Judge Death

Judge Death

Judge Death is the leader of the Dark Judges and the archenemy of Judge Dredd and/or Judge Anderson.

“The crime isss life, the sssentencce is death.”

Visible above is Deaths shtick.  As a trans-dimensional, undead super-fiend, Death dishes out his form of justice up close and personal, usually via the plunging of  his semi-ethereal hands into victims chests.  He then “squeeezzessss” with fatal results.

Apparently Judge Death was conceived as a recurring nemesis for Dredd largely because he couldnt be killed.  Dredd tended to bump off his adversaries in short order, so Judge Death sidestepped that problem for the writers by being undead and tricky to capture or hold.

Deaths Pterodactyl Shoulder Pad

Deaths all-life-is-committed-by-the-living-therefore-all-life-is-crime standpoint is even more draconian than Dredds law and order views.  This provides obvious parallels with Dredds own pretty black and white standpoint.  The two-sides-of-the-same-coin thing is particularly apparent for these comic book foes.

Death sporting quite a green complexion.

As time went on Deaths origin story was explored.  As often happens when the mysterious or creepy is explained its impact is lessened.  This in addition to a few ill-advised comic turns taken by Judge Death during that era turned him into more of a comical character than the creepy ghoul he had started out as.

There have been efforts to make Judge Death creepy all over again since, some of which have worked quite well to emphasise his otherworldly serial killer-like zealotry.  Regardless I think that for readers of my era for whom Judgement on Gotham was a big deal, Judge Death will always tend to be a little more comical than scary.

As you can see from the various takes on Deaths look shown in this post, the colours used for the various parts of his uniform and his flesh vary from artist to artist. When painting my take on the character I had to pick and choose which colours I thought would work the best on the figure in isolation and also in conjunction with the bright primaries of my Mega City Judges.

Like my other Dark Judges, I found Death to be a stumbling block for my toy soldier painting productivity.  As a result the painting on some areas is far superior to that on other areas as I finally rushed to get the figure finished.

Another Dark Judge next time.


15 Responses

  1. I actually like that you did not go with the green. He loos more sinister like this.

    Well done mate! I do look forward to the next Judge!


    • Thanks for the kind words lordsiwoc.

      Deaths flesh has been shown in pretty much any tone that has been used to depict a zombie. Considering that he goes through host bodies pretty rapidly, all of which are in a permanent state of mystically maintained decomposition, I think that any undead flesh colour that take a painters fancy is appropriate.

      As I painted the flesh last August I cant remember exactly what colours I used right now (although I do have them written into my painting notebook). I went with a colour that reminds me a little of those preserved bodies that have been found in bogs: a sickly, vaguely leathery colour.

      Thanks for the feedback.


  2. I used to have this guy (think the blister was Dredd, Anderson and Death). When I got the JD RPG “way back when” I got that one blister, and a blister of riot judges (they had big guns, you know). They never saw paint, so it’s pretty cool to see him painted up. I sold mine off ages ago. Is it only me, or does his weird mouth kind of make him look a bit like Wallace of Wallace and Gromit fame?

    Agree about the back story btw… the whole dentist thing. Yeah. Think I have it tucked away somewhere in the basement, or it might be at my parents’.


    • Just to confirm, this isnt one of the original 80s Citadel JD RPG miniatures. It is a Foundry figure from the mid-2000s. You may be referring to the Foundry blisters anyway, but just in case you are not 🙂

      Deaths big mouth does have a resemblance to the Aardman Animation coat hanger look alright. The receded lips look is a big part of Deaths visual appeal I think.

      Although I have read a lot of Dredd related stuff over the years I never actually read “Young Death”, even though its legacy has plagued the character ever since.


      • Ah, was going to say “I remembered him ganglier, thinner and in a slightly more hunched over pose”. Was referring to the GW blister, but I thought it was just my memory going. =)


        • The old Citadel Dredd figures are quite cute, in a slightly crude 1980’s fashion, but they are actual 25mm. They look tiny in comparison with the Mongoose or Foundry figures.
          I do have a couple of GW Dredd figure that I plan to use though. I mean, what size is a genetically modified super-intelligent ape mobster supposed to be anyway?


  3. Btw, forgot to say that I think you’ve really nailed the dark judges knee pads! Very nice!


    • Thanks Mattias 🙂

      Amusingly, I think that the knee pads are the best thing about my whole Dark Judge mini-project.

      Incidentally, I had to tweak the photos a bit to compensate for my sub-par photography skills. That didnt have really effect the pads though, which are the parts of the figures that I am most pleased with.


  4. Great work on Death I have to say! I’m looking forward to how you handle the fourth Judge that isn’t covered by Foundry. I’ve always wondered if a Clix stand-in would work.


    • Thanks for the kind feedback.

      My Judge Fear is indeed a Heroclix. Tim Prow sculpted the 2000AD Heroclix and was subsequently hired by Foundry to sculpt the majority of their range. Therefore the proportions and sculpting style of both match perfectly.

      Unfortunately that set of Heroclix has a fair bit of excess paint that is difficult to strip. The detail on the ‘clix tends to be a little soft and occasionally clogged with paint.

      But for a Fear figure to match the rest of the Dark Judges, it is the best option.

      Irritatingly, there is a Foundry Judge Fear figure displayed on the Kevin Dallimore (Foundrys main painter) site. Presumably it never went into production for some reason.


  5. Thanks for the info! That’s great to hear. I’ve never seen a clix Fear in the “flesh”, so I will go ahead and pick one up off eBay now.

    I just ordered the Dark Judges after reading you post the other day! Thanks for bucking up my enthusiasm.


  6. […] on a blog that I read, sho3box, I have ordered the Dark Judges.  You can see some of his work here.  Now the Foundry Dark Judge set only comes with three of the Dark Judges out of four.  So I […]


  7. And thank you for reporting back with the finished project. I am glad that what I did helped you out a bit 🙂


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