“Let the Galaxy Burn.”-Horus
Almost every new player to Warhammer 40k starts with an Imperial army, usually that of the Adeptus Astartes. Some eventually move on to Xenos armies like the Eldar, Orks, and Tau. But you will be hard pressed to find a player who doesn’t at least have one or two Space Marines hidden away somewhere. But some players eventually choose to play the Arch-enemy, the mortal and otherwise legions of Chaos.
But there is something about Chaos that makes that choice more interesting; We primarily view the galaxy from an Imperial viewpoint, and from that viewpoint forces an outlook that Chaos is the ultimate bad guy, with heresy and unbelief considered capital offenses. For a new player, this gives them a sense that despite the fact Space Marines and the rest of the Imperiums armies are serving, at best, a theocratic hellhole worse then any government in human history, that they are the good guy.
Chaos then, is for when a player decides to go bad. To rebel, to jump feet first into being a villain. Tired of the Imperiums dogma and rhetoric, they either choose Daemons or Chaos Space Marines. Of Daemons, I know quite little. Of the mortal servants of Chaos, I know a bit more. At a surface level, the forces of the Heretic Astartes resemble an evil mirror of their Imperial cousins, with smooth battle-plate replaced by a healthy helping of spikes, tusks, skulls, etc. But once one digs deeper into the lore of these depraved warriors of the Chaos gods, one finds that they have far more depth then what appears on the surface. The artwork depicts baroque, powerful figures of immense power, a force that could very realistically threaten the Imperium of Man.
But for the longest time, this wasn’t well represented on the table top. As Space Marines got release after release, modernizing them and bringing them up to par with today’s standard of miniature quality, the poor humble chaos marine didn’t change much. They were a product of 3rd Edition, and compared to models of the same age, didn’t look too bad.
But as releases came and went, the humble Chaos Marine stayed the same; they started to look long in the tooth, a holdover from an earlier time.
There was a glimmer of hope at the beginning of 6th edition, with the release of Dark Vengeance. While size had not yet been addressed as yet, the included Chosen in the starter box were less squat, more upright and most importantly, finally looked like what a Traitor space marine might look like after centuries of fighting the Long War.
Chaos players got excited. We lost Dreadnoughts, replaced with Helbrutes, similar but with more fleshy appendages and warped battle-plate. We got new Raptors, new units such as Heldrakes and Forgefiends. We all awaited the release of the new Chaos Space Marine kit.
It never came. 6th left abruptly, and with the arrival of 7th, a new version of Dark Vengeance, with the same models as before, with a new Aspiring Champion model that looked great. It also eventually saw the release of updated Rubric Marines, taller and more imposing then their by now very dated cousins. But 7th, thank goodness, was left behind with the arrival of 8th.
8th brought us Dark Imperium, which introduced the Primaris Marine, but also brought in new plastic Plague Marines, which dwarfed the Chaos space marine kits of old. This was great for Death Guard and Thousand Sons fans, as while many had to redo their armies to fit the new releases, at least they looked as menacing as the lore suggested. But for anyone still fighting the Long War with the vanilla Chaos Space Marine codex, our squat marines were still here.
Personally, my Chaos army then sat on the back burner, as compared to the modern miniatures, mine just didn’t do it for me anymore. The 8th edition codex brought new units but no new models, and I thought for sure that again we were being left behind.
Suddenly, Vigilus Defiant teased something big. 80 days until the Warmaster would arrive? Surely, we are hoping for too much, there was no chance that beyond the release of Haarken World Claimer that we would get much.
I, and many others, were thrilled to be proven wrong. A new Abaddon replaced his old model from the 90’s, something that while rumored for forever, was still able to surprise us. But for me, never a fan of the Black Legion, the release of new regular Chaos Marines got me very excited!
So, now that the history is out of the way, what do I think of Shadowspear, our new box set of chaotic goodness?
While yes, much of the kit is mono pose, which was a little bit of a disappointment, as was the high asking price of $210 Canadian, to say the box was popular in my area was an understatement of some magnitude. Our small gaming club ordered 15 of the boxes, all but one selling the same day. The Primaris half I sold to a friend, and then used the funds to buy a second Chaos half. I won’t do an unboxing, as the rest of the internet has done that. What I will show is a scale comparison.
And while the kit is monopose, the heads are easily interchangeable with a head swap for some variety. I did one set of marines as the instructions showed, then fooled around with head swaps on the others. While small, it actually goes quite far in changing a models “feel”.
These are small changes, and are by no means a completed project. A more involved conversion concerns the lack of Icon Bearers. As I wanted each squad to have an Icon of Wrath, I pulled out the hobby knife and tools.
In all, it may have been a very long wait, but these new marines are a joy to look at, substantially more detailed, and finally a size that looks menacing! I’m very pleased with Shadowspear. The other models have not been converted up yet, but I am aiming at no duplicate models looking the same, so watch out for that post in the future.
And I was ready to wait a month or two until the multi-part versions of the kit would be released…
Guess I didn’t need to wait that long, huh?
But that is all I got for today, could be a while before I post again, but keep a look out for my painting logs for the tournament and a tournament after action report! As my usual sign-off would get me drawn and quartered by present company…May you slay many lapdogs of the Corpse Emperor, and happy hobbying!