Category Archives: Nurgle

The Death Guard At 50 (Power)

After painting the Noxious Blightbringer I found myself wondering just how many points worth of Death Guard I now have at my command. As someone who really isn’t a gamer by any stretch of the imagination I tend not to keep track of these things too closely and I’ve no idea what points costs are current having not seen the most recent codex, but I put the models I have into the “Combat Roster” tool on the Warhammer Community website and was surprised to discover that I now have exactly 50 power. I know the more passionate gamers out there have strong feelings as to how well “power” compares to “points” as a means of totalling up the value of the models from a gaming point of view, and I’m sure that competitive players would be concerned about tallying up exactly how many extras they could squeeze into a list, but I don’t really give a damn about any of that. I am however familiar with the idea that 50 power roughly (very roughly) equates to 1000 points, or half an army. You see back in the days of yore when I was more interested and involved in the gaming side of Warhammer 40k we usually aimed for armies of 2000 points, so when you got to 1000 you were halfway there.

I know I’m probably loosing half my audience with this boring, technical talk about gaming, and loosing the other half of my audience through my general ignorance of said gaming side of the hobby. Suffice to say, although an army is never finished (there’s always room on the shelf for another unit after all) in my mind it’s “done” when it reaches 2000 points, and anything that’s added after that is a bonus. Ergo, if I have 50 power I have roughly 1000 points, and the project is roughly half way along the trajectory that takes it from being “a few Death Guard models” to being “a Death Guard army”. And yes, I know the word “roughly” is doing a lot of heavy lifting in that sentence!

Anyway, let’s take a look at what my half-army looks like (as usual clicking on the pictures will let you see them full size).

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For a while, in the wake of the release of Warhammer 40k’s Eighth Edition, and all the nice new Nurgle-worshipping, plague-infested horrors that came with it, I was quite excited about the Death Guard and the army grew quite nicely. To shoehorn in a disease-related metaphor for these disease-loving scoundrels, this was the first wave! However by the time I’d converted and painted 40 poxwalkers I was getting a little burned out and in need of a break. Then along came Covid-19 in the real world and suddenly you couldn’t hold a conversation or look at the news without plague taking centre stage. In the end I decided I wasn’t enjoying the outbreak spreading into my hobby time as well and put the army on hold for a while to concentrate on other things. As a result I never did manage to get much done with the actual plague marines themselves, which should really make up the meat of a Death Guard army. I do however have plenty of them waiting for paint so expect to see them appearing as part of the inevitable second wave.

In the meantime let’s remind ourselves of what I have managed to paint. The core of the army is built around a swarm of 40 poxwalkers (or plague zombies as they used to be known). Each one has been converted to be entirely unique and if you don’t mind risking infection you can take a look at them all here.

The other major part of the army are these 20 plaguebearers – the lesser daemons of Nurgle. These were mostly painted years ago but I finally got around to painting the last two back in August.

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Now some people might say “Well actually…” because apparently you can’t take Nurgle daemons as part of a Death Guard army in 9th edition 40k (even though back in 8th edition this was fine). To which I would respond that I don’t really give a toss. For one thing I’m not trying to get to the top tables at a Grand Tournament, in fact I’d be surprised if this army sees the tabletop at all before 10th, 11th or 110th edition rolls around, by which time Games Workshop will have changed things again. If and when some dice do get rolled however I can’t imagine I’ll be playing against someone who’s going to be finicky about these things either. Armies that mix daemons, mortals, power armour and beastmen – all worshipping a single god – look cool. Mixed daemon armies on the other hand look, to my eye at least, like “soup” (which is hip modern young person slag for “a big old mix of models that don’t really belong together or look consistent, usually to take advantage of some rule or other” – which makes you wonder what kind of soup they’re eating). The Chaos gods hate each other, Nurgle daemons fighting alongside Slaaneshi daemons, without a Word Bearers diabolist physically restraining them from turning on each other, has never looked good to me. Nurgle daemons belong in a Nurgle army with Nurgle-worshipping mortals and that’s my last word on the matter! 

