dead allowing his followers to ride into battle on giant blow-flies (frankly unhygienic), multi-breasted fish-horses that exhale intoxicating musk (utterly impractical) or disks of energy accompanied by schools of flying sting-rays (just plain weird). That sort of carry on makes him REALLY ANGRY! Far better, really, to go to war mounted on a huge, bloodthirsty mechanical rhinoceros.khorne-herald-convert-or-die-1I recently picked up the Skull Cannon of Khorne, having been impressed by it as soon as I saw it. What more could any chaos fan want than a sentient artillery piece that’s prone to devouring people? My only complaint is that the gun is rather piddly but that’s a minor point. As it happens I’ve yet to get it assembled, let alone painted, but I did built the Herald that comes with it – unused if you don’t build the kit as a blood throne, and mounted it on a juggernaught I had left over from an abandoned project. Here’s the result, Zakhrath; the Talon of Fury, ready to go and kill in the Blood God’s name!khorne-herald-convert-or-die-2

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Crouching Skaven, Hidden… Daemon?

Today saw the new Skaven Verminlord model go up for pre-order as part of the next phase of the Warhammer End Times, so I’ll be continuing my occasional series of speculations on what I’d do with the kit if time and money allowed.

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Obviously as a Skaven fan I’m very curious about what new models the verminous masses will be getting as part of the great plan to bring civilisation to its knees (and stealing the plastic intended for Elf models was cunning, rat-servants, yes-yes!). However I’m not quite ready to retreat back to my underground nest and start work on a diabolical, if poorly designed, weapon of mass(self)-destruction. For the moment my evil plotting remains very much focussed on the Dark Millennium, and specifically the Ruinous Powers. The irony is that many people, myself included, have been moaning on about the lack of decent (official) models for the Great Daemons for ages. The Great Unclean One is basically the best of a bad bunch, Kairos Fateweaver is fairly solid (but doesn’t look that easy to convert into a single headed Lord of Change), the Forgeworld models are pretty good but horribly expensive and the rest are various shades of naff, through to just plain awful. Now I’m sure this is a rant you’ve heard before, many, many times, but try to stick with me because the twist is only just revealing itself as the fifth Chaos god plays his hand.
The Great Horned Rat may lurk in the shadow of the Four but he’s still the one who gets a plastic Greater Daemon (because by any other name that’s exactly what the Verminlord is) ahead of the rest.vermin-lord

The more I look at the Verminlord the more its Pan-ish qualities reveal themselves. With those sweeping horns, goat-like face and hooves it wouldn’t look out of place at the head of an army of Beastmen (minus the ratty tail perhaps). Obviously the armour and weapons are very obviously Skaven (all those runes scratched everywhere for one thing). Greenstuff over them however and replace the tabard and staff with those from the Tree Man Ancient and you have the makings of an untamed forest guardian, a Lord of the Woods that any wood elf would follow in these uncertain times for Athel Loren. I see the makings of a great ‘counts as’ Durthu – and one that sits a little better with my image of the wood elves than the official version. (Somewhere an elf player’s head just exploded. ‘They deny us new miniatures and then he suggests we make do with re-working a giant rat? Damn him and his pompous blog!’).

Another possibility, and much though I love the idea of a Wood Elf Forest King this one ties in more closely with my current projects, is the Keeper of Secrets. Of the official Greater Daemons the Slaaneshi model is arguably the worst (although there’s some stiff competition from the Bloodthirster). Why are its proportions so uncomfortably weird (and not in a good way)? How do those spindly legs carry it around? Who thought either of those heads were a good idea? Why is he doing some kind of weird gang signs? The mind boggles.

Already I’ve seen several people suggesting that this is the way forwards but making a Keeper of Secrets from this bad boy won’t be straightforward; the tail will have to go (or perhaps be turned into some kind of whip), he’s got two arms fewer than the official model and you’d need to find a sword from somewhere (that shouldn’t be too difficult). He’s also a bit on the hairy side for a Keeper of Secrets. And who painted the Warpseer blond? Really with those locks and muscles I can’t look at him without wanting to break out some 80’s power metal as this comparison shows (for those of your who’re uncertain the Skaven is the one on the left).

