Balamir de Storchion, Sorcerer of Tzeentch – Project Change XXV

Three arms. Bird head. One armoured foot. Magic rings. It must be some classic Chaos goodness, today in the shape of Balamir de Storchion, Sorcerer of Tzeentch.

Balamir de Storchion, Sorcerer of Tzeentch

Again, this is a casting that’s visibly aged. The scroll is quite pudgy with rounded corners – the original clean crisp lines having been eroded by years of man-handling, stripping and casual abuse. I suppose old plastics keep their shape much better than classic lead.

In the Dark Tongue, you would write his name out as…

Balamir de Storchion in Chais Runes

The last three runes representing (left to right) Tzeentch’s Gift of Magic and the Chaos attributes Beaked, Multiple Arms and Feathered Hide. I toyed with the idea that instead of Beaked it would be the Tzeentch Gift Face of a Lord of Change, but figured his head wasn’t quite that impressive.

Here’s the chap with the most recent additions to Project Change, neither of which I felt photographed well originally.

Some Sorcerers of Tzeentch

When I get nine of the Fantasy Sorcerers painted, I want to field them a squad of Thrall Sorcerers for a power-armoured Sorcerer. Soon…

Jade Green Blue Horror – Project Change XXIV

Back into the big pile of Horrors of Tzeentch to paint for Project Change. This Blue Horror has been done in Liche Purple through to Jade Green. Not blue as such, but both colours are almost there.

Jade Green Blue Horror of Tzeentch

Games Workshop have just released their new plastic Horrors. It’s a big departure from the third generation of truly disturbing Horrors. But, oddly, there seems to be no tip-of-the-hat to their splitting any more. I’ve yet to get my hands on the sprues themselves (but it’s my birthday soon so fingers crossed) so I could be wrong. There’s no game reason to paint them blue these days, but I’m sure people will. Here’s how they appear in blue with a little Photoshop magic.

Fluctuating Horrors of Tzeentch

Now, how to capture that effect with paint?

Chaos in the Northwest Gaming Centre

Having epicked it out to the max at Britcon this weekend we took a break from our regular Tuesday night six-millimetring and sat down with a copy of Fantasy Flight‘s Chaos in the Old World.

Chaos in the Old World

Each player plays on of the four major Chaos Gods, and attempts to corrupt the Old World before the other Gods do, or the Old World itself defeats you. I bagsied Tzeentch (of course).

Let’s start with the plus sides.

All the players are constantly involved, fighting each other, ravaging the various Warhammer territories and marshalling their followers. There’s no downtime, and there’s a lot of infighting and bickering between players as they try to spoil each other’s plans and chew up their rivals’ cultists and daemons. Additionally, there is room to collaborate with the other players, so it feels very much like you’re part of the Chaos pantheon.

Secondly, the four gods play very differently.

Now the downsides. Downsides that led us to drink and despair.

Chaos in the Old World

The rules language is awful. What you’re meant to do seems to be implied rather than clearly stated. The rules pamphlet is best likened to a tax return form you only seem to have half the required sections for. By way of example one of the six phases is the “Corruption Phase” which is subdivided into the “Domination Step” and the “Corruption Step” – so there’s confusion between the similarly-named “Corruption Phase” and the “Corruption Step”. We were really struggling to remember the affects of all twelve different types of card counters.  I suppose you could argue the game’s an accurate representation of Chaos as a confusing jumbled mess of ever-shifting concepts and terms.

And the four Gods each play very differently.  They each operate with a different set of rules, making it difficult to figure out what’s actually going on strategy-wise.  There’re so many oddball cards and effects it’s hard to play tactically let alone strategically without having played all four Gods (or at least having a familiarity with all the 149 cards).

Overall, characterful on account of its complexity. We were left frustrated that it wasn’t easier to pick up.  It’ll be another few months before we wheel it out again for a second session.

Chaos in the Old World

First Thousand Son – Project Change XXII

I’m continuing my focus on the Thousand Sons with the classic 1990 Jes Goodwin Thousand Son.

Jes Goodwin's first Thousand Son

I’ve got ten of them! It’s taken months and months of trawling through eBay, buying one here and one there and now I finally got enough for a complete squad without paying more than a couple of quid each. They’ve stripped back beautifully too. In fact, I have one too many (the last auction I won was for a group of four) so I can test a second scheme out before deciding how the squad’ll be done.

As I’ve just started reading A Thousand Sons, I thought I’d try implementing the colour scheme on the excellent Neil Roberts cover artwork.

A Thousand Sons

As you can see, Neil’s interpretation of the Heresy-era Thousand Sons features quite understated headpieces, leaving plenty of scope for them to get corrupted by the time the Battle of Terra comes.

This is an awesome model. The early 1980s Chaos Renegades were sculpted by the Michael and Alan Perry and Kev Adams. This was at a time when Chaos had a yet undeveloped visual identity, and so most models were unique mindfracks with crazy bespoke armour. They involved a lot of cross-over from the design of the 1980s Chaos Warrior, with elements or H. R. Giger thrown in. Though the sculpting quality was a tad primitive, they were full of a vibrant creativity. Here are two. (Hell, I’ve been whining about doing red without it looking Khornate too long now so I just went and painted a World Eater.)

Retro Renegades

Then, in 1990 a young Jes Goodwin came along and produced a renegade model for each major Chaos God. At about the same time Jes was working on the then-new mk7 Space Marine armour (which endures through to this day), and he took a lot of the design elements through into these Renegades. So much so they’d not look out of place in modern 40K armies, despite being 20 years old.

Jes Goodwin's cult marines

Interestingly, this is the first type the Egyptian motif appears for Tzeentch. Prior to this, Thousand Sons were just gribbly fungus bird marines.

And finally, I’m not sure if I’m cheating the terms of Project Change here (i.e. no conversions), but rather than model the first of the Marines with the Chaos Renegade backpack, I chose the mk7 Imperial backpack. Neil Robert’s illustration doesn’t feature the debased stabilser jets of Chaos backpacks (which I’ve written about at length here). Ah well, I’ve got another nine to paint with the correct backpacks.