Archive for warriors of chaos

Breaking the mould – a look at the Nurgle End Times release

Posted in Chaos, Conversions with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2014 by krautscientist

Whew, I definitely wanted to put this review up much sooner, but there was just so much to do! And there was also the fact that I really wanted to do the second End Times release justice — because GW really seems to be on a roll with the latest WFB releases. But all in good order:

It seems pretty obvious that the first End Times release has thoroughly renewed interest in the WFB setting — and rightly so: Not only does the End Times scenario present a pretty substantial step forward when it comes to the backstory, but the release was also accompanied by a slew of rather excellent new kits, first and foremost among them the much-lauded new model for Nagash.

It’s a small surprise that GW would try their best to keep people interested in the End Times setting, so the next wave of releases deals with chaos — they had my interest before, but now they have my attention ๐Ÿ˜‰

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The End Times: Glottkin and its accompanying models focus on the god Nurgle, which initially seems to have provoked a bit of skepticism among some hobbyists: I’ve been hearing complaints online that, whenever GW puts out a new chaos release, Khorne and Nurgle really get all the love. But I would beg to differ:

When looking at the servants of chaos, especially in WFB, Nurgle has really been the least represented chaos god — at least when it comes to modern plastic kits: Sure, there’s that Nurglite Chaos Lord everyone (myself included) loves to convert. And a couple of heads and mutations hidden away in several kits. But there’s never been a dedicated kit for Nurglite chaos warriors or something similar. What’s more, followers of Nurgle would really profit from their own kits, since Nurgle may be easy to do, but is really rather hard to do well: Sure, you can slap some GS on your models and call them finished, but producing Nurglite models that really do justice to the bloated, festering and rotting image that appears in the backstory has really been quite a bit of work so far.

Enter the End Times: Glottkin release, which gives us three rather substantial new kits as well as an additional clamshell plastic character. Allow me to walk you through the kits and discuss them one by one — and, of course, we’ll also be focusing on some of the possible conversion ideas involving these new kits. Step this way please, and remember to disinfect your hands at regular intervals ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Putrid Blightkings

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The release managed a very strong start with the Putrid Blightkings box: Fellow hobbyist PDH has called these guys the “definitve chaos warriors”, and I am tempted to agree with him. But I am getting ahead of myself!

Let’s start at the beginning, or rather: At something that really seems like the beginning for this particular kit: The enormous popularity of the plastic Nurgle Chaos Lord cannot have escaped the folks over at GW –maybe this is an explanation for the fact that the Blightking kit gives us five rather massive models that look like they are taking quite a few design cues from the aforementioned model, allowing us to field a unit that effectively consists of five plastic Nurgle Lords.

What’s more, GW’s designers seem to have gone through the last twenty-odd years of artwork and model releases depicting servants of Nurgle in order to include some of the most iconic and popular visual elements in the new kit, creating what amounts to a “Best of” collection of Nurglite design (as Eric Weir posits in his own, highly recommended review of the kit).

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In addition to featuring some of the most beloved design cues from two decades of Nurglite models (the antlered, cowled head, the mono-horned facemasks and helmets, the bells and rusted blades,…), the Blightkings are also rather impressive, massive models (although not quite as massive as some people would have liked…). And one thing I particularly like about them is how most of their mutations eschew the often rather cartoony look in favour of something more realistic: The distended, swollen limbs look like something that might really be physiologically possible. Sure, there’s the odd insect leg or tentacle, but they don’t look nearly as hokey as some of the mutation bitz GW has produced in the past.

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Each of these guys really looks like a champion, a warlord in their own right. And each model also fits the massive, swollen and distended glory that has been a part of Nurglite artwork for years, but has only rarely been represented in model form. So the Blightking kit will give you a great new unit for your army, but it also seems like the perfect box of conversion fodder when it comes to converting your own Nurglite warlords, champions and characters — both for WFB and 40k.

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The best part of the kit, however, has to be the amount of variety: The box comes so chock-full of bitz that it really allows for lots of variations, meaning you’ll be able to get a whole lot of very different looking models out of this kit without even having to resort to more involved conversions — just check out this picture:
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Granted, they snuck in Gutrot Spume there, but the picture demonstrates how you can easily construct ten completely different looking Blightkings without even resorting to kitbashing or cutting up the models. And as soon as you take those additional approaches into consideration, your options multiply exponentially.

If all of this sounds like gushing praise to you, that’s because it is: In my opinion, the Putrid Blightkings are an almost compulsory purchase for both WFB and 40k Nurgle players, and a perfect resource for conversion bitz. At the same time, they are also a stellar kit on their own, and easily one of my favourite GW releases this year, as well as one of the strongest parts of this release!

Gutrot Spume

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Along with the Putrid Blightkings, GW also released a new clamshell plastic character to lead the hordes of Putrid Blightkings on the field: In some ways, Gutrot Spume almost seems like an “upgrade” to the Blightking models. And sure enough, this guy is certainly massive and imposing enough to look the part. He is also rather hideously mutated, and that element actually makes for my main gripe with the model:

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I have mentioned above how I especially like the fact that the Blightkings – mostly – manage to eschew the classic (and really rather tacky) “animal limbs a mutations” shtick. Not so here: The hideous, tentacled mess that makes up Gutrot’s entire left side may be an important part of the model’s backstory, and the tentacles themselves also look suitably disgusting. But one problem is that they don’t strike me as particularly nurgly. I also remember that one line in WD where one of GW’s designers said that tentacles are pretty hard to do, both because you have to avoid going for an obvious octopus look, and because it’s easy to make them seem so debilitating that the model ends up looking weak because of it, and I cannot help feeling like that’s exactly what happened here: This guy would have seemed more impressive with a less “creepy-crawly” look, if you ask me…

Granted, such things always come down to personal preference. And seeing how the model is made from plastic, it should be easy enough to tone down this element (or remove it outright), if one so chooses:

End Times Nurgle Release (5)But that’s really where the other problem sets in: The Putrid Blightkings are such an excellent and versatile kit that it seems quite possible to come up with a conversion that looks equally impressive and fitting as a warlord, raising the question why one would even need to purchase the Gutrot Spume model in the first place: In a way, the availablity of the Blightkings turns into Gotrut’s biggest competition here, because he mostly looks like a unit champion when compared to the Blightkings:

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When all is said and done, what we have here is a massive and imposing Nurglite warlord with a enormously noticeably mutation that you may or may not like. On his own, he’s a well-designed and impressive centre-piece for your chaos army. When compared to the Blightkings, he seems a bit lacklustre. A nice enough model, but certainly not one of the defining parts of the release.

On a related note, if you want to see some absolutely gorgeous painted Blightkings accompanied by Gutrot Spume, definitely check out ThirdEyeNuke’s models over at the Tale of Painters — spectacular stuff!

