The second of my ‘Dark Lieutenants’ is a Dark Apostle, an unholy zealot leading his brothers in worship of the ruinous powers. He has no name yet, but hopefully I can think of one before I paint him up.
The basis for this model was the chosen champion Draznicht, from the Dark Vengeance starter set. I knew straight away that I would be converting him in some way, and the inspiration came in the form of the chaplain from the Betrayal at Calth set – that crested helmet had never looked so evil before. The helmet I used actually came from the Mk. IV Space Marines box, and it was hard work fitting it in as the original head was sculpted into the rear torso.
The next thing to do was remove the original helmet from his hand, and I carefully sawed the hand away from it before gluing it in place. The book that he is clutching in said hand was a 3rd party resin bit from Spellcrow.com, and I also added the parchment from a vehicle sized purity seal – I think from the Ravenwing upgrade sprue. I also changed his backpack to a regular chaos space marine one, as the original had an attached boltgun. The model still needs a little green stuff work before painting, there’s the gap in his torso for starters, where the push-fit helmet hand would’ve gone, and adding some more fluttering parchments could never hurt.
I know what you’re thinking – for a leader he seems kinda plain, right? Well you would be correct, but it was intentional. You see, Word Bearers practically invented the Dark Apostle, and in the hierarchy of the host only Lorgar, or the gods themselves are above him. For that reason I can’t use this guy as the absolute commander of the host, it wouldn’t feel right and as far as conversions go there hasn’t really been much done. The advantage of having a model like this though, is that in small games he’ll do fine as a Dark Apostle, and even a warlord, but in larger battles where the real leader is in command he can take the role of one of the many champions in my army.
Dark Apostles are mean on the tabletop, giving the ‘Dark Zealotry’ and ‘Demagogue’ aura buffs to nearby warriors – which grants them re-rolls to hit in close combat, and his impressive Leadership of 9 respectively. With the Word Bearers warlord trait the range of these buffs extends to a solid 9″, easily covering multiple units. His standard power maul can’t be replaced, (why would you want to) but it can be upgraded. The Black Mace relic is the best choice for a take-all-comers list, giving an extra point of strength, -AP and damage over the regular maul, and comes with the ability to deal a mortal wound on a 6 every time you slay a model with it. The Word Bearers’ ‘Cursed Crozius’ relic is the other option, but only outperforms the Black Mace against imperial scum. I’ll be running him with cultists, possessed or other any other units that can make good use of his buffs.