40K Retro: 28 Years of Daemonettes

Take a look back at one of the most exotic and horrifying denizens of the GW universe – Daemonettes of Slaanesh

We are starting with today’s Daemonettes and rolling the clock back with each earlier version.

Daemonette Basics

Daemonettes are Lesser Daemons of Slaanesh. They are the most numerous of his daemonic minions and serve him as handmaidens, warriors and agents.

Daemonettes appear as both beautiful and repulsive to those who look upon them. Their bewitching opal eyes and enchanting aura veil their androgynous features and grotesque claws, revealing an alluring appearance the beholder will always consider the epitome of beauty.

Depending on the situation Daemonettes can be gracious and swift warriors, using their razor-sharp claws when violent force is necessary, or subtle messengers and seducers who will haunt the dreams and nightmares of their victims.

Those Daemonettes that excel in their servitude may serve the Lord of Pleasure personally as courtesans on his throne. The more privileged a Daemonette is, the closer she is allowed to approach the throne.

The Current Versions

Even though Slaanesh has been on a sabbatical in the Age of Sigmar, his loyal followers are having a good time in the Grimdark.

The current models. Out with the nudity, in with the corsets and the otherworldly hairdos (it’s the warp after all). Note the crabclaws – they change each edition. These are very much a PG-13 version of the previous daemonettes.

These ladies don’t feel like walking, the Seekers ride hard and fast across the galaxy – running their prey to ground.

Daemonettes Gone Wild

Turning back the clock to 3rd Edition takes us to the most overtly sexual of the Daemonettes.  The last of the metal daemonettes was sculpted by Juan Diaz and they had a very different vibe than the minis that came before.


Out with the Crab Claws, in with the straps, stabbing hands and long knives. These ladies wanted your attention and weren’t shy about reaching out to get it.

Two words:  sports bras…

Welcome to the 90s!

We’re headed back to 2nd Edition, and 1999.  These metal minis are the second incarnation of everyone’s favorite crab-ladies.

These are the most “horrific – daemonic” of the editions of Daemonettes. They have the largest crab-claws of the them all, an the same creepy bald inhuman heads. Giant eyes and little to no nudity sum these ladies up.


Here we see the 2nd Edition daemonettes on a steed of Slaanesh (that kind of looks like a dragon). These have the largest crab claws of them all.

The Original Bad Girls

Welcome to the 80s! Here we see the original metal mini for the Daemonettes that accompanied the Realms of Chaos books.


I bet you didn’t know GW named them! These are very slight of build, with quite small crab claws, but set up the original design of the bald head with oversized eyes and horns, plus cloven hooves.



~Which ones are your favorite models and who is still rocking some of these on the tabletop?

  • Jeremy Larson

    Why do I feel like a pair of sex dice were involved in naming the originals?

    • Massawyrm

      Because the early days of 40k were heavily inspired by boundary pushing comics like HEAVY METAL and 2000 A.D. where this kind of tongue in cheek debauchery were itself an act of revolution against the conservatism of the 80s – particularly in the UK.

      • Iconoc1ast


        • Stormxlr


  • Crevab

    Anyone NOT think the Diaz ones are best? I wanna hear your opinion

    • Andrea Andy Martini

      Like the actual and 90’s (ugly) design…

      • TenDM

        I don’t think the 90’s one is as ugly as White Dwarf makes them look. The big red claws look doofy as, but the ones in the same picture with the dark blue/purple colour scheme that’s closer to the modern colour scheme look pretty good.

      • vlad78

        But Diaz are the best.

      • Commissar Molotov

        Me, too. The crab claws, chicken feet and those horrible black eyes – they’re very striking!

    • Andrew

      I prefer the originals from RoC. The Diaz ones are great sculpts but they stray too far from the traits Daemonettes are supposed to have. I think the current ones are the worst, simply because their poses are so static and bland.

    • Iconoc1ast

      I actually really like the new ones. The JD ones are cool too but the new ones have a creepier, lithe aspect to them. For me anyways…

    • JPMcMillen

      I do like those, but I also like the current ones. Never liked the RT/2nd edition ones. At least I was smart enough to order 4 boxes right before they got discontinued.

    • Karru

      Comparing the two, I must say that the current ones are better to my eye and here’s why.

      Daemonettes are supposed to be a combination of beauty and hideous. The Diaz Daemonettes aren’t in balance in that regard, they are too much over to the beauty side. The current ones are more towards a balanced point, but unfortunately tip a bit too much towards hideous side.