 

Magghot Lords

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The End Times: Nagash had the Mortarchs as the Great Necromancer’s very own “quirky miniboss squad”, and the new release follows that formula, giving us a multi-kit that will produce one of the three Lords of Icehorn Peak. So let’s take a look at each of them in turn:

 

Orghotts Daemonspew

The Nurgle release seems to have a bit of a triptych leitmotif going, with the archetypes of “warrior”, “sorcerer” and “beast” appearing in several of the kits. Orghotts Daemonspew clearly fits the “warrior” archetype, as the model represents a massive, Nurglite chaos warrior mounted on one of the new “pox maggoths”. Looking at his body, Orghotts’ look fits the design introduced by the Blightkings, and he seems believable enough as a champion of Nurgle. His main defining feature is the hideous mutation warping his head and face, however:

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It’s a bit of an acquired taste, but in the end, I like it well enough: It’s suitably gross and he’s looking rather tortured. Servants of Nurgle are usually described as being a rather jolly bunch, and I think it’s a nice bit of variety to encounter a model where the blessings of the Grandfather seem to have produced a result that is, at the very least, ambiguous!

The one thing I find legitimately terrible, however, are the model’s twin axes: They just don’t work for me — and on several levels, at that: Reversing the heads just seems gimmicky and impractical. The length of the hafts also seems ill-considered, given the fact that the character is supposed to wield both weapons silmutaneously: If it had to be twin axes, I guess I would have preferred a more vicious, hatchet-like setup. The weapons are really my main complaint here, come to think of it: They just stick out like a sore thumb, in my opinion.

As for Orghotts’ mount, the Pox Maggoth Whippermaw, let us also take a closer look at it:

Generally speaking, I think GW’s designers have done a fine job with the general design of the pox maggoths: Sure, they may seem slightly more conventional than the Mortarchs’ Dread Abyssals, but I like the way the magghots seem to occupy a strange and slightly disturbing niche between a lamprey and a …dinosaur, I guess?! Anyway, their alien look really works rather well. The fact that they are essentially faceless, except for their hideous maws, also helps, of course…

As for Whippermaw itself, the advancing pose nicely complements Orghotts’ warlike look. The tongue almost seems a bit much, but I still like it.

End Times Nurgle Release (15)Oh, and the…ahem…Vagina Dentata provides a beautifully Freudian touch, of course. Extra kudos to GW’s designers for getting crap past the radar in this case ๐Ÿ˜‰

Once again, ThirdEyeNuke has produced an excellent paintjob for the model, really bringing it to disgusting life!

 

Bloab Rotspawned

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The second Maggoth Lord cleanly falls into the “sorcerer” category — but with a suitably icky touch: According to the character’s background, Bloab Rotspawned essentially serves as a mostly hollowed-out vessel for all kind of maggots that eventually turn into Nurglite blowflies — ewwww….

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Great concept, but it falls a little flat in execution, I think: The idea of a guy basically serving as a vessel for maggots and insects is very icky and disturbing, but Bloab’s actual face really makes him look more like a fat guy who has just puked all over himself — maybe it would have been cooler to have his face less visible: Just a deep and empyt looking cowl with a stream of maggots emerging from it — nothing is scarier, sometimes.

The face is really my main complaint about the model — the rest of it seems rather well realised. The huge warscythe is a classic touch, of course (and will probably become a highly coveted conversion piece), and the idea of some grownup Nurglite flies making up a portion of Bloab’s back banner is really a wonderfully creepy little touch.

End Times Nurgle Release (18)Bloab’s mount, the pox magghot Bilespurter, may just be my favourite of the bunch: The rows of tiny eyes are very disturbing, for one, adding to the eerie deep sea creature feel, and there’s also that extremely disgusting stream of puke:

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What really sells the creature, though, is the pose: The magghot looks like its body is actually absorbing the recoil from puking…

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The fact that the paintjob is rather brilliant helps, of course: The model really looks like it’s fit to burst with vile fluids and bilious acid. The sickly colour of the upper body beautifully complements the effect — thumbs up, ‘Eavy Metal Team!

 

Morbidex Twiceborn

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And finally, the bestial archetype: Morbidex Twiceborn serves as friend and foreman to all Nurglings — which is probably the reason why, depending on your perspective, he looks like a huge Nurgling or a tiny Great Unclean one himself:

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From the above picture, it’s also obvious that Morbidex seems to be one of Nurgle’s jollier servants: I can always appreciate a fellow who finds joy in his work!

But regarding the model itself, I guess I’ll call Morbidex the weakest of the three: Sure, the GUO look is a nice idea (and one that harks back to the good old days, no less), but I have to say I prefer a bloated, heavily armoured Nurgle champion over a half-naked Nurgle-expy any day of the weak. The design of his left arm also seems like a bit of a mess and lacks direction — in fact, that’s the feeling I get from the entire model: Morbidex looks like the sculptors had just finished Orghotts and Bloab and were rapidly loosing steam when they got around to him.

Certainly a question of personal preference, but to me, Morbidex seems like a bit of a letdown…

The same also goes for his mount, the pox maggoth Tripletongue, unfortunately: The model looks like GW’s designers wanted to explore the body horror angle some more, but all the good ideas had already been taken: The tongue seems too stylised and strange for its own good, and the gaping stomach wound seems almost crude in its execution:

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Looking at the entire kit, there’s light and shadow: I love the fact that, like the Mortarch kit, the Magghot Lord kit gives us the opportunity to build one of three different characters from the same kit — and that’s not even taking into consideration the opportunity of mixing and matching. However, where each character in the Mortarch kit seemed like a very different archetype, bringing something entirely new to the table, the Magghot Lords seem to be loosing steam somewhere along the way. For me, the main attraction in the kit is the option to build a huge and rather disturbing monster from it — there’ll be quite a few uses for the pox maggoths, and I’ll be outlining some of them when we are talking about conversion ideas. The riders, on the other hand, especially Bloab and Morbidex, seem far less impressive to me.

There’s also the fact that the kit seems to be suffering from a similar problem as Gutrot Spume: On their own, the Magghot Lords are a nice enough addition to the catalogue of Nurglite models. However, boxed-in as they are between the excellent Blightkings and the really rather spectacular Glottkin (which we’ll be getting to in a second), they somehow seem like slightly deluted versions of either concept. And as a final factor, let’s not forget that fellow hobbyist and all around great guy PDH already created a pitch perfect mounted Champion of Nurgle quite a while ago, before the new kit was even released.

So, all in all, the Magghot Lord kit seems like a solid part of the release, but unfortunately it gets overshadowed by the release’s more spectacular kits. Oh, and one last thing: Those character names are really ATROCIOUS!

 

The Glottkin

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Let’s not mince words: This kit is certainly the star of the show! GW really managed to knock it out of the park with the new Nagash model, and I am sure everybody was looking forward to finding out whether they would manage to come up with something equally impressive for the Nurglite part of the release — hence the Glottkin.

Well, if you ask me, we can call this particular mission accomplished: The Glottkin are one of those kits that left my mouth hanging open when I first saw them.

Granted, the model is not as elegant and strangely beautiful as Nagash — quite the opposite in fact: The Glottkin embrace everything Nurglite to create what may just be the ultimate centre piece for every Nurgle army. What’s more, the kit actually consists of three characters, the fabled Brothers Glott, who once again fit the three archetypes of warrior, sorcerer and beast, so let us look at each of them in turn:

First up, Otto Glott, the warrior:

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The model shares several design cues with both Gutrot Spume and Orghotts Daemonspew: What we have here is a massive, bloated warlord of Nurgle. Actually, Otto looks pretty much exactly like you would imagine a “leveled up” version of the popular clamshell plastic Nurgle Lord!

