“Taking their time down there aren’t they?”
The rough voice of the Northman Halfgar barked out, his grinning face looking around the group of warriors that stood among the scattered rocks and broken ruins of the entrance to the despoiled tomb. Rubbing the back of his hand on the rough stubble on his face, he continued, “Probably been killed by a tomb wraith or something. Or torn apart by skeletons. Maybe the Templars trapped them down there, hurr hurr” He chuckle again to himself, running a worn finger over the edge of his axe-head, his eyes jumping between his comrades
The other warriors, for the most part, just attempted to ignore him. Instead they focused on their own tasks. Wulf was busy preparing the fire, the former flame cultist staring directly into it as if looking for meaning in the flickering lights. The rest stood in formation around the cave entrance, looming over the rocks like a collection of statues placed among them, sentinels from a past time.
Halfgar’s laugh was only interrupted when one of the other warriors pulled off their helmet, revealing close cropped hair and an angry scowl. “Give it a rest Halfgar you swine. We all know you’re angling to take over, replace Rhazgra and become our lord’s Seneschal although somehow I doubt your idiot ambition would stop there.” The red haired woman smiled, pushing up the golden ring through her nose so it shined in the weak morning sunshine coming in over the top of the mountains. “Either stop being a coward and challenge her, or shut up and save us all hearing your voice. It sounds too much like goats rutting.”
He fixed her with a glare before cracking a smile revealing the tombstone like teeth in the front of his mouth. “Easy for you to say, Zorath, you’re all buddy buddy with one of her cronies. Bet you’re more than happy to let Arkfel wrap you in that stinking beast skin when we camp, snuggle alongside him to stay warm, hurr hurr”. He began to laugh harder, a hacking rumbling laugh, which only intensified once Zorath got to her feet with a look of rage in her eyes.
This time the laugh ended much faster, the sound of an armoured hand smacking the back of Halfgar’s head. He moved, a snarl in his throat about to turn into words when suddenly he found himself looking into a skull mask staring back at him. Dark eyes glared out of the eye sockets at him, daring him to respond before the dull low tone of Kazsour the Embalmer started to speak, echoing out from behind his death mask.
“Halfgar, son of Horath, your comments towards your comrades bring much dissent, breaking the common bonds of warriors that bind us together. Your repeated insults to your leader bring you shame. It would be wise to hold your tongue.” The stare he fixed Halfgar with continued until the younger warrior looked down, all trace of the arrogant smirk now gone.
Kazour hefted the warhammer onto his shoulder, looking around over the mountains. The others bowed their heads to him slightly – Kazour had been a warrior longer than many of them had been alive, a rarity in the warriors. After the battle was done, it was he who would collect the dead for final rites, preparing them to go into the great beyond. Even Rhazgra, their leader, knew to take his advice – she would always bring him into council meetings with her, a calming presence against the manic rage of the Herald and the overpowering command of their Lord.
“We are our Lord’s Disciples, his followers into war. From his commands, we follow The Seneschal. This task we have been given, will bring us great favour with our Lord and his Patron. Now, prepare yourself – the enemy is close and we must prepare to defend for as long as The Seneschal and our brothers needs us to.”
I’ve written about my first lot of Chaos Warriors (the Underworlds Warband) in a previous post. For me, that group was always going to be the introduction into painting a full force of the heavily armoured icons for skirmish games. That first post includes my screed on why the Chaos Warriors are so awesome and so I’ll not reprint it here. The main focus in this post is talking about the models I finished off, which can split into two groups, the New and the Old.
Soon after picking up the Underworlds Warband, I started looking for how to expand. There are two sets of Chaos Warriors available. The main box is the classic plastic set, with models that have been in circulation long enough for them to still be the primary way of getting your hands on the heavily armoured fridges. I’ll detail more on them later.
The other set are a small number of models that were included in the Start Collecting box for Slaves to Darkness. Being much newer, these are less focused on the ability to rank up (Age of Sigmar having become a much more skirmish-y game than Warhammer every was) but are still incredibly easy to assemble. In fact, these models are push fit assembly, not even requiring glue. They are also incredibly dynamic, covered in details and might be some of my favourite troop models from Games Workshop.
In terms of assembly, the only option you have are picking is heads – everyone is armed with a hand weapon and shield combo either in hand or slung over their back. There are two heads for each model – one with a helmet and one without. I’m really impressed with the variation of both options – there is a nice mix of helmet styles and different facial features. Now, I’m kind of make it a goal to become slightly better at painting faces – the good old “flesh tone + wash” is fine for bulk armies such as my WW2 British or my moderns but for more character focused games, it makes sense to make the people look like heroes rather than line troopers. For this reason I did a few extra figures with exposed heads, rather than going purely for the faceless bad guy look.
I’ll cover painting in a second because…
Upon hearing that I was working on some Chaos Warriors, my Dastardly Regular opponent decided to throw a spanner at my ratio and dug out this box of Chaos Warriors that were buried in his shed. No, literally buried, I watched him dig through the piles of stuff to get them out. The sprue was pre-owned but only missing a single body, giving me an additional 11 warriors for the war band. The box design also gave me a vague clue to the age, as I remember visiting the Games Workshop in Exeter while on a family holiday in my childhood and being dragged away from a box very similar to this. And that was back around 2003.
Now, these old Warriors are absolute classics. In contrast to their newer Age of Sigmar brethren, they are much more static looking figures, with the entire unit sharing the same pose. You get a nice selection of heads, the ability to choose between dual weapons and hand weapon + shield combo as well as pieces for a champion, standard bearer and musician (from back in the olden days).
I ended up assembling them with shields and hand weapons (to match their more modern brethren). I also skipped out on the banner bearer and musician, they aren’t hugely useful in the skirmish games I’ll use them for). However, I did use the champion head and the skull face mask – they seem ideal to break up the group, especially the skull. As you can see in the start, the combination of the skull and warhammer is the starting point for a cool character idea.
For both sets of models, I went with the same paint scheme I used on my underworld figures. The Lead Belcher + Black Contrast works really well for getting the pitch black armour while the purple of the cloaks nicely offsets it. The actual scheme is quite fast to get onto the model, taking full advantage of wolf furs and washes to get everyone done. With the bare heads, it was fun painting the actual features, using the Contrast paints and then lightly highlighting to get the detailed look. I’m honeswtly impressed overall
With these Chaos Warriors done, a big chunk of my Chaos force is done. I did start looking at the Chaos Knights, but did not have a good time painting the horses. There are a lot of details hidden away that still need touching up. I’ve also been distracted by other things, but I think I might paint up the various Chaos warbands (such as the Scions of the Flame and the Godsworn Hunt/Darkoath figures) before coming back to the heavy armour.