Perhaps this miniature should serve as a reminder that, although I’m a big fan of the ‘paint what you want, work at your own pace’ approach, sometimes it wouldn’t hurt to get my bum in gear a little. I started work on this model a long, long time ago – back when the Beasts of Ruin consisted only of a handful of Terminators and Chaos Marines. I fancied a few Chaos ogrens to lumber alongside and started working on a test model made from a combination of ork nob and ogre parts. Over the years he’s mutated regularly until he ended up in his current incarnation. The thing is though, it took me so long to get him painted up that Games Workshop went and released new plastic Ogrens in the meantime (something that in itself seems a long time ago now). I did wonder about packing it in with this model and relegating him to bitzbox purgatory, but a combination of fondness and stubbornness stayed my hand and I resolved to finish him.
He’s a little small compared to the new plastic Ogrens, and I’m already working on at least a couple of models based on that kit, so I worried that he would look a bit like the underfed brother next to the others. The best solution, I reckoned, would be to make another so they could be short together. Life’s always better with a friend, even if you’re a thuggish mutant enslaved by the ruinous powers!
And here’s the two of them together. I’m making a Bone ‘ead to keep an eye on them and make sure they keep going in roughly the right direction, but he’s not quite finished yet. Soon, I promise!I started work on them long before Forge World released Imperial Armour 13 with its updated Renegades and Heretics army list so I was particularly interested to see how ogrens had been handled in the new book. Where previously we had a whole variety of units (Ogren Berserkers, Plague Ogrens, the Hounds of Xaphan) now we just have Ogren Brutes, which can then be upgraded by adding packmasters with chaos hounds (reckon I’ll do something with that soon) and/or dedicating the squad to one of the gods. This means that as well as ogrens dedicated to Khorne and Nurgle we can also see ogrens dedicated to Tzeentch or Slaanesh both of which strike me as interesting propositions from both a fiction and a modelling perspective. Khorne seems a natural choice for an ogren (Khorne approves of hitting things, ogrens like hitting things, it’s a match made in heaven really) and with their poor hygiene and resilience to disease they fit in nicely with the followers of Nurgle as well. Slaanesh is harder to conjure though – I’m struggling to imagine an ogren enjoying decadent feasts or the height of sexual perversity. Likewise an ogren that plans to master the power of the warp and become a master magi is setting himself up for a disappointment. However I reminded myself that ogrens tend to go where they’re led regardless of their affiliation and could easily find themselves bound to a Slaaneshi or Tzeentchian master (the latter enjoying the protection of some serious muscle whilst he channels the warp – the former… well, perhaps it’s best not to ask).
Anyway, I already have plans for some Khorne and Nurgle ogrens but perhaps a few more dedicated to the other gods wouldn’t go amiss… I’m thinking the Skaven Stormfiends might contain the makings of a Slaaneshi ogren, and perhaps there’s something Tzeetchian in the Morghasts? Any thoughts?
To my mind traitor guard – that is to say rebel Imperial Guard regiments – are as much a part of Chaos in the 41st Millennium as daemons or Chaos Marines. Sure, the Chaos Marines can inflict a lot of damage by themselves and when it comes to teleporting into an Imperial Governor’s palace and butchering the command staff or cracking open a Mechanicum void-station in hard vacuum, why they’re the very men for the job. However, if one has launched a full scale Black Crusade there’s simply no way one can do all the killing by one’s self (no matter how much one might want to – followers of Khorne I’m looking at you here). Summoning great armies of daemons is always useful of course, although they strike me as being somewhat flaky allies, prone to sudden acts of mad treachery when you suddenly discover you were simply a pawn in the great game and their actual aim was to conjure up a great cathedral of crystal and sorrow or something equally weird. Almost as bad one can conjure up a whole legion of them, only for the whole lot to be banished screaming back into the warp by an elderly inquisitor who knows their master’s real name. Not to say they aren’t useful but sometimes the situation calls for boots on the ground, and when it comes to trudging through trench-lines and being massacred by the thousand no-one does it better than the Guard.