The distended belly may be a bit much, and I am not a huge fan of the hand clutching the entrails, but I’ll let it slide because the kit provides a separate hand holding a severed head that mostly gets rid of that particular gripe. And while I love the bare head that comes with the kit, there’s something really striking about Otto’s helmet, because it almost looks like a Nurglite crown. The huge warscythe is also an excellent touch — all in all, Otto really looks like the quintessential Nurglite warlord!

Then there’s Ethrac Glott, the sorcerer:

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I have often stated my relative dislike for models that are too heavily mutated, but Ethrac is really a perfect example of how to make it work: Sure, there’s the hideous lump of twisted flesh erupting from his back, a mutation so spacious that it gets to house its own brazier. But the shoulder area is at least partially covered by Ethrac’s tattered cowl, which renders the precise form of the mutation ambiguous enough to make it even more disturbing. We also get to see a bit of Ethrac’s face, but again, it’s obscured enough to actually improve the ominous effect. Bloab Rotspawned’s face was too extreme – and to visible – in a way, and that made it look cartoony. With Ethrac, we only get glimpses at his countenance, and what we see is hideous. However, what we don’t see could be even more disturbing — the perfect way of pulling off this effect, really!

I also really like his staff — the severed hand of a follower of Tzeentch is a wonderful little touch! And while the skulls and smoke wafting up from Ethrac’s left hand may seem a bit tacky, the skulls forming Nurgle’s own symbol is a cute little idea!

And, last but definitely not least, there’s Ghurk Glott, who serves as the beast archetype and who is really the main attraction of this package:

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What a soulful look for such a hulking monstrosity, don’t you think?

Both Otto and Ethrac are wonderful sculpts, but Ghurk really seals the deal: He’s a hulking, massive monstrosity, covered in boils and signs of decay. The sheer texture of the skin is astounding, with so many little details that are equal parts impressive and disturbing — I imagine this model should be a joy to paint!

A couple of elements still manage to stand out, however:

First up, there’s the tiny Nurgling on the base, mimicking the pose and design of Ghurk Glott himself — I just love stuff like that! Then there’s the hideous, maw like right arm: Once again, the design picks up cues from lampreys and similar, hideous creatures, making for one scary looking orifice…

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I also really love the tentacle-like left arm, both for its texture and amount of detail and for its artwork-like, almost surreal quality.

In fact, the whole Glottkin model has something painterly about it: There’s an almost artwork like quality to the model’s composition and silhouette, and the Glottkin really recall some apocalyptic paintings and pieces of art. Several elements (like Otto’s pointed crown and Gurkh’s tentacle arm) underline this effect even further. And there’s something subtly but palpably Blanchian about the whole model, if I am not mistaken: The Glottkin look like a creature from the old Realms of Chaos books, translated into 21st century plastic model form by way of Hieronymus Bosch. In a way, the art and design underlying the whole WFB universe have really come full circle with this piece!

Recalling what I said further up in this review of the Magghot Lords, it’s also interesting to note how each of the brothers seem to present a more realised, better executed version of each of the archetypes also embodied by Orghotts, Bloab and Morbidex: In a way, the Lords of Icehorn Peak almost seem like early demo versions of the characters that would eventually become the Glottkin.

All in all, the model is a triumph, both for GW as a company and manufacturer of plastic tabletop models as well as for Mark Harrison, the designer! He has been working on chaos kits for quite a while now, but this latest creation of his is one for the ages. Congratulations!

One closing word that should illustrate how blown-away I was by this model: I don’t want to pre-empt my own review of the new Tyranid models, and there’s certainly quite a lot to like about them. But when I recently picked up two issues of WD Weekly at my FLGS and saw the Glottkin and new Tyranid Maleceptor/Toxicrene back to back, as it were, they almost seemed like models from different decades at first — that is how good the Glottkin kit is, if you ask me.

Oh, and ThirdEyeNuke has managed to produce a particularly fitting paintjob for this model as well! Check it out here!

 

Conversion options

What would Nurgle be without conversions? So it shouldn’t surprise you that some parts of this release lend themselves rather beautifully to serious converting and kitbashing. So allow me to share a few conversion ideas of my own — and the one good part about this review going up so late is that I can also incorporate some of the excellent work by fellow hobbyists that has begun to show up online. Let’s take a look:

 

The Glottkin:

First of all, let’s address the elephant in the room: If you were waiting for a new plastic Great Unclean One, Gurkh Glott is definitely your best bet — at least for now! A very helpful size comparison by the good folks over at the Tales of Painters blog shows that Gurkh’s size rivals that of the FW Great Unclean One, so he should make an excellent replacement for your Apocalypse gaming needs or your Armies on Parade display board.

Granted, the back would probably look very empty without the two other brothers placed there. But who is to stop you from putting some Plague Marines there? Or a couple of Plaguebearers and Nurglings happily cavorting around? In fact, wouldn’t such an addition make the model even more awesome and fitting? as it happens, Lucky No5 has made a Glottkin model that allows for Ghurk to be used as a Greater Daemon on his own, with the other two brothers magnetised for optional use.

Then there’s skrundle87, who has already expressed interest in building a Glottkin/Imperial Knight kitbash — I am really looking forward to seeing the results! And you want to hear something really crazy? Seeing how big this guy is, he could even be used as a Daemon Prince or Greater Daemon at the INQ 54mm scale!

As for the other Brothers Glott: Otto would certainly make a convincing Nurglite warlord on his own! And with a bit of work (and a few additional pieces of armour), he could be made into an excellent Death Guard lord for 40k!

And Ethrac could become a great Nurglite sorcerer in WFB — or a suitably impressive Demagogue in a Nurglite Traitor Guard army!

Whatever happens, I am really looking forward to all the crazy projects involving the Glottkin we will definitely be seeing online. Let me just point you towards TJ over at DFG, who points out some pretty interesting uses for the kit in 40k, along with a rather convincing calculation about all the money you actually save ๐Ÿ˜‰

Magghot Lords

It goes without saying that each of the three Magghot Lords can provide a tidy pile of bitz to provide conversion parts for your own Nurglite characters. However, the truly interesting resource here are the pox magghots: These ugly monsters could be used to convert convincing Greater Daemons or Daemon Princes of Nurgle, of course. They could also be used as Maulerfiends, could be combined with Defiler parts to make alternative Plague Hulks or even be used as giant Chaos Spawn. Just check out TheNickeninja’s particularly disturbing, Magghot-based spawn creature for reference. As it happens, TheNickeninja has also come up with a very interesting alternative use for these guy in WFB: Just put them on a big base, add some Chaos Dwarves (or similar attendants), and you have yourself an excellent (and rather disgusting) Hell Cannon (look here for an excellent example).

And maybe these guys could even be interesting beyond chaos armies? They would make for perfect monsters from the Underhive in Games of Necromunda or INQ28, for one. And maybe they could even be converted into huge mutants or be used as the base for Squiggoth-like beasts of Burden for an Ork army?

