Archive for decay

Old Rot

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2014 by krautscientist

Today, let me show you something that provides a bit of colour contrast in between all the red and bronze: Parallel to working on a squad of gladiatorial World Eaters, I’ve also been painting some more followers of Nurgle. And this time around, we are talking about some models that have been in my collection for quite some time!

Since we last saw my growing squad of Plague Marines, I’ve added two more models. And even though I have precious little love left for metal models at this point, the Dave Andrews Plague Marines from the late 90s still range among my favourite chaos models for a number of reasons:

First, they are quite iconic: With their gas masks and “Pickelhauben”, they have a decided WW1 Trencher feel — quite fitting for warriors who fight surrounded by virulent gases and noxious fumes (albeit in a slightly inverted way: One could almost imagine that the Plague Marines are actually wearing their protective gear in order to keep the fresh air out). Their helmet design also nicely combines historical sources with the “mono-horn” typical of Nurgle.

Then there’s the fact that the detail on these guys is very nice: The damage to their armour seems believable and not overstated. All of them are modelled with a trusty plague knife at their side. And there are delicious visual cues, such as desiccated heads (serving as plague grenades), small Nurgle icons worn on chains, leaking (and poorly patched up) pipes or all kinds of vile pocks and fungal growth marking the armour.

All these qualities notwithstanding, I am a little ashamed to say that the metal Plague Marines I own have mostly been mouldering away, pun intended, in my bitzbox, ever since I purchased them sometime during the late 90s/early 2000s.

That turned out to be a good thing, though, because my recent foray into the wonderful world of corrosion and decay made sure that I could finally do justice to these models — in my small way, at least.

I left these completely unconverted, both because I hate cutting apart metal models, but also because I think the models are pretty much perfect as is. My only concession to modern design was to outfit them with some new arms and bolters, instead of the old plastic versions from the 90s (clown hands, anyone?).

So, without any further ado, here are the finished models:

Plague Marines (25)
Plague Marines (26)
Plague Marines (27)
Plague Marines (28)The first model seemed to be built for a very classic pose, so I just added two arms holding a bolter. I really like the model’s subtly implacable look! Painting-wise, the Plague Marine was given the same treatment as the rest of my Plague Marines, with lots of rust and corrosion (and a fair amount of Nurgle’s Rot leaking out of the armour joints and vents).

The second model seems to have been designed with a more open pose in mind, so I obliged by arming it with a chainsword/bolter combo. Here’s the finished model:

Plague Marines (24)
Plague Marines (23)
And what do you know, when I had almost given up hope, a nice and subtle crackle effect began to develop on the right shoulder pad, courtesy of all the Agrellan Earth I used in the paint for the armour:

Plague Marines (22)
Plague Marines (21)
I also really like the pocks, dappled all over the model’s left greave. Such a fun little detail:

Plague Marines (19)
All in all, these guys were a blast to paint. Plus they have really managed to age ridiculously well: They perfectly embody all that a Plague Marine should be, in my opinion, with their only shortcoming being that they are slightly on the small side when stood next to more recent models, but that could well be explained in-universe as their bodies slowly collapsing from rot. The best thing about them is how they are quite sinister without being overly twisted or mutated. In fact, part of the body horror for these guys comes from wandering what’s beneath the armour (instead of being able to see it outright). It seems like Forgeworld’s recently released Death Guard conversion kits are, in no small part, an attempt to create uncorrupted Pre-Heresy versions of these models’ design. The later metal model from the 2000s seem a little lacklustre, by comparison — I wish I had bought more of those older models while I still had the chance, because they are all great!

So, where does that leave us in regard to the overall squad? Let’s take a look:

Plague Marines (30)
I am really quite pleased with these guys, even though I have little to no plan to use them in Khorne’s Eternal Hunt. There’s still the 90s metal icon bearer – now stripped of his former paintjob – left to paint. And then? Maybe I’ll just spin these guys off into a small Nurglite killteam? After all, I already have a suitably decayed Terminator Lord to lead them:

Nurgle Terminator (13)
I have half a mind to throw in a decayed Traitor Guard soldier or two. And a plague zombie. And maybe some hulking mutant creature? Shoot, there I go again…

For now, though, painting these guys has proven to be a lot of fun. And I love the fact that I have finally managed to finish some models that have been part of my collection for ages. Go me! 😉

Plague Marines (31)
Let me know what you think! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

When the rot sets in for real…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2014 by krautscientist

Hey everyone,

there I was, happily rediscovering the joy of painting while finishing one Plague Marine after the other, easy as you please. I should have known that Nurgle would visit his gifts on me sooner rather than later, but I was too enraptured by all the decay and rot.

Possibly as a consequence, I’ve been hit with a major case of the flu — that’s what I get, I suppose 😉 So, long story short, I cannot show you the post I originally wanted to show you because I didn’t manage to finish it. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that I can fill the update slot with yet another Plague Marine I painted, so you do get something new to look at, after all!

