Monthly Archives: October 2014

Empires Will Rot

Over the past few weeks I’ve been taking the opportunity to review the new Chaos releases, specifically from the point of view of someone whose devotion to the Dark Gods lies not in the Old World, for which these models were intended, but in the grim darkness of 40k. As I’ve been rather distracted this week by my newly purchased Blightkings (really impressive kit ‘in the flesh’ by the way) and don’t have anything painted to show I’ll talk about the Glottkin instead, a frankly massive new kit which creates three Nurgle serving brothers. The question is, what can I add that’s not been said a million times already? In the parlance of the Internet “Obvious Great Unclean One is obvious”. Oh and “bloomin’ ‘eck, he’s huge!” (Oh dear, I went all faux cockney urchin there for a moment. Sorry folks, it appears your choice of commentary today is pseudo Oliver Twist or LOL Cats. How unfortunate for you).
Glottkin
(Image belongs to Games Workshop – not me; don’t sue!)

Seriously though, this is in essence the Great Unclean One model that people have been crying out for – so the question is, why isn’t it? To a serial converter like myself this kit looks great, buy a Great Unclean One and they throw a Chaos Lord and Sorcerer into the bargain. That, however, doesn’t really fit with Games Workshop’s current ‘What You See Is What You Get’ policy, whereby – in 40k at least – units without models are being shown the door faster than a baby with hooves in Altdorf (oh yeah, got a little topical Warhammer joke in there!). Of course the Great Unclean One does have a model, it just doesn’t really match modern standards, especially next to this monster.99120201024_theglottkin03

Nor is Nurgle under-represented in terms of special characters. With these new additions (and counting the three Glotkin separately) he stands at 8 just from the Warriors of Chaos – the other gods have 1 or 2 each. In fact all the non-Nurgle characters put together only come to 9. Throw in those from Tamurkhan and the ratio becomes 11 to 10. Not, I hasten to add, that I have anything against the other two brothers Glott, in fact they’re both rather cool miniatures which have so far been rather overshadowed by their larger brother, and as such overlooked by many reviewers (and – apparently – by their parents when it came to dishing out second helpings. And they say that growth hormones in meat doesn’t affect children’s development. Should have gone vegetarian Sonny-Jim!). The mage especially is cracking, both hideously mutated and clearly magical. His warrior brother is slightly less appealing – he looks like an attempt to recreate the original plastic Nurgle Lord (a modern classic) and yet ends up looking somewhat second-rate as a result of this comparison. As I said, he’s solid enough, but for me he’s the weak part of this release. Cool helmet though!

However you can’t miss what you’ve never had, so if this release had come minus the two siblings balanced on the big lad’s bonce and been sold as a Great Unclean One I reckon the rejoicing would have been much the same. Maybe there really are new Greater Daemons in the works (and this beast simply grew from a concept sketch and turned into a tripartite character along the way) or maybe there aren’t (in which case this is a way of releasing a Greater Daemon for arguably the best represented of the gods without resulting in too much complaining from fans of the other three). Time will tell.

In the meantime the Glottkin remains another cracking addition to the Chaos range and I look forward to seeing its corpulent bulk unleashed both in the End Times of Warhammer and (with suitable conversion) in the closing days of the Imperium of Man. Obviously its rather silly but then that’s part of the appeal of Warhammer, and I’m glad that they are unafraid to include the flamboyant, eccentric element that defines their style.

Finally I’m quite relieved to note that the wrecking ball attached to Ghurk hangs from a horn and not, as I thought when I saw the first blurry picture, from his nipple. Not that I’d put it past Chaos (although it’s a little more Slaanesh) but the thought of him shattering a fortress wall by jiggling his man boobs is rather disturbing. As Jervis Johnson always ended his articles in the old White Dwarf “On that thought I will leave you”.


End Times Inspired Interlude

Just a brief mid-week update today but with the End Times continuing in grand style for the followers of Chaos in Warhammer I thought now might be a good moment to show my first, and so far only, attempt at painting a Warrior of Chaos. I kitbashed him a while ago out of leftovers from other projects as an experiment, dipping my toe into fantasy Chaos. For now, however, I reckon my worship of the dark gods will remain firmly in the 41st millennium. Trying to paint such similar armies for both Warhammer and 40k strikes me as trying to compete against myself, so if I do try out Warhammer again I’d rather take on something different.

