40K Retro: 28 Years of Lords of Change

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Take a look back at one of the most venerable units in Warhammer 40,000 – the tricksy Lord of Change.

We are starting with the brand new unveiled Lord of Change and rolling the clock back with each earlier version.  Note how these keep getting bigger each update!

Lord of Change Basics


Lords of Change, more fully known as the Watching Lords of Change and also as the Eyes of Tzeentch and the Feathered Lords, are the Greater Daemons of Tzeentch. The most powerful servants of their master, Lords of Change are in many ways essentially minor embodiments of all the characteristics of Tzeentch, renowned for their long-running and intricate schemes that weave across time and fate.

Lords of Change are notable for being allowed access to Tzeentch’s very own reserves of wisdom and for essentially being expressions of his cunning, which gives them great power. As individuals, they are all said to possess the attitude of wicked children; playful but mischievous and even openly malicious towards the lesser beings they delight in manipulating. Nothing is more pleasing to a Lord of Change than to break open fate and re-shape it, be it by manipulation of individuals or direct action. Even without access to Tzeentch’s knowledge of fate, they are said to be deeply intelligent and understanding of life’s mysteries.

Gangly, winged and feathered like a bird, Lords of Change are actually most notable for their gaze; walking portals to the mind of Tzeentch, their eyes are gateways to the madness of fate; few mortals can withstand the gaze of a Watching Lord. The Lords of Change are able to perceive the hopes and dreams of individuals they look upon, as well as read the possibilities awaiting them. Often appearing multi-coloured in hue, Lords of Change actually have no default colouration and take whatever shades please them at any given time. Lords of Change typically choose to appear physically frailer than they actually are, taking on wasted, cadaverous forms and seeming to need staffs to hold themselves up and walk around; this is one of their trademark deceptions, as Lords of Change possess iron-hard skin and blindingly fast reflexes, as well as sharp claws and a beak. Their interest in wisdom also endows them with the ability to draw on the knowledge of all known fighting techniques and battle strategies. Essentially impossible creatures, few who gaze on these prism of warplight emerge with their sanity intact.

The Brand Spanking New Version


It’s just shocking how good this is.  From the sheer scale, up there with the Bloodthirster, to the jewelry, to the disturbing face (I’m sure just one of many options), to the wildly gyrating feathers – the new model is everything we’ve come to expect from GW’s digital sculpting department.  The intricacies of the model on second look is just as good; from the serpentine curves of it’s staff, to the scrollwork on the thigh armor, to the teensy Tzeentch symbols throughout.  It’s a knockout.

The “Current” Version

The previous version has been with us a long time.  Introduced in the CSM 3rd Edition codex from 1999, the old bird has been turning people into Spawn, and hurling magic around the tabletop for almost 20 years! Let’t not forget he’s been magically improving hobbyist’s pinning skills around the globe.



Several build options and the model was significantly larger than the original 1990s one (see below)



Also from this generation came Fateweaver.  The model is very much in the artistic style of the 1999 Lord of Change, Fateweaver added a pile of do-dads, and of course that 2nd head and that extra-scrawny neck.


Why oh why did I travel the universe with that fish up there?

The “Big Bird”

We’ll take a quick stop with Forge World’s giant 999pt Lord of Change Aetaos’Rau’Keres, aka Tzeentch’s Mad Satrap. Introduced around 2012, the closed parrot style wings were a surprise, as was the impressive sculpting of the horrors being summoned. It it also GIANT with a price to match.


Meet the Little Bird – EPIC!

In the early 1990s EPIC hit the scene and with it came Chaos forces, including all the Major Daemons.  Meet the impossibly cute “Mini-me” Lord of Change from EPIC.


He would make a great dude to throw into a Tzaangor unit if you can dig one up – just to be cool.

Rogue Trader

Finally we are headed all the way back to the original. In 1989 the first Greater Daemon of Tzeentch mini came out.  He’s wasn’t even called a Lord of Change which came much later. He was the “Changer of the Ways” This guy showed up in Rogue Trader and in the 1994 Warhammer Fantasy Chaos Codex.  He’s fairly small for his power, came on that old monster square base, and actually had a bit of variety in construction options.



Buzzard neck, raging arms, and a teensy bejeweled belt.