Putrid Blightkings

These guys are certainly the most versatile and interesting conversion resource to come out of this release — at least in my book! They share all that was cool about the Plastic Chaos Lord, so they should become similarly popular with converters! But what can we use these guys for?

The obvious answer is to turn them into Plague Marines and Plague Terminators, because they are simply fantastic for such conversions! I myself have tried that approach, and with some success, if I do say so myself. There are also the wonderful conversions by Jeff Vader (the first one’s already painted, too! Check it out here!)

While both of us have gone for true scale Plague Marines, you can take the Blightkings even further, as evidenced by Adam Weir who is currently working on some very promising Blightking conversions, splicing in parts from FW Cataphractii Terminators in a very seamless and ingenious way, in order to actually make Death Guard Terminators — excellent job!

There’s also the option of turning the Blightkings into big mutants for your Necromunda/INQ28 needs: Jeff Vader’s latest Blightking conversion would work really well as an addition to a rough band of twists or a Scavvie gang. And the rather realistic looking mutations on some of the Blightking bitz make them ideal for all kinds of twists and mutants, both of the chaotic and non-chaotic variety.

And the list goes on: Just imagine the nearly naked Blightking with a piece of cloth barely covering his naughty bitz: Wouldn’t he make an excellent eunuch-like Harem Guard character, with a bit of work? Just get rid of some of the open sores with GS, add a curved sword and a Blood Angels Deathmask, and you’re almost there — come to think of it, you could even turn the model into a follower of Slaanesh!

Moving away from the evil and the hideous,consider EdT’s very promising attempt at turning the Blightkings into Thunder Warriors. And WFB/Mordheim fans might find the option of building huge, imposing and slightly sinister Knights/Pitslaves out of these guys interesting — Bruticus is blazing a trail for you here.

And finally, we shouldn’t forget all the leftover bitz that come with the kit: Even after building five fully kitted-out true scale Plague Marines, I still have a pretty huge pile of bitz left: Some of these will be used as decorative parts on different models, some may be used on vehicles. So far so good.

But you can even use the leftover bitz to build more followers of Nurgle! Here’s my attempt at using Blightking bitz to convert a humble AOBR snap fit Terminator into a Death Guard Terminator. Take a look:

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As you can see, I haven’t decided on a head yet — but the above pictures should still show you how well the Blightking bitz work with a plastic Terminator: All it took was some cutting and a bit of GS work!

And it goes without saying that most of the ideas outlined above would probably work on Gutrot Spume as well, at least to some degree. Although I’ll say it again: In many ways, the Blightkings just seem like the more versatile version of Gutrot Spume.

While the Glottkin may be the star of the show in this release, the size and scope of the model do somewhat limit its usefulness. The Blightkings, however, will probably become the kit everybody will love to convert — and the one I can easily see hobbyists buying multiples of! I predict a huge wave of Blightking conversions in the near future — just you wait! ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

So, what’s the verdict? I’ll call this an excellent release, albeit with some small caveats:

Both the Glottkin and the Putrid Blightkings are absolutely fantastic kits, and easily some of GW’s best releases this year! They alone make sure that this release is excellent — and a worthy continuation of the End Times releases so far!

The Magghot Lords are slightly less impressive, but still a fairly strong part of the release. It’s their bad fortune to be released alongside a kit that one-ups just about everything they bring to the table.

This goes double for Gutrot Spume: On his own, he would be an excellent plastic character. Compared to the fantastic Putrid Blightkings, he seems a bit lacklustre.

But it is a spectacular release indeed where even the weakest link in the chain manages to stand strong on its own! I for one cannot wait for the next End Times release — and I am not even a WFB player! This release has been excellent, and it provides us with lots of new toys and almost endless conversion possibilities — what’s not to like?

But what’s your take? Do you love or hate the new models? Or something in between? Have any conversion ideas to share? Did I miss something? I’d be happy to hear from you in the comments!

In any case and as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

My Descent into Chaos…

Posted in Chaos, Conversions, old stuff, paintjob, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2013 by krautscientist

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This summer marks the 25th anniversary of the first Realm of Chaos book, Slaves to Darkness. A truly seminal publication, outlining in detail the concept of chaos in the worlds of WFB and 40k (or, back then, Rogue Trader) in general and describing the followers of Khorne and Slaanesh in particular. Many hobbyists have fond memories of this momentous tome, and rightly so: Slaves to Darkness and its companion piece, The Lost and the Damned, put down the groundwork for the concept of chaos in Games Workshop’s intellectual properties and certainly launched a thousand chaos warbands.

Now, let’s start with a confession: I have never owned the genuine article. Not yet, at least. Shameful, I know, but by the time I got into the hobby in earnest, the rules set on which Realm of Chaos was based was already well on its way out, and the books were never even released in Germany in the first place.

Still, I will endeavour to do my small part in the celebration of this particular anniversary, both because I acknowledge the importance of the book in question and I have been drawn to chaos for all of my hobby life — more about that in a minute.

In honour of this anniversary, many hobbyists are posting great content about old and new hobby endeavours: Orrlyg (of RealmofChaos80s) and a gang of likeminded “Oldhammer” aficionados are planning a re-enactment of those glorious 3rd edition WFB battles of yore, keeping it truly oldskool with retro models, paintjobs and scenery. PDH, Neil101, Tears of Envy, Fulgrim and John Blanche are also marshalling their retro chaos forces, yet they are employing all the new and beautiful plastic parts at their disposal (their project is chronicled over at this Dakka thread: Go check it out!). Both groups are united in their attempt at celebrating both the release of a fantastic sourcebook and the glory of chaos in general ๐Ÿ˜‰

As for myself, I would like to take the middle road here, taking you on a trip down memory lane. And it WILL be a suitably retro trip, have no fear!

You see, I have always been a fan of chaos, as long as I’ve been in this hobby. From the chaos models that came with HeroQuest – some Warriors of Chaos, the Gargoyle (actually a stone effigy of a Bloodthirster of Khorne, though I didn’t know that at the time) and the Chaos Sorceror (arguably the coolest model in the box, and, invariably, the first to be lost…) – to the old WFB metal models, I was a fan.

So one day, during the mid-90s, I came across this box in a toy store in my hometown, of all places:

Don't ask me why I held on to those cardboard sleeves - I'm just a pack rat like that...

Don’t ask me why I held on to those cardboard sleeves – I’m just a pack rat like that…

Today, a whole regiment being released in one box does not seem like such a big deal, but back then, this was actually the first of the new plastic regiment boxes ever to be released by GW: Where older plastic kits would use the same sculpt over and over (except for a metal command group that had to be purchased seperately), this one allowed for limitless customisation. So without having any use for these (beyond a fuzzy prospect of being able to use them in [Advanced] HeroQuest) and without even knowing a single WFB rule, I purchased the kit in a heartbeat, hurried home and started working. To my young mind, the prospect of owning a complete regiment of badass guys in spiky armour was very much its own reward!

