Chaos Thug Life

Chaos Thugs are a Warhammer range released in several batches between 1986 and 1991.  Games Workshop stamped them out of existence in 1994, omitting them from Warhammer Armies: Chaos.  Thugs are firmly anchored solely in Warhammer’s past, quintessential incarnations of Oldhammer, meaning they command decent prices on the collector’s market.

Oldhammer Warhammer Chaos Thugs

I regret going with the red hair on these figures – it worked on the rightmost guy, who was the first I painted, but looks a a bit clownlike on the other two.  Don’t paint people with bright red eyebrows.  Even Ronald McDonald doesn’t have red eyebrows.

Chaos Thugs are great fun to paint as they’re all individuals that the sculptors packed with weird and unique details.

Oldhammer Warhammer Chaos Thugs

This Thug has hair that’s long one side and short the other – and one eyebrow bushy and the other shaven off.  He also comes with a severed head at his belt – there’s some back story to how he decapitated someone with just a bludgeoning weapon.

Oldhammer Warhammer Chaos Thugs

This Thug has both his weapons, the business-end of his “horseman’s pick” and the pommel of his sheathed dagger, shaped like bird heads.  Perhaps it was a subtle Tzeentch reference?  I also like how his one scavenged kneepad has a leering face sculpted on it.

Oldhammer Warhammer Chaos Thugs

Pazyryk  Banefire and the Thugs in the Matityahu Temple.

The Thugs will get on well with the Talisman Warrior and Barbarian as they’re all half-naked men who enjoy shaving their chests.  The Talisman Chaos Warrior is the unit champion, as that’s how it worked in the Warhammer 3rd edition army lists.  Next off I’m on the hunt for more Thugs to make a modestly sized raiding party, with a full command group.

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Curis

Curis has painted for Games Workshop, Forge World, Warlord Games, Mantic Games, Avatars of War, Wargames Foundry, Studio McVey and many others. He's won at Golden Demon and Salute. He publishes monthly painting tutorials on Patreon.

9 thoughts on “Chaos Thug Life

  • October 27, 2017 at 11:09 am
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    I beg to differ, the red hair does work from where I stand.
    Phil Oakey in the Middle is my favourite of all three.

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    • October 27, 2017 at 1:45 pm
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      Phil Oakey! I could not think of the name of any iconically behaired New Romantics while I was writing this post, so I left musical references out. Thanks!

      Reply
  • October 27, 2017 at 1:09 pm
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    They are indeed a great range. I think the Ronald McDonald colour scheme looks fine Chris. They’re supposed to skull crushing punk rockers after all.

    Top work brother :)

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    • October 27, 2017 at 1:46 pm
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      Well, rather than repaint them I’ll just paint duplicate castings in a refined scheme if I ever get round to owning any. Thanks Papa F.

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  • October 27, 2017 at 8:12 pm
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    I love your colour selection on them, they look great.

    They are such a great model, I had about 20 of them I purchased when I was young and kept over the last 20 years. When I got back into AoS a few years back I repainted them up as chaos marauders as they look more unique than the current marauder models. Then paid an arm and a leg to get more. Now I have a strong force of 40 chaos thugs in my army which look fantastic.

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    • October 29, 2017 at 2:52 am
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      Thanks. I will channel my frustration with the colour choices into painting the next batch, instead of repainting these ones.

      The current plastic Marauders have the limitation of the arm joins. I much prefer the earlier metal Marauders with their flails.

      Your 40 Thugs. That’d be a sight!

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  • October 28, 2017 at 10:25 am
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    “Don’t paint people with bright red eyebrows. Even Ronald McDonald doesn’t have red eyebrows.”

    Sage advice for the ages.

    :)

    Reply

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