Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Xaxus Chaos-Thrall: a Bryan Ansell/John Blanche chaos conversion from the First Citadel Compendium

So yesterday I commented  that I have something special lined up for my next post. I've already revealed that Ivan Bartleet's Chalice of Doom and War Altar of Nurgle reside in Bryan Ansell's collection, and here's another treasure from that collection. I would like to present to you Xaxus Chaos-Thrall:

Some of you are probably grinning from ear to ear, others are scratching their heads in a half-remembered moment from their childhood, while others are probably, well...clueless. This figure is the actual model on which an article on converting chaos figures was published in the First Citadel Compendium (1983 I believe). The article was written by Bryan and if memory serves he did the converting on the figure above - John Blanche painted it. As far as I'm aware it is the first published example of a chaos conversion.

I'm sure that those of you who have been following my blog and my Citadel collecting website site have looked in envy at some of the figures in Bryan's collection and wished they owned them; well, Xaxus is my own personal "wish figure" :-)

Here is the article:

It's interesting to note that Bryan toyed with using a Ral Partha Trollhound as a donor body instead of  the weretiger in beast form which he eventually settled on. Citadel were distributors for Ral Partha at the time and many Ral Partha figures were featured in the First Citadel Compendium. Unfortunately I don't have a photograph of a Trollhound but here's an illustration:

It's a nice figure, but I think Bryan's reason for going with the weretiger is sound.

The six chaotic attributes possessed by Xaxus did not arise from the Realm of Chaos books of course; this article precedes those books by around 5 years. The system used to generate the attributes was to be found in The Mark of Chaos, a six-page article in the First Citadel Compendium that could be considered a "work in progress" for the Realm of Chaos books. The article described the rules for generating chaos attributes, together with examples of the kinds of creatures you could generate, and advice for fielding figures with chaos attributes in tabletop battles:

The First Citadel Compendium also featured adverts for two new Warhammer supplements and a new SF role play system:

The Forces of Fantasy supplement appeared soon after. It seems that The Mark of Chaos article was intended to be part of the Realm of Chaos supplement, which we now know  took several more years and resulted in two mighty tomes. Rogue Trader got there in the end too...


  1. Brilliant post - Thanks for sharing! I think my favorite part was the simple rule of "+1 to Kill", those were easier times :-).

  2. Two things:
    1) How hard to get hold of are those Space Farers?
    2) I want a miniature of Zygor Snake-arms!!!

    Great post though! I feel like I learn more every time you or Orlygg post something new!

    1. Spacefarers aren't too hard to come by. Are you after any in particular?

  3. Fascinating stuff , I have wanted to recreate the psycho circus for a while now ;-)

  4. Awesome chaos conversion.. any idea what mini the Dwarf head is from? I want to remake one. I know what the body is now thanks to you :)just need to find one in the UK.

    1. I did wonder that myself, but I haven't attempted to find out yet.