Friday 5 March 2021

Cult of the New Colossus: Defenders of the Faith

Loud blared the horns of war and the air was rent with the staccato rhythm of blades clashing. Giudas stood on the small raise above the battlefield and looked on, eyes ablaze and the blood roaring in his ears like thunder. This was it - his moment of vindication, his one shot at glory with the town lying at his feet, ripe for the taking.

Some had branded him a traitor, others a lunatic. Fools all of them, being herded to their own oblivion. They might follow on blindly to the beck and call of leaders who were little better than grocery clerks but not he. Thankfully though, Giudas had succeeded in opening the eyes of a small but select group of his fellow town watchmen. They too had been ready to heed the call of the New Colossus, to rediscover the strength they possessed and to wield it to reclaim their freedom and sovereignty. 

It was a pity the rest of the militia had refused to join them - stood against them even - when they had attempted to cast out the Burgomeister and his cronies. Such a betrayal of oaths was not to be forgiven and now Giudas had returned to pass judgement and liberate those who would be freed. He cast a proud eye along the ranks of his leather clad rebels, their banner flashing like lightning in the dark above them. 

With a bellowed command from Giudas, his men drew back their bowstrings and loosed a volley of fire into the sky and down on to the town they had once protected. Though he shuddered inwardly at the advance of the grim, red armoured warriors who took advantage of the gap his archers had created in the town’s beleaguered defenses, the former watch sergeant couldn’t help but yearn to share in their power. Surely it was his destiny to prove himself and one day join the ranks of the Knights Terminus. Even at this distance Giudas could see the religious zeal flashing in the crazed eyes of their leader, Brother Behell, as he turned to scream commands and exhortations at the carmine ranks surging behind his lead. It was before those eyes that Giudas Preest would have to prove himself worthy if he were ever to don the crimson armour of truth. Then he too would truly be a Defender of the Faith, sworn to purge all deviants who stood against the freedom the New Colossus promised! 

As the town fell, smoke billowed and slowly the sky turned red...

Been a busy month as you can see by my February entry to the OWAC IV! Looks like my furlough will be coming to an end in the next week or two what with schools going back and Covid restrictions slowly lifting here in the UK so I'm trying to get as much done from my slightly ambitious army list! Last month's entry can be seen here too if you missed it.

This month I’ve left my literary pretensions behind and looked to inspiration of a more musical bent! Metal was the first type of music I got in to and I still remember racing home, clutching the Real Dead One album by Iron Maiden that I bought on cassette, in a little independent record shop called Vibes back in my home town of Bury - oh how the times have changed!

Heavy metal is certainly the order of the day with my first regiment and really was the only choice thanks to the outrageous hair styles they all sport. However it was from Judas Priest rather than Maiden that I took my inspiration. Like Maiden, Priest were another big early influence on my younger self's musical sensibilities, although for some reason I never got past their Painkiller album - I guess I figured that you don't get any more metal than that and stopped there! Night Crawler in particular caught my imagination as a kid and I intend on representing the creature that features in that song in this army later on in the challenge.

The regiment in question is of course the Marauder Chaos Thug Archers. I've seen many different paint jobs for this lot over the years but never really one that grabbed me - including the official studio scheme which is just a bit busy for me personally. These minis are some of the few who survived from my original childhood collection and they used to sport a rather thick coating of red, black and Humbrol gold back in the day - hopefully I've improved a little since then!

The banner is pretty sick though!

A while back I spotted some beautifully painted examples on the Oldhammer Facebook group that were done in a lovely desaturated, dark colour scheme - I forget the name of the painter I'm afraid. Armed with that inspiration and as many pictures of bands in their compulsory uniform of black leather and studs as I could find, I set about coming up with my own take on the classic look. 

As ever I wanted to give the unit and its leader a bit of background and as I’ve recently rediscovered my love for Judas Priest I didn’t need to look any further - I present Guidas Preest and his Leather Rebels! 

You'll already have an idea of Giudas' background and motivation from my opening narrative  but I needed a way of elevating him and his command group from the rest of the rank and file - what better way than leopard print quivers and extra glam Metal make up! 

Their banner and the Regimental name are both of course inspired by Judas Priest's excellent Leather Rebel - the lightning motif comes from one of the lines from the chorus. As I mentioned earlier, Painkiller was the album that turned me on to Priest but I have to say Defenders of the Faith is the album I've had on heavy rotation whilst painting this month's entry! 

Couldn't resist giving this cheeky lad an extra tat - can't take brass players anywhere!

