Home > Editorial Nonsense, Modelling & Painting > In Memoriam: Chaos Black

In Memoriam: Chaos Black

Chaos Black c1979 - 2015

Chaos Black c1979 – 2015

It is with a heavy heart that I must announce the passing of my last pot of Chaos Black.

Chaos Black, or CB to his friends, was a stalwart of almost every paint collection.  Over the years he helped guide many into the Hobby with his wisdom, understanding, and ability to completely cover over any mistake an overenthusiastic twelve year old would make.

CB was honoured by his employers, Games Workshop PLC, in 1995 when they released a range of miniatures in his honour.  These ‘Death Company’ models were usually only ever painted in Chaos Black with some minor contributions from CB’s long time associates, Blood Red and Bolt Gun Metal.

Obit - Death Company

I tracked down Brother Seraphus of the Death Comany, one of the first of these models to be painted by CB, here’s what he said:

“I first met CB on this kid’s bedroom table.  There was me, all bare and metallic but he didn’t care.  As you can see, the work he did on me nearly completely obscures that strange laurel wreath Jess Goodwin put on my left calf.  In many ways he was more friend than paint, I’ll never forget… forget… for… fo… HORUS, TODAY YOUR REBELLION ENDS!”

Over the years CB, like so many, others reinvented himself many times.  No one can forget his Hexagonal Phase or the time he insisted he was shaped as a bolt shell.  But progress can be unkind and in 2012 the decision was made to formally retire CB and replace him with his oft wayward son, Abaddon Black.

Obit - Abaddon Black

I caught up with Abaddon Black a few months ago and we discussed how he feels about taking over from such a legend.

“You see, to me he was always Dad first and this painting legend second. When I told him I was dropping out of Uni to be a miniature paint like him he could have been, like, ‘No way! You’re going to complete your studies and maybe you can be a Dulux Paint one day’, he was so supporting of my decision, he even introduced me to some of the guys he’d worked with over the years.  They were so god damned cool, I knew I’d made the right choice.

“Some painters still have issues with me, they say I’m too thin or I finish too early.  Some even say that it can take, like, twelve or thirteen coats to get a decent result and even then it’s ambiguous.  I just want to say that I’m doing my best and I promise that one day I’ll make you all proud.”

Finally, I caught up with two of his oldest friends, Terracotta and Bad Moon Yellow.

Obit Friends

These two gentlemen retired many years ago, I met them at their retirement villa to discuss their time working with CB.  Time has not been kind to these two venerable hobby supplies, but after a while they were able to recollect their time working with their departed friend.   Of the two, Bad Moon Yellow was the most lucid, here’s what he had to say.

“It’s such a shame CB wasn’t allowed to come here but they [Games Workshop] kept on working and working him so I’m not surprised that he eventually gave out.  He and I had a rocky relationship, I always worked better with Skull White, rest his soul, but given time CB and I could really make a miniature work.  He will be missed.”

Terracotta on the the other hand made no sense at all.

“I can be used to paint Blood Angels!”

Sheer madness.

Chaos Black will forever be remembered by hobbyists and dry-cleaners alike.  He was a paint for the ages and it is likely that none will come close to emulating his success.

Rest in peace, old friend.


  1. 03/29/2015 at 22:03

    “I can be used to paint Blood Angels!” – Truly madness as you say!

  2. 03/29/2015 at 22:56

    Oh, dearly departed Chaos Black. Long shall you memory remain with us. You were reborn only to be gone too soon. I feel your loss, having unearthed a decrepit and ancient gem (http://www.spruegrey.com/ancient-citadel-paint-discovered/ ) an old Spearstaff Brown. It was used to paint … erm … nothing that I can remember.
    Vale dear Chaos Black, may your successors live up to your example.

  3. 03/29/2015 at 23:49

    Gosh, how did I miss this? My partner is an illustrator so I’ve been topping up my own long dead pot of CB with her black acrylic for a long time (it works very well if slightly watered down – although having read your obituary I now recognise this is practically necromancy). As a result I’ve never had anything to do with that young pup Abaddon Black and didn’t even realise the old man had stepped down until now. He goes now to join his brothers, Snot Green, Bubonic Brown and all the rest. At least he gets to live on in a great big can.

  4. ejhenries
    03/30/2015 at 15:04

    Definitely just got a few odd stares in the office, as I laughed out loud thanks to your article, during a time of the day when joviality is frowned upon. Excellent article chap, you just gained a stal.. follower.
    Have an ace one. Ed.

    • 03/30/2015 at 20:16

      I’m happy to help 🙂

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