Chaos Spawn Showcase

I’ve been on a bit of a tear since wrapping up my Herald of Khorne. Life is still fluctuating these days but my painting motivation has finally returned so I’m making damn good use of it lately.

Chaos Spawn quickly became one of my favorite units with the current Chaos codex. I started off by buying the WHFB Vargheists kit, which comes with three models who I thought fit the part. I later bought two blisters of the old Chaos Trolls models for really cheap to get the unit to five models, full size. However, I’ve been wanting to get more of the Vargheists to replace the two Chaos Trolls in the unit so they’re all the Vargheists model. A few months ago I managed to buy the kit and this week I finally got around to painting them up.

I was in an artistic mood the day I did these. I got the models entirely painted in one day, which is amazing for me lately. It took me a few days to base afterwards. Anyway, I wanted to experiment so I primed these black and then grey and white but sprayed for zenith lighting, basically what one would do with an airbrush. The first model, the yellow one, I was too far away and got some texture so the second model I got closer with the spraying. I didn’t mind the texture though, figured he just won’t have baby smooth skin, not that a Spawn would anyway.

After the priming I painted these guys entirely with washes and glazes. I find organic models like this are perfect for that sort of approach and I had not done it previously, so what the hell? It allowed me to get a more realistic lighting on them without the work of layering or blending. That’s why they have such a muted look, which I think works on these guys.

If you’re wondering, yes, that’s a bullet wound on the ass of the yellow one. My washing looked like hell on that butt cheek, I wasn’t paying attention I guess when I was doing it. I tried to fix it by blending the colors and it looked OK but was still bothering me as it stood out. That’s the problem with doing a model in all washes and glazes, it’s damn hard to fix mistakes after the fact. I decided I’d cover up the problem by putting a gun shot wound there and adding some blood. I know it’s an odd spot for a gunshot wound but I think the technique itself worked out pretty well and I can see doing it on other models, though likely not their ass ;)

Overall I’m happy with how these guys came out. It’s not my usual approach and it’s not award winning but I had fun painting them, they fit with the unit and I learned some stuff so I’m going to call it a success.


I began playing Warhammer 40K in 2006, and have been an avid player and hobbyist since then. I have also been blogging about 40K for almost as long as I've been playing it, having started Creative Twilight in 2009.

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  • I am liking these. I found three old rate ogres, the original metal ones, that I am going to turn into Chaos Spawn. At least that is the plan with them…

    • Thanks.

      That’s the beauty of Spawn, you can use damn near anything for them. As long as they’re big and ugly you’re all set ;)

      • I will let you know how I get on with them so :)

  • They look great Thor. I’ve been wanting to try just washes since watching Greg’s video. The wound was a great way to cover up the mistake.

    • Thank you.

      I always uses washes, just never for an entire model this way. I also saw Greg’s video and that’s probably where I got the idea from. Something that’s all fleshy like this seemed like a good place to mess around with it.

  • These guys look awesome Thor! Never thought of using that kit for them…looks a heck of a lot better then the ridiculously expensive one GW sells! I love love the painting with washes. So much fun!

    • I really like the kit. I have some extra bits too. These guys come with wings, it’s a dual model kit so other bits too, and well worth the buy. I get three of these models for just $5 more than two Chaos Spawn. They’re the perfect size too and look the part.

      It was fun but a bit stressful. Mistakes aren’t easy to correct if you don’t catch them in time. Thankfully I just had the one mistake that bugged me. There’s just no easy way to “undo” something with this method. Still, it was fun doing something different and I can see doing more of it on organic models like this.

      • Ya there is definitely no undo. The nature of the thinness of layers makes it impossible to fix. My biggest fear is having some wash on my finger and touching the model, pretty much ruins it.

        But at the same time, it’s way faster, so :)

        • It is definitely faster, which was a big reason I went this route too. I just felt like getting something completed without a lot of hassle.

  • Very nice use of that kit, much better then the normal spawns.

    • Thanks.

      I do like the Spawn kit but I think it’s too pricey. That being said, I’ve really come to like this kit more.

      • I think the part I have the most trouble with in the Spawn kit is the bodies, to limited and I find them quite hard to re-model. Besides that I do like the kit for how easy the parts are to use when converting daemons (my main army).

        • I agree. That torso is definitely the worst part of the kit. On the plus side, so many bits in the Spawn kit though.

  • Nice work! How big are they? I’m looking for some cheaper base model to do spawn from.

    • Thank you.

      They’re almost twice the height of a normal Marine. Here’s some game shots to give some scale.

      • Well, the really hunched ones aren’t so tall but you get the idea. Ignore the Chaos Trolls. Those are the models these two new ones replaced.

        • Berman

          Could pick up some more trolls and use those to start up a second unit of spawn.

          • I think I’ll use the Trolls as characters that turn into Spawns and if I feel like building another Spawn unit doing something else, like more of these Vargheists.

  • Really nice Thor. I like the contrasting tones on the two of them, one cold one hot. Works very well :)

    • Thank you. It’s just fun painting these guy all sorts of colors. Each Spawn in the unit is unique.

  • Berman

    Its nice to see you showcase both the centerpiece models like your lords and these quick and dirty (by your standards) models as well. They come out looking so great for what on your schedule seems to be a very fast turn around. I know I keep trying to balance my painting between all in models and some quick and done to keep burn out from forming up. To much grunt work and you loose the pride to much top notch and you loose steam.

    • It is a tricky thing for sure for those reasons. Sometimes you have to take pride in the completed unit instead of the effort of a single model. I take more pride in putting down a fully painted army than I do a few models that are painted really well.

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