Anyway, here’s the model!

chaos-warrior-convert-or-die-4

chaos-warrior-convert-or-die-1

chaos-warrior-convert-or-die-2

chaos-warrior-convert-or-die-3


The Thing That Should Not Tree

In concept I think the Beasts of Nurgle are great; lolloping, toxic slugs with the minds of boisterous puppies, unwittingly poisoning each new potential playmate before bounding joyfully on to the next. So long as you don’t let them up on the couch they make for great family pets, albeit only briefly.
The miniature however doesn’t really grab me so I needed to come up with something to use as an alternative.
The Index Chaotica Garden of Nurgle book describes a group of Eldar Seers from Craftworld Lugganath who attempted to rescue their goddess Isha from Nurgle’s realm but instead became trapped and transformed into a copse of sickly trees. The idea took root (pun most definitely intended) and I decided to create my own grove of pestilent possessed trees, haunted by malevolent spirits and crawling forth from the garden and into the world of the living.
Here’s the result of my first attempt. Overall, although there’s things I’ve learned for next time, I’m pretty pleased with it.
beast-of-nurgle-convert-or-die-1

beast-of-nurgle-convert-or-die-2

beast-of-nurgle-convert-or-die-4

beast-of-nurgle-convert-or-die-5

beast-of-nurgle-convert-or-die-7

beast-of-nurgle-convert-or-die-9I added some toxic looking mushrooms to the base with a little leftover greenstuff.
beast-of-nurgle-convert-or-die-8The eyes were made by rolling up balls of greenstuff and stuffing them into the boles (intended to be the sockets by which extra branches are added).
beast-of-nurgle-convert-or-die-3

beast-of-nurgle-convert-or-die-6Whilst we’re on the subject of Nurgle this week sees the release of the Maggoth Lords, a huge and impressive kit that has fans of the Plague God falling over themselves with excitement. (As an aside I’ve not really noticed anyone online saying “OMG! This kit is so lame LOL no-one will buy it!!one!!” which is a sure sign of its quality as usually there’s someone out there wants to have a go). Obviously there’s plenty of people with Warriors of Chaos armies for Warhammer who’re over the moon right now – but what about the likes of me? How do I combine my overwhelming avarice and desire to purchase this kit with my flimsy self-control and determination not to start a collection of fantasy Nurgle-worshipping warriors? How do I instead launch this beast into the 41st Millenium and set it loose on the dying Imperium of Man?

Obviously the biggest part of this must be finding a use for the Pox Maggoth itself. A lot of people have suggested turning it into a Great Unclean One (possibly by giving it a plague sword – the rusty blade from the Soul Grinder kit would be perfect). Although I like this option (and I want a decent looking Great Unclean One) I prefer the image of Nurgle’s greater daemons as being slightly more human – a biped rather than a quadruped – and so although I look forward to seeing other conversions based on this idea I probably won’t pursue it myself (plus I want to see if there’s anything still to come for Nurgle in the End Times before I investigate Nurgle’s greater daemons further).

A second option would be to turn it in into a giant chaos spawn or, better yet, a Spined Chaos Beast with the mark of Nurgle. At the moment this is my favoured option.

Thirdly, one could build a huge platform out of rotting wood and rusty metal and mount it on the beast’s back. Attach a suitable turret and assorted ordinance and crew and call it a tank.

A forth, and for me fairly unlikely option as my Skaven army is currently very much on the back burner, but it’s worth noting that these beasts could also be turned into some amazing Clan Pestilens monsters (why trade with treacherous Clan Moulder when you can breed your own Hell Pit Abominations – it is the End Times after all).

Side-tracking slightly, but it worth commenting that releases like this only make the need for new greater daemons more obvious. Whilst there are other daemons out there of similarly low quality (Fiends of Slaanesh I’m looking at you here), the greater daemons are supposed to be the generals of the gods, Lords/Warlords in the games and centrepieces to any collection. The more high quality miniatures like this are produced however the more they are outshone by the ranks of their followers. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that suitable proxies are hard to find within the Games Workshop range. I’ve seen giants turned into Great Unclean Ones with a lot of greenstuff, and the beastmen Ghorgon can form the basis of a cracking Bloodthirster. As usual however Slaanesh and Tzeentch are at the back of the pack (that Keeper of Secrets is just rubbish isn’t it?) and there’s not a lot out there to easily change that.

Anyway, having determined a purpose for the Maggoth in my collection, could I find a use for the three riders? Morbidex (the only one with a cool name) is very much a Herald of Nurgle and should I decide to buy this kit I’d probably mount him as is on a palanquin (or possibly just a heap of Nurglings to carry his rancid bulk around). The other two would need a little more conversion, Orghotts into a Chaos Lord (he reminds me somewhat of the Chaos Lord pictured on page 31 of the Chaos Codex) and Bloab into a Sorcerer (although that stream of flies and maggots trailing from his head doesn’t really work for me so that would be snipped off without further ado). Finding suitable legs would be the main issue but I’m hoping – it’s hard to tell as yet – that they’d match size-for-size fairly well with the Blightkings.

Anyway, for the moment all this remains purely theoretical, but I’m certainly looking forward to seeing what others come up with – chaos players being, for my money, some of the best converters out there. Let’s see how long I manage to contain my avarice before plunging in to join them.