I must admit I struggled a bit with painting black leather and making it look interesting or the shiny highlights convincing. I ended up going for a bluer highlight to add some visual interest in what could have been quite a drab colour scheme. 

Of course a lick or two of gloss varnish helps achieve the shine of new leather and pvc - or whatever the equivalent would be in the Old World! 

At least with these minis I was able to add a splash of individuality to the monopose ranks with their outrageous mohicans and stage make-up - I certainly had a lot of fun researching and painting these reprobates - thanks to Alice Cooper, KISS, Twisted Sister and Motley Crue for the inspiration!

So on to the Chaos Warriors and to the untrained eye, it would seem I have ended up with a Khornate horde rather than my own Cult of the New Colossus... 

Those of you who misspent their youth reading 2000AD might know better though!

I actually had different plans for these guys when I sat down to paint them half way through the month, They were originally going to be called the False Knights on the Road - taking their name from an old folk song that involves the Devil posing as a knight, waylaying a young child on the road and doing his best to corrupt and trick the young innocent - this version, by Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts is the best in my opinion and it captures the sort of occult creepiness I'm after with this army. 

Although it's been argued that Durer's knight is seen here shunning both the Devil and Death and is perhaps an allegory for the resilience of faith and courage, I wonder if they are actually looking on approvingly?

I felt that the idea of the False Knight was sinister enough and fit quite well with the old sculpts I have in my collection. They're a lot less over the top than the classic and utterly wonderful Jes Goodwin Chaos champions. To me these older guys look a lot more like fallen knights and evil warriors than mighty champions of Chaos and my idea was to paint them as such with faded and twisted heraldry and lots of green to reflect the medieval association of the Devil with that colour.

Gawain and the Green Knight - Noble knight or representative of the Devil?

However, once I began to look closer at the minis with a view to starting painting, an old memory of a 2000AD story popped in to my head and work ground to a halt until I had tracked down a copy of Nemesis the Warlock Deviant Edition - purely for research purposes of course! As I'm a bit of a late comer to 2000AD, I imagine the memory stems more from an old thread on the Oldhammer Forum from the good old days, in which Zhu challenged us to spot the number of influences Games Workshop would go on to use from this image - the answer being a fair few and I may have spotted another!

The miniature I used as my standard bearer - a weaponless Ogroth Darksoul, from the old Warriors of Chaos box set is what set me off on this train of thought, bearing more than a passing resemblance to the chap standing behind the candle in the middle of the pic below.

I have to use the name Pure Patrol at some point - perhaps if I ever get round to painting a squad of RT Beakies - genius! 

The horned helmed Ral Partha Chaos warrior next to him in my pic above also put me in mind of Nemesis' arch-nemesis, the great Torquemada, Grand Master of Termight  and Chief Terminator - or at least he did with a bit of freehand on his helmet to suggest Torquemada's cruel visage. To be honest, I was quite relieved I'd had this brainwave as I was scratching my head with what to do with this rather cheesy looking miniature! It's all slightly ironic too as he came from a big box of rejects I insisted on paying Steve Casey a couple of quid for several years ago - it was full of random old lead that looked dated compared even to a lot of the shonkiest of Oldhammer but I've been determined to find a use for as many of these unloved miniatures as I can - who'd have thought one would become an exalted Champion of Chaos!

So that did it - my Chaos Warriors and Knights would now be painted red and called Terminators! I couldn't pinch Torquemada's name for my unit champion so settled on another more minor character from the comic book -  Brother Behell, one of the Grand Master's over ambitious underlings. False Knights on the Road didn't quite fit as a regimental name anymore but Nemesis the Warlock came to the rescue once more and they took the name of one of the Seven Chapters of Terminators - the Berserkers! The distopian, totalitarian and inquisitorial world of Termight (Earth in the future if you're not familiar with the story) also seemed a great fit with my Cult of the New Colossus - The Berserkers represent the elite and most fanatical devotees of the cult, sworn to purge all deviants and non-believers from the world, just as Torquemada's human Terminators are on a crusade to wipe out all alien life across the galaxy - Be pure! Be Vigilant! Behave!

Over the years I've somehow managed to collect a rather motley crew of Chaos Warriors. Having researched which ranges they're from, I now find myself with elements from several boxed sets that I have an itch to complete! From left to right in the pic above we have: Guardsman Toyne - Bryan Ansell's Chaos Marauders (Enkalon of Garusa will be making an appearance in a later post), a C35 Chaos Warrior (lots of variants of this chap and a more famous one coming up later in this post), the Evil Hero from the Fantasy Adventurers range, Guardsman Heely (also one of Bryan Ansell's Chaos Marauders) and Morthog Doomaxe from the Warriors of Chaos boxed set - I have Belmoor Blacksword somewhere and will have to dig him out and add him to the unit at some point!