The remainder of the army is made up of the Daemon Prince who leads them, the aforementioned Noxious Blightbringer, a Foetid Bloat-drone and a Hellbrute. Oh, and some Nurglings which I forgot to take a group shot of, and which are also apparently not allowed in a 9th Edition Death Guard army.

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To be honest I don’t know how soon I’ll get around to painting the second half of this army – that being the half with most of the actual members of the Death Guard in it! – at the moment there are a lot of other projects which are demanding my attention. However it’s safe to say that no treatment protocol has yet been invented which would put me off from painting Plague Marines forever so expect to see plenty of filthy power-armour showing up around here sooner or later!


For Whom The Bell Tolls – Part 2

Following on from the grubby Nurgle worshippers I painted for Warcry earlier in the week, I’m now turning my attention to their power-armoured cousins over in Warhammer 40k – the Death Guard. Nurgle and his worshippers seem to have a real obsession with bells, something which reaches it’s apex with the Noxious Blightbringer (really Games Workshop, the Blightb-Ringer?!). I started working on a pair of these, one built as standard and one converted, back in 2017, but then life happened and the models sat untouched until now. Carried along by the infectious wave spread by getting the Blightkings painted I decided it was high time I got one of the Blightbringers done as well.

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For now I don’t think I’ll be pursuing Nurgle any further, mostly because I really ought to be concentrating on the Adeptus Mechanicus, but at least this filthy swine is finished at last.  


Rotbringers For Warcry

A couple of months ago I put together a warband of Nurgle Daemons for Warcry. Since then I’ve had it in mind to make a warband of Nurgle worshipping mortals as well and now the moment has arrived. 

I took a look at the models I had available and decided that two more Blightkings were just what I needed to complete the group. Of course I didn’t actually have any Blightking models to use so it was time to do some kitbashing. 

Plague has made this chap thin and warped rather than bloated like so many of his peers, but he’s more than capable of carrying the banner on behalf of the group. 

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I always like to see beastmen as part of Chaos collections so I wasn’t about to pass up the opportunity to add a filthy pestigor to the ranks as well. Like the chap with the banner he’s converted from the Nurgle Blood Bowl team.

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For the rest of the Warband I’ve used Fecula Flyblown as a Nurgle Sorceress, the two Blightkings I’d already painted and my Death Guard Daemon Prince who once again finds himself moonlighting in a Warcry warband, this time as a Pusgoyle Blightlord.

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Speaking of the Death Guard I have one of those filthy power-armoured and plague-infested swines lurking on the desk too so I’ll aim to get him painted shortly. 


A Plague On All Their Houses

Long, long ago, when I first started this blog, I painted up a squad of Plaguebearers. For anyone who doesn’t want to dig that far back into the archives – and who could blame you? – here’s a reminder of how they look.

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I like to think my painting skills have developed a bit since then but on the whole I reckon they hold up fairly well. However for some reason I stopped working on them after completing 18 models, rather than rounding them up to a squad of 20. The other day however I spotted the remaining pair looking lonesome and dejected in a box of odds and ends and decided that it was well past time I did something about them.

For the first one I tried to keep it fairly close to the style of the originals, albeit with a few new flourishes. This turned out to be harder than I expected, recreating the old style from memory taxing my brains and memory to the extent that the whole thing turned into a bit of a chore.

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For the second one I decided to say “stuff it, let’s just get it done” and abandoned the old style in favour of painting it entirely in various styles of disease-ridden, bruised and tortured flesh.

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He looks a little different to the older models but he ties in fairly well with some of my newer servants of Nurgle.

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With these two done the whole squad is ready to get out there and spread some diseases.

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This also brings me another squad closer to getting my Death Guard army up and running so at some point I’ll have to dig everything out of their boxes, tally it all up and have a think about what else I want to paint up. In the meantime however I thought this was a good moment to turn my attention away from 40k to look at a game I actually play instead, and put together a little Warcry warband of Nurgle daemons.

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Lead by a Sloppity Bilepiper (still the most fun thing to say in Games Workshop’s catalogue) the warband also includes four Plaguebearers, two swarms of Nurglings, a Beast of Nurgle (the converted tree creature) and the Daemon Prince of Nurgle who normally leads my Death Guard, currently moonlighting as a Plague Drone.


