The Chaos Knight Showcase - Page 3


Rackham

Their emphasis on detailed character figures has miffed many, while some critics suspect that superb paintjobs mask faults, but Rackham has managed to enrapture most of us with their marvellous sculpting and design. As with many of the companies listed here, Rackham have no explicitly labelled chaos knights, just plenty of figures which might do the job.

The Knights of Alahan are neutral figures, their lion motif, smooth but sharp edged armour and firm bearing placing them somewhere between good and evil. Rackham use gold paint to accentuate nobility, but you could just as easily use dark tones, bringing out the empty eye slits and fake-unicorn horns, fielding them as a perverse, decadent force rather than just a crazed sledgehammer. There are three types of knight and a standard bearer, but you're better off avoiding the old, weak looking humans who serve as their leader and musician. If you love this style, you should look at the paladins, swordsmen and even spearmen of Alahan, although the paladins are the most suitable. 

       

For real Chaos Knights on foot you want the Templars. Their leader - Arkhos, Templar Commander - is infinitely chaos with the spikes on his helmet and shoulders curving up to form an exaggerated trident. The three Griffin Templars and two Templars of the Inquisition provide quality support, dressed in highly styled plate, spikes and almost bug-like helmets. The latter five carry a sword and shield, although the small models crosses will be a problem for anyone without a file or craft knife... Again, there's a range of armoured spearmen you could use at a (big) push, but the Dawn Warriors are a better bet. These three use a curved, double handed axe; they look seriously vicious (if you're really keen, there was a limited edition Dawn Warrior Champion). In addition, the new Praetorian Guard boxset contains four suitable Templars (albeit in fanicer armour) and one old guy.

          

Two Griffon Inquisitors provide command options for any army: as well as more stylised armour, robes and double handed blades, they both wear nice mouthless masks. Think Halloween, think Phantom of the Opera, think nasty. However, the best Confrontation figure has to be Razeem the Insane, a Chaos Lord par excellence. Studded armour covered in small bones, a demonic horse and the kind of axe that says 'I kill a lot of people', he/she/it is both impressive and clearly chaotic.

         

Rackam claim their figures are 28mm, but they're really a bit bigger. Perfectly cast, they come with solid plastic bases, either square or rectangular.


Reaper

I never thought I'd write this about Reaper, those purveyors of the quality character figure, but they do a superb range of Chaos Knight rank and file! This is largely due to the six Black Legionnaire's, a group of plate, chain and cloth clad knights who share the same general style and insignia. Armed with a mix of swords, axes and shields, they provide a solid chaos core around which to field Reaper's other suitable figures...and there's a lot! The Knights Templar are another small sub-range, and modellers/painters could easily turn these to the dark side. Most suitable is probably '2188: Knight Templar', with a flowing cloak and heavily swinging sword.

 The 'anti-paladin', Ulthalokh the Unclean and Mangu Timur feature increasingly thick and detailed armour, plus increasingly thick and elongated horns, making perfect leaders for either the Black Legionnaires or any other traditionally styled chaos force. However, such is the depth of Reaper's range they could just be used as rank and file alongside figures such as Vosiphur the Evil Fighter, (2683) who's almost a standard knight apart from his concave and finned helm, Karra Heartthorn (2122), a scowling human on the attack and Ilkhan of Malvernis who, naked apart from a long loincloth and faceless mask, wields a halberd and screams berserker. The latter would go nicely with the similarly masked Rackham warriors.

           

Vlad the Impaler is another nice figure, although with his mace and shield, wave-styled armour and cyclops insignia he looks nothing like his medieval namesake and anyone buying from a text catalogue will be disappointed (or very confused). Finally, for anyone after chaotic women, you can pick between the austere and stiff Brynn Bloodfog, Female Blackguard (2615), or the heavily armoured but seductive Monique de Noir (2551), an evil minx who should grace every chaos force... Needless to say, the Reaper range is full of base figures for the conversion fiend. Sculpting is generally good, casting is great and the bases are usually moulded circles.


Dark Ages Grenadier

Thanks to Dark Ages, the Grenadier miniatures of Julie Guthrie are still available, including 18 potential Chaos Warriors. All are on foot and there's no overall theme or style, just plenty of plate armour, chainmail and weird visors. Five are prefixed as 'Evil Knights with' and one bears a reptilian helm and a halberd, one a double handed axe and three can select their arms from a 'weapon pack' containing 2 swords, a spear, a mace, a crossbow and shields. There are two Evil Lords, one of which looks fierce with a broadsword and angled helmet, one of which looks soft with silly horns and a sword. There's also an Evil Warrior: stout armour, jagged sword, 'evil' helmet.

 The Guthrie Anti-Hero looks like a medieval knight and probably isn't chaotic enough to count, but the Anti-Paladin is expressively posed and holding a big (but not silly) sword. Similarly, the Death Lord may be heavily armoured, but his old, lined face is too reflective and downcast to be a Chaos Knight...in contrast, the Death Knight, Dark Lord, Dark Paladin, Chaotic Hero and Chaotic Swordsman are rugged, vicious and frequently nasty. Finally, there's the Black Knight in a serpentine helmet (does it match his head?) 

         

Perfect for rank and file or characters, these figures have enough individual quirks to satisfy the most demanding of collectors (if wanting every figure to be different really is demanding...) Each is fairly well cast and moulded onto an oval base. Note: many of these are also found in the old Archive and Arduin Personalities range. Consequently, the latter manufacturers haven't been listed here separately.


Essex Miniatures

Essex produce 25mm figures and their fantasy range carries two suitable groups: the Chaos Fighters (all foot) and the Knights of Evil (foot and horse). The former are described as being "A band of chaos warriors in mail and full Plate chaos armour", which is perfect. Three of the four have plumed or crested helmets and swords, while the fourth has an axe. Regrettably, there's only one picture (G Q113). This reveals some solid armour covered with disembodied visages, a hefty sword and, unfortunately, a face close to that of an ogre (or a badly sculpted person).

In addition, there are no pictures for any of the 16 Knights of Evil. You can buy three mounted command figures - Baron, Sorcerer and Standard Bearer - alongside six knights on foot (equipment unknown) and six on chargers (horses); of the latter, three use 'barbed lances'. If you happen to like the figures, Essex really offer the potential for a nice force at a relatively small price.

 


Excalibur

Excalibur are one of several small German companies producing good miniatures, although they're famous for their erotic line... None of those here I'm afraid (relieved?), but they do offer four superb chaos warriors. Why superb? Well, three sculpts exaggerate the angles on the armour, creating knights reminiscent of cubism, truly otherworldly warriors to stride forth and fight. The fourth looks more traditional, but is strangling a goblin. Superb characterisation!

 

Excalibur also make a Chaos Knights boxset for their 'Magic Challenge' game. Again, there are four figures, two of which are stylistically similar to the above cubistians. The third is a chaos thug, a bulky form with furs, mail and a crossbow, while the fourth is thin, oddly proportioned, but sporting a skull for a helmet. Finally, there is a tentacle emerging from behind two of the figure's faceplates (one from each range). The minis are nicely cast and easily based.

   

 


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