+ inload: Imperial psyker +

+ Primaris psyker +


+ Aradia Madellan, primaris psyker – no, not an eight-foot tall genetically engineered superhero, but an Imperial battle psyker. +


+ Following on from her Rogue Trader and techpriest comrades, the third hero/combatant for Combat Arena steps up. A similarly dynamic sculpt, I wanted to get across a slightly grubbier feel than Nayam Shai Murad, as Madellan is effectively a guardswoman. She's effectively an officer, sure, but still a relatively low-ranking member of the military. I used similar techniques for her coat, boots and gloves as for the Rogue Trader, but added touches of grey and brown to mute and neutralise the colours, giving a grubbier, less opulent result. +

+ The scheme is thus a bit of a 'symphony in brown'. Brown coat, brown trousers, brown holsters and pouches, brown wood on the staff... even brown-based skin. I hope, however, it's not dull. I've made sure to use different hues of brown, from pale wood on the staff to deep black-brown on the coat. The advantage this scheme gives is that it works beautifully as a base for some parts to leap out: +


+ To avoid the scheme being entirely brown, I added a flash of red for her sash. This 'hot spot' warms the scheme and draws the eye, so I added a little pattern with repeated dots, just to give a little freehand flair. +


 + I'm not generally a big fan of glowing eyes and so forth for psykers; I prefer to picture battle psyker's powers as more akin to Scanners-style brutality – less wizardy pyrotechnics, more people coming apart at the seams for no apparent reason. This is an example of leaving 'design space' in my collection for Eldar and similar figures who can be a lot more showy in their psychic showing. +

+ With that said, I'm always happy for technology to have a bit of object source lighting, so her psychic hood/collar thing has been painted with bright pale green light to suggest her psychic powers manifesting and being channelled through the hood. This is really at the root of why I opted for the deep dark brown scheme. +

+ If you want lights on a model to be effective, the underlying scheme needs to be low key – that is, for all the tones to be relatively dark – so that the lit-up parts stand out properly. If I'd used (say) a clean white coat, the lights on the collar wouldn't have read properly, as they'd be darker in tone than the coat – and clearly the object giving light needs to be lighter than the surroundings. Hue is largely irrelevant here; it's all down to tone. +


+ What's next? +

+ BEEP BOOP BEEP +

+ One last character – the sword and shield-carrying Crusader – is left, along with the pair of servitors above. As you can see, these are coming on quite swiftly. As befits these man-machine hybrids, I'm painting them up to look like a cross between workmen and a JCB, using the same scheme as I did for the galvanic servo-haulers terrain [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+] . +

+ inload: Rogue Trader and Techpriest +

+ Rogue Trader and Techpriest +


+ Neyam Shai Murad and Daedalosus are characters from Blackstone Fortress: Escalation, and re-used in Combat Arena, which serves as a prequel of sorts. Both models were very enjoyable to paint, and were a great opportunity to play around with some different schemes and ideas. I've always loved ranks of uniformed troops, but the more I paint figures like this, the more I see the appeal of rag-tag bands. +

+ The basing is unfinished. I'll be doing all of the figures from the set in one fell swoop, to make sure it's coherent. Other than that, they're complete. +


+ Nayam Shai Murad, Rogue Trader +

+ Daedalosus, Technoarchaeologist +


+ Neyam Shai Murad +

+ The Rogue Trader's a great figure, though she has quite unusual composition – the masked face gives her anonymity and character, but makes it a less obvious focal point. There's also a lot of framing and extension going on with the cables, skulls, pistols and flaring coat. In planning the scheme, I wanted her to look wealthy but deadly, a sort of sci-fi Anne Bonny. To this end, I avoided a really ostentatious colour scheme, instead going for tastefully subdued to let sculpt's baroque weirdness and over-the-top nature really speak for itself. +

+ (And then I added bright red and white feathers, because muted and tasteful is all very well, but she is a Rogue Trader, after all!) +



+ To adapt to this, I chose to make the brightest points the leg-blade (I thought this was a cool sci-if touch that visually explains 'space pirate') and the feathers in her hat. The eye then travels up the length of the leading leg – note the use of cool white (silver), warm white (ivory chasing) and neutral white (breeches) to create some variety without sacrificing the overall hue. The eye is then led up the neckerchief thingie before resting on the head. +

+ I've made the studs on the front silver, on the advice of PCRC buddy Lucifer216 – a nice touch that breaks up the ivory; thanks for the idea. For comparion's sake, you can see the original ivory version in the top pict-capture of this inload. Subtle, but striking. +


