Helbrutes Awaken! Forge World Thousand Sons Chaos Dreadnought

Chaos Dreadnoughts, now also referred to as Helbrutes by Games Workshop, may be some of the coolest models made by GW and their Forge World subsidiary even if the rules at times haven’t made them too popular for gaming.

I’ve been a fan of them for a long time and have several different types and conversions.

I rescued this Forge World Thousand Sons Dreadnought from a gamers’ flea market bin a few years ago. It was just a sad, lonely and slightly damaged torso sitting in a plastic bin below a heap of other loose models, blister packs and bits.

The seller only wanted $20 for it, which was slightly better than 50% off the Forge World price so I decided to rescue it and give it a proper place among my legions. After all, doesn’t a possibly 10,000 year-old Chaos Space Marine deserve that much? I quickly ordered some arms for it from Forge World and set to work on the model immediately upon their arrival.

I managed to break the glue bonds on the head that the previous owner had set and reposition the head as I wanted to look toward the gesturing right arm. This gives the model a sense of animation, sentience and purpose. I used the same color palette for it that I used on the rest of the Thousand Sons contingent in my renegade Chaos legion.


The top of the sarcophagus had some slight damage to it and I used the need to repair that as a minor conversion opportunity. I cleaned up the damaged bit and then covered the area by adding a decorative bit to the top. The cog-like sunburst bit with skulls on it comes from the Warhammer Lizardmen model range. I like the added unique twist this bit gives to the model.

I kept the back of the model quite simple. I added some very pale grey to the center of some of the white areas to give them a bit more depth than plain white. This makes the upper and outer areas of pure white seem brighter and highlighted.

I already owned the Forge World Chaos Dreadnought base when I started this project. When I purchased it I didn’t know what model I’d eventually put on it, but I knew this project was destined for it as soon as I started.

I like to give all the Chaos gods their due. I converted a buzz-saw wielding Khorne Dreadnought out of the Helbrute from Dark Vengeance a couple summers ago.

You can see that article here: Blood for the Hellbrute, Skulls for Khorne!

Chaos Dreadnoughts have had their ups and downs as far as gaming fun due to GW’s game rules for them for many years, but they are undeniably cool looking models. I’m a modeler and painter first when it comes to 40K so I have never been able to resist working on many different versions of Chaos Dreadnoughts going all the way back to the first one made of lead.

There’s a terrific looking new multi-part plastic Chaos Dreadnought/Helbrute release from GW this month and I’m looking forward to tinkering with that kit as well.

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