The relative value of spikes has fallen so low that many models are covered head-to-toe in spikes in a desperate attempt to stay relevant. It’s pretty much like 1920’s Germany, but with spikes, obviously, rather than bank notes.
Spikes are nothing new. Chaos models have always looked like a grater that got into a fight with a holepunch. Dark Eldar had special wafer thin spikes you could stick on their shoulders if you had better manual dexterity than me. Tanks, for the sorts of races who didn’t wipe their feet when they came into the house, had big rows of spikes with heads on, not dissimilar to Victorian railings (but with heads on).
But these models… well, there are too many spikes. We’ve gone down the spike rabbit hole and we can’t get back out. Presumably on account of all the spikes.
(In all this, it’s never quite clear who it is that makes the spikes. I can imagine Chaos techmachines sticking the railings onto the vehicles at a pinch, or the Dark Eldar sharpening their shoulder-and-knee blades whilst rubbing themselves through tight leather trousers.
But who’s making the extra spikes to stick on Chaos Space Marine armour, and who’s sticking them on there? Who’s painting and corrupting their shoulderpads to have leering faces all over them? Certainly not the Space Marines themselves, that’s for sure)
Anyway, the models. First up we have the Forgefiend: a creature made from guns strapped to spikes strapped to legs strapped to a pipe organ strapped to some skulls strapped to more guns, designed by the techno-wizards of Chaos to shoot stuff from far away and be all big while it does it. It’s kind of the end result of 30 years of development where your dad is lunatic gothic artist John Blanche and your mum is heavy metal albums wrapped in a leather jacket.
The alternate build of the Forgefiend is the Maulerfiend, mainly impressive because you wouldn’t think that you could get a worse prefix for “-fiend” but here we are. Unlike everything else in this article, it actually looks pretty good (even with the Doc Ock arms sprouting out the sides of it) so I’ll just post a picture and move on.
The Aspiring Champion of Chaos is badass, for sure, but is also £10 for a single plastic model which is – hey – too much money, guys. I’m (almost) past the point where I can stop reminiscing about how, in my day, boxes of multi-part models were £10 for 10 models, Space Marines at that, and we had to walk uphill both ways to get to the shop to buy ’em. But not quite, apparently.
My favourite part is the big licky tongue face on his left leg. That’s gotta shit his enemies right up.
The Raptors are jump-pack troops, which means they strap a pair of jet engines to their back and push the on-switch and that’s somehow a valid military tactic in the grim darkness of the far future. They look fairly daft, and the official blurb describes their range of poses as “staggeringly dynamic” which is a) hilarious and b) provably false. But they look as sensible as middle-aged white guys in grey suits when you compare them to the other unit you can build out of the box:
The Warp Talons are made almost entirely from spikes. Feet? Spikes. Hands? Spikes. Heads? Spikes. Shins? Spikes. Spare space on the side of the jet engines? Whack some fuckin’ spikes on ’em. But even they pale into spike insignificance when you see the big daddy of all spikes in the new range, The Helldrake.
OH HI WE HEARD YOU LIKE SPIKES SO WE MADE A DRAGON OUT OF SPIKES AND PUT SPIKES ON IT
What’s next for the Chaos Space Marines? Their next Codex, set for release in 2015, will see the majority of troops replaced with six-inch nails superglued to bases.