The State of the Hunt, Week 25/2017: The Grandfather’s Embrace

Guys, guys, have you heard? There’s a new edition of Warhammer 40k, apparently 😉

Seriously, though: A detailed look at the new starter box, Dark Imperium, will be forthcoming shortly (at least that’s what I hope). It has been a while since my last detailed writeup about a new release, but I suppose the gravity of the situation definitely warrants a sizeable post. For now, let me just share one small teaser with you, namely a project that was inspired by the new release. So, what is this about?

While I may have some conflicted thoughts about some parts of Dark Imperium (*cough* Primaris fluff *cough*), one definite high-point for me are the new Plague Marines, sculpted by none other than Maxime Pastourel – aka Morbäck, of Le Blog dé Kouzes fame:

Possibly my favourite part about the models is how they manage to combine elements from the very first classic Death Guard concepts (courtesy of Jes Goodwin) with recognisable, albeit corrupted, Mk. III plate as well as some wonderfully sublime touches from Morbäck’s own Plaguebones — quite possibly the greatest Nurglite army currently in existence.

To make a long story short, after seeing the models, I wanted to get my hands on them ASAP — but then that tiny bit of rationality left in my head kicked in, and a small voice reminded me that, with several boxed sets still languishing unpainted in my cupboard of shame, I really could not quite justify getting yet another boxed set right now. And yet, I knew I had to do something to scratch that Nurgle itch, so to speak.

By lucky chance, I happened upon and TURBULENCE’s really excellent Nurgle kitbashes, using older parts to almost perfectly match the new look. So I had a look through the old bitzbox in order to find a remedy to cure me of the Nurgle bug.

When I found some leftover bitz from the Putrid Blightkings kit and a small pile of horribly battered Dark Vengeance Chosen bits and pieces (left from when I converted a couple of Iron Warriors), a plan started to form in the back of my head. And a short while later, I had this guy:

To be perfectly honest, this is, at its core, actually one messy and loose conversion, if ever there was one: I shaved down the upper part of a Dark Vengeance Chosen torso to make room for the belly, then shaved down the torso front from a Putrid Blightking to create said belly, then mashed it all together with a huge blob of GS and attached it to a set of plastic Mk. III legs. Then a modeling tool was used to loosely define rolls of fat and flabby flesh. In the end, it’s really a happy accident that the model itself calls for the kind of gooey mutations that the GS seemed to provide automatically 😉

At the same, the added height and bulk should also make the model look suitably tall and bloated when placed to one of Morbäck’s “official” Plague Marines. Speaking of which, a pair of Mk. III legs was used to make the model resemble Morbäck’s Plague Marines even more. In order to make the leg armour look suitably distressed and rotten, I carefully cut in some wedge shaped holes and scratches with a hobby knife here and there to make some of the armour plates look slightly dented and uneven. And I used the bog standard GW hand drill (the one I usually use for drilling out bolter barrels) to create small clusters of holes on the armour plates.

With this successful first proof of concept out of the way, I felt a little more adventurous when building a second model:

The basic recipe is the same: A beat-up Chosen torso (and shoulder pads) combined with a set of Mk. III legs, a couple of Blightking bitz and a copious amount of greenstuff. That being said, I really think the various components have come together rather beautifully on this model, lending it quite a bit of presence. Of particular note are the warped Gal Vorbak claw and the helmet (repurposed from an Age of Sigmar Bloodstoker model, with a Skitarii rebreather conveniently spliced in), especially the fact that the jaw motif gets repeated on both parts (this was actually more of a happy accident, though 😉 ).

With the second model completed, I had just enough battered DV Chosen and Blightking parts left to make one last model. This time, I decided to go for a very classic 2nd edition inspired look:

The model is arguably slightly more awkward than its predecessors, but then you should have seen the shape some of those leftover parts were in — the torso seemed just about useless, so I am pretty happy I managed to make a model out of it all in the end. The guy could still use some last tweaks and touch ups, but he’s definitely getting there! What’s more, this is the one model in my collection where that icky, tentacled Chosen backpack really works perfectly, wouldn’t you agree?

So here are my three “Morbäck-pattern” Plague Marines:

Coming up with these guys has really been a blast — and except for the legs, they were all made from nothing but leftovers, so they didn’t cost a penny to make. I am actually pretty pleased with myself for resisting the urge to buy new shiny stuff — for once 😉

There’s also one last model that fits in really well with the new guys: This Nurglite Sorcerer that I converted a while ago. He happens to follow a fairly similar recipe, however, so he should work well enough with the rest of the group:

As for painting these new models, it’ll be interesting to figure out a slightly tweaked recipe for them! I definitely want them to look slightly different from my squad of (mostly) retro Plague Marines here:

Pleased as I still am with those guys, however, they didn’t end up in quite the paint scheme I had in mind. With the new models, So I think I’ll be going with something closer to GW’s “official” paint scheme that was used for the Dark Millennium Plague Marines. Maybe a mix of that colour scheme with the one used by Morbäck for one of the models he sculpted.

