Chaos Daemons!

Hey everybody!
It’s New Year’s Eve, so what better time to start talking about my next big new project?! I’m not about to go down the whole route of “2019 will be the year of…”, but I do want to start thinking about working on something that will be quite new (well, kind of) for the year ahead, alongside all the other stuff I’ll no doubt continue with. For 2019, for me, that new project is going to be Chaos Daemons – specifically, the opposing forces of Khorne and Slaanesh!

I’ve always wanted a Slaanesh daemons army, and for years have been buying daemonettes, only to then sell them off again, most recently over the summer this year, when I sold off all of the daemons that I’d bought for the project, instead just trying to focus on a couple of armies. Well, I’ve come to realise that I’m never going to be a one or two-army guy, but enjoy having a number of small forces, as they provide a useful way to stay focused on the hobby. When the previews for Wrath & Rapture started, it got me thinking again about those daemon plans, but oddly enough, the thing that really tipped me over the edge into getting back into daemons was the new Grey Knights project that I’ve now started working on!

At any rate, this month I’ve bought myself a couple of the Start Collecting boxes, one for each force, and for the time being I think they will be sufficient for my purposes here!

I’ve designed a list for 40k that will basically involve throwing all of my units into melee as quickly as possible. An all-melee army is something I’m not really used to with 40k, being a Necrons / Dark Eldar player, so it’s got something going for it there as a novelty factor! There is very little shooting in the Chaos Daemons book, especially if you’re staying god-specific, so I’m thinking that I will doubtless be using this list in conjunction with all of my Cultists that I’ve got plans for, pretty much in the manner of having the humans alongside the daemons they’ve managed to summon into the world.

Purely speaking about the daemons, however, I’ve got two very distinct lists that should look pretty good on the tabletop, I’m thinking.

I do like a lot of infantry, as I’ve mentioned a number of times recently, and this list definitely allows for a lot of bodies on the ground! Chapter Approved has been really kind to Daemons, and Slaanesh in particular has seen a number of points reductions – before CA landed, this list cost 975 points, but the Slaanesh units have seen enough drops that I’ve got a significant number of points back – I could easily get some Seekers in there now, or maybe a Skull Cannon if I wanted to try for some much-needed ranged firepower…

I mentioned the fact that I’m melee-heavy, and I think this is something that really interests me in this particular build, because it’s the sort of army that I will need to change my playstyle for. I wouldn’t say I tend to play games without lots of cover, but being mainly a shooty kinda guy, I think I always tend to look for the open spots to take advantage of my ranged weaponry. Now, I’ll need to learn how to use cover more to my advantage, and move up the board preserving as many units as possible. So that will definitely be interesting.

I have always wanted this sort of army, though – I think it stems back to my love of the card game, Warhammer: Invasion, a game that I still need to get on this blog at some point! I would almost invariably play Chaos though, and with as many Slaanesh cards as possible, followed up with as many Khorne cards. The Bloodletter artwork has always been somewhat iconic for me, so having an army with those daemons in it is definitely a long-held dream of mine!

I would also like to get the Greater Daemons in this list at some point – maybe if I took it to 2000 points I could manage to take the Cultist contingent alongside more daemons. I suppose that will be decided when GW decides to release a plastic Keeper of Secrets, though. I keep hearing rumours every so often, but I wonder if they were perhaps mistaken for the new Fiends. Wrath & Rapture does make me wonder if there are more wide-ranging plans for new Slaanesh, of course, so hopefully we’ll be able to get something to replace the awful finecast soon! (I don’t mean that in terms of the fact I hate finecast – the model is just ridiculous, and not in a weird way that I think it would work for Slaanesh, either!)

Bringing things up to 1500 points, though, will be the Chaos Cultist contingent, so let’s take a look at that right now. I’ve been through several iterations of how I want this list to look, but for the time being, I think I’ve struck on the version that will be the most enjoyable for me to build and paint.

There are still a decent number of points left over here to cope with any additions that I might want to make, but I think it should be a good, solid base for the army build overall. There’s a healthy use of some Blackstone Fortress miniatures, and the interesting addition of a Maulerfiend – a model that I was only tangentially aware of until I picked one up while browsing my local store recently. While I don’t intend to keep things separated on the battlefield, in my head it makes some nice sense to have a heavy beatstick in with the Cultists when they’re in melee, so it will act like a protection for them. The exalted champion is only really there because I like the model, but I’ve been thinking about changing him out for Obsidius Mallex – the only thing keeping me from doing so at the moment is that I want to keep the BF models as their own thing.

Talking with the manager of my local GW the other day, it seems that the Blackstone Fortress models are going to be released as their own thing to mark the 80 days for Vigilus to fall thing that we’ve got going on right now. Whether that means we’re getting just the multi-part Traitor Guardsmen etc, or if that specific range will be released with more models alongside it, I have no idea. I do hope that we see more new weird Chaos stuff like the Rogue Psykers and Negavolt Cultists, as those models are really opening a door to all manner of weird and wonderful stuff. I’d assume we’ll also be getting the second campaign book, wherein we’ll be getting more official 40k rules than came in the pamphlet within Blackstone Fortress, as I can’t imagine Traitor Guard will be stuck in that specific 7-man configuration forever. So I may well be re-writing the Chaos Cultist part of this list very soon!

I’m choosing to field this detachment as a Renegade Chapter, rather than going for one of the named Legions, so they get to advance and charge in the same turn, which is useful for the fact there are so many melee-orientated units in the list, so it’ll keep the theme going from the daemonic part of the army.