      • Nathaniel Wright

        I’ve always seen it as the most accurate representation that they’d choose on the battlefield. In the eyes of the miniatures, they are seeing the Juan Diaz sculpts right until the last second. At that point, it is already too late.

      • ragelion

        I agree I am of the same mind as a slaanesh fan also slaanesh is half and half the newer ones represent that more.

    • Tshiva keln

      I don’t like the claws on them personally. Like the heads as they are a further step away from humanoid and nice and androgenous. Like the nudity as I think it’s a convenient way to express their sexual/sensual side. Overall though the lack of crab claws just edges me away from them. (Although too big crab claws like in the second incarnation just looks ridiculous IMO)
      Probably pick the current models overall, although I would prefer a better representation of the sexual/sensual than corsets! I reckon they would have done better with flowing fabric covering the necessary parts – think it would look good painted as a sheer silk material and lean towards sensual over sexual and maybe not upset the do-gooders. (As much)

    • rtheom

      I think the fact that they pretty much brought the Diaz sculpts back alone as a made to order briefly testifies to how much more people prefer them.

    • blackbloodshaman

      i like e current ones best

    • 6Cobra

      Flameshield up, but.. I like them in this order: Current ones, RoC ones, Diaz ones, Big-claw 90’s ones.

      Current ones, IMO, are the best balance of disturbing horror and sensuality. The Diaz ones are frankly too attractive; there’s nothing scary or disturbing about them, really.

  • Byor

    Juan Diaz’s deamonettes are the best by far…

    • WhenDidVicesBecomeVirtues

      Not to sound clueless but which ones are the Diaz sculpts?

      • Karru

        3rd incarnation. The ones from 3rd edition.

    • Deacon Ix

      And thanks to teh ‘made to order’ I now have 30 more (60 tot) and 30 on Steeds 🙂

  • Rainthezangoose

    Glad i picked up a pack of the metal 3rd edition. Ones when I could. It’s a shame I was brassic at the time or I’d have gotten three! And some of the seekers xc

    Now if only someone would make me rules for daemonettes of slannesh for warhammer quest considering the latest ones got a slannesh lord.

  • OptimusDerf

    The Diaz sculpts easily best match the fluff for them, and just are the best looking ones, nudity or not.

  • Emprah

    The current ones have the best heads to me, and the nude ones the most dynamic, fitting poses.

  • euansmith
  • Nathaniel Wright

    Oh boy, Larry ‘GW SHOULD KILL SLAANESH’ Vela takes on daemonettes.

    • Roughneck

      He might get upset and delete that’s comment, he’s a sensitive one old Larry

      • Nathaniel Wright

        It was seen, that’s all that matters to me.

        • Roughneck

          I couldn’t agree more with your sentiments though this is just the BoLs writers wish list website

    • BClement

      Could you explain this comment a bit more. It’s an article about the history of the Daemonette models – nothing more.

      Did Larry kick your dog or something? I think you’re reading into this one a tad much…

      • Hagwert

        Over the last 18 months or so Larry has written quite a few pieces about why he thinks Slannesh should be squatted with over tones of ” Think about the children ” running through the articles.

    • PS, I still think GW should do it. Then again I have a feeling that the Ynnead storyline is the start of Slaanesh being redefined into something different from it’s current state. Time will tell.

  • Jabberwokk

    Ah Daemonettes,

    Bitter memories of a group of 14 one rounding my 32 strong gaunt blob because of no retreat rules.

  • Branahar

    Have a squad of 90s on foot ones, never liked the 3rd ed ones, have a seeker squad of them as the 90s ones were ruinously expensive when I got them.

  • Amber Sbriglio

    I really hope they someday find a middle ground between the Diaz and current sculpts. To be perfectly honest, I think the style in that last image by Daarken finds a perfect balance of sex and horror.

    • Hagwert

      I just hope they don’t squat Slannesh and replace it with something dull that keeps the soccer moms happy !

  • John Bower

    Those old Daemonettes look so much better. The newer ones are too much like Herms for my liking. I quite like the Raging Heroes Praying Mantis better than the newer GW models. If anything if I ever do a Slaanesh army I may just convert Wyches instead.

  • Ve Ly Pè


  • captkaruthors

    Juan Diaz models were the best. Lithe and deadly looking.