Marax the Fallen: Birth of a Chaos Dread, pt.1

I think GW really dropped the ball with the Chaos Dreadnought. As of this writing, there are no less than four different Dread kits for loyal marines, but Chaos players are still stuck using the metal model from the early 90s. And while the design is obviously a matter of taste (I think it really hasn’t aged all that well…), what really kills the model for me (apart fom the hefty price tag) is the fact that it’s metal and thus fairly difficult to convert. There’s the awesome Forgeworld models, sure. But I’m not going there. That way, madness lies…

It’s a pretty fair assumption that the Dread will get a brand new kit as soon as the tentative Codex Chaos Legions is released, and it will probably be glorious. But why wait until then? While the rules aren’t all that great (or rather, weren’t all that great up to the release of the latest FAQ), I really wanted to convert at least one Chaos Dread. So what to do?

The good news is that the loyal kits are all plastic and allow for easy conversion. So while looking at the Furioso kit, I felt that this was the way to go. Thus began the saga of Marax the Fallen.

I knew right from the start that I wanted to try a few things with my first dread conversion: First of all, I wanted to avoid the “angry refridgerator” look of the standard loyal dread. I would try to achieve this, by using a head from the new Khorne juggernauts: I’d been planning on doing that ever since both the Dread and the Juggernaut were only available in metal. The dread would be close combat first and foremost, so I wanted to use the Furioso’s CC arms, perhaps spruced up with chainswords for claws or something of the kind. And lastly, I would use a careful selection of (chaos) bits to make the dread look the part and tie it in with the rest of my force.

So, armed with an alternate (very yellow) version of blue-tac, I made a first mockup of the model:

For me, the addition of the juggernaut head was instant win! A bit from the defiler kit was used to mask the original sarcophagus. And since you can never have enough skulls and chains, I added a bit from the chaos vehicle sprue. I wanted to go for a fairly static pose, with the dread taking a moment in the midst of battle to scream out its rage. I also added chainsword blades instead of the standard lightning claws.

Unfortunately, there were some problems with the initial design: The chainblades, while seeming such a good idea, proved to be far too long and ended up looking pretty goofy, especially when pointing downwards.  The skullchain seemed a bit too clunky for my taste. And the pose, while looking pretty cool from the front, was kind of weird when seen from the back, with the dread’s torso at an awkward angle. I would obviously have to make some changes, but I was definitely getting there.

Follow this series of posts to see how the conversion turned out! Next time on “Birth of a Chaos Dread”: The pose.

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