Chaos Warriors

What is “Chaos”?
Why these peculiar suits of armour?
Who are those guys and what do they want?

If you know the answers already, just scroll down one monitor´s length until the pictures start showing. For all others:

It was over 50 years ago (1963) that in Michael Moorcocks fantasy-  novels for the first time there appeared warriors who in their coat- of- arms showed eight diverging arrows: the sign of chaos.

Though today the eight- pointed star is admittedly not quite as well- known as Gerald Holtom´s similarly fictive CND- Symbol, a surprisingly large number of people (also from outside fantasy- fandom) will recognize it.


And while the principle of the eternal war between the forces of order and chaos has originally been invented by Mr. Moorcock, it was Games Workshop of Nottingham, Great Britain, with their tabletop-games, miniatures, novels and artwork who varied the theme and gave the conflict a face.  During the last decades a rich, detailed universe threatened by really unpleasant deities came about whose look of course also inspires the larp- hobby, resulting in truly spectacular outfits.


Above: Tabletop- rulebooks from 1984 to 2011.  “Warhammer” by Games Workshop is played on sculpted terrain tables with 1/58 miniatures depicting fantasy creatures. Because of this scale the collecting, painting and playing with miniatures is a way to get in touch with really large creatures or big hosts of critters which just cannot be build for larp- conventions (although we´re working on it...).

Threatened universe? Yup. “Chaos” in the Warhammer- sense is an immaterial primeval soup “outside” of our universe whose denizens constantly strive to break in “here”. Their final goal is to assimilate the material cosmos by turning it into this chaotic shape, changing its conditon quite drastically during the process. So the opposite of “order” in this case would not be “disorder” but ... something entirely different.
The most powerful entities of this “beyond” are the four rivaling supreme gods of chaos whose names though shall not be mentioned here.

While these gods do of course not appear personally their agents on the other hand are very active indeed- undercover or in the open, most of them deluded and without the knowledge that an existential war is fought in the background- they´re just interested in the usual things we all covet: world- domination, immortality, superpowers, fabulous wealth, you name it, while only a few are aware that they´re serving a “higher” purpose.

And because not everybody who explores this website reads fantasy: lemme tell ya again that nothing you read here has a real background- not even an esoteric one: everything is purely fictional. Which makes it perfectly suited for playing with- no real gods or religions get treaded onto their proverbial toes.

Ok: a few years ago some highly motivated guys established the player- formation “Horden des Chaos” (“Chaos- Host”). Its members (whose numbers have meanwhile grown to a serious tally) draw their inspiration from the GW- universe and in zillions of working- hours transport the literally fantastic look of these body- and- soul- corrupted warriors onto the playing fields of the gameworlds.

In the larp- hobby to depict the influence of Chaos on its followers it is necessary to draw on a variety of materials that normally are not well- received by larpers because of their “synthetic” nature; but in these cases it won´t work any other way: Foam applications, thermoplastic materials and fibreglass- elements complement, modify or replace classic metal suits of armour, thus creating an impressing high- fantasy- look.

Such mixed- material- outfits made by members of the “hordes” are shown here. The pictures can be enlarged with rightclick “show graphic”.

But first something else: since this year (2018) Chaos has a fortress that with normal larp- fortifications has only the framework in common and fills the dark gods as well as their servants with great, suitably unholy pride:


The palisade of the Hordes of Chaos 2016. Larp- castles are erected prior to the conventions out of nothing by groups of competent, dedicated people with no fear of hard work who arrive on-scene a few days early.
After the game everything is completely unbuilt (this time everybody helps).

Most larp- strongholds look more or less like this here: single, easy-to-diamantle elements made of wood, artificially aged with paint. Decorations are mostly banners (“flags”) and occasional ornaments like the “teeth” on the gate.

And then (2018) Christian came along and built an umpteen- metres long veneer made of hundreds of parts for the construction shown above.
Single- handed. In a garage. In Austria.


Impressive, innit? Fighting with a setting like this in the background almost automatically becomes “epic”...

Filmsets everybody says “wow” to are built by half an army and this guy produces such stuff in just a few months!

A few hundred skulls of a handful of different types (self- sculpted and foamed), gazillions of spikes, blades, symbols, giant masks, and not one panel looks like the other.

You cant “larp” by yourself, it only works together and everybody contributes something, but some - as with this project- go far above and beyond the call of duty.

