Thursday, 3 August 2017

Army Showcase- Graham's Slaves to Darkness

Welcome to the first in what will hopefully be a new series on the blog, the Army Showcase. 

St Andrews Wargaming gives me the opportunity to show off my own hobby work to the blogging community, and there are many other great blogs out there to showcase their own hobby work and amazing armies. However, there are plenty of fantastic armies out there from hobbyists and players that do not have their own blogs, and I hope to help bring you some of these in the coming year. 

So before we get started with the first army showcase, I am putting the call out to all the readers out there. Do you have an army that you wish to showcase on the blog? It doesn't have to be a Golden Daemon winner, just a painted force that you are proud of and want to show to my regular readers. If you want a chance to showcase your own army, please get in touch ( All you need are some decent quality photos of your force (cameraphone is fine) and to answer a few short questions based on the army to get a flavour of why you chose the force. 

Today's inaugural army is Graham's Slaves to Darkness Chaos force. Graham's models have appeared on the blog before. I first met him at the Newcastle Warlords gaming club and was amazed by his Age of Sigmar armies that he uses. He does some amazing work, frequently wins painting competitions and has even had the opportunity to use his armies in live stream games on the Warhammer Community channel. You can find more of Graham's excellent work on his twitter page (@PaintedbyG) and his facebook page

1. What drew you to the army?
I’ve been collecting Greenskins almost exclusively for a very long time, but at the beginning of the year I thought it was time for a change. I’d been eyeing up the lovely new Khorne models that came in the Age of Sigmar starter set so decided to go with Chaos. Now Chaos were actually my first army when I was a kid back in the 80’s and my nostalgia was rather strong, I always loved the old classic Chaos Warriors, all the black armour and slitty helmets so I decided that is what I’d try to emulate. 
The inspiration for the army.

Graham's 1980s Chaos Warriors.
The plan was to start with a core of Slaves to Darkness Warriors and Marauders, a generic Sorcerer and Chaos Knights, then I could expand the army from there adding Khorne, Nurgle, Tzeentch or Slaanesh further down the line, as I knew I’d be tempted with whichever cool new models were released!

Since I had all the starter set models, it made sense that the first faction I branched out into would be Khorne, hence the inclusion of the Slaughterpriest.

2. What is your favourite model in the army and why? 
That’s difficult!! I think it has to be the Slaughterpriest though, it’s such a great model and I put a lot of effort into painting him.

3. Is this a gaming army or just for show? 
It’s for both I guess! It is to game with, but this force was selected for a side 500 pts tournament at Blood & Glory last November. I selected this small force from all my favourites that I had completed so far in a hope of winning the Best Painted prize, as I have no hope of winning anything for actually winning games! So if you think it’s a bit weird having a Wizard and a Slaughterpriest in the same small army, that’s why! 

4. Any tips or tactical insights into using the army? 
Not a lot, no! I knew this was a weak army compared to what I’d be facing, I think I lost all 3 games, can’t remember, it wasn’t important to me. They’re all good units really, the Warriors have an excellent 5+ Save Vs Mortal Wounds which is very handy, the Sorcerer has a great buff that lets you re-roll Hits, Wounds and Saves of 1, the Slaughterpriest can dish out D6 Mortal Wounds at range or pull enemy units towards himself and off objectives which can be very important! Unfortunately, in small games such as these, he was the standout target for all spells and missile fire, so he tended to die very quickly. I’ve already bought a second one for larger games!

5. Were there any special techniques or processes you used on the army?
Lots! To take the very Khornate models back to making them undivided (or Everchosen, I guess) took a fair bit of work, especially the Warriors. They were made mostly from the Blood Warriors in the starter set. When I was planning it, I figured it would just be a few head swaps, filing off of Khorne symbols, whack a shield on them and done, easy! When I actually got the models though, stuff like simple head swaps weren’t simple at all! They’re very cleverly made but the heads aren’t separate and are often buried deep into the shoulder pads and gorgets, I had to slowly grind them out with a Dremmel, it took quite a while as I had to be very careful about not damaging the surrounding model. Turns out the Blood Warriors you can buy in their own box are a lot more traditional, with separate heads, arms and legs, and so would have been much easier! So if anyone fancies doing the same thing, I’d recommend doing that!

The Warriors were built back up again using shields and helmets from the Chaos Knights kit, my favourite, the Standard bearer is made from many kits like the Chariot model and other bits and bobs I found on eBay.

The Slaughterpriest is also converted slightly. It’s such a nice sculpt, the musculature in particular, and I thought it was shame to have most of it covered up with those big horns over his shoulders so I removed them and gave him a sort of bony halo instead. 

Turning the Blood Warriors into Marauders was fairly simply, just had to remove most of the Khorne symbols and replace their extra weapons with shields. I also added the Darkoath Chieftan from Silver Tower as their unit champion, because it’s such a nice model!

I decided that with all the black armour in the army the bases would need to contrast with that and so went for snow. I just use the Woodland Scenics snow, mixed with PVA and water, it works a treat!

The display board was hastily made from Styrofoam and a cheap photo frame just in time for the tournament. I managed to get 1st Place in Best Painted so mission accomplished!

Thanks to Graham for taking the time to answer my questions and for sending me such great shots of his army. Here are a few more pictures of some of his fantastic forces.

If you would like to showcase your own army on the blog, please do get in touch ( I know that Graham has set the bar pretty damn high in the first Army Showcase, but don't be disheartened, none of my stuff is anywhere near this level either! 


  1. Fantastic stuff - I can only hope that when I get back round to putting more time in on them my own Slaves to Darkness can emulate this standard!

  2. Lovely army. It's cool. Great idea too Mike, I'll see if I can get a few sorted and sent through.

  3. Stunning work. I particularly like the spider and the converted Blood Warriors with the black theme. Very impressed.

    1. I must admit, the goblin spider army is my favourite that I have seen. Such a colourful and characterful army.