The Call of the Wild

Warhammer fans often say, perhaps rightly, that the beastmen have been getting fairly short shift over recent years. However the beastmen in the wildwoods of the Old World are still living like kings compared to their cousins on the death worlds of the Eye of Terror. In fact they seem to have been left out of much of the current Chaos background altogether – a shame as they’re still mentioned as being allowed to join the Astra Militarum (I mean really, the Astra Militarum for crying out loud! It may only be a small point but I’m still going to allow myself a moment of being irked that the modern canon of fiction considers it more acceptable for these feral savages to be stuffed into ill-fitting uniforms and sent off to die for an Empire that abhors them, rather than being allowed to scavenge at the heels of Chaos warbands, stealing equipment and picking off the weak!)
Having said all that there are some rather nice Imperial Beastmen conversions out there, check out this loyalist squad for example.
Anyway, the upshot of this little rant is that I put together this scrawny bloodgore. Hopefully this craven, cannibalistic mutant will be the first of a new squad of Khorne’s foot-soldiers amongst my chaos collection.
BeastmanBeastman

I had to build up the shoulder using greenstuff, something I struggled with for ages, trying to create something anatomically accurate, before giving up and going for something twisted and mutated instead.

Beastman

To be honest I find painting beastmen something of a struggle. I tried a test model once when I was thinking of starting an army of them for Warhammer and it was a nightmare and this one wasn’t much easier (so quite why I decided to make a whole squad remains a little unclear – wish me luck eh!)

Anyway, having got him finished I felt more enthusiastic about the project again so made a couple more.

BeastmanBeastman WIP

As it stands the top one is now ready to paint, the other still needs a little work but hopefully he’ll be finished soon too (if I don’t get distracted by my current enthusiasm for Nurgle that is). Anyway, as usual, thanks for looking and any feedback, comments or suggestions are welcome.


Cult of Decay

With Nurgle being the hot-topic of the moment this week I found myself infected with enthusiasm (see what I did there…? Yeah, you loved it really) and decided to build this Plague Marine. It was a fairly quick conversion built using mostly Chaos Marine parts, with the Nurgle head from the Warhammer Chaos Chariot and the legs from the Avatars of War Corruptors of the Apocalypse. It only took me a few hours to build and paint him but I’m rather pleased with the results.
Plague Marine
Plague Marine
Plague Marine
Plague Marine

Quite by accident the Corruptor legs make him slightly taller than his squadmates, although not so much that he looks completely out of place.
Plague Marine

As another example here he is towering over a newly finished cultist (more on them soon I hope). Now that’s how a Space Marine should look when standing next to a mere human (yes, I know the cultist is running, it makes him a little shorter. Never mind eh?).
Plague Marine
The reason for this surge of enthusiasm for the plague god is that someone clever over at Games Workshop just came up with a way to sell the well-loved Nurgle Chaos Lord by the box. The result is Gutrot Spume and the Putrid Blightkings (a winning name for a teenage grindcore band if ever there was one). Obviously this is exciting news for fans of Chaos in Warhammer but what about those of us fighting the long war in the far future? The good news is that with such a profusion of heads and weapons (a whopping 17 heads and 21 weapon arms) there’s enough to add a Nurgly touch wherever it’s required. Off the top of my head I’m already considering using the extras from the Blightkings for all kinds of Nurgle worshipping characters, ranging from Sorcerers and Dark Apostles up to a Daemon Prince.

As for the models as a whole my first thoughts ran along the lines of Plague Ogrens or Nurgle Obliterators although on a second glance I think they’re far too small to serve as the base models for these hulking brutes. Having said that I like the image of a Blightking with a reaper auto-cannon strapped to one arm, mowing down ranks of Imperial infantry with a throaty chuckle (yes – I’m aware that this says nothing good about my mental health!). Another possibility, and one which serves to balance out the size issue, would be to have one or two Blightkings wired or grafted into a motile, semi-sentient weapons platform. Alternatively a fairly simple possibility would be to turn them into Nurgle Possessed by adding Chaos Marine backpacks and other sundries.

Some might think I’m getting rather over-excited about these, or buying too heavily into the marketing, but I reckon as an introduction to the Chaos wave of the End Times this has been fantastic. Even the name “Blightkings” sounds cool (not so true in the case of “Gutrot Spume” but we can’t have it all) and the lashing tongue erupting from one of the stomachs is pure old-school chaos! Even if there’s nothing else to come, or it’s all awful, I’ll still be fairly happy. It may well be that these will be criticised for the cartoon-like, over-the-top nature of their mutations but to my eye it works well here (Nurgle being the one Chaos God where too much realism isn’t always a good thing).

