At first glance, Chaos Space Marines can appear to be somewhat similar to their Imperial Brothers - especially in terms of their weapon options. Yet, as we shall see, this is not always so ... For within the Eye of Terror, dwell those for which no equivalent exists (within the arsenals of the Emperors Space Marines). Having lived for Endless years, these former Space Marine Terminators have become Twisted by the Warp - being both man and Daemon, these Chaos Terminators mutated ... Whilst stopping short of Daemonhost, these Terminators preferred instead, to retain some sense of their former selves. For within a Torrent of Fire, did their Lust for Heavy Weapons take hold - an unmovable mountain, a Chaos Obliterator:
Who can say where their allegiance once laid? Perhaps it was within the confined spaces of the alien-infested Space Hulks? Perhaps it was within the massed Naval Guns of the Imperial Fleet? Only the Emperor would know for sure ... Yet it was Chaos that took this fascination for Heavy Weapons, and turned it into something else - as a Chaos Obliterator is almost-unconstrained in it's choice of fire-power, being able to fire with: Lascannon, Autocannon, Missile Launcher, Heavy Bolter, twin-linked Plasma Gun, twin-linked Meltagun or Flamer. Indeed, this was the main deciding factor for my dilemma over which Chaos Army to collect - as Iron Warriors are able to field an unlimited amount of Obliterators (with grins), and hence an unlimited amount of Lascannons (or other appropriate weapons!). This decision was first vindicated when my Iron Warriors fought against a Black Legion army, that featured a Chaos Warhound Titan. I still remember the battle well - as the dice were on my side (at least in the beginning). With my Obliterators, I fired nine Lascannons at the Titans left leg - and almost blew it off during the first round of combat! Whilst I was somewhat surprised, it was nothing as compared to the Titans Commander (Princeps), who spent the next couple of turns recharging his Void Shields. Unfortunately, the roll-to-hit dice then seemed to desert my Chaos Lord, and my Obliterators spent the rest of the battle being shot at - by the Titans Vulcan Mega Bolter (which had a hard time dealing with my Obliterators toughness of 5, and 2 wounds each). Mind you, in Iron Sight, did my Chaos Lord learn an important lesson: field more Obliterators! What about assembly? As I have now built several, I have devised a technique for assembling these (metal) models: glue the body into the base, glue the head into the body, assemble the left plus right arms, then paint. This allows me to paint every part of the model (only glueing the arms on towards the end). I have found this approach to work well, especially when having fun with the various weapon options (as they can be awkward to glue on - unless you use a pair of magic claws). I then follow a standard approach to the Paths of Painting: under-coat in Chaos black, base in Chaos black, dry-brush in bolt-gun, then hit the raised armour edges (a white under-coat, with either shining gold or burnished gold over the top). It's then onto the Daemon skin, for which I: under-coat in white, paint in warlock purple, then dry-brush in magenta ink. When it comes to the Paths of Battle, just how powerful are these Chaos Obliterators? Well ... Sometimes I have to pinch myself! I shall consider three recent encounters. First: Four Obliterators verses ten Legion of the Damned Space Marines (armed only with Boltguns). The Obliterators won easily! Their toughness 5 ability to shrug off Rapid Fire Boltguns (over thirty shots in two turns) was simply amazing. This meant that they could advance whilst firing their guns in increasing orders of power (e.g. Autocannons followed by Lascannons), whilst finishing off in hand-to-hand (with Power Fists). Second: Four Obliterators verses ten Legion of the Damned Space Marines and a Devastator Squad (with the Obliterators Deep Striking). Once the Space Marines had recovered from their initial shock, they all turned to fire at the Obliterators. The Boltguns caused one wound (from twenty shots!). The Devastators had more luck - causing the Instant Death of two Obliterators (one to a Multi-Melta, the other to a Lascannon). My Chaos Lord baulked at this, and ordered the two remaining Obliterators to advance (firing Plasma Guns) and engage the remaining Boltgun armed Space Marines in hand-to-hand (where again their Power Fists reigned supreme). Being unable to fire into hand-to-hand combat, the Devastators elected to hang-back (especially as they were ill-equipped to charge the Obliterators). Once the Boltgun armed Space Marines had been destroyed, the Devastators fired again - less successfully this time (all missed or failed to wound), and it turned to the Obliterators, who managed to devastate them (with two Meltagun shots, followed by two Power Fists in hand-to-hand). An eye-brow did my Chaos Lord raise! Third: Four Obliterators verses a Legion of the Damned Dreadnought and Land Raider (my Chaos Lord does enjoy a challenge!). The Land Raider opened fire with it's twin-linked Lascannons and twin-linked Heavy Bolter (causing one Instant Death among my Obliterators). The Dreadnought opened fire with it's Assault Cannon (causing three wounds - resulting in three armour saves of 2 plus), then charged into hand-to-hand: with three Dreadnought Power Fist attacks (causing the Instant Death of two Obliterators), and six Obliterator Power Fist attacks (causing the destruction of the Dreadnought). It was then down to the one remaining Obliterator - to defeat the Land Raider. Fortunately, it was the Chaos Lords turn (next), so he ordered the Obliterator to