Chaos Daemons is obviously one of those armies that goes back long, long ways in Warhammer and Warhammer 40K. From the entire range, one of the most interesting (and most susceptible to change) are the Daemonettes. Where, say, the Rogue Trader-era Bloodletters looked essentially like they look today (mini-Devils), the visuals for Games Workshop’s Daemonette went through some odd iterations, as different sculptors and trends left their mark on them.
Here’s a short (and incomplete) retrospective on the daemonic ladies…
#1 – November 1988
In November 1988 – while Ronald Reagan decides to tear down the U.S. Embassy in Moscow because of Soviet listening devices in the building structure - Games Workshop releases the (to my knowledge) first ever set of Daemonettes (and other Daemons).
These beauties were sculpted by Jes Goodwin and Mike Perry.
The clawed-hands-motive is clearly there from the beginning, as is the odd tail. Neither is as exaggerated as they would become later.
Funny enough, they don’t seem to try very much to go for the sexy seductress theme. The second one in the pic above looks more akin to a Frog-man, or Greedo…
There aren’t many painted versions around, though I found one through Google (not sure who painted it). Even though these were on the market as Games Workshop’s official Daemonettes of Slaanesh for half a decade, not many seem to have made it from Rogue Trader-times into the collection of today’s painters.
#2 – November 1994
The 1990s are here. In November 1994, there’s a funny conference in San Francisco exploring the “commercial potential” of a new thing called the “World Wide Web”. The same month, Games Workshop reveals a new look for the Daemonettes.
These were designed by Aly Morrison and Colin Dixon. All hair is gone. Instead the claws have grown to enormous proportions. Notably, they look distinctively more “uniform” and made for larger units than the more varied “skirmish-game” Daemonettes of the late 1980s.
For the first time (I think) there is now also Daemonettes mounted on Steeds of Slaanesh.
#3 – September 2002
Switzerland joins the United Nations! Hooray! To celebrate the occasion, Games Workshop puts the “sexy” into Daemonettes.
These were sculpted by Juan Diaz. Clearly a last (but beautiful) burst of creativity from Games Workshop before the miniatures become much more PG-13 again.
A pity most people played LoTR at the time, but these beauties are still prized by collectors.
#4 – May 2008
In May 2008, Dmitry Medvedev takes over from Putin as President of Russia and Games Workshop releases plastic Daemonettes along with the 4th Edition Chaos Daemons Codex.
Arguably, the 2008 release was only the kick-off to a large-scale roll-out of plastic Slaanesh-kits, which fit nicely into GW’s recent obsession with larger and more complex kits.
Mounted Daemonettes followed in August 2010 and the Seeker Chariot/Hellflayer in August 2012.
#5 – March 2013
Finally we arrive at the present day.
I cannot foresee what history will consider worth remembering from this month. The election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the new pope might be one of those things.
Or it might be the appearance of the first finecast Daemonette (though she’s technically a Herald, which in turn would make the Masque of Slaanesh first.. well.. whatever… here she is).
Which one is your favourite take on the Daemonette?
I would love to hear your comments!