+ I included the ivory on the mark and weapons as a way of suggesting opulence and wealth. A warm colour, It also echos the bone of the servo skulls, helping the piece to feel cohesive. To complement the warm yellow-tinged ivory, I used some of its complementary (purple) as a subtle glaze on the armour. +

+ A little freehand ensures that the mid-reloading six shooter has holes for the bullets to go into. +


+ Perhaps my favourite part is the worn leather of her coat. I was tempted to do something more flash, but in the end decided a weather-beaten but comfortable coat would reinforce the privateer-like feel of her character. +


+++

+ Daedalosus +

+ I was rubbing my automanipulator claws together with glee as I approached this figure. The Adeptus Mechanicus are a huge favourite of mine, and this sculpt has almost everything I love about the faction. +

+ In terms of scheme, I wanted to nod back to my Braun VI Skitarii – a long-lamented army which I lovingly converted and painted a decade or so ago – with the use of purple and green accents. I have moved the robes from the red of the originals to a rustier orange. Less Christmassy, I think. +


+ With such complex sculpts, it's sometimes hard to know where to begin. I painted the whole figure using a similar recipe and techniques as the Iron Warriors of Officio Monstrosa [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+]. This gave me a metallic figure; and it was then a case of overlaying the fabric, skin etc. with the appropriate colours – in effect, a form of negative painting. +


+ The orange-red was an experiment. I painted it a mucky pink first (a mix of Vallejo white with a touch of Dark Flesh) to ensure the silver was properly covered. Once dry, I overlaid it with Gryph-Hound Orange, one of the new Contrast Paints. This gave a nice clean starting point, which I then highlighted further with creamy additions to an orange paint. I pushed the shadows further with sepia ink and granulation medium, too. This added some subtle visual texture, and generally dirtied him up so the robe went with the beaten-metal appearance of the techy bits. +

+ After the fun I'd had with the astronomical/astrological freehand on the Word Bearers recently [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], I couldn't resist adding some similar 'circuit diagram'-style embroidery on Daedalosus' robe. There's a hint of the Necrons to this type of design, which I thought fitted nicely with the idea of a Technolarchaeologist without banging you over the head. +


+ I think it's very easy for the 'tech' part of techpriest to get emphasised, but the appeal to me of the faction is the mysticism and ignorance of the setting, so I've left the metals mostly fairly dull – with the exception of the tools themselves. I thought that precious technology like his pistol and tool belt would have religious significance, so would be especially carefully maintained. I gave these an addition highlight and some gold detailing. +

+++

+ Still to go to complete the set are the remaining two adventurers and the servitor. I've got an additional servitor because I love the figure (in fact, you can have a sneak peek of the twins by looking at the opening panoramic pict-capture of this inload), and so my Combat Arena will be especially deadly! I'm looking forward to getting a game in at some point soon. +

+ Next up: the psyker. +

+ inload: Catch-all +

 + Pondering the imponderables and taking stock +

+ No hobby should become a job; so I make no apologies that this inload's a bit diffuse – it's just a collection of odd thoughts and pictures that don't really warrant full inloads of their own. +


+ Combat Arena +

+ Hooray, I thought, as I saw an awesome Mechanicus model previewed last year. Boo, I thought, as I found out it would only be released in the US or Germany. A similar train of thought occurred when I found out – hooray – the model would be available locally after all... but only as part of a very expensive expansion to a game I don't own – booooo. +

+ In comparison to the closed, Stazi-like '**** you, peasants' attitude that GW had during the turn of the century, new GW is doing a great job; but with all the different (and, in fairness, fun) ways they're bringing models to the market, there are inevitably minor annoyances like this. +

+ I had resigned myself to waiting, as I'm sure the sprue will be available in some more affordable way one day, but then stumbled upon a box of the US-exclusive game on eBay for a decent price, and picked it up. I really liked Gorechosen – a very silly, very quick and very fun gladiatorial combat game – and this essentially looked like a reskin. +

+ Lovely delicacy and movement in the stock poses. +
+ To cut a long story short, the models are beautiful. In an unusual move, I decided to build them as the God-Emperor intended, straight out of the box. Since I don't usually do this, I'd forgotten how nice – and quick! – it is to do so. I ended up getting all five built and primed in under an hour. +

