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Champions and Neverborn

Welcome all you beloved of the Dark Gods. Take care where your eyes linger this day, for we are journeying beyond the material plane and into the higher realms. To lead us there we have a most appropriate guide, Sorot Tchure*, Master of Possession for the Graven Star chapter of the Word Bearers:

Masters of Possession are a handy addition if you want to use a bunch of daemons, and as anyone who knows the Word Bearers will have guessed, I want a bunch of daemons. Buah ha ha and if I may haaaaa. While the "floaty" models are not always great, this one at least manages to look like it is actually floating rather than skipping. The eldritch flames make it look like he is casting something and the energies are lifting him up. This wouldn't be a Graven Star post without some mysterious narrator action though, so lets find out a bit about Sorot Tchure shall we?

"Urgh, Tchure, you had to mention him didn't you? There are not many of my brothers I hold in contempt but Tchure is very much one of them. You see, there are two paths to magical power and sorcerous expertise. One is a respectable, slow study of text and apprenticeship with masters of the craft to bend the universe to your whim. The other is to simply open a conduit to the warp and say 'yes please'. Tchure has taken the quick and easy path and it will burn him in time, you'll see. Borrowed power is no power at all in my opinion. It's not like we need him. The Gal Vorbak rituals can be easily performed by myself and our Apostle. 'Master of Possession', ha! The nerve of the man..."

Huh, our mysterious narrator seems to be in a bit of a mood today...

As with most Word Bearer characters, the hard work of colour selection had already happened. So the real thing I want to talk about this time is those green flames, because they use a new paint to me. Hexwraith Flame. This is a technical paint, kinda like a wash, that does a fantastic job of mystical flames. I first painted the flames Corax White (another wonderful paint) and highlighted them with pure white. This gave a nice 3d white base to apply the Hexwraith over. I washed a single layer over the the whole thing, letting it spill over where I wanted mild OSL to hit. It worked perfectly. It is transparent enough to tint the paint beneath for OSL, and strong enough to colour well over the white. Brilliant job GDubs, very much a fan of Hexwraith. I decided that the glow needed a little balance, so I repeated the process on the eyes of the skull in the staff and his own eyes. Now it looks like he is filled with power about to tear a hole into the warp and let daemons spill forth! Speaking of which:

My first daemons burst forth! I had the devil's own job trying to photograph these so you'll have to forgive my efforts. There's something about Bloodletters. They're the archetypal daemon in many ways, horns, red skin, long tongue, the works. Love 'em, though my preference for Slaanesh and Nurgle has led to me never using them before. But in an undivided army, all are welcome!

When painting daemons, the real decision is the skin colour. It's 90% of the model. In the case of the Bloodletters I had a notion I was itching to try. I started from Bugman's Glow (I know, come with me on this) and drybrushed up gently through Cadian Flesh, Kislev Flesh and into Flayed One Flesh. They will look a lot like... well... weird phalluses at this stage. Ignore this and proceed! Mix red and chestnut ink in a 3:1 ratio and thin it with a little water and medium. Lots of ink. Glaze the entire model and let it dry, then do it again... and again. After 3 coats a nice "blood soaked flesh" colour emerges and is incredibly quick to pull off. I could probably paint an entire Khorne daemon army in a weekend with this method. Horns went black, tongues got Bugman's Glow and a Carroburg Crimson wash. Brass and bronze blades go on smoothly and is then shaded with brown ink on the brass and black on the bronze. I was agonising about the blades. A big part of me wanted to paint them glowing hot, but two things stopped me. One: The technique needs to be done flawlessly or it looks naff, and two: why would Khorne want to cauterise wounds? Surely we are here to let the blood flow...

I cast around on the intertubes until I found a nifty Ian Miller-esque Khorne icon, if anyone knows who drew this, please let me know, I'd love to credit them properly. I roughed out the design in Khorne Red, highlighted the edges and then stippled black wash into the middles to make a rough texture, cleaning up the edges with black was the final step. I enjoyed these daemons, can't wait to do some more, maybe some of Grandfather Nurgle's servants next...

To finish off we have the first of the Graven Star's Exalted Champions. Yes, once again, he's a Chosen from Dark Vengeance! That kit was gold for Chaos fans. Before we talk painting, lets meet Nar Merenkar through the eyes of our hopefully less grumpy mysterious narrator:

"There is, as there has always been, a hierachy within the Graven Star, some are on the ascent, some find disfavour. Nar Merenkar is very much on the rise. An impressive officer, willing to be a solid file officer for centuries, his qualities are being noted. Pious in his devotions while being cautious to solicit the God's favour directly so reducing the risk of catastrophic fleshchange. Everyone knows that Lord Khoura does not have many centuries left at the helm of the Graven Star. He is accellerating toward Apotheosis or Catastrophy and all can see it. Thus the two most exalted champions are jockeying for position and influence. If I get any say, Nar will be the next Lord of the Graven Star, but that jumped up little turd Sa'Quath might have something to say about that."

I love this miniature, it's just so perfectly chaos. Twisted without being cartoonish, professional in demeanour after centuries of practice and the slung bolter speaks to a practical, tactical mindset. I'm proudest of the power fist on this model. I pulled it off by cutting a large sheet of rune decals from the sheet, laying it on the fist and getting it nicely bedded down with microset and microsol, then cutting the excess away. Once this was done, I scratched away any runes that were spoiling the spacing within the space with a sharp scalpel and much patience. Finally I added some battle damage, first by streaking red through the white runes then deepening the scratches. Now the power fist looks like it's seen some use.

And that's all folks. There'll be more Word Bearers soon, until then, lovely people


*Yup! That Sorot Tchure. In my headcanon he used the events of Know No Fear to gain his new powers. Definately didn't use a name generator and then later realise I'd named him after a famous one and retrofitted some backstory...