Tag Archives: Nurgle

Scum’s Thoughts – Part 6

Us Necromunda fans have a fairly good idea of what’s coming our way over the next few months. Gang warfare on the polluted planet has traditionally centred around the six great houses, each of which received a set of plastic models in the wake of the game’s 2017 relaunch. In January 2020 the Goliaths were bolstered by the addition of new gang champions and prospects and this pattern has continued ever since at a rate of roughly one house per quarter (Covid related delays notwithstanding). Now the reinforcements for House Cawdor are almost upon us and the shadowy agents of House Delaque are only a few months behind. I’ll confess my love for the new Redemptionists has waned somewhat since they were first revealed but that’s just left me wanting to kitbash and improve them until they look the way they ought to.

Redemptionists

However what I’m wanting to talk about today is the final section of the “road map” revealed by Games Workshop, the part which covers the last quarter of 2021 (and beyond). Now that we’ve seen the key releases from the “House of…” series it’s time to turn our attention to the further future. Care to join me for some baseless speculation and wild guessing? 

Roadmap

Despite their significance there’s a lot more to Necromunda than just the big six houses. In this edition we already have rules and models for Enforcers, Genestealer Cults, Helot Cults, Corpse-Grinder Cults, Slave Ogryns and Venators.  The possibilities don’t end there either. If they want to Games Workshop have a host of possibilities and potential new factions to explore. Indeed I would argue that this is exactly what they intend to do. It’s understandable for fans to fear that support for Necromunda may be inconsistent, or even nonexistent, in the future. GW have already dropped the game entirely from their catalogue once back in the 2000’s and even now support for some of the other “specialist games” like Adeptus Titanicus and Aeronautica Imperialis remains patchy and even Blood Bowl hasn’t seen much attention since last autumn. When the going gets tough, as it has in the wake of the Covid outbreak and Brexit for instance, the specialist games suffer so that the big cash cows like 40k can continue to thrive. Still, I don’t think it’s wishful thinking to suggest that Necromunda is well placed to remain an established part of the GW catalogue for a long time yet. At least, let’s hope so. Anyway, let’s leave those worries for another day and indulge in some guesswork instead! Here are a few of the gangs I think might be tearing up the underhive near you over the next few years – I’m sure we can all look forward to having a good laugh at how wrong I turned out to be!

Ash Waste Nomads

It may be grim in the hive but it’s even worse outside. The whole planet is a hellish, polluted wasteland, the only water is the toxic run-off from the great factories, storms of scouring wind and acid rain sweep over the tortured landscape and the people you encounter are as wild and dangerous as any underhive scummer. You wouldn’t think anyone would be mad enough to live out there but the Ash Waste Nomads have been getting the odd mention in recent books – with the Orlock book in particular offering some choice titbits on these outlanders. A couple of years ago we even saw some concept art, albeit fairly vague, for these road warriors…

Ash Waste NomadsAsh Wasters

… not to mention their dangerous looking steeds…

Ash Waste Riding Beasts

Dust Striders 2

The (un)Dead

Somewhere else which has been getting a lot of mentions in the recent Necromunda books is Hive Mortis, enough to have caught my eye and got me thinking.  A terrible plague has run rampant through the hive, leaving the entire population dead and their possessions unguarded. If you’re a ganger who wants to get rich quick and isn’t frightened of a little thing like plague then this is the place to go. However not all of the locals have taken death lying down. Plague zombies have been a part of Necromunda for a long time and Hive Mortis is apparently crawling with them. 

The Corpse-Grinder Cults have already brought us a Necromundan spin on Khorne which leaves me wondering how long before the other Chaos gods try to get in on the act. Could the pudgy hand of Nurgle and his ghastly, disease-ridden cultists be reaching out from the fallen hive even as we speak? 