I’m really excited for a lot of the projects that I have on the go right now, and I think this one will really be a nice one to have going on in the background while I work on the other stuff that I want to get finished in 2019!

Slaanesh

Hey everybody!
Wrath & Rapture goes on pre-order today, so I think there’s no better time than to start rambling about a subject that is fairly close to my heart, being a long-time fan of the Dark Prince: let’s talk about the youngest of the Chaos gods, and perhaps the most problematic of them – Slaanesh, the Prince of Pleasure.

I’ve been a fan of the youngest of the Chaos gods pretty much since I learnt about the wonders of Warhammer. I’m sure you all think I’m some kind of pervert, after making that statement! But there has always been something quite interesting to me when you see the followers of Slaanesh in comparison with those of the other Chaos gods. They aren’t always brutal, half-mad killers, or putrid and disgusting rot-bringers. They can be quite elegant, with their slight and subtle mutations hidden beneath silks and velvets. I think this perhaps sums up a lot of the ideas behind Slaanesh pleasure cults in the Old World:

Warhammer Fantasy did a lot to form my opinion of Slaanesh, and while a lot of the emphasis there was on the debauchery and degeneracy, the basic idea of Slaanesh being the god of excess has been there all the way through. Cultists of Slaanesh may look pretty normal, save for a forked tongue, but the idea of something daemonic being hidden behind the glamour is definitely a powerful factor in the image of Slaanesh and what he represents.

Let’s talk for a moment about BDSM, though, and the overly-sexualised way Slaanesh has been portrayed in the past. Slaanesh is forever linked with the pain/pleasure principle, it seems, and I don’t think GW will ever remove themselves from it entirely. What was initially intended as something of a 1980s punk-style Chaos god has matured over the years, GW are definitely trying to play down the sexual nature of Slaanesh – presumably to make the range more palatable to their target market. I think this is a pretty sensible move, if I’m honest, as I think the hobby in general does struggle with an image problem a lot of the time, and having mostly-naked miniatures to play with does absolutely nothing to improve that image. I don’t want to be pushing around miniatures of naked women, as I kinda feel like it’s inappropriate and a bit too teen-angst-y for me. I mean, I’m 34 on Tuesday, so I don’t want people thinking I’m still in the mindset of a 14 year old. Of course, I’m not trying to tell anybody how to have their own kind of fun, but for me, things like the Juan Diaz Daemonettes or Seekers are just silly and childish, and I’m really glad GW have dressed the Daemonettes a little since then.

“Boobs for the Boob God”, I hear you all cry…

I’m not trying to get all SJW here, and I’m aware that there are plenty of arguments for allowing artistic representation the freedom it needs. If you enjoy the sort of overly-sexualised miniatures such as these, or the current stuff being made by companies such as Raging Heroes, then that’s fine – you like what you like, and that’s all there is to it. Personally, I don’t like it, and I don’t really want to be associated with it. There is a very definite problem, to my mind, with female representation in a lot of geekdom and, without getting into that debate here, I think anything that GW can do to tone things down is a step in the right direction.

In recent years – particularly since the re-launch of Warhammer Fantasy as Age of Sigmar – GW have gone down the route of having Slaanesh be more about the allure, and temptation, rather than anything overtly sexual. Slaanesh is supposed to be about Excess, which can be represented by more than just sex. The ‘sergeant’ for the Daemonettes is called an Alluress, for example, and there are references to Slaanesh daemons enticing their foes closer before they slash them apart. It’s an interesting move, for sure, as allure is pretty much all about the tease, the promise of more to come.

Slaanesh is now mostly about speed, with rules in 40k and AoS that allow models to advance (run) and charge, and gain additional attacks for charging, etc. In 40k, there are rules that allow you to adversely affect your opponent’s characteristics while nearby Slaanesh units, reflecting the beguiling nature these daemons possess. They’ve become the Sirens of the Warhammer universe in a classical Greek way, and I have to say, I really prefer that!

I’m also quite pleased to see a more standard approach to Slaanesh as an entity too – for years, there were references to a male and female half, as represented by the models having a female right-side and a male left-side of the chest, for instance. The “problem” was compounded by the fact Slaanesh was named the Dark Prince, but also called She Who Thirsts by the Eldar of Warhammer 40k. In some of the artwork there are still visual cues of androgyny, but overall it seems that GW have adopted the masculine pronoun for referring to the deity now, which, I feel, further helps to bring the line away from sexuality and more about simple lethality.

I would love a model of a Slaanesh sorcerer like this guy, though.

So far as the models go, I do love the current range for just how weird they all are. While Khorne models are all pretty much classic devils, Nurgle are all disgusting, and Tzeentch are just weird, there is a much more subtle wrong-ness about Slaanesh that I think is particularly impressive overall. They do tend to be very spikey, and there are several shared design cues such as the crab-claws and the reverse-articulated legs, but I think that GW have managed to hit the nail on the head when it comes to what these things represent. Daemonettes in particular are supposedly beautiful maidens who seduce folks into getting too close before eviscerating them. I think the idea of the beguiling daemon using a glamour to lure people in, then revealing the much more daemonic face beneath, is really strong here – from a distance, we see the half-naked daemon women and get a completely different idea of what they actually look like.

The steeds of Slaanesh are interesting for their undulating shapes, which is just the right side of suggestive, but the chariots they pull are all spikey meat-grinders – indeed, the Hellflayer is basically a threshing machine designed to carve up all sorts of folk on the battlefield!