Without going into too much detail, the rest of that year was very busy with hobby activity: It saw me receiving a copy of the WFB boxed set (Bretonnia vs. Lizardmen, not what you’d call an ideal pairing…) and frantically working on my very first tabletop army ever. Here’s a look at the results of that work:

My first chaos army (1)
My very first chaos army,or actually: my first tabletop army, period. I still have a huge fondness for these guys, even though the sculpts are dated and most of the paintjobs are of a rather dubious quality at best. So in honour of Slaves to the Darkness‘ 25th anniversary, let me walk you through my first foray into the chaos wastes step by step. Some of it won’t be pretty, I fear, but I guess that this is only to be suspected when dealing with the dark gods…

 

Warriors of Chaos

Like I said, a regiment of regular warriors of chaos was the first thing to be finished. Here it is:

My first chaos army (10)
For some reason I never even got around to basing these guys. Oh well…
Apart from that, what can I say? I certainly went crazy with the different metal paints. And what is really interesting, for this regiment as well as for the rest of the army, is that both in assembling and painting the models, I tried to emulate the official photos on the box as closely as I could. Let me give you an example: Here’s the champion, musician and standard bearer from the back of the box:

My first chaos army (53)
My first chaos army (54)
And here’s the front rank of my own regiment:

My first chaos army (12)
Looking back now, I am amazed at how much I seem to have been afraid to break away from the colour schemes and assembly instructions set by GW back then. What’s more, I didn’t actually paint all the models in the unit in the same colour scheme, oh no: I happily experimented. Here’s the second rank of models from the same regiment:

My first chaos army (14)
Again, some of these are pretty close duplicates of models that appeared on the box. Compare the guy on the left with this:

My first chaos army (52)
Funny and sad at the same time, isn’t it? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Another thing I really struggled with in those days was painting “chaotic” faces. The bareheaded musician originally had a very pink face, until I touched it up later on:

My first chaos army (13)
Still not great, but that was really quite a challenge for me in those days!

All in all, these guys certainly aren’t fantastic by any stretch of the imagination. But they were my first regiment ever, and I feel very nostalgic about them. I have repeatedly considered cannibalising this regiment for bitz (especially the standard), but I always held back due to my fondness for them. And I am still rather happy with that small hand painted banner I added to the standard bearer (on a related note, I stopped counting how many times I had to reattach his metal arm because it had broken off — as a matter of fact, it even broke off once during this recent photo session…):

My first chaos army (11)

 

Retro Warriors of Chaos

Now these are probably the oldest plastic models in my first WoC army: A box of old plastic WoC given to me as a present by my buddy Phil. Though these come from a time where getting a plastic regiment meant getting the same model over and over again, with only a metal command group added to break up the monotony, I still love them for the simple fact that they look like bigger, meaner versions of the chaos warriors that came with HeroQuest. In any case, it made a lot of sense to draft them into my growing chaos army. So that’s what I did:

My first chaos army (16)
Since I didn’t have any command models for this squad, I had to get creative for the first time: The unit’s champion was created by painting him golden and adding a spike to his helmet — a rather lame conversion, admittedly, but these guys don’t exactly lend themselves to easy conversion. The one thing I am still quite proud of after all these years is the converted standard bearer: I drilled a hole into the model’s left hand, using toothpicks, a length of string and and some skulls to construct the banner pole. The banner itself was a freehand done by me in Citadel Paints on paper. Check it out:

My first chaos army (17)
Not true art, to be sure. And maybe it looks a tad too much like an undead banner, with the skull blotting out the Khorne rune, but I still rather like the design — and it was completely my own.

Once again, the models were painted to emulate the paintjobs on the official box, although I don’t have a photo to prove it ๐Ÿ˜‰

My first chaos army (18)

 

Chaos Knights

Shortly after releasing the plastic WoC regiment, GW also offered a box of chaos knights based on the same basic sculpt: These use the same bodies, helmets and arms, but come with additional metal legs, weapon arms and bitz to make a unit of five knights. The knights themselves ended up looking like this:

My first chaos army (6)
The horses are standard GW fare from those days. However, the kit came with dedicated metal heads to make the horses look more chaotic. As you can see, I was getting a little more ambitious with my basing, adding moss and small rocks in addition to the horrible green flock of those days.

And here’s the whole regiment:

My first chaos army (4)
The paintjob is, once again, an attempt at faithfully recreating the “official” version. The banner, however, is just lazy, even for my standard back then…

My first chaos army (49)

My first chaos army (5)
The unit featured another bareheaded musician, so I got to take another shot at painting a face warped an discoloured by chaos:

My first chaos army (7)
A bit heavy on the eyeliner, perhaps…

Back when I painted these, it felt like I was actually managing to make them look 100% like the box art. In hindsight, I was deceiving myself a bit there, but these guys taught me the challenges of painting and assembling cavalry (twice as much stuff to paint before the model’s done, plus they are even more difficult to line up in a regiment).

 

Warriors of Chaos with Halberds

And yet another kit based on the same sculpt. Like the Chaos Knights, this box came as a plastic/metal hybrid kit, with a set of metal halberd arms included to allow for a different equipment loadout. Later revisions would roll the regular hand weapons and halberds into one kit, with everything made of plastic, but that time was still a ways off (funnily enough, today’s WoC have actually returned to the optional weapons done in a separate medium – Finecast, in this instance — talk about retro…). Anyway, of course I had to buy this one as well! ๐Ÿ˜‰

My first chaos army (8)
Anyway, this regiment is the fourth and final unit in the army, The red and bronze paintjob seems like a taste of the World Eaters that were to come later in my hobby life. Alas, it’s once again nothing more than a retread of the ‘Eavy Metal paintjob:

My first chaos army (55)
Again, I even duplicated the model’s poses and combinations of bitz. It’s hard to believe how scared I must have been to break away from the pretty pictures on the front of the box back then…

All of that notwithstanding, this regiment is probably the one that has best managed to hold up. Red and bronze never goes out of fashion for a servant of the dark gods, after all. And by this time, I was actually beginning to find my feet regarding assembly, painting and basing.

My first chaos army (9)
Since most of the models were based on the same basic sculpt, the regiments in the army still seem pretty homogenous, even though each one’s a different colour. Back then, though, that was actually an intended effect as often as not. You see, Chaos armies back then were based on the concept of champions and their respective retinues. If you wanted to build an army, you created a warlord and were then allowed to spend the same amount of points on his followers. Then you moved on to the next warlord, and so on. So each Chaos army was centered around two or three champions leading their very own retinue into battle, with one of them the supreme general of the force.

So, it won’t surprise you to learn that I also built and painted some warlords for my army:

 

Lord Algeroth the Black

Yes, I realise the name for this guy was actually nicked from Warzone’s very own Khorne-expy. Apart from that, though, this model was my first army general ever, so I really gave it my all. And since GW kits weren’t as easy to obtain back then as they are now, I had to plan this one out in theory. Then, one summer day, I braved the sweltering heat, travelled an hour to the next bigger city by train to reach the only available FLGS in my vincinity and was lucky enough to find the two kits I needed: a Juggernaut of Khorne (complete with a World Eaters rider I gave away, in my idiocy…) and a champion of chaos on a chaos steed. The rider received a new mount, I painted the resulting model, and that was the birth of Algeroth the Black, Exalted Champion of Khorne:

My first chaos army (23)
Granted, building this model was as easy as taking a rider from one kit and plunking him down on a different steed. But back then, I didn’t realise that I could ever possible achieve anything more ingenious than this…

My first chaos army (20)
My first chaos army (22)
My first chaos army (21)
My first chaos army (19)
Once again, the paintjob may seem a little slapdash in hindsight, but back then, this was pretty much the pinnacle of my abilities. To be honest, I still like the blending on the horns. I remember writing into the character’s background that he had managed to defeat a Bloodletter champion, wearing the daemon’s skull for a helmet as proof of his power.