+ A Techpriest leads two servitors on techy-shenanigans+

+ The techpriest above was the catalyst for the purchase, but I'm starting to warm to the quick boardgame-style games GW have been putting out. In the past I've regarded them merely as extraneous packaging, but with hobby time disappearing, it's nice to go back to them and find some way to play with toy soldiers that can be set up, played and broken down in a short time. +

+ I think I'll always prefer the spectacle of a tabletop wargame, but with this and Betrayal at Calth [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+] under my belt, perhaps I'll have an easy option for when time is tight. +

+ Either way, when I get a chance to play, I'll pop up a battle report. +

+++

+ Speaking of Wargames +

+ Ah, back in the comfort of serried ranks of troops. Age of Sigmar interest has returned to the PCRC, with Warmtamale and Lord Blood the Hungry leading the charge, and a couple of us gathering our forces in the wake of the release of Cities of Sigmar. +

+ With the drums and horns calling the Throng of Nog [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+] to war once more, I did a quick squizzy at where they stand. +


Being a very mixed combo of swaps, ancient lead and second-hand rescues [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+] built up over a few years, they're quite a mixed bunch. Now there's a bit more certainty about what things can be in the rules, I'm feeling more motivated to paint them up. They are, however, perhaps understandably a little mixed. From left, we've got:

  • 18 undercoated crossbow dwarfs (their leader and a lone drunkard are on my painting desk).
  • 33 dwarf warriors: 10 in the early stages of painting (the red file); 11 undercoated black, including the banner and musician; 11 undercoated grey and one filly painted leader.
  • 5 grey-undercoated Hammerers, along with a painted Thane and Wizard.
  • Roughly 40 Ironbreakers, around 15 of which are fully painted.
  • In addition, there are a scattering of oddments.
+ Not as huge a backlog as I'd feared, but still something that's going to require some batch-painting. +

+++

+ Apropos of nothing +


+ In addition to the KR cases I use for storing most of my finished/ongoing armies (the poor dwarfs above will remain homeless for a little while), I have a small case which houses some more unusual miniatures, united only by being odd one-offs. The Court of the Sun King project is housed in here in its entirety, for example, including a number that I've never got round to painting. +

+ I mention this only because there's really no other reason that I got a pict-capture of the two below. I just happened to have five minutes and wanted to take a picture of some favourites. It's nice to look back, sometimes. +



+ Of course, looking back's also good to ensure we don't rest on our laurels. I remember being very proud indeed of these miniatures. Brother Hicks and Hutch (rear row, right and left respectively) in particular saw much battlefield time. Feast your eyes on the awesome freehand on their Legion of the Damned colleagues! +


(Shut up, those are excellent rib-cage patterns)
+ Onwards and upwards with the painting journey, I say; and remember – your hobby's not your job, and no-one giving you marks. +

+ inload: Betrayal at Calth Word Bearer roll call +

+ The Heresy train rolls on +

+ A bit more building here, and bit more painting there, and the Word Bearers are ticking along. Kurtha Sedd himself – the Dark Apostle leading the group – ended up with the initial reds applied. +


+ Kurtha Sedd, a very naughty boy +
+ The model is based on the Captain with Powerfist model released a year or so back; a kind gift from fellow PCRC inmate Lord Blood the Hungry. I've replaced the arms with Primaris bits, though kept the armament as standard for the game. +

+ This chap brandishing a combat blade went under the brush at the same time. The arms here are from Priamris Reivers, which more closely resemble the 'normal' space marine arms than Intercessors, as Reivers lack the reinforced forearm plate. +




+ The game involves a Word Bearer Dreadnought called Sor Garax, nicknamed 'The Bull'. I didn't have a Word Bearers Contemptor, but I do have this Death Guard one, originally destined for my . A few trims and a decent paint scheme should ground him as a suitably brutal-looking Sor Garax. +





+ Roll call +

+ I can never resist naming my characters; I find it a great way to explore the culture of the group. I've used a mix of Classical and Turkish names, as these were the nearest I could find to the names in GW publications. +

+ The characters are, of course, named by GW themselves. +

Dramatis Personae
  • Apostle Kurtha Sedd
  • Sor Garax 'the Bull'
Mazzikim (Squad Clotho)
  • Sergeant Clotho Harphagos
  • Mugla – boltgun
  • Kimon – boltgun
  • Coran – boltgun
  • Arrian the Medean – boltgun
  • Urka Madis – boltgun 
  • Bac Vorkar of the Third Hand – heavy bolter
  • Vannis Gen of the Inscribed – boltgun
  • Tantal – boltgun
  • Sart Kayi – flamer
Tiharire (Squad Lachesis)
  • Sergeant Gnosis 
  • Bract – boltgun
  • Ucmag – boltgun
  • Antimeleager – boltgun (possessed)
  • Clothan Var – boltgun
  • Harpis – boltgun
  • Dol Badab – meltagun
  • Urkis of Chaldea – boltgun
  • Oekles – boltgun
  • Kul Tygyn – missile launcher