The Immortal Cult

The Necromunda core rulebook also contains a brief description of the Immortal Cult, a cabal of rogue psykers who seek to bring about a psychic awakening in all of mankind. The cult first appears around the 34th Millennium and is still active in the setting’s “present day”, gathering outlaw wyrds who would otherwise be taken to the Black Ships to their banner. Just as the Corpse Grinder Cults put a new, and distinctly Necromundan, spin on Khorne and Hive Mortis could well be the start of a Nurgly invasion, so these sound to me like the Tzeentchian equivalent. House Delaque may think they’ve cornered the market in unsanctioned psykers but there are plenty more witches lurking in the depths of the hives…  

Pitslaves

If you’re looking for entertainment in Hive City and getting cheated and shot in a Delaque gambling den, or drinking until your innards explode with a bunch of down-and-out scummers in an Escher bar doesn’t sound like sufficient fun then you need to head to the fighting pits! Here you can enjoy the sight of cybernetically-enhanced, stimmed-up gladiators beating the hell out of each other or fighting against monstrous wild animals.

Of course, when it comes to finding people to actually get in the ring and fight demand tends to exceed supply and although Goliaths are known to enjoy getting stuck in most fans prefer to watch from the sidelines. Fall foul of the Guilds, fail to pay your debts or otherwise end up on the wrong side of the law however and you might just find yourself sold into a life as a pitslave, and rewarded with a few “enhancements” to make your life of vicious, crowd-pleasing violence and mayhem a little more interesting for the spectators. However it turns out that taking a bunch of hardened criminals, throwing in a few honest citizens who’ve suffered one punishment too many, arming them to the teeth and giving the best combat training available by making them fight each other until only the strong survive, might not be a good move in the long run. Pitslaves are known to revolt, butcher their way to freedom and enjoy a life on the run down in the underhive – where things are no less violent but at least they get to keep the profits.

Pitslaves have been a part of Necromunda for many years but back in the old days the models were, to be frank, less than inspiring. Imagine how good they could look now though…

Pitslaves

Spyrers

Whilst most people in the underhive are just trying to stay alive and avoid catching too many bullets, the Spyrers are there for a little fun. Rich arseholes from the upper part of the hive these spoiled young nobles have spent daddy’s money on the best guns around and have headed down into the very worst part of town to live like common people and do whatever common people do – which on Necromunda means “shoot each other”.

Spyrers

I know a lot of people really want to see these making a comeback but frankly I’m not entirely convinced. By my memory they always seemed disastrously powerful in game back in the old days, not to mention a little out of place amongst the rag-tag gangs, and as a result I never really liked the spoilt gits. That said I’m not going to lie to you, if GW produces some models my addiction to Necromunda will probably see me starting a small army of them. Plus I’d not be averse to seeing how the braying oiks enjoy a kicking from an ambot! I’d still rather see something else though. Speaking of which…  

Scavies and Muties

At the very opposite end of the Necromundan social hierarchy from the Spyrers we have the scavies, muties and their ilk. Hive City being the polluted pit that it is the odd minor mutation like an extra finger is given a bit more leeway than it might be elsewhere in the Imperium but any more than that and it’s only a matter of time before either the Redemptionists or the Enforcers turn up to “have words” (and by “have words” we mean, kill everyone and burn the settlement down to make sure). If it turns out that the reason your friend, family-member or neighbour never takes off their hood or ragged robe is because they’re hiding a couple of tentacles then the best thing to do is to drive them off into the underhive as fast as possible. There they can do what muties do best, sneaking around in the dark and gobbling up unwarey hivers.

Only those who’ve fallen on the very hardest times, houseless scummers without the common decency to drink themselves to death, would sink so low as to fight alongside these muties or join scavie gangs.

Scavies Art

Needless to say I have a real love for the muties and scavies. Back in the old days they would drive herds of mindless plague zombies into town to spread mayhem, employed hulking mutants known as “scalies” as enforcers and even had their own mutant dogs. I’d absolutely love to see them making a comeback and in the meantime I’ve even made a few of my own.

I already have my eye on turning a few of the new Kruleboyz Gutrippaz into scalies. A nice new kit for these dregs of the hive would be a dream come true though – and undoubtedly well received by anyone looking to spice up their collection of chaos cultists for 40k as well.

Gutrippaz

Ratskins

For some strange reason that’s never been made entirely clear, the overpopulated, polluted, industrial hell of Necromunda gave rise to a race of carbon copy Native Americans (as envisioned by spaghetti westerns at least). I’m sure people can and do enjoy many a happy hour debating (read: yelling at each other on social media) over whether they actually were racist or just seemed racist, but one thing that can’t be denied is they were woefully out of place and extremely lazily designed.

