The State of the Hunt, Week 31/2017: The Nurgle train has no brakes…

After the fairly copious amount of praise I had for the new Death Guard models last week, it probably won’t be too much of a surprise that I am still happily cutting my way through the chaotic part of the Dark Imperium boxed set at the moment. So a closer look at the Primaris Marines – along with some of their implications for the 40k setting – will have to wait for a bit, while I share a couple of projects I am currently working on. It’s probably for the best, however, as we are currently seeing even more Primaris kits being released, and I would very much like to take those into account as well. Well, that and doing Nurgle kitbashes is just too much fun at the moment πŸ˜‰

Speaking of which:

I. The kitbashing continues

I am slowly working my way through the Dark Imperium Death Guard models BubblesMcBub sent me, mostly focusing on the Plague Marines for now. There’s not too much to see there, however: I already said in my earlier post that I doubt I’ll be changing too much about them, as I am simply a huge fan of Maxime Pastourel’s sculpts on these guys! So my work on them is mostly limited to taking of a detail here and there to ever so slightly reduce the clutter. It goes without saying, however, that this has the added benefit of giving me some extra bitz to sprinkle among the rest of my conversions πŸ˜‰

The one exception is the Plague Champion, because I am really not a fan of his molten face and have wanted to replace it ever since I first saw the model. After giving it a bit of thought, the solution I came up with was to make a press mold of the very same mummified head that’s dangling from the champion’s backpack by a chain, and carefully work it into the cowl the model wears. I’ve also slightly touched up the breathing tube that originally formed most of the model’s face, making it look like several tubes and hoses are feeding into his head now, and have maybe even been sewn to his face. Eww…

Anyway, here’s the model:

In all fairness, the new face is just as disfigured as the old one, but I still prefer it because you can actually make out at least some of the features — plus it actually uses a face sculpted by MorbΓ€ck as well now, so there’s that too πŸ˜‰ To be honest, I’ll probably have to paint the model before I know whether or not it was all worth it, but oh well πŸ˜‰

In the meantime, I have also managed to get my hands on the three “easy to build” snapfit Plague Marines and just had to start working on them as well. Let me tell you though, these should carry a “hard to convert”Β  label, at least if you are trying to do something a bit more involved: I felt acutely reminded of the rigid monopose Plague Marines of the early 90s. But they probably weren’t designed to be cut apart in the first place, so the fault is entirely mine — there must be something wrong with me, actually doing most of the conversion work on models that weren’t envisioned as conversion fodder to begin with…

Anyway, my plan was to actually convert a second Blight Launcher Marine, in addition to the one that comes with the kit anyway, and I already showed you the converted Blight Launcher in my last post:

So I grafted it onto the champion from the easy to build kit and made a couple of additional tweaks. Here’s the mostly finished model:

But boy did the model fight me every step of the way: The stock pose is just so weird, and I ended up carefully sawing off the entire upper body in order to tweak it a bit. As you can see, I have also slightly redesigned the blight launcher, splicing in the upper section of a Sternguard heavy flamer to bring it even closer to the “official” design. I also added some tiny strips of chainmail, thanks to a very helpful suggestion by fellow hobbyist Aasfresser, in order to make the right arm and shoulder match the design on the other side:

The backpack with the plasma gun is just a placeholder, of course, as a blight launcher and plasma weapon on the same model would be a bit too much πŸ˜‰

As for the actual Blight Launcher wielding Plague Marine, he has been tacked together for now. The one change I made was to his faceplate, as I didn’t really like the way the tube directly fed into his helmet, so I spliced in a rebreather:

So here are the two tweaked snapfit Plague Marines:

While I was at it, I also slapped the very creepy leftover power fist on my Blightbringer-based Plague Champion:

II. A recipe for rot

Now I have used several recipes for followers of Nurgle over the years, but none of those really ended up coming together precisely the way I wanted to. For instance, while I am pretty happy with the overall look and feel of my squad of retro Plague Marines,…

…the recipe was not quite what I wanted to use for the new batch of models. So some experimentation was in order.

So for my first test model, I used an undercoat of GW Mournfang Brown spraypaint (which performed quite well):

For the actual paintjob, I ended up giving a paint splatter recipe from one of the recent issues of White Dwarf a try — with a couple of small tweaks.Β  Here’s how my first test model turned out:

Pretty cool, but not quite there yet, either. The green, for instance, was a bit darker than I had planned — mostly on account of my choosing the wrong shade for it, to be fair.