 + Possessed +

+ Not part of the base game, but core to the Word Bearers, are those Astartes who have become possessed by daemons. The initial group, called the Gal Vorbak, were mostly wiped out in the fighting over Isstvan, but a second group called the Vakrah Jal were out and fighting during the period of Calth. +

+ It seemed likely to me some of these marines were present on Calth itself, and so it provided me with a great opportunity to include some models that have lurked untouched for some years now. +


+ I think the conversions still hold up – I like the slightly dreamlike atmosphere of the figures immediately above and below. 



+ The remainder are simpler; arm or weapon swaps from standard Forge World figures. The official Gal Vorbak miniatures are very close in size to the new standard Primaris-size marines, making them ideal for use alongside my  conversions – and helping to get the slightly rag-tag feel of the project across. +







+ Game-wise, my plan had been to fold these into the standard squads from Betrayal at Calth, using them as regular marines or sergeants, but it's just occurred to me that the base sizes might prove a problem... [SCRAPSHUNTERRORABORT] +

+ Ah well, if I end up with a bunch of painted models, it's all grist to the mill. They can always stand in for Terminators, for use in the White Dwarf mission that expanded the game. +

+ inload: Bearers of the Word +

+ View over the fence: musings on Word Bearers +


Loyalty is the child of belief.
+ Aphorisms, Urka Madis +

+++

+ 'You're that Ultramarines guy, right?' – I've been flattered to have been called so, but I haven't painted one of my Praetors of Calth [+noosphericinloadlinkembedded+] in a long time. Still, I find Calth a very rich setting, so it's been nice to dig back into it, even if it's from the other side. +

+ In building up the background for my Ultramarines, it's been impossible not to read about their rivals – and bitter enemies, the Word Bearers. As with much of the Horus Heresy, their rich background is a tempting rabbit hole – though prior to now, I've largely resisted the temptation. +

+ The release of Primaris marines means that making a small group of marines, with sufficient bulk to look good against my Ultramarines, for the boardgame Betrayal at Calth has become a realistic prospect. Working on them has been a great lesson in different reds. +

+ Theoretical +

+ The human eye is very drawn to reds. Like its complementary colour(greens), we're very sensitive to slight changes in hue. Coupled with red paints typically having relatively poor coverage, the colour has a reputation for being difficult – both to paint, and to photograph. +

+ Bright red (left) and deep red (centre and right) schemes +

+ The Citadel Colours range has some really nice reds, and while they may take a couple of layers, you can work them right over a black undercoat. The marine on the left was painted with the following process over black:

_1 Mephiston Red.
_2 Second layer of Mephiston Red.
_3 Lining the recesses with Agrax Earthshade.
_4 Layer of Evil Sunz Scarlet.
_5 Highlights of Fire Dragon Bright.
_6 Winsor & Newton red ink glaze.

This gives a nice, vibrant result – brilliant for Blood Angels, but perhaps a bit vivid for the Word Bearers. The others were therefore painted with a more muted scheme, again over a black undercoat:

_1 Gal Vorbak Red.
_2 Second layer of Gal Vorbak Red.
_3 Lining the recesses with Leviathan Purple.
_4 Layer of Word Bearers Red
_5 Initial highlights of Word Bearers Red/Fire Dragon Bright mix.
_6 Secondary highlights of Fire Dragon Bright
_7 Winsor & Newton red ink glaze.