Ratskin Art

Something you could never accuse the writing for modern Necromunda of is laziness however. A vast amount of love and attention to detail has been poured into the world in recent years and it’s paid off with some wonderfully well developed factions. It can be hard to overlook the rather heavy handed Native American aesthetic of models for the Redskins – sorry, that should be Ratskins! – and the use of terms like “chief” instead of leader and “brave” instead of ganger (and yes, that is a bit racist). However if you strip away these trappings, at their heart this is a tribal people, trying to live a peaceful, spiritual life away from the rest of Necromundan society, but who keep being bothered by local thugs shooting up the place until they have nowhere left to run to – and that’s a concept with a lot of potential. Cut away the “cultural appropriation” before the online activist brigade work themselves up into a collective aneurism, get back to the core concept behind the Ratskins and have the current writers rebuild them from the ground up and I reckon they still have a lot of potential.  

Ratskins

Beastmen and Squats

No, not all together in the same gang. However something that Necromunda has done very cleverly has been to dig back, not just into the game’s own history in the late ’90s and early 2000s but even further back, to the very earliest days of Warhammer 40k itself. Until recently the vast majority of us didn’t really expect to see Squats stamping around the landscapes of the far future ever again, and then Grendl Grendlsen showed up in the underhive and proved us all wrong.

Grendl Grendlsen

Whether or not we ever see Squats taking to the battlefields of the Warhammer 40k in force, and taking their well deserved revenge on those Tyranids at last, remains to be seen. Likewise I’m not holding my breath for regiments of beastmen to be pressed into the Imperial Guard (nice new models for ordinary humans in the Guard seems like a big ask at the moment so let’s not set our sights too high!). However there are still plenty of us who love these old factions, and though Games Workshop’s moneymen may not, in their infinite wisdom, be willing to invest in whole armies of them, a Necromunda gang might be a fine place to give them a home and keep them alive. Or perhaps I’ll have to finally make good on my promises and pick up a box of Gors and a box of Kharadron Overlords and make my own.

These are just my thoughts however – now it’s your turn. Was there something obvious I missed from my list that you’re just itching to see unleashed in the hive? As ever the comment’s box below is the place for you to get it all off your chest!


Poxy Lady

Back in January of 2018 when I reviewed the newly released wave of models for the Nurgle Maggotkin I bemoaned the lack of originality of the Lord of Blights and listed a few alternatives that I thought they could have produced, rather than just rehashing the concept of the well-loved Nurgle Lord. I concluded by suggesting that;

“We could even have had a woman. Of course Nurgle isn’t all that interested in high heels and boob-armour but this is an age of equal opportunities and girls can worship an unglamorous god of disease and putrefaction just as well as boys.”

Well it seems that for once I was ahead of my time rather than wildly off target. A sorceress of Nurgle did indeed appear some time later, the hideous Fecula Flyblown, and Fembruary is the perfect time to paint her myself. 

Fecula Flyblown Nurgle AoS Warhammer Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)Fecula Flyblown Nurgle AoS Warhammer Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)Fecula Flyblown Nurgle AoS Warhammer Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)Fecula Flyblown Nurgle AoS Warhammer Wudugast ConvertOrDie (4)

The keen-eyed will have noticed that the cat which usually accompanies them model is missing but fear not, it’s not wandered far. I just felt it was too cool to be left as a base decoration so I moved it to a base of its own and when time allows I’ll get it painted up as well. 


What Next Dark Gods?

Ask any fan of Chaos in the Mortal Realms where the biggest gap in the range was and, if they were honest with themselves, most would probably have agreed it was Slaaneshi mortals. Over the last few years times have been good for those like me who worship the Ruinous Powers. We now have well developed ranges with unique models and a distinctive aesthetic for each of the gods (that’s Khorne; god of war and violence, Nurgle; god of plague and decay, Tzeentch; god of magic and change and Slaanesh; god of decadence and excess). Gone are the days when I differentiated my Khornate troops from your followers of Nurgle because I painted mine red and you painted yours green. For a while there only Slaanesh, the longest neglected of the four gods, was left with a limited range but Games Workshop have turned that around in style, first by bolstering the daemons with some fantastic new recruits and now with a soon to be released wave of mortal followers, the first we’ve seen for Slaanesh in a very long time.

