Of all the Chaos Dragons, there is none more spoken of - than Galrauch. What once was Elven Dragon, Golden Drake. Became twisted and deformed, as with the Powers of Chaos! For it was upon the battlefield that Elven triumphed, but just for the smallest Twist of Time ... Having consumed a Seed of Chaos, did Tzeentch (Chaos Sorcerer), work his Magic. Thy Lord of Change, changed this Dragon - from Spire of Light, to Blade of Dark:
This is the first such Fantasy Character/Model, that I have ever constructed - which took me a little over eight years to complete! Well ... Not eight years exactly - more like, I just started to assemble and paint, this Warhammer Figure, at the start of this year :) Whys that you say? Perhaps I to, had become Lost in the Realms of Chaos? Or perhaps instead, it was just that I remembered, where the box was! But then again, perhaps it was only now, that I felt just capable - of assembling this model :) Yes, I think that was it ... For I knew from day one, that this model would be difficult to assemble. Whilst I forget when it was, that I first cleaned/filed the metal edges of this Dragon. I know for-well when it was, that I found myself in the Realms of Superglue! Lost in Time, Lost in Glue, did I reach for - my Dremel Multitool :) For it was indeed, that I pinned this Dragon's Wings, to this Dragon's Body ... And here did I learn a lesson: drill the hole in the Dragon's Body first, insert a cocktail stick, trim it (so it's just poking out), add a dab of paint to the end of the cocktail stick (I used red), press each Dragon's Wing to the Dragon's Body, and with a Rune of Tzeentch - do you know just where to drill the matching hole! And what of the cocktail stick? Well ... Just drill it out :) It was then to the Dragon's Heads (which glued on fine), and the Dragon's Tail (which I lost several evenings to - eventually having to pin). Yet, with both the Dragon's Heads and the Dragon's Tail, together with the Dragon's Body - did I have to use Modellers Putty, to fill the gaps :) Thus, do I feel, that it took me about a month (in the evenings), to assemble this model. It was then onto the Realms of Painting ... I started with a white undercoat, then changed to black (both undercoat and base). I then dry-brushed the Dragon in Dragon Red (Army Painter), and highlighted/refined in Magenta Ink (I really loved that part!). I then found myself painting in Warlock Purple (Citadel Colour), along both the edges, and the folds of Daemon flesh - which I again dry-brushed in Magenta Ink. It was here that I decided to paint the Bones, Talons and Barbs of this Dragon ... Undercoat in white first, then Ushabti Bone (Citadel Layer) over the top. This proved to be a challenge - as there was a lot of Bones, Talons and Barbs! I especially found it awkward, along the Finer Bones of this Dragon's Wings. It was then that I consorted with Tzeentch ... For I was lured into a whole multi-coloured spectrum, for the highlights/details of my Chaos Dragon: Angel Green (Army Painter), Amethyst Purple, Emerald Green, Enchanted Blue, Golden Yellow and Tuskgor Fur (all Citadel). I used these colours for the patches of cracked Dragon Skin, and the various Snaking Cords/Veins. It was then that Tzeentch, spoke to me again ... Before I knew what I was doing, had I picked up a paint brush, and started painting shapes over my Dragon's Wings (where the small faces showed through the webbed skin/folds). Then did I battle, for I realised that these were Patches of Contagion - that looked too disjoint to the Dragon's base colours. I eventually resolved this issue, through the use of Tuskgor Fur - painted around the outside, of these Patches of Contagion. It was then, that I remembered my Dragon's Eyes ... I based in white, then painted over with Dragon Red. I was initially concerned about their shape (as some of the red paint ran), but in the end - this worked out fine :) As for the finishing of my Dragon, did I decide to dry-brush in Shining Gold (Citadel Metallic - the really old one). It was as though, I was Tzeentch himself! For my Chaos Dragon, simply snapped into focus - and I found myself in total awe, at the detail, that I'd managed to work in :) Overall: An amazing Western Dragon, Fantasy Model - that I know is Pride of Place, within my collection of Fantasy Characters. It's a model, that I rushed to collect (several years back), but then managed to forget about (for the most part). But recently, I suspect that Tzeentch started to whisper to me (from the Warp), as I found myself dreaming of Galrauch - especially the Desire to both assemble, and paint him! For me, Galrauch is more a Collector's Dragon :) I spent so long painting him (enjoyably), that the thought of fielding him in battle, just scares me! Indeed, was it here that I knew just when my Galrauch was complete - as I started to obsess too much, about dropping him (whilst painting!). Finally: a unique Warhammer Character/Model, that seems to have disappeared largely, from the Ranks of Chaos these days. Whilst we may never know why that is - perhaps Galrauch sleeps? I do know of one Tale, that this Dragon still Reigns in ... Galrauch roars upon thy Field of Battle - knowing not Now, what he Once was. Galrauch roars upon thy Collector's shelf - knowing just Is, what he Became. For Galrauch is a Chaos Dragon :) Writhed in Power. Writhed in Chaos. Off to War, and Hunt the Elven!