Slaanesh Hellflayer

It’s this spikey-ness that is another important aspect of the look of Slaanesh, for me. Bloodletters look like classic devils from common folklore, and we’re inherently averse to them because of that fact. Slaanesh daemons, however, have that lithe sensuality that makes us think they’ll be a lot less vicious – in-game, Daemonettes have a stat line similar to what is basically the standard human, and most weapons will be wounding them on 3s. But they are fast, and they have 2 attacks each at WS3, and their basic claws are AP-1 – these things are vicious!

There’s just something quite dangerous about the look of Slaanesh models.

For all that Slaanesh has been moving away from the boobs-out look of the past, however, I find myself a bit confused by the new Fiends of Slaanesh models that are in the Wrath & Rapture box, as they once again have the suggestion of sexuality about them that I thought we’d put behind us.

They’re good looking models, for sure, but it is a little bit dismaying to see an emphasis placed on Slaanesh being all about the boobs. The models are otherwise fantastic, and definitely an improvement on the older Fiend, which was one of the earliest models I’d attempted to paint!

Fiend of Slaanesh

Which I suppose brings me on to the Keeper of Secrets.

All of the four Chaos gods have almost identical basic structures in terms of how their model ranges run – the lesser daemons as troops, a chariot, an elite choice, a cavalry choice, heralds and a greater daemon centrepiece model. Khorne, Nurgle and Tzeentch have each now got their plastic greater daemon model in the shape of the Bloodthirster, the Great Unclean One, and the Lord of Change. For Slaanesh, we’re waiting for a Keeper of Secrets that is better than, well, this one:

The Keeper of Secrets as an iconic image is actually not too far removed from the new Fiends, as it happens. The reverse-articulated legs, the skin being held up with hooks, the whip-like tongue… I wouldn’t be surprised if many people first saw these than thought we might be in for the big bad itself.

I don’t want to sound like I’m getting too negative though, as I do really like the Slaanesh range for just how weird it all is, and I’m pleased to see new models finally arrive for it – something I never thought I’d see again, if truth be told! Daemons of Slaanesh are some of my favourite miniatures, and I think it would be a load of fun to try and build a force once again out of these bizarre snake-horses and crab-ladies. I’ve been looking at the Start Collecting box as a good place to start, as I’ve always wanted to try and put together that Exalted Chariot.

I’m hoping that the range will continue to be fleshed out, now that GW seem to have lost their aversion to even acknowledging the fourth Chaos god. Early efforts in Age of Sigmar to sideline Slaanesh in favour of the Horned Rat seem to have disappeared, and I think this new box set means that Slaanesh has very definitely not gone anywhere. I do enjoy the efforts with the lore to keep the idea of Slaanesh as an absent god still a part of the universe, however, though I think perhaps now that we’re seeing new plastic miniatures for the range, we might actually be on the verge of a new Battletome for the Hosts of Slaanesh within Age of Sigmar?

Here’s hoping, as I think the Hosts idea is really quite interesting and worthwhile exploring through their own book. Age of Sigmar definitely has more ideas for Slaanesh than 40k, mainly due to the fact that we have additional units that can be taken in the fantasy setting in the shape of the Hellstriders.

These chaps are almost the epitome of Slaanesh as the Lord of Excess – muscular warriors who are driven forth in their desire to cause as much pain and torment as possible. The fact that their wargear is quite perfect, their bodies muscled to perfection – it just screams what Slaanesh is all about, the pursuit of something to excess. They exemplify that unique aspect of Slaanesh as a Chaos god – each of the four is disturbing in his own way, for sure, but there is something a lot more pristine about Slaanesh, and while you can of course model your Daemonettes bathed in blood and reveling in gore, I do enjoy the idea of an unsullied host of daemons as opposed to anything else.

It’s a shame we can’t get these in 40k as some kind of human-style cultists of Slaanesh. Though I would still like to see something like the classic berserker-cultist of Slaanesh realised in model form:

I’ve been rambling for quite some time now about the miniatures line for Slaanesh, but let’s get round to talking about some of my efforts with the army!

I’ve tried to build an army of Slaanesh models a few times over the years, but have never been very good at getting the look right. Most recently, two years ago I’d built up some Daemonettes, a Seeker Chariot, and a Herald, and was trying to get going with some Hellstriders, but sadly abandoned that project shortly after moving house. Well, I think it might have been a case of overloading myself with miniatures to paint, as I have been a bit all over the place with my projects lately, even if I so say so myself! It’s time to cut back a little bit, and try to plan out exactly what I want to be using in games before going all gung-ho and buying loads of stuff that I have no real ideas for… It’s the easiest thing in the world to go to the games store and pick some stuff up, but actually building it and painting it was becoming quite the chore. So I’ve been trying to be a bit more strategic with what I’m picking up, in the hope that I’ll be better at the hobby overall.

I’ve been thinking quite a lot about approaching a Daemons army once again, this time with a bit more sense behind it, so you’ll have to stay tuned to see whether I actually get somewhere this time!

Hobby Progress, week one!

Hey everybody!
It’s the first Sunday of my hobby update progress blog series thing, where I get to show you all what I’ve been up to this week, and how it will help me to get to my December Goals! It’s been a bit of a quiet week in some respects, but even so, grab a cuppa and come see what I’ve been doing!

