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To celebrate the launch of the Indomitus box set and 9th Edition of #new40k Warhammer 40.000, Garfy and me thought about a special treat: Garfy will paint the new Primaris Chaplain from the Indomitus box, while I’ll paint a classic metal Chaplain from 2005, and in the end, we’ll compare our results and experiences. This will be a super fun painting challenge, so make sure to join the fray!

Here is a WIP of what we’ve painted so far. Left is Stahly’s rendition of the classic metal Chaplain, to the right Garfy’s version of the new Primaris chaplain. Notice the difference in size and scale.

Stahly: Long-term readers will know that I collected a sizeable Ultramarines army over the years, and I’m still pretty fond of classic Space Marines, as they were what attracted me to the setting when I discovered a shelf of strange fantasy and sci-fi miniatures in the local toy shop at the humble age of 11 years. I decided to keep this collection Primaris-free, as the proportions are so different that I think they look weird next to each other. Instead, I started a Silver Skulls Primaris Kill Team to not miss out on the Primaris hype train.

For this challenge I chose this classic metal Chaplain sculpt by Juan Diaz, released in 2005 along with the Black Templars codex release in the 4th Edition of Warhammer 40.000. Juan Diaz is no longer with the company, but back in the day, he sculpted a lot of metal Space Marine characters and units like the classic Sternguard and Vanguard Veterans.

Four Chaplain sculpts were released at the time, and this sculpt is probably my third favourite. I already painted my favourite sculpt for my now sold Blood Angels collection, so I didn’t want to paint the same model twice. Instead, I chose this one, because I have a soft spot for it despite its flaws. And, it’s the only model with a bare head, which is a theme for my command squad.

My Blood Angels Chaplain

The model shares a couple of similarities with the Primaris Chaplain, noticeably the bare head with the metal face implant. Chaplains rarely remove their skull helmets, so it seems to be required to display at least some gruesome facial wounds to intimidate your battle brothers when you choose to do so. Also, note how stiff the pose is in comparison to the Primaris Chaplain. The lower legs of the metal Chaplain seem to be too short, giving him a slightly stunted look. And the handle of the Crozius, it’s so thick! A requirement of metal casting, as thin pieces of white metal will bend and break easily.

Back then, models like this weren’t sculpted digitally, but manually at 1:1 scale in modelling putty. So no Ctrl-Z when you made a mistake. You would often find some rough parts in models of that age, either because the sculptor missed them in his master sculpt, or the mould had deteriorated slightly. I had this problem around the shoulder pads, but overall, it wasn’t too distracting.

Garfy: Stahly and I love a challenge, whether it’s Tale of the Mega Painters or Tale of Tuesdays we love working on similar projects at the same time and talking about them. We decided it would be interesting to work on a model that is essentially the same but separated by 15 years of sculpting technology, game development and business strategy.

As Stahly mentioned his Chaplain is sculpted from Green Stuff at 1:1 scale and cast in metal, whilst mine is digitally sculpted by Ed Cotterell on a computer. The scale is irrelevant on the computer as you can zoom in and out and work on details. Whilst the metal Chaplain has a separate arm allowing you to upgrade his Bolt Pistol you can’t change the head or other shoulder pad without the use of a jeweller’s saw or Dremel. The modern Chaplain comes with a separate shoulder piece so you can replace it with a Chapter specific one and one quick snip with cutter will allow you to do a head swap.  I think the pose of the Primaris Chaplain is strong, his feet planted as he holds aloft his Crozius. He facial features are great and you can almost hear him chanting Litanies of Hate.

The Primaris Chaplain is still an HQ choice but the game has changed since 2005. In 2004 Warhammer 40,000 4th edition was released and introduced the Force Organisation Chart. The standard one allowed for a maximum of two HQ choices. You would only use multiple detachments if your force was larger than 25000pts or you and your opponent agreed on it. Two HQ choices was seriously limiting especially for a Space Marine player with a large amount of choice. Chaplains would often be overlooked for more powerful Captains and Librarians. In 9th Edition the Force Organisation Chart has come a long way. So long as you have the Command Points to spend you can take multiple detachments allowing you to take more Characters. Great news for the Chaplain!

My previous Primaris Chaplain

Stahly’s Chaplain is one of four that would have been available in stores, by mail order or online store. My modern Primaris Chaplain (at the time of writing) is part of £125 limited run launch set (and now made to order for a limited time) making it expensive to get hold of. The previous Primaris Chaplain is currently priced at £22.50. This is an indication of the price we can expect the new one to be when it is released separately. That’s a big jump from the £6 of the old metal one. In recent years, Games Workshop has used this strategy to sell new character sculpts as part of a larger box set and then releasing the characters separately further down the line. These box sets usually include substantial financial savings when compared to buying the models separately, so tend to be highly desirable.

Happy Indomitus release day, we hope you got the box you wanted! Which Chaplain do you prefer? Old one, Primaris one, or maybe a wholly different sculpt? Leave a comment or reaction below and stay tuned for part 2!

Garfy's Get a Grip - now available on ebay