Where as a Chaos Lord desires to keep something of their former selves, there are those within the Traitor Legions who have no need for such concerns! These are the Aspiring Champions of the Chaos Space Marines - who willingly allow the Greater Daemons (of Chaos) to possess their bodies ... Upon the battlefield, such Aspiring Champions, often appear, as a standard Chaos Space Marine - who has (perhaps) just fallen foul of a Boltgun round, or been run-through by a Power Sword. Yet, in the Aspiring Champions dying throws, do the Powers of the Warp take over, his body revealing its true purpose - that of a Daemonhost, a Bloodthirster of Khorne:
The first time I encountered such a Daemon, was when my Space Wolves were battling against my 40k opponents Black Legion (Chaos Space Marines army). To say Ragnar Blackmane was shocked, was something of an understatement! Regaining his composure, Ragnar quickly gathered his remaining Wolf Guard Terminators, and charged the Bloodthirster! What followed next, can still cause me nightmares - each turn my Wolf Guard dwindled, and each turn the Bloodthirster racked up the kills (under rules version two). Fortunately (for me), after three to four turns of hand-to-hand, the Emperor intervened - I suddenly remembered that we were playing Take and Hold (so destroying the Bloodthirster was not a primary objective!). Indeed, the Black Legion Commander had forgotten this point himself - and whilst he was intent on utterly destroying Ragnar (together with his Wolf Guard bodyguard), my Space Wolves Iron Priest made a Fleet of Foot dash for the Imperial Primarch Statue (that we'd selected as the primary Take and Hold objective). Hence, at the end of the game, my Space Wolves were victorious - the Black Legion were not! Even so, the Bloodthirster had left its mark on me - as I knew that it was a model, that I just had to have (even though my Iron Warriors are incapable of wielding it directly). Whilst much of the model was easy to assemble - I had considerable trouble with the Daemonic Wings (as they refused to glue on). Eventually, I decided to make use of a modelling file, and (in effect) file my own pins from the attachment points (which worked like a treat). Whilst I originally painted this model several years back - I decided recently, that it was time for a repaint ... I regard the Bloodthirster as a dry-brush paint model (meaning that I primarily dry-brush various colours over a Chaos black undercoat, plus base). I enhanced the (existing) shining gold brass armour, with some dry-brushed burnished gold (which helped to refine it's colour). I then dry-brushed magenta ink over the (existing) dry-brushed blood red daemon skin. I then (totally) overhauled the close combat Axe to feature a decent contrast between dry-brushed bolt-gun (over Chaos black), and dry-brushed burnished gold (over Chaos black). The Axe's Chaos Icons were (of course) repainted in burnished gold. The bony areas (such as tusks, teeth and finger nails) were enhanced by a runny tuskgor fur, gehenna's gold and snakebite leather mix-wash applied to the top (i.e. over ushabti bone). I then dry-brushed some burnished gold over the new bony areas (to help finish them off). As you can see, the results speak for themselves! What about the performance of my Bloodthirster in recent 40k encounters? Well, I shall consider a memorable three ... First: Bloodthirster verses Bjorn The Fell-Handed (Space Wolves Venerable Dreadnought). The Bloodthirster won easily! By the time several strength 8 plus 2d6 armour penetration tests had ravaged Bjorn, there just wasn't enough left ... Second: Bloodthirster verses Logan Grimnar and his seven Wolf Guard Terminators bodyguard (equipped for hand-to-hand with two Power Fists, two Chainfists, one Thunder Hammer, one Power Sword and one regular strength - as a Cyclone Missile Launcher). After ten Storm Bolter shots had bounced off, and an Assault Cannon had caused one wound - it was down to hand-to-hand ... The Wolf Guard sergeant (with a Power Sword) attacked at the same time as the Bloodthirster. Yet, the dice were on the Chaos side, and the Bloodthirster killed three Wolf Guards. It was then onto the remaining Wolf Guards (plus Logan), who all struck last (as Power Fists, Chainfists and Thunder Hammers all strike at Initiative 1). This was much more like it - with four attacks each (as the Wolf Guard charged), the Bloodthirster had plenty of invulnerable saves to make! Third: Bloodthirster verses two Legion of the Damned Space Marine Dreadnoughts (one Venerable - both armed with Power Fists for close combat). Eight Assault Cannon shots, and two wounds later (against the Bloodthirster), it was again into hand-to-hand. Unfortunately, the two Legion of the Damned Dreadnoughts were soon in bits - as the Bloodthirster's strength 8 plus 2d6 armour penetration tests again reigned supreme! It was these three memorable encounters that helped me devise a strategy for dealing with Bloodthirster's (and other Greater Daemons): shoot it (e.g. with powerful Lascannons from afar), and if that doesn't work (or you don't get the opportunity), engage such Daemons in hand-to-hand with so many Power Fists (or equivalent), that you should have enough models left (after the Bloodthirster's first attack), that you can force it, to have to take, a considerable amount of invulnerable saves! What happens if you don't have any Power Fists (or equivalent) left on the battlefield? Well, you could always run away (although would a Space Marine really do that?), or perhaps the Emperor shall intervene for you to (and remind you of your mission objectives!). Of course, if the objective of your 40k game is to kill as many of the enemy as possible, then why not run straight at the Greater Daemon? Imagine the satisfaction from slaying it in hand-to-hand, or at least, returning it to the Warp! Overall: This is one of the best stand out 40k models that I have collected (to date) - especially in terms of it's painting, character profile and game play. I like the fact that the Bloodthirster's character profile is easy to understand (it's pure strength 8, toughness 6, wounds 4), leaving little room for confusion over Instant Death. One drawback ... You have to test for Daemonic Instability on 3d6 (at the end of each Chaos turn) - which if you fail, may just constrain your Chaos Lords ambitions somewhat!