Left to right in the pic above - C26 Man-at-Arms in plate armour (I'm guessing? He looked like a bit of a wrong 'un so he fell in with this crowd!), Buoophut Bane-arrow - Knights of Chaos, Denizen Miniatures Chaos Warrior(?) - (another Steve Casey reject!), Doomed Ratchagged and Red Dulmoon - both Knights of Chaos too. There's another sneaky Judas Priest reference - the Denizen Chaos Warrior's shield design kind of resembled the shield of the warrior on the cover of Hero so I roughly approximated the colours on it.

The two exceptions who were quite a welcome relief to the sea of red and gold are these two excellent gentlemen. 

I'm sure many of you will recognise the warrior on the left - I'm not sure if he was ever named in any of the catalogues, other than as another variant of the C26 Chaos Warrior we saw earlier, but he does have a starring role in the iconic diorama Undead Assault by John Blanche. 

I'm afraid I couldn't do anything other than reproduce John's lovely colour scheme by way of tribute. The long necked fellow is the Guardian, superbly sculpted by Christian Af Bjargo from Curtis Fell's Circle of Chaos Kickstarter. I was getting some serious Kingdom Death vibes from this guy and the pale colour scheme just seemed the right kind of creepy to go with his outlandish looks! 

Kingdom Death Gold Smoke Knight - very creepus!

On to my mounted Chaos knights who now also had to come under heavy Nemesis influence! 

They were originally going to be a perverted version of Crusader knights so I guess other than the colour scheme not much else has changed thematically for them! They took their name from the Outriders chapter of Terminators which seemed about right.

Brother Gogol, another named Terminator in the Nemesis comic, lent his name to the unit champion who I gather is a 4th or 5th ed named Chaos Champion - Archaon, Lord of Chaos Undivided. 

Brother Gogol dutifully performing his duties! I'd love to see someone sculpt a mount like that...

The unit are mounted on Chaos Steeds so I figured the Undead Pegasus from Ral Partha I had going spare (the original rider will be part of a conversion for my General...) would fit in nicely.

I also had a Fast Claw mount (from Ral Partha's Gargantua Orc range) going spare from the Rhinoman Lieutenant conversion in my Trolltooth Wars project - another suitably chaotic looking ride for a Chaos Knight! 

I'm counting these big guys as representing two Chaos knights each - well they do take up two cavalry bases!

The standard bearer also got a more impressive beast to ride too to reflect his status. There's actually quite a nice story behind this old Ral Partha dragon thanks to the series of messages the seller and I shared after I bought it on ebay. 

Andy - if you're reading this - your dragon has definitely brought me as much pleasure as it did for the 12 year old you when you first brought it home! Hope you like its new coat of paint!

My only slight regret is that this magnificent beast won't be bearing my General in to battle as I had originally intended. Unfortunately, although I felt he was a good match to the illustration that inspired me, he just wasn't big enough, handsome as he is though.

I must confess to being led astray by a bigger and flashier Ral Partha Dragon for that purpose but I reckon being bearer of the Battle Standard Bearer is a pretty good second though!

Talking of standards, I had wanted to do multiple banners for this unit but ran out of time. As well as the pennants featuring Torquemada's symbol, I also intend on adapting the cover for the aforementioned Judas Priest album, Defenders of the Faith. Not only is it a great image but I really like the caterpillar tracks featured in the design, which in the context of this army would suggest visions of the futuristic weapons the Chaos Gods are sometimes known for dispensing to their followers and  a pretty cool mutation for a steed of the Outriders! I'll see how time goes during the rest of the challenge but this might be something I come back to when the dust has settled afterwards.

We'll rise inside you

Until the power splits your head

We're going to rock you

Until your metal hunger's fed

Let's all join forces

Rule with the iron hand

And prove to all the world

Metal rules the land

lyrics from Heavy Duty, Judas Priest, Defenders of the Faith

It'd be another Judas Priest inspired banner too which is obviously a very good thing! In fact Priest's logo isn't a million miles away from Torquemada's symbol so some smaller back banners for the knights might be an idea as well...

The rest of the regiment are made up of the lovely 2 or 3 part Chaos Knights designed by the Perrys and Trish Morrison. 

I even had one of the original plastic horses that they originally came with. I confess to never really liking them so I tarted it up a bit with some skeletal parts. The Okapi inspired colouration was nothing particularly clever - I just couldn't face doing Zebra stripes over the whole model! 