Anyway, you possibly won’t believe how proud I was of this model…
He is also a huge chunk of metal and actually quite heavy: I bet you could cause serious injury to someone by throwing this model in their face…

 

Baal, the Red Duke

Based on the concept of army composition outlined above, Algeroth really needed a right hand man. And I still had that chaos steed lying around. And I had always really liked the Red Duke, an Vampire Counts model from an old campaign setting. So when I had the chance of snatching it up one day at the FLGS, I did and used it to build my chaos army’s second in command:

My first chaos army (24)
Once again, building the model was basically achieved by combining the rider with a different steed (I still have the original skeleton horse in my bitzbox to this day!). I also added a plastic shield from the WoC sprue, and that was it. I even kept fairly closely to the “official” paintjob for the character (AGAIN!), but in all fairness, I believe the Duke makes for a fairly convincing chaos lord: Granted, he does not fit the “huge, burly northmen” look established in later years, but back then, the official fluff had many disinfranchised nobles, criminals and glory hounds from the Empire and Bretonnia escape to the northern wastes, so it was rather plausible that this character had originated in one of the more civilised regions of the Warhammer world.

Anyway, I still like the sculpt of the Duke a lot, especially that wickedly shaped sword of his!

My first chaos army (25)
I actually remember painting that horse before going to school, at six in the morning. Yes, I was that hooked on getting this army finished!

Again, the bare face was giving me a bit of trouble:

My first chaos army (26)
Back then, I was really happy with how this had turned out. Today, though: not so much ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Chaos Sorcerer

As an adamant worshipper of Khorne, I have never had much use for magic users and psykers in most of my armies. Still, one of my buddies gave me a set of two old metal chaos sorcerers as a birthday gift, back in the day, and I liked one of them so much that painted it the same day I received it:

My first chaos army (29)
Neither the paintjob nor the sculpt have aged all that gracefully, to be honest. And what’s more, due to my army being singularly devoted to Khorne, this poor fellow never even got a name. Neither did he see any action on the battlefield. Oh well…

The two models also came with a pair of classic familiars (quite a bit of bang for the buck, actually). Here’s one of them:

My first chaos army (32)
This little guy always reminded me of the Gargoyle race in the Ultima series of computer games, so he was painted accordingly.

Here he is, together with his master:

My first chaos army (30)

 

Khardaos Lorimar

And finally, the last WFB chaos general I ever built and painted — or rather, started to build and paint. Some of you may recognise his last name ๐Ÿ˜‰ The first name was put together from the dark language table at the back of the sixth edition WoC army book. It’s supposed to mean “Daemon of Wrath”, which, in all fairness, is probably a pretty good name for a champion of the blood god!

Anyway, the model was heavily based on a chaos champion named Haargroth who appeared as a custom champion of Khorne in the sixth edition WoC army book. He uses the body of an old Bloodletter champion, Orc arms and an axe spliced together from two WoC plastic halberds. The head came from an old Slaanesh sorcerer, of all things. I also added some Space Marine shoulder pads and some spikes. The red was actually achieved by using the old GW Red Ink, which was pretty great for achieving a glistening, bloody look. I was pretty saddened when my last pot dried up…

My first chaos army (28)
My first chaos army (27)

This model, along with an accompanying regiment, should have marked the next expansion for my Chaos army for the sixth edition of WFB. Alas, it was not to be: The army was last used for a friendly game during the mid 2000s (My buddy Frankie pounded me into the ground with his Dark Elves, and I deserved losing for being far too hesitant and cowardly in the way I used my army), and after that, the whole hobby just fell by the wayside for a couple of years. As a matter of fact, even before then, I had begun to feel more interested in 40k, but even that was suspended until I got back into the hobby in late 2010.

So yeah, that is my first army ever.

My first chaos army (2)
Over the years, I’ve felt the urge to nick some rare metal piece from this army now and again, destroying one of the old models in the process. In the end, though, I have always resisted the urge: It may not be pretty. It may be thoroughly unoriginal. But it is also the first tabletop army I have ever managed to complete (insofar as a tabletop army can ever be truly complete…), and I could never cannibalise it for bitz.

 

Right, I hope you found this at least somewhat interesting. And hopefully my vintage paintjobs didn’t offend you too much. There’s actually more where this came from, but that will have to wait until the next post. Until then, feel free to let me know what you think or share any chaos-related stories of your own. I’d love to hear from you in the comments section!

Here’s to chaos! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Apostle of War

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2013 by krautscientist

Not only am I a great fan of building characters for my World Eaters army (as evidenced by many, many posts on this blog), I also enjoy having models to represent must – if not all – of the possible selections from the Codex. What’s more, I am constantly trying come up with conversions and kitbashes that put a spin on the ideas presented in the book and make the models fit my army’s background: My Chaos Spawn are former World Eaters and still retain some of the gladiatorial feel typical of the legion. My champions and officers are “Huntmasters”, accomplished hunters out to run down their prey. Indeed, most of my army is designed with the hunting background firmly in mind, and for each entry in the codex, I try to come up with a model that is not only clearly recognisable, but also makes sense within the context of the army’s overall look and feel.

The Dark Apostle HQ selection was one that had me stumped so far. You see, for me, the Dark Apostle will always remain a character type firmly connected to the Word Bearers legion. I also wanted to build my own model for a possible Dark Apostle instead of the Finecast one released by GW (though the model is, of course, really cool). So after a bit of thought, I figured that I had two possibilities:

  1. Make the Apostle a Word Bearer that had been assigned to the 4th assault company during the Great Crusade and had been staying with them ever since.
  2. Come up with a way to create a “Khornate” Dark Apostle that made sense within the framework of my army’s background.

While the first option may be pretty promising from a narrative standpoint, I somehow just wasn’t feeling it: While the Dark Apostle Azalon actually appears in the background of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt and definitely had a hand in their corruption, he’s a character I would maybe like to spin off into a separate army project one of these days. So I thought about making my own apostle as a member of the 4th assault company.

Several Khorne players have come up with some kind of “blood priest”, inciting his brothers to even greater rage during battle. But while that idea was also very cool, it still wasn’t what I was looking for. Instead, I thought about what the members of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt would possibly use as a means of bolstering their morale and drive them forward. And since it’s a hunting party we are talking about here, the answer was rather simple: a horn.

My Dark Apostle would be a hornblower, wielding an ancient andย  treasured artifact to call the warriors of the 4th to arms and order them forward. To my mind, it makes a lot of sense that the sound of their most revered warhorn should serve as a surge of motivation to the legionaries of the 4th!

So far so good! Now when it came to actually building the model, everything boiled down to a lucky coincidence, as is so often the case: When I swung by the FLGS the other day after a particularly horrible day at work, I couldn’t help but treat myself to one of GW’s brand new plastic Chaos Lords.