The Toxic Waltz

Do you ever find a miniature where as soon as you see it you just have to paint it? It just speaks to you and all your careful planning and budgeting goes out the window in a heartbeat. In a fever of enthusiasm you rush to acquire it, you get it assembled and base-coated and then… everything stalls. Instead of a beautifully painted finished piece it glares at you with undisguised criticism whilst you avoid its gaze and try to paint other things with affected nonchalance. This is the story of the Sloppity Bilepiper.

Is there a dafter name in the entirety of the Games Workshop range, or indeed one more fun to say, than the Sloppity Bilepiper? I loved it as soon as I saw it, recalling as it does the old carnivals of Nurgle of yesteryear, and snapped it up as soon as I could. In my review of the Nurgle Daemons released back in January of 2018 I noted;

“Nurgle loves a party. He’s the god of life and death and though the latter aspect has often been the focus when it comes to the models, with sloughing flesh, weeping sores and spilled guts everywhere, with the Bilepiper we get to see the other side of things. Here is a model which encapsulates the core message of Nurgle’s worshippers – today we celebrate for tomorrow it will be too late. They party like there’s no tomorrow and one glance at the diseases they play host to suggests there probably isn’t. “

Sadly, despite starting out with great intentions and making good progress on the model as soon as I’d purchased it I stalled when it was almost finished and never managed to push it over the final hurdle. I think I’ve planned to paint it for every neglected model challenge I’ve entered in the past three years or so, yet always the challenge has ended and the Bilepiper has remained unchanged. This year it’s been particularly neglected, with Covid-19 wrapping it’s loving arms around the globe I’ve found myself disinclined to tackle any of Nurgle’s servants. I can’t quite put my finger on why, perhaps it’s superstition or just pandemic fatigue, but I find myself feeling as though the plague god is getting more than enough attention at the moment without my involvement. 

Both the Bilepiper and I have tolerated a lack of progress long enough however so back onto the painting desk he goes for a few more rounds against the brush. Here he is, finished at last and proving that these things are never so difficult if you just get on with them. 

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I really wanted to play up the appearance of a clownish, playful jester, so gave him bright and motley clothes. By way of contrast I made the flesh fairly realistic and human looking, rather than leaning on the mucky green that GW prefers for their Nurgle models. I still have quite a backlog of Nurgle miniatures, both daemons and mortal – including a number of unfinished Death Guard, so as soon as I overcome my Covid induced squeamishness I’ll crack on with them. 


Get Sick Or Die Trying – Part 18

I’ve been working away on painting up forty poxwalkers since models for them were first released alongside Dark Imperium back in 2017. Unlike many of GW’s kits these aren’t available in easily kitbashed, option-filled kits but as a series of 16 snap-fit models, with no alternative builds or opportunities to make them unique unless you want to break out the clippers and start doing your own thing. Naturally I’d didn’t want to keep repeating the same 16 zombies over and over again so I decided to chop things up, kitbash, greenstuff and generally do whatever it took to make each one unique. As I was doing this Azazel of Azazel’s Bitz Box suggested that I round out the project with a showcase of all the converted zombies gathered into sets so that all the different versions of each model could be compared against one another. Needless to say I thought this was a damn good idea and, with the final zombies completed a couple of days ago, now is the perfect time to do just that.

To make things a little easier here’s a reminder of how the studio models look. If you don’t convert your poxwalkers what you’ll end up with will look exactly like these (in terms of pose that is, if you want to paint exactly the same way as the ‘eavy Metal painters you’ll have to practice a bit!). To make life easier I’ve also numbered each one. The first group forms part of the Dark Imperium starter set…

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…whilst the second group makes up the stand-alone Easy To Build; Poxwalkers set.

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In the main the bits I used for each conversion came from within the Poxwalkers sets themselves, as I recycled spare parts that I’d previously snipped off other conversions. That said I also called upon Mantic’s zombies, Games Workshop’s plague bearers and whatever I happened to find in my bitsbox, as well as the odd bit of greenstuff.

