Don’t paint like this!: Word Bearers

I’ve been thinking a bit about what I want to do first. I think before I start working on models so pretty I weep at the idea of messing up the paint job, I’ll start on an easier project to get me back into the swing of things.

Which means it’s time to finish off my Word Bearers army.

Chaos was my entry into the world of Wargaming and they still have a place in my heart. In particular The Word Bearers. Looking at the original depiction of them by John Blanch in his infamous double page spread, you can see why.

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A double page spread from the 2nd Edition Chaos Codex by John Blanche.

Every since then, I’ve dabbled in the various legions (I have a sizable Nurgle force and a small Khornate warband) but I’m always drawn back to The Word Bearers. Perhaps it’s the nihilism mixed with faith that is a key part of their background that attracts me. Perhaps it’s the fact you can go to town on mutations. It may just be that they have a snazzy paintjob that even I can paint.

But their transformation as a legion through time fascinated me, because in a fictional universe that exists in the greys, their very black and white take on everything is so refreshing. They think they are right with certainty that comes with the mind of a zealot, but spending so long in the Eye of Terror in a situation that has no end point, no win state, has added a bitterness to that, a feeling that if they can’t save everyone, they’ll just destroy them instead.

To a degree, that’s me reading between the lines – the Word Bearers omnibus has all characters behaving like mustache twirling villains. But once you read Anthony Reynolds’ introduction and see the mind set he was trying to get into to write these characters, well, it all makes sense.


Artwork from the 3rd Edition CSM Codex. I don’t know the artist, but if anyone does, I’ll happily update this.

How will that come out in the painting? Well lets have a bit of roughness to them. Make things ordered, but shambolic at the same time – it’s been at least a few hundred years for those in the Eye of Terror after all, so they’re going to have their own unique collection of wargear, traits and values (not to mention gribbly mutations!). I haven’t played the current edition of 40k – I don’t even own the rulebook! – so I’ll be going for what feels right over what may be the optimised.

Pictures soon!

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2 Responses to Don’t paint like this!: Word Bearers

  1. Pingback: Don’t Paint Like This!: Word Bearers part 1 | Don't Paint Like This!

  2. Pingback: The rise of The Truth; Word Bearers part 3 | Don't Paint Like This!

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