Fun with Rot…

Among the first steps on the way to rediscovering my missing painting modjo was to do some experiments using two of the new Citadel Technical Paints. Yes, I realise that I am rather late to the party when it comes to using these, but I had picked up a bottle of Agrellan Earth and Nurgle’s Rot, respectively, shortly before christmas, and now it was time to put them to the test.

And what better way to play loose with paints than to paint a follower of Nurgle? Not only do the Technicals chiefly lend themselves to doing rather squicky effects related to decay and bodily fluids, but painting Nurglite models can also be a ton of fun — and if something goes wrong, you can usually pretend it was planned to look that way, too…

That said, I didn’t want to sacrifice a highly involved conversion, so I chose a really old, early 90s’ plastic Plague Marine as my test subject.Β I also rather like the slightly corny charm of these early plastic models (the Khorne Berzerkers from the same time are still one of my favourite retro designs). A missing arm was replaced with a mutated CSM arm from my bitzbox (which also gave me the added benefit of being able to paint an area of distressed flesh). Then I broke out the paints and let rip with all the effects at my disposal in order to create weathering, decay and just general unpleasantness.

Here’s the finished model:

Crackle Plague Marine (1)
Crackle Plague Marine (2)
Crackle Plague Marine (3)
Crackle Plague Marine (4)
Crackle Plague Marine (5)
Crackle Plague Marine (6)
As you may be able to tell from looking at the pictures, I went for a quick and dirty paintjob, mostly using washes and brushing techniques to achieve the effects I wanted. I wanted to make sure painting this guy would be fun and not get bogged down by intricate detail work. And it worked, I mostly had a blast — even though the resulting model is not very likely to win me any trophies πŸ˜‰

But what about those Citadel Technical Paints? How did they perform?

As you can see, Nurgle’s Rot was used to create…well, Nurgle’s Rot, actually: I added a healthy amount of it to the Plague Marine’s twisted claw, for one, to make it look like a daemonic stinger of sorts, leaking virulent fluid:

Crackle Plague Marine (8)
The colour was also used on the model’s backpack, creating disgusting slime leaking out of the vents:

Crackle Plague Marine (9)
And finally, it was added to the torso, showing where the rot is actually breaking through the legionnaire’s armour, especially around the tubes and cables:

Crackle Plague Marine (7)
All in all, it basically performed like you would expect it to, creating a wet-looking, glossy slime in a pretty evil green hue. It’s a really easy and effective tool for adding slime to followers of Nurgle, but I think it would fare just as well when adding puddles of toxic sewage to your bases or terrain pieces. Granted, it may be a bit of a one-trick pony, but being able to open up a bottle and just add the slime is definitely preferrable to having to mix your own stuff by combining green colour(s) and gloss varnish (or having to work in several coats). The fact that it’s semi-translucent also really helps, making it actually look like slime instead of green colour with gloss addded on top.

The picture above actually nicely leads us to the second technical colour in question: I experimented with Agrellan Earth, hoping to create an effect at least slightly similar to the corroded armour on LuckyNo5’s excellent Mariner’s Blight models. I think we can all agree that having a simple way of creating flaking paint and a general crackle texture on the armour of Nurgle Marines (or on terrain pieces, of course) would make hobby life easier and more interesting. Well, here’s how that went:

I began my experiments by adding Agrellan Earth undiluted (and in a rather thick coat) to a base. I followed the instructions given by GW themselves, and this was the result:

Crackle Base (1)
A rather nice crackle effect, don’t you think? In fairness, it is slighly less pronounced if you see it with your own eyes instead of having an enlarged photograph. But the effect’s pretty cool — and also proof that I didn’t get a bottle from one of the bad batches.

So my next step was to add the colour to the marine’s armour, mixing it with a different colour to arrive at a suitably Nurgly colour scheme. Having to add light brown to the green led to the armour having a slightly lighter shade of green than I had originally planned, but that was quite alright.

The problem, however, was that getting a noticeable crackle effect here was way more difficult than when working with the colour on its own: I actually used several passes, experimenting with the ratio between Agrellan Earth and green paint. But even when using only very little green (and slathering the mix on rather thickly), I only managed to get a very slight crackle effect on the model’s stomach and shoulder pads. It’s nice and subtle, but it could be a bit more pronounced. Plus it’s really hard to get the colour to perform consistently: Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, with no discernible explanation for the inconsistency.

