Head’s Up Collectors: Selling Limited Edition Liber Chaotica books (the originals)

A family friend had a medical scare wherein their teenage daughter was medevac’d out of state.  It was touch-and-go for  a while, but it sounds like she’s doing much better now.  It’s always rough when things like this happen because there really isn’t much that you can do.  My wife decided to go through some old photo albums to find pictures of the girl when she was young and send them to her parents.  While doing this, she uncovered some of the 40k stuff we’d packed up during our last move.

I love that sort of thing because it’s like Christmas: you wind up finding things you didn’t know that you had–or things that you knew you had, but had misplaced a while back.  This is a case of both.

Wh39kLiberChaotica (6)Wh39kLiberChaotica (5)In the totes with the various photo albums, was a complete set of the original, limited edition Liber Chaotica books produced by Games Workshop back in 2003/2004.  (Wow, are these already ten years old?)  To quote from the 40k Lexicanum:

“The Liber Chaotica is a series of background books about the gods and servants of Chaos in Warhammer written by Richard Williams and Marijan Von Staufer. They were released one after another in 2003 and 2004.

The books are presented in the form of the fictional writings of Richter Kless, a character of the Warhammer world. The authors take the role of an editor who goes through Kless’ works, which contains studies, illustrations and excerpts from other fictional sources. The Liber Chaotica also provides background related to the Warhammer 40.000 universe, written as cryptic records of recurring visions Kless suffered.

The series is composed of four separate volumes, each dedicated to one of the four Gods of Chaos: the Liber Chaotica: Khorne, the Liber Chaotica: Slaanesh, the Liber Chaotica: Nurgle and the Liber Chaotica: Tzeentch. In 2006, the Liber Chaotica: Complete edition was released. It contains all previous books as well as a fifth volume called Liber Undivided.”

Wh39kLiberChaotica (2)Wh39kLiberChaotica (3)For those of you who aren’t aware of them, they’re fluff/art books that are pretty fantastic.  For your average user, I definitely think they’re worth checking out, if you’re interested in Chaos at all.  When they came out, you could buy the paperback versions for a nominal fee (I think it was $20-30 each, and you can still buy them from Ebay for that much–sometimes less) and, much like today, they also hyped up super limited edition releases that were hardbound, and then encased in various raw materials.  Each of these elite editions was limited to 300 printings and the raw materials that were used were as follows:

  • Wh39kLiberChaotica (10)Nurgle: Wood
  • Slaneesh: Leather
  • Tzeentch: Glass
  • Khorne: Metal

I think these books were $100 each when they came out, but I’m not 100% sure on that.  I do know that I wasn’t keen on buying them at that price, but I did want the fluff, so I wound up purchasing the paperback copies.  Over the years, I obviously stumbled upon some of the limited edition stuff, but I don’t remember how it went down exactly.  Honestly, I thought I only had three of the four books, but apparently I was wrong.  I did remember finding them on ebay at one time for less than I expected, and bought them all.  It was so long ago, that I don’t remember exactly what I paid, but I think it was in the realm of $50 each.

Wh39kLiberChaotica (7)Wh39kLiberChaotica (8)I’ve never read through any of these though (why would I, when I have the paperbacks available).  For most of them, I’ve cracked them open to see what they look like (seemingly pristine to me), but that’s it.  The exception is the Tzeentch book, which is still in the shrink wrap.  I’m dying to know what it looks like, encased in glass, but figure it’s better if I don’t open it.

Anywho, they’re taking up space, and while they’re really cool, I don’t particularly need them.  I toyed with the idea of throwing them up on Ebay, but I don’t know what the right price is for them.

For those that are interested, the “serial” numbers are:

  • Nurgle – 179/300
  • Slaneesh – Unknown, I didn’t want to break the wax seal.
  • Khorne – 73/300
  • Tzeentch – Unknown, still in shrink wrap

The rub is that, while I have no real need of the books, I don’t particularly need the money/space either.  So, if the price wasn’t right, I might as well keep them.  I could just throw them up on ebay and let the market determine the cost, but they’re such a rare item, I don’t think they get searched for often enough.  So, I figured I’d throw them up on my blog and see if anyone wanted to make an offer.

