The Black Legion Chaos Space Marines

In this second army article, we feature an army from across the sea (the Irish Sea in this case) – The Black Legion of Pat Dunford, who lives in sunny Ireland. Pat’s collected many Chaos armies over the years, and he’s beaten me with just about all of them. Anyone who was a regular in Games Workshop Bristol between the years of 2001 and 2006 will probably have seen his Slaaneshi horde, usually in the process of trouncing my valiant Imperial Fists. Whilst it’s still a good looking army, Pat felt that his painting skills had progressed and wanted a new army of evil that looked as good as he could produce. The results below are, I think you’ll agree, fantastic.

Pat said he’d always liked the idea of Chaos Space Marine as barbarians in space and wanted to model them accordingly, whilst the legion that represented this best appeared to be the Black Legion. Whilst Pat was previously legendary as the man to go to ‘break’ new codices (his record was within half an hour of release), he’s toned down his army lists from ‘broken’ to ‘very competitive’. Hence his eschewing of some of the more outrageous items in the list (I’m looking at you, Lash of Submission)

Chaos Space Marine Squads.

Accordingly, he’s based the army around a core of well equipped Chaos Space marine Squads in Rhinos – Pat feels that Troops are often the best choices, particularly in this codex. The combination of Bolter, Bolt pistol and Close Combat Weapon makes the average Chaos Marine very versatile, as does the option to take two special weapons. A Power Fist rounds out each unit and enables them to cope with the likes of Dreadnoughts and Wraithlords. In 5th Edition Warhammer 40,000, mobility is also paramount, so each squad goes into a Rhino to get them into (or occasionally away from!) the enemy. The infantry are built from a mix of the plastic Chaos Space Marines and the plastic Chaos Warriors from Warhammer Fantasy Battle. The nicely barbarous Chaos Warrior heads fit easily into the power armoured torsos, whilst a bit of cutting was necessary to get the Chaos Warrior cloaks onto the models. They’ve been modelled in some great poses too. Pat prefers a limited palette of colours when painting armies as it helps to unify them and speeds up painting. Black with bone and brown fur enhances the feeling of savageness, being adorned with trophies and animal hides and bones.

Bright red adds contrasting warmth to the army, as well as the implication of blood, again playing up the barbarity of the army. The helmets were then painted white to contrast with the rest of the model, also drawing attention to them. The models were undercoated with Chaos Black spray and highlighted with a mix of Codex Grey and Chaos Black, getting successively lighter. The fur areas were base coated with Graveyard Earth and then highlighted with a layer of Kommando Khaki and a layer of Bleached Bone on the extremities. The bone was base coated with Codex Grey and highlighted with a mix of Codex Grey and Bleached bone, where each layer has less grey in the mix until the top highlight is pure Bleached Bone. Starting with Codex Grey gives the bones an ancient look, as though they’ve been decorating the armour of these warriors for centuries. The red was base coated with Red Gore and highlighted with Blood Red.

Chaos Space Marine Rhinos

For the Chaos Space marine Rhinos, Pat wanted them to have an old, archaic feeling, as though they’d been painstakingly kept running for thousands of years with a succession of bodged repairs and replaced parts. Chains, spikes and gratings from the Chaos spiky bits sprue did the job – I particularly like the prison van style grill on the front of one the Rhinos. Pat’s deliberately left off the normal trophy racks as he feels this ruins the lines of the vehicle – it also make them much easier to transport in army cases.

Daemon Prince

Every army needs a commander, and Pat felt that the Daemon Prince was the best value for points (“it’s a monstrous creature – it’s automatically undercosted”), but that the Lash of Submission power is a bit strong even for him. It’s also a bit passé these days – nearly every Chaos player at the tournaments takes two of these! Therefore the Daemon Prince’s only upgrades are Wings, to keep up with the Rhinos and Warptime, whereby time itself is at the whim of the monstrosity, enabling him to strike at lightning speed and dodge blows with equal rapidity (in game terms, this allows him to re-roll all to hit, to wound and armour save throws – it might not be the Lash, but it’s still pretty good). The model is mostly standard, but the Citadel designers, with excellent foresight, made the mounts for the mutated backpack vents identical to the dragon wing mounts. This makes making the Daemon Prince winged simplicity itself – the plastic Citadel Dragon wings simply glue in place with no modification. The Prince has been painted in a similar style to the Black Legion Chaos Marines, retaining the white helmet motif.


The current army is rounded off by a pair of Obliterators. Mobile firepower is a must for any 40K army and although they’re slightly handicapped by the slow and purposeful special rule, moving and firing with heavy weapons is a great ability. The fact that they can pick that weapon from a large range makes them very flexible. Pat’s modified the poses to make them more dynamic and swapped the heads for more Chaos Warrior heads to tie them into the rest of the army. He’s added to the trophy racks as well, using grisly parts from a variety of plastic sprues.

As you can see, it’s a great looking army and Pat’s had a lot of success with it in Ireland. In January 2010, a 750 point portion of it attended the Doubles Tournament at Warhammer World in Nottingham.
And Pat’s plans for the future of this army? Whilst it’s nearly completed, Pat would like to add some more units – he feels the current army is a bit ‘vanillla’. He’s already built some Chaos Space marine Terminators in the same style as the infantry and some Khorne Berserkers using Bloodletter components. As soon as they’re painted and Pat brings them to the UK, I’ll get some photos for you!


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One Response to “The Black Legion Chaos Space Marines”

  1. Michael says:

    How did you fit the cloaks to the marines? And how did you use the thigh armor parts from the Chaos Warriors and the Chaos Space Marine boots together? I am really intrigued by how you put this together and want to convert an army like yours.

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