Saturday 10 August 2013

Bryan's cabinets of chaos 5

Today's glance into Bryan Ansell's cabinets of chaos reveals some of Dale Hurst's chaos conversions. Issue 135 of White Dwarf featured an article by Dale on converting and painting some classic (well, contemporary at the time!) chaos figures for a Tzeentch warband. Dale's warband is heavily focussed on beastmen/minotaur/spawn with a solitary chaos champion and his familiar. To date I have managed to locate the beastmen and minotaur/spawn in Bryan's collection but the champion and familiar are yet to be found (sadly they are possibly among the "disappeared" as is often the case with Bryan's figures).

Personally I think Dale's article is a great inspiration for those (such as myself) who are relatively new to converting and painting, and is also a useful model to follow for the forthcoming Realm of Chaos Warband Mega Game in August's Oldhammer Weekend. In summary, simple but creative modelling and colour schemes, and a small number of models. I'll leave it to Dale to set the scene:

OK, let's take a look at the converted beastmen first, starting with the eagle-headed head-swap beastmen:

Dale doesn't mention the exact source of these figures, other than being chaos thugs, but I suspect they are based on these two figures (images from the Collecting Citadel Miniatures wiki):

Interestingly, the figure on the right above has an axe, but its converted equivalent has a sword. Dale didn't mention converting the weapon in his article; he may have overlooked this or it may be a variant. I suspect the eagle heads are from the Lord of the Rings Great Eagle of the Misty Mountains (not mentioned by Dale):

The remaining 4 beatmen share the same donor body with the heads obtained from a Chaos Chimera and a plastic skeleton:

Plastic skeleton face swap

Front and side views of this particular beastman.
Here is the donor body and chimera in question:

Image source:

The next figure in the warband is the mutated minotaur:

Dale has pinned and glued the wings (from the chimera) in place, and used plasticine to fill in any gaps (no fiddling about with Milliput for Dale!). Dale has opted for a wonderful zebra stripe skin pattern for his Brightly Coloured Skin attribute.

The final figure in the warband is the chaos spawn. This really does deserve a second glance to pick out all the converted components:

The donor figure, now hardly recognisable apart from the head, is a Minotaur Lord. Dale then added the head of a Horror to the chest (complete with the addition of skulls), a dragon's tail for a left arm, and the arms of Horrors for legs. Looks awsome! The dragon tail left arm was originally intended to be the sting of a Tyranid Warrior, but Dale changed his mind and used a dragon's tail instead. This can be seen in detail the full article I've uploaded below.

I hope this has inspired you for the forthcoming Oldhammer battles!


  1. Oh, another flashback post. I remember drooling over these minis - especially the minotaur.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. I remember well this article! It was the first time ever I was interested in Chaos, which was previously not my cup of tea. Had quite a few warband clashes in the wastes as a result of this issue of WD!

    I don't think the 'eagle' heads come from that LOTR eagle by the way. The lower jaw is too different. Ithink it is the same head used on 'Giant Carnivorous Bird' from the C29 Monsters range, though that has had a nostril extension added. Most likely the head was a 'dolly' head that featured on two or more models and they were easy to come by in the studio without taking one from a complete miniature. Articles in WD often used to 'present the truth in an easy to digest format' and still do!

    1. Thanks for the suggestion about the eagle head - I'll have to take an extreme close-up for comparison.

  3. Loved that Warband, all these years later it still doesn't seem dated :)

  4. This is one brilliant war band, the spawn is perfectly creepy and weird and the zebrotaur is looking really good? I had never seen this one before and therefore thank you for the post.

  5. Another wonderful discovery among Bryan's collection Steve. I remember this article very well too. I was always intrigued by the the head swaps and where the components came from, so thanks for the archaeological work!

    More please!