Wh39kLiberChaotica (9)I know that’s not a lot to go on, so let me give you a really vague idea of what I value them at.  I paid “about $50 each” so there’s just no way I’d let them go at that price.  I don’t see myself letting them go for less than their original retail price either–one would think that they would have gone up in value given that they’re ten years old.  How high?  I’ve absolutely no idea.  I checked ebay, and someone is coincidentally selling a copy of the Tzeentch book (also sealed) and is asking $500.  I have no idea if he’ll get that much though…

For the record, the first person to offer me remotely close to $2000 for these four books would get them in a heartbeat (not that I’m expecting anywhere near that…).

Dishonored Imperium

wh39kDishonoredImperium (8)I haven’t applied painted anything since October’s Legion of the Damned squad—which is still unfinished.  If you go back to the last thing that I painted completely, you’d have to go back to March of last year when I painted up some IG platforms for use in Apocalypse.

With an interest in making some progress, I figured I should start the year off right, and I actually spent some time on New Year’s weekend painting up stuff.  Granted, I was painting more terrain, and not models I’d actually play the game with, but I figure progress is progress, and whatever inspiration actually hits me, I might as well go with it.

In this case, it was a statue I’d purchased from Singapore that’s roughly equivalent in size as the one in GW’s “Honored Imperium” boxed set.  I wound up purchasing both this Khorne Berserker model and an Ultramarine Captain as well.  You can read more about the actual purchase and see some size comparison shots in my earlier post.

Anywho, I’d after cleaning up the model’s joints with a little putty, I wound up priming him black and giving him approximately the same treatment as I’d done with my original statues.  So, the base color scheme would be aged bronze on marble.  I was relatively happy with the bronze from last time, so I used the same formula (copied below for convenience):

  • Primed: Black
  • Basecoat: GW Tin Bitz
  • Heavy Hightlight: P3 Blighted Gold (by the way, I just purchased this, and love this color)
  • Wash: GW Orc Flesh Wash
  • Touch-up: Blighted Gold
  • Edge Highlight: P3 Brass Balls
  • Targeted Washes: GW Chestnut Wash & GW Green Wash

wh39kDishonoredImperium (3)In retrospect, I think I went a little heavier with the green washes this time around (although the pictures don’t really show it), but also didn’t wash all of the little rivets and such.  I’m pleased with more green overall, but probably should’ve taken the time to pick out the little details as well.

For the base, I didn’t want to copy the last models exactly and figured I’d try something a little new.  I still wanted to do marble (because I was so infatuated with how it turned out before), but instead went for a straight black marble to vary things up a tad.

The scheme is simpler than last time, but it’s essentially the same:

  • Basecoat: Black (in this case, I painted the models separately from the base, so no spill-over)
  • Stipple: Black/white mix (heavy on the black) – I actually went through 2-3 iterations of this, each one progressively adding more white to the mixture, but never getting very light.
  • Lines: Light Gray mixed w/ water
  • Lines: Light Gray
  • Lines: White (edge highlighting)

wh39kDishonoredImperium (1)Then I wound up sealing the base with several coats of gloss varnish and the model/statue in several coats of matt.

The base itself has a variety of components to it, and was made to look like a muddy warzone; however, I felt it would be find if I painted it to look like one large sculpted piece of marble—which I think turned out alright.

To kick it up a little extra, I figured I’d add a little sacrifice to the chaos gods on the base.  I simply grabbed a spare “zombie” model that I had laying around (I believe this one is actually a model from the vampire counts “corpse cart”) and used that.  I don’t know what the original model looked like, but this one was already missing an arm and had his “yoke” (the term I’m using for the spear through his chest) broken off.  But, since I wanted a sacrifice, I figured that was alright.  In fact, the only change I wound up doing myself was repositioning his foot so that it looked more slack and wasn’t sticking straight up.  This was just a matter of hacking it off and pinning it in a more natural position.  Again, since it was a corpse, I didn’t even bother to clean it up, figuring that the pin could easily pass for his shin bone.

I also didn’t do a great job of documenting the color scheme I used on the zombie, but I guess the final result doesn’t have a lot of the scheme showing.  I do know that the skin is a combination of Bleached Bone and I believe Vallejo Plague Brown with some purple washes.

wh39kDishonoredImperium (7)The more significant color for this is obviously the blood effects.  For that, I followed Lonewolf’s tutorial from the Bolter & Chainsword wherein he used Tamiya “Clear Red” and some black ink.  I won’t bother recapping the entire tutorial here, but feel free to read up on the B&C website.  It’s really a fantastic effect, and between the light and dark it does a great job of having nasty looking clumps of dried blood in it.