So I painted another test model, and I think I got it right this time around:

Now we’re talking! This is actually very close to what I have wanted my Plague Marines to look like for ages, and the green on the armour is just right! I ended up with the following steps for the armour plates:

  • basecoat with GW Deathworld Forest
  • wash with GW Ogryn Flesh (or, failing that, Reikland Fleshshade)
  • highlight with GW Ogryn Camo
  • DONE!

As for the skin, I went with one of my tried and true recipes for distressed skin, based on a basecoat of GW Rakarth Flesh with a healthy wash of GW Ogryn Flesh followed by a slightly more focused use of GW Druchii Violet and GW Carroburg Crimson on top.

So out of all the various recipes I’ve tried for followers of Nurgle over the years, this one is really my favourite so far:

So expect to see more of this approach as this project takes shape! πŸ˜‰


III. The Blight That Rides

Last, but definitely not least, I’ve been challenged by BubblesMcBub, whom I met at the Amsterdam GW store and who was nice enough to provide me with all of the Nurglite goodness, to build a mounted character in a mutual challenge for the August Arena 2017 over at the Bolter & Chainsword — an event, I must add, by none other than my mate Augustus b’Raass, in a funny twist of fate. Now I have to be honest: At first I hated the idea of having to build a mounted character, but after giving it a bit of thought, and seeing how I am on a bit of a Nurgle trip at the moment, I thought it might be fun to build a Nurglite Chaos Lord on a bike. So I made a first, very early mockup:

The idea here was to build the model entirely from leftovers from my bitzbox, so I grabbed an old Deathwing bike from the Dark Vengeance 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 mix.

Fairly happy with the early mockup, I started to build the model in earnest, replacing the crude poster tac mockup with actual GS: I greenstuffed in a hideous, fat belly in order to blend the lower and upper parts of the body together — and, of course, to make the model look suitably Nurglite. I also added some rolls of fat around the neck and below the helmet. And the Chosen axe was changed to a Plague Sword.Β  I also started transforming the bike into something far less loyalist. Here’s what I ended up with:

I actually love the way his fat belly is wedged behind the bike’s fuel tank/midsection πŸ˜‰

An array of tanks and pipes was added to the back of the bike, with its various tubes and pipes feeding both into the bike itself and into the Lord on top of it: I love the idea that a) he probably isn’t even able to get off that bike anymore and b) there’s some vital fluid in that tank that gets pumped into both the bike and the rider, effectively turning them into one creepy organism and sustaining the twisted Astartes:

On a related note, let me also share a small anecdote: I’ve also recently finished an Imperial Fists commander on bike, intended as a small present for Augustus b’Raass, and for entirely subconscious reasons, the Nurgle biker Lord ultimately became something resembling a dark reflection of the loyalist model:

Anyway, back to the model at hand: With most of the heavy lifting out of the way, I was free to keep detailing and tweaking the model. This meant lots of detail work on the bike (both to create rust holes and to add some Nurglite touches).

One thing I realised fairly early was that having to paint this guy as one solid piece would be a nightmare, so I used a trick that already served me so well on one of my Angron conversions and put a piece of tinfoil between the upper and lower body before I started sculpting. Which has resulted in both parts fitting together perfectly, while also remaining separate, so I’ll be able to take him apart as needed for painting:

This also made it far easier to add details and tweaks to the bike. So here’s a better look at it,Β pipes tubes and icky trophies included:

This step also involved some additional sculpting on the driver, including filling gaps and adding more disgusting details, such as semi-fleshy cables running around and into his torso (visible as darker green parts in the following picture):

And, like I said, it will be really easy to disassemble the model for painting:

The last thing I did, once again thanks to some very cool suggestions over at The Bolter & Chainsword, was to add a small passenger to the back of the bike:

The Nurgling from the Noxious Blightbringer’s backpack has found a new home with the “Blightrider” (hur hur) — and the little guy is obviously having the time of his life πŸ˜‰

Anyway, here’s the finished conversion, ready for painting:

The deadline for completing the model is September 1st, so expect to see some paint on him fairly soon. That being said, I am still trying to come up with some cool ideas for a suitably impressive base (and, in fact, for a cool basing scheme for all of my new Nurgle models), so if you have any ideas, I would love to hear them!

On a related note, BubblesMcBub’s contribution to the challenge will be a pretty cool Iron Warriors Lord on a lizard, which you can (and should) check out here.


