It actually didn’t occur to me until I was much much older but while playing as a 13 year old. I never thought it odd that warp spiders didn’t have a phoenix lord. I didn’t really care tbh happy with there being so many models already and also many many more that I hadn’t ever heard of. Pre 3rd edition.
Gw have never publicly addressed the issue/point that that they don’t have a lord so it always seemed like an overlooked thing for me.
Having spent the last few months chatting with Juan Diaz he never stops amazing me with the wealth of sculpts/work he kept from back in his working days!!
But finally it is confirmed that gw were working on the lord. This was going to be the first version that was not done Jes himself.
Juan was a trainee under Gary Morley at the time and was working through a catalog:
And this i started after getting the job at the studio, I wanted to get him done, but never finished him. He was the phoenix lord of the warp spiders, and lack a big back pack
The sculpt is not one Juan is proud of and seems he was just excited to get it finished so he could find other work, he particularly didn’t like the helmet. But Gary told him to finish other pieces and his training before finishing this.
So there is the story and confirmation that GW wanted to make it, Jes didn’t have time to do one and the studio want really “super keen” to push one out. Rather than any lore reason or such