And here are some of the residents of this establishment:


Left and above: The corrupting influences of Chaos don´t afflict the soul only. He who exposes himself to them changes physically also.
So if eyes or jaws appear on chaos- armour, it doesn´t necessarily have to be an ornament...

With paint, etchings, LEDs, countless applications made of foam and GRP (glass reinforced plastic= fibreglass; the skull on the left shoulder) and elaborately embroidered and painted undergarments Mor´Amroth has turned this “off- the- rack”-armour into a magnificient chaos- armour. The steel mask was made by Micharr.
More pictures of his works can be seen at his presence at DeviantArt:


Above: one year later (2015) with complete new self designed and built  GRP armour. The parts are sculpted in clay first, then cast into a negative mould and from that again recast as a positive component in fibreglass- in this case even kevlar- reinforced.

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Above: Tiusuura. And more FG by Martin. Only this high- tech- material makes such a kind of armour possible. It is lightweight, thin, but robust enough for Larp. And this level of details can be achieved neither with metal nor leather. See the face on the shoulder guard? Everything that is “horn” or “spike” is of course soft to prevent injuries.


Enyth. Steel, fibreglass, foam, leather, cloth. And an interestingly alienated face where one immediately looks for the real eyes- but only can find them in bright light.

A propos bright light:
The pictures on this website are no “ambiente”pics where the outfits try to look “real” or if out of a movie- the aim is tho show the costumes in all their details.

In the right light on the other hand (for example at dusk, the “hour of monsters”) an encounter with these creatures is something that´ll stick in the memory for some time.

Whoever gets involved with the chaos powers tries to attract the attention of the gods. And they do listen... and when the worshipper is deemed worthy he is “rewarded”. That´s what it all is about: the ultimate goal of a chaos warrior is to rise so high in the esteem of his god that the deity eventually turns him into a virtually immortal demon. The undertaking can also backfire, of course- for the gods of chaos are capricious- but these warriors are on the “right” way.


Above left: Kreor. Painted metal armour with foam applications. His allegiance by the way is with the “Blood God”. FG- helmet by Emek.

Above right: Blackwind. The mutations are no punishment but a sign of the estemation his god holds him in.
Lavishly painted leather armour with claw made of soft foam. Mask by Sander (2015).


And since I´ve just mentioned him:
Two helmets made by Sander (artificial resin/ fg casts of one-of-a-kind sculptures).

Above left: undivided Chaos

On the right the colours and birdlike attributes show that this warrior follows the magic- saturated “Changer of the Ways”.


right: the warlord´s mask- when the boss is not wearing his multi- horned helmet.

Find more pictures of Sander´s works on his website:


Above left: Vaskur. Painted steel helmet with carved foam applications. The colours are no coincidence but together with the symbols show which of the gods his loyality lies with.

Above right: Maggot- Eye. No way to mistake the alliance of this warrior: his patron is the “Lord of Pestilence”. The guy is not “undead” but very, very sick- all the while enjoying it.
With colours, applications and unbelievable details Gersch creates an “over- authentic” look that also outtime makes you want to avoid to touch him... The 3 circles on the gown (consisiting of indeterminate putrefaction) are the deity´s symbol.


Above : Same here. The multiple diseases that seem to befall even the armour are considered gifts of his god.
Harness and helmet of this chaos armour are made of fibreglass.
Emek has built them himself and documented the process from clay sculpture to painting so comprehensively that a separate page is needed for it.
Link: Emek´s FG- armour

The oversized left glove is made of foam, the paintings on the cloth should normally be shown on an extra big picture and the sword was made by Croc.

Below: these light helmets (also by Emek) really have to have protective qualities because they are used in the team game “bloodball” (which is similar to Football only with less “foot” and more “blood”. The ball has spikes and one of the few rules says: “no visible weapons”).

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Above: buildup of carved foam onto a martial arts headguard. Foam pieces are glued onto the protector, then carved and for better stability covered with cloth and Pattex. The spike on top is soft and an inlay of cloth prevents tearing.

Left: the painted helmet


Right: tear- proof foam horn with cloth inlay on another bloddball- helmet.

The colours make the let soft material disappear and suggest solid, rusty or painted metal.

The helmets are not painted with one colour only but get their used look by various green, metallic and red tones applied by using the “shading”- and “drybrush”- techniques.