So we’re going to start with last weekend, and I’ve still been building up a lot of stuff, including an Akhellian Allopex, mainly because it’s such a hilarious kit:

I mean, it’s two guys riding a shark!!

I’ve been wanting to build up a small raiding party of Idoneth Deepkin for a while now, and last month finally decided to go for it. I’ve got the battleforce box for my birthday, so there will be some significant support on its way soon, but I also have some more Thralls and stuff hanging about as well, so I think I’ll only be getting a couple more bits and pieces to add to this army before I think of it as complete!

I’ve been busy trying to cover up the Annihilation Barge, which had been primed with Caliban Green, to match my current Thokt Dynasty colour scheme of greys and blues. It’s not been going too badly, the twin tesla destructor is looking a lot nicer already, and the main barge chassis has been finished, so it’s just going to be a case of finishing the underslung tesla cannon, then sorting out the crew, and this model should be done! I say that with such optimism…

The Chaos Cultists have taken up most of my time so far this week, however, as I try to get some base colours down on them, and sort out the skin tones. I don’t want to go for models that look too pale, as I would prefer my cultists to look quite normal, albeit a little scarred and stuff. I mean, they are quite clearly hitting the gym more than is necessary, so they’re presumably quite hale on the whole!

I definitely want to go for an eclectic look to the clothing for these guys though – a lot of people seem to want to paint them all the same colour, which is fine when you’re thinking about an army, but these guys aren’t really in uniform, but instead look like they’ve just been throwing on a cloak to go out and purge in the name of Chaos. They’re fairly ordinary chaps, so I want to try and get that feel of them being normal folk who have just turned to Chaos out of desperation or whatever. I think they should look fairly decent when they’re done, anyway!

I’ve built up the next batch of Necron Immortals, so I can start painting them soon as well, but another big focus for me has been the Grey Knights project that I mentioned the other day. I’m building them as Purifiers, because I quite like the lore of them being a secretive sect within the Grey Knights, and being so incorruptible and all the rest of it. I’m currently planning to build five, so the other five of the Strike Squad box will be exactly that, a Strike Squad. I have no idea where to take this army just yet, but my eventual plans for it involve something like adding in Deathwatch, Ministorum and maybe Inquisition, to go for a proper Imperial Agents thing. We shall see, though, as I’m still hoping for some awesome Inquisition models to come for Kill Team in 2019! Possibly a pipe-dream, though I’ve talked before how I think GW would be crazy not to tap into that!

So, not a great deal of painting has happened so far this week, but I blame that on the fact that we (a) put the Christmas decorations up, which took quite a bit of time, and (b) we’re looking after the brother-in-law’s cat while they move house, so hobby time needs to be planned around a small furry entity wandering through. She’s mainly transfixed by the leaves out in the back garden though, so it’s not too bad so far.

I’m getting very easily distracted so far, though, and since looking at the Grey Knights last week, I’ve been thinking as well about getting some Chaos Daemons to play against them – quite where I’m going with that, I have no idea, but I’ve drawn up a list of Bloodletters with some additional support units that should be fun to paint, if nothing else! I’ve got some floating about somewhere, I’m sure, anyway…

In the past, I’ve tried to keep my army focus on just a couple of projects, to stop being so distracted with loads of ancillary stuff. However, I do find that having additional stuff that is either not related at all, or else bears a small resemblance to what I’m doing, helps to keep me refreshed in the hobby. It’s no good thinking I need to sit down and paint 40 Immortals before I can do anything else, as I’d just get bored and pack everything away. At least if I can have that palette cleanse of something different, it should help to keep me going overall.

To this end, I’ve been thinking a lot about my various projects in broad terms of their colour. So Grey Knights and Necrons (and to some extent, the Skitarii) are quite similar with silvers and blues, but then something like the  red of the Bloodletters should help to mix up the focus quite a bit. I’ve also got the Chaos Cultists who should be enough of a disparate bunch that it will help to break things up. I think this is why I was thinking so much about doing stuff with the Deathwing project, as the cream and green is again something completely different to help distract me and keep things fresh.

hobby supplies

While we’re on the subject of the Deathwing, I have bought a couple more things lately to keep me suitably distracted, but still related along the same lines there – Ravenwing! I do enjoy picking up the odd kit like this, and Ravenwing are an element that I hadn’t really considered before, but I think they do look exceptionally cool, so I’m excited to have these join the ranks. While everything Space Marine related seems to be quite expensive at the minute, I’m hoping that next weekend’s Chapter Approved will deliver on the promises of sweeping points reductions, and Deathwing/Ravenwing will be a decent combination to have in the army!

I’ve been through a bit of a walk down memory lane since I started looking at the Deathwing stuff once more, and I’ve really re-evaluated my appreciation for the Dark Vengeance box from 7th edition. Not only does it have those wonderful Cultists, but there are so many good-looking, unique models in there that you just can’t get anymore, I’m really glad to have these in my collection now, at any rate. Looking forward to adding more to the Dark Angels army in due course, but that will definitely be a project for 2019…

In other exciting news, I went to Warhammer World again this weekend, for the now-traditional pre-Christmas pilgrimage! I couldn’t really spend a great deal though, so confined myself to picking up the new Delaque models, as well as Inquisitor Coteaz, a model that I’ve been wanting to pick up for a long time simply to paint. Now that I’ve been looking into the Inquisition more, and have some vague plans for the Imperial Agents army, I’ve finally got a reason to pick him up!