Shardspeaker

It’s a huge boost to the range and the miniatures are exquisite, but rather than talk about them I’m here to speculate baselessly instead! Once the Dark Prince has his mortal followers in tow where might Games Workshop turn their attention next? Of course they might come up with something wildly different, the Mortal Realms offers a lot of scope and potential as the Warcry warbands proved, and if they went off to stake out new territory with something a bit more unusual I’d be all in favour. Plus there still gaps to be filled in the current ranges, I’d like to see unique looking daemon princes for each god for instance, light infantry for Nurgle and beastmen for both Nurgle and Khorne.

Indeed, speaking of which I just kitbashed a pestigor to join a little Nurgle warband which has been whispering in the corner of my brain lately. Shall we sneak a peek at him before we begin? Oh go on then!

Pestigor Wudugast ConvertOrDie Nurgle 1Pestigor Wudugast ConvertOrDie Nurgle 2

Beastmen

Ah the beastmen, men who have become beasts and beasts who have devolved into something akin to men. The horned ones, the true children of ruin who lurk in the wild places, driven by a hatred of all that is civilised and orderly. I’ve always had a bit of a soft-spot for these shaggy barbarians, being hairy and uncouth myself. In fact, now I think about it it’s strange that I’ve never really painted many of them – something I’ll have to rectify.

Beastmen 2

This range of models dates back to Warhammer as was, and although there are some excellent models in there it also leans heavily on a lot of older sculpts, bulked out by models borrowed from other ranges like the Tzaangors. Plus there’s the fact that, despite beastmen being traditionally described as an amalgamation of beasts and men, “goatmen” might be a better name for them nowadays. Those of us who are still steeped in the old Realm of Chaos era will recall beastmen which hybridised all kinds of beasts with all kinds of men, but nowadays the braying despoilers of the forests seem to be almost exclusively Pan-like creatures with hooves, horns and long ovine faces. Far be it from me to question their commitment to disorder but a little more chaos in the mix wouldn’t hurt! The birdlike Tzaangors (see below for a couple of them that I’m currently working on) and the lanky, sinuous Slaangors which are soon to be released go to prove that Games Workshop aren’t unwilling to break out of the goat archetype however, and beasts of Khorne and Nurgle don’t seem too much to hope for someday either.

Tzaangors AoS Chaos Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer

Slaves To Darkness

Take a look at the Slaves to Darkness range (that’s humans sworn to serve Chaos undivided rather than dedicated to just one of the gods) and at first glance it looks pretty healthy, packed with lots of kits, many of which were released in the last year or so. Dig a little deeper however and you start to release that most of the range comes either from the Warriors of Chaos from the WHFB era or, in the case of the newer models, are borrowed from Warcry. Now personally I love Warcry, in fact I tend to take things from Age of Sigmar to make Warcry warbands rather than the other way around, but I’m glad to see the Warcry warbands given a home in AoS armies all the same. Likewise I was a big fan of the Warriors of Chaos and that range has some great miniatures that I’m pleased to see are still available.

Warriors of Chaos

However there are some models in there which are undoubtedly past their best, like the Chosen and the Marauders. Plus there’s the fact that, before the End Times, the Warriors of Chaos made use of all kinds of troops dedicated to specific gods, all of which have since been split off to form new factions of their own. With them gone the range has been left looking a little thin. Time to give it a bit of a boost. Thanks to Warcry we know what the warbands seeking to join the Everchosen’s legions look like, but what about those legions themselves. Time to bring the warriors Sigmar abandoned into the modern era – after all we don’t want that weakling thunder god to think he’s getting everything his own way now do we?

Darkoath Tribesmen

In the old days, when the heavily armoured warriors of chaos marched south to attack the Old World they did so surrounded by hordes of barbarian tribesmen, clothes-phobic folk who’s hardiness and bitterness against the weakling southerners may be partially explained by the fact that they lived in a frozen wasteland but nobody seemed to own a shirt. In this regard people from the British Isles will recognise them as being essentially Geordies.

Marauders2

There are a few contenders for the title of “Worst Model in the GW Stable”, the Zombies and Skaven Plague Monks spring to mind, but the Chaos Marauders really have made a spirited attempt to claim that throne. Just a quick glance is enough to tell you that they’re past their best, if indeed there was ever a time when they looked anything other than awful.

