Category Archives: 40k

Our Rage Won’t Die – Part 2

Following on from making my first true-scale Khorne berserker I was itching to kitbash something else for the Blood God’s legions. Enter this angry man, rallying his squad mates and ready to dedicate some bloodshed to the Skull Throne’s glory.

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I’m spite of my initial decision to make the armour more warped and “chaosy” than the first I think the more minimalist, plain amour works well here. As ever I’m open to suggestions though.

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Our Rage Won’t Die – Part 1

Few kits currently available in the chaos range can conjure such disgust and disappointment from fans  as the Khorne Berserkers. First released over a century ago, the fact that the Berserkers remain on sale today makes a mockery of the company’s proud boast to make the finest toy soldiers in the world. Only the most perversely deranged of the pantheon’s followers find even the slightest glimmer of pleasure in these lumpen, ill-proportioned horrors, and even they wholeheartedly agree that even unconverted Blood Warriors from Age of Sigmar make infinitely superior Berserkers. Indeed some suspicious souls would go so far as to suggest that GW has held back on releasing new Berserkers in order to boost sales of the AoS range (do remember however that although a suspicious mind is a healthy mind to question the wisdom of They-Who-Art-In-Nottingham is to invite the scrutiny of the Inquisition…).

Now on a more sensible note it’s safe to say that, in the wake of the Thousand Sons and the Death Guard, a full release for the World Eaters is probably no more than a year or so away. A reasonable man would crack on with painting the dozen or so projects already demanding his attention and wait for Angron’s legion to get their moment in the sun. Patience however is anathema to the followers of Khorne who prefer to rush in (chainswords revving) where the (Emperor’s) angels fear to tread, and I’ll confess I’m no different. With modern space marines reaching the proportions they’ve always deserved I’m not about to let Khorne’s followers miss out for a second!

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The Death Guard may have new models to enjoy but at least the warriors of Khorne can still look them in the eye!

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Although my old berserker conversions are looking a little on the short side now…

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As a first shot I’m pretty happy with this chap, although there are a few things I’d change next time round. For one thing the smooth, clean lines of the loyalist armour doesn’t exactly match up with the jagged styling’s of the Blood Warrior, although hopefully that will become less obvious after he’s painted. The model also has a sense of the weight concentrating in the upper part of the body so next time I might try using the slightly more heavily armoured legs from the Hellblasters rather than the slimmer Intercessors. I’m planning on making a few more soon though so any feedback at this stage is especially welcome.


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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.


For Whom The Bell Tolls – Part 1

As soon as I saw the Noxious Blightbringer I knew I wanted one for my collection. Picture the scene if you will; the Death Guard advancing shrouded beneath clouds of toxic vapour, deamonic beasts wheeling half-seen in the clouds overhead. Thousands of shambling corpses lead the way, their low moans audible over the dense, buzzing static – no, not static but the wings of a million newly hatched flies. Louder still are the bells of Nurgle’s most devoted priests, their deep-voiced booming calling the Plague-God’s gaze so that his children might truly exult in his fetid blessings.

Of course it was something of a disappointment to discover that these were not Dark Apostles after all but rather the guardians of some kind of magic bell. At least whoever does the puns at GW may have been forced underground since the heady, Lizardmen era, but he’s still going strong (Blight Ringer eh!). Mind you, they probably should have been stopped before they got to the Tocsins of Misery…

Never mind I still wanted at least one. Indeed the more I thought about it the more I wanted a second, the visual impact of two being more than twice that of one after all. The question was, how easy would the model be to convert? As it turns out, not that hard at all.

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I was keen, as much as possible, to stick with components from the original model. After all this is a starter set figure and although many of those are picked up by old hands looking to expand a collection plenty more go to complete newcomers. With that in mind I wanted to explore how easy it would be to convert the model for someone with a fairly limited bits box to call upon. In the end I used two components from other kits; the head – from one of the Maggoth Lords and the backpack vent from a damaged Space Wolf backpack.