The Delaque models are quite wonderful, anyway. I’ve got three built up so far, but they are a wonderful addition and I’m looking forward to getting those sorted for games in the new year! I think I’m going to do a sort of Necromunda retrospective soon, looking at all of the models released across the last twelve months, and hopefully showcase some of my own painted creations! That’ll give me the excuse to actually get painting them, anyway!

In other news, I started reading Crossfire, the first book in the Shira Calpurnia omnibus, Enforcer, and so far it’s really good! I think I’m four chapters in right now, and I’m enjoying it a lot! It’s always fun to read about the more mundane, human side of the 40k universe, and I think a lot of my attention has currently been thrown that way lately as far as hobby projects go. The novel’s central protagonist is one of the Adeptus Arbites, the law enforcers of the 40k universe, and the story seems to be following her search for a would-be assassin on the planet of Hydraphur, set against the background of preparations for a religious festival. So not only do we get the Arbites, we also get the priests and officials of the Adeptus Ministorum, and even some Mechanicus in there, too! Like I say, I’m not far into it, around about a third or so, but it’s been really good – and a nice change of pace from all the Iron Warriors who have been cropping up in the books I’ve been reading of late!

I’m reading this as part of a buddy read with fellow blogger wordaholicsanonymous – check out some of his fine work here, and just wait for the reviews!

Falling to Chaos…

It wouldn’t be the first time

Since the whole Blackstone Fortress thing has gotten me in a froth about playing with miniatures that are more esoteric, and yet somehow a lot more close to what, for me, Warhammer 40k is all about, I’ve been thinking about getting myself a small Chaos force. Well, it might not be that small, after all, as I’m thinking principally about using Chaos Cultists.

The Dark Vengeance cultists are no longer available, sadly, because the box has been replaced with Dark Imperium, and the goodness that is available there. Which is a shame, because the generic cultists that you can get now are a bit sad if you’re trying to build up a huge Chaos-worshipping cult. The Dark Vengeance lot only include a couple more variants, but between squad Anarkus (on the left) and squad Tetchvar (on the right), you get some really nice-looking sculpts that, with a decent-enough paint job, could be made to look quite varied and rag-tag. Which I suppose is what you want out of a Chaos cult in the Underhive…

What’s even sadder is that I’ve currently lost my Dark Vengeance bits in moving house! They’re bound to be somewhere, so hopefully I can get them sniffed out soon. As a side note, there’s a bunch of Necrons stuff hiding from me as well, so it might be high time to have a sort-out and see where everything has gotten to…

Anyway!

I spent a huge chunk of my time on Friday planning out my Cult for Necromunda games, as I thought it would be a simply splendid idea to build some of these chaps up for the skirmish game as well. That I was basically devouring the rule set like some sort of fanatical zealot was entirely on point, as well! The fact that the rules for these guys are free online is even better! As another side note, how amazing are GW for doing this? Free rules for stuff is amazing! I know they do it for Age of Sigmar, but the fact they also do it for other stuff is really good. Anyway!

So I worked out a starting gang list that includes a Demagogue (Tetchvar) and a Witch (Anarkus), along with two Disciples (the special weapons chaps) and then five Helot Cultists (the basic five-man box that is still available) for a grand total of 960 points. I’m currently not 100% sure on the Witch, as I could replace him with two further Helots, but I’ll see on that one for now.

Chaos Cultists

The Necromunda plans are all well and good, and I’m looking forward to trying them out soon, but the main point of today’s blog is to talk about my plans for 40k, and combining the Cultists with the contents of the Blackstone Fortress box…

There is, of course, a lot to be excited about with the upcoming Blackstone Fortress release. I just can’t seem to express how much this stuff speaks to me! For the most part, I’ve been ignoring the heroes, but even there we have such amazing ideas as Ministorum Priests and Navigators – yes, Navigators! I’m still trying to figure out the best way to include these in my Imperium army without seeming too cheesy…

But I’m thinking about Chaos today, and so I’m thinking about running a Servants of the Abyss patrol detachment alongside a second patrol detachment of Cultists, which would bring me to 496 points in total. If I can somehow work out 1000 points of Thousand Sons (ha!) then I would have a pretty great starting Chaos army, I reckon!

For informational purposes, then, the Servants of the Abyss detachment contains the following units:

This little band of wonderfulness comes to a grand total of 327 points. Not bad really, though as a lot of folks have pointed out online, the fact that they’re so prescriptive – especially the Traitor Guard – means that it’s unlikely many people will want to field them very much. Personally, I have no problem with fielding weird and wonderful stuff, and the flavour of this warband is just too irresistible for me to do anything else!

As an aside, I’m really hopeful that we’ll see these things realised as full plastic kits sometime in the future. My fervent hope is for some kind of Agents of Darkness Codex that would allow us to field weird off-shoots like the Negavolt Cultists and Chaos Beastmen without having to go fully into the Dark Mechanicus or whatever. I suppose this is what this army list is all about, for me; having a weird collection of Chaos and mutants that is more fluffy than anything else, but could still offer some really nice and flexible support to a Chaos army. But I don’t want to get into just what I’m doing with my other Chaos plans just yet…!

Anyway!

The second patrol detachment in the list contains two groups of ten Cultists – the aforementioned squads Tetchvar and Anarkus – headed up by a Dark Apostle. I have toyed with the idea of creating some kind of kitbash instead of going with the finecast model, but on reflection, he doesn’t look entirely too marine-y so I hope he can fill in quite nicely for me in the role of heading up the bands of Cultists.