Below & right:
Emek again (meaning of course the building of the corsage; the lady is from the cosplay- branch and not part of the Hordes of Chaos).

The outfit´s top consists of glued layers of cloth (“linothorax”). The “kevlar of the ancients” - contrary to leather, fibreglass or metal- is easy to work with and perfect for painting.
It also will not harden completely but stay slightly flexible.

This composite material has a very broad range of applications and van even be used for building body armour with real protective quality.


Above right: picture of the finished cosplay  (Eren Elric) by Arks Art Photography:

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Above, left and below:
wip- pics
of Emek´s new armour; 2015 und 2016: a skull helmet and a shoulderpiece, also made of cloth- glue composite!
Elsewhere (to be more precise: here composite armour) I´m talking about the theme page after page and complain about insufficient details quality- and here he presents the solution!

Problem description: When building composite (either fibreglass or cloth/ glue) “to the top”, meaning layer upon layer on a form, the layers will eat up any details.
Normally if you want good details you first have to build a negative form from the original sculpture and the build the layers of the composite “to the inside” of that form (casting technique).
Which is difficult, expensive and time- consuming.


Surfaces of objects whose layers are built “to the outside” one above the other onto a form have to be extra embellished later.
A fissured surface like with this “skull” therefore shouldn´t be possible.
Strictly speaking...

These parts portray not what they´re really are (composite) but suggest  “bone”. This impression is achieved through form, surface and colour.
And a zoom onto the surface (rightclick “show graphic”) indeed reveals the micro- fissures, “grown” structures and deep, precise recesses of the original sculpt- the opposite of a plain surface...

At first, this “skull” was skulpted in clay with all the details you see.
But this form at first only gets one or two glued- on layers of very thin cloth (applid in snippets) that will not eat the details (the principle is shown here: (linothorax mask).

And here it comes: instead of gluing on  further layers of cloth, thus burying the details, the object is now protected with clingfilm and then covered with plaster.

This coat doesn´t (as in a negative form) have the job of depicting and preserving details (because they´re there already) but only shall stabilize the structure from the outside to prevent it losing its shape during the further building process.


This plaster shell is cheap and easy to build (contrary to expensive moulding siliocone of the reqiured quantity). And the complex and difficult step of building a servicable negative casting- form is no t reqired.

Then the original sculpt is taken out and the workpiece that is supported by the plaster shell is built up layer after layer “to the inside” until the desired strength is achieved- from “showpiece” to “real protection”. With every advantage the material “linothorax” offers.

This is an absolutely marvellous idea!

So ingenious that one at once feels the desire to try it out- but there´s one more thing:

First- before any technical simplification- comes the artisan´s talent to create the sculpture. Everybody knows how difficult is to find a cool- looking skull you can buy- let alone sculpt one by oneself.
And only when the talent is there, “art” becomes “artisan craftwork”.

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Above left: Lucan. Helmet by Sander (fibreglass- cast of a one- of- a- kind sculpture), supplemented with self- built fibreglass- armour with foam applications and very well corresponding colours (still wip). Right shoulder, arm- and leg- armour are steel with “festering” areas of cloth/ Pattex- machée (rightclick “show graphic” reveals the details).

Above middle and right: Marius. Steel armour with foam applications and Worbla- elements (“Worbla”? See futher down what that is). The asymmetric helmet´s horns are a deity´s symbol. And what dosn´t show on the picture is: the warrior is over two metres tall (other people have to wear plateau- soles to achieve that...).

After some years campaigning the Worbla- elements began to show wear and tear which called for a renewal (above right; armour 2017, helmet 2018). Nevertheless it would be a shame to abandon showing the original version because it illustrates the development of an outfit that already was super- spectacular from the beginning on.


Above: Zoom onto the details. Now is time to have a closer look; on the battlefield it won´t be that easy...
Metal, foam, Worbla and natural materials blend into each other. The cloth parts are abundantly painted.


Above: Sylon. Mask by Nârkoz, headdress by Arda. The character is a wizard and the beaked face really is a face- again not a curse but a reward: the highest demons of his god have avian attributes.


Above left: Thirja. Painted metal armour and multilayered, complicated but functional (meaning versatile and protective)  clothing. Traces of abrasion and fading raise the outfit from “costume” to “real”. Mask by Yvonne:

Above right: Kato. The very complex headdress is made of Worbla. For building something like this out of thermoplastic plates one must know the material well, but Anja has cosplay experience: ( The character strongly radiates “disease” (probably highly contagious) which is the idea in contrast to “undead” (those guys are an entirely different branch of evil). And the outfit shows details upon the details of the details...

