Recognisable, feared and downright badass, Chaos knights stand for everything that a Chaos Warriors army is known for. Afterall, a Chaos Warriors army is a no nonsense close combat army. And army filled with killers. Killers that are ready to charge their next victim, rip out their guts (or take their head for that matter) and claim glory for their murderous, plotting and evil gods. And of all the murderers in a Chaos army, non are better suited for this job than the dreaded Chaos knights.
Chaos Knights are maybe the most powerful cavalry unit in Warhammer. They might be slower than some Elven cavalry, but they hit harder. In fact, they pack a bigger punch than most Bretonnian knights. And Bretonnian knights are the core of their army! In addition, Chaos knights just keep on hitting at high strength. Because unlike most other cavalry in Warhammer, which use lances and only gain a strength bonus on their charge, these guys have a high strength themselves. In other words, Chaos knights combine everything that makes Chaos warriors feared and then some extra.
While I like the new, plastic Chaos knight models better than the old metal ones, I have to say that these guys still look their part. Unfortunately, they use the old 1990-ies plastic horses. Horses that just look out of place in the current Warhammer range. On the other hand, while the metal horse heads do make these horses a bit more menacing, they are not as fearsome as Archaon’s horse or indeed the new plastic Chaos horses.
What I do like about these metal knights, is their bulky form. These guys really look like heavy armoured troops that can take a punch (or two, or three, or more…) In addition, the feature quite a lot of nice fine detail. Something that the plastic models, even with the huge improvements that Games Workshop has made over the years, still lack in my opinion. This is especially apparent on things like chainmail or fur, where metal figures show a much finer grain compared to plastic models. In that sense, it is a shame that Games Workshop has abandoned the metal models for characters or elite units. Although I have to admit that plastic is way better for easy and fast conversions. Another benefit of plastic is the fact that these models often look more dynamic and are much easier to assemble. There is no need for pinning, and the way that metal models are cast means that the model will always have a sort of two dimensional look to them. This is no problem with plastics, as you can cast separate parts that break the 2D plane and thus make a more dramatic pose possible.
In the end, I think that my old, metal Chaos knights look rather dangerous. They might not be as imposing or iconic as the new models, but they still look like they can handle a proper battle. I therefore hope that these knights have seen quite some battles, and that they have succeeded in claiming glory for the Chaos gods. Because like my other models, these guys have found a nice home somewhere else on the globe…