Marauders models

 For a while there was a persistent rumour (and we all know how reliable those are eh!) from those who claimed to be “in the know” that Games Workshop were planning a new faction based around a range of new Marauder kits. Nothing has ever come of it, although we have seen a range of new Marauder equivalents in the form of the Warcry warbands, as well as troops dedicated to specific gods like the Bloodreavers of Khorne, the Kairic Acolytes of Tzeentch and the forthcoming Blissbarb Archers of Slaanesh, each of which is close to the Marauder archetype of old, and the Godsworn Hunt from Warhammer Underworlds. The rumour may have proved to be either a case of mistaken identity or wishful thinking but it’s still a good idea so who knows, perhaps someday we shall see the Slaves to Darkness split into two factions, the grim heavily armoured foot soldiers of the gods and the shirtless savages of the tribes?

Skaven

I know I sound like a stuck record here so I’ll keep it brief. The perfidious ratmen were my favourite faction from WHFB and over recent years I’ve painted up quite an army of them. Shall we remind ourselves of how they look? How could I ever pass up the opportunity!

Skaven Army Shot 3

Of course being a fan of the Skaven means being a glutton for punishment. Despite their ongoing popularity the range hasn’t seen much love in a long time and many of them models are so old they came off the Ark, and so rough they look like they were sculpted by the animals therein (and not the ones with opposable thumbs) rather than Noah himself. Get the finger out GW, give my rats some love!

Chaos Dwarfs

An industrious race of slavers and daemonsmiths the Chaos Dwarfs were the Old World’s finest bull-appreciators and big hat wearers, famed for putting Nagash to shame when it came to outsized headgear. They were also wearing big cow horns on their hats long before Johnny-come-latelys like the Lumineth Realmlords rocked up.

Chaos Dwarfs

By the later era of WHFB however they were almost extinct, their range of models long out of production and their sole surviving representatives the crew of the Hellcannon.

Chaos Dwarfs 2

With the Hellcannon going the way of all things when AoS was launched the Chaos Dwarves passed into history, in the main Games Workshop range at least. Forge World however have done their bit to keep them alive in the form of the Legion of Azgorh.  

Infernal Guard Command

Fantastic those these models are, a range which leans heavily on large and complicated daemon engines such as the Dreadquake Mortar (below) is going to be tricky in resin, and much easier for the average hobbyist to manage in plastic. Time to bring the bearded ones back I say!

Dreadquake Mortar

Chaos Gargants

From one end of the scale to the other, if we’re going to have Chaos Dwarves then why not Chaos Gargants? It’s not much of a leap really, there are already Chaos Giants and the new Mega Gargant kit contains a variant, the Warstomper, which can be taken by Chaos forces. Already I’ve seen plenty of them converted to be even more chaotic just as when the Imperial Knight kit was released many of us started welding on spikes to turn them into engines of the gods. After a few years of this GW yielded to the inevitable and produced a dedicated Chaos Knight kit, so it doesn’t seem beyond the realms of possibility that the same thing might happen with the Gargants.

Warstomper

Ogres and Trolls

Back in the old days all kinds of trolls and ogres shambled to war alongside the Warriors of Chaos. These days however such creatures exist almost exclusively under the remit of the Destruction faction (those who are particularly long in the tooth will recall Chaos orcs but let’s not go that far back!). There’s no reason not to bring these brutes back though, perhaps under the banner of the Slaves to Darkness or the Beastmen, or even as a faction of their own. Alternatively there could be versions of each of these incorporated into the four armies of the gods, each tainted and twisted by the favour of their particular patron, just like the Bile Trolls and Plague Ogres that formed part of Tamurkhan’s Horde in the latter days of WHFB. Regardless of which route was taken these brutes have plenty of potential, after all, as the Trogherds of the Gloomspite Gits demonstrated, people love big ugly monsters. 

Those are my picks for the future development of Chaos in the Mortal Realms but what about you? Are there any of the candidates above you think are particularly deserving, or any that you would have preferred to see abandoned to the history books? Is there a faction in waiting that I’ve overlooked? As ever the comments section is all yours. 


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. 

Sloppity Bilepiper Nurgle Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)Sloppity Bilepiper Nurgle Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)Sloppity Bilepiper Nurgle Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)

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. 


