A blast from the past today.
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.
Space Marines (and Chaos SMs) should always have a few Rhino APCs in my opinion. Regardless of whatever is in vogue in terms of army selection for games, a mechanised column of Marines is just a cool image I think.
My Sin Eaters ended up with three Rhinos, the first of which is here. This Rhino was usually used to transport a Squad of Plague Marines. This was the second Rhino that I assembled and subsequently become known as the “jacuzzi rhino”.
While I still like the first Rhino that I put together (photos to follow eventually) it was pretty austere by the standards of most Chaos vehicles. Although I deliberately played down much of the more baroque aesthetic that tends to be ladled all over most Chaos armies that I have ever seen, I did get a little carried away with this vehicle in particular.
In fact as the army went on everything got more baroque really. Still, I dont think that it looks as silly as the myriad of vulgarly overburdened Chaos armies out there. Many are so covered in spikes and skulls and impaled bodies etc that the shapes of the models get so indistinct as to ruin the entire look. IMO, naturally.
The concept for this vehicle is silly but sort of fun: Nurgle is synonymous with corruption, illness, rot and bodily fluids and so I decided to make the tank look like it is filled with snot. A very adult approach I am sure you will agree.
When putting together an army for whatever reason it is important to have a few centrepieces. Personally for armies I think that usually the most important thing is a sense of uniformity in the colour scheme. That can lead potentially too uniform / potentially bland overall look and so it is important to have a few things that draw the eye. While the conversion of this Rhino was not particularly difficult to do it has over the years probably been the one thing that most observers point out in the army.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Not very Xmas-y, but what can you do?
According to the 40K fluff, all of the original Chaos Marine Legions bumped off their Chaplains during the Horus Heresy. The Word Bearers held onto their guys (they became Dark Apostles if memory serves. Big into their false idols those Word Bearer scamps). While I understand that GW wanted to give the Chaos Marines their own identity and feel, I do think that the idea of a eeevil Chaplains of the Dark Powers leading Space Marines into battle is potentially fun. With that in mind I put this guy together on a whim in 2001 or so.
Brother Chaplain Bakul is entirely plastic and is covered in enough skulls to make a rocker blush. It reinforces the Chaplain skull motif I suppose, although spiky skulls are perhaps my least favourite element of GW Chaos stuff.
I don’t like the way that GW have canonised the colour schemes for Chaplains (black), Librarians (blue), Techmarines (red), Apothecaries (white) etc. I think that the additional colours can ruin a palette and are often unnecessary.
Additionally, GW policy seems to be to cover the relevant miniature in that colour when perhaps just a little of it would suffice (for a good example check out the jarringly blue Librarian that features with the Blood Angel Terminators in 3rd Ed Space Hulk. It ruins the effect in my opinion. And don’t get me started on the Blood Angel yellow helmet=Assault, blue helmet=Devastator thing. Ugh).
The Chaplain is the least offensive of the marine specialists in that regard as adding some black to a scheme isn’t as disruptive as adding an actual colour to it. Still, when I added a Chaplain to the Sin Eaters I wanted to use the minimum amount of black to make him stand out a bit without ruining the army uniformity. I think that it worked fine. Not brilliant, but not awful in my opinion.
“Bakul” apparently means “sweet smelling”. Ho, ho, ho etc.
Nurglings featured in my Sin Eater Chaos Space Marine army from day one. For some reason which I cant put my finger on I have liked (if that is the right word) them since I first read about them in 1989. Its probably the fart and other biological function jokes.
I spent way more time painting these than they really required. I like them though. They variety and character in the figures made them painting them more entertaining than it would normally be. They were originally based on large GW titan bases, in preference to the horrible square WHFB bases that they were supplied with. Once the large, circular 40k base was released I rebased them (and turned four bases into eight in the process). Go me.
Part 1 is HERE.
Although Marine squads usually max out at ten men I have painted up a few extra for Squad Rico. They are marines with different heavy weapons, giving me more flexibility when picking a force. That sort of extra flexibility is always something that is on my mind when preparing miniatures for games, but it rarely works out as comprehensively as it did with Squad Rico.
The Heavy Bolter armament above is pretty cool looking (and would be all the more so only for that annoying shine…): its a cool model. The hand painted insignia is easily visible on the right hand guys shoulder pad.