This is the group photo of my painted Chaos Knight force for use in Warhammer 40,000. I don’t think it adds up any particular size of game at the moment but last time I played I used two Despoilers and one War Dog and we had a satisfactory game at 1000 points. I’m looking forward to being able to meet my friends again for some in-person gaming.
This is a second Despoiler for my Warhammer 40,000 Chaos Knights. There isn’t much to add about the Despoiler’s performance in-game since firstly I haven’t played any games of 40K due to COVID-19 and secondly the entire ruleset has changed underneath us since our last games. Like her predecessor I magnetised all the weapons so in theory I can pick and choose the most effective options for gaming. I also magnetised the waist for ease of transport.
I deliberately didn’t go mad with ‘Chaos-ifying’ this Knight as I wanted it to represent a machine that was recently captured and repurposed in the service of the Dark Gods. I recall a story from my early days in the hobby (presumably from Epic) about Titans being manufactured during the hardest fighting of the Horus Heresy and being sent into battle with their paint still wet. That was the idea I was going for here. I was a bit worried that the green wouldn’t work so well with the white pauldrons and weapon but I’m really pleased with the outcome here.
The baddies who took over this Despoiler only had enough time for a couple of crude daubings in honour of their dark masters. In retrospect I think I would have been better served making the line on the Chaos symbol thicker but I’m not going to change her now.
Next on the painting table: Yuoko Hamasaki.
This is the second War Dog for my Chaos Knights in Warhammer 40,000. There’s probably not much to add from a mechanical perspective since I posted her sister machine; needless to say I haven’t been getting a lot of in-person gaming done lately.
I wanted this War Dog to be a nice deep red in honour of the Blood God. As with the other Knights, I kept the machinery parts a metallic colour and went for primary colours on the armour plates. I’m pretty pleased with the overall effect, though it is certainly true that the War Dog looks better at tabletop distance where the fairly binary transitions from dark to light red on the hull aren’t quite so obvious. The kit was a lot of fun to assemble and paint; just one more of the big Knights to do now and this project is complete (-ish).
I dedicate this post to Ann‘s Sixty Day Miniatures of Magnitude Painting Challenge. As a giant, terrifying engine of war dedicating herself to slaughter in the name of unholy powers, I feel that this War Dog fits the bill nicely. Many thanks to Ann for curating this particular internet challenge.
I used head from a Juggernaut of Khorne instead of one of the standard heads.
Next on the painting table: Gatorman Witch Doctor.
This is a War Dog, the second miniature (though I use that word quite loosely here) for my Warhammer 40,000 Chaos Knights force. This is the smallest unit available in the codex and I think that it wants to act as a sort of forward element to keep melee threats off my big Knights. This particular one is armed with a reaper chain-cleaver and a thermal spear along with my choice of carapace weapons, and so I believe the ideal role for it would be to hunt fairly light vehicles. The chain-cleaver does allow it some game against infantry as it can make sweep attacks if I just need volume of attacks to thin out a horde. Unlike the big Knights, War Dogs can’t just saunter out of melee without penalty so it feels quite nice to be able to discourage tarpitting by having an actual weapon to fight back with.
Like the Despoiler, the War Dog is just a Chaos version of an Imperial Knight; in this case the Armiger Warglaive. I bought a few bit of Chaos bits to make it obvious that this one is not an Imperial lackey, but tragically forgot to attach any of them when I was assembling it. Oh well, I guess I have more for the other one since they come in boxes of two. Instead, I painted the whole War Dog and then set about decorating the carapace with a giant Chaos symbol as though it had been captured and evil cultists were defiling it with their graffiti. Since the hull colouring was a light cream colour that I thought looked quite nice I decided to do this in a bright red colour. I have seen one on the internet somewhere with a similar marking but where the owner used Blood For The Blood God paint for an even cooler effect, but sadly I don’t have any.
There is a choice of two carapace weapons, a melta gun and a heavy stubber. Since they have a neat little push-in plug, I didn’t bother to magnetise these but I can still swap between them as needed. I think that in general I want to use the cheaper option of the stubber so that I can spend more points on the bigger Knights. I also haven’t glued the War Dog torso to its waist yet as this could make it easier to transport. The balance feels a bit precarious so this might get changed after a couple of games on the tabletop.
Next on the painting table: Charm Warders.
