Descent: Journeys in the Dark 1st Edition – Hellhounds

Descent 1.0 Hellhounds

Today’s models come from Descent: Journeys in the Dark 1st Edition. I picked it up secondhand several years ago, when I heard about how great a game it was, blurring the lines between RPG and miniatures boardgame. Shortly afterwards, the Second Edition came out, though I did pick up the official conversion kit, I’ve never gotten around to playing either of the things yet.

A month or so I got the idea to paint the Giant Spiders out of the 1e box. While I was poking around in there, I found these Hellhounds. Figuring that they’d paint up pretty quickly, I ended up putting the Spiders back and working on these instead. They didn’t take too long to get done, and being pretty rough figures I wan’t going to knock myself out over getting the absolute best paintjobs on them, either. Tabletop is good enough!

Descent 1.0 Hellhounds

Descent uses two different “types” of each monster: “White” ones, which are normal, or trooper-types and “Red” ones which are champion-level and tougher. So the sculpts come in two colours of plastic – Red and White (actually, more of a cream, but I digress). In order to be able to identify the two types, I painted the “White” ones with brighter orangey-red and red-to-yellow flame-fur, while the “Red” ones were painted in a slightly deeper, darker red and have yellow-to-black flame-fur. Enough to distinguish them when needed, but close enough that they still work in a pack for other games.

Descent 1.0 Hellhounds

Descent 1.0 Hellhounds

Speaking of other games, I knocked up a multi-base for them so that they can be used as a regiment in Kings of War. They’d be used as Proxy Hellhounds in my Khorne Chaos Daemons army, which in turn will be using the Forces of the Abyss/Hellhounds entry. Which I’ve just noticed while looking it up to write this only come in units of 5. And naturally, this base is made for a nominal unit of 10. Feck. That’s annoying, especially as they’re actual Hellhounds. Though the Mantic models also come on pissy little 25mm bases from Dungeon Saga, so perhaps the more appropriate proxy entry for these models will actually be a regiment of Abyssal Horsemen.

Realm of Chaos: Let the Bloodletting Begin!

The next few posts will feature a few callbacks to older figures I’ve painted and shown off here in the past. Don’t worry, there’s a point and context to it all, though.

Oldhammer 1988 Realm of Chaos Bloodletters of Khorne

Original 1988 Realm of Chaos Bloodletters of Khorne.

These were some of the very early figures I got. Bloodletters of Khorne from the original Slaves to Darkness volume of Realm of Chaos. Painted back in the day and touched up several times over the years. Pulled out of a storage case a couple of weeks ago to be rebased and lightly touched up again.

Oldhammer 1988 Realm of Chaos Bloodletters of Khorne

Bloodletters of Khorne in a Conga line.

The middle guy looks a bit odd in the front-on photo, but the profile shot helps him to make more sense. These early figures might not have been the greatest of sculpts, but they had a twisted physiology that made them work really well as Daemons. I’m glad that GW has returned to a design close to the original with the recent plastics after their iterations as cosplaying budybuilders and spiky beastmen in the interim.

Oldhammer 1988 Realm of Chaos Bloodletters of Khorne, C18 Night Horror Demon

C18 Night Horror, Bloodletter Conversion, Original Bloodletter.

I never had many of the original Bloodletters, and still don’t. Getting them up to an even 8 (or 10, or 12) is “on the list” but they’re not cheap or easily found on eBay. Back in the day, a C18 Night Horror Demon (I guess he could be a gargoyle, but the trident is telling) got roped into the gang and has been a part of the small unit ever since. I somehow ended up with a broken Bloodletter torso, and so ended up grafting it to a spare pair of Chaos Warrior legs I had lying around after an uninspired Bear Centaur conversion. The arm is off an early Jugger rider.

Oldhammer Realm of Chaos Bloodletters, Flesh Hounds of Khorne

A small warband of Khorne Daemons.

At some point these guys will hit the table again. I’ll use Abyssal rules for KoW, though it’s doubtful that I’ll run a full daemonic army, and instead ally them with “The Herd” (Beastmen) and whatever Non De Plume that Warriors of Chaos end up with. They might be willing to ally with Nurgle, but not with the hated Slannesh or the duplicitous Magicians of Nurgle. I’m sure they’ll also end up on a 40k table, after I get some more forces up to scratch and work out which version or combination of the rules my group will play with.

Realm of Chaos: Let Slip the Hounds of Flesh!


One of my favourite Daemons of the original Realm of Chaos – Slaves to Darkness series, and a series of models that I still think have never been usurped by later revisions. Some elements of these original models have been bettered in other ranges of course, and their odd front-and-rear-torso assembly didn’t always work out that great, but they’re still miles better than the later lizard-headed and scaled models that GW released (and seem to keep on releasing as Flesh Hounds. No Juan Diaz-style Daemonette revisions for the hounds, nor any well done return to the original concept like the plastic Bloodletters have had. We’ll see what happens with them in the future, but for now, these are the definitive Flesh Hound models.

