Oldhammer Chaos Space Marine Squads

To add more core troops to the project, I decided to go get two squads of Chaos Space Marines to support the CSM Terminators. When they were released in 1996 (a bit later 1997 in Germany), the regular "goons" of the Chaos Space Marines were available as metal and plastic kit, at the same time.

Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Chaos Space Marines Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Chaos Space Marines Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Chaos Space Marines

The several miniature choices for the Chaos Space Marines were released beginning in summer 1996, with individual blisters for the Champion, Chaos Space Marines with special and heavy weapons, and the blister of 3 regular Chaos Space Marines. Along with the Chaos Space Marine unit of 7 metal miniatures in October 1996 (February 1997 in Germany) and the plastic kit of 5 in December 1996 (March 1997 in Germany). The blisters weren't listed in Germany at first, and the boxed set was offered at 45 DM, along with the plastic kit at 20 DM.

With inflation that would be 31,98 EUR for the metal boxed set, and 14,21 EUR for the plastic boxed set. If we extrapolate the unit of 7 to a squad of 10, that would be 44,41 EUR. Which is incredibly close to the new 2019 plastic kit of 10 for 45 EUR, and more expensive than the old boxed set, which was priced at 30-35 EUR for quite the long time.

Chaos in Warhammer 40k had some incredible artwork drawn for the new codex. One of my favorites is Mark Gibbons illustration of a Night Lord, as it was used in the Codex itself and multiple times in the White Dwarf.

Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Chaos Space Marines

And I remember seeing this image in one of the old White Dwarfs and Codex as well. A brief look into the creative mind of John Blanche and one of first contacts that I had with the nowadays so famous Blanchitsu. These drawings and input were of course known in the english-speaking hobby realms for quite some time, but the German White Dwarf just made it into two diggits (40k Chaos was released in issue #14, February 1997). And the sketches of ideas how to cover certain Chaos Space Marine chapters, including notes on how to realise them miniature-wise was incredible.

Along with multiple conversions spread across the White Dwarf issues. Every asterix notes that the miniature you see is a conversion and was modified by its painter / the 'Eavy Metal team. These are from UK/AUS issue #205 and spread across the German Issues 14 to 16, as well as the Codex.

Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Chaos Space Marines Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Chaos Space Marines Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Chaos Space Marines

For the regular Chaos Space Marine troop, there was a choice between two different champions (if you exclude the option to use Chaos Space Marines in terminator armour), two CSM with special weapons (flamer and plasma gun) and 7 different bodies for the regular Chaos Space Marine. The metals models would be completed by using the arms sprue and back packs. And there was an optional Close Combat sprue, that covered plasma pistols as well. There was a mini-sprue with upper body and legs for the plastic Chaos Space Marine kit, that would use the same arms and back packs to complete the miniatures.

If you take a look at the metal miniatures, you will see, that the two Champions and CSM #3 share the same legs, the same way as the CSM with special weapons and CSM #6, as well as CSM #1 and #4, and CSM #2, #5 and #7. That is not unusual and often done with metal miniatures. They sculpt a couple of base models, re-use them, file down details and resculpt them. This saved time and costs, and made it possible to create a larger number of masters prior to casting. Along with the plastic arms and weapons, you could diverse the model even further. Very impressive for the mid to late 90s, as many other companies had often 2-3 different poses + a leader in a squad of 10. In my opinion one of the reasons that Games Workshops success is based / expanded upon.

Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Chaos Space Marines

Inspired by the pictures in the White Dwarf, I already decided with the Terminator blog posts, that one of the squads will be lead by a Champion in Terminator armour.

Warhammer 40.000 - Codex Chaos Aspiring Champion in Terminator Armour

A Chaos Space Marine squad can be between 3 and 9 miniatures large and in addition maybe lead by an Aspiring Champion. So that is something that they share with the Chaos Terminators. I was thinking about going for a number, fitting the undivided Chaos of the Black Legion (6 is Slaanesh, 7 Nurgle, 8 Khorne and 9 Tzeentch), but 5 felt to small for me and 10 incl. the champion a bit high. So orientating on the boxed set, that contained 7 miniatures each, I went with two squads of 7 Chaos Space Marines.

The first squad was a recreation of the boxed set, at least how it was shown on the cover. With the Aspiring Champion with a power fist and a flamer and rocket launcher as heavy weapons. For the second squad I went with a bit of variation, using the already named champion in terminator armour, the second variant of a special weapon with the plasma gun and the las cannon for the heavy weapon choice.

