Roll call for Chaos: Champions & Icons

I had originally planned to kick off this series as a huge chaos extravaganza in celebration of the new Chaos Codex’s imminent release. But then, GW decided to pull a rather big switcheroo and push back the new Chaos Space Marines in favour of a Daemon release. But we here at “Eternal Hunt” won’t let any scheduling shenanigans get in our way, will we? So while there may still be some time left until the new book hits, let’s have a “Roll Call for Chaos” to fill the time. Huzzah!

As you all know, I got back into the hobby in late 2010 and started work on the current version of my World Eaters at the beginning of 2011. I did however “salvage” some older models from my collection, if only for the reason that, being a rather slow painter, I needed them to swell the 4th assault company’s ranks. So this series will deal with some of the old and some of the new. In all fairness, you will already have seen some of the models already posted on this blog. However, the new photos are probably of a better quality, at least.

So for starters, let us take a look at the Skull Champions for my Berzerkers and the icons of glory their squads are carrying into battle.

The first two models I would like to show you are true classics: I bought these when I first started working on a small World Eaters force some time during the late 90s. This was soon after the plastic Khorne Berzerker kit had been released, and I tried to get hold of some of the older metal models to serve as champions. So I got these guys:

Two of the classic metal World Eaters champions released during the mid-90s. They are wielding standard chain weapons (though their size make them look like they could be chainaxe or chainsword of Khorne, respectively). I still like the sculpts a lot, even they tend to look a little two-dimensional when seen from the side.
I also painted these over a decade ago, so they look quite a bit rougher than my newer models if you take a closer look.

Anyway, they served as champions until I took my hobby hiatus during most of the 2000s. Then, when I got back to working on a World Eaters army, I realised the usefulness of Skull Champions wielding power fists, so I set out to build some new models:

Skull Champion Memnar here was built with parts from the regular Berzerker kit and some CSM bits. I added a torso with a chain tabard from the chaos vehicle sprue and a trophy pole, however, to make him easily identifiable as a squad leader. His helmet was spliced together from that of a WFB Chaos Warrior and the regular Khornate “bunny ears”.

Skull Champion Bruul follows the same basic recipe, although I went for a bare head from the Chaos Terminator Lord kit this time. His power fist was converted from that of a loyal Terminator, and I added a spike and a Chaos Marauder Buckler on the back in order to make it look a little more interesting:

These guys look a little more modern, and they added some much needed oomph to my Berzerkers unit during 5th edition. They were kind of useful to have in combat with vehicles and monstrous creatures. However, maybe I’ll have to build yet another set of models once the new rules are out. Let’s wait and see…

Then there’s the icons. I am a great fan of having icon bearers in my army, even in those cases where they are not actually necessary in a squad. I just think it adds some nice character to the army, and I also try to never repeat an icon design across the entire army.

So it was clear that my Berzerkers would also get some icon bearers, even though their perks are “built-in” and don’t require a special model. First up is another vintage metal World Eater from the mid-90s. I especially like this model (even though he’s even more two-dimensional than his buddies above). Even though I’ve owned this model for almost twenty years, I only painted him last year, so he holds up rather well in comparison with my newer models.

The Khorne Berzerkers were actually the only unit type to get a dedicated standard bearer back then. All the other standards used the same metal Chaos Space Marine, with just the actual icon on top of the pole god-specific and exchangeable. The Khorne icon also manages to look rather threatening, like it could actually be used as a weapon.

It’s also interesting to note how those three old metal Khorne Berzerkers share between them pretty much all of the visual elements that make up the late 90s Khorne Berzerker plastic kit — take a closer look, and you’ll recognise most of the details!

So it was clear that I had to built another icon bearer for my second squad of berzerkers. This time, I went for a mix of the old and the new:

The model was built by mixing berzerker parts with the dedicated Khorne bits from the regular Chaos Space Marines. The banner pole comes from some OOP WFB  plastic Warriors of Chaos, and the icon itself is a true classic from the old metal Bloodletters of Khorne. I like how my two icon bearers are clearly distinguishable while sharing a similar overall look.

And finally, yet another classic:

Even though I am not a great fan of actually using Kharn in game (I prefer my own characters, even if they are just using standard rules), I really love the model, even after all these years. My Kharn was painted almost 15 years ago, so he looks pretty rough in places, which puts me in a bit of a fix: I’d like to paint him again, but I won’t strip the paint from this particular model for nostalgia reasons (I can still remember the night when, coming home semi-drunk from a party, I struggled to get this guy’s backpack painted). On the other hand, I definitely won’t pay silly money for a new Finecast Kharn just for the privilege of painting him again. Maybe there’ll be a new version released soon?

The only touchup I did was to go back and add a little lighting effect to his Plasma pistol. It’s a little thing, but it definitely adds some pop to the model:

And that concludes our little tour of my World Eaters’ middle management. Although I have one or two more Skull Champions, they haven’t been painted yet. Next up in our Roll Call for Chaos: the squads commanded by these guys.

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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