Not too shabby, with multiple body and head options, including the inspiration for Fateweaver, the two-headed bit!



The Lord of Change’s first Fluff appearance was in Realm of Chaos, Lost and the Damned


~Which one is your favorite model?

  • rtheom

    Ah, the good ol’ days when their demons actually had mix and match parts so that you could build more custom greater demons.

    • Muninwing

      i’d still rather have them in detailed plastic, so conversions are easier and hold together better…

      • rtheom

        Agreed, but it would be cool for the plastic kits to have a bit more interchangeability too. 🙂

    • ALittleGreeky

      The brand spanking new plastic one has extra bits and bobs for certain, it also has a second head to make Kairos out of it. So that’s something.

      • rtheom

        Oh yeah, don’t get me wrong, they include lots of cool extra bits and trinkets and heads, etc. to make them somewhat changeable, but back in the day they just had like a dozen different torsos, legs, heads and arms that you could just put together however. I remember they even said exactly that in one of the old White Dwarves (or maybe it was a catalogue).

        It would be kinda nice to have more interchangeability between kits, not just within kits. But I guess that’s the cost for wanting dynamic poses and kits that are almost dioramas in and of themselves.

  • Matt Craufurd

    As I was reading I was thinking ‘Has Larry finally ditched his irritating habit of calling them the Major Daemons?’ but no, I get down to the Epic model and there it is. Despite using no less than 4 GW photos calling them Greater Daemons.

  • Golden Yak

    What a long strange trip it’s been… emphasis on strange, this being Tzeentch and all…

    • NovaeVox

      Change is a good thing.

  • Seienchin

    I am usual the “old models were better guy” but with demons its quite the opposite. The new models are sooo much better in nearly all aspects.
    I still thinks Goblins and Giants looked best in the early 90s though…

    • Luca Lacchini

      Agreed. There’s a RT era greater daemon of Tzeentch somewhere in a box in my attic, with the jumping body, twin heads and wide tail feathers. Pinning very much mandatory. Painted in enamels, ’cause in the late ’80s acrylic paints were a flaking nightmare.
      Comparing to the newer models, it just sucks. The plastic one destroys it with a sneer.

    • Deacon Ix

      Same – apart from the Demonettes

  • Karru

    I absolutely love the latest Lord of Change. Even though I don’t collect CSM any more really and have no interest in getting a Daemon army, yet, I might get one just to paint it. He looks like he’ll be amazingly fun to paint!

  • ZeeLobby

    Eh. I still like FW’s the best. The wings are a little unanimated but I’ve seen some amazing paint jobs of that model.


    • euansmith

      Neato! I really like the idea of the Universe being visible through its wings. Blimey, that thing IS huge. That bit of Cities of Death wall really gives a sense of the minis’ scale.

      • ZeeLobby

        Haha. Yeah. Def a showpiece more than a playing piece. Probably the right scale though for what a greater demon should look like. But it highlights what I find wrong with GW’s newer minis. With so many symbols, doodads and trinkets the new stuff has hardly any blank canvas, and transitions tend to get overwhelmed by the detail. Sometimes less is more.

  • Admiral Raptor

    The Lord of Change might be the only GW model that I’ve liked every iteration of. All great 🙂

    • Seienchin

      Not a fan of the old Lord of Changes (and obviously the epic one…) but at least worlds better than the atrocious keeer of secrets of the past

      • Muninwing

        i’d love to get a few of the epic ones to add to bases as familiars… very much the “mini-me” inspiration

  • MechBattler

    FINALLY. The last model that required awkwardly pinning unwieldy wings in place has been replaced with plastic!

  • BigGrim

    I still have three of the ancient Greater Daemons. The Bloodthirster who looks like the Heroquest Gargoyle. The thwo headed lunging Lord of Change and the bull headed pointing Keeper of Secrets.

  • Adam Spain

    i LOVE the pterodactyl head on the original model. It’d be so great if the new kit has that option.

  • luke-vdv

    The Forge World incarnation remains the best in my eyes.

  • Morgrim

    I liked the appearance of the metal flamers, but good grief are they hard to keep together. Arms that need pinning, but too thin and shallow to get a decent pinning depth. There are issues with a sculpt when you break out the soldering iron.