This time, the model in question was kitbashed in late 2010, so it was high time I slapped some colour on this guy. Here he is:

Crackle Plague Marine (34)
Crackle Plague Marine (30)
Crackle Plague Marine (31)
Crackle Plague Marine (32)
Crackle Plague Marine (33)
And a closeup of his lovely face 😉

Crackle Plague Marine (28)
Here are the three finished Plague Marines together:

Crackle Plague Marine (36)
Crackle or no crackle, painting these guys has really been a blast so far, so I am considering adding some more models to the squad: I have two of the 90s metal Plague Marines, plus that old icon bearer from the same time. Giving those models the updated painting treatment would bring the squad up to seven — Nurgle’s sacred number, conveniently enough 😉

But that’s a smaller project for the future! For now, let me crawl back to my bed and try to shake off the visitations of Papa Nurgle. And, of course, let me know what you think!

We’ll be returning to the regular content soon. Until then, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Crackle Plague Marine (35)

Fun with Rot…, pt. 2

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 5, 2014 by krautscientist

My experiments trying to create a convincing crackle effect on Plague Marine armour using the new Citadel Technical Paint Agrellan Earth continue, as do my attempts to rediscover the joy of painting. One of these goals seems to be working out quite nicely, the other one…not so much. So, what are we looking at:

As you remember, I painted a first test model, trying to bring out a rather pronounced crackle effect on the models armour. It worked, but not as well as I would have liked:

Crackle Plague Marine (1)

So I figured I would try a slightly different approach for the next model in line: Paint Agrellan Earth – undiluted – on areas of the entirely unpainted model and hope for a more convincing crackle effect to set in, then add all the remaining paint on top, trying to preserve the effect as much as possible.

First I had to come up with another model to use as a guinea pig, though, so I kitbashed a Plague Marine, using some of the more decrepit bitz I had lying around. And then, I added Agrellan Earth on top. Here’s the effect, after a bit of waiting:

Crackle Plague Marine (12)
As you can see, the crackle effect was far more pronounced this time around. So far, so good, right?

In principle, yes. But it is rather hard to retain the effect through multiple layers of paint without covering it up. While it worked until after undercoating, the following layers of paint destroyed some of the subtler touches. I tried to counter that by adding a bit of Agrellan Earth on top again, but it performed just as unevenly as before:

Crackle Plague Marine (14)
Apart from that, I once again used several simple weathering effects (as well as a generous helping of Nurgle’s Rot) to make the model as disgusting and decayed as possible. Here’s the result:

Crackle Plague Marine (20)
Crackle Plague Marine (19)
Crackle Plague Marine (18)
Crackle Plague Marine (17)
Crackle Plague Marine (16)

Crackle Plague Marine (15)
From a crackle perspective, the effect is still not as pronounced as I would have liked. Nevertheless, I really like the overall look of the model — and Nurgle’s Rot once again performed admirably, as you can see, with green goo leaking from the model’s armour in many places. This guy may not have crackled as much as I had wanted him to, but he surely looks like a follower of Nurgle: As a matter of fact, I can almost see myself painting a small squad of Plague Marines, just for fun, crackle or not crackle.

Here are the two test models I have completed so far:

Plague Marines (1)
And a colour comparison with Nurglite champion Malchius Blight, completed as part of an earlier project:

Plague Marines (2)
As you can see, the colour is somewhat different, with Malchius much closer to the Nurgle Terminator Lord I build as a smaller side project:

Nurgle Terminator (13)
Nurgle Terminator (14)
You can learn more about this guys here and here.

Tell you what, seeing how this is turning into a bit of a Nurgle showcase, let’s throw in some of my really ancient Plague Marines from the 90s, complete with my vintage paintjobs, trying hard to emulate the “official” ‘Eavy Metal paintjobs from second edition 40k:

Retro Plague Marines
I still love that icon bearer model, by the way — maybe I should strip the paint from it and repaint it in the “modern” style?

Anyway, here’s one of those old guys with his “younger” brother:

Plague Marine comparison
I somehow can’t help feeling immensely fond of those simplistic early 90s plastics — at the very least, they have aged far better than their loyalist counterparts: Just take a look at the Space Marines that came with the 2nd edition starter box!

But wait, where does all of this leave us with regard to the crackle effect?

Well, I believe I will have to give a dedicated crackle medium a go next, maybe the one offered by Vallejo will do? I could also use Agrellan Earth and use washes and shades to do the actual colouring, as some of you suggested after my last post.

In any case, this experimentation has been quite a lot of fun so far, and definitely a much needed boost for my painting modjo!

As always, let me know what you think! Thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Fun with Rot…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 31, 2014 by krautscientist

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. 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 😉

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! 😉

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

Crackle Plague Marine (11)