We’d like to thank Games Workshop for providing us with a preview copy of the Slaves to Darkness box for review purposes.
The venerable metal-to-finecast Chaos Chosen from 2008 have finally been replaced, and by gum is it a glow-up. Today we’ll be checking out what this new plastic kit has for us, and, Dark Gods willing, some tips for working with it.
Construction and Options
There’s 12 heads in this kit – 8 helmeted and 4 bare – which already means you can get a lot of variety with minimal effort. The bare heads don’t do it for me, but the helmets are cool as hell and with a bit of creativity and knife work you could probably use extra Chaos Warriors or Varanguard heads to some degree here. On the plus side, the bare heads have both dude and lady presenting Chaotic weirdos, I’m just not wild about the horns and mutations.
While the instructions here are fairly prescriptive, giving the impression of mono-pose or dual-pose models at best, the arms are fully interchangeable between each body. I would test fit anytime you go off-script like this, just in case you find a pose that doesn’t quite work for whatever reason, but there’s a lot more freedom to this kit than first appears. Your choice of weapons are purely cosmetic – they’re all Soulsplitters, and one splits a soul as well as the next. Similarly, the heads, pauldrons, and tilting plates that attach to the pauldrons can be freely swapped between any bodies. There really is a shocking variety of options in this kit if you’re looking for it, and you could easily build out a unit of 10 without the poses looking repetitive. The only detail that is conspicuous when repeated is the impaled head on one shoulder, but that piece could just as easily be left off or replaced with another spike or horn from your bits box.
The construction process for these guys is equal parts easy and enjoyable, with pieces that cleanly slot together along nicely guided grooves. Oversized pauldrons and the tabards built into their torsos are great for covering up seams or botched glue jobs. You also don’t need to hold any spiky bits together with a lot of force here, a regular sin of Chaos kits that gets hard on the ol’ mits. Moldlines were practically nonexistant on these models, but down the line as this kit gets older I could see a few places where moldlines could be a problem. Horns, spikes, and wrapped weapon hafts are all on the seam, but for now they were all pretty clean.
Now, I may sound critical there, but coming hot off the hooves of a unit of Varanguard, painting these guys really isn’t too bad. This kit has a lot of trim, and I mean a lot of trim. It’s the Chaos aesthetic at its most spikey and ornate, but is fortunately light on the mutated bits that can complicate the painting process. There’s a few of those errant teeth that find their way onto Chaos models, but mercifully none of the tentacles or weird fleshmetal bits you find on a lot of 40k Chaos units. I found them far more enjoyable to paint than the Varanguard, but if you’ve painted one of those and can picture painting the rider without their big dinosaur horse, that’s a comparable yardstick to measure by. I still wouldn’t recommend painting more than 5 at a time though. Batch painting this many details across a regiment of 10 would likely likely turn these from “interesting challenge” to “dreadful slog”. By limiting the colors used for secondary details like belts, wraps, cords and pouches, the little details can be knocked out without too much thought.
Final Thoughts, Parting Shots, and What Have You
This kit is one of the most “modern” feeling kits I’ve assembled in the hottest of minutes. These Chosen have all the baroque detail you would want from the cream of the Chaos crop (Chream of the Chaos Chrop? Whatever.) and go together with ease, but manage to avoid the burdensome amounts of baubles and mutated detail present on many other Chaos models. They are still highly detailed miniatures with a lot going on though, so if you’re new to the Slaves to Darkness range you’ll probably want to get a handle on some basic Chaos Warriors before graduating to the Oops! All Trim! brigade here. I found these to be a joy to assemble and pleasant to paint, and while my enthusiasm is somewhat tempered by the detail-laden nature of Chaos models as a whole, I can heartily recommend this kit.
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