fire a Lascannon (causing a glancing hit - crew shaken result), then to attack in hand-to-hand using his Power Fist (causing one glancing hit and one penetrating hit). It then seemed that the dice were on my Chaos Lords side - as I rolled a 6 on the glancing damage table (meaning that the Land Raider was utterly destroyed). My Chaos Lord chose not to grin too much - although my 40k opponent, would probably have disagreed! Overall: Chaos Obliterators have to be one of my most favourite models to collect (from the point of view of game play), yet they are not amongst my favourites for assembly (owing to lots of fun when glueing their weapons on). In 40k terms, I have found their weapon flexibility to be unsurpassed (e.g. I can shoot tanks with massed Lascannons, whilst in my next (or same) turn, shoot infantry with massed Plasma Guns). The toughness of 5 makes a considerable difference (especially when their being shot at - by non Instant Death weapons), and their strength 5 means that their Power Fist attacks are at strength 10 (being akin to a Dreadnoughts). Such exploits seem to be truly befitting, for my Iron Warriors Chaos Lord, and his army!
Within the Forge Worlds of Ancient Terra, are the mightiest War Machines constructed. Within the Forge Worlds of the Eye of Terror, are the mightiest War Machines defiled. What once was pure adamantium, now becomes twisted and deformed. The Servo-Arm of a Techmarine, it's purpose now distorted. From deep within the Foundries, a Chaos Dreadnought is born - anew. From head to toe, it's armoured form now serves the Chaos Powers:
When it comes to customising your models for 40K, I feel that there is no better army than that of Chaos and it's Chaos Space Marines - as within reason (or not!), anything goes ... As such, this is my first outing into those Dreadnoughts of the Forge World range. At first, I was concerned about constructing this Dreadnought model (because it's made of resin). I initially found the resin somewhat stranger to work with - as I'd only assembled both plastic and metal kits (before). After worrying about resins health and safety (e.g. your not supposed to breath it in), I decided to assemble the kit outdoors (e.g. to reduce the chance of that). I remember that the parts required considerably more cleaning than a typical plastic model kit - with a set of modelling files being the order of the day. Now, I started to paint this model in my old Iron Warriors paint scheme: pure bolt-gun over Chaos black undercoat (with no dry brushing). It was then to the burnished gold (for the raised armour edges) - followed by a brake, for several years! I was simply unconvinced by my old Iron Warriors paint scheme (at least it's ability to make a Dreadnought look good). Three weeks ago did my repaint start - but this time I dry-brushed the bolt-gun over Chaos black. I'm so glad that I did! I immediately had a new goal - to finish my Forge World Chaos Dreadnought to the highest quality, that I could. One of the hardest parts of the repaint was the Iron Warriors markings (the black and yellow bands). Whilst I used my usual technique for painting these (i.e. painting them straight on), I found it somewhat harder. The two markings on the top were restricted by the non-square burnished gold borders, together with two sunken-slots (in the top face) that made it easier for the yellow paint to run. The lone marking on the bottom, was complicated by the curved surface and awkwardness of brush angle (as was required to clear the sarcophagus). It was then onto the skulls - which required more attention (especially the large skull where the twin-linked Lascannon emerges). This required a slight modification to my usual approach to skull painting. Whilst I still used an ushabti bone base, together with a watery mix of tuskgor fur and gehenna's gold (applied to the top), I decided to add some dry-brushed burnished gold as an extra step (as I found that this helped to bring the details out). I also felt that I was akin to an Iron Warrior myself - with the addition of an extra painting step! Once the standard painting had been finished (such as the Dark Angels green, power chords/hoses) - it was onto the rivets. At this point did I dilemma: Should I paint each individual rivet? My reason for the dilemma? There's quite a few rivets on this Dreadnought model ... Fortunately, I decided that I would - and have found myself extremely pleased with the results! In particular, I love the way that the red rivets contrast with the burnished gold. Are you afraid of painting rivets? Well, dip the end of a cocktail stick into your paint, then dab the end onto a rivet! As for the Dreadnoughts weapons? Well, Forge World tends to offer you quite a selection for a Chaos Dreadnought (such as Plasma Cannon, Lascannon, Multi-Melta, Autocannons, Heavy Bolters, etc.). Whilst it took a while to decide (e.g. you have to pick the right ones for your Dreadnought body), I eventually opted for a twin-linked Lascannon (for powerful hits against enemy vehicles), together with a Chainfist (for it's ability to cut through the armour of enemy tanks). Overall: I enjoyed the challenges involved with assembling this model - which, for the most part, came from the fact that it's made of resin. With the Will of the Emperor, did I overcome these challenges - and I was soon within the familiar Realms of Chaos black undercoat, and burnished gold raised armour edges! This is my favourite Iron Warriors Dreadnought (to date) - and I know that it is Pride of Place within my Iron Warriors army. If I could name one thing to make my Chaos Dreadnought better? It's that I could have placed the model on a Dreadnought scenic base.