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Here’s the original model by way of comparison.

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And here’s the two side by side (as usual don’t give yourself eye-strain, click on the picture to make it bigger).

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I may make a few more tweaks but overall this was a spectacularly straightforward conversion. Now it’s off to the painting desk for both of them.


Old and Sick

So today is the day and, following considerable build up, the new edition of Warhammer 40,000 is being launched. New plague marines will soon be stomping their foul authority across painting desks and gaming tables everywhere and what better way to celebrate the newest recruits to the Plague God’s armies than with one which is very, very old indeed?

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Much like the old ork I painted recently I wanted this model to sport a gritty modern paint scheme, rather than the brighter, flatter schemes that were preferred when he was first released. He’s also rather short in comparison to the outgoing plague marines, and will be dwarfed by the new Death Guard models.

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I went for a very quick and dirty paintjob, this wasn’t a model I wanted to pour too much time and effort into but rather a quick and enjoyable distraction whilst I wait for the new release to arrive. A quick glance at the top photo will also reveal that I did not attempt to drill out the (rather fragile) tip of the gun barrel and indeed the whole model is hardly my best work. A few special effects like the gunk seeping out of his armour and the freehand on his shoulders should help to balance that out though.


The Dread Pestilence

Like a lot of you I’m currently waiting impatiently for the arrival of Dark Imperium and with it the  chance to really get to know the new 40k universe, as well as finally getting my hands on the kind of Space Marines that I’ve been waiting for since I found out Space Marines existed. Most of all though it’s the followers of Nurgle that have excited me, enough that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the new kits and instead decided to cobble together something of my own to paint in the meantime.

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For me this feels like the last hurrah of old fashioned plague marines, built from converted chaos marines with bloated, greenstuffed guts. Soon enough we’ll have new models to play with, at least from the contents of Dark Imperium, hopefully bolstered by a full kit for plague marines. The days of having to make Mortarion’s sons ourselves are coming to an end and with this model I wanted to wave them off in style, a salute to the many hobbyists who first discovered their sculpting skills by crudely mashing hideous loops of intestines onto Nurgle’s foot soldiers. Not that I imagine for a moment that the release of new kits will stop Nurgle fans from sticking greenstuff everywhere…


Reinventing Nurgle

Nurgle fans may be excused for being a little excited at the moment – and no, I’m not talking about the decay of western society. Whilst there’s been an understandable spike of interest in the Space Marine side of the new 40k starter set the sons of Mortarion are also getting reinforced with series of fantastic plague-ridden models (plus a weird baby with a fart for a hand). Time for me to cast my eye over my old Plague Marines, to decide which are fine as they are, which are too rough around the edges to easily save and which could be redeemed without too much effort. Enter this chap;

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Of course, you’ll know by now my feelings about Space Marines holding bolters one handed, especially if they’re doing it awkwardly whilst staring off into the middle distance. What was I thinking? Is he inspecting his knife or trying to remember where he left his keys? Time for a freshen up I think.

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By adjusting the angle of the vents on the backpack I was able to create a subtle reflection of Nurgle’s symbol.

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Then we have his colleague who, although a little less awkward in the posing of his gun, is still trying to hold a two-handed weapon single handed and looking daft as a result.

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I didn’t do as much with the paintjob on this one but hopefully still managed to make some improvements into the bargain.

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Then we have this chap who, for the last six months or so, has been waiting patiently for a new base ever since I decided that the little 28mm base he was on was just too small for him.chosen_1 Convert Or Die

Upgraded to a 32mm base he already looks considerably more powerful and should be able to hold his head up with pride next to his new brothers soon to arrive with the Dark Imperium boxset.

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Of course this means I really must get back to working on the rest of his squad mates – although I’m sure I’ll have plenty of Nurgly enthusiasm to carry me through over the next couple of months. Until then, as ever, your feedback is welcome.