I wound up sploshing the blood on most any part that looked wounded and left a good pile beneath the corpse for good measure (though it should be noted that I wound up painting the corpse separate, and putting blood on the ground before placing the corpse on top—and then painting the blood on him).  I also painted a relatively absurd amount of splatter on the front of the statue and added two bloody handprints on the leg for good measure (I envision that the poor victim tried to flee his captors during the act).

Wow, did that come off as creepy as I think it did?

wh39kDishonoredImperium (6)Oh well, we’re already off the deep end, so what’s a ritualistic sacrifice without a few symbols.  So, to complete the piece, I added a symbol of Khorne on the back of one of the statue’s legs, and an eight-pointed chaos star to the bottom of the raised foot.  I didn’t’ want to paint anything too high, figuring that the perpetrators of the gruesome spectacle wouldn’t want to try to climb too high to complete their artwork.

I’m really pleased with the end result.  I’ve thrust it into the face of several people that have stopped by the house to let them ooh and aah at it, but nobody seems impressed.  They all seem to think I’m a nerd for playing with dolls, and don’t see the beauty in it.

It’s not to say that it’s flawless.  Looking at the photos, I see some streaks in the paint job on the model that I’m not terribly fond of at close inspection, and the fact that the hand prints are opposite of the way actual hands are can be troublesome (though the original thought was that it was just a couple of bloody hand prints that came up at different times during the struggle—but they’re close enough together to make me wonder if anyone thinks I painted them wrong).  I’m also not 100% happy with the striations in the marble (more on this in a later post), but as a whole, I think it turned out splendidly.

To add to my joy, I’m really happy with the way the photos turned out.  The lighting in them just really works for me, and some of the pictures make me feel like it’s a massive statue in an area lit by fire pits.

The actual lighting was just a light box with three lights on it: one white fluorescent light on the top, and two smaller (yellowish) lights on the sides—towards the front.  I didn’t take pictures of the deployment, but I’m sure I’ll use it again in the future.

Anywho, this is my Dishonoured Imperium statue.  Hopefully you like it… I know I do. 🙂

Feel free to click on the various thumbnails for larger images.

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A Gentleman’s Renegades

Back in early 2010, I was pretty heavily invested into blogging, at least time-wise.  I spent a lot of work tweaking my site (then hosted on wordpress.org, and frankly a far better site than I have nowadays), and spent quite a bit of my free time reading other blogs, scouring for ideas, posting comments, constructive criticism, etc.

One of my favorite blogs at the time was by a guy named Brian, who was new to the blogosphere.  You’ll know him better as the proprietor over at A Gentleman’s Ones.  Though he’s notorious for exploits like his work on the Heroes of Armageddon project, his amazing Adepticon Tables and, of course, his work on Special Operations: Killzone.  For the rare person who hasn’t seen his blog, it’s worth stopping now, to go read.  It’s ok, I’ll wait…


Now wasn’t that worth the trip?  But, back to my story.   When Brian was just a fledgling blogger, I was head-over-heels for his site.  It was full of new content, and constantly updated with new models, painting techniques, terrain ideas, and a whole lot more.  It was easy to say that he was one of my favorite blogs around (and remains so, to this day).  So, when I saw him posting on the comments of another blogger that he was thinking about taking commissions, I was quick to send him an email.

As I told him in my original email:

“I dunno what I’d want painted, but depending upon the prices and availability, I could send {him} an entire army… as I have several waiting around naked.  :)”

Well, after some discussion about what I had laying around, and what he was interested in, he lit up at the idea of painting an army of Rogue Trader era Chaos Renegades, so that’s what we went with.  We negotiated a reasonable price (which was higher than I really wanted to pay, to tell the truth, but I was happy with it in the end), and I blissfully sent away a force of 40+ figures that haven’t been produced in 20 years.

That was over two and a half years ago…

Did I make anyone wonder if it had taken two and a half years for him to paint 40 figures for me?  That was what I was hoping to accomplish; did it work?

Of course not, we set a timeline (which ultimately wound up slipping), but he got them done reasonably quick and had amazing communication.  He even threw up some great WIP posts, to give me status updates.  As I stated, the price was higher than I was expecting it to be, given what online painting services charge, but it was within reason, and I’m more than pleased with the final result.

