Word Bearers, the Architects of Heresy, the original sinners of the Horus Heresy and all round fun guys. When the most recent Chaos Codex was released I knew I had to get involved and having read most of the Heresy series I was really excited to start an Army of Word Bearers. They were finished a few years ago but I have finally spent the time to get them photographed so read on for some blood red madmen.
Word Bearers HQs
Chaos Lord on Juggernaut with Murdersword
A recurring theme with this army will be a heavy use of Warhammer Fantasy Battle parts. I wanted to Word Bearers to look brutal, ancient and most importantly eeeeevil. In reality I think the only 40k parts on this particular model would be the backpack and the Bolt Pistol holster. For the most part he is made from a Skullcrusher with parts taken from the Chaos Knights box set.
I wanted some freedom with regards to how I could use this guy in game so I gave him a Murdersword in his hand but put a suitable Black Mace on his thigh so I could change it around. Mudersword was a lot of fun if a little hit or miss (quite literally). The mace also gave me a thematic cue towards a Black Crozius, fortunately Dark Apostles cannot take Juggernauts so in my head this guy is a Dark Apostle who Mudersworded so many people he started calling himself a Chaos Lord.
Chaos Lord on Juggernaut with Axe of Blind Fury
Next up is the super killy guy. The Axe of Blind Fury is pretty crazy at times, although nothing compared to the old school Bloodfeeder it is still a handy weapon. As with the other Juggernaut I felt using a Bronze for the Juggernaut would give a nice contrast with the Crimson of the armour.I was really happy with how this guy ended up looking. The Bronze has some good contrasts as with the armour. The blade had a good firey/angry look to it and all the skulls tell a theme of this guy being a proper axeman of Khorne.
Chaos Lord on Foot
One of the first models I actually painted for the army he shows how I was playing around with the red tones. The weapon in his right hand is a Flail which I took from the Deathwing Knights boxset which I used with the Axe of Blind Fury rules as I thought it would be fitting. I felt this gave him an air of cruelty, wading through infantry with disdain before unsheathing the Murderword to fight someone who might pose a challenge.
The model I based this conversion on is one of my favourites from the whole Games Work shop range, so much so that I am using the model for another conversion, this time a BSB for my fantasy Warriors of Chaos which can be seen here.
Another conversion from a Fantasy model that I really loved. He just screamed arrogant, warped, Word Bearer. The mutated creature whispering in his ear also worked well to represent his spell familiar. With those images in my head I set about painting him up.
For all the flesh in this army I chose to go with a pale, sickly, purple tone. That tone along with the bright blue really break up the dark tones of the paint job.
Chaos Lord on Bike
A conversion I have found can really split opinion. Chaos Knights as Chaos Bikes. In many instances I have found that they do not make sense to me. However, I feel that the Word Bearers have gone beyond being simply Space Marines, they are the demonic Knights of Chaos and so as with the rest of the army I felt this should be made clear with the Bikers. With a Grey Knight Storm Bolter representing a Twin Linked Bolter and a demonic horse as a Chaos Space Marine Bike I feel I pulled it off.Made for one of many iterations of my Word Bearers army this guy would lead seven other Biker Knights all running Mark of Nurgle for extra resilience. They really did prove to be a tough nut.
The very first list I built for gaming had all 60 of these cultists. All 30 combat models mobbed up with the Lord and Sorcerer (Lord giving Fearless and the Sorcerer giving Endurance if I managed to get it). Not the most competitive choice but it led to some of the most enjoyable games I have played of 40k as this mob of 30 wounds for my Lord charged around the board while the enemy ran away shooting them to pieces. Fun, didn’t work very well though.
The cultists took a long time to build and paint. Made all the longer by my desire to try and make every model unique even though there are only what, 5 sculpts? I used heads and weapons from a variety of sources to try and make every model a little different.
Chaos Space Marines
Over the years I have seen people use Warriors of Chaos to convert there Chaos Marines and always wanted to have a go myself. With ample green stuff work to cover up the cutting necessary I think they turned out really well.
The extra height these conversions gave the Chaos Marines fit really well alongside the Cultists, showing the Word Bearers towering over their human slaves.
As stated earlier in this post, knights as Bikers can be a divisive subject but I was really happy with how they turned out. A truly imposing looking unit. I felt they were as WYSIWYG as needed for tournament but suited the style of my army much better than normal bikers.
Personally I have never liked the official Obliterators regardless of which iteration. I have always approached them using my own conversions from Terminators. For the Word Bearers it felt right for me to make them Sorcerers, with each weapon being a different spell. However, I did give them Powerfists to be something like WYSIWYG but to be honest the official ones are’t really anyway.
These models were made mainly from the Deathwing Knights boxset with some parts taken from the Chaos Space Marine Terminators and Chaos Knights box sets. A couple of the shoulderpads were actually made from plasticard myself.
With so many new projects on the go I have decided to let these guys go. They are now available on eBay mobilising for a tabletop elsewhere.
Note – featured image is by Noldofinve on Deviant Art. I love that picture.