Thus once a Chaos force reaches a certain size a regiment of traitor guard seems like a natural progression. This is no longer a piratical strike-force but a campaigning, crusading army. It has outgrown looting for petty gain or ransacking cities in the name of the Gods. Now they’re properly empire-building. Imperial worlds burn in their wake. Just as the Imperium isn’t all about the Space Marines but relies on vast armies of common soldiers to do the bulk of the work, so too must their dark opponents turn to the ranks of cannon fodder to be in all the places that they cannot.
I’ve been plotting to muster a horde (or at least a few) traitor guardsmen of my own for a while and at last I’ve got round to painting a few.
When I started I was planning to base this collection round a mixture of the Imperial Guard (later Astra Militarum) codex, plus units from the Siege of Vrax books. Then along came Imperial Armour 13 and, having finally got a look at it recently, I liked what I saw enough to make it the cornerstone of the force instead.
I built these next two traitors before I saw IA13, and originally planned them to be part of a special weapons squads, but I reckon they’ll fit in with the others just nicely.
I also planned a squad of Wyrdvane Psykers, no longer shackled by the oppressive rule of the Imperium and allowed to disport themselves with the fickle power of the Warp as nature intended. So far I’ve only got this one built but I’m rather pleased with him, so there should be more soon.
So, what do you think? Should I have reported my mutant powers to my superior officer and accepted whatever castigation was my due, or was I right to murder my commissar and carve an eight-pointed star on my flak armour? As ever, rally to my cause or demand retribution in the comment box below.
I love Chaos armies with a strong theme to them, built around a particular warband, legion or god. There’s just something amazing about someone picking out a detail of the 40k universe and pursuing it to such depth and with such dedication. That isn’t me though. I’ve got a butterfly mind, shackled to the attention span of a particularly lacklustre goldfish and a banker’s covetousness, rolled together to create a weird chimerical beast with brushes for hands and madness in its heart. Chaos Marines? Yes please! Daemons? Sure, why not! Daemon engines? Sign me up! Traitor guard? Sure thing (more on them soon)! Khorne? Nurgle? Tzeentch? Absolutely! Slaanesh? Why that’s what this post is about!
Thus, although I’ve got various Khornate and Nurgly projects to work on, here I am face to face with She-Who-Thirsts (but not working on my Noise Marines…). I’ve had this guy on my painting desk for a while now but he’s progressed really, really sloooowly. To make the model I had to start by decapitating a Beastmen Shaman, something that took a lot of willpower to go through with (picking up a nice new model you’ve just bought and hacking at it with a knife seems to be flirting with disaster in my book). Carving away the neck and the back of the skull from the new head wasn’t particularly pleasant either – it’s a nice component which I’d considered for various projects before settling on using it for Yegg-ha and I didn’t want to stall the project which I waited for a replacement. I’ll admit to being quite impatient – things like that have killed my enthusiasm for several projects in the past.I’ve had this guy on my painting desk for a while now but he’s progressed really, really sloooowly. To make the model I had to start by decapitating a Beastmen Shaman, something that took a lot of willpower to go through with (picking up a nice new model you’ve just bought and hacking at it with a knife seems to be flirting with disaster in my book). Carving away the neck and the back of the skull from the new head wasn’t particularly pleasant either – it’s a nice component which I’d considered for various projects before settling on using it for Yegg-ha and I didn’t want to stall the project which I waited for a replacement. I’ll admit to being quite impatient – things like that have killed my enthusiasm for several projects in the past.
I imagine a huge chamber at heart of Kell’s flagship, the Blood Eagle, a hanger cleared out and transformed into a warped garden. At its heart stands a cathedral to Chaos within which the Sorcerers and Dark Apostles of the Beasts of Ruin summon daemons. The garden itself is left tainted, the children of all four gods roosting amid the contorted architecture and fighting petty wars over this strange space, a microcosm of the Great Game. Currently command of the Dark Prince’s forces goes to Yegg-ha, Herald of Slaanesh and self declared Lord of the Woods.
What do you mean that’s not enough for you? You’re greedy you are, greedy! Luckily Slaanesh loves you for your avarice so here’s three of Yegg-ha’s ladies to join the party (don’t say I’m not good to you!)
And last of all a little group shot!
And there we have it. As you should know by now it’ll be something totally different next week!
