Slowly We Rot – Part 1

When I first saw the Malignant Plaguecaster I felt a profound sense of disappointment. Here was a model raised from the same series of models, the same Nurgly aesthetic as such masterpieces as the Plaguebearers, the Glotkin and Maggoth lords, the gleefully tumbling Nurglings and the excellent new Plague Marines, yet which owed next to nothing to any of them. Where we could have had a powerful plague-wielding wizard in crumbling power armour, or a mutant monstrosity bursting from his corroding exo-skeletal suit as the warp boils him into something daemonic, instead we have a cartoony pile-up of over-the-top ideas, each brazenly competing with the last into a muddled, messy let down. Here’s a reminder of how cluttered he looks when assembled as intended.

Malignant Plaguecaster Conversion Convert Or Die (1)

That said, I wasn’t going to let a lump of plastic beat me without a fight. After all the concept of a ten-millennia old disease-infested mage-warrior remains powerful and inspiring, even if the official execution turned out to be distinctly disappointing. Given sufficient consideration and effort (or possibly blood, sweat and tears) I was determined to transform the Plaguecaster into a model I could be proud of.

The Plaguecaster however turned out to be a wily old beast and fought back against my attempts to convert him. As soon as I started to assemble him I realised that this would not be as simple as a straightforward head- and arm-swap. The long tastles which had at first annoyed me, turned out to be an intrinsic component of the kit, covering up the join between the distended guts and the outreached arms.

Malignant Plaguecaster Conversion Convert Or Die (2)

Those wanting to convert this model without the tassels face a gruelling battle with the greenstuff to fill all those gaps. I won’t deny that this may have inspired my change of heart as, in spite of my initial reticence, I found myself willing to accept the tassels as part of the finished piece. Time to concentrate on the other changes that needed to be made; removing the silly staff, the fart hand, the podgy little head and the flywing cape, and adding in suitable replacements.

Malignant Plaguecaster Conversion Convert Or Die (6)Malignant Plaguecaster Conversion Convert Or Die (3)Malignant Plaguecaster Conversion Convert Or Die (4)Malignant Plaguecaster Conversion Convert Or Die (5)Malignant Plaguecaster Conversion Convert Or Die (7)

The plugs where the flycape should sit still need to be greenstuffed over.

Malignant Plaguecaster Conversion Convert Or Die (8)Malignant Plaguecaster Conversion Convert Or Die (9)

As an aside it appears, judging by the information that I’ve seen circulated online, that the Death Guard codex will contain rules for both chaos sorcerers (with or without terminator armour) and plaguecasters. Yet surely the plaguecaster model is just that, a sorcerer with the mark of Nurgle? The fiction describes them as being one of several classes of sorcerer within the ranks of the Death Guard (alongside the Festering Poxshamans, the Faminbringers and the Maggotmancers) but surely, unless GW plans to release models and rules for some of these other classes in the relatively near future (and let’s be honest here, awesome though that would be it’s not likely) then surely the concept of the plaguecasters would have been better kept as a cool nugget of inspiration in the background, and the model released just as a good old-fashioned Nurgle sorcerer?

Some will say that the new naming conventions of the modern GW are simply a way of protecting their intellectual property but really the names are just labels, convenient handles to hang on things to facilitate communication. Is there really anyone out there who thought the Eldar were rubbish and swore never to purchase a single aspect warrior, but is gleefully overexcited by the arrival of the Aeldari? Didn’t old Shakespeare say something like “An Ork by any other name would smell like feet”? Or was that an Orruk?

Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked now, but if anyone out there has the Death Guard codex and wants to tell me if there’s a material difference between a plaguecaster and a normal chaos sorcerer with the mark of Nurgle that justifies having both of them in the same book then please speak up. Otherwise any feedback you have on this tainted son of Nurgle before he sees some paint would, as ever, be very welcome.

18 responses to “Slowly We Rot – Part 1

  • imperialrebelork

    Muuuuch better than the original my friend. Your improvements vastly out do that of GW. Well done mate. He was the only model from the DI set that I didn’t purchase through eBay so I admire your determination to convert him.

    • Wudugast

      Yeah, I wondered about going down the ebay road myself, because my main interest was in the Nurgle side of the box. That said the Primaris marines have hooked me in a way that normal space marines never did (as truescale space marines – still think the primaris story is silly) so I’m glad I just went for it and bought Dark Imperium. As for the Plaguecaster, ridiculous though this sounds, if you can overcome the dozen or so things that are wrong with it it’s not a bad model underneath – it just takes a lot of work to unlock!

  • Alex

    Well played mate – now that’s making a silk purse from a sow’s ear!

  • Laffe

    Great conversion! Incidentally I used the same staff on my conversion. That blight king kit is a treasure trove of cool bits. I have the Codex on order haven’t recieved it yet. Presumably the post office is sending it through the eye of terror to get it to me…

    • Wudugast

      Aye, the Blightkings kit has always been a real goldmine for Nurgle but I sense it’s about to come into its own all over again once we’re able to start mixing it and all of the new Death Guard stuff.

