We’d like to thank Games Workshop for providing us with a preview copy of the Slaves to Darkness box for review purposes.
So these large lads dropped with the Slaves to Darkness preview box a couple months ago, but as we are on the cusp of their standalone release, I thought now would be as good a time as ever to review these chunky not-quite-minotaurs. Monstrous infantry have been something I’ve eyed with envy, playing mostly humanoid factions in all flavors of Warhammer, and I’m thrilled that Slaves to Darkness finally have some to add to their ranks.
Construction and Options
There are 5 different faces and sets of horns you can mix and match, giving you a huge variety of combinations to make each dude look distinct. The heads sit on square pegs and are fully interchangeable; I know at least one person who has gone through the effort of sticking Beastmen Bullgor heads on these bodies to good results.
The arm joins are a bit odd, and one of the reasons this kit feels dated to me. They don’t have much in the way of guides like, say, a peg and hole or ball and socket situation. As a result, it’s possible to end up with a gap on the arm that is only partially covered by the pauldron. Said pauldrons can also be used on any body in any combination, giving even more variety. These pieces of armor are attached by a square peg; it’d be nice if they could be left off for a more bestial or primitive look, but a creative converter could definitely make that happen. There’s the old school Warhammer Fantasy-style options for a champion, musician, and standard bearer, with different icons for each Chaos god as well as an undivided monster face you can stick up there, with commensurate bits for the champion’s pauldron. My only qualm with these is that in just a single box of 3, you’re just getting a unit’s command section without many of their representative weapons – either Goroan greataxes or Goroan falchions and shields. I’d really like to bulk this unit out to 6 so it’s more clear what they’re equipped with. The axe heads and shields can be mixed and matched as well as anything else in this kit, giving even more variety if you go this route. I can’t see anyone easily magnetizing this kit, but I’ve been surprised before.
Whilst painting these models, I came to the distinct conclusion that these minis feel a bit on the older side, like 2016-2019 era. A few details, such as the weapons on their belts and their undercarriage/taint of Chaos areas have some of those more obviously extruded or muddy details you see on earlier CAD designed models. The pommels on the swords on their belts cut off at the torso, looking like a clipping bug in a video game. It’s nothing major but it made the models feel a bit dated in my eyes. I don’t know if they were sculpted at the same time as the Ogroid Myrmidon and were just waiting to be released til later, but their details are consistent with his.
If you are building them with shields, I recommend leaving them off and painting them separately, then attaching them at the end. They hold these shields pretty close and they can obscure detail while you’re working on them. It can also be a smidge tricky to paint around their legs, tails, and loincloths to get the inside of the legs on these guys, so if you’re truly committed to the bit you could paint these guys off their bases to get into every nook and cranny.
How much fun you’ll have painting them is directly proportional to how much you enjoy painting large expanses of fur or skin. Personally, I love the opportunity to paint volumetric highlights, so I had a largely grand time with them. I also made some mistakes on the banner and had to repaint it partially, but that’s on me. The hanging baubles do kind of get in the way of a more intricate design, but a better painter than I could certainly work something out.
Final Thoughts, Parting Shots, and What Have You
In general, these are enjoyable models to paint. They are satisfyingly big in such a way that all their sundry details have room to breathe, without becoming cluttered in the way so many Chaos models can. I do wish I used Contrast on their horns to save some time over shading and traditional highlighting though, as it can be tedious and some parts of the horns lose a lot of detail – again making me think these are slightly older models only now seeing the light of day. My qualms and feelings about this being an older kit aside, I felt the need to bulk out the unit to 6 models beyond the initial 3, and that should serve as a recommendation enough. Next time, I’ll just leave their shields off til the end.
Have any questions or feedback? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at email@example.com.