While I’m not about to start drawing up massive lists already, I have been giving a little vague thought to eventually expanding this force out a bit more along the thematic lines and, while I hope to have more random Chaos stuff like the Blackstone Fortress miniatures coming out soon to bolster the list, I’m thinking about including a couple more Dark Apostles and Cultists just to keep the flavour going. I might eventually include some Black Legion marines, but that’s a long way off. I would love to get back into painting daemons, for sure, though I’ve never really managed to get very far with those before losing interest to other projects, so I think that might need a bit more thought put into it.

I have always wanted a Slaanesh army though, as I love the purples and the lilacs and just how weird those models actually are!!

I want the army to feel more like a Chaos Cult rather than an army, so I think having actual marines in there would take away from that a bit. The Traitor Guard are perhaps a bit of an exception, as they are supposed to be an army force, of course, but I think they look weird enough with the furs and whatnot that they don’t appear overly regimented. I may well stay clear of the marines, and instead go for Cultists and the Daemons that they have summoned. It might be fun to field an army of these, though as I said earlier, I think I’ll need to give it a bit more thought first…

Anyway!

So those are my thoughts on building up a small 500-point Chaos list! It’ll help me a lot with both small games of 40k and also Necromunda and Blackstone Fortress, which is always a delight, so I think it should be a decent project to keep me going through the winter!

Hobby Progress, week 46

Hey everybody!
It’s week 46 of my hobby progress update, and this week has been a bit… disparate, I suppose you could say. Having finished up the current batch of Alpha Legion folks, I was a bit torn as to where to go next with my hobbying, and I think that shows in what I’ve been up to! So sit back with a cuppa, and let me ramble on for a bit about what I’ve been doing this week!

First of all, I started to do more Deathwatch people. The two on the left there were kinda started back in the summer when I was all-in on these guys, but I moved my focus to just finishing a small core than all of the models I’d had built at that time. I’ve resumed, anyway, trying to focus on marines with bare faces, as I still want to try and improve, and essentially conquer that fear of painting skin!

But thinking about painting marines with skin got me to move over to another, even more long-standing project that I had lying around:

Yes, the Deathwing Knights I built up on Christmas Eve last year!

These guys are really quite wonderful – much like the regular Deathwing Terminators, they are incredibly detailed, but I’m really looking forward to moving along with these chaps and getting them finished. Painting them this week has actually made me feel incredibly festive, too!

As you can see in the back there, I’ve also built one Deathwatch Terminator out of Deathwing Knight bits – this was inspired by flicking through the Codex last weekend, and the Purgatus Kill Team formation.

Having used a lot of the terminator bits from the Dark Angels Company Veterans kit that I bought last year (the most expensive bits box I have bought to date!), I essentially had one Terminator left over. So why not?! The only thing that caused an issue is the back of the torso, which was plundered from the regular Terminators kit. Having looked briefly online, it seems the regular Terminator back bits are more readily available than the Deathwing backs, with their gothic arches. But anyway! I do like the look of this chap, anyway, so I think I’ll continue to work on him alongside both the Deathwing Knights and the Deathwatch chaps that were started this week, too!

I’ve also built up two more Deathwing Terminators, so that I now have three full squads of five, one of which can be fielded as the Command Squad, so I’m pleased with that! Unfortunately, I thought I’d save some time by using the spray of Zandri Dust that I had left over from doing the Armies on Parade board, and it went on far too thickly, obscuring much of the detail. So I used Biostrip 20 to clean them up, and I’m happy to report that it worked a treat! I painted the stuff on with an old wash brush, rather than soaking them, but it worked fine like that! I also stripped the primer from the three Necropolis Knights that I’d also built up earlier in the year, but had left languishing after the primer went on powdery, and it worked fine for them, also! So they have been primed white – smoothly, this time – and the Terminators have been re-primed and base coated by brush, so all is well with the world once again!

Last week, I mentioned the 160mm ‘Armies on a Plate’ thing my local GW is doing in December (still don’t know if that’s the official name they’re going with yet). Well I picked up said plate on Friday, and it was both larger and smaller than I’d been expecting, so I’ve been reconsidering my options for this thing – cue instagram montage!

So I’m not entirely sure yet, but I’m thinking about using the Deathwing Knights among the Daemonettes, as the Knights have become a bit of a project for me once more, and I do like how that could look! On a side note, I’m kinda surprised at how many things I still have hanging about unfinished, like the Bloodletters, so I think I’d like to try to get a few more of these models done and dusted by the end of the year. Though top of the list is the Deathwing Knights…

But I’ve also made a return to painting the Slaaneshi hosts! First off, I’d actually put basecoats and washes on four of them – which seems a bit weird considering I had twelve built up over the summer – so got the rest of them painted. I also put some basecoats onto the Seekers from the chariot, as well! And finally, I’ve built up and now based/washed the finecast Herald of Slaanesh, despite having made up the Herald from the chariot kit as well – I suppose they’re just desperate to bring the Dark Prince back!

I’m really enjoying these girls – not in a pervy way, I hasten to add! I mentioned it back in the day, of course, but I’ve always been a fan of the Slaaneshi aesthetic of purples with all the opulence and stuff, so it’s really good to finally be getting these guys looking more like the army I want! With the recent made to order thing going up for the older Daemonettes, I was momentarily concerned they might pull these or something, but while I’ve managed to calm my fears there (family friendly GW surely won’t want to replace the plastics with the boobs-out version, surely!) I do still think I might well invest in a second box of Daemonettes sometime soon. And also, a second chariot. And an exalted chariot. Basically, I see my Slaanesh army as being built around the three chariots, with the Daemonettes, Seekers and Hellstriders converging all around!