So, if I got these done years ago, what took me so long to post them?  And what have I been doing with them since?  Well, the answers to those are easy:  I don’t know, and nothing.  Literally nothing.  This is the first time they’ve all made it out of their foam since I received them.  When I got them done, they were an army that I knew I wanted to play one day, and that I’d been collecting for years to get the exact models that I wanted, but I hadn’t played them ever (well, that is to say I’d never played these specific models… Chaos/Cult have been one of my favorite armies since the days of 2nd edition).

In truth, I really didn’t love Chaos since the sterilization they faced in the codex update at the end of 4th.  I fell into the same feeling that many of you share, I’m sure, in that they became Space Marines with spikes.  Gone with my demons, and crazy demon princes.  Gone was the real chaotic nature of chaos.

The new ‘dex has gone some way to inspire me to bring them out: the inclusion of cultists and plague zombies, which are both dear to my pox-ridden heart.  It hasn’t inspired me so much to go out and buy a copy of the book, or to actually field an army, but I think that’s largely my cheap nature, coupled with my personal goal of only playing painted models in 6th edition (frankly, 40 space marines just isn’t sufficient…).

One day though, I’ll paint up the rest of my forces, but I’m guessing I’ll make a post about them sooner than that.  Until then, bask in the glory of Brian’s painting:

wh39kAgentlemansrenegades (1)

wh39kAgentlemansrenegades (2)

wh39kAgentlemansrenegades (3)

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A sample of the color schemes I had him test out…

If you’re at all curious what colors he used to paint these models, the recipes he gave me are posted below (with his permission):

Pinkish Flesh Color:

I start with Liche Purple as the base (as you noted, this looks entirely too purple, but it makes a solid dark hue to sit underneath it all). I highlight this with a mixture of Dwarf Flesh and Warlock –again, keeping an eye toward the flesh tones and away from the purple. The mix comes out pretty pink with only just a bit of Warlock, so I tend to use it sparingly. Also, Warlock tends to make the flesh tone a bit odd –gummy and thin- which doesn’t always cover very well for tricky spots like the striations. This step can take a bit of finesse.

Then, Dwarf Flesh. By this point, the coloring should look much less purple and much more fleshy pink.

The second to last step is a Baal Red (with a touch of Purple) Wash. The purple will push down the shading, but the red keeps the mixture properly pinkish.

If necessary, I hit one more highlight of Dwarf Flesh to punctuate the process.


 I start with a generous base of Shining Gold. This color gets gummy quick, so I try both to be careful, and to be certain that I get good coverage. If the mixture gets too thin, the color tends to run all over and cover poorly, so there’s a bit of a balancing act going on here.

I generously wash the gold base with Chestnut Ink (although I think a generous layer or two of Sepia would have a similar effect). If I want to muddy or darken the mixture, I can add some Brown Ink to the stew.

Once dry, I highlight this with Burnished Gold.

If I want a bit more sparkle, I will add another highlight with just the smallest drop of Mithril to the Burnished Gold. I’ve said this before, but just a drop will do the trick. Mithril will overwhelm the gold pretty quickly, and I generally don’t like to lose the rich, golden tones that the ink establishes. Too much Mithril will make the coloring look too polished in my humble opinion.So the idea is to brighten the Burnished Gold without losing its inherent golden hue.


Chaos Black starts the process, obviously. I then highlight pretty widely with Midnight Blue, followed quickly by another more selective and delicate highlight of Midnight and Regal Blue blend.

This is followed by another highlight that is more selective of just Regal Blue, and then potentially one more of Regal Blue and Codex mixed. (One note: I used to always highlight black with gray, but will never do so again. Now, I much prefer either brown hues or blue tones. Again, the trick here –in my humble opinion- is not to get carried away with highlighting. A little color will do a lot to make the black look rich, deep, and complex.Too much highlighting will invariably just make the black look either gray or blue, which is the exact opposite of my goal).

I finish this by washing a mixture of aggressively thinned Blue and Black Wash over the whole surface that I want black. I should mention that I tend toward much more Black than Blue in the washes again to be sure that the final result looks sufficiently black and doesn’t drift from that purpose.

If necessary, there is always room for one more extreme-edge highlight of the final highlight from before the wash.


This one is fun…

I start with Merchite Red mixed with either Chaos Black or Dark Angels Green (or both) to make a sufficiently muddy-brown red for the base color.

I revisit this with a more direct mixture of Merchite Redfor the first highlight, followed by just Merchite for the next layer.