    • Wudugast

      I’m game! Honestly I didn’t really think this was much of a problem with the Deathshroud (not seen them in person yet mind) and I’m very forgiving of the Plague Marines (those guts hide a multitude of sins) but, judging by the pictures that have appeared online so far, the Blightlords are crying out for some help in this department. I’ll have to see what I can come up with. 😀

  • Azazel

    Great work converting this figure – pretty much the sole disappointment in the entire box into something much better looking. I admit, I’m waiting on the standalone Plaguebearer kit and such before I even think about building the DI ones. Then again, I’ve got lots of loyalists to sort out first as well… Your guy will certainly be part of the inspiration for what I do with mine!

    As for names the names that have all changed. I understand the rationale for GW changing them to more copyrightable or trademarkable and less generic terms…. and I’m fine with it. Just as I don’t expect people to suddenly be excited by “Aeldari” or “Astra Militarium” or “Orruks”, my response to people getting bent out of shape about it is pretty much “Toughen up, sunshine. Build a bridge and get over it!”

    Do I call my fantasy lads Orruks or Ogors? Nope. I don’t care what GW calls them. They’re still Orcs and Ogres to me, but GW can call them whatever. Same applies to Aeldari or AM – and at least the 40k terms are to be used in conjunction with the older ones still recognised. Even with the fantasy stuff, though – it’s no worse than Red box using Dvergr or Aelfar or whatever it was. I’m like.. ok, fine, whatever. You do you, and *I’ll* call them elves and dwarves and orcs and goblins… 😉

    • Wudugast

      Cheers! Aye, I’m pretty much completely in agreement with you on the names although I still wonder if GW are making their lives harder than they need to be. Ask a group of fantasy enthusiasts (but not GW players – that is to say, potential customers) if they like elves and you’re bound to get a few affirmative responses. Ask them if they like aelfs and many of them will think you’re a real ale aficionado with a lisp. Elves/Orks/Dwarves/etc are known quantities that pretty much everyone in GW’s potential marketplace will recognise, even if they’ve never heard of Warhammer, thanks to Lord of the Rings, World of Warcraft and a thousand other fantasy games, books and films. Of course once you’ve got someone through the door of a Games Workshop store it probably does matter much, and it doesn’t seem to be hurting their sales any. So long as they keep making cool models, and they don’t care what I call them, it’s all good with me! 🙂

      • Azazel

        I agree with you, but somehow GW seems to be so obsessed with protecting their “unique IP” from evil third-party figure and accessory makers that they went slightly around the twist (under Kirby anyway) and renamed Orcs to Orruks. Because Orcs + Uruks, presumably.

        I imagine they see it as “playing the long game” because in another 30 years people like us will be dead or on our last legs and the new batch of teens will only know of Orruks and Ogors and Aeldari and Astra Militarium. Saving their IP and it’s unique, original concepts from leeches.

        Because Orcs and Ogres will totally not be a thing anymore in society or folklore or mythology.


  • heretic30k

    So much better than the original. I am a bit hobby OCD so I always like to build a model stock and then kitbash if I get another second copy down the road – will be sure to come back here for inspirations as I much prefer your kitbash. In partial answer to your question why isn’t this simply a Nurgle Chaos Sorcerer? Looking at the codex it is now clear GW don’t want to offer too much character customisation going forward as a design decision, probably to some extent to keep the power level points system somewhat balanced and also they only want to offer options for which they actually sell a model stock with that config. The chaos sorcerer is still available as a legacy option, but they are somewhat nerfed as they don’t get some Nurgle buffs like Disgustingly resilient, but they still have lots of customisation options. No customisation possible with the Poxcaster.

    • Wudugast

      Ah, good explanation, thank you! It’s a shame they’ve decided to go down that route mind, it takes away a lot of the creativity and flexibility if every character and hero becomes a “one size fits all” clone, but if its what’s needed to keep the game fun and balanced then fair enough. Those of us who’re not playing in tournaments or against strangers will carry on doing our own thing anyway and if those who’re looking for a “pick up game” in their local shop or club can be assured of a more enjoyable experience then it’s a success all round.

      I know what you mean about having to paint some models “as is” – my conversion of the Blightbringer was exactly like that. As soon as I saw it I knew I needed to buy a second one to convert but that the original was staying just as it was. The plaguecaster on the other hand I couldn’t bear to leave unimproved…

  • WestRider

    Nicely done! I unfortunately clipped the tassels away too thoroughly before I figured out how integral they were, and now have the Model on hold as I try to figure out what to do about the stuff they were covering up. Other than that, tho, mine is a less involved conversion, since the head is the only part that really bothers me.

    • Wudugast

      Aye, I came so close to doing the same thing – hence why I wanted to highlight the issue and hopefully save one or two others from making the same mistake. Good luck getting yours fixed 🙂

  • Thomas

    You’re a miracle maker! It looks great now.

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