Within the armies of the Space Marines, it is seen as a Great Honour for the body of a shattered Space Marine to be interned within the armoured hide of a Dreadnought. Yet, within the armies of the Chaos Space Marines, it is seen as a Great Damnation for the mind of a former Space Marine - an armoured sarcophagus from which there is no escape for their Tormented Soul. Where as a Space Marine Dreadnought can live for several thousand years, it is nothing compared to the lifespan of a Chaos Dreadnought:
Within the Warp, Chaos Dreadnoughts were changed, and it is now known that many of them have lived for well over ten thousand years. Whilst long lived - these changes came at a price: as most of their minds have turned to insanity - often attacking their own troops (in the heat of battle). Indeed, this is one of those 40K rules that has often caused me pause-for-thought: for I would love to wield an army of Chaos Dreadnoughts (within my Iron Warriors) - but would I really want the potential for that many uncontrollable Dreadnoughts on the battlefield? I'm tempted to say yes, as it would make for an entertaining game - especially for my opponents, who may be creased up in hysterics (e.g. as my Fire Frenzied Dreadnoughts shot at my Chaos Lord). This model is important to me - as it's the first Chaos Dreadnought that I ever painted. Being an older model, I decided that it was time for a repaint, and believed that it was the ideal test bed for my new Iron Warriors colour scheme: undercoat in Chaos black, base in Chaos black, dry brush in bolt-gun, then hit the raised armour edges. For these, it's undercoat in white, then burnished gold on-top. I shall now share a secret ... Burnished gold and I share a love-hate relationship. I love the finished effect of burnished gold, but I hate painting it on - it seems too runny, and I have to use (usually) three to four coats before I'm happy! It's then onto the Iron Warriors markings (the black and yellow bands). I prefer to paint these straight on - as opposed to drawing them out first. I have found that this approach works quite well - with some alterations being made (e.g.) if the spacing between the bands seems too different. I undercoat the yellow bands in white, applying several coats of sunburst yellow on-top. The black bands use a coat of Chaos black (to cover up the dry-brushed bolt-gun). The coat of Chaos black (at most two) helps to create an interesting effect - as the yellow bands then appear to be raised over the black bands. It's then onto the standard painting - such as the ribbed power chords/hoses (which I paint in Dark Angels green, with dry-brushed burnished gold over the top) and the skulls (which are ushabti bone with a runny tuskgor fur and gehenna's gold mix-wash applied to the top). It was then that I noticed something about my Dreadnought model - most of the burnished gold raised armour edges featured rivets on them. In the past I would have left these as burnished gold (but not this time) - I decided that a contrasting red was the order of the day! Thus, I made use of my handy cocktail stick (per rivet): two dabs of white, two dabs of ruby red, two dabs of magenta ink (allowing each dab to dry first). When it came to the weapons of my Dreadnought - I decided to choose a Plasma Cannon (for punching through armour) and a Power Claw (for powerful hand-to-hand). I decided to angle the Power Claw slightly - as the models pose seemed much more dynamic (like this). The Plasma Cannon was kept horizontal - as it doesn't make much sense for a line of sight weapon to be pointing at the floor. Overall: I enjoyed the challenges involved with painting this model - which, for the most part, came from the burnished gold raised armour edges. In painting these, I learned an important lesson - let the burnished gold dry first (otherwise you end up with paint on your fingers and have to repaint the armour edge). This was an issue that I feel was only attenuated, by the weight of the model (i.e. being made of lead - I needed a decent grip). It's also a model where I found myself painting new-unusual parts. For example, I would normally avoid painting a Space Marine Dreadnoughts feet - but decided that the addition of burnished gold (to the toes), actually helped my Chaos Dreadnought to look more balanced.
