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Plaguebearers

Some of my old 40k stuff today.  Plaguebearer Nurgle daemons.

Plaguebearers are Nurgles tallymen, embodying the futility of mortal existence by constantly making lists and categorising myriad life matters which cannot be measured.  Just like me.

Plaguebearers all bear the signs of rot and decay in addition to monocular vision and a horn (occasionally more than one).  Usually they are portrayed in brownish greens, like everything Nurgle tends to be.  I broke from the norm and chose to tie my plaguebearers colour scheme to my Sin Eaters marines.

In that era 40k daemons were summoned into play, popping into existence when certain game criteria are reached (its probably done similarly in current 40k, but I dont know for sure).

In an effort to make my figures unique and to tie them into sci-fi rather than fantasy Warhammer I added cybernetic elements to a number of the figures.

Conceptually I see those as bits of junk that coalesce into usable forms along with the daemon itself (being unliving embodiments of decay and all that).  If you imagine Tetsuo fusing with surrounding mechanical objects towards the end of Akira then you are on the right track.

Mainly I did it because I thought that it would be a fun project to make some goofy demon figures into cyborgs, ’cause I like cyborgs more than demons.

The figures are a mix of six of the original plaguebearers from the eighties, plus four of the nineties guys.  It is easy enough to tell which are which I think.

The cyborg weapon elements are all Necromunda Pit Slave parts, plus an old Warlord titan chainfist.

My favourite pair of these goofy freaks are shown in the first and final photo.  One guy has had his eye replaced with the screen from an Imperial auspex, complete with EEG style readout.  He also had a piece from a radar dish glued to his back.

The other guy has a rifle sight in place of his eye.  He also has a backpack with an aerial and a Nurgle symbol on it.  Far out.

 

The paint job is quite cartoony, aided and abetted by the comical sculpts and ludicrous bionics.  I like the look, even though they might jar a little with some more “serious” looking 40k figures (although at the time of writing Space Wolves mounted on wolves from space have just been released and even they are not as silly looking as the preposterously poorly conceived Dreadknight).

The plaguebearers have featured in very few games.  I once used them in a day long mini campaign and then in casual home games a couple of times.  They were always lacklustre in rules terms in those days.

I plan to use them for some skirmish games using Inquisitorial retinues and the like at some stage, hopefully during the next couple of years.  I might have them lead by Judge Mortis some time too: I can see Dredd Hi-Ex-ing a few of these guys.

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Sin Eaters Raptors: Squad Boyle

Sergeant Boyle and Melta Gunner

Squad Boyle was a pretty late addition to my Sin Eaters army.  They nonetheless got used in a tournament or two as well as in a number of casual games.

Jump Packs

My income levels at the time were pretty low (a perennial condition at sho3box towers Im afraid) and so I used a few components that up until that point I had been avoiding, in the interests of keeping things cheap.

Sergeant Boyles Head

Most notably in that regard was the use of the quite goofy zombie head with the beard and the tongue hanging out from the GW zombie sprue.  For the earlier squads I had avoided that head as I regarded it as a bit too wacky for my purposes.  Finances were low and I had a number of those heads sitting around so I decided to use one along with the new-at-the-time Space Wolf heads (and a Khorne head).

Bolt Pistol & Chain Axe, Plasma Pistol & Bolt Pistol

At that late stage of painting an army (roughly about 80 models or so into the project I would say) painting techniques tend to have evolved, usually in the interests of expediency.  In addition to that slighly more oddball units and concepts start to crop up, usually in my case in an effort to keep interest up.  Hence the heavily armed unit of jet pack-ing zombie space soldiers.

Plasma Pistol & Chainsword, Bolt Pistol & Chainsword

There has been some crazy talk about playing some small games of 3rd ed 40K amongst SOS and MT recently.  If my resolve breaks and I engage in some of those shenanigans it will likely involve games that include the more elite and oddball units like Squad Boyle.

Sin Eater Possessed: Squad Nemesis

 

A few figures that I am quite fond of to start 2010.

Squad Nemesis was assembled and painted up for use as a Possessed unit in my Sin Eater Chaos Space Marine force back in 2000.

Squad Nemesis Possessed Marines

GW didn’t make possessed Chaos Space Marine figures at the time (although a lot of their original Chaos Renegade marines from the 80s were very suitable.  I also painted up a unit of those guys for the Sin Eaters, of which there will be photos at a later date) although the Chaos Mutation sprue came out around then.  Subsequently GW made specific metal possessed marines who looked a little like the Mordheim possessed if I remember correctly.

Anyway, I wasn’t that keen on the possessed figures that I had seen up to that point: they were usually predictably heavy on the tentacles and bat wings etc and low on interest factor (to me at least).  With that in mind when I got around to making my own I tried to steer a little to the left of the usual fare.  Unsurprisingly I used Resident Evil as an inspiration and starting point.

Bloated with Dark Energies. WooOOOoo.

I prefer “science” zombies to “magic” zombies and I have liked the Tyrant style super-zombies from Resident Evil since I first saw them.  Therefore they were a big influence on what I wanted my Possessed to look like. 

Although trying to avoid the idea of magic-y things in the context of an army that supposedly represents worshippers of Dark Gods who receive direct aid from their patrons might sound perverse, I did have a few reasons to do so.  Mainly, the urge to have something slightly different from what I had seen already was one.  This was also influenced by the background of the Chaos Space marines from that era.

Corrupted Beyond Recognition

Before then the Chaos Space Marines were regularly portrayed as mindless devotees to their own cults.  A couple of things about this make them less interesting to me: firstly that I don’t like religion and in particular mindless people with a lot of “faith” and secondly the idea of Chaos Marines who are already completely under the thumb of their patron suggests weakness. 

Part of the suggested background for the Chaos Marines at this time was that the different Legions were actually more in a marriage of convenience with their patrons and that the Marines therefore had their own agenda and goals.  This interested me a lot more that another bunch of frothing jihad types.

Raaargh!

So Squad Nemesis was intended to be a group of (relatively) sane Chaos Marines who use pseudo-scientific means to either augment themselves with physical mutations on a temporary basis or use the pseudo-science to temporarily become a host for whatever daemonic energies were doing the rounds.  So I went with a look that involved a lot of cables coming out of the marines backpacks into their bloated and deformed bodies: a little more science than magic.  I think it worked and of the units in my Sin Eater force Squad Nemesis is one of my favourites.

The parts used were Ork arms, zombie heads and guitar strings.  The guitar strings didn’t keep their shape as well as I hoped which meant that they had to be kinked into shape rather than curved.  I would have rather that they were curved but I got over it.

Happy New Year and all that jazz!

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