On second thought, I am almost happy now to have left the Blightking-based Plague Marines I converted quite a while ago unpainted for all this time, as I’ll now be getting another chance (and an added incentive) to complete them as a Killteam, and with a new paintjob, no less!

Any thoughts of painting will have to wait, however: For one, the sweltering heat has returned this week and keeps holding the blasted plains of Jhermani in an iron grip. I’ll also be travelling to Amsterdam this weekend to visit fellow hobbyist Augustus b’Raass for a weekend of hobby goodness and sightseeing, which should be awesome!

So that’s it for this week. I would love to hear any thoughts and feedback you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

20 Responses to “The State of the Hunt, Week 25/2017: The Grandfather’s Embrace”

  1. Those are looking well, I think the sorcerer is my personal favourite. Love the posing.

  2. Nice use of ‘leftovers’ – I fear the size of your bits box 🙂

  3. I’ll be honest, I hadn’t made the connection between Morbäck and the designer of the new Plague marines until I read the army showcase on the Warhammer Community site – seems obvious in hindsight, and I’m looking forward to seeing what else we get when the full Death Guard release swings around…

    I can sympathise with you about that nagging shred of rationality – I’ve promised myself no more minis until I get a handle on my backlog, and possibly clear out some kits (I’m feeling more and more that the best army is one I actually have the time to paint and play!)

    That said, I’m glad it resulted in such cool conversions! The bloodstoker head works perfectly (I really couldn’t place the part until you identified it), and I’m still curious about the parts on the backpack of the first Plague marine.

    Hope you have a great weekend!

    • Thanks, mate! I actually made a little squeal when, watching the Death Guard reveal video, I immediately noticed some telltale touches reminding me of the Plaguebones: Ever since Maxime was hired by GW, I was basically waiting for them to allow them to *finally* do DG models! 😉

  4. I’m constantly impressed by the way you manage to integrate Dark Vengeance Chosen bits into such clever conversions. My own experience of working with them is that they are lovely models but a real headache to convert but you make it look like a breeze. You also deserve considerable credit for willpower in the face of new models – I succumbed to the lure almost instantly, in spite of the size of the “to paint” heap already on the desk…

    Enjoy your weekend – looking forward to seeing your review of Dark Imperium when it’s finished!

  5. scircal Says:

    Excellent work! I think you really captured the look and feel of the new Death Guard models in these conversions. Your models are always inspiring. I wish I had the time and talent to give something like this a shot.

    My only suggestion is doing one or two of the models with the “cloven hoof” motif on the boots. That would definitely add some more retro Nurgle feel to them.

  6. Fantastic !! I can’t wait to get my hands on the new Nurgle minis. I’m not too interested in the Marines though.

  7. Dexter Says:

    Man, just how many DV Chosen do you have? You always so easily use them as conversion fodder every time you get a Chaos itch, I feel like you should have run out multiple times by now. I think one of your greatest strengths is your ability to consistently find just the right bits, and make things look like they belong. These guys are great, and when (because I know with you it’s WHEN, not IF) you get the new box set and break out the new Death Guard minis, they’ll fit right in line next to them. Well done!

    • Haha, quite right — I was fortunate enough to receive a rather big box of Chosen from Commissar Molotov at one point, and I also had two sets of my own, so I do have quite the stockpile 😉 That being said, these latest conversions were made with the torso pieces left from when I converted my Iron Warriors, so I basically got one Iron Warrior and one Plague Marine out of a single Chosen model per shot 😉 Oh, and since I was able to have a look at the new DG models myself: Yeah, my conversions should actually fit right in!

  8. […] A blog about KrautScientist's wargaming exploits « The State of the Hunt, Week 25/2017: The Grandfather’s Embrace […]

  9. […] scaled up quite a bit, making the models about 1.5 times the size of standard Mk. III models. So my kitbashed Plague Marines do seem ever so slightly stunted next to the new official […]

  10. […] box and a couple of Chosen and Blightking bitz. In fact, I pretty much stuck to the recipe I used for my kitbashed Plague Marines a short while ago, just with a bike thrown into the […]

  11. […] Oh, and the “new” Plague Marine also works rather well alongside the kitbashed Plague Marine testers I converted shortly before Dark Imperium was released last summer: […]

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