Within the armies of the Space Marines, there are those that stand-out on the field of battle: daring Commanders that lead their brethren, both into the strongest battle lines, and into the deepest territories of the enemies (of Mankind). Yet even they may be struck down, their bodies broken, their minds intact. One such Commander, was Bjorn, of the Space Wolves Chapter of Space Marines - saved from death, by his internment within the life-preserving fluids of a Dreadnought sarcophagus:
Whilst a Space Marine can live for several hundred years, a Dreadnought can live for several thousand. Bjorn is the Oldest of the Old, having lived for over ten thousand years. Preserved by the Iron Priests (of the Space Wolves), he's armoured form has brought the wrath of the Emperor (of Mankind) to the enemies of humanity, in over a thousand battles. It is perhaps fitting then, that this is the first Dreadnought model that I ever made, and as such, is also the oldest Dreadnought model that I have (of all my armies for 40K). At this time (twenty or so years ago) I decided to construct the kit by: painting each individual part, and then glueing together. I felt that this approach had an advantage - as it allowed easy access to the Chaos black plus bolt-gun dry-brushed areas (near to where the arms attach, and at the bottom of the sarcophagus - where those two sensors protrude). In a saga that's worthy of the Space Wolves, I have repainted Bjorn several times (over the years), and it is only recently that I have achieved the results that I was after (all along). With each re-paint, I was glad that I had got his base colours (Chaos black and Space Wolves Grey) correct from the start - as this has greatly simplified his modernisations. What modernisations I hear you say? The first: it took a long time to equip him with a Dreadnought base (that I liked). For years I'd glued him to a block of wood - that was so large, that fellow 40k opponents used to laugh when I moved him (as he took half my army with him!). This was eventually fixed by using the Dreadnought scenic base (although that decision took several years). The second: for years I'd leaned across my gaming table, and for years a recurring event always occurred - I'd have to straighten his banner pole both during, and at the end, of a game of 40k! This was eventually fixed when I decided to completely remove the banner pole - which I believe actually improved the look of Bjorn. The third: as my painting skills have grown, I just knew that the (original) skulls were not up-to-scratch. These were easily fixed with my new technique (for painting skulls/bone): undercoat in white, cover with ushabti bone (aka bleached bone), then for highlights - mix tuskgor fur (aka terracotta) and gehenna's gold (aka shining gold) with water (until the paint is really quite runny), then soak a small brush in the mix, dragging across paper slightly, then running the watery-paint onto the model/skull (the water helps the paint take its own path, for example, into the cracks). I like to vary the amount of tuskgor fur/gehenna's gold that I use, as it gives different results from model to model (which I feel reflects the different ages of the skulls/bone). Bjorn is my favourite Dreadnought to wield on the battlefield: as I just love the combination of an Assault Cannon with Lightning Claw plus Heavy Flamer (on the underside of the Lightning Claw). As far as battles go, Bjorn is always at the fore-front, with two of my favourite opponents being: Orks (having slain the Warlord Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka many times) and Chaos (in one particular battle, he was in the middle of a squad of Chaos Daemons, who themselves were surrounded by my Space Wolves Wolf Guard Terminators - with so many expectations about the up coming hand-to-hand, that we forget all about the shooting phase of other troops!). Overall: This is a model that holds pride-of-place within my Space Wolves army. I like the fact that this model has made me feel like an Iron Priest: maintaining between battles, with numerous re-paints (somehow avoiding over-painting), and some tweaks to finish off (several years later). I also like the fact that he seems to have a fearsome presence on the battlefield. Whether just lucky dice? Whether just some memories of an older rules version? (When he truly was a force to be reckoned with). Whichever it is - I shall let you decide, when you next face Bjorn!
