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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Grand Unveiling: The Lord of Skulls

Hey there Chaos fanatics. Let's just get right to it, shall we? Drum roll please.... I submit to you, for your approval... The LORD OF SKULLS!!!!

The Lord of Skulls
The Lord of Battles
Krond- The Beast's Head!

 Now before some of my friends start going crazy that Lords of War unbalance the game and that 40K is ruined all that (and you are certainly entitled to your opinions), take a moment with me here. This beast came out in last June/July with Apocalypse. Now, I really wanted the model (was GW reading my mind? I just started my Khorne army that fall...), but it is, as you know, quite pricey. Although I really wanted it as a centerpiece to my World Eaters, I knew that I wouldn't use it that often (outside of the odd Apoc game), and that it would, sadly, collect dust along side my Plaguereaper and Warhound Titan (great models, but not allowed in regular games). So, I decided not to get it.

That didn't stop me from drooling over it every time I went into a hobby store that had it. My brother and my wife noticed, and decided to get it for me for my birthday. Luckily, they got a good deal online, so they didn't pay full price. Little did I know, upon opening it, that the game was about to change, and Escalation would allow me to use this monster in regular games. Possibly.

Now there is currently a huge debate as to whether Escalation breaks 40K. Some love the idea, others loathe it. I see it as this- I've got this cool model, and I'd love to use it besides Apoc. Here's what I propose. If you are playing a one off game in a local, have 2 lists ready- one with the Lord of War, one without. Tell the person you're going to play- and give them the option. I bet that most will say yes (they want a challenge, they have already planned for it, etc). I think players just want to have a choice in the matter, and I think most players will go for it. As for tournaments, well, that is up to the tournament. I like the idea of an "escalation" league- starting with say 1000 points, the next battle is 1500, and the final battle utilizes a Lord of War... that would be a blast, actually. Again, it'll be on a tournament by tournament basis. And hey, more choice and options are good for this game, I think.

Anyways, I didn't know of Escalation when I got the Lord of Skulls, but I was thrilled. My wife and brother were not, as I knew what it was before I unwrapped it (the size of the box was a dead giveaway). Knowing the complexity of the model, I decided not to assemble it immediately. Instead, I ... gasp.... read the instructions first (which I rarely do).

After going through it a few times, I decided to dive in. It turns out that the model is in fact quite a breeze to put together. There were a couple of challenges, but it actually went quite well. The hardest part, strangely, was putting the pistons of the body on the tank part- it didn't quite line up for some reason, but I managed to get it. The other thing was the axe arm. It seems to only want to be placed in lower positions. I wanted it raised up, like he was going to strike. It worked out, but the shoulder pad is a bit uneven, since the arm was not supposed to be that high. Once it was done, I decided to add two things. Neither were anything huge- this model really doesn't need conversion, as it has a ton of details already.

Painting it was the hard part. The thing is huge, with lots of nooks and crannies, and you simply can't paint it while its sitting on the table. But, its a heavy model to hold, and there are little spikes and the tracks are rough- making it a bit painful to hold- just the way Khorne would like it, I suppose.

My determination was to paint him exactly the way my Bezerkers. I had Khorne Red base, Nuln Oil wash, crimson wash, and a P3 red ink (lightly). The highlights are Wazdakka Red. The treads and pipes are Leadbelcher, followed by Nuln and Earthshade washes (dirty and dull but not rusted).

The armor trim and symbols were straight up Brass Scorpion with some Runelord Brass highlights. The "warp energy" is Maccragge Blue followed by a streak of Caledor Sky (a sickly warp emanation powers the beast). The skulls were done with Dust followed by drybrushings of Tyrant Skull and Praxetti White.

I am most proud of the tanks. All the pics show the tanks being bright metal. I though this was too bright and distracting. Instead, I did black tanks. At first, I thought this may be too much negative space. But, as I worked on it, with leadbelcher chains and Brass Scorpion details, it started to look better. Then, I did the glass/inside. I used Mephistion Red with crimson wash, followed by highlights of Wazadakka and Evil Sunz reds. Finally, I used Dark Reaper for the empty part- followed by a simple streak of white scar, and the whole glass done with a varnish. The results are quite striking, and just what I wanted from the blood tanks.

My final task was to add some blood, and the Blood for the Blood God paint was perfect. I didn't want to overdo it, so I think I did just enough, particularly on the axe, the arm plating, and the grate in front. The effect paint is really, really handy. Now, the model was complete.

Overall, I am pleased with it. It fits in very well with the rest of my army. Indeed, I put the lone Khorne Bezerker standing on the rim, looking just like the Lord of Skulls in motion and action- the Lord of Skulls is a living effigy of the World Eaters, just as they are a mirror for the rage of Khorne. Just that little touch was enough for me.

I don't think I'll be playing at my local store until the end of the month- its a busy time of year, after all. I'll broach the matter with the guys there- I am sure that somebody would be willing to do Escalation, even if its not till the beginning of next year. I can't wait to give him a spin and try him out!

"Do you see anything?" Uhhhhh....

Skulls for the Skull Throne indeed!!!

Until next time!


  1. An excellent paint job all-round ... simply stunning. It looks wonderful. ^_^
    Did you use an air brush for this?

  2. Thank you.

    I did that all by hand. I actually don't own an airbrush. I've always been worried that I would break it or mess up my models with it. Its an irrational fear, I admit. But- no airbrush for me.