12 July 2020

Slaanesh Warband: Daemonettes

oldhammer daemonettes slaanesh citadel

Five metal Citadel minis for the equivalent of six quid? Welcome to the 80s.

I won these first-generation Daemonettes on Ebay. Suffice to say that they cost a tad more than $10. Daemonettes fight in units of six, so obviously Citadel sold them in packs of five. Classic.

But first, some history:

Daemonettes made their debut in this image from the utterly awesome Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness. The artwork is by Tony Ackland, who designed pretty much every Chaos and Daemon figure for Warhammer Fantasy and 40k and whose imagination still influences GW's Chaos settings 30 years later. Most of his designs were simply handed straight to sculptors Mike Perry and Jes Goodwin, and the first generation of Daemonettes were released in 1989:

Very 80s, with a touch of Mad Max, punk and bondage. The individual Daemonettes were given names like Lustspite, Gristlewhip and Lewdfang. The first generation minis are fairly rare and are classic Citadel sculpts, which is why I leapt on the auction when I saw them.

Following a weird screw-up over the copyright to the original designs, a few years later Games Workshop gave them a makeover and the second generation Daemonettes said hi:

For some reason the design aesthetic became "giant claws, hideous faces, no tails, no mohicans, get rid of the boobs." The colour scheme became more standardized because God forbid you let your artists use their imaginations. Thanks to the comically oversized claws they weren't, and still aren't, too popular, which is why they're all over eBay.

In 2000 GW decided it was time for another redesign. Juan Diaz got the task of coming up with a new look, and he well and truly chucked the "no boobs" rule out of the window:

Diazmonettes, as they became known to fans, were sleeker, sexier and the huge crab claws were replaced with blades. Diaz sculpted his Daemonettes to make them look like they were dancing into battle, a huge improvement on the "put your hands in the air like you don't care" poses. Somewhat unsurprisingly, these are the most popular models and the most expensive to buy: a box of 10 can sell for $120+ on the Bay of E.

In 2008 they got another new look:

Breasts were again given the heave-ho, mainly because by this point Games Workshop had realised its biggest audience is 14-year-old males and, as we all know, the last thing teenage boys are interested in is boobage (the theory is that bare chests might have upset parents, and they're the ones with the money). There was some kickback from fans but what are you going to do, bin your $800 worth of minis? Exactly.

Back to the present. Thanks to the interwebs I found this 1990 White Dwarf advert and managed to identify four of my Daemonettes:

From second left we have Heartvex, Lewdfang, Warptongue and Fiendthrob. For some reason the one on the left didn't appear in the advert and isn't named, so she's known as "the 13th Daemonette." As this is crap, I used the Realm of Chaos daemon name generator and came up with Spinetwist.

fiendthrob oldhammer daemonettes slaanesh citadel


Age: 666 ("give or take a few millennia").

Likes: Lady Gaga, chocolate, stripping the very sinews from the souls of her victims.

Dislikes: Men who don't like a girl with something extra.

Lots of Vallejo Pink, with her claws done in Wizard's Robe and Purple highlights. She's the only one I attempted to do facial tattoos on, and they kind of worked. Her tentacle is Army Painter Mummy's Robe.

spinetwist oldhammer daemonettes slaanesh citadel


Age: 1,784,897,224½

Likes: Johnny Depp movies, spreading terror across the galaxy, bacon sandwiches.

Dislikes: Cleaning bits of human out of her claws.

Spinetwist was the first Daemonette I painted. She's Vallejo Dark Blue Pale, washed with Army Painter Blue Tone and highlighted with Vallejo Verdigris. Her claws and tail are Emerald Green, with Polished Gold for her armour.

lewdfang oldhammer daemonettes slaanesh citadel


Age: "None of your bloody business."

Likes: Entrails, eyeballs, the death rattle of the last human in existence, PG Tips.

Dislikes: U2's Rattle and Hum.

I decided to rip off Lewdfang's original white look and used Army Painter Mummy's Robe to base her, highlighted with Vallejo Off-White. Some of the shading is done with Army Painter Purple Tone and some with black. Her claw and tail are Bonewhite shaded with Green Tone and highlighted with more Bonewhite. The only thing I regret is the chainmail; I didn't fancy doing the usual silver-on-black so I used a mix of Violet Red and Metallic Medium. It ended up looking like she's wearing a nice sweater her mum knitted for her.

warptongue oldhammer daemonettes slaanesh citadel


Age: Three weeks.

Likes: Cats (lightly grilled), Studio Line hair gel, "the sound humans make as I push my engorged [REST OF REPLY DELETED ON GROUNDS OF DECENCY]"

Dislikes: Chainswords.

I used Vallejo Heavy Orange on Warptongue. It's a pale orange basecoat that covers really well. She was shaded with Army Painter Red Tone and was highlighted by adding white to the orange. Purple was an easy choice for her claws. Her hair is Scorpy Green highlighted with Yellow Green.

heartvex oldhammer daemonettes slaanesh citadel


Age: "Conjured from the very essence of Chaos at a time beyond your comprehension" (34)

Likes: Sunsrise, sunsets, suns exploding causing the deaths of billions.

Dislikes: Emperor's Children ("Bunch of bloody posers")

Heartvex was the last Daemonette to be painted. I was stuck for a colour and debated going with purple, but then I decided to use Yellow Green with Army Painter Green Tone to shade her. I added lots of white for the highlights, and Black Red highlighted with Flat Red and Vermilion for her claws and tail.

oldhammer daemonettes slaanesh citadel


  1. Excellent work on these very classic Demonettes Matt, remember these well. I luckily have a unit of the third edition in my demon army, unfortunately the rest are made up of the later plastics, but I guess I can't have everything ! LOL

    1. Thanks, Dave! They were great fun to paint. I have to admit to being tempted by the $120 box of Diazmonettes, but my girlfriend would have killed me.

  2. I remember these well, I never had any (though my brother in law had loads, and some might still be in the packets! I'll have to send him this link!)

    Lovely painting, I do like these "old school" GW posts.

    Cheers Roger.

    1. Thanks! They were fun to paint, and the Slaanesh "any colour scheme is OK" thing really lets you do what you want. Does your brother in law have any spare ones? LOL

    2. Probably but even though I emailed him the link I know he's looked, he'll never go into his loft to find them! so I wouldn't hold my breath if I was you. Apparently he's pretty sure he's got an original Ork War buggy still in the box, but we'll never know for sure!

      Cheers Roger.

    3. Now I want to break into your brother-in-law's attic :-) I can't imagine what it's like to have those old minis just lying around. I have to go to Ebay in secret to get mine lol,

  3. Great write up! Have you ever seen the daemonette that was featured in the Advanced Heroquest token pack?

    1. Thanks! I haven't seen that one, so I'll go look it up!