Manowar vs SkavenAnyway I should add I’m not likely to take this one on myself any time soon, as quite a few other projects are on my agenda for the coming months. However I’m looking forward to seeing what people come up with – especially as quite a bit of creativity will be called for (compared to Ghurk Glott for instance, who makes a damn fine Great Unclean One straight out of the box).

All in all it’s making me start to wonder if Games Workshop are sneaking the plastic Greater Daemons out in disguise. We already have the Ghorgon which, with the addition of some wings and a suitably fearsome axe creates a highly impressive Bloodthirster (take a look at this one for instance). It makes you wonder if the next End Times release will include a giant bird man. Here’s hoping!

Disclaimer: None of these pictures are mine, credit for them belongs to their respective owners. Obviously. And whilst I’m about it I apologise for trying to get a cheap laugh out of the Kings of Metal by comparing them to a silly blond rat.


Empires Will Rot

Over the past few weeks I’ve been taking the opportunity to review the new Chaos releases, specifically from the point of view of someone whose devotion to the Dark Gods lies not in the Old World, for which these models were intended, but in the grim darkness of 40k. As I’ve been rather distracted this week by my newly purchased Blightkings (really impressive kit ‘in the flesh’ by the way) and don’t have anything painted to show I’ll talk about the Glottkin instead, a frankly massive new kit which creates three Nurgle serving brothers. The question is, what can I add that’s not been said a million times already? In the parlance of the Internet “Obvious Great Unclean One is obvious”. Oh and “bloomin’ ‘eck, he’s huge!” (Oh dear, I went all faux cockney urchin there for a moment. Sorry folks, it appears your choice of commentary today is pseudo Oliver Twist or LOL Cats. How unfortunate for you).
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(Image belongs to Games Workshop – not me; don’t sue!)

Seriously though, this is in essence the Great Unclean One model that people have been crying out for – so the question is, why isn’t it? To a serial converter like myself this kit looks great, buy a Great Unclean One and they throw a Chaos Lord and Sorcerer into the bargain. That, however, doesn’t really fit with Games Workshop’s current ‘What You See Is What You Get’ policy, whereby – in 40k at least – units without models are being shown the door faster than a baby with hooves in Altdorf (oh yeah, got a little topical Warhammer joke in there!). Of course the Great Unclean One does have a model, it just doesn’t really match modern standards, especially next to this monster.99120201024_theglottkin03

Nor is Nurgle under-represented in terms of special characters. With these new additions (and counting the three Glotkin separately) he stands at 8 just from the Warriors of Chaos – the other gods have 1 or 2 each. In fact all the non-Nurgle characters put together only come to 9. Throw in those from Tamurkhan and the ratio becomes 11 to 10. Not, I hasten to add, that I have anything against the other two brothers Glott, in fact they’re both rather cool miniatures which have so far been rather overshadowed by their larger brother, and as such overlooked by many reviewers (and – apparently – by their parents when it came to dishing out second helpings. And they say that growth hormones in meat doesn’t affect children’s development. Should have gone vegetarian Sonny-Jim!). The mage especially is cracking, both hideously mutated and clearly magical. His warrior brother is slightly less appealing – he looks like an attempt to recreate the original plastic Nurgle Lord (a modern classic) and yet ends up looking somewhat second-rate as a result of this comparison. As I said, he’s solid enough, but for me he’s the weak part of this release. Cool helmet though!

However you can’t miss what you’ve never had, so if this release had come minus the two siblings balanced on the big lad’s bonce and been sold as a Great Unclean One I reckon the rejoicing would have been much the same. Maybe there really are new Greater Daemons in the works (and this beast simply grew from a concept sketch and turned into a tripartite character along the way) or maybe there aren’t (in which case this is a way of releasing a Greater Daemon for arguably the best represented of the gods without resulting in too much complaining from fans of the other three). Time will tell.

In the meantime the Glottkin remains another cracking addition to the Chaos range and I look forward to seeing its corpulent bulk unleashed both in the End Times of Warhammer and (with suitable conversion) in the closing days of the Imperium of Man. Obviously its rather silly but then that’s part of the appeal of Warhammer, and I’m glad that they are unafraid to include the flamboyant, eccentric element that defines their style.