Maybe with Daemon Primarch Fulgrim somewhere in the midst, too…?

Finally, I’ve managed to get this bad boy built up!

It’s taken me nearly two months – though ironically, it only took three building sessions. This is going to be one complex kit, though, due to having to make sure I paint the ribs and cannon separately, and the “cockpit” part is so detailed that it’ll also need to be done separately… Yikes! But I did a kind of dry-fit last night when all the parts had finally been cleaned up and whatnot, and it does look pretty great, so I’m hoping I can do a good job of it!

I had my third game of 40k last Thursday, at my local GW this time, and it was a whole lot of fun, I have to say! I only played 1000 points, but it was good to get to grips with the rules, and all the rest of it, but it’s also shown me that I need to get that Night Scythe painted! And I probably need another! I’ve been thinking much more critically about what I want to do with the army, however, so I want to get moving now and see if I can put together something that actually works well, with some kind of game plan. As such, I suspect I’ll be doing a lot more Necron things in the coming weeks and months, alongside whatever else I’m painting!

Hobby Progress, week 24

Hey everybody,
It’s week 24 of my Hobby Progress blog, where I show off some of the awesome stuff that I’ve been doing to progress with my various Warhammer projects – and various really is the theme! As hinted at last week, this week’s report is going off on the deep end with Chaos, let’s take a look!

Yes, this happened. I feel like I need to provide some kind of explanation for this, as I feel most people who have followed this progress series – or, indeed, almost anything that I’ve written on this blog – might be a little startled by what appears to be such a left-turn in my hobby career.

I’ve talked previously about how I first got interested in Warhammer through the card game, Warhammer: Invasion. That’s still one of my all-time favourite games, and I’m still amazed that I’ve made it through more than two years of blogging about games without doing a spotlight on it… Anyway, the card game is just great, and while I haven’t played it in a while, my all-time favourite deck to play is a Chaos one. I think I’ve tried out every kind of deck in my time playing the game, but Chaos is by far and away the one for me. Indeed, because of this, it’s more weird that I haven’t gotten any Chaos models sooner, really! (Well, there was that Demon Prince…)

So I managed to pick up a box of Bloodletters super-cheap recently, and I’d long been thinking about getting some Bloodreavers or similar because I know I’m not very good at painting skin, but would like to get better. So I decided I would like to get a small warband together of Chaos dudes: the plan was to get some Bloodreavers, led by a Bloodsecrator, and include a small band of Bloodletters. Initially that was going to be it, but then I thought it’d be nice to have the Herald of Khorne miniature in there, too, so I bought him last weekend.

But then, there’s Slaanesh…

Again, if you’ve been following my hobby adventures, you’ll know that I’ve painted my Ogors purple. I have quite a number of these guys, though only one has actually been finished so far. At any rate, one of the reasons for this is that I like the idea of Slaaneshi Ogors, but I also just think that, of all the Chaos gods, Slaanesh is the coolest. That isn’t because I’m a perverted degenerate (I think), but more because Khorne is all brutal, Nurgle is just disgusting, and Tzeentch is pretty but weird. Slaanesh is also weird, but there’s a distinct elegance to his stuff most of the time, before it devolves into the obsessive behaviour stuff. There are a lot of art pieces for both the Invasion card game and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (which I also love, but haven’t featured yet) that feature Slaanesh cultists and the like, and they’re really quite beautiful.

On a tangent here, I feel like GW would be doing a great disservice to the community if they actually do get rid of Slaanesh, which many people seem to have been fearing is the plan for Age of Sigmar since its release last year. The Horned Rat has already displaced the Dark Prince in the pantheon, and I’m concerned that it would be something akin to dumbing down the franchise to do this permanently. Sure, there are problematic things with Slaanesh but, as pointed out in an excellent article recently featured on BolS, there is a way to do this that could still work, and I hope GW will find that way. Certainly, the short story from Christmas, Godless, implies there will be something to come on this subject. I may actually dedicate a blog more fully to this subject in the near future, anyway!

So anyway, I like the idea of Slaanesh, and as the instagram picture at the top of this article shows, I’ve also decided to go for a kit that I’ve liked the look of for a long time, the Seeker Chariot! Having seen just how amazing they look in fellow blogger altsain’s post from Tabletop Gamer’s Diary (which you should totally check out by the way, as there is some fantastic content to be found there), I decided to get one! Unfortunately, it came broken, so I’m waiting on a replacement sprue, but it looks fantastic, and I cannot wait to get started there!

I think my Slaanesh thing will be a little bigger than the warband described for Khorne – I’m concerned that GW might be about to get rid of the range, so I want to get at least one of everything, but I’m also thinking I might get another Seeker Chariot, and perhaps a third to make up as a Hellflayer. So, I’m really excited for that!

But onwards! What have I actually been doing this week? Well, the answer is: Bloodletters. I’ve actually only built six of the ten so far, and have sprayed the whole lot Mephiston red, so it feels little like I’ve been cheating to say I’ve painted anything this week, but there we have it, unfortunately! They do look absolutely great, however!

Hobby Progress 24

I’m very excited by these little devils, and while I’m probably going to go for a really simple and straightforward colourscheme, I’m looking forward to seeing them come together all the same!