I then worked some Red Gore into Merchite for a more subtle highlight, followed (in a similar manner) by a selective highlight of just red Gore. Note, on quite a few figures, I’ve been quite selective about this. In areas that are naturally shaded rather than try to highlight each panel exactly the same no matter where it appears on the mini. Instead, I’ve tried to give the illusion of highlight but also to limit the range of tones in areas that shouldn’t appear bright necessarily.

The final highlight is a mixture of Red Gore and Blood Red.

I then wash the red with Baal Red Wash, mixed with a bit ofBlack Wash and/or Green Wash to find the darkest shades again. I try to stick to the edges with any mixture that has green in it, as this will have a pretty dramatic “deadening” effect on the red. It’s best for the deeper shadows.

If necessary, I come back with one more highlight of the final Red Gore-Blood Red mixture –but again I should note that I try to keep the Blood Red from dominating too dramatically the mixture, as it will inevitably look more orange than red.


This “Bone” recipe is the one that I’ve been using not only for skulls and bones and the like, but also for stone. When called upon to do so, I simply move the spectrum over slightly so that less of the whites show and more of the browns and yellow peek through. Apart form that, the bonerecipe is identical to the stone that I’ve been using.

Also, this recipe is largely a foundation affair.

It begins with Calthan Brown. Then a mix of Calthan and Tausept Ocre. Then Tausept. I follow this is Iyanden Darksun. These steps tend to be reasonably subtle in the final bone palette, but much more notable in stone.

I then work some Bleached Bone into Iyanden Darksun over the course of a two or three layers with a bit more Bleached in each mix; however, I never reach a layer pure Bleached Bone, as this will contrast too dramatically with the rich tan colors that precede it (again, my humble opinion).

Once I’m satisfied with the way this looks, I wash the whole area with a mixture of Gryphonne Sepia and Ogre Flesh (with more Sepia than Ogre –also, note: for bone I avoid Devlan in this stage as it will brown out the yellows; however, for stone I may hit the extreme shaded edges –and only the edges- with Devlan in this mix to make sure they are sufficiently dark).

I then pop back a thinned layer of the last highlight once again.

Here, for me, is the trickiest last step of the bunch.I take that final highlight and mix in just a drop of Skull White –just a drop. This isn’t so much a highlight as a spot check. I’m not sure what else to call it. I don’t so much paint strokes of this highlight as dot a little bit over an eyebrow or cheekbone, just the most extreme of extreme highlights. The blue undertones in the Skull White should make the color really pop out and visually pull what might otherwise be a pretty tan-yellow-brown color directly into the dirty white zone.

Remember, if you loved that, go stop by Brian’s blog.  I hear rumors that he’s going to start commission painting again soon…

Back from the Great White North

It’s been a busy couple of weeks at the WH39k homestead.  Last week, was naturally Thanksgiving (for those of us in the U.S.), and the previous week I spent above the Arctic Circle in a little eskimo village.  Though they did have internet access (something I was actually sent up there to upgrade), I didn’t have much time to do any websurfing.

Now that things have calmed down, I intend to post some topics that I’ve been neglecting for a while.  This includes a few errant battle reports, some minor hobby progress updates, and um… I know there’s something else, but I just can’t think of it.   Oh yeah, everyone’s favorite topic: ebay!

Anywho, I’ll leave you with an image that I found at the local dump at that sleepy little eskimo village.  You’ll note that it appears that even in the wilds of Alaska, the taint of Khorne is strong…

Ebay Week – Chaos Daemons, Sisters of Battle, Space Wolves, & Tyranid Armies

Please forgive the self promotional advertisements, but in efforts to keep true to my frugal gaming goals, I need to sell some stuff before the end of the year.  I’ve been saving up models over the year, and after purchasing no less than 8 armies, I need to clean out some shelf space (and hopefully make a little profit to boot).

That’s where you come in!  Over at eBay, I’ve listed armies galore spread out over about 90 different auctions, and all auctions started out at just one cent!  As of the time I’m writing this, most of them are still at that price.

There are models from the following armies:

That’s just a handful of the total stuff.  I’ve also included some rarer OOP models like Leonatos, Games Day marines, Iron Father & the like.  So, why don’t you take a look? 🙂

Click here to view all my auctions.

Again, everything starts at just $.01 and ends on Sunday.  And for those of you who are interested, there’s plenty more where this came from; so, if you miss an auction or want more of what I’m selling, fell free to message–I might have extras lying around that I can part with…