I think that’s a Chaos space marine on the cover, you can tell by the H. R. Giger phallic backpack and the fact he’s holding an octopus faced AK47 pistol. Come to think about it, are those penis horns on his helmet? I fear this intro might have just triggered several Google Safe Search alerts.
Inside the front cover we have an advert for Eldar Command models with one apparently holding a space harp. All these instruments and Giger influences are giving me flashbacks of the terrible Prometheus movie. One of the great things about these models is that due to the fact 40k is a wargaming trying to be a role play game, all the metal models have actual names such as Menhe Worldsong and Kaelle Lightprow.
My copy of this issue is missing Marginalia and Culture Shock so you’ll have to imagine those articles this week. We skip straight to a page of Ork war buggy rules and an advert for 40k Adventurers including halfling cook and what could be a couple of female space marines. Sadly the sculpting is so bad it’s had to prove the models is female however at least they are wearing clothes. There are a few in character quotes in this section such as “Death Sells and you’re buying” attributed to Pirate Mustain which would not be out of place in a B movie. Thrud is more nonsensical than usual this week with a character called Lymara the she wildebeeste (sp).
Next and advert for the first ever Space Ork dreadnought which has been assembled and painted terribly like the space marine ones from the last issue, it does have an expansion kit for it that makes it even larger and more terrible. There is also and advert for the Citadel Expert Paint Set with a range of inks and the stages of producing the effects which as this time hasn’t been done before.
Illuminations features all kinds of studio artists this month including a cool looking Reaper by Jes Goodwin, Jes will go on to be one of the group who kicks off the Golden Age of Wargaming.
We have a Warhammer fantasy battle adventure called the ritual involving Skaven that takes up 10 pages, it could fit any tunnel dwelling race in any high fantasy setting.
We then come across Index Astartes about the Legion of the Damned no less. I guess they wanted to really flesh out the more exotic of all the space marine chapters and an army of heavy metal ghost marines who have a change to go into a frenzy once they get into combat certainly does that. They go into quite a bit more detail than necessary and previous version of them introduce them more of a mystery than a mutated space marine legion.
Next some more adverts for an Ambull which is best described as a gorilla lobster and the Space Marine Attack bike which as this time was inexplicably called the Vincent Black Shadow. It’s still not clear why they would name their attack bike for a sci fi game after a famous 1950’s motorbike, I suspect a John Blanche influence.
Next up a watershed moment, the first ever step by step painting tutorial with colour pictures, miniatures gamers across the world rejoice at this. This is capped off by the appearance of John Blanches toothless smile behind the finished model. Next is the Blanchitsu article that begins by suggesting that gamers try transfer decals from other companies and even railway numbering to decorate their Space Marines. Someone somewhere in Games Workshop just had their eyes roll back in their head and Â£ symbols appear in their place. Scenic bases, cleaning models with copper wire and using pepper and chilli powder as basing materials are also discussed but not endorsed by myself.
Chapter Approved adds modified indirect fire rules, critical hits and developing psi-powers to 40k as well as rules for the Mole Mortar, Tarantulas, Land Speeders and using Ambulls as a GM controlled creature as well as the attack bike which is now called the Blackshadow side car combination. Catchy.
The Realm of Darkness Slaves to Chaos series starts here, at this stage it’s WFRP material about chaos mutants but will eventually be its own giant Chaos expansion for Fantasy Role Play, Fantasy Battle and 40k. It’s 14 pages covering every conceivable mutation including Tarantula Head, Overgrown Body Part (you can guess which part most male gamers wanted) or the devastating Silly Walk. This is a D1000 chart and Very Fast, one of the options, was a 1/250 chance. The article is so large there is no room for a readers letters segment, Chaos was and still is hugely popular to write about, it seems to capture the writers imaginations nearly as much as Orks (or Orcs if you like fantasy).
This is relevant to you in 2016 if:
- You want to role pay ideas for Skaven.
- You really like the film “The Fly” and you need to experiment with body horror role play.
- You like the Legion of the Dammed and want to see exactly how they were envisioned.
- You want to see the first ever versions of a lot of famous 40k hardware.