Finally I’m quite relieved to note that the wrecking ball attached to Ghurk hangs from a horn and not, as I thought when I saw the first blurry picture, from his nipple. Not that I’d put it past Chaos (although it’s a little more Slaanesh) but the thought of him shattering a fortress wall by jiggling his man boobs is rather disturbing. As Jervis Johnson always ended his articles in the old White Dwarf “On that thought I will leave you”.


The Thing That Should Not Tree

In concept I think the Beasts of Nurgle are great; lolloping, toxic slugs with the minds of boisterous puppies, unwittingly poisoning each new potential playmate before bounding joyfully on to the next. So long as you don’t let them up on the couch they make for great family pets, albeit only briefly.
The miniature however doesn’t really grab me so I needed to come up with something to use as an alternative.
The Index Chaotica Garden of Nurgle book describes a group of Eldar Seers from Craftworld Lugganath who attempted to rescue their goddess Isha from Nurgle’s realm but instead became trapped and transformed into a copse of sickly trees. The idea took root (pun most definitely intended) and I decided to create my own grove of pestilent possessed trees, haunted by malevolent spirits and crawling forth from the garden and into the world of the living.
Here’s the result of my first attempt. Overall, although there’s things I’ve learned for next time, I’m pretty pleased with it.
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beast-of-nurgle-convert-or-die-9I added some toxic looking mushrooms to the base with a little leftover greenstuff.
beast-of-nurgle-convert-or-die-8The eyes were made by rolling up balls of greenstuff and stuffing them into the boles (intended to be the sockets by which extra branches are added).
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beast-of-nurgle-convert-or-die-6Whilst we’re on the subject of Nurgle this week sees the release of the Maggoth Lords, a huge and impressive kit that has fans of the Plague God falling over themselves with excitement. (As an aside I’ve not really noticed anyone online saying “OMG! This kit is so lame LOL no-one will buy it!!one!!” which is a sure sign of its quality as usually there’s someone out there wants to have a go). Obviously there’s plenty of people with Warriors of Chaos armies for Warhammer who’re over the moon right now – but what about the likes of me? How do I combine my overwhelming avarice and desire to purchase this kit with my flimsy self-control and determination not to start a collection of fantasy Nurgle-worshipping warriors? How do I instead launch this beast into the 41st Millenium and set it loose on the dying Imperium of Man?

Obviously the biggest part of this must be finding a use for the Pox Maggoth itself. A lot of people have suggested turning it into a Great Unclean One (possibly by giving it a plague sword – the rusty blade from the Soul Grinder kit would be perfect). Although I like this option (and I want a decent looking Great Unclean One) I prefer the image of Nurgle’s greater daemons as being slightly more human – a biped rather than a quadruped – and so although I look forward to seeing other conversions based on this idea I probably won’t pursue it myself (plus I want to see if there’s anything still to come for Nurgle in the End Times before I investigate Nurgle’s greater daemons further).

A second option would be to turn it in into a giant chaos spawn or, better yet, a Spined Chaos Beast with the mark of Nurgle. At the moment this is my favoured option.

Thirdly, one could build a huge platform out of rotting wood and rusty metal and mount it on the beast’s back. Attach a suitable turret and assorted ordinance and crew and call it a tank.

A forth, and for me fairly unlikely option as my Skaven army is currently very much on the back burner, but it’s worth noting that these beasts could also be turned into some amazing Clan Pestilens monsters (why trade with treacherous Clan Moulder when you can breed your own Hell Pit Abominations – it is the End Times after all).

Side-tracking slightly, but it worth commenting that releases like this only make the need for new greater daemons more obvious. Whilst there are other daemons out there of similarly low quality (Fiends of Slaanesh I’m looking at you here), the greater daemons are supposed to be the generals of the gods, Lords/Warlords in the games and centrepieces to any collection. The more high quality miniatures like this are produced however the more they are outshone by the ranks of their followers. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that suitable proxies are hard to find within the Games Workshop range. I’ve seen giants turned into Great Unclean Ones with a lot of greenstuff, and the beastmen Ghorgon can form the basis of a cracking Bloodthirster. As usual however Slaanesh and Tzeentch are at the back of the pack (that Keeper of Secrets is just rubbish isn’t it?) and there’s not a lot out there to easily change that.