Worse yet, when mixing Agrellan Earth with Vallejo Negro Black for the base, the paint refused to crackle at all. Take a look:

Crackle Plague Marine (10)
Maybe this means that using non-GW paints messes with the crackle effect somehow? Or maybe I just couldn’t get it right by that point…

To be fair, GW themselves are advertising the colour as a means for base design, above all else. So painting flaking armour with it might never have been all that promising a plan in the first place. Still, I would have hoped for the colour to be somewhat more flexible — or am I doing something wrong? Anybody out there among you readers who knows how to make the most of this particular Technical colour?

Anyway, while I am slightly disappointed with Agrellan Earth, I do believe the colour warrants further experimentation. Here’s an idea, for starters: Do you think it would be possible to paint the colour onto an unpainted model in order to create the desired crackle effect, then add the undercoat on top of that, thereby conveniently sealing the effect in place? I may just have to try that next…


In any case, the overarching goal in this small project was to have fun painting again, and that worked out swimmingly. So we can maybe look forward to some more painted stuff in the near future? Keep your fingers crossed! πŸ˜‰

Until then, though, let me know what you think! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Crackle Plague Marine (11)

15 Responses to “Fun with Rot…”

  1. Hi Krautscientist !
    A cool review πŸ˜‰
    According to the Agrellan Earth, I think you could keep this effect mixing it with ink whereas acrylic paint, giving it more color without diluting it… Let’s try πŸ˜‰


    • That’s a great idea. Perhaps one could attempt the same with pigments? Perhaps I’ll try it myself.

      Because I tried mixing Agrellan Earth with paint too, and it didn’t work well. Although on its own it’s pretty good.

  2. Hi!

    I’ve used Agrellan Earth as an undercoat and coloured it when dry. Worked fine with shades and inks. Think with paint, I’ld have to make the paint suffuciently thin as not to obscure the detail.

    I also combined it with Stirland Mud applied in patches.

    And yes, the random effect of the crakle can be quite annoying πŸ˜‰

  3. Hmm, you all raise excellent points! Using inks and shades on top of Agrellan Earth to do the actual colouring — definitely food for thoughts (and reason for another round of experiments. YAY! πŸ˜‰ )

  4. Re. Painting Agrellan Earth onto an unpainted miniature, then using the basecoat to seal it in – am trying this myself at the moment, so far it seems to be working. The Agrellan Earth itself forms quite a delicate surface to paint onto, however once the base coat is down its a lot more durable and easy to paint on top of, without loosing the crackle effect. I’m using it to create corroded armour.

  5. […] A blog about KrautScientist's wargaming exploits « Fun with Rot… […]

  6. KrautS – here’s my Tim Holtz crackle paint test:

    Seems the clear crackle can withstand being painted over – I used a spray gun here, I think washes would be okay too – I’d recommend sealing the crackle with some sort of varnish, purity seal or dullcote.

    Looking forward to seeing more of the Nurglii from you!

    • Mate, I did read your review and step-by-step over at the Ammobunker, and it’s really super helpful! Thanks a lot! When it comes to creating a consistent crackle effect, it seems like Tim Holtz will be the way to go!

  7. […] reading this post over at the regularly inspiring Eternal Hunt I also wanted to experiment with using Agrellan Earth […]

  8. Hiya, I love this…I’m defo going to give it a bash as I’m in project limbo…what green did you use?


    • Cheers! Hmm, if I remember correctly, I used a basecoat of Knarloc Green, with progressively more Gretchin Green and Agrellan Earth (for the crackle effect) mixed in for the subsequent layers. Hope this helps! πŸ™‚

  9. zadicsek Says:

    hey! how did you achive that greenish-bluish color of the armor? I want to do a very similar color scheme for my death guard!

  10. […] I want to like this paint and you need to shake the pot a lot and I think it benefits from multiple thin coats, but many gob it on at the end which isn’t always optimal. One of the Nurglings on the base of the model I plan to use as the champion got green vomit as opposed to guts. It was painted green, I think flat green from Vallejo then washed with the original Waaaggh Green Ink, then I did Tesseract Glow and probably should have stopped, but on the Escher Necromunda model I did Nurgle’s Rot over top. […]

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