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Thread: Curis' Chaos Cornucopia

  1. #1

    Curis' Chaos Cornucopia

    I've got so many disparate Warhammer models knocking around I want to get painted that I decided to round them all up and form them into a hodge-podge force. Here's the wizard that is all centres around.

    The band started taking to the field for Frostgrave, but have since reached Age of Sigmar size.

    One of the things to get your head round for Frostgrave is that you're not really playing with a warband, like you would in Mordheim. It's about your wizard. And I agonised over different wizard models for a good long while before settling on the Citadel ME-56 Saruman, for reasons of:

    - I want the warband to be built out of 1980s Citadel Miniatures
    - I've got a couple of spare Sarumans ("Sarumen?")
    - Importing the Lord of the Rings figures into Warhammer proper is pleasing.

    "Tell me, friend, when did Saruman the Wise abandon reason for Tipp-Ex®?"

    I really do like the 1980s Middle-Earth figures popping up in mainstream Warhammer. After Games Workshop lost the the Tolkein licence in 1987 a lot of the not-character figures were rolled into the main Warhammer range, like the Noldor Elves into the High Elf range. Occasionally the named character miniatures pop up in artwork or studio photographs, like ME-1 Gandalf here in the colour section of the Ravening Hordes supplement.

    Gandalf™ is a wise and powerful wizard.
    Gandalf™ est un sorcier sage et puissant.
    Gandalf™ ist ein weiser und mächtiger Zauberer.

    To unSarumanise the figure the Palantir hand was replaced with a suitably chunky hand from a Citadel Night Horror. Saruman's left hand was flipped over and had a flame effect added from a (gasp!) modern Tzeentch kit. This anachronism still makes me feel uneasy.

    Despite leading a Chaos warband, I made no attempt to make him chaotic. The red scheme and the age of the figure ties him in enough.

    A burning sensation in your palm – classic symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome.[/i]

    He initially had grey hair, but it looked bad. Too much like Saruman still. To remedy this I sculpted over his bald patch, and repainted his hair fiery orange. One of the nice things about figures so old is my own limited sculpted talent doesn't look as out of place as it would on a laser-crisp modern miniature.

    I finished the figure with bone-coloured flames on his robes. I was hesitant initially as he had flames popping out of his hand – I thought both 2D and 3D flames together would be confusing. But keeping them a flat colour rather than the blended highlights of the Tzeentch-fire, and putting them in bone rather than a orange colour, keeps it obvious what's meant to be real and what's meant to be pattern.

    Clyro Burns, looking a little like Donald Sutherland in Kelly's Heroes.

    There he is, Clyro Burns, alongside his 1980s Chaos warband.

    I call them "Burns' Knights".


  2. #2

    Re: Curis' Chaos Cornucopia

    Curtis over at Ramshackle did a limited run of figures for Bring Out Your Lead 2016, and I've painted one to accompany Clyro Burns. As an event, BOYL focuses on "Oldhammer", so Curtis sculpted this model holding an old hammer. Ha!

    I've converted my figure with a new face shaved off a Citadel Judge Dredd Perp – Zuggy Spotz/Crazy Joseph. I then resculpted the hood around the front with putty. This does make me feel a little guilty, but of all people Curtis will understand the need to hack up and convert figures.

    Post-Knavecon games of Dragon Rampant have made me feel uncomfortable with my wizard unit – Clyro Burns plus five tiny familiars. This reduced strength unit gets caught in combat, and seeing a tiny familiar taking as much effort to kill as two chunky human-sized models is really odd. I'm planning to reforge the unit at twelve-strong – all twelve being human-sized figures.

    Nocturnal rituals being enacted in the Mourning Wood.

    Shout out to Curtis for his generosity and community spirit!
    Last edited by Curis; 14-09-2017 at 09:56.

  3. #3

    Re: Curis' Chaos Cornucopia

    One day at Games Workshop HQ, Aly Morrison came up to me with a big bag of Talisman figures. “I found this bag of scrabby old models in my basement, and I was gonna bin ’em. Then I remembered you like scrabby old stuff.” I was over the moon. Here’s the first three painted.

    The Chaos Brothers defending portal dolmens in the Mourning Wood.

    All three figures are from 3rd edition Talisman, which I originally owned as my Dad bought it for me and my brother in the mid-1990s . Until that point I’d been exclusively into Warhammer 40,000, and this was my first real experience of the Warhammer Fantasy world. My painting has improved since then.