Realm of Chaos, Oldhammer Warhammer Flesh Hounds

Flesh Hounds of Khorne

This was the first unit I photographed with my new (homemade) light box. Some of the highlighting in the photos seems a lot more high contrast than is on the models in hand. I think the solution to that will be to learn how to use a better camera down the line. Not something I have time for right now, unfortunately. So something for the future. Perhaps next summer break?

Realm of Chaos, Oldhammer Warhammer Flesh Hounds

The second foursome of Original Fleshhounds.

With the exception of the one model, painted in 1989, the rest of these were painted sometime between 1996 and 2006. I know that’s a pretty huge range, but it’s the best I’ve got. I know they weren’t painted while I was living in one place, and they were painted before I moved into another place, two moves later. 2014 gave them a clean-up from the dust, some touch-ups and restoration. And maybe a bit later, some use!

Realm of Chaos, Oldhammer Warhammer Flesh Hounds

Flesh Hound of Khorne. My original 1989 model with pretty much his original 1989 paintjob.

I originally had only one fleshhound. This guy. He’s been rebased and had some minor touch-ups over the years (mostly from chips) but it’s at least 90% original still.

Realm of Chaos, Oldhammer Warhammer Flesh Hounds

Skull-headed Flesh Hound of Khorne.

It was many years after I got and painted my singular hound that I managed to get any more. Probably a decade, really. This one was a figure that I always really liked. The skull-headed model. From the days before skulls seemed to be quite so prevalent in GW’s models.

Realm of Chaos, Oldhammer Warhammer Flesh Hounds

Plague-headed Flesh Hound of Khorne.

Not my favourite of the models. The plagued head never really did anything for me, but I’m still quite happy to have another of the original variations in my collection.

Realm of Chaos, Oldhammer Warhammer Flesh Hounds

Bloodletter-headed Flesh Hound of Khorne.

A simple conversion that I’d always envisioned. I was trading some old, rare RT-era models (Space Zoats, etc) to get a few more fleshhounds with this guy, and had mentioned what I hoped to do with another of the models. When it came time to make the trade a few days later and he bought the models around, he’d very nicely taken the original head off the Flesh hound to keep for himself and added the half-bloodletter (that was also part of the original agreement). I was a bit too easygoing (and young) back then around Christmas 1995/Jan 1996, so I don’t recall if I challenged him on it. Really though, the pettiness of it still sticks in my craw. Fat neckbearded motherfucker in his 40’s living with his mum’s house somewhere in Keilor.

Realm of Chaos, Oldhammer Warhammer Flesh Hounds

Two-headed Flesh Hound of Khorne

One consequence of my having assembled my set of 8 hounds over several years is that I also purchased incomplete models with a view to converting them to “fullness”. This is one such model, who I recapitated with a pair of twin head(s) off one of the original Chaos Hounds.

Realm of Chaos, Oldhammer Warhammer Flesh Hounds

Scorpion-tailed Flesh Hound of Khorne.

Another model that was damaged when I got it. This hound had his tail broken. I replaced it with a scorpion tail. This tail either came from a later-era Chaos Hound, or from that terrible all-metal multipart chaos spawn kit that GW came out with which was mostly just useful as a source of tentacles and things.

Realm of Chaos, Oldhammer Warhammer Flesh Hounds

Uncornverted Flesh Hound of Khorne.

This one has the same head as my original model. As can be seen across these models, I painted them all to be individuals rather than as a unit. I still like to individualise a lot of my models these days, but I tone it down a little bit. All of my old-school Ogres and Trolls and such will still be individualised, but, say, the grunts in a block of Elven Infantry? Nope, sorry.

Realm of Chaos, Oldhammer Warhammer Flesh Hounds

Shouty-headed Flesh Hound of Khorne.

This one came glued together with something like araldite. (2-part resin epoxy). Rather than breaking it apart and using something a little more sane, I just painted it instead, resulting in a pretty awful mid-section transition. While I could strip and break down the model and start again, it’s not a favourite head sculpt or anything, and it’s good enough for the table. He’s a middle-back-rank figure if ever there was one. Note the garish green ruff. mmmmm… individuality. Not something I’d go with if I were to paint it today, but on the model it still kinda works. Kinda.

Realm of Chaos, Oldhammer Warhammer Flesh Hounds

Flesh Hounds Ranked up in 2×4.

I guess at some stage I’ll have to figure out how to use these in the Abyssals force in Kings of War. Due to only having eight models (the sacred number of Khorne) and not wanting to change the number in this unit, even if I’m ever lucky enough to get hold of more of them, I’ll probably have to create a custom multibase-tray for them, as the KoW unit will probably work in multiples of 5 beasts or cavalry or whatever these end up getting proxied for.

Realm of Chaos, Oldhammer Warhammer Flesh Hounds

A line formation of Flesh Hounds.