While I hadn’t been 100% sold on the model before, this guy is actually pretty great once you see him firsthand! So I sat down and did a couple of really easy changes to the model to transform him into my “counts as” Dark Apostle. Take a look:

Apostle of War WIP (2)
Apostle of War WIP (1)
Apostle of War WIP (5)
Apostle of War WIP (6)
As you can see, it didn’t take much to make the model look quite different: I carefully cut off the hand holding the glaive and used a different head. Oh, and I also “converted” the base to fit on a 40k round base. Apart from that, in a move that is fairly atypical for me, the model remains very close to the original design.

While the head that comes with the model is much nicer than the pictures in WD would have you believe, and while it has a really interesting “Herne the Hunter” vibe going on, it was a little to over the top for the look I wanted to achieve. So I used a champion head from the Skullcrusher kit instead. The Khorne rune on the forehead is quite a nice touch, and while I had originally planned to shave off the small set of horns, they somehow really complement the rest of the model rather well, don’t you think?

Apostle of War WIP (3)
Apostle of War WIP (4)

Apostle of War WIP (10)

The huge horn came from the Chaos Daemon Bloodcrusher kit and is nicely decorated with different chaotic runes. I originally wanted to use the even cooler horn from the Skullcrushers, but that one was unfortunately right-handed, so I had little choice in the matter. In any case, the horn really looks like an ancient and powerful artifact of the Warp…

Apostle of War WIP (9)
Granted, this guy still looks very much like a WFB model. But even though I might have been slightly tempted to make an even more involved conversion out of this model, I was too in love with the lines and silhouette of the model to further cut it up. And while I am not one to be easily swayed by GW’s marketing speak, their gushing about how great the model’s sword and cape are designed is, for once, really true. Take a look:

Apostle of War WIP (8)
What’s really great about the new Chaos Lord is the depth of the model: He doesn’t look nearly as flat as the plastic models of old. However, this also comes at a price: The parts only fit together in a fairly specific way, so if you want to convert this guy, you should keep that in mind.

It’s fairly easy to swap in a couple of new forearms (and weapons) and the neck cavity will accept pretty much any head you choose to put there. The model could even conceivably be left off the sculpted base. Beyond that, though, converting this guy could get pretty complicated though. Still, knowing people like GuitaRasmus, PDH or migsula, I think we can rest assured that we will be seeing a couple of rather striking re-designs sooner rather than later…

Another word of advice: If you want to make painting this model a lot easier for yourself, you should think about what to glue together and what to leave apart before painting. Personally speaking, I would advise you to work in these four sub-assemblies:

Apostle of War WIP (11)
A: You can definitely glue together the base and small rocky outcrop with a part of the model’s right foot on it. If you want to keep the glaive, this will be quite a bit more complicated, since the weapon potentially connects sub-assemblies A and B. Since I just cut it off, I made my life that much easier ๐Ÿ˜‰

B: The cape and forearms can be glued together: You can still add or remove the rest of the body (C) afterwards without a hitch. Again, see above for possible difficulties if you keep the glaive in the model’s right hand.

C: The model’s main body and right lower leg can also be glued together. There’s really only one possible position here. Even so, you might want to dryfit this part with sub-assembly A to make sure everything fits together.

D: Whatever head you want to use should probably be kept separate until after painting.

Oh, and one more thing: This guy is huge! Especially if you use the sculpted base! While he is a little less bulky than a Terminator, he almost reaches up to the same height as my Lorimar conversion (base included).

All in all, I am really pleased with this guy right now: I may add a small bit or two (and possibly a Dark Vengeance Chosen backpack, to make the model look a little more 40k), but he is pretty gorgeous and quite majestic as he is. I also think he makes for a rather convincing Dark Apostle in the context of my whole army. And I can also recommend the WoC plastic Lord, even though the price is nothing to laugh at.

Anyway, let me know what you think! And as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Apostle of War WIP (7)

Chaos Fantasy

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2013 by krautscientist

Since taking a look at the new DA release and all the potential for conversions turned out to be a lot of fun, it stands to reason I have to do the same with the new WFB Warriors of Chaos release, seeing how these twisted guys are even closer to my heart than a couple of loyalist dogs: What’s more, Warriors of Chaos were my first love in WFB and actually the first tabletop army I ever managed to complete, so while it’s very unlikely that I will ever return to WFB, I still have a huge soft spot in my heart for these guys!

Chaos players really have much cause for celebration at the moment, with a new book for the Chaos Space Marines released last October, a huge WoC update right now and books for Daemons in 40k and WFB already in the works, supposedly. And even though some of the models may be a little hit-or-miss so far, I feel that’s quite easily forgivable given the sheer amount of stuff released for chaos players. So let’s take a look at the latest slew of releases, as I gather some spur of the moment ideas on what could possibly be done with the new kits…

As per my usual routine, I’ll probably mostly talk about how these kits can be used in 40k in one way or another. I hope you won’t mind…

So let’s start with the characters:

 

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Throgg, King of Trolls

Let’s begin with this huuuge Finecast model. I love this guy, period. He’s everything that a troll king should be, in my opinion. I love the face, I love the pose, I even like the (slightly ridiculous) cape. What really makes this model stand out, though, are the small details: The magical crown lodged on one of his tusks. The way the model has a pretty coherent shape overall but is still wracked with mutation (take a look at that teeth gnashing maws on Throgg’s belly and leg). Without a doubt, this is a worthy centrepiece for any army. There may be no conceivable way of using him in 40k (at least not without lots of harebrained explanations and/or extensive conversions that would probably destroy what’s so great about the model), and I will also very likely never buy this guy. But I still think it’s a marvelous model! Great job!

 

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Vilitch the Curseling

Actually my second favourite model in this release — I wonder what’s wrong with me ๐Ÿ˜‰ But let’s take a closer look:
While some people prefer the more “conventional” look Vilitch has in the older artwork, I really love just how alien he looks: The armour on the bigger brother immediately reads as Tzeentchian, while the actual Vilitch looks nightmarish and twisted enough (he is also eyeless…brrrr): I think it’s a cool idea to have Vilitch fused to his brother’s body in a haphazard and asymmetrical (this is Tzeentch, remember?) fashion, instead of merely being carried piggyback. My only gripe is that the smaller brother’s staff should have been quite a bit shorter (it just looks extremely impractical as is), so I would probably shorten it to just above the “bandaged” part of the grip. All in all, this model shows a more stylised look that I am normally not exceptionally fond of – we’ll get to that in a minute – but for some reason, it works here.

Again, I am really not sure this guy has any use for 40k, but if I actually still played WFB, this would be a must-buy for me.

 

New WoC models (3)

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Plastic Chaos Lord

Well, this guy deserves kudos for the mere fact that he’s plastic — I love plastic characters! Apart from that, the model’s quite alright. I don’t mind the static pose too much, since we are talking about a mighty warlord here, and he should exude quiet menace. The head seems a little iffy, although that should be easily solvable with a simple head change. The lance is cool enough, but seems like too much of a good thing: I really can’t see this guy fighting with a broadsword and a lance at the same time. Personally speaking, I’d just leave it off or replace it with something else.

