A Short Daemonette History

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).

Warhamer Daemonettes of Slaanesh Warhammer 40K Rogue Trader

Rogue Trader Daemonettes from the 1989 Citadel Catalogue

Warhammer 40K Daemonette

Painted old-school Daemonette

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.

Warhammer 40K Warhammer Daemonettes of Slaanesh

1994 Games Workshop 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.

Warhammer Daemonettes of Slaanesh Regiment

2002 Warhammer Daemonettes of Slaanesh

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.

Warhammer Plastic Daemonettes

Plastic Daemonettes by Gwise90

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.

Warhammer Seeker Chariot of Slaanesh

Seeker Chariot of Slaanesh from GW’s Blog

#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).

Warhammer Herald of Slaanesh


Which one is your favourite take on the Daemonette?

I would love to hear your comments!




I am Zweischneid. Wargame Addict. Hopeless painter and founder of Pins of War. I hope you enjoyed this article. Don't forget to share your favourite miniature pictures and wargaming videos at www.pinsofwar.net.
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Latest posts by Zweischneid (see all)

  • Kelly

    So my favorite claw is by far the 2002 knife-like claw. That said I actually prefer the hermaphroditic 2008 torsos. (The naked breasts are cute, but really unnecessary). Also the poses for 2002 models are really nice, give much more of a sense of motion then my current Daemonette models.

  • http://twitter.com/belverker belverker

    i am torn, the Juan Diaz ones are amazing but were a pain to put together. And the seekers from that time are the best, but i really like the 90′s ones with the big claws, that maybe because they were the current ones when i started…

  • http://twitter.com/belverker belverker

    also i think the new chariots are amazing…i am planning on getting an exalted one when i catch up on my other painting jobs.

  • Abadon58

    I have a set of each one except the first 88 ones, I also have 10 mounted on steeds from the 90′s in a box unbuilt the best are the 2002 ones for looks but the new plastic are safer as can be bunched up without falling over and chipping. Chariots are great only painted two versions up so far and 50% of the third

  • http://www.facebook.com/spyderscott Scott Wainwright Jr.

    The 2002 ones are the best. Slaanesh is supposed to be sexy and depraved. These ladies look that way. The new ones are just watered-down versions of the older better ones.