Whilst the strength of the Blightkings is the ability to covert and customise to your heart’s content Gutrot Spume looks to be a trickier proposition. Whilst the generic Nurgle chaos lord has been converted by pretty much everyone in the world (including myself) Gutrot is likely to be a lot more limited in this regard, the lashing tentacles and kraken mouth hidden in his armpit acting as a significant barrier to simple conversions. No doubt it’s a spectacular model though and, with a little tweaking, could make a smashing Nurgle Lord for a Chaos Marines warband, or perhaps a Herald of Nurgle. If you don’t want the tentacles however you’re either in for a lot of work or you need to look elsewhere so I suspect that many of the conversions based off this model may end up being rather similar.

This release also means that Chaos Marine fans are now well served with Warrior’s of Chaos kits to loot for two of the gods. Nurgle has the Blightkings whilst Khorne has the treasure trove that is the Skullcrushers. Slaanesh and Tzeentch however remain a little undeveloped. Slaanesh at least has the Hellstriders although their slight forms don’t offer a lot for a Chaos Marine fan to get to grips with (mind you, there’s mileage there for Traitor Guard). Poor old Tzeentch however is languishing at the back of the pack. His daemons are fairly solid (give or take the Pink Horrors which I can’t claim to love) but his mortal followers are distinctly lacking. Unfortunately Forgeworld, in spite of producing some cracking kits for Khorne and Nurgle have so far offered Tzeentch and Slaanesh little in the way of support. Still the End Times are but young yet, so who knows what’s on the cards for the weeks to come?

Anyway, what are your thoughts? Have I bought into the hype? Do you have any great conversion ideas you’d like to share? If so, as always, the comments box below is the place to do it.
Cheers!


Master of Disharmony

This model has been waiting for me to write a blog on it for absolutely ages. Before Kell was built he ruled the Beasts of Ruin and it’s about time I showed him off.
daemon-prince-convert-or-die-5

I built Byatis, as I named him, a couple of years ago to be the leader of my Chaos Marines and although Kell has now supplanted him in command of the growing army he remains a real favourite of mine and a centre-piece of the collection.
daemon-prince-convert-or-die-4
daemon-prince-convert-or-die-2
The daemon prince model has as many detractors as it does fans, and although I fall firmly into the latter camp I’ve always reckoned that the head looks a little goofy. Possibly used on other models they could look fierce and imposing but on the daemon prince itself I feel they weaken the look of the whole model. Rather than make do with a sub-standard coupon I managed to lay my hands on this suitably monstrous bonce instead (from the Beastmen Minotaurs kit).
daemon-prince-convert-or-die-1
daemon-prince-convert-or-die-3
As usual I wanted to come up with some kind of background story for the model, explaining who he is and how he fits in with the rest of the Beasts of Ruin warband. As a result I’ve given a lot of thought to who Byatis was before he became a daemon prince but in the end I’ve stuck with my initial gut feeling, that he started out as an apothecary from the Blood Angels chapter. Why I came up with this is a good question – and quite what a Blood Angel was doing amongst the nascent Hawkmoths is another. It may be that he was seconded to the chapter to assist during their early days or in the service of a dept – although it rather lends weight to my idea that the Hawkmoths are a Blood Angels successor. One possibility I keep playing with is the idea that a cabal of Blood Angels apothecaries attempted to find a cure for their genetic curse by experimenting in secret on an unwitting successor chapter. Assuming for a moment that this was the case, and that the experiment was abandoned, the result would be that the Hawkmoths, orphaned sons of Sanguinius, developed as a chapter ignorant of their genetic history. Imagine what that would do to them. The source of their battle-rages, the loss of some brothers to incurable fury, the haunting visions that might plague them as they go to war – all this would be a mystery to them. The fate of the Crimson Sabres in the official cannon certainly serves to show that nothing good can come from suffering this kind of thing. Of course the honourable Blood Angels would never allow their brothers to suffer such a fate unaided – unless of course they were ignorant of it. What if the secret was buried forever because those very few who knew it were murdered by one of their own?
This might also serve to explain why an apothecary would give up his role as a healer and instead dedicate himself to Khorne. The traditional gods of choice for apothecaries gone bad are Nurgle (a disease that cannot be cured – a desperate man – a whispered promise from the darkness for power over all illness – you know how this one goes) or Slaanesh (access to all those drugs!). Even Tzeentch might make sense (it’s a thinking man’s profession after all) but Khorne? However a Blood Angel, living with a constant fear of the Black Rage and the horror of having it consume him with his work unfinished, might justify all kinds of grim self-medication – maintaining control by his fingernails alone – until a chemical cocktail is all that holds in check the rising tide of his fury. In desperation he might cry out, and Khorne would offer him a boon, mastery of the rage within him in exchange for the blood of his brothers.

Anyway, cheers for looking and as ever any thoughts or comments are welcome in the box below.