+ The result of the latter is more muted. To be honest, I don't like it quite as much as the Blood Angels scheme, but that's probably working as intended. The former bright red scheme is very warm-tinged – that is, it's based on yellow-biased reds, which means it appears warm, inviting and exciting. The latter muted red scheme is cool-tinged; based on blue-based reds. This means it is naturally less eye-catching. +

+ This may seem a Bad Thing, but sometimes subtlety wins out. By having a more muted wine-dark scheme, it leaves space in the palette for bright vibrant reds to be used for, say, braziers and flames. These wouldn't sing out against the bright red scheme, but should be set off nicely by the deep red. +

+ Practical +

+ So, how does it look in practice? I got two marines painted up over the course of the evening. Not quite finished – I have the Legion and Chapter symbols to add (once I've decided where they'll come from), and the bases need to be completed. At this stage, however, they're ready to view. +


+ To give the models some character, I've added freehand designs – these astrological/astronomical signs are really distinctive of the Word Bearers, and fantastic fun to paint. They're just small freehand marks of Gal Vorbak Red in lines and curves, with highlights (the same colours detailed above) added away from the light source. When trying this out, I suggest you keep your light source as simple as possible: directly overhead. Once you're confident, it seems like it'd be fun to play with light sourcing; perhaps having the highlights picked up from a hand-held torch, or something.+



+ The silver masks were inspired by the front cover of the boardgame. Lucifer216, the PCRC's resident Word Bearer fanatic, tells me that this may indicate a marine is part of the Chapter of Consecrated Iron, or Vakrah Jal. The Vakrah Jal are an elite group of the Legion, so it's possible that these luckless marines are disgraced members of the Chapter... 

... or perhaps something else. It is heavily hinted in Forge World's Horus Heresy book on the conflict that the Word Bearers sent to Calth included many disguised as different Chapters, in order to help disguise the numbers of the Legion present. The aim was to hide Lorgar's treachery as the bulk of his forces set out on the Shadow Crusade. Thus, these marines may simply have been disguised as members of the Consecrated Iron. Who knows? +


+ Since this force is meant to represent be a fairly rag-tag group of Word Bearer survivors skilled or lucky enough to get into the Calth Arcologies, I'm looking forward to exploring a number of different Chapters. The following Chapters are 'canon': 

  • Asps of the Sacred Sands, 
  • Flayed Hand, 
  • Graven Star, 
  • Inscribed, 
  • Twisting Rune, 
  • Third Hand – from which (possibly?) Kurtha Sedd and the other characters in the Betrayal at Calth game come.
  • Unspeaking.
+ Since I only have twenty marines to paint, I doubt I'll include all of these, but I am keen to develop a couple of my own Chapters: the Blasted Cedar [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], for example. If you'd like a member of your own Chapter to appear, please let me know some details – I'd be delighted to give 'em a go! +

+ Examples of Word Bearer Chapter iconography +

+ The variation this will offer will go a long way to explaining any slight differences in colour and decoration – though at the end of the day, your own models never need any justification beyond 'I like them', of course!. +



+ Besides paint schemes, different parts can be used to distinguish between Chapters. Even early in the Horus Heresy, the Word Bearers offer a great chance to use Chaos Marine bits when building them – as demonstrated by the two marines above: clearly linked, but with distinction between them. This is another rich source to mine. A lot of the M41 Chaos aesthetic is drawn from their distinctive look – they are the ur-example of the traitors.  +


+ Brothers Bac Vorkar of the Third Hand and Vannis Gen of the Inscribed +

+ inload: Word Bearer Painting WIP +

+ The Sins of our Brothers +


+ Misguided and treacherous? Perhaps. Either way, Word Bearers are still quite intimidating! This work-in-progress example is set alongside a standard human, and the size differential is striking. +

+ I got stuck into painting last night, and managed to work through most of the basics of one Word Bearer:


+ I've opted for a much simpler approach, building from Mephiston Red with sparing highights of Fire Dragon Bright. The real challenge I'm finding here is to differentiate the scheme from my Blood Angels. Certainly at this stage it's very similar, so I'm looking at ways to further distinguish the two schemes. I've written down a few of my thoughts below, but I'd very much appreciate any ideas or guidance you'd care to share. +


+ The geometric etchings [REF: helmet above, and shin below] are one way to create some difference, and very fun to do, so I'll likely extend that across the force. They'll also appear on the black shoulder pads. Some devotional script would be easy to add; and perhaps some candles? Quite suitably spooky for All Hallows E'en! +


+ I've made a rod for my own back by following the scheme on the front cover – though looking at it now, the red in the artwork is more of a purply claret colour. Maybe I'll try some purple glazing – or switch to a different base colour, such as the new Gal Vorbak Red rather than Mephiston Red, for future models. Shame, as I rather like the result I've got on this figure so far. +


+ The silver 'mask' in the artwork above is a point of differentiation that I've included, and the addition of the Legion and Chapter markings will go a long way to making them obviously Word Bearers. Still... not quite there yet. One thing I haven't done with my Blood Angels is heavy weathering. That's a deliberate stylistic choice to evoke the 90s-style painting, but it'd work nicely on these Word Bearers in the furious fight on Calth. +


