Project Change VI

Another Generation One Blue Horror! Worshipping the Chaos God of Change is now seeming quite repetitive. But these classic models are so quick to paint on account on their diminutive size.

It was red and yellow and pink and brown and blue

This Horror I experiemented with a different style of painting. I added white blotches in between the glazes to get a mottled skin effect. I was copying it from my Realms of Chaos books, where it’s used to paint several different daemons. Not too keen, but I may experiment some more.

Project Change V

Another first generation Blue Horror in the traditional Enchanted Blue scheme. Boring.

Not Ben Folds Five

But what’s not boring is the tuft of grass front centre. Yes! A tuft of grass. I have a problem with static grass in that it tends to look flattened. The effect of static grass is that static electricity pricks the strands on end, so they stand up like real grass. Mine just looks trampled. And I came across a German company – Fredericus Rex – who produce pre-made tufts of grass in all sorts of lengths and colours. I went crazy and ordered every variety of dried grass available. Real nerd shopping spree.

Yes! grass!

Bit too big for the individual 25mm bases (you tend to lose the feet and make the model look like he’s about to stumble on a small bush), but great on movement trays and bigger bases.

Anyone got any tips for making my static grass stand up on end?

Chaos Marine Backpacks II

With the help of the Collecting Citadel Miniatures Group (I love how the prevailing mentality matches my own) I’ve discovered that the Rogue Trader Chaos backpacks are not at all jump packs. On top of Ian’s comment on the original post saharduin had this to say:

I’m afraid Ian Wood is correct in his comments at your blog. There was also at least one illustration of marines using regular backpacks as jump packs (Chapter Approved – the Book of the Astronomican) possibly also drawn by Ian Miller (I can’t recall for sure offhand and don’t have the book here to double-check).

There was also, to my immediate recollection, an illustration of squats holding their weapons upside down, and one of a marine holding his heavy weapon back to front. The point is, illustrators sometimes got things wrong.

There’s nothing to suggest that early Chaos backpacks were intended to be jump packs. They’re smaller than jump packs, they don’t look like jump packs, and they were catalogued as backpacks on every occasion. It’s weird that they had what looked like additional extended jets, but it seems to just have been a way to add stuff onto the existing imperial backpack designs to make them look more Chaos-y.


So I looked through the Book of the Astronomicon and found the illustration.

I wish I could fly right up to the sky

Nerd crisis over.

Project Change IV

Back to the Daemons with another first generation Blue Horror. I did it in a light blue scheme, that still looks quite vivid and fits with the rest of the army.

half an element

I also copied Carl Woodrow’s idea for using War of the Ring movement trays for display purposes. Shame they’re not 10mm narrower else they’d be great to rank up models for Warhammer Fantasy.

Chaos Marine Backpacks

I’m having a little nerd crisis at the moment over Chaos Marine backpacks, brought about by Lost and the Damned, and the oldskool models I love to surround myself with.

Let’s start in the current day.

Current Imperial backpacks:

Current Imperial Marine backpacks

Current Chaos backpacks:

Current Chaos Marine backpacks

The main difference is the stabiliser jets at the top are on stalks on the Chaos ones. This is one of the main design features of Chaos models that give them a distinct visual identity.

Now, let’s travel back to the 1990s, Citadel’s Silver Age.

1990s Imperial backpacks:

1990s Imperial Marine backpacks

1990s Chaos backpacks:

1990s Chaos Marine backpacks

Again, the Chaos ones are characterised by the stabilser jets protuding from the backpack’s body. It’s nice seeing this design detail has endured through the ages.

But let’s go further back, into the 1980s when this all began.

1980s Imperial backpacks:

1980s Imperial Marine backpacks

1980s Chaos backpacks:

1980s Chaos Marine backpacks

Ahh! Again, we have the stalked stabiliser jets. An original design quirk going back to 40k’s fledling days.

But no! No! Look closer! The stabiliser jets are the things beneath the stalks.

So, what’s going on? What are the stalks if they’re not stabiliser jets? The mystery deepens with this picture from Lost and the Damned. (Fans of Squats please look away now.)

Page 254

They’re flying?! Is this illustration intended to illustrate some of the options on the Special Equipment Charts? Perhaps the Equipment and Bionics chart?

Equipment and Bionics Chart

Woah! Jump Packs upgraded to flight packs?! What’s the difference? Well, look it up in Rogue Trader and you get:

Flight pack. A flight pack is worn on the back. It can be either controlled by a manual control (which requires a free hand) or b direct mind-impulse link. The pack enables the wearer to fly, using a small thrust jet combined with suspensors.

Jump pack. A jump pack permits its wearer to make a long, powerful jump instead of a normal move. Unlike a flight pack, a model using a jump pack does not remain airborne, but takes off, jumps and lands as part of its movement.

Okay, so there were Jump Packs and Flight Packs. So, who had what? Well, most Chaos Marine Squads in the army lists had access to them.

Jump Pack options

Which leads me to the conclusion that back in the 1980s the Renegade Marine models were equipped with Jump Packs as standard, while their Imperial counterparts had standard backpacks.

Weird really, as page 72 of 2nd edition’s Chaos Codex says: Though both jump packs and skimmers were available to the Space Marine Legions in limited quantities prior to the Heresy they were proportionally far rarer than in the later Imperial Space Marine Chapters. The complex fabrication and maintenance rituals required for jump packs and skimmers has eliminated their use by the Traitor Legions since their banishment to the Eye of Terror.

Weird how things change, no?