That’s it for this week, anyway! I’m probably not going to have the time to do anything this coming week, as I’m on holiday, but you never know what next Sunday’s blog might bring… stay tuned!

Painting Chaos, part one

Welcome back folks!
Following yesterday’s modelling adventures, today I moved on to painting – I had been planning to do both, but eventually spent so much time on the Daemon Prince, I didn’t have the time for the Fiend of Slaanesh. That will form the coming week’s adventures. In keeping with my intention to walk through miniature painting “for dummies” and share my own journey on learning how to do this stuff, let me take you through it!

Daemon Prince

First, the miniature is primed with Chaos Black spray, which leaves a matte finish that allows the paint to adhere better. I really like the matte finish these miniatures have, and could happily leave them as they are! But onwards! Last night I had been planning to do an almost-purple skintone, but after checking out some awesome paint jobs online (Slaanesh-purple, Alpha Legion blue, and this totally awesome black and grey!) I decided to go with an almost Orc green. And thus, I began!

Daemon Prince Daemon Prince

Basecoating the miniature was a little problematic for me, as it is the most detailed figure that I’ve painted to date. Rather than going through in layers, I decided to apply basecoats to specific areas, so the skin was done in Caliban Green, the armour in Balthasar Gold, the axe in Warplock Bronze, and the combat skirt in Mephiston Red. I’ve said it before, I don’t have the steadiest hands, so I was really impressed with my ability to get the armour done so well, I must say!

He looked pretty good in those base coat, and I would have quite gladly have kept him as was, but I wanted a more convincing scheme. And I needed to do something with his wings and his claws/horns. After some thought, I decided to try something perhaps a bit different. First of all, I used a watered-down Screaming Skull as a kind of base coat on the wings, to lighten the black without making it too light, then washed the entire area in Biel-Tan Green. I also used that shade on the skin, though it didn’t really add all that much I felt, as the base coat was already quite dark. In addition, the combat skirt was washed with Carroburg Crimson, to help give the folds definition.

Daemon Prince

Daemon Prince

The horns, claws and the bony wing-tips were all done in Ushabti Bone, using multiple thin layers to help build up a smooth look. Then came the details! Since I did the Chaos Lord from Battlelore, I have become a really big fan of drybrushing, so first I used more Ushabti Bone to drybrush the bony ribs on the wings, then Tyrant Skull on the horns and claws. Now, I hadn’t realised until Friday that you can drybrush with any paint, so thought I’d give it a try, and it really worked! Just dab it around on a tissue as you would with the dry paints, make sure the brush is fairly dry, and then just lightly stroke it on the area. Marvellous!

The armour I drybrushed with Golden Griffon, though unfortunately it lightened the coppery colour that was achieved by the Balthasar Gold. But still, it looks pretty nice and burnished, so I can’t complain too much. I’m really pleased with the effect on the axe, however, which was drybrushed with Runelord Brass over the blade and rivets:

Daemon Prince

Nice, huh?! For the skin, I used Kabalite Green to drybrush, and I think it worked well with the earlier shade to provide better definition to the skin. For the bonier ridges, such as his right hand and spine, I further drybrushed with Sybarite Green, adding more highlights to help provide a textural contrast between the skin and the harder bone. The figure has some sort of skin decoration on the thighs and biceps that I wasn’t entirely sure what to do with, but eventually settled on the idea of a branding – I then very lightly drybrushed these raised areas with Mephiston Red, making sure to keep the green tone on them while providing a dark red “blush” effect, as if he has only just been branded or something. I thought it was a good idea, anyway!

Daemon Prince

The face was a big problem for me, as it was such a small area I was really quite nervous about being able to do it all. But then I decided to just use the Sybarite Green drybrush again, which gives the face its definition and adds to the effect of the figure as screaming, or bellowing:

Daemon Prince

I like it, anyway! The eyes were dabbed with Fire Dragon Bright, and the teeth were another job with Ushabti Bone. Really difficult to do, that, given my unsteadiness! But I got a pretty decent effect all the same. The small “teeth” that seem to be part of the belt I based in Leadbelcher and drybrushed with Runefang Steel to give the highlight – I thought metal teeth would be bizarre enough to add that extra something to the whole. As a very final effect, I washed the areas of bone, claw and horn with Agrax Earthshade to take the bright edge off those areas, and give it a more natural feel.

Daemon Prince

Finally, the base. I dreamed up the idea of a lava feel, so applied a base coat of Khorne Red with some bits and pieces of Yriel Yellow. When that dried, I put some PVA glue over the base before throwing on some black sand that I happened to have anyway, but it didn’t work out quite as I’d hoped – it’s a little too flat, don’t you think? Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay, but I just feel like it should have been awesome given how well the actual miniature itself went! So, this may not be the last you see of this chap! I’ve been looking into miniature basing kits, so it’s not necessarily over yet!

This model is really nice, I’m really pleased with it! Took about an hour to assemble fully, and probably about four or so hours to paint, allowing for drying time and whatnot. And I only used, what, 18 different paints because I have them, it’s not like it was entirely necessary or whatever!

I’m feeling increasingly confident about this whole business of miniature painting and assembly, so I’m looking forward to Shadows of Brimstone even more now! That said, of course, I’m also loving this whole thing for its own sake – whether I ever get into playing the tabletop game will remain to be seen, but still, I have been enjoying this whole experience like you wouldn’t believe, and am really excited for what’s coming next: NECRONS!