This is a Despoiler, a Lord of War choice for my newly-started Chaos Knight force in Warhammer 40,000. It’s a truly huge machine, standing about 6 inches tall and towering over the standard infantry in the game. When Gareth, Gary and I started playing 40K again after a fairly long break I wasn’t even aware that Knights were an actual proper force; I was vaguely aware of them being available from Forge World, the branch of GW notorious for expensive-but-gorgeous resin and highly variable rules quality. I tried Chaos Daemons but realised that painting swarms of nearly identical infantry wasn’t for me any more. Then I had some games with Tyranids, but found that the units I liked (i.e. the big gribbly ones) aren’t very good and 40K balance isn’t really tight enough to play bad units against good ones; indeed after a particularly memorable thrashing at the hands of Gareth’s Imperial Fists, I was very despondent about the game in general. Luckily one night in the pub they told me that Knights are indeed a full army now in 40K with their own codices and plastic models. One test game and I took the plunge… here is the first one.
The Despoiler was very enjoyable to paint, perhaps benefiting from its sheer size. I suspect that the paintwork won’t hold up to close scrutiny but I’m perfectly satisfied that it is ready for the tabletop. I’ve painted the shoulder pads and weapons with white livery and will keep them the same for any other Knights this size so that I can mix and match weapons as needed. The rest of it was a deep blue that just felt right when I tried it out on one of the shin guards.
Chaos Knights basically get built from four discrete kits, three of which are shared with the Imperial options. This one, a Despoiler, is one of the ones that is also an Imperial kit and it doesn’t come with Chaos accoutrements. So my first port of call was to hit bits sellers and get some Chaos bling to attach, most notably the shoulder pads and face plate. I also raided my own bits box for a few odds and ends left over from Slaanesh and Nurgle Daemon projects. Finally, I figured that such a big project deserved a resin base.
Since this is such a large kit I also decided to try magnetising it. I followed an online guide with only very minor variations and have magnets at the waist (only for storage purposes) and on all the weapons: arms, shoulder and carapace. It turned out to be surprisingly easy to do and I’m quite pleased with the results.
Next on the painting table: Anastasia Di Bray
Here is Horticulous Slimux, a leader for my slowly growing Chaos Daemons project in Warhammer 40,000. So far I haven’t actually tried him on the table so no comments on performance this time. Partly this is because we’re playing small games of 40K at the moment and there isn’t much room for extra characters if I want to actually achieve objectives. It is also relevant that Horticulous Slimux’s special rules mainly affect Beasts of Nurgle, of which I have none so far; perhaps eventually I’ll get round to picking some of them up and he can lead a little contingent of them across the tabletop. On the other hand, I am quite a fan of his story in the books; he’s basically a classical grumpy gardener of the sort you’d find complaining to Poirot about the damage that some unfortunate murder victim had done to his lovingly tended petunias.
I painted the miniature in two separate parts; first the rider (who I assume is actually Horticulous Slimux) and then the snail-beastie (uncredited, tragically). The rider was treated pretty much like my Plaguebearers, although I took a little more care with the skin tones than with the infantry. The snail got a bit more attention, as befits it’s greater stature; however the majority of the time was not on the shell or body but rather on the various bits of bling hanging off it at all angles. All in all a very enjoyable process; easy to assemble and to paint.
A close-up of the snail’s face; kind of cute in its own way.
The Nurgling used as a carrot to entice the snail forward. I get the impression that the GW sculptors love to put in silly touches like that.
The main character, Horticulous Slimux. I guess that is meant to be a pipe he’s smoking, though it looks more like he’s just chewing on a bone. I’m not really sure what the devil-carrot thing is supposed to be either.
Next on the painting table: Kwaak Slickspine & Gub, Croak Sorcerers.
This lot are Plague Drones, which as you probably have guessed from the ‘Plague’ in the name are part of the Nurgle contingent of my Chaos Daemon army for Warhammer 40,000. Like the rest of the Nurgle forces their main draw is being inefficient to kill with almost any weapon in the game, but this unit is slightly unusual in being quite mobile to boot. I’ve had a bit of success throwing them down the other army’s throat as soon as possible to buy a bit of time while the Plaguebearers slog across the board and clog up objectives. One almost downside to the Plague Drones is that they have several wounds. This might not seem like a problem but in an army that gets such a benefit from resilience, it seems like a waste to give the big guns on the other side of the board something to shoot at. Or, to put it another way, I love it when the giant death cannon facing me is forced to ‘waste’ it’s shot by doing nothing more than vapourising a single Plaguebearer (and sometimes not even that considering the invulnerable save and Disgustingly Resilient rule).