These guys will be the bane of my life for ever more. Their long lances look great but are an absolute pain to keep any where near straight! 

The armoured horses are from Ral Partha's Fantasy Armies range and should have armoured skeletons riding them. I'm sure they'll come in handy for something in the future as their mounts are too good not to use as a relatively inexpensive source of heavily armoured Chaos Steeds.

Luckily the iconography of Torquemada's Terminators is pretty easy to reproduce as a freehand design on shields and armour. I often think a simple symbol can look more effective than busier designs.

These two are more Ral Partha miniatures, again from their Fantasy Armies range. I promise you I'm not on some kind of retainer from the company although I am a big fan of their miniatures! These guys look great but they were very busy sculpts to paint, especially the horses who remind me of Bob Olley's style.

Finally we have a later 4th/5th edition(?) Chaos Knight - nice sculpt and I always preferred those barded plastic horses to the earlier naked ones! 

The huge snake tail mutation was a part left over from Reaper Bones Orcus model I chopped up for my materialising Demon Prince - I figured they were supposed to be riding Chaos Steeds so why not! 

Well it's been a hectic month and I've certainly piled on the points to my total:

12 Mounted Chaos Warriors 1456

Brother Behell and his Outriders of the Knights Terminus

Chaos Steeds, Standard, heavy armour, shields, barding, lances, hand weapons

15 Chaos Warriors on foot 1184

Brother Gogol and his Brutal Berserkers

Heavy armour, shields, hand weapons, standard

14 Thug archers 222

Giudas Preest and his Leather Rebels

Marauder leader and Champion, standard, musician, light armour, bows, hand weapons

Monthly Total - 2862

Total to date - 3403

There's a lot more to do yet though and a rather large horde of Beastmen looms large on the horizon...


  1. Wow! I keep coming back to this post. Just so much to pour over! The knights have to be my favourites with their wide variety of steeds.

    1. Thanks Shaitan - glad you like it! The knights were a lot of fun. I usually find painting horses quite a chore but not this lot!

  2. Impressive... have you slept in Feburary?

    1. Thanks Jaeckel - yeah too much. Only got three units done ;)

  3. Well these have made my day. Great work.

    1. Thanks and glad to hear it Phil - hope it continues in a similar vein!

  4. Someone stop this man, he's too productive! It makes us all look bad!

    Amazing work, love the blend of the high-brow and low-brow, right up my street!

    1. Ha - sorry Richard but got to keep busy while furloughed! Working from home isn't really feasible in my line of work ;)

      I do like to mix up my influences - hopefully the various brows seem higher and lower when juxtaposed!

    2. You could put up a dry stone wall in your living room

    3. Well I suppose I do keep being nagged about the garden fence which is about ready to fall over, the retaining wall below it that is also bulging out, the log store that wants building so I can get rid of the old dog run that serves that purpose now, mole hills to flatten in the lawn, garden gate that wants replacing...

    4. aye I see now why another 1500 points of chaos warriors might be an appealing prospect!

    5. Well at least that only represents twenty odd miniatures - different story with the Beastmen I'm doing this month XD

  5. Brilliant work! Metal and Oldhammer have always been closely linked in my mind, and the Judas Priest link fits very well! I never read Nemesis, but it does sound like a big influence on 40k. I particularly like the reptilian chaos beasts. Those chaos knight models are still great.

    1. Thanks Toby - I remember the transfer set that came with the old plastic Predator kit had the phrase Metallis Gravis. Dunno how accurate the latin was but it took pride of place on my Predator and was diligently copied on to my pencil case along with Maiden's logo!

      Still reading through Nemesis myself - loads of flavour in their that ended up in Warhammer.

      The Chaos knights are absolute classics but it's the pre-slottas I've gained a new appreciation for having finally got round to painting the ones I own!

  6. Giudas Preest – this is brilliant! I think the army and its backstory are really cool.

    1. Thanks Wojciech - had to work the Priest in there somewhere! The lyrics of quite a few of their songs just seem to fit so well with the theme of the army.

  7. Love everything you've done. Awesome Chaos Knights. My Old School hype is now so high. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Blacksmith - most kind of you! Feeling pretty hyped about it myself!

  8. Wow! What a post! Love the Alice Cooper make up on the thugs!

    1. Cheers Mouse! I reckon school's definitely out for those boys!

  9. Those are just superbe! Mix of miniature for thé pleasure of the eyes !

  10. Thanks Ced - I had fun with these guys!