Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Avatars of War Lord of Chaos review

My post about using Wargames Factory plastic Viking miniatures in Warhammer Fantasy proved to be very popular, so I've decided to do more articles about using alternative miniatures in games of Warhammer. This time I'll be reviewing the Avatars of War Lord of Chaos figure.

Avatars of War makes a bunch of models that seem designed to be used as characters in games of Warhammer Fantasy. So, not surprisingly, they scale and style of them match up really well with the existing Warhammer range, and the Lord of Chaos comes with the appropriate 25mm square base. When ordering, you have some options when it comes to how you want the model armed. The right hand can have either a sword or a hammer, and the left hand either an axe or a shield. I thought the sword and the shield both looked pretty awful, so I went with the hammer and axe. All varieties come with two head options, so you can pick one and have a spare to use for something else.

The model in general is pretty cool looking, and it is similar enough in style to the Games Workshop Warriors of Chaos range to fit in really well, but different enough to be unique and interesting. It's a decent option if you don't really like the existing Games Workshop Chaos Lord options, or you want something that will stand out from other Chaos Characters you already have.

There are some downsides, however. First of all, it doesn't seem like it saves you any money over buying the Games Workshop models. Usually one of the benefits to finding alternative models for Warhammer is that they are less expensive, but not in this case. So it's only worth it if you actually like the miniature much more than the available Games Workshop ones, or really want something different.

The model itself doesn't fit together particularly well. The surfaces that need to be glued together aren't flat and don't sit flush together, so it is difficult to assemble the model. I had to pin the right hand to get it to stay on, and I will probably regret not pinning the head on. Also, some of the details on the model, in particular the chain mail parts, are shallow and not well defined. Aside from that the sculpting is pretty good, except that the entire back of the model (which you can see in the pictures below) is really boring. The front looks cool, but the back is completely covered with a huge cape that has the same texture all over.

Speaking of which, that cape sticks out pretty far to the side, which will make it difficult to rank this figure up in a unit. This might not have been so bad if I had put this guy on a Games Workshop base with the slot running horizontally, instead of the base Avatars of War supplied for the figure, which had a diagonal slot. The Avatars of War website seems to show them ignoring the slot, clipping off the tab below the model's feet, and gluing the feet directly to the base. This might prove difficult, however, as the feet don't seem to lay completely flat on the same plane as each other.

Anyway, you can see for yourselves. Here are some pictures of the Avatars of War Lord of Chaos between two Games Workshop Chaos character models I already owned.
Avatars of War Lord of Chaos
Avatars of War Lord of Chaos
Avatars of War Lord of Chaos

You may be asking yourself: if I already had at least two Chaos Lords with two hand weapons, why did I feel the need to buy yet another one armed the same way? That I shall leave as an exercise for the reader.


  1. Bear one thing in mind: most people who have painted this model say the model is not very "painter-friendly" (even though it seems to be) and the fur is especially unfriendly for painters.

    I mean it is difficult to make something really nice of it without serious resculpting. If you don't mind it - the miniature is pretty cool (I also have it in my collection). But if you want it to be a nice showcase piece - think about the fur and what you can do about it :)


  2. Thank you for the comment. I, for one, am not a good enough painter to make anything into a showcase piece anyway, but for others your observation may be an important consideration. I have yet to paint the model, so I can't comment on how it is to paint.