    I’ve been quite annoyed at my initial choice of colour for my Chaos Warriors. Red and metal is very vanilla. To start stamping greater identity on them I’ve taken the flames from Clyro Burns’ robes and run them onto the armour panels. It does help break up the plain surfaces and make them less generi-chaos.

    With the rising market value of the old metal Chaos Thug ranges, these muscly barbarians are welcome reinforcements to my Chaos Thug unit. I have played with them as Blood Warriors in Age of Sigmar, and Bellicose Foot in Dragon Rampant. The variety of designs and themes in the range means they can slip in, though they are noticeably beefier and taller. But hey, it’s Chaos.

    3rd edition Talisman Barbarian and Warrior. Interestingly, one of these is a resculpt of the other.

    I’m looking through the rest of the Talisman range now to see what other figures will fit in my Chaos warband. The Minotaur, Skaven, Black Orc and Chaos Sorcerer are all potentials.

    Thanks for the minis Aly!

  4. #4
    Veteran Sergeant Late's Avatar
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    May 2008

    Re: Curis' Chaos Cornucopia

    Really nice stuff, makes me want to paint, I have a bunch of Tzeentch Chaos Renegades that I've been meaning to start for the last month.

  5. #5

    Re: Curis' Chaos Cornucopia

    I am so impressed and this touches something with me as I have a collection of 1980s citadel models. I also collect Ral Partha. I will be watching this thread with interest
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  6. #6
    Chapter Master Morglum Necksnapper's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    The Netherlands

    Re: Curis' Chaos Cornucopia

    Lovely old miniatures, and what a contrast in the way you used to paint way back and now. You have a nice clean style. I reckon the red 'Khorne' colors are a bit vanilla, but don't let him hear it!

  7. #7
    Admin blackcherry's Avatar
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    Feb 2007

    Re: Curis' Chaos Cornucopia

    Looks great Curtis. Will be coming back to view this blog on the regular.

    How have you managed to amass such a large collection of classic minis? I'm a little jealous haha.
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  8. #8

    Re: Curis' Chaos Cornucopia

    Painting miniatures, Late, that make other people want to paint is what it's all about!

    Teh Real New Girl – I've got a couple of old Ral Partha pieces too. I'm dabbling with some vintage Citadel pre-slotta and Grenadier at the moment so Ral Partha bits are inevitable for this project.

    Morglum – I've got some Thugs on the way which might get the army away from quite so much red. At least it's an iconic Chaos colour though.

    It's years of collecting and never getting rid of figures, plus spending commutes on eBay and trading groups. Hunting for old miniatures for rock bottom prices may actually be my main hobby.

    My teenage Orc and Goblin army featured a Night Goblin shaman on Cockatrice. I’ve sold the bulk of the army, but hung onto the Cockatrice out of sentimentality. Bulking out my Frostgrave Chaos into a Dragon Rampant force demanded a fantastic monster, so this mythological bird resurrected itself from the ashes.

    The wings on my Orc and Goblin Cockatrice weren’t the original MM44 ones, but had been nicked from an High Elf Dragon. I replaced these original replacements with a pair of 15mm Demonworld dragon wings. Since I was converting the figure with non-Citadel parts, I figured I’d swap the rather dull tail with a scorpion one from the Dark World Manticore.

    The Cockatrice torso showing his original yellow paintjob. He was known as “Lemon Chicken”.

    I did plan on him having a Chaos rider, and tried every single mounted Chaos figure in my collection. However, anything bigger than a weeny Night Goblin shaman looked ridiculous, and the wings and neck all obscure the rider. So Stingwing is an unbound monster, which also means he’s easier to legitimately field in Age of Sigmar.

    Chicken stripped.

    Attaching the Demonworld wings, and at a different angle to the original MM44 wings, required hacking away the sockets on the torso and some heavy pinning. I used three layers of putty to first fill the gaps, then sculpt muscles, and then add fur.

    In my efforts to bend the old lead wings into curved shapes I managed to break the left one straight in half. The metal along the split crumbled, and I had a pig of a time trying to reattach it. I managed it with pins in the only two places that joined, and a good amount of putty. Luckily the membranes had very little sculpted detail so my repairs are barely visible.

    Anyways, here’s the finished beastie! I went with a mainly flesh, and ran the warband’s signature red colour onto the comb, wattles and scorpion tail.

    Cockatrice breaks through a clearing in Mourningwood.

    Sadly I have no good photos of the six-way Dragon Rampant game from the Knavecon weekend – I’d borrowed sho3box‘s selfie-stick and only managed photographs of my own arm.