Regular Chaos Space Marines tend to be a little bit more expensive compared to the Terminators, as they are multi-part, multi-material miniatures. So even if you get your hands on the bodies themself, as they are made from metal rather easy to strip, they often lack the appropiate or complete number of arms, weapons and back packs. But more on that further below.

I had a couple of the bodies already around, I bought the champion for 5 EUR, the plasma CSM for 4 EUR, two regular CSM to boost up the numbers for 7,50 EUR and a heavy weapon guy within a lot for 3 EUR. The terminator champion was already calculated in the other post, and would count in the others with 3 EUR each, as that is a price that I usually pay for a regular 40k miniature on foot. That sums up the costs for the metal parts at 43,50 EUR.

Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Chaos Space Marines Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Chaos Space Marines

I had a couple of arms and back packs in my bit box, due to the old plastic Chaos Space Marines (of who I have no idea, where I sourced them). I as able to buy a small bits lot for 5 EUR and another one with the close combat weapons for the shipping costs only. That would add further 7,50 EUR to the costs of the regular Chaos Space Marines, making it 51 EUR in total.

It depends on how true you want to be to the original parts. For example with the back packs, there are some older bits around, that would fit the Rogue Trader era Chaos Space Marines, that are almost similar to the ones from the Space Crusade board game (usually identified from the dark-blue / black plastic), and the design didn't change that much for the Berzerkers or first multi-part Chaos Space Marines kit from the early 00s. If you are missing weaponry and arms, you could fill the ranks with some bits from the Khorne Berzerker sprue, as they were very close in design and won't draw that much attention to them / look out of place. Same goes for shoulder pads.

And then there are the decals. There was a bundle / blister pack with multiple sheets. These are incredibly hard to come by and due to their age might not be usable after all that time. So using the newer, larger sheets might be a work around. There were shoulder pads, that were later associated with the veteran Chaos Space Marines, but these are rather rare as well - if you look for something else than the Legion specific pads.

Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Chaos Space Marines Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Chaos Space Marines Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Chaos Space Marines Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Chaos Space Marines

Chaos Space Marines went from Chaos Warriors with sci-fi weaponry, to the 2nd edition plastics and metals, to the fourth edition plastics and the most recent 2019 reincarnation, that moved up in scale and base size from 25 to 32mm.

Here you can see the side by side comparison, of a Rogue Trader Chaos Renegade, 1996 Plastic Chaos Space Marines, 1996 metal Chaos Space Marines, and a Heretic Astartes from the Warhammer Quest Blackstone Fortress boxed set (which is in scale with the 2019 multi-part CSM box set).

Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Chaos Space Marines

So let's get an overview on the two regular Chaos Space Marine squads of 7.

Chaos Space Marine squad of 6 are 150 Points excl. gear, four CSM with boltguns are +12 pts, the special weapons for this unit are a flamer +9 pts, and missile launcher with Frag and Krak missiles, incl. the bonus plasma missile +40 pts. The unit is lead by an aspiring champion at 30 pts costs, who has a power fists +10 pts and a Mk I plasma pistol, +5 pts. The unit has a total of 256 points incl. the champion.

The second Chaos Space Marine squad of 6 as well, at 150 Points excl. gear. Four CSM receive boltguns for +12 pts as well. The special weaponry are a Mk I plasma gun for +8 pts and a laser cannon for +35 pts. The base unit has a total cost of 205 points, excl. the champion, as the 89 points of him were already included in the terminator sum up. For overview purposes, the he is listed as follows. The aspiring champion costs 30 pts, +47 pts for the Terminator armour with single lightning claw, +12 pts for the melta gun combi weapon.

This upgrade adds 461 points and costs of 51 EUR to the project.

Based upon the regular Chaos Space Marine slot, I would have had access to create a unit of havocs, wielding heavy weapons. But I decided against that, as that role will cover the dreadnought and the combined warband didn't feel like a host to such a "heavy" unit. Veteran Chaos Space Marines will be covered in a different post.

As the regular Chaos Space Marines will be Black Legion as well, no further added points for marks of chaos on these. There will be Chaos Space Marines with marks of the dark gods, but those will be limited to the Plague Marines and World Eater Berzerkers as of current decision.

Warhammer 40.000 2nd Edition 1996+ Chaos Army Project "Abaddon's Black Legion"

  • Models count: 24 miniatures
  • Point value: 1,451 Pts (Characters 493 / Squads 958 / Support 0 / Daemons  0)
  • Project costs: 90.98 EUR

Posted by Dennis B.

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