In the fractal realities of Tzeentch’s labyrinth, time and space are subverted. Years pass in the blink of an eye and prisoners of these chaotic realms find themselves spontaneously vomited out into planes of existence very different from those they left behind.
In the world that was, I was working on a Chaos Sorcerer and a mutant flock of Forsaken. Now, these warped servants of Tzeentch find themselves fully painted and reborn into the Mortal Realms. Let’s take a look.
When I was a kid first getting into Warhammer, Chaos armies used to be eclectic collections of all sorts of weird and wonderful creatures. Beastmen marched to war beside hunchbacked Chaos Warriors, enigmatic Chaos Champions and outlandish Daemons that were only available via mail order! Chaos is at its most magnificent when it is truly undivided. The opportunity to take wildly divergent units and unite them with a strong colour scheme is the perfect hobby challenge for me. So this time I’ve been working on some Bestigor as a bodyguard for my Great Bray-Shaman.
Most people paint their Beastmen with rusted and corroded battlegear, as if scavenged or primitively made. I’ve painted mine in the same shimmering bronze as my other Tzeentch aligned units. Although they aren’t how I picture Tzaangor to look (that requires a lot of modelling putty), I like how they fit into the rest of the army.
I imagine that their loyalty to my Chaos Lord has been bought with the newly forged armour that they wear. By contrast their foe-rending Great Axes are worn and dulled with the blood of countless battles.
When The End Times: Glottkin came out I was pretty happy that you could build an army using all of the Chaos factions. The Beastmen have some great models including this guy, the gnarled Great Bray-Shaman, and I was glad to have an excuse to add him to my collection. I painted him up in the same magenta that I used for the wizards and heroes in the rest of my army.
I converted his staff with an icon of Tzeentch from the Burning Chariot kit, the eye of which glows blue with clairvoyant power. If you look closely you can see blue Object Source Lighting from the baleful eye glaring out from beneath his hood.
I freehanded runes onto his hood, inspired from designs found on the Chaos Warshrine. Here’s a better view of the Chaos Star over his left eye. I glazed his cloak with Reikland Fleshshade and Druchii Violet to create a patchwork of flayed skins.
I really pleased with how this model came out. To me he’s a real throw back to the creepy old 80’s artwork from Slaves to Darkness and the Lost and The Damned. In fact I enjoyed painting him so much that I got a unit of Bestigor bodyguards for him too – more to follow! What do you think of him – tell me in the comments below!
Thundering out of the Chaos Wastes on roughshod hooves ride two mighty champions of Tzeentch!
Here’s a work in progress on my unit of Chaos Knights. I decided to go to town with these guys and try some new painting techniques to convey the eldritch glow of their Ensorcelled Weapons and Marks of Tzeentch. I referred to the excellent tutorial by Garfy on Tale of Paintersto get the glowing NMM style I wanted.
The Doomknight is gifted with a gribbly arm mutation bestowed upon him by his patron god. I converted this from 40K Possessed arm and a few of the mini tentacles which you can see poking out from under his pauldron.
The Standard Bearer is a personal favourite of mine. Once again I used a bright magenta to mark out the command group models and used a converted icon of Tzeentch from a 40K Chaos Space Marine kit. To paint the War Steed I blocked in the skin areas with Charandon Granite and washed it back with Drakenhof Nightshade. Mid tones were picked out in the base colour and then hightlighted with glazes of Stormvermin Fur followed by a thin edge highlight of Baneblade Brown. The longer hair was highlighted with Rackarth Flesh and Pallid Wych Flesh instead.
The freehand on the banner was inspired by the runes found on the Chaos Chariot and Chaos Warshrine kits. I wanted to use this to tie together different parts of the army. I use runes and apotropaic symbols on my models to convey the fickle aura of sorcery surrounding those that bear the Mark of Tzeentch.
When this kit came out I was blown away by it – the War Steeds looked straight out of an Adrian Smith painting. Compared to the new Chaos Chariot though, it’s starting to show its age.
A close up of the Doomknight’s crystalline weapon wreathed in claws and tendrils. As a Champion of Tzeentch I imagine this to be constantly shape-shifting from sword to glaive to axe, his body wracked with convulsions as the power of change surges through him!
The Standard Bearer carries a vicious pick imbued with the daemonic essence of a Lord of Change.
Another unit completed – this time it’s a roving band of Chaos Marauder Horsemen. These brutal raiders are the vanguard of my army, riding ahead with Barbarian Flails to bludgeon down any who would resist the tide of Chaos!
Despite painting these miniatures in my usual Tzeentch army scheme, the exposed skin on these guys meant I could try out some new colours. I used Rakarth Flesh shaded with a very thin wash of Drakenhoff Nightshade and then glazed up with Pallid Wych Flesh. At this point they looked a bit like zombies so I applied a thin glaze of Reikland Fleshshade to add some much needed warmth and humanity to the palette.
I already have another unit of Marauder Horsemen with javelins and axes so I wanted to converted this unit to make it stand out. The Hornblower got a head from the Chaos Lord on Manticore kit and a handflail from an Empire Flagellant. I think the bare heads gives this unit a real sense of personality (although considering all those flails swinging around they probably would have been better off with helmets!). Looking at the Age of Sigmar rules for these guys I’ll probably add a Damned Icon Bearer too at some point.
I did a bit of converting to the Horsemaster, starting by heroically re-posing his Chaos Steed so it is rearing up. I imagine that he has risen to fame in his tribe by hunting the mutated horrors of the Chaos Wastes and bringing back their corpses as trophies. To this end I rebuilt his shoulder armour with a baroque horn from the Chaos Helbrute kit to complement the pair that adorn his horse’s chamfron. Clearly his deeds have earned the capricious attention of Tzeentch who has gifted him a twisted horn of his own – perhaps one day he will become the hunted not the hunter?
I love the savage hooked flail on this guy. These models are really dynamic and full of character. As early CAD sculpts they have lots of very smooth areas but this is good to practice blending gradients on.
I’d love to get your feedback on these miniatures – please let me know in the comments. Do you reckon I should embrace round bases?