Just a quick post today, but I just assembled this angry young man and couldn’t resist taking the chance to show him off.
Inspired by my recent forays into the realm of Khorne I found myself idly perusing the range of followers available to the Blood God’s devotees and stumbled upon the Exalted Deathbringer. The followers of Khorne are blessed with a number of heroes and champions, all themed around the concept of chopping people up – whether that’s praying whilst chopping people up, masterfully chopping people up, being exulted for chopping people up or merely aspiring to chop people up. We even have the Skullgrinder, who isn’t the subject of today’s post, but still merits a mention for having one of the silliest weapon choices outside of a gobbo. Back in the early days of Age Of Sigmar GW’s designers must have realised that the restrictions placed upon them by the Old World were lifted and they could do whatever they liked. Unfortunately this went to their heads somewhat and the result was a man who hits people with an anvil.
Anyway, today we’ll be looking at an Exalted Deathbringer. For those who still struggle to navigate the soup-like naming conventions of the Khornate range, a gory morass of death, blood and skulls in various arrangements like a teenage Thrash Metal band, the Exalted Deathbringer is essentially an old-fashioned champion of Khorne who does pretty much exactly what it says on the tin; he brings death to people and the god of bloodshed has exalted him for it.
It’s worth noting as well that the Exalted Deathbringer has quite the assortment of models to represent them, from the slightly odd looking Impaling Spear version to the impressively imposing Ruinous Axe version. This time, however, we’re looking at the Bloodbite Axe version. Here’s the studio model that first inspired me.
As I looked at him I found myself thinking, somewhat arrogantly, “I could make that” – or at the very least I could make a decent facsimile – out of plastic bits. Truth be told the end result turned out looking rather different to the official piece, but I think it still does a nice job of capturing the look of a hardened, and heavily armoured, barbarian on the lookout for, to quote the official blurb, “worthy foes to butcher”.
Not sure when I’ll find the time to paint him but I’m feeling very inspired about all things Khornate at the moment so I’m sure he’ll find his moment sooner or later.
Yesterday I showed you some of my pictures from my recent trip to Warhammer World, today let’s take a proper look at some of the dioramas. The exhibition space features over a dozen of these displays, covering everything from Skaven and Dwarves clashing beneath the mountains of the Old World to Eldar and Tyrands battling over the lava fields of Valedor. Each one is a slice of Game’s Workshop’s universes given life and the chance to get a proper look at them is well worth taking if you happen to be in the Nottingham area. For those of us who’re not however hopefully these next few posts will help to spread the inspiration a little and perhaps spark some fresh ideas – I know they did for me.
I’d also recommend clicking on the pictures for a closer look, these displays are simply jam packed with details, there’s so much to take in that I’ll admit to spotting things whilst editing these images that I completely missed in person.
First up we have two Age of Sigmar dioramas featuring the warriors of Khorne doing battle with the hosts of the Stormcast Eternals. In the first they’re fighting over a huge flying citadel, in the second the Stormcasts are… erm… storming a chaos fortress with the help of their new chums the Fyreslayers.
My preference for the Old World over the Mortal Realms is one I’ve stated several times but it’s hard to deny that the scope for creativity in the Age of Sigmar is hard to beat. For all its qualities the Old World was trapped within the borders imposed upon it by decades of development whilst the Realms can be as bombastically creative as they want. Want to fight the legions of the Blood God in a flying temple? Now you can!It also struck me how the roles have been deliberately reversed in these displays, as compared to the Old World. Like the Imperium the Empire was always on the defensive, with enemy hordes clawing at the fortress walls. In Age of Sigmar however we see the good guys being the aggressors, and Chaos on the defensive – which offers a whole new range of scenarios for the model makers and gamers alike to explore.Whilst the first display is focussed around models from the Age of Sigmar starter set, the Ironwarp Citadel is rather more complex. This time the Sigmarites are fighting their way into a Khornate fortress, backed up by several Star-drakes and everyone’s favourite clothes averse dwarves; the Fyreslayers.The Ironwarp Citadel, features three gates, each with its own opening mechanism. What exactly those are however I’m still not sure, and neither was anyone else I asked. One of them is clearly being dragged open by a pair of chaos giants in a scene inspired by the trolls opening the black gate in the Lord of the Rings film, but as for the other two – not a scooby.Never mind who let the spawn out, or how they did it, these Stormcasts are in a lot of trouble now.I’ll confess I wasn’t entirely sold on the magmadroth when it first appeared but after seeing them in this display I’ve really grown to love them. Like a lot of people I think I fell into the trap of seeing Fyreslayers as equivalent to the dwarves of Warhammer rather than as a race in their own right. If only their flesh had been painted in a similar, slightly tortured style (they do hammer metal into their own bodies after all) to their equally shirt-hating Chaos adversaries I might have been swayed sooner. Mind you, they could always be wearing flowery shirts…If I had to pick a favourite diorama from those displayed this Nurgle fortress would take the crown. Titled “Chaos Musters” it features the forces of the Plague God marching out to conquer the Old World during the End Times. In comparison to the neighbouring displays which look forward into the bright, golden Age of Sigmar, this is firmly rooted in a grubby past. The influence of the seminal Realms of Chaos books are everywhere here and whilst the previous displays primarily showcased models – and even buildings in the case of the Ironwarp Citadel – built straight from the box, this harks back to the convertors’ art with large areas of the Plaguespire appearing to have been either scratchbuilt or extensively kitbashed.Likewise the models themselves have been subject to plenty of conversion from this band of Chaos Warriors……to these trolls with plaguebearers budding hideously from their backs.Or how about this knight whose horse has the head of a plague drone……or this magnificently nasty looking ogre?Plus there’s more Nurglings that you could shake a germ-covered stick at, and that can only be a good thing!Tomorrow we’ll take a look at the rest of the Warhammer/Age of Sigmar displays before getting stuck in about the Grim Darkness of the Far Future.
You may have noticed that my recent (rather wordy!) article on Warhammer: Total War and the recent changes that have occurred to the Warhammer universe, featured several pieces of art by illustrator Janice Duke.
As an artist Janice’s work covers a wide range of subjects, particularly mythology, fantasy and spiritual and philosophical topics, with a specialism in book covers. For me the opportunity to collaborate with a professional artist in this way is very exciting and so, as well as using the pieces as illustrations in the article I wanted to take the opportunity to properly showcase them here. As usual it’s worth clicking on them to see a full size version.
I particularly like the look of determination on Karl Franz’s face and the forest of spears in the background. An army worthy of an Emperor indeed!
I also rather like the starker, black-and-white style that Janice uses, for example in this alternative version of the Chaos Lord.
Some of you may recognise Janice’s work as she’s also the artist I commissioned to create the banner for this site and the magpie avatar. At present we’re discussing plans to collaborate further in the future so watch this space!
For more information go to her website, or take a look at her blog, Facebook or Twitter. More miniatures soon (I promise!), as soon as I extract myself from my Total War addiction. The Empire isn’t going to unite itself after all…
Just a brief mid-week update today but with the End Times continuing in grand style for the followers of Chaos in Warhammer I thought now might be a good moment to show my first, and so far only, attempt at painting a Warrior of Chaos. I kitbashed him a while ago out of leftovers from other projects as an experiment, dipping my toe into fantasy Chaos. For now, however, I reckon my worship of the dark gods will remain firmly in the 41st millennium. Trying to paint such similar armies for both Warhammer and 40k strikes me as trying to compete against myself, so if I do try out Warhammer again I’d rather take on something different.
Anyway, here’s the model!