Anyway, having determined a purpose for the Maggoth in my collection, could I find a use for the three riders? Morbidex (the only one with a cool name) is very much a Herald of Nurgle and should I decide to buy this kit I’d probably mount him as is on a palanquin (or possibly just a heap of Nurglings to carry his rancid bulk around). The other two would need a little more conversion, Orghotts into a Chaos Lord (he reminds me somewhat of the Chaos Lord pictured on page 31 of the Chaos Codex) and Bloab into a Sorcerer (although that stream of flies and maggots trailing from his head doesn’t really work for me so that would be snipped off without further ado). Finding suitable legs would be the main issue but I’m hoping – it’s hard to tell as yet – that they’d match size-for-size fairly well with the Blightkings.

Anyway, for the moment all this remains purely theoretical, but I’m certainly looking forward to seeing what others come up with – chaos players being, for my money, some of the best converters out there. Let’s see how long I manage to contain my avarice before plunging in to join them.


Master of Disharmony

This model has been waiting for me to write a blog on it for absolutely ages. Before Kell was built he ruled the Beasts of Ruin and it’s about time I showed him off.
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I built Byatis, as I named him, a couple of years ago to be the leader of my Chaos Marines and although Kell has now supplanted him in command of the growing army he remains a real favourite of mine and a centre-piece of the collection.
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The daemon prince model has as many detractors as it does fans, and although I fall firmly into the latter camp I’ve always reckoned that the head looks a little goofy. Possibly used on other models they could look fierce and imposing but on the daemon prince itself I feel they weaken the look of the whole model. Rather than make do with a sub-standard coupon I managed to lay my hands on this suitably monstrous bonce instead (from the Beastmen Minotaurs kit).
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As usual I wanted to come up with some kind of background story for the model, explaining who he is and how he fits in with the rest of the Beasts of Ruin warband. As a result I’ve given a lot of thought to who Byatis was before he became a daemon prince but in the end I’ve stuck with my initial gut feeling, that he started out as an apothecary from the Blood Angels chapter. Why I came up with this is a good question – and quite what a Blood Angel was doing amongst the nascent Hawkmoths is another. It may be that he was seconded to the chapter to assist during their early days or in the service of a dept – although it rather lends weight to my idea that the Hawkmoths are a Blood Angels successor. One possibility I keep playing with is the idea that a cabal of Blood Angels apothecaries attempted to find a cure for their genetic curse by experimenting in secret on an unwitting successor chapter. Assuming for a moment that this was the case, and that the experiment was abandoned, the result would be that the Hawkmoths, orphaned sons of Sanguinius, developed as a chapter ignorant of their genetic history. Imagine what that would do to them. The source of their battle-rages, the loss of some brothers to incurable fury, the haunting visions that might plague them as they go to war – all this would be a mystery to them. The fate of the Crimson Sabres in the official cannon certainly serves to show that nothing good can come from suffering this kind of thing. Of course the honourable Blood Angels would never allow their brothers to suffer such a fate unaided – unless of course they were ignorant of it. What if the secret was buried forever because those very few who knew it were murdered by one of their own?
This might also serve to explain why an apothecary would give up his role as a healer and instead dedicate himself to Khorne. The traditional gods of choice for apothecaries gone bad are Nurgle (a disease that cannot be cured – a desperate man – a whispered promise from the darkness for power over all illness – you know how this one goes) or Slaanesh (access to all those drugs!). Even Tzeentch might make sense (it’s a thinking man’s profession after all) but Khorne? However a Blood Angel, living with a constant fear of the Black Rage and the horror of having it consume him with his work unfinished, might justify all kinds of grim self-medication – maintaining control by his fingernails alone – until a chemical cocktail is all that holds in check the rising tide of his fury. In desperation he might cry out, and Khorne would offer him a boon, mastery of the rage within him in exchange for the blood of his brothers.

Anyway, cheers for looking and as ever any thoughts or comments are welcome in the box below.


Best Foot Forwards

This could be the start of something big…

Blame it on reading Mechanicum.