As far as possible I’ve placed the original, unconverted model to the left of each picture. Sometimes there isn’t an unconverted version of course, in some cases I either couldn’t resist tweaking all of them or I just didn’t like the standard version and felt it needed to be improved.

Set 1:

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Despite being single-pose these kits proved to be surprisingly adaptable. The one in the middle borrows a head and arm from the Mantic zombies whilst the one on the right uses a Plague Bearer skull.

Set 2:

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The one in the middle isn’t a million miles from the original in terms of design, but an alternative head (again taken from the Mantic zombies) goes a long way to creating a very different looking end result. The one to the right is probably the most radical conversion of the lot however, with only the legs of the original model used, whilst the torso and arms come from the old GW zombies kit.

Set 3:

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Zombie bouncers, looking like they belong at the doors of the worst nightclub you can imagine. Not much in the way of radical conversions here but proof, I reckon, that alternative heads and tweaked weapons, as well as cutting off some of the bony spikes, can go a long way to differentiating them without the need for anything more involved.

Set 4:

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The lab-techs! I learned a lot about painting white from these three (and splattering them with blood afterwards was always a joy!). The one in the middle uses a head from the Blightkings whilst the one on the right uses the arms from Mantic and a head from the Corpse Cart.

Set 5:

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Supporting the troops! Just snipping off the spikes can transform the appearance of a poxwalker without having to do anything else, although an alternative head finished things off nicely. The Cadian head with its rebreather tells what I fondly imagine to be a little narrative, recalling the fall of Cadia to the forces of Chaos (about time too!) and suggesting that despite attempting to filter the air he breathed this poor guardsman succumbed to Nurgle’s gifts anyway.

A third version of this model was used to create a particularly unhygienic looking hive scum, ready to be hired out to any Necromunda gangs with a need for cheap muscle and a poor sense of smell.

Set 6:

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Just changing the paint jobs can be enough to differentiate the zombies, especially as decaying flesh comes in a wide range of colours (even more so when the foul touch of the warp is upon them). I kept the conversion work on the middle model fairly subtle, playing up features that were already present such as the long-fingered hands and arching horns. The one on the right called for a more radical conversion, including a face that previously belonged on the arm of one of the Gellerpox Mutants.

Set 7:

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Some of the original models just didn’t appeal to me and this was one of the worst offenders. Lots of good ideas had been incorporated into the model but there was a lack of cohesion and direction and the result was something of a mess. The studio paintjob, which was very neat and clean, didn’t really help matters – although I can see why they’re keen to tone down the gross out elements a little before pitching this to the general public. Needless to say both versions I created were tweaked in some way, whilst I was able to choose a paint scheme that really played up the body horror, emphasising that what we see here is a lump of fresh offal that’s still walking (and probably mutating before our eyes as well).

Set 8

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This was another one that I didn’t like at all when I first saw it, I think in my review of the set I described it as looking like it was doing the hokey-cokey. If you compare with the studio models above you’ll notice that I made a few tweaks to the miniature, adjusting the angle of the hammer to look more threatening and less jaunty and snipping off the gas-mask which was otherwise flapping around and spoiling the model’s appearance of direction. For the alternative version in the middle three skulls were used to create the symbol of Nurgle.

Set 9

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This is one of my favourite of the poxwalkers, a figure just packed with malevolent character. I’m also really pleased with the two converted versions, each one has turned out very differently to the original and each stands as a character in its own right. I’m pretty sure the head of the middle one is another from Mantic whilst the bell was taken from a Skaven clanrat. It may be a bit too late for him to be shouting “Unclean, unclean!” however…

Set 10

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This one in his tattered hazmat suit is the last of the Dark Imperium set. Again I made a few adjustments to the original, switching the angle of the knife to suggest directed hacking rather than wild flailing, and snipping away the gas tank from his back which was otherwise just flapping around aimlessly.

