As established in the intro to this log the Chaos Marauder models are very old and have a number of flaws, in particular:
- Essentially only two leg poses, neither of which is particularly dynamic.
- Odd, “bow legged” sculpts.
- Underwhelming head options, and lack of heads generally.
- Arm to shoulder joint is very obvious and time consuming to cover up.
- Trousers are too smooth and models generally lack detail.
- Few weapon and shield options.
While the lack of good heads can be compensated for by using the Marauder horsemen kit, and additional weapons and shields can easily be found in the rest of the Warriors of Chaos and Beasts of Chaos range, the bigger problems of overall poor sculpting, little dynamism and lack of detail are more thorny. I didn’t think I would achieve my goals of a dynamic, rabble like unit by sticking just to this kit, at least not without extensive conversion work, so I looked elsewhere for marauder or barbarian like figures and eventually settled on Russian Alternative’s Barbararians of Wasteland models. These come with a wide range of poses – including running, fighting, advancing and standing poses – and also weapons, and are well detailed. I felt they would be a great basis for my Marauders and picked up some boxes of both the great weapon and hand weapon/shield armed Barbarians.
Saying that, the Barbarians of Wasteland also have some issues. They are cast in reasoably soft metal and the weapons are less “heroic scale” than Games Workshop’s. This means for gaming pieces, the weapons (especially the great weapons) are likely to be too flimsy and will bend during transit or play, ruining paint work and weakening until they break. Also, the kits don’t come with instructions (somewhat relevant for the great weapon armed Barbarians) and definitely require pinning as the fit of the weapon to arm join leaves something to be desired and there are no tabs for basing purposes. These are fairly minor issues for me though so I was definitely a happy customer once they arrived and I’d had a chance to look at the kits.
Last night I experimented with the combination of the Barbarians and Games Workshop weapons, heads and shields. Here are some of my early concepts. They are obviously tacked together and it must be said not all of the ideas are good ones!
- Left: Marauder Horseman spear, Barbarians of Wasteland Shield, Chaos Warrior helmet.
- Middle: Marauder flail, Horseman head, Gor horns. Fortuitously, many of the Marauder flail hands are spaced so that they will fit the great weapon armed Barbarians which will resolve the bendy weapon problem.
- Right: Chaos Warrior sword and shield, Space Wolf head.
- Left: Chaos Warrior sword and shield, Marauder head.
- Middle: Gor axe, Marauder shield, Marauder horseman head.
- Right: Marauder Horseman head and throwing spear, Barbarian shield. I really like the idea of some models in the Marauder units fighting with throwing axes and spears. It isn’t something I’ve seen done before.
- Left: Marauder Horseman head, Chaos Warrior sword and shield.
- Middle: Marauder Horseman head, two Chaos Warrior swords.
- Right: Marauder head, Gor shield, Chaos Warrior axe.