Anyway, as you can see, I am basically having a blast with the Grandfather’s followers right now πŸ˜‰
Would love to hear your feddback! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

15 Responses to “The State of the Hunt, Week 31/2017: The Nurgle train has no brakes…”

  1. Aasfresser Says:

    I commented on the conversion over at the B&C, but that last paintjob on the plaque marine kitbash is really nice! I might have to get those colors for some experimenting….

  2. So I’ve gushed to you a bit about these, but I want to touch on the paint job you’ve used here.

    In the last decade or so, possibly more, I’ve seen Death Guard painted almost exclusively in a filthy white armor. Makes sense, since more is known about them due to the Horus Heresy series, and there’s something lovely about a really well-done, dirt-and-grime white. However, my first introduction to Nurgle was back in the mid-90s, and I saw Plague Marines painted in a bold, muddy green, with black trim and bright purple details. I knew what they were about instantly. In fact, my first exposure to them was in an army showcase book from the 90s, which I thumbed through so much it literally fell apart in my hands.

    One of the armies featured was a Nurgle Host, complete with Plaguebearers, Nurglings, a Predator, some Terminators and Plague Marines. I remember the black and green, with purple and yellow used as spot colors. I hated them immediately. Not because they didn’t look cool, but I knew just what they were about. Slow, disgusting, rot. As a Khorne lover from the first boxed set I ever bought at age nine, I thought these guys were the antithesis of the swift, hot-headed death brought about by my favorite Chaos faction. Then later I learned more about Nurgle, and of the existence of Tzeentch and Slaanesh, and realized Nurgle is actually a pretty cool dude. But still, that green color scheme always stuck with me. When I would see the dirty-white Death Guard I would think “oh that’s cool, they’re doing something different.” But then it became the norm and although my love of a dirty white will never fade, it is really nice to see you hearkening back to the old-school color scheme, which resonated so quickly with me.

    Good job buddy. Do this until you die.

    • Thanks, Dexter! Like you, I’ve basically been socialised with green Death Guard, and I doubt I could paint them any other way — the fact that I’ve tried to get my green DG recipe just right for several years now is definitely a testament to that — so yeah, green it is πŸ˜‰

  3. Rednekkboss Says:

    All of its great stuff, but the stand out (and its so simple) is that nurgling on the back of the bike. Love it!

    • Cheers, mate! Your Nurgle stuff is extremely inspirational all of the time, so coming from you, this means a lot!

      Regarding the Nurgling, I thought about using one of the – very cool – Nurglings that come with the Plaguebearers, but in the end it was obvious that nothing but this particular little guy would do πŸ˜‰

  4. Jeff Vader Says:

    Great stuff Krauty! Really like how you’re reducing the clutter on these.

    I think the test model paintscheme works great (if you’re hellbent on green plaguemarines that is). Perhaps a wash of sepia on the armour to make the green warmer, more natural? Gotta admit I prefer non green death guard – be it the now standard off white or, in the case of my own nurglies, diarrhea brown or something else.

    There’s something very off in the poses of those three-pack easy to build marines. They’re supposed to be shuffling I guess, but it looks more like someone is holding them by the head and moving them across the surface with the legs dragging behind them like rag dolls.

    • Thanks, Johan! Like I said in my reply to Dexter above, yeah, I actually am hellbent on green Death Guard — even moreso since off white seems to have become the new green now, which makes it a bit less interesting to me πŸ˜‰

      The green actually does have a fairly warm quality to it when seen firsthand — to the point where it’s almost a bit too pleasant, so I doubt I need to make it any warmer πŸ˜‰

      You are definitely right about the snapfit poses, though. To the point where the blight launcher guy’s feet actually look slightly squashed, like the sculptor ran out of room. That being said, they are certainly not beyond redemption, and I hope they’ll fit in nicely when finished.

  5. Love it all. The bikes are looking particularly cool.

    • Thanks, mate! They make me especially happy because I’ve had those Ravenwing bikes for ages, and now I’ve finally found an excellent use for them πŸ˜‰

  6. Nice job dude – bike is awesome, but two thumbs up for the latest paint scheme!

    • Thanks, Alex! πŸ™‚

      • I get a kick out of the fact that we both have a large khorne chaos army and now it looks like your rampING up to match my Nurgle force. I’m behind the ball on the khorne side so we are pretty much in the same boat. Keep up the great work as it’s been inspirational as your work is iconic in my books

  7. […] A blog about KrautScientist's wargaming exploits « The State of the Hunt, Week 31/2017: The Nurgle train has no brakes… […]

  8. […] used my previously established Death Guard recipe, with just a small tweak or two (including the thinned-down Clear Red). The first picture shows the […]

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