    Put in black and white, however, this looks intentionally arty. And you can’t see my Superman socks clashing with the hotel carpet.

  9. #9
    Veteran Sergeant The Brave's Avatar
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    Jul 2015

    Re: Curis' Chaos Cornucopia

    So many old goodness! I have two copies of that talisman guys, I have to paint them now!
    Check my kitbashing crazyness here.

    Check also my blog for amazing mix of toys and miniatures:

  10. #10

    Re: Curis' Chaos Cornucopia

    Do it! Do it! They're classic adventurer types, they're such versatile miniatures.

    HeroQuest Quest – Chaos Warrior II

    A quickfire hobby challenge for the Scale Creep Peeps:

    Paint a charmingly basic model from HeroQuest
    nO cRaZy CoNvErSiOnS
    Replacing the sausagey rectangle base is encouraged.

    I picked a Chaos Warrior. To the 7-year-old boy learning words from game components, but not pronunciations: a “Chouse” Warrior.

    “Hoots mon! There’s a chouse louse about this house!”

    Theottovonbismark has already shown off Slambo and the 4E plastic Chouse … ahem … Chaos Warrior. Here’s the HeroQuest dude alongside Battlemasters and Legend of Zagor Chaos dudes, for no reason other than to showcase the breadth of my vintage Chaos.

    Prejudiced against gorefs, means he’s a gorefist.

    Otto’s updating of this old plastic has freehand and a jazzy base. My version is painted so tamely in comparison. I’ve gone for the red-and-metal scheme which you might think is a homage to the original HeroQuest art, but is really so he ties into my 1980s Chaos Warband. Being a 1989er *I think* he is actually the newest miniature. Everything is relative.

    “Oi, HeroQuest, you’re so young I bet you don’t remember POGs!”

    After modern-style crisp highlighting you start to realise the limitations of the miniature – a combination of 1989 plastic technology and 27 years of man-handling (“manchild-handling”?). So to hide the dalrymples I painted some textures: sponge-chipping the armour; fluting on the horns; notching the axe blade; and blood-spatter over the finished piece. I’ve recently become aware that competition painters like different textures on a miniature to provide interest and contrast, and to showcase their skills.

    Judging by the spatter he dealt a nasty axe wound.

    The texture I’m fondest of at the moment is the blood-spats. After a lot of trial and error with a Blood Bowl team recently I’ve hit upon the following method: load up a tiny brush with your blood-effect paint of choice, put it right in front of your lips, and blow. You instantly get realistic spines, satellite spatters, cast-off patterns and other terms I’m just regurgitating from a CSI episode.

    Guess this means he’s the Herald of the ApocaLIPS.
    (•_•) ( •_•)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■)

  11. #11
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    Re: Curis' Chaos Cornucopia

    Nice models!
    This is my miniatures blog: reviews, battle reports, painted armies, and a few about Vgames. Soon, there will be the rules of my own wargame:

    And my fantasy log:

  12. #12
    Commander benvoliothefirst's Avatar
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    Re: Curis' Chaos Cornucopia

    Always great to see someone using modern painting techniques to breathe life into old minis. What a contrast in the before and after shots! Keep it coming.
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  13. #13

    Re: Curis' Chaos Cornucopia

    Chaos Thugs are a Warhammer range released in several batches between 1988 and 1991. Games Workshop stamped them out of existence in 1994, omitting them from Warhammer Armies: Chaos. Thugs are firmly anchored solely in Warhammer’s past, quintessential incarnations of Oldhammer, meaning they command decent prices on the collector’s market.

    I regret going with the red hair on these figures – it worked on the rightmost guy, who was the first I painted, but looks a a bit clownlike on the other two. Don’t paint people with bright red eyebrows. Even Ronald McDonald doesn’t have red eyebrows.

    Chaos Thugs are great fun to paint as they’re all individuals that the sculptors packed with weird and unique details.

    This Thug has hair that’s long one side and short the other – and one eyebrow bushy and the other shaven off. He also comes with a severed head at his belt – there’s some back story to how he decapitated someone with just a bludgeoning weapon.

    This Thug has both his weapons, the business-end of his “horseman’s pick” and the pommel of his sheathed dagger, shaped like bird heads. Perhaps it was a subtle Tzeentch reference? I also like how his one scavenged kneepad has a leering face sculpted on it.

    Pazyryk Banefire and the Thugs in the Matityahu Temple.