Within the armies of the Space Marines, there shall be those who prefer to fight from afar (e.g. with Missile Launchers and Heavy Bolters), rather than fight hand-to-hand (e.g. with Power Swords and Power Fists). When mortally wounded, such Fallen brethren, may be saved from death, by their interment within the armoured form of a Hellfire Dreadnought:
Locked within his/her armoured sarcophagus, the trigger-happy Space Marine shall continue to serve the Emperor (of Mankind), but with one major advantage: being free to roam the battlefield, picking their targets wisely, whilst incoming fire, bounces harmlessly off their adamantium armour. I enjoyed constructing this model, as it features a good amount of detail, and followed some different steps (during construction) to what I would usually do: being made of plastic, I glued the entire model together (first), then under-coated with Chaos black (spray paint). The model seems suited to this construction method, as the various parts, did not hinder at all, when painting the fine details: such as the flames - that indicate its allegiance (to Legion of the Damned). Having prepared the model with two to three coats of Chaos black (using a Tank brush), I then set about using a large dry-brush (with bolt-gun) to bring out the finer plastic details. Once painted, I then dry-brushed (once more), with gold, to create an amazing sheen (over the entire model). I feel that the plastic model aided both construction and painting (as its lighter and easier to hold), yet oddly enough, I prefer the weight of a metal Dreadnought (when I'm playing 40K). I like the fact that a Hellfire Dreadnought has several weapon options: a Missile Launcher (effective against both infantry and tanks), a twin-linked Lascannon (effective against tanks), a Multi-Melta (effective against tanks and bunkers) and an Assault Cannon (effective against infantry, plus with some luck, against vehicles). When constructing my Dreadnought, I decided to opt for a Missile Launcher (for ranged attacks) and an Assault Cannon (for powerful defence against infantry, whilst retaining the flexibility of being able to target vehicles). Even so, I keep forgetting that this is a Hellfire Dreadnought, and when playing 40K, I often try to use him/her as if they had a close combat weapon! I must remember to keep the Dreadnought towards the rear of my army/deployment zone, so that they avoid getting into hand-to-hand combat (as much as possible). I can only image what this Dreadnought would be like, if it could be equipped, with a Cyclone Missile Launcher (as that really would be Hellfire!). Overall: This is a decent model that shall add value to your army - whether your a collector, or an avid 40K gamer. The model is highly-suited to unusual paint schemes (such as my Legion of the Damned) as the sarcophagus features several large/flat areas (with room for your creative talents). The model also provides some contrast in your painting skills: as the front can be highly detailed, whilst the back can be very simple (in my case, just dry-brushed bolt-gun/gold, with a bone-coloured skull!). Even in death, this Dreadnought, shall continue to serve you, and your painting skills!
Within the forty-first millennium, devastating weapons exist, that can punch a hole through the Power Armour, of even a god-like Space Marine. Such Fallen brethren, may be saved from death, by their interment within the sarcophagus of a Dreadnought:
Within this armoured hide, the Honoured brethren shall continue to live, and bring his/her wrath to the enemies of the Emperor (of Mankind). Only the greatest/oldest warriors shall be deemed worthy of Venerable status: as they have the most knowledge (often dating back thousands of years) and have earned their right on the battlefield (often by destroying a mighty foe and/or standing against overwhelming numbers). I like the fact that this model has been crafted to a high-standard, and I especially like the amount of Purity Seals present upon the armour (which help to designate it's Venerable status). When painting this model, I wanted to aim for something different: thus it was that I decided upon Legion of the Damned! As black is my favourite colour, I under-coated in Chaos black (spray paint), then built up the layers (with Chaos black and a Tank brush), dry-brushed in bolt-gun, then carefully painted the flames (white base, yellow over the white, red over most of the yellow - with some added fun on raised edges!). I then dry-brushed gold over the entire model, including the flames (although a lesser coverage here). The biggest problem I faced (whilst painting), was with the weight of the (metal) model - as I remember that it became awkward to hold, and I had a growing fear, that something, could fall off! I forget (with my memory), whether the kit was supplied with more than one weapons choice (or not), although I would have opted for the Power Fist and Assault Cannon configuration anyway: as I feel that a Venerable Dreadnought should be both capable of attack from afar, and be able to get in into the thick-of-it (during hand-to-hand), which is exactly what my Dreadnought does! I find it ironic that the model has an exposed head (to represent the Space Marine), as I believe that actually makes him/her more vulnerable (although I suppose its possible that there's a force screen/shield across there). When it comes to playing 40K, I like the fact that my Venerable Dreadnought is (generally) much harder to kill: as it allows you to request your opponent to re-roll on the Vehicle Damage tables. This can cause some dilemma though - can you live without your Power Fist or risk loosing your Dreadnought entirely? At the very least, you may get a chance to save your Dreadnought, from exploding, (by requesting the re-roll of a high dice roll - which I have done before). Overall: I enjoyed painting this model (deciding to mark a Birthday by collecting it!) and know that it is pride-of-place within my Legion of the Damned Space Marines army. I feel that the model is especially suited to the Dreadnought scenic base (because of the link between the skulls on the model, and the skull on the ground). I also know just how imposing this model can feel on the battlefield - as it towers above the height of a standard Space Marine, and often attracts much fire-power (as your opponent will be grinning to destroy it!).