+ The rear shot shows the conversion work to replace Sergeant Jovan's leg with the similar one from the Captain model. Note also the black-washed metal. Normally I'd use a combination of colours to avoid the 'dead' look of the metal as shown, but it's another point of differentiation from the Blood Angels. +


+ Finally, another Word Bearer figure. Note the pitted pauldron, which is again from the Sergeant Jovan model. It might seem a bit grand to chop up limited models, but in sacrificing one unique figure, I can make quite a few that benefit from being just slightly different or unusual. To me, that's a better way of using what is, at root, just another plastic figure. I think of these limited releases as seasoning – I don't want one 'heavily-salted' figure in a bland army – I'd prefer all of them to share. +

+ inload: Kurtha Sedd's Word Bearers +

+ Kurtha Sedd at Calth +


+ Apologies for the chrono-interim since the last inload, it's been a busy – and exciting – period. As well as some happy personal news, I've also been invited to participate in a couple of events, so behind the scenes things are a-brewing... +

+ However, no-one comes to read a blog about things they can't see, so here's something else I've been enjoying playing with: Word Bearers. +


+ Despite being a trifle short on hobby time, I squeezed in a game of Betrayal at Calth. This is a boardgame, released a few years back, from which I long since cannibalised the model parts. +

+ Although I had unearthed it on a whim, I found it to be a strikingly good game; fun, tactical and – importantly – quick to set up, play and pack up. It seemed a shame to be using proxy models for the Word Bearers (the Ultramarines side being well-supplied by my Praetors of Calth), so I've started to build a set of Word Bearers. +

+ I very much enjoyed building my Astral Claws Kill Team [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+] and dwarfs for Shadespire [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], and I suspect much of that is because they were small, self-enclosed projects. This is a slightly larger undertaking – twenty-one marines plus a dreadnought – so to avoid burnout, these are deliberately relatively simple conversions. Hobby time has become rather a precious commodity, so I'm making some compromises here and there. +

+ Kurtha Sedd (front centre) and a mob of Word Bearers at various stages of corruption +
+ Rather than being the more involved true-scaling I used for my Ultramarines, Iron Warriors etc., I'm using Primaris as the base, as for my Astral Claws and Blood Angels. This vastly speeds things up. +

+ Using parts from the limited edition Sergeant Jovan let me get some cool posing through easy kitbashing rather than involved conversion. +

+ One of the nice things about the Word Bearers in Betrayal at Calth is that background-wise they're meant to be a bit of a hodge-podge. At this stage in the Heresy, the different Chapters of the Legion were already beginning to have their own traditions and customs – particularly in terms of how they showed their devotion to the Dark Gods. This is exacerbated because the game concentrates on scattered survivors meeting up in the underground arcologies. +

+ Background-wise, Lorgar sent all these marines to their deaths, in service to a greater plan. As well as the primary aim of summoning the Ruinstorm, destroying Calth wholesale formed a purge of his Legion, an opportunity to rid himself of vacillators, doubters and – conversely – those too unstable and fanatical; or who could not get over an obsession with the Ultramarines. This is a great excuse to include a variety of different styles, and just have fun. I think including relatively uncorrupted figures (like the marine below) alongside more Chaotic-looking ones helps to create a sense of continuity – and tragedy, by making it clear that such corruption can build through reasonable-seeming steps; rather than jumping straight into the mouth of madness. 

+ This mini-project therefore lets me save some time by using a couple of previously abortive attempts without modification: the Chapters of the Blasted Cedar and the Justifiers. These more extreme examples will fit in beautifully, I think, and any variation can be happily explained in-universe by variation between Chapters. +

+ A simple marine – with a different paintjob, he could easily be an Ultramarine. +

+ I always find space marines fun to kitbash and convert, since there's such a wide range of kits. Using Primaris as the basis for this diverse mix also lets me liberally add various cool bits that haven't found a home elsewhere to this group – allowing me to switch from more restrained marines (such as the two above) to those with more traditionally Chaotic visuals – up to and including some all-out mutated figures based on Gal-Vorbak. +

+ The new Chaos Havoc arms and backpacks fit perfectly on the Primaris marines; you need only trim away the backpack 'nub' from the body. +

+ And speaking of the Gal Vorbak, here's a size comparison pic of a simple arm swap conversion (left) from the Gal Vorbak alongside a Primaris-based marine (right). Very similar, no? +