‘Shackle the soul and forge the flesh. Bind the machine and butcher the rest’
(Codex: Chaos Space Marines)
Ladies and gentlemen allow me introduce my Warpsmith, Sheb-Teth the Soul Feaster!
I actually really like this model. Fair enough its incredibly fiddly to put together and its impressive collection of appendages has been the subject of many hentai themed double-entendres (insert your own here). However for me personally the biggest problem I had was drawing the viewer’s gaze to the head. ‘Faces and bases’ is a rule I try to stick to (i.e. the two most important elements of a miniature to get right if you want it to stand out are the face and the base, the former because that’s where people naturally look to begin with, the latter because many people don’t bother). On the warpsmith however it’s easy for the head to be overwhelmed by the halo of tentacles that surrounds it. It also makes taking half-decent photos of it almost impossible as the camera has a tendency to focus on random mechatendrils rather than the core of the model itself but I persevered.
The model’s pose certainly adds a great deal to his character, his overweening arrogance and command coming through in his challenging stance, chin out, axe held high. I imagine him being locked in a battle of wills with my Chaos Lord Kallamoon Kell, neither confidently the master of the other but requiring an alliance… for now. It’s the exploration of these minor conflicts and divergent personalities that I find not only feeds my interest in an army but also inspires new ideas to explore and develop. How long will Sheb-Teth be willing to serve, dedicating his prodigious talents to building war machines for another? Yet what form might his rebellion take? What weapons should he craft to stage his inevitable coup? With all the attention the Mechanicum have been getting lately I’d love to put together a few dark Skitarri, mutant servitors or thrall tech-priests to aid Sheb-Teth in his work. I’d also love to build a rival Warpsmith, someone with whom Sheb-Teth would lock horns in a vicious battle of professional competitiveness, each striving to outdo the other and all the while distracted from Kell’s throne.
All that will have to wait until time allows however. In the meantime though I have just finished my Maulerfiend so expect to see him shortly (as soon as I’ve got some pictures!)
The second post I ever made on this blog, way back in November 2013, concerned the two squads of cultists I was working on at the time. It’s slightly worrying to me then that it’s only now that I’ve finally got both squads finished. Never mind, at least I did it, and met my personal goal of making each unique from the others as well. They’re split over two squads; one armed for close combat – the Cult of Nug, and on for ranged combat – the Cult of Yeb. Here’s Yeb himself.
It’s been suggested to me that, with his Commissar’s coat that might be just what he is; a Commissar turned traitor. At first I thought this was a great idea but the more I considered it the less I was convinced. A Commissar must be utterly ruthless and unquestioning, a man without doubt or fear who’s resolve has only been strengthened by a lengthy training program and, undoubtedly, invasive indoctrination and brain-washing regimes. Such a man would not – indeed could not – simply turn to Chaos on a whim. Furthermore, if he did fall, the result would be a far more callous and terrible warrior than the mere leader of some rag-tag cultists.
Much more likely then that Yeb found his coat on the body of a dead Commissar, perhaps one who had stood, still firing heroically, as Kell and his terminators closed in. However this little train of thought did get me thinking about how interesting it would be to make a fully developed traitor Commissar, perhaps for the nascent traitor-guard army I keep considering. It would be interesting to look at how such a man could fall, and what would be created if he did. Watch this space!
Anyway, here’s the rest of the squad.
As I painted this next guy I started to realise that, with his deeply pitted eye-sockets, he was almost certainly blind. To me this puts a disturbing, and definitely Chaotic, twist on the model. I wonder what infraction led Imperial authorities to order this man’s eyes put out – or if he was born blind and shunned by the suspicious people with which he shared his hive? Either way the Dark Gods must have heard his whispered entreaties an granted him some alternative (I’m thinking infra-red – imagine him spotting approaching enemies by their body heat and gunning them down as they attempt to approach his holdout under cover of night or a dust storm. Ironically his sighted companions would be left firing blindly in the same direction – this is the sort of paradox that Tzeentch finds especially pleasing). Perhaps the process of transformation was so painful that he’s gagged himself to prevent him from, in desperation, asking the Gods for anything else.
And here’s a group-shot. Continuing the theme the next post should be the Dark Apostle that led them all down the twisted path into Chaos in the first place.