The Bloods Skulls Chaos Space Marines


The last time I had a proper Chaos Space Marine army, it was speed painted and it was 3rd/4th edition 40k. Back then I drybrushed everything metal and added red trims… and loads of ink washes. Dipping hadn’t quite been invented yet, so I remember adding PVA glue to the wash to give it some of the same qualities as modern washes have. Ah well, back then it all seemed legit. But looking at it now, it leaves a lot to be desired.

Hence, when I started running 2nd edition 40k challenges, it felt natural to go back and do the Chaos Marines some justice. At first I couldn’t really figure out what to do… Night Lords are cool, but so is Black Legion. And let’s not forget Nurgle!

IN the end, the answer suddenly came to me: I had to make my own legion/chapter/whatnot. The freedom allowed in the Chaos force almost screams this at you and the double page spread by John Blanche were he develops various fractions of the CSM is also aimed at this. So instead of joining some grand scheme with the above I chose to make my own cult.

Now what to make of it? I knew that I had to include red somehow, as I really wanted to stay close to the 2nd edition vibe. Also, I thought I might as well add green bases to that. Now green and red go really well together, but what to add? In the end the name came first, and sort of settled the rest. To me, when I think back, CSM armies often had a following among the Metal music heads. Often demons and black band t-shirts went together. More than black band t-shirts and wood elves anyway.

In this line of thinking I wanted to make the scheme and the name somewhat reminiscent of ’90s popular culture (music & toys). And also I wanted to make a jab at The Red Skulls, a loyalist chapter that once spread law and order in the Danish galaxy. The Blood Skulls were born… the name is suitably over the top, and the scheme is not too far from some kind of metal cover. The models were to be painted crisp and nice like the toy figures about at the time.

The gruesome Haemophiliaks squad is next to the fearsome leader of the Blood Skulls – Harkonn the Slayer – and his faithful master of the Dark Arts, Ka’Zool the Wizard.
Snaggletooth the banner bearer and Squad Xyphilis of the Nurgle persuasion

The very first model I painted was the Motorhead banner seen above. I thought the leopard print, the snaggletooth and the striking red details was the pinnacle of what I was trying to achieve. The result deeply satisfied me and next I started working on the actual challenge entries. Harkonn the slayer was a relatively early concept, and I actually started converting him around the time of the standard. However, the model was not actually finished until the 40k2ndACI bonus round – half a year later! The result speaks for itself though, and I am super happy about it. Gaming wise he has yet to prove himself, as the track record is borderline catastrophic.

The heavy dudes – Terminator Squad “Aenemiaks”

One of the units that I really wanted to add, and that nearly cost me my sanity was this terminator unit. The amount of trims… and details… on these guys is just insane! Just when it feel like you are getting there, you realise that there is an additional 22 cables, and 49 trims that warrant some kind of colour.

Squad Zhool – the insane bikers from

The bikes I had envisioned originally were actually riders on beasts of Slaanesh. However, when the time came I couldn’t really make it work. And so the riders became regular bikers instead. I still hope to do the Slaanesh riders in some way in the future. A fellow painting challenge participant suggested using the legs of Chaos Knights.

It is a little known fact that Fabius Bile spend quite a few years with The Blood Skulls before moving on to other theatres

Of course my plan was to include ALL the special characters from the Chaos list… but so far only Fabius Bile has actually made into my army. Kharn, Abaddon, Ahriman and so on are lying around waiting to get painted still. One day. One day, I swear!

Roxteddy the Dreadnougth goes wherever the Blood Skulls goes. He is constantly in search of his old mate Bheebhop

A lot of stuff was happening in my personal life during the second 2nd edition army challenge. I was supposed to have painted two dreadnoughts – and got around 90% on the second one… but then proceeded to forget it entirely. I am extremely pleased with Roxteddy all the same. I thought I had done an original conversion, but it turns out that I probably must have seen this done before, and forgotten all about it… or maybe it is just a conversion that sort of easily comes along in the mind of a chaos player? Anyway – I love my dreadnought, and it often wins my MVP in games… Most violent piece.

A predator tank and a Slaanesh marine make up the final entries that are CSM through and through. The predator was quite a big change to tackle for me. I haven’t painted big armour in forever, and this very nearly ended my first challenge. Luckily, for me, I found the resolve to finish it and put it forward.

Not really part of the army per se, but still very much tied to it, was my Traitor Guardsmen. I made these as a nudge towards the 3rd edition Eye of Terror codex. Back then I was fascinated by the Cadian models painted up and used for Chaos. They looked so much better than the new plastics that had just arrived.

6 comments

  1. The army looks great, and is certainly a tribute to all your efforts and hard work – well done! 😀
    If you’re still after some suitable power armour legs for beast riders, the legs and saddles from the Space Wolf Thunderwolf kits may be the easiest way to go – and being plastic, you can still trim and reposition them a little bit if you want/need to.
    Are there any more plans to expand this army much beyond the second dreadnought, characters and Steed riders you mention? Or have you set your thoughts to the next 40k army already? 🙂

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    • Thanks!

      Yeah well… plans – yes! Of course. There’s always plans haha. 🙄 But I feel like I better get a worthy adversary for The Blood Skulls that I can lend out so I can get some more games in. I can’t really decide on what though… IG, nids, Eldar (yuck!), Marines. We’ll see. At some point I’ll figure it out.

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  2. Great work – there is something immensely satisfying about a black and red armoured classic Chaos marine army and you have done a fantastic job. The individual models are all beautifully done as well, with some great characterful conversions.

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