Chaos Knight – Armed To The Teeth

Just a quick one today as I battle to get to grips with the new WordPress editor. If it ain’t broke WordPress, do be a dear and don’t bloody fix it! Not to worry, I’m sure in time I’ll stop being a dinosaur and discover the joys of the new modern editor that lets me do everything I used to do, only in a much more complicated and round-about way…

Anyway, enough moaning let’s look at a bit of a miniature. I’ve moved onto the second arm of the chaos knight (the weird fleshy limb as opposed to the mechanical arm that I’ve shown previously). It was made by grafting together the upper part of a Great Unclean One’s arm with the lower part of a Maggoth, and then filling in the gaps with loads of greenstuff and milliput.

Chaos Arm Wudugast ConvertOrDie

With this pretty much done I’m mostly looking at tidying up, painting a few of the smaller components and sticking everything together and with just under half the month still to go I’m optimistic. Then again nothing is finished until it’s finished, pride has been known to come before a fall and chickens should not be counted until they’re hatched, fully grown and preferably in the oven. Watch this space!


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…

Poxwalkers (1)

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

Poxwalkers (2)

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:

Poxwalkers ConvertOrDie Nurgle Wudugast (1)

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:

Poxwalkers ConvertOrDie Nurgle Wudugast (2)

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:

Poxwalkers ConvertOrDie Nurgle Wudugast (3)

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:

Poxwalkers ConvertOrDie Nurgle Wudugast (4)

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:

Poxwalkers ConvertOrDie Nurgle Wudugast (5)

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:

Poxwalkers ConvertOrDie Nurgle Wudugast (6)

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:

Poxwalkers ConvertOrDie Nurgle Wudugast (7)

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

Poxwalkers ConvertOrDie Nurgle Wudugast (8)

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.

Poxwalker Nurgle ConvertOrDie Wudugast (9)

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.

Poxwalker Nurgle ConvertOrDie Wudugast (9)

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.


Martian Madness and Pointy Elves

This weekend sees the Las Vegas Open, which is apparently some kind of big deal if you’re a tournament gamer who lives in Las Vegas. The rest of us might not pay that much attention, were it not for the fact that GW sees this as a grand opportunity to reveal some of their forthcoming releases. Needless to say I have plenty of thoughts about these and I’m not going to miss the chance to share them with the world because that’s how the internet works nowdays.

First things first we have the announcement of a substantial wave of new models joining the Adeptus Mechanicus. I’m not sure if I’ve apologised for this before but I’m a huge fan of the Ad-Mech. I say apologised because for many years I harped on about how awesome they were to anyone who couldn’t think of a suitable excuse to leave, about how great it would be to see a range of miniatures for them, about what a missed opportunity it was that GW failed to do anything with what must be one of the finest ideas they’d ever come up with. Then finally GW got the finger out and created a truly wonderful range of models, tapping into the weirdness of the Ad-Mech with real aplomb and I’ve painted nothing. In the five years since they first appeared I’ve managed to get about half-way through painting two Skitarii and that’s it. I didn’t rush out and clear the shelves of my nearest stockist but I have snapped up bargains and Start Collecting sets until I’ve gathered myself a sizeable heap of the Sons and Daughters of Mars and I love them as much as ever but I just haven’t got any of them painted. My soul may have long ago been sold to Chaos, and my heart will always be green and orky, but the Adeptus Mechanicus speaks to me to quite a profound degree, and yet I’ve done naff all about it.

Nonetheless this might be the moment to take the plunge. After all I’ve just finished off my Skaven so maybe I ought to roll up my sleeves and tackle the Martians. I wasn’t particularly wowed by the Skorpius tanks that emerged last summer, and in part that may be because I’m just not that big into tanks. To me the Skorpius are just a little plain, sensible and straightforward which is not at all how the barking-mad scholars of Mars like things. On the other hand the Archaeopter looks like much more my kind of thing, as weird and archaic as all the best Adeptus Mechanicus creations should be.

AdMech Flyer

With the Serberys cavalry they’ve continued to up the Ad-Mech’s game as troops go thundering into battle on weird, bio-mechanical dogs. It’s utterly mad of course but then that’s how the Cult of Mars ought to be. I’m sure a few Imperial Guard fans are cursing that these have appeared but Rough Riders remain a thing of the past and although I agree with them entirely that Rough Riders deserve a new kit ASAP these models are one of the coolest things we’ve seen in a while (and it’s been non-stop cool things lately).