Ok, so what is “Worbla”?


Left and right: This armour also cannot be bought “off the rack” (construction stages from 2 years, left 2013, right 2015).

Gryndal has used the thermoplastic material “Worbla´s” to create applications and embellishments turning normal steel plate into an unusual suit of chaos armour.

More pictures and a tutorial about Worbla- use at DeviantArt:

“Thermoplastic material”....
The correct  label for the stuff shown below is “Worbla´s Finest Art”:

It consists of plates of coloured synthetic material that turns soft and viscid when heated over 60 °C. When cooling down it solidifies again. It can be cut with shears and leftovers can be used like modelling clay.


Worbla´s is mostly used by professional movie requisite builders and cosplayers. Processing (which has nothing to do with artist´s talent) is quite easy if you bear in mind the damage you can do with electric heaters.
Creative abilities provided it is possible to recreate props from video games or movies or of course implement own designs.

For larp however other aspects besides the visual one apply: adequate versatility or stability and safety considerations (for fighting outfits impacts will occur) that far exceed the choreographed moves of actors in movie productions.

Gryndal uses the material in a way that it can withstand the strain of a larp convention (fighting inclusive) by combining it with metal.


Above: armoured gauntlet, leg plate (documented at Devianart: or applications on a breastplate: objects a smith could (if at all) only implement very effortful here are built at home producing battle-fit unique pieces of equipment.

With the great advantage (in time) that what you build is what you´ll wear- no casting out of pre- built negative forms. Whereas “time advantage” doesn´t mean “quick” by any means: before one can distress one´s foes in a suit of armour like this a whole heap of working hours is to be carried out.

Talking of “distressing one´s foes”: The helmet (below) has a built- in video camera. And in Daniel´s Video on YouTube its recordings can be seen.
Let´s play....Chaos Marauders, first person:


Above: helmet- building. A steel helmet (viking style) is fitted with a video camera and then gets a casing with Worbla´s Finest Art, thus getting the exotic look fitting a chaos armour.

The white “colour” that serves as ground for the blue and gold is acrylic gesso from art supplies but normal acrylic paint will do also.

Over this grounding the armour´s main colour (blue) is applied.

Right: the painted helmet with horns made of foam. Translucent cloth is glued behind the holes on the right side. Sight is not obstructed by this.

The asymmetric visor together with the helmet´s shape (that doesn´t have a historical example) alienates and “dehumanises” the armour´s face,  distinctly proclaiming the warrior´s affiliation.

Worbla´s also is good for casting a mask or sculpture. Here´s a link to Gryndal´s how- to at YouTube:


Above and right: resin- casts. Above sheer, on the right coloured resin.
To achieve this quality precise, multi-part negative casting forms have to be made.
And he carried it off.


Above: resin- cast parts from sculptures or originals: scales, teeth, claws, bones, skulls. If you get that far you´re definitely no longer an amateur.


Metal, leather, foam, fibreglass, resin, thermoplastic materials. Chaos armour deviates so much from historc plate armour that these outfits cannot be built without using mixed materials. And the more extreme the look, the more mix is necessary.

This page gets expanded now and then; when something is added I´ll mention it in “what´s new”. Thanks to all who have donated pictures and explained working processes.

The Hordes of Chaos by the way do not have to be documented here because they´ve got a website themselves:
There are galleries and building threads in the forum´s public part, offering solutions for problems one might encounter; successes and difficulties and a lot of things that are behind the warriors who on the battlefields make the life of the forces of order as miserable as possible.


And one more thing: the 8- pointed star is no real, age- old chaos symbol. But:
The “8- arrow- star” that was invented by Mr. Moorcock in 1962 after  James “Jim” P. Cawthorn´s question about what the arms of chaos would look like (I of course know the kitchen- table- story) has some much- discussed side aspects, for example this one:

In ancient egypt (which was quite a while ago) 8 entities (Chemenyu) were worshipped in Hermopolis (Chemenu) who represented “what was before creation”- and what could quite aptly be described as “Chaos”.
That a coincidence or wot?

Dezember 2014, feb 2016, oct 2018

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