    The Thugs will get on well with the Talisman Warrior and Barbarian as they’re all half-naked men who enjoy shaving their chests. The Talisman Chaos Warrior is the unit champion, as that’s how it worked in the Warhammer 3rd edition army lists. Next off I’m on the hunt for more Thugs to make a modestly sized raiding party, with a full command group.

  14. #14
    Chapter Master totgeboren's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    Umeå, Sweden

    Re: Curis' Chaos Cornucopia

    Wow, what a huge difference a really good paintjob does for these figures! I had a few of those plastic Chaos Warriors, and they looked like garbage. But all these models, even with their odd anatomy, look superb!

  15. #15
    Chapter Master Arhalien's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    Bedford, UK

    Re: Curis' Chaos Cornucopia

    Some really lovely painting on show here, and for me as a (relative) newbie to this hobby it's fun to discover more bits of GW's past. Looking forward to seeing more

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  16. #16

    Re: Curis' Chaos Cornucopia

    Thanks totgeboren! I think of painting miniatures like a make-up artist thinks of actresses – it's up to me to transform them into beautiful creatures.

    Glad to know you're learning something from this, Arhalien. The old miniatures go back so far. They're a rabbit hole I've well and truly fallen in to.

    The Citadel Miniatures Chaos Thug range is melting pot of influences and ideas. Unlike Games Workshop’s modern Chaos Marauders, who are uniformly bearded barbarians, the classic Thug range had odd chaps with mullets, Saracen-flavoured archers and even stray ninjas.

    Hot as thuggery.

    It makes the individual Thugs fun to paint, as they’re each full of unique details. The mullet man has a pair of horns poking out his hairstyle. The archer has a leering face kneepad. All three have plumped for asymmetrical trousers.

    The ninja has a ninja throwing knife for stealth kills, but today he’s chosen to fight with the less subtle morning star. Maybe he wields that stealthily too, assassinating targets with a silent swing of the massive spiky ball.

    Pazyryk Banefire’s Thugs sacking the town of Æbbe’s Hill.

    Having a single archer in the otherwise-melee unit slightly bothers me, but given the chaotic appearance of the the unit I can cope with it in games of Age of Sigmar and Dragon Rampant. The mix of troop types also gives me a nice selection of models to pick for Frostgrave. In time he will split off to found a Chaos Thug mob with bows, made up of a mix of the Battle Masters plastic Chaos Thug and the chunky punky Marauder Chaos Thug range from the early 1990s.

    More of my miniatures at

  17. #17
    Chaplain D6damage's Avatar
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    Jan 2012
    United Kingdom

    Re: Curis' Chaos Cornucopia

    Really enjoying this plog. Great stuff.

  18. #18
    Commander Abraham Danglebreech's Avatar
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    Dec 2008
    Littleborough, Lancashire. Hub of the Universe

    Re: Curis' Chaos Cornucopia

    A lot of the stuff you've painted bring back fond memories, particularly the chaos thugs. I'm a fan of your painting style, the Talisman Barbarians and the Cockatrice are beauts, and it's great to see the Oldhammer (photos like that White Dwarf (?) scan of the vikings and Gandalf with the cardboard buildings in the background will never get boring). Please keep up the blog :-)

  19. #19

    Re: Curis' Chaos Cornucopia

    Thanks d6! Thanks Abraham! It's a joy to blast through old lead.

    Delving deep within my Lead Mountain for robed acolytes I came across this Mantic Goblin Sneek. He's been painted with fire-motif robes as he will be joining my warband as one of Clyro Burns' assistant sorcerers.

    This miniature is out of production, which is weird as I still think of Mantic Games as the new kids on the block and not a venerable old company with the luxury of retiring its older offerings. Time flies. Only yesterday I was horrified to be told it was my tenth Twitter anniversary. Next thing you know I'll be off to a field to drink cider and watch Fairport Convention unironically.

    In 2016 I had a weekend of Frostgrave gaming looming and was desperate for fully painted figures. I quickly rebased a Ruglud's test miniature and slipped him in with my Chaos Thugs with a matching shield. It established a precedent, and I'm now seeing what other greenskins I can paint as part of this multiculti force.

    Though I'm working on these guys with Dragon Rampant in mind, I'm wondering how to get them onto an Age of Sigmar battlefield. Kairic Acolytes is my current best bet, but their compulsory weapon options don't make them a perfect fit. Suggestions welcome!

    Clyro Burns and his acolytes in the City of False Idols.

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