Tag Archives: Skullreapers

All That’s Left Is Blood – Part 10

So whilst my ears have been filled with the braying of sonic weaponry over the past month the roaring of chain-axes has never been far from my thoughts. Now it’s time to add a couple more battle brothers to my latest squad of Khorne berserkers. And whilst the rest of the warband spill blood for the Skull Throne someone still has to carry the banner…convertordie-khorne-berserker-banner-1

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Blood For Blood

Right, there’s a lot of Khorne to look at this week so let’s get stuck in shall we?

First of all we have this chap, the third new model I’ve added to Sapir Redwolf’s Skullrippers, a little squad of Khornate terminators I’ve been showing off over the last few weeks.
Khorne TerminatorKhorne TerminatorThe oath scroll proved to be a bit of an issue. I may be going out on a limb here but I don’t see the warriors of Khorne taking too much time writing out oaths of moment, so at first my inclination was to cut it off. However I quickly realised that it was going to be pretty tricky to do so without needing to do quite a lot of carefully shaving down and rebuilding of that part of the leg. In the end I left it but set myself the challenge of painting a tiny symbol of Khorne onto it. Perhaps the mark has been ascribed by a Dark Apostle or a particularly bold cultist as a ward or sign of good luck upon a chosen champion?
Other than that painting him was fairly straightforward and flicking him with ‘blood for the blood god’ paint from an old toothbrush was great fun as always!
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Kharl the Blunt.
Working on the Skullrippers also put me in mind of Kharl the Blunt. Back in the long distant past (1988 I believe, when I was 4 and as yet uncorrupted by the nefarious touch of Chaos) Kharl appeared in the book Slaves to Darkness where he was described as ‘a Troll of some renown and little brain, who often stands perplexed, unable to choose between beating his opponents senseless with a gnarled club or roasting them with his fiery breath’.
Kharl fought alongside a mob of Chaos loving humans and dwarves as a member of a warband named the Skullrippers, a name I shameless ripped off when I came to naming my own Khornate terminators. Sadly there’s no room for a troll in the far-future (in spite of their durability they don’t seem to have survived into the 41st Millennium – something I must get around to fixing someday with a few conversions) but it did get me thinking about making an Ogren Berserker. Probably nothing would have happened but I was spurred on (or led astray?) by Alex from the Dauntless 215th Praetorians who said something like ‘go for it’. (As an aside his steampunk twist on the 41st millennium is well worth checking out – his tripod in particular remains a favourite of mine). Anyway, with that my last shreds of self-control evaporated and I put together this hulking, angry gentleman.

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I have to say, making him was excellent fun, the Ogrens kit is amazing for building Ogren Berserkers and I’m already thinking of ways I could build some more.

Dark Apostle of Khorne

Just a minor update to show the latest progress on my Dark Apostle of Khorne (currently minus his backpack – removed to make painting/modelling easier).

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After trying him out with various tabards I plumped for this one. Although not my first, or even my second, choice it looked best in practice and adds a nicely feral element to him so I’m happy.

Skarr Bloodwrath

Lastly we have Skarr Bloodwrath, a man who’s name – conveniently – is also his job – the latest Warhammer character to be released as part of the End Time’s series. In many ways Skarr is for the Skullreapers/Wrathmongers released last week what Gutrot Spume is for the Putrid Blightkings – a single figure character based on an accompanying set of infantry. In both cases however I’m left wondering if it might not have been better to make them an upgrade within the existing kit as, for example, Nork Deddog is in the Ogren kit.

To be honest though, although I quite like Gutrot Spume at first glance Skarr did less for me; the anime style giant weapons are not to my taste, the flying chains are rather over the top and the bare head looks like a cartoon overwhelmed by the potency of some jalapenos.

Too Hot To HandleAt first then I was planning to let this one pass me by, at least until I’d seen the conversions that the clever people of the internet came up with. However a look at the sprue started to change my mind. I’m still not sold on the model overall but I reckon there’s a wealth of conversion opportunities in there, so much so that I might even buy one (in spite of the hefty price tag).


