Warhammer Bloodletters of Khorne review: A retrospective

It’s a good thing that the Realms of Chaos remain firmly in fiction, otherwise minor tears into the immaterium would occur every morning on the London Underground. As seats are stolen from sweaty commuters; people push their way on to trains before others have disembarked; and people old enough to know better play music through their tinny, mobile phone speakers; surely enough curses to the dark gods would be raised, and the tunnel-mouth at the end of the platform would become a maw leading straight to the warp.

Although the other major gods would have their share of worshippers, it would surely be towards Khorne that most would lay their benefactions. The god of anger probably wouldn’t have much to do with the London rush hour himself though, it’d probably give him a headache. Far better to entrust the task to some minor minions, such as the bloodletters.

Yes, all that introduction was basically in order to submit a slightly better word count than: “here is a review of the bloodletters”, but to be honest who couldn’t imagine the lesser daemons of Khorne running amok in an underground station slaying all and sundry? Think: “An American Werewolf in London”.

The current line of miniatures are the latest in a line of style changes, the original Alan Perry designs from 1989 being more arched, and lithe looking. Released in 2008, the reviewed iteration have been with us for a couple of years now and, with the new daemon wave hitting stores in August, it’s worth taking another look at these miniatures.

The basic cardboard box contains three sprues that make up a basic 10-man (-daemon ?) squad, with two sprues for basic troop building plus a command sprue. Unlike the better GW kits, there is a paucity of extras, though things such as the spare khorne iconography can be useful for your other chaos models or themed scenery, there is also a spare head (mine will be going on a daemon hunters base) and that’s about it, disappointingly (apart from a couple of spare arms). The box also comes with both 25mm square and round bases so you can use the models in either 40K or WFB, though as you’ll see in an article coming soon, basing needn’t mean limiting yourself to just one system.

Bloodletters of Khorne Sprue 1
Bloodletters Sprue 1
Bloodletters of Khorne Sprue 2
Bloodletters Sprue 2
Bloodletters of Khorne Sprue 3
Bloodletters Sprue 3

The mould lines, though not very pronounced, are visible on almost all of the components. In some places it’s right on the detailed areas, such as the ridged hand grips of the hellblades, so a delicate hand is required to remove them. Despite that the casting quality is generally high, with the sharpness of the details being represented.

Speaking of that detail, some areas fare better than others. The taut muscle and sinew are present but the armoured parts could have been better realised, with something other than spots to define them. On the whole, the detail is done well where it counts, especially the heads.

The limbs work in a very fixed manner when used out-of-the-box, they fit into angled grooves rather than using ball joints. The hobby saw will be needed if you want to vary limb positions; you could also increase the dynamism of the poses, as a few of them are quite static for blood-crazed daemons.

One concern I had was the rankability of the models, as they are carrying some huge weapons. I found that although they would happily stand side by side, a bit of attention was required when adding extra ranks to make sure that they didn’t interfere with each other (interfering with each other being more of a Slaanesh thing).

Bloodletters of Khorne Built
Completed Bloodletters of Khorne Unit

On a more personal level though, the feel of these models seems just right, the models being suitably menacing and demonic. I also like the way that you glue the head on by threading the tongue through the mouth. And a bit of minor jiggery-pokery can get them leaping at your foe in a more effective manner.

Are they the best models ever made? definitely not; but they’re not far from being a good kit. All in all they are fine foot soldiers in the armies of Khorne.

Feelin’ khorney: 7/10

7 out of 10