Set 11

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Shortly after Dark Imperium, a second set of Poxwalkers was released (and these will presumably become the stock Poxwalker set when Dark Imperium is finally replaced by a new starter set when the next edition of 40k comes along). For this one I only made a few slight tweaks, changing the odd horn or spike and swapping out the arm with the weapon (only a zombie would think a flail made of grenades was a good idea!). Most of the work is done by the paintjob, for the original I used a pale and ghastly skin tone, for the converted version I went for bruised and battered flesh, with just a hint of gangrene. Lovely!

Set 12

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Another real favourite here, and another in which the converted version makes a lot from only a few small changes. The gas-mask head with its oozing gunk is such a defining feature of the original that just swapping it out and replacing the blade of the weapon was more than enough to transform him.

Set 13

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As soon as I spotted the guardsman’s head rammed crudely onto a spike on the new Chaos Terminators kit I knew I wanted to use it on a poxwalker. This one also borrows a weapon from the Cawdor gangers and a bloated paw from one of the other poxwalkers. The tentacle has been saved carefully, it’s sure to pop up on a chaos conversion sooner or later!

Set 14

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That huge, swollen hand that appeared on the previous model (and on the centre model of set 10) come from this fat lad. To differentiate the converted version from the original I decided to go to the opposite extreme, giving him the skinniest arms I could lay my hands on. Meanwhile the unearthly glow coming from his belly makes me wonder if he’s eaten something radioactive…

Set 15

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In many ways these two are not dissimilar, but again a few tweaks go a long way to separating them. Both have a large, clawed left hand , the converted version taking his from a plaguebearer (his right hand, with which he’s attempting to hail a taxi, comes from Mantic). The huge bone spikes are very much an iconic part of the Poxwalkers but if you want something a little more toned down it’s easy to snip some of them off.

Set 16

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The final set and again, not a particularly radical conversion. A head-swap, a weapon swap and adjusting the angle of the hammer were really all it took. It’s worth paying attention to the bone spikes on the head and making sure that the angle and shape they form ties in with those on the rest of the model.

Of course, the chances of any set of zombies appearing alongside one-another on the table top has to be fairly low. The real visual impact comes from seeing all forty together and the value of the conversions is in preventing the eye from seeing repeating patterns – as would occur if the same models were appearing time and again across the whole group. Here’s another look at all forty models gathered into a single ravenous horde.

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Needless to say I’m really only getting started on the Death Guard, I’ve got some big things in the works. I’m not entirely sure what I’ll tackle next, it may be more Death Guard, more Warcry, or something else entirely. Either way however, with these done I’ll aim to keep building up the rest of Nurgle’s finest soon.


Get Sick Or Die Trying – Part 17

I must admit it feels a little wrong to be painting Nurgle miniatures in the midst of a global pandemic. Then again perhaps getting a few of the Plague God’s minions painted up will help to convince the Lord of Decay that he really doesn’t need to be taking quite such an active interest in our species and he should bugger off and leave us in peace instead. Regardless I lay the blame firmly at the feet of Ann of Ann’s Immaterium, herself a dedicated follower of the Master of Pestilence, and her latest monthly community challenge “Paint The Crap You Already Own!“. The aim of the challenge is pretty neatly summed up by the title, instead of buying new stuff (hard to do at the moment with so many shops shut and so many miniatures out of stock) use this time to clear your unpainted backlog instead. I think we’re all very guilty (I know I am) of accruing lots of models that we’re definitely going to paint right away, until of course something distracts us and they’re left to gather dust for months, years or even decades. With everything locked down in many countries the world over now if a fine moment for hobbyists like ourselves to paint up those models that were otherwise shoved to the sidelines and complete those projects we’ve been dreaming of but not actually doing anything about. In my case the first target for this ambition is my horde of poxwalkers.

It’s been a couple of years now since I started work on assembling forty plague zombies to accompany my Death Guard collection and with only four remaining it was high time the last few came shambling over  the line.

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With these last corpses painted this phase of the Death Guard army is complete so soon I’ll turn my attention to the rest of the collection, most likely starting with a few more manky plague marines.  Before that however let’s take a look at what forty hungry zombies looks like.