I’ve mixed up the two skin colours from the other Nurgle Daemons here, with the mounts in green and the riders in brown. I agonised for a while about how to do the carapace and wings and eventually decided to keep them a bit duller to better contrast with the green of the flies’ bodies. I’m still not completely happy with that look but the rest of them are pretty much right where I was aiming so I’ll consider that a good outcome. Transporting these is proving to be a bit tricky as they’re covered in spiky, sticky-out bits; luckily half the games they’ve played in have been at my house.
Next on the painting table: Swamp Horror.
These glorious, cute little piles of goo are Nurglings, part of my ongoing Chaos Daemons project. As befits tiny creatures on a battlefield filled with tanks, superhumans and wizards, Nurglings are quite easy to kill and don’t do much damage. However they are quite cheap, very un-threatening, fairly inefficient to kill and can sit on objectives like champions while the rest of my army goes about the business of fighting.
Despite how amusing I find Nurglings, I decided to keep it as simple as possible when painting them. So it was a simple green wash over white undercoat, then pick out the mankiest bits in pink. I did consider giving a couple of the individual Nurglings a different colour just to liven them up a bit but getting into their backs with the paintbrush looked to be a bit awkward. Overall I’m pleased with how they look considering the effort needed to complete them.
Next on the painting table: Plague Drones
Here are the first ten Plaguebearers for my Chaos Daemon army. They fulfil my troops choice and appear to be fairly effective so I guess I’ll eventually end up with quite a few of them. In particular, the main benefit that Plaguebearers bring is being really inefficient to kill so I want to maximise that by taking the full-size unit of 30 so that they can maintain the benefit of their -1 to hit ability for as long as possible. When it comes to actually killing stuff, Plaguebearers are not my first choice. But they excel at sitting on objectives and not dying very fast, so usually I punt them onto an objective and / or ram them down the throat of something that specialises in massive single target damage and just let them grind it out over a few turns.
In contrast to the Poxbringer, I wanted this (first, perhaps of several) unit of Plaguebearers to sport green skin. As with the Poxbringer, I did this by applying two layers of Biel-Tan Green wash over a white undercoat. I deliberately kept to a minimal approach for detailing the miniatures since I expect to end up with 30, 60 or even more of these in my army, so most of the smaller spots / boils / etc on their bodies were not specifically picked out. I like the way that the green skin and bone weapons work together.
Next on the painting table: Nurglings.
This is a Poxbringer, the first miniature in a fledgling Chaos Daemon army for Warhammer 40,000 (and Age of Sigmar, at least in theory). In the time since I last played the game, all the Heralds have been renamed into something more silly and copyright-able; in this case the Poxbringer would previously have been a Herald of Nurgle. It’s a pretty cheap HQ choice and mainly benefits me by increasing the strength of other nearby Nurgle units and occasionally contributing some damage or similar with a psychic power. The few times I’ve been desperate enough to commit the Poxbringer to close combat have gone pretty poorly so I generally aim to keep it behind a big blob of Plaguebearers.
Furycat and I got the itch to play GW games again after a rather long break so we’ve been dipping in with 500 and 1000 point games between combination of my Daemons, his Space Marines and Gary’s Space Wolves. You can read a bit about his initial thoughts here: link. So far 8th edition has been quite entertaining, being fairly smooth on rules interactions and at least tolerably balanced (by GW standards). The missions are the main let down as we’re playing with the scenarios from the main rule book but I understand that there are alternative options available for us to research.
I’m splitting the skin tone of the Nurgle units between green and brown; as can clearly be seen the Poxbringer got brown. I’ve been trying a new approach of working mainly with washes for the bulk of the miniature, so in this case I started from a white undercoat and went straight in with two washes of Seraphim Sepia. Everything else is done in the ‘normal’ way; i.e. with paint first. I like the way that the purple guts contrast with the skin, but the bone of the weapon and tree / antler (?) thing sticking out of the Poxbringer’s back is probably a bit too close in tone. I couldn’t think of a clever way to fix that since I want to keep those bony colours consistent even for when I get to the units with green skin and so it needs to be something both slightly naturalistic and contrasting with green. Even with that, I like the result and feel that the Poxbringer will be a good start to my Chaos Daemons. One down, potentially hundreds still to go!
Next on the painting table: Plaguebearers.