All in all, this guy is pretty cool, nothing more and nothing less. His main importance will possibly lie in serving as a base for myriads of conversions in both WFB and 40k, and it should be fairly easy to transform him into a follower of a specific chaos god (or a CSM, for that matter). I really expect this guy to be the model that everyone will love to convert. As a matter of fact, I could even see him used as a base for INQ28 conversions!ย  So even though I am not totally floored by the model, I am pretty likely to pick up one of these, just for the heck of it.

 

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Chaos Chariot/Gorebeast Chariot

This kit comes with options to build either the Chaos Chariot you see above and the Gorebeast Chariot that is being pulled by a single …well, Gorebeast actually:

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

A new chariot kit has been overdue for WoC, obviously. Let’s see how this one stacks up:
On the one hand, I like the supposed flexibility of the kit and the fact that it’s plastic (I LOVE plastic, in case you didn’t know ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). According to WD, the kit also comes with lots of head and weapon options and additional bitz, so that’s a plus as well.

On the other hand, there’s something going on with the design of this kit that I am not really all that fond of. Let me show you what I mean. by taking a closer look at one of the chariot crew:

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Well, this guy is definitely screaming Chaos alright: He’s huge and imposing. He’s heavily armoured. He’s also quite spiky. But the bold lines and pointy bitz make him look almost too comic-book-like for my taste. GW’s Chaos is usually baroque and lavish, with a side of spiky and feral. Yet this guy is almost too stylised for his own good. Don’t get me wrong, the model is cool, taken on its own. Yet when placed next to some of the older models (or even some of the not-so-old models from the first wave of the release), he looks almost cartoony by comparison. A trace of the same element is also present in the Vilitch model. Yet where Vilitch manages to transform this otherness into an actual part of what’s cool about the character, the crew member above just slightly looks like the animรฉ version of Chaos for some reason. Does this make any sense?
Maybe I am putting too much thought into this…

 

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Forsaken

When the first, fuzzy images for this release were “leaked” onto the net, I was really thrilled for these! I hoped they would give us yet another alternative for constructing mutated followers of chaos. Yet where the 40k Possessed kit is very cool but also very “creppy crawly” visually, I had hoped for these to be slightly more subtle in execution.

Well, silly me, because if anything, the Forsaken are even more over the top than their 40k brethren. As a matter of fact, they seem like a shout out to the old mutation sprue released by GW during the early 2000s for use in both WFB and 40k. Then again, while some of those mutations may look slightly silly, there’s also a couple of really nice and disturbing ideas in this kit, along with mutations that clearly recall specific chaos gods.

I also really feel that the …thing emerging from this guy’s mouth…

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

…could be used to build a fantastic Daemonhost for INQ28.

So what to do? I can easily see these as a viable alternative to further spice up your mutation-wracked forces in both WFB and 40k. The kit should come with lots and lots of interesting bits, and by the look of it it should be fairly compatible with most other (chaos) kits. Whether that’s worth 40,00 Euros a pop is up to you, of course. Personally, I would have hoped for something a little less hammy and more understated (and thus even more disturbing). But that’s just my personal taste, of course.

 

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Dragon Ogres

I have to be honest with you: The very concept of “Dragon Ogres” always seemed a little iffy to me. They seemed to be a part of the setting for no other reason than somebody thinking “Dude, wouldn’t it be awesome to have Ogres with DRAGON BODIES??? Let’s totally do that!” somewhere along the way. Still, this kit has been a long time coming, and it is really, really nice, if you ask me: The Dragon Ogres are huge and imposing (fortunately eschewing the slightly silly charm of the Ogre Kingdoms models). The design is great, and I can see these being a joy to paint as well, with the slightly larger scale lending itself rather well to all kinds of tricks and effects.

From a 40k perspective, I cannot resist thinking about using one of these as a base for a Khornate Daemon Prince. Just look at this guy:

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Wouldn’t he just be perfect for the role with some small additions and changes? Oh well, one can always dream…

 

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Slaughterbrute / Mutalith Vortex Beast

One huge beast per army seems to be par for the course now, so this was only to be expected. In this case, it’s a combi-kit that allows you to build either the Slaughterbrute or the …other thing –no way I am typing that out again ๐Ÿ˜‰ The Slaughterbrute (shown above) is sure to make the mouths of chaos player the world over water, and rightly so. It’s a nice and chaotic design, and if you ask me, this is pretty much what the Scyla Anfingrimm mini should have looked like in the first place.

Anyway, a couple of more detailed impressions, if I may:

First of all, the multi-eyed (and multi-tongued, ewww) head looks decidedly non-GW, if you know what I mean. I am not sure whether that’s a good thing. In any case, the kit obviously comes with an alternate head that is freaking awesome (and looks very Khornate to boot). Take a look:

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

I also love how there seems to be some kind of harness/chaos artifact thing rammed into the beast’s back — maybe as some kind of binding or incantation? What I really hate are the smaller arms emerging from the model’s uhh…nipples? Anyway, while they certainly make the beast look more chaotic, they also mess with the very strong silhouette and the points where they emerge look really silly and lazily designed, which is a shame on an otherwise great model.

This big guy could easily be used as a “counts as” Defiler or Greater Daemon in games of 40k (until we are finally getting the rumored new plastic GDs, that is). I am also looking forward to seeing the crazy conversions some of the more inspired hobbyists come up with — I, for one, would love to see the likes of GuitaRasmus or Biohazard have a field day with this kit! The only reason that I am not totally blown away is the fact that the logistics of building and painting such a huge model don’t appeal to me all that much. But again, that is just a matter of personal preference.

Now let’s look at that other …thing as well:

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Wow, just…wow! It actually takes quite a while to a) make sense of this thing and b) realise that this beast is based on the exact same body also used for the Slaughterbrute. I have repeatedly stated that I am not a huge fan of the “mutated beyond any reason” look. That said, this model perfectly embodies chaos, and that is an achievement all of its own. It also goes without saying that followers of Tzeentch and/or Slaanesh will probably cry with joy at this particular model. So while I’ll gladly pass, I still acknowledge that this is a pretty extraordinary piece. It should also be usable in 40k, similar to the possible uses for the Slaughterbrute I outlined above.

Oh, one thing: That chaos portal thing one the beast’s back looks really cool:

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

I also love the paintjob on this part and sincerely hope it can be duplicated by mere mortals (like me).
As a final remark on this kit, it somehow feels like this is a dream come true for those who follow Khorne, Tzeentch and Slaanesh, yet Nurgle followers seem to get the short end of the stick. Then again, Nurgle players should be used to the necessary conversions by now… ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

All in all, some smaller nitpicks notwithstanding, I think that this is a rather strong release for chaos players. While the price tags are once again unlikely to elicit responses of joy (and rightly so), chaos players for both 40k and WFB now have a huge menu of (plastic) kits to tug into. And if you don’t like any part of the release, well, there’s nobody stopping you from coming up with something better: Converting stuff is what being a chaos player is all about, anyway ๐Ÿ˜‰

So what do you think of this new release? Any ideas? Do you need to vent your anger? Let me know in the comments section!

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