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One of my key aims with this project was to make sure that every one of the zombies was unique, not always straightforward when working with single-pose models like these. Needless to say I did the converting and the zombies did the dying! There are sixteen stock poses in the range so quite a lot of adjustments went into making sure they were all different. I’ve been working on a showcase of each “set” of models, all being well I’ll round out the project by getting that posted up in the next few days.


Get Sick Or Die Trying – Part 16

By the end of last year I’d managed to get the greater part of my poxwalker horde painted up. My aim is to complete forty of these horrible plague zombies, each different to all the others to some degree, and with only eight left to paint I’m keen to knuckle down and get them finished in the near future.

With that in mind here’s the next four.

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Ladies and gentlemen, give this man a big hand!

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At some point I chopped one of my poxwalkers in half so that I could use the upper part of the body in some conversion or other (don’t ask me what now, I can’t remember). That left me with a pair of legs, not to mention one poxwalker short of the forty I had planned, so I kitbashed in bits from an old WHFB zombie I had lying around. It’s not perfect by any means but I’m happy enough.

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With these done I’ve now I now have only four more to do to complete this part of the Death Guard project so although I’m planning to focus of Warcry for the next little while I’ll keep chipping away at these and hopefully get the rest wrapped up soon.


Get Sick Or Die Trying – Part 15

Got time for a couple more Poxwalkers? Yeah you do! Inspired by fixing up my Nurgle Daemon Prince I turned my attention back to the queue of unpainted plague zombies still hungering for attention. I had planned to get them all done by the end of the year but I honestly don’t see that happening now, even with the best will in the world, but I’ll aim to rattle through them in the first few months of 2020 instead. However I continue to chip away at the remainder, starting with this horrible pair.

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Here they are together, rotten brother’s in arms.

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Alongside them I found myself inspired to tackle a few other Nurgle gribblies, the kind of little beasts and mutant, part-daemon creatures that one expects to find scuttling alongside the Plague God’s hordes. First of all we have this Nurgling (because you can never have too many of those).

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Next up we have a giant fly, originating from the Kill Team: Rogue Trader boxset released last year.

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Lastly, springing forth from the same set, we have this Glitchling, a bio-mechanical equivalent to the Nurglings.

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Add them all together and we have three more Nurgley-beasties to scamper at the heels of my Death Guard.

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Indeed I’m starting to collect quite a few little gribblies to accompany my Nurgle collection.

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As noted above I’ll probably be concentrating what painting time is left before the end of the year on other projects but I’ll be aiming to get back to Poxwalkers early in 2020 (not to mention various other members of Mortarion’s legion). Expect plenty more foulness in the new year!


Lord Of The Flies

Some readers may recall this Nurgle Daemon Prince which I first created way back in 2015 – long before the Death Guard gained their own codex. However, as is so often the case, as my skills have improved so some aspects of this model of which I was once proud of have begun to trouble me. The face for instance now seems distinctly lacking, particularly on a centrepiece model. Meanwhile the jagged slab of metal he’s clinging to is rather fragile and so I spend a lot of my time worrying he is about to snap off, especially when I move him.

Nurgle Daemon Prince Wudugast (1)Nurgle Daemon Prince Wudugast (2)

Time to give him a revamp then, replacing his head with something that looks a bit less like a lump of greenstuff, anchoring him to a suitably solid ruin and generally touching up and improving his paintjob, so that he might once again buzz hideously above my advancing ranks of plague marines and poxwalkers in the style that befits their commander.

Nurgle Daemon Prince 40k Wudugast (1)Nurgle Daemon Prince 40k Wudugast (2)Nurgle Daemon Prince 40k Wudugast (3)Nurgle Daemon Prince 40k Wudugast (4)Nurgle Daemon Prince 40k Wudugast (5)Nurgle Daemon Prince 40k Wudugast (6)Nurgle Daemon Prince 40k Wudugast (7)Nurgle Daemon Prince 40k Wudugast (8)

To my eye he’s a big improvement, without changing too much of the original model. He’s also been hanging over my head for quite a while (not literally of course, that would be terrifying) and now he’s done I’m starting to feel much more enthused about my Death Guard again – something I’ll try to focus on painting more of Nurgle’s scions in the near future.