Table Ready: Bloodthirster

[This post was originally posted to Otherverse Games & Hobbies as part of a series called Plastic to Painted, or P2P. You may see logos or references to this site and series]

Minis for the Miniatures God, Sprues for the Sprue Pile

I am fighting the urge to just type BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD, SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE over and over.



Kera accused me of copying her Groot article so I suppose I will set aside the uncontrollable rage and blood-lust bubbling up inside me and just write an article…


About two years back, I started collecting some Khorne Daemons to tag along with my Word Bearers. I got the Start Collecting box, split the Wrath and Rapture box with Robert, an extra box of Bloodletters and Bloodcrushers. I also bought the old finecast Herald right before they released the two new ones.

Bloodthirster goes grrr

I purposely avoided buying a Bloodthirster back then: knowing myself, I would have just painted the Bloodthirster in all it’s glorious blood-lust and savagery and forget/fail to paint the rest of the Blood God’s force. Plus, as I mentioned previously I like to plan prizes for finishing projects.

Well, I painted them. A while ago. And then I couldn’t find a damn Bloodthirster. COVID was still causing shortages. Games Workshop was struggling to restock my local stores, cause, you know, the state of New Hampshire doesn’t need models: screw those plastic crack addicts. So I waited for a while. Painted a few armies, bought entire new games, daydreamed about the day I would have a big nasty daemon to lead my cute little Khorne army.

One day, after letting the painted Khorne Daemon army collect dust for far too long, with those beady eyes glaring at me from across my hobby room, I decided to give up on waiting for a FLGS in the area to get one. I ventured forth into the merry land of eBay. A few days later, a greater daemon came knocking on my door.

Paint for the Paint God

Immediately after popping the box open, I was locked by indecision: which type of Bloodthirster do I make? Turns out each variant has different weapons and different rules. Not only that, but, Warhammer 40k and Age of Sigmar have different rules for the various types, making things even more complicated. In the end, I proclaimed FUCK IT and built the one that had a massive axe that was taller than a rhino troop transport is long. Go big or go back to the warp.

It may be a tad shameful, but by the time I was building the Bloodthirster, I was neck deep in other projects. Project Ultramar was in full swing, and I wanted to make sure I could get the big beastie painted up easily. I built the Bloodthirster, leaving the axe, and each wing as separate sub-assemblies: this would make painting much easier.

Easier is what I needed at that moment; in spite of my ultimate goal of painting more miniatures this year than I acquire, be it buying, trading or printing, I had generally been failing. Oops; looks like this year is going to end up much like last year.

I primed the model black and tossed a couple quick layers of Khorne Red (surprise) on the model; I decided that it wasn’t worth the time to set up the airbrush booth, and clean the airbrush, on top of painting the model, so I just used a decent sized brush and got to work. Before I painted the daemon flesh around the wing membranes, I painted the wings Pure Black from Reaper, as I like the finish: it’s not as glossy as Abaddon Black and not a dead matte as the Scale 75 paint. I did the same with the Armor panels, that way, it will be easier to touch-up the inevitable fuck-up. I used Brassy Brass and Iron Hands Steel for the metallics.

The flesh was washed with Nuln Oil, and the metallics were coated with Agrax Earthshade. I took the time to layer up the metallics a bit and do a few edge highlights on the armor, but the flesh and the wings were dry-brushed. Finding the evil glyphs on the wings to be a little dull, Robert demanded that I put some time in to make it look better: he was totally right and after adding a bit of hellish red glow around the glyphs, the wings ended up looking far better through limited effort.

After washing and dry-brushing the texture around the discarded weapon parts glued onto the base, I decided to get that airbrush out for a second. A little contrast paint through the airbrush and a few moments later I had a simple object source lighting effect on the eerie green flames that is attached to his foot like so much warp infused toilet paper.

I can’t remember if this is a Skulltaker, Skullmaster or a Bloodmaster, but, it’s definately a Khorne Daemon

While I was working on the big boy, I decided to eBay a new Herald; I needed an HQ to run my Khorne Daemons if I was not running a large enough force to field a Bloodthirster. I worked on him alongside the big winged daemon. He was quick and easy comparatively, and I followed the same process, only on a smaller scale.

Although the process was fast and relatively simple, the results were good enough for me. I got a few models out of my pile of shame while getting a model that I have wanted for years to paint up and on display in my curio cabinet.

Fiction for the Lore Tomes

So I think I can place why it is that I, and possibly many other fans love the fearsome image of the Balrog, er, I mean, Bloodthirster. Oh, Shit, I gave it away. Tolkien and the mythology he created has a special place in the hearts of almost everyone that enjoys fantasy or science fiction; he defined what fantasy was for many fans. Of the many powerful images that he crafted while writing the Lord of the Rings, the powerful Maiar beings known as Balrogs literally epitomized the image of the powerful monster from hell. Hell, Dungeons and Dragons straight up used the Balrog in name and image to populate the dark and dangerous places for all would-be adventurers to test their mettle.

The only reason I don’t have an official Balrog model for the Middle Earth wargame is because I am afraid of my obsessive nature leading me to owning every army in the game.

Most recently, my fascination was piqued by the novel Watchers of the Throne: The Emperor’s Legion. If you haven’t read it, you should. Don’t worry, I’ll wait…

**SPOILER ALERT** This is a great book, covering a couple pivotal moments in the modern day story of the Imperium. The story revolves around a Custodian Guard that fails the test to be a Sentinal standing vigil over the Emperor’s barely animated corpse, a jaded and angry Sister of Silence hunting down whatever nom-nommed her sisters and a bureaucrat who is trying to get the High Lords of Terra to pass legislation that will allow the Custodes to go forth and fight across the galaxy, where they are desperately needed.

Big things happen. Cadia is destroyed. Guilliman arrives on Terra, well, the Moon first, then he goes to visit dad. and then the Imperial Palace is assaulted for a second time by the forces of Chaos. Specifically a pile of Bloodthirsters, Eight of them if I remember correctly. The Custodian Guard and the remnants of the Sisters of Silence fight alongside the Grey Knights of Titan and Guilliman with his miscellaneous pose of space marines. Battle is had, daemons and Imperial defenders die by the space-truck load.

It was a good read, and strangely I now have a Custodes, Grey Knight and Khorne Daemon army. Oh, how the collection grows.

Borrowed from GW, because it’s rad

The Siege is a great set piece and reads well. Chris Wraight writes a good book. Honestly, I listened to it on Audible, and it was great, with three voice actors reading the chapters from each character’s perspective. After it was done, I wished that I had read the book first.

The Legions of Khorne Continue to Grow

So, what’s next? The Bloodthirster is badass and now I want one of each, so, that’s bound to happen soon. Even cooler than a generic, albeit awesome Greater Daemon of Khorne, is Ka’bandha. I want that massive resin daemon now more than ever. First to lead a Ruinstorm army to ally with my Word Bearers. Second, I want to pit him against Sanguinius and the remainder of Cliff’s Blood Angels Heresy army.

Of a more immediate consequence, finishing my Khorne Daemons reminded me that I was sitting on the Khorne mortals from the Age of Sigmar launch box from all those years ago. I built them. I got to painting, and now, I have a Project Complete article to write in the near future. Go Me. See you then.

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Obsessive and neurotic collector of little plastic men, novels about the same little plastic men and paints to make the little plastic men pretty. Married to Kera, who puts up with him and pretends that she doesn’t hear him speaking to the little plastic men in between making pew pew noises in the hobby room. Requires adult supervision. A menace to himself but rarely to others. More beard than man

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