‘‘All of the souls you will reap.
All of your spoils of war.
To be a keeper of the Forge.
But a trifle price for the boon
that is bestowed upon you.’’
– Extract from the Iron Pact
There were a lot of divisive models released alongside Codex: Chaos Space Marines back in autumn 2012 but people got really stirred up over the Maulerfiend. A lot of commenters have hated it – but never mind them eh, I loved it!
The codex itself has also come in for a fair amount of abuse (when do they not?) but in spite of whatever flaws the hardcore gamers might see it’s hard to deny that it was a sturdy expansion on what came before, bringing in many of the elements overlooked by its predecessor. Alongside the traditional factions affiliated with each of the gods, we also saw the ragged human cults and the Dark Apostles that lead them, and the horrifying daemon-engines of the Dark Mechanicus. Obviously it goes without saying that they could have done more (and who doesn’t wish that were so?) but by the same token they could very easily have done less.
The Maulerfiend is a powerful model; stocky, brutish and dangerous. It is also remarkably free of rampant mutations and god-marks (although of course clever converters everywhere have been adding them). It is not, then, the form that a daemon would have chosen necessarily, but it serves well enough, it is fit for purpose. Mortal hands made this weapon, and bound its malevolent scrap-code soul within. Too often men are depicted only as slaves to the Gods, yet the path of Chaos is forged from a desire for personal power. We do not throw off the chains of the Emperor simply out of a desire to be shackled by the primordial forces of the Warp. Thus it becomes a game of power. Some will be possessed, or decline into wailing spawn, some will become princes and trade freedom for immortality. A few will hold to their pride, hacking off their mutated limbs and replacing them with bionic substitutes, armouring themselves in bitter stoicism and remaining free. This multifaceted struggle between the Gods and their would-be pawns is part of what makes Chaos so compelling for me (that and the chance – no, expectation – to convert absolutely everything I touch).
Just because I really like the model doesn’t mean it was easy to paint of course. I bought it within a few weeks of its release and started work on it straightaway. Not that I’ve spent the entire intervening time working on it of course – most of the time I’ve let frustration and procrastination get in the way – but the realisation that it’s a year older than this blog helped give me the final push to get him finished.
As well as the Maulerfiend the kit can also be assembled as a Forgefiend, its sister model which brings the long-range firepower to compliment the Mauler’s close-combat brutality. As it happens I ended up buying a second Maulerfiend body in amongst some other bits and realised that, by picking up a few extra components, I could now add a Forgefiend to the collection. Here we go again then – the Long War is never over!