Our Blood Too Is Welcome

Onwards in Khorne’s name! Inspired by all the End Times action in Warhammer (more on that below) I’m trying to focus my enthusiasm on finishing off my little squad of Berserker Terminators.
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This one evolved from a specific idea I had about a character I wanted to see in the squad. Reading the Black Library short story Enyalius; In Memoriam got me thinking about how a character as berserk as the Redwolf might need someone along to guide him and keep his blood red fury on the right track. In the story the character Enyalius is that guiding force, steering his brother Marakitedes and the rest of their squad and keeping track of the important elements of campaigning (who’s side are they on, why are they here, what are their objectives) that the Butcher’s Nails leave the others blind too. I reckoned the Redwolf would need someone similar, someone to point him at the enemy and set him loose, someone he could trust to keep him on the right track even in the thick of the slaughter and someone to reign him in when the killing was done. I named him Enyarexis in reference to the character in the story (which is well worth reading by the way and, alongside some excellent descriptions, shows a wonderfully personal and at points very sad take on the tragedy of the World Eaters. A similar novel would be most welcome).
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The howling wolf on his shoulder pad denotes his allegiance to the Redwolf (although it could equally well be a reference to the War Hounds – the old name for the XII Legion before they became the World Eaters). I’ve not completely settled on a background for the character yet but I did wonder about a former War Hound, perhaps saved by the Redwolf in some battle long ago before he went completely mad, and ever since pledging his allegiance to Sapir and his squad. In many ways it makes sense to me that this is an older, wiser character than the rest of the squad, one who was implanted with the Butcher’s Nails before Isstvan and who has learned to master them – rather than some hot-blooded upstart attempting some crude copy-cat surgery by hammering some half-understood bit of tech into the back of his bonce.
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Part of the reason I’ve got Khorne on the brain is that this weekend we at last get a proper look at the Wrathmongers and Skullreapers, the latest addition to the Warriors of Chaos range in Warhammer and Khorne’s answer to the excellent Putrid Blightkings released back in the autumn. The thing is, the Blightkings are a gold mine of inspiration. I’ve got dozens of ideas scratching around the inside of my skull waiting to be actualised, and I feel like I’m still only getting started with what the kit can do. Can the warriors of the Blood God match this? Well at first glance I would say ‘absolutely!’99120201042_khornewrathmongers02

Let’s be honest here, at first glance they are ridiculously over the top – even for Chaos. For one thing they’re just covered in sigils marking their allegiance to Chaos and Khorne. If I was intending to use them for their original purpose it might seem a bit much, luckily I’m not. As regular readers will recall I don’t collect Warriors of Chaos (in spite of temptation) so these will be getting repurposed into the ranks of my Chaos Space Marines instead. Here the slightly overwhelming number of skulls and sigils is quite an advantage, mixing bits from other kits to ‘40k-ify’ them will naturally lead to a degree of dilution – which should balance things out nicely whilst still leaving no doubt at all as to who they serve.

Some of you might still be saying ‘but if all you wanted was Khorne bits to decorate your Chaos Marines you have that! The Skull Crushers are a rich vein of components – and still Tzeentch and Slaanesh are lagging at the back of the pack’. You’d be right of course, but never mind eh – this is what we have and no matter what you say Games Workshop’s team have made up their minds and no-one is going to say ‘Surprise! It’s Sisters of Battle this week instead!” at the last moment. So chill, take this release for what it is, enjoy it and see what comes next.skullreaper-2

What’s more, the longer I look at them the less ridiculous they feel. After all they’re really no more over the top than the Chaos Chosen from Dark Vengeance – and no-one has been decrying them. Some people are calling this a new aesthetic for Chaos but I think its more the case that this has always been the aesthetic of Chaos and Games Workshop finally have the technology to realise it.

So having accepted that ‘they’ll do’ what do I want to do with them? Some of the choices are obvious; I’ve already started a squad of Khornate terminators and more berserkers are always welcome. The Blightkings made excellent Chosen of Nurgle with very little effort and I’m suspecting these guys will make Chosen or Possessed of Khorne in much the same way. I’ve also quite fancied the idea of a Lord of Khorne mounted on a Juggernaught to command the Khornate part of my army, now might just be the moment that pushes me into doing it.99120201042_khornewrathmongers03

I’ve also had an idea for a while that as Khorne has such an association with daemon engines it might be an idea to make a Khornate Warpsmith (I have also bought one of the official Warpsmith models – more on him soon).

Whilst the Blightkings could equally have been used as Daemons (they make cracking Heralds of Nurgle in my opinion) the Wrathmongers/Skull Reapers are more recognisably human. One pair of legs have been designed to look like they belong to a Bloodletter, which makes me wonder about making another Khorne Herald or even a unique Skulltaker. Some of the weapons might also turn out to be rather handy for arming Heralds with extra vicious weapons.Several commenters have already said they look like Space Marines, which may not be what one is looking for in a fantasy warrior – but quite handy for someone who wants to convert Khorne worshipping Space Marines.

I’ve also never managed to come up with an idea for Mutilators that really worked well for me – which is a shame as they, like the Obliterators, would make a nice stylistic addition to my Chaos force. I had hoped that seeing the Wrathmongers/Skull Reapers might spark some kind of revelation on that front (Mutilators being as enthusiastic about close combat as the most rabid Berserker) but sadly I’m no further forwards.
Then there’s all the more far-fetched ideas that are already swirling round the edges of my brain. Corrupted Blood Angels? Fallen Space Wolves? Mechanicum renegades? Ogren Berserkers? Assassins? All of them would be prime candidates for developing an unhealthy relationship with the Blood God.
Anyway, now it’s over to you. What do you make of the new kits? Love ‘em or hate ‘em, let the world know in the box below.