Friday, 3 March 2017

Slambo - A Social and Military History


As previously mentioned, the 80s classic chaos warrior model has a special place in my heart. It's a great model, right back to the Adrian Smith artwork which I first saw in Advanced Heroquest's manual, many long years ago.

Image result for adrian smith chaos warrior

This is a quick look back at the iconic model, his rules and models and place in the game.

The Early Years

The original model was lurking about on GW's website as part of a four-pack of Classic Chaos Champions for a while, which is when I finally picked it up. That's about twenty years after the event. Slow I may be, but I get there.

Back in the day, individual lead models got names, mostly to help you order them from the Mail Order Trolls. This before there were Mail Order Trolls, in fact, just some people in an office somewhere wishing their job description was cooler. Original Slambo is jsut as small as many of those models are, but he looks bigger because he's cooler. In my head, anyway.

Because he's quite small compared to modern chaos warriors, I picked out a little extra detail on mine by doing runes on the axes and head. I've almost never used the model. He usually acts as filler in Chaos Warrior units when he does get out, and he's not given to ranking well. He is revered amongst my collection nevertheless, and will certainly get a day out if I ever play Advanced Heroquest again.

Up a Level

The first time I bought the model, however, was in the 90s. Chaos had a new army book for 3rd Ed, I think it was, and terms like Exalted Champion or Hero were becoming standardised as codes for particular levels of hero.

The twin-axe chaos hero of the day was basically an updated Slambo. Check the design on his right shoulder plate if you really doubt this - it's the same rune. As if the axes didn't give it away, right? I actually snipped the skull holding his horns together off, I felt it was one too many on what is already quite a detailed model. Bone necklace, sidearm, belts and pouches, plus a cloak.

Actually, he's a bit better than the original - more dynamic pose, chunkier, fits in a unit more easily. Heresy, I know! But if you're not going to utter heresy when you're talking Chaos Warriors, when are you going to do it?

Middle-aged Slambo was often used in my 8th Ed WFB armies, usually as the Lord. Given that I almost always lost those battles, I don't think he's ever managed to pull off any memorable stunts other than catching all the Wood Elf Arrows ever fired. But all the same, epic and legendary.

Age of Slam

And now, of course, Slambo's back!

Image result for Slambo

Slambo became a meme during the End Times, when miserable grognards used his name to replace any character they didn't like in the fluff. Archaon too lame for you? Slambo, Lord of the End Times. Not enjoying the death of your beloved old world? Let Slambo, first true demon prince and Lord of Chaos Undivided take your mind off it. He's even been a commentator in Bloodbowl's Age of Slam, whatever that was.

Age of Sigmar gives him, for the first time, his own rules as a named character. He's a hero and monster hunter with ranged axe throws, and he gets to go twice in the combat phase. But for all that, I think he's going to be a disappointing liability because his melee attacks are a random d6. Yes, it could end up being loads, especially if he manages to kill an enemy hero and double everything. Even if he does the most he possibly could (24 attacks!), my mathhammer reckons he's not going to get more than about six wounds out of it (4+ to hit, 3+ to wound, maybe a save or two from the foe). Compare that to a Doombull and weep.

The model's still good, of course, despite being resin and suddenly massive, and despite using the extra space on the base to adopt a Blackadder Actor's power stance.

Image result for blackadder actors roar

So obviously, despite previously saying I wouldn't, I went out and bought it.

A Swift Conclusion

And then painted it in under two hours, because I'm ridiculous.
Black undercoat, Eshin Grey drybrush and Ulthuan Grey edging.
Time - 10 mins
Leadbelcher for axes and chainmail, XV88 for skulls and ivory, Rhinox for boots and straps. Dryad Bark on the base.
Time - 5 minutes

Nuln Oil over all the black armour, Agrax on the browns.
Time - 5 mins, then 10 more to dry
Balthasar Gold details on the armour plate.
Time - 20 mins
Image result for engraved plate armour
This is the kind of blinged up nonsense I'm looking to evoke. Why don't the military still do this with body armour? Much more fun than camo.
Karak Stone and Ushabti Bone on the horns and skullpile. Rhinox Hide layer on the boots. Ironbreaker and Runefang details on the axes and chainmail.
Time - 15 mins
Dawnstone on the base stones. Ushabti Bone blended up to Pallid Wych Flesh on the skulls and horns.
Time - 10 mins
Longbeard Grey drybrush on the base stones. Auric Armour Gold and Stormhost Silver detailing on the armour patterns. Rhinox Hide blended with Scraag Brown, then Ushabti Bone for the boots and axe straps. A lick of Sylvaneth Bark on the axe handles, a light drybrush of Terminatus Stone on the boots. Snow and grass on the base.
Time - 10 mins
Outside for a quick spray of Purity Seal, then inside again for 'Arcoat on the black armour.
Time - 5 mins, for a total of 1 hour, 30 mins

Big, brutal, dark and threatening - everything he's always been, just slightly bigger. And easier to put all the armour detail on as a result, which is actually what sold me on getting him. I've always wanted to attempt that sort of gothic plate, but never had the confidence I could manage it on such a small scale. 

Here's that scale creep. He's actually not that much bigger than the last one, although the cloak makes that one look bigger

He'll probably make an appearance in our AoS games at some point, so we'll see how he handles then. Until then, I've some more extra fine armour details to be sorting out. You might have noticed in the last few months I've been adding more stuff like dags or checks to my models. That's because it's time to do the Harlequins, and I've needed all the practice I could get for those damn diamonds. Will it pan out? Tune in later this month* to see...

Slambo, Exalted Champion of Chaos
Can't have too many Slambos in one post, I reckon, so here he is again with a more contrasting background.

*i.e. probably in about twenty minutes

1 comment:

  1. Slamtastic!

    (I need to find this pocket dimension where you bend time to do all this painting)