Agents of Brutality Part 2

chaos-terminators-convert-or-die-2This is another of my favourite models in the collection, although I reckon it’s also one of the most disturbing. To me it captures the kill-or-be-killed lifestyle that a Chaos Marine must endure. Whilst daemons are lured and imprisoned within many of their war machines this one appears to have outwitted it’s would be captors, killing the previous owner of this armour and crawling inside like a hermit crab into a shell.
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The Red Hunger

Here they are, Khorne’s servants – the Bloodletters known as The Red Hunger, tearing their way out of the madness of the Warp (or the even greater madness of my painting desk depending on your imagination).
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I deliberately wanted to mix the forces of all four gods across my chaos army. Partly it’s an aesthetic thing – chaos should look chaotic – and partly it’s the fact that I want to paint Bloodletters and Plaguebearers (and Daemonettes for that matter) but I’m not sure I could face doing squad after squad of them.
I know some people balk at seeing mixed daemon armies like this, and with good reason – the four gods being in a state of perpetual war. However I justify this to myself as I see the Daemons in this collection as being summoned allies of the Chaos Space Marines and a clear sign that all four gods have lent their support to the Beasts of Ruin. Also, Kalamoon Kell (the ultimate leader of my Chaos forces) would be disinclined to allow any one of the gods too much influence. Rather, he prefers to Divide-and-Rule – meaning that he’d order his agents to strike pacts with daemons from more than one of the gods, keeping them struggling against each other rather than turning against him.

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These leaping Bloodletters use the bodies of Bloodcrusher riders – if you can get your hands on some I’d recommend it as a way of adding a sense of movement to the squad, as though they’re rushing forwards or trying to bound over their comrades to reach the battle faster.
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Obliviously the Warmongers of Khorne have no wish to follow orders from a pompous (and odorous) individual like Slatherbile (my Herald of Nurgle) so before he starts to throw his corpulent bulk around I’ve got a Herald mounted on a Juggernaught ready to paint – after that it’ll be time to give the wicked daughters of Slaanesh a crack of the whip!


Your Poison Throne

Continuing the Nurgle theme from last week, this post sees the return to realspace of Slatherbile the Indestructible, slithering back out of the warp to take command of his master’s putrescent servants.herald-of-nurgle-convert-or-die-1Not the most groundbreaking of conversions this but one I’ve yet to see fail. The addition of the Plaguebearer champion’s head to the body of the Nurgle Chaos Lord creates a Herald of Nurgle that is both wracked with disease and obvious decomposition and at the same time looks corpulent and “in-charge” when standing alongside the shambling plaguebearers.
herald-of-nurgle-convert-or-die-2His name plays deliberately to the pomposity inherent in all daemons. Slatherbile must be, amongst other things, an orator, stage-manager, caravan leader and tallyman, encapsulating the spirit of energetic endeavour and motivation that separates Nurgle’s senior daemons from the feverish exuberance of the rank and file.
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herald-of-nurgle-convert-or-die-4It’s safe to assume that anyone calling himself “The Indestructible” holds an opinion of himself that is at least as bloated as his rotund figure. Of course it would be unbefitting for such a distinguished individual to walk amongst the ranks of the great unwashed.
herald-of-nurgle-convert-or-die-5My plan – which I hope I’ve pulled off – was to create a suitably chaotic palanquin for him, combining the key Nurgle elements of rotten wood, rusty metal and vats of virulent toxins, plus the ever-present troop of gleeful Nurglings.
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Keep On Rotting in the Free World

It’s almost Christmas, and who can claim to encapsulate that as perfectly as Papa Nurgle? He’s fat, jolly, generous to a fault and he really, really loves bells! In the spirit of being festive, here’s a squad of his little helpers; my Plaguebearers – the Rotten Souls.

Ho-ho-ho…

 

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plaguebearers-of-nurgle-convert-or-die-6Also, on an unrelated note, I just read Abaddon: Chosen of Chaos by Aaron Dembski-Bowden from the Black Library Advent Calendar. It’s short, of course, but packs in a lot of punch and introduces some interesting characters, so at a bank-breaking 99p it’s well worth the money. Roll on Talon of Horus!

Merry Christmas!