In the 41st Millennium, the only constant is change and, if the Tyranids have taught us anything, you need to evolve to survive. This is true even for the biggest heroes, and today we’re taking a look at how the models for Ragnar Blackmane and Ghazghkull Thraka have transformed over the years.
Ragnar Blackmane first made his debut way back in the dim and distant days of Rogue Trader (that was the first edition of Warhammer 40,000). Designed by the legendary Jes Goodwin,* the model was absolutely packed with intricate details.
Wait a minute… Topknot? Carrying a chainsword? Clearly there were some design pointers from this even older Space Wolves model.
Yes, that’s the original Leman Russ!** Back then, Primarchs weren’t quite the massive demigods of war they’ve since become.
Modern design techniques have enabled the studio to create a new model that’s full of dynamism. However, it also incorporates a number of nods back to the original, from the combat claws in the boots to the Belt of Russ, and even the diamond-shaped gem mounted on the backpack.
Ghazghkull first appeared even further back, in White Dwarf issue 134. His background of having an adamantium skull was already in place, but his first model was a conversion by the ‘Eavy Metal team.
His first official model then arrived some six months before Ragnar’s, alongside that of his first nemesis, Commissar Yarrick. Back then, he wore power armour and had a special rule that gave him a Battlewagon to ride around in for no additional points – those were the days! He also came with his own personal banner bearer.
When we next saw a new Ghazghkull, he’d undergone a massive change. Given a hulking suit of mega armour, he became a much more imposing sight on the battlefield. His kustom kombi-weapon had been replaced with a big shoota and he’d exchanged his power sword for an evil-looking claw.
As with Ragnar, there are a number of features shared by this model and the new one, including the Goff horns extruding from the armour and the massive skull on top. While the new model is bigger, it’s still easily identifiable as Ghazghkull Thraka.
Now that you’re floating on a sweet nostalgia high, let’s hear all about the new models from the team that designed them.
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