Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My Army: A Year of Daemons and Evil Things! Happy New Year!

TJ here with a ton of photos of my Army of the Apocalypse, otherwise known as my Chaos Space Marine and Chaos Daemon army. Along with a few other projects (commissions and such) and between military moves (one deployment and four exercises in 2013), I have worked on this army and with the help and encouragement of readers and close friends, it has been great. Let's take a look at some group photos as we close out 2013 and look toward another year of adding to this crazy army!

The force has been called so many thing; I used to just say that it was the "how the world ends army" because it is filled with daemons, zombies, giant worms, dragons, huge monsters, robots and rusty objects (sure to give you lock jaw, hahaha).

Chris Vinton started calling it the Army of the Apocalypse and it just kind of stuck. Since then I have made quite a few additions, but it has always maintained a particular color scheme.

The Yellow comes from my Necron army from 2012, the The Technicolor Crons, who I often ally my Chaos Marines to. The flesh tones come from a flesh tone I worked out in late 2011/ early 2012 to improve my Death Guard. Once allies hit the rule set, I really wanted to put all of my favorite models on the board. Shortly after, I realized I didn't like how random it looked, so I started to theme my Chaos to meet the current Chaos aesthetic I had as well as the style of my crons.

Necron parts started to work their way into the design and I was completely amazed by the way the flesh colors popped with the yellows. When the Daemons book came out, I saw opportunities to take this scheme to HUGE models and really step up my painting and conversion styles.

As new models came along, I had to step outside of my yellow/blue/grey comfort zone and explore new options. The Keeper of Secrets (the thing with tentacles waving around) added the Purples that you can see on the robes of the Oblits and in the fur of the Flesh Hounds. Typhus added a bright green to the palette and with it, the swords of the plague bearers found their color.

Each new type of unit challenges me with textures and details that I have to explore and that ultimately add themselves to the army's overall available spectrum. Every model offers a chance for growth.

In these models I also see my friends. I see models I won at the Dropzone Games grand opening, a great time at a fantastic store. I see bases that were created and sculpted by Chris Vinton, a long time friend and fellow hobbyist and competitive gamer. I see the "Go bold, push your limits" advice of Chuck Groff, who pushed me toward Yellow and some of the bright colors in the first place, also a fellow hobbyist and tourney stud. I see aspects of other models I have completed and techniques I use that have grown from tips I received from Dave Taylor and advice I have gotten from Luke Slocum, Lord Solar Steve and the Dreadbeard along the years. It means a lot to see that stuff when I reflect on an army.

One of the things I like the most about working on this army is that I am not held back by the fluff; this is a double edged sword though ... Coloring within the lines is often advisable because you risk making something that makes no sense. Hopefully, I have crafted something that now provides its own lines and challenges for me. Hopefully it also lacks just enough definition for me to continue to push this scheme to new places as well!

Another thing that I am proud of when I look at this force is the fact that nearly every model is converted, especially the larger ones. This Gorilla daemon prince was an early effort, which was really a platform for me to display a dynamic pose and attempt some green stuff work on a large scale.

The confidence it gave me carried over to the minotaur, where I challenged myself with another pose and even more green stuff work, perhaps the most ambitious project I have ever attempted, even more so than the Hell Worm.

There are always going to be little things that I pick up that I deem as mistakes (like the seem on that dog's back).

But overall, the theme still looks good on the table in my opinion and I look forward to taking this army out more and more to show off some of the stuff I haven't brought to public events yet.

I previously have kept the Daemon side of the force as an "in house army" but with the recent completion of my plague bearers and horrors, I think it will finally be ready for events. That means hounds and Grinders and Skull Cannons!

This army has also given me much to blog about. The Hell Grinder was even inspired by a blog post, while the Heldrake conversion in the far background has been immitated and improved by others (much to my gratitude) and also has been one of our most successful conversion series of all time.

The Hell Worm way off in the background here has also been the subject of a month long series and would have never been completed without advice from the readers here.

Now that it is all together it looks like the was a break out at Hell's zoo!

Hopefully, it doesn't seem like I have been bragging this whole time, though I am proud of this army and I know that it looks good ... after all it is the product of not only my skill but of a community of painters, hobbyists and readers who helped shape it along the way.

With that said, I eagerly look forward to the next year and the years beyond it. Though I will likely be abroad for most of the year, I am sure that if I make the most of the time I have, we can continue to add more evil and more disgusting stuff to this army! Here is to another year! Thanks for the inspiration and the advice, everyone! As always feedback and comments are appreciated!


  1. I blame you for my constant daemon creation hahaha. Hopefully see you at Adetpicon again.

  2. TJ, that is one stunning body of work! Will you be going to the Las Vegas Open?