Serberys Sulphurhounds

Speaking of madness we have the Pteraxii, another new unit of troops, this time with wings. Again the strangeness of the Ad-Mech is on full display and although I’m not so over-excited by them as I am the Serberys cavalry there’s still a lot to like here – not to mention what looks to be a lot of useful parts for Inq28 conversions.

Pteraxii

I must confess the first thing I thought of when I saw them were the Bird Men of Catrazza, an old regiment of renown from the days of WHFB.  To be honest the similarity probably starts and ends with them being men with wings but it gave me a little thrill of nostalgia all the same.

Bird Men

All this Martian madness is due to be released soon, which makes me hopeful that GW will finally get around to releasing the Tech Priest Manipulus properly too. Until now it’s only been available as part of a Kill Team set, which would have been a bargain if I’d been in the market for any of the other contents – as it was it just looked like a very expensive way of getting the Manipulus model so I’ve been stubbornly holding off. Either way it now appears to be out of stock (unless I’m just failing to find it on the GW website) so fingers crossed the fat lad will see a proper release shortly.

tech priest manipulus

Moving across to Age of Sigmar we discover that Teclis, once the premier mage of the WHFB setting and now elevated to godhood in the Mortal Realms, has been at it again. Following the capture of Slaanesh who was forced to disgorge the glut of elven souls they’d consumed during the End Times (I’m picturing someone sticking their fingers down a Chaos God’s throat until they puked – something Slaanesh probably gets off on) Teclis took his share of the available souls and turned them into a race of his very own. Sadly he made, not to put too fine a point on it, an absolute balls of things, and the result was the Idoneth Deepkin, a culture defined by their deep-seated trauma at being consumed by Slaanesh (not the mention vomited out again) and with a deeply difficult relationship with their spiritual father. With the majority of their race born with weak and withered souls they took to stealing the life-force of others and Teclis attempted to wipe them out, which only served to sour relations even further. You’d have thought old Teclis would have decided to write the whole business off as a bad job and leave creating new Elven races to others, but apparently he’s decided to take another shot at it and his latest effort are the Lumineth Realm-lords.

Vanari Auralan Wardens

Perhaps worried about what they’ll get up to without him keeping an eye on them Teclis himself has joined the range, with a gloriously over-the-top miniature (although personally I still prefer Morathi and Alarielle when it comes to Elven Gods in miniatures form). Whilst Teclis himself looks suitably impressive the star here is Celennar, Spirit of Hysh, who may be intended as a creature of purity and light but could just as easily be something chillingly inscrutable and madly Tzeentchian.

Teclis

These are very much old-fashioned elves in the style of the High Elves of yesteryear – some of them even ride around on horses! After the part-tree, part-elf hybrids of the Sylvaneth, the part-snake Daughters of Khaine and the weird, eyeless aquatic creatures of the Idoneth Deepkin these harken back to something much more traditional and Tolkienesque.

Incidentally I’ve recently discovered that the word “Aelves”, which GW now uses in place of the desperately outmoded “Elves” to differentiate their copyrightable pointy-eared people from the kind of pointy-eared folk that everyone else produces, should be pronounced “Elves” just the same as every other company’s elves. Until now I’d been pronouncing it “Aleves” with a hard “A” – which would have made all those fans crying out for some old-fashioned elves like these part of the Campaign for Real Aelves.

Vanari Dawnriders

I don’t imagine I’ll be painting any of these myself any time soon, I’m sure they’ll appeal to a lot of elf fans and I can see that they’re beautiful miniatures, but they’re not really my kind of thing. That said pretty much every other AoS race has found its way into Warcry so perhaps someday these will too, in which case I might find myself tempted to put together a little warband and stretch my creative muscles into painting something bright, clean and noble rather than the filthy degenerates that usually attract me.

They did however get me thinking about the place of elves in the Age of Sigmar, and what that means for the humans which find themselves increasingly pushed to the fringes. In the past humanity stood at the heart of both GW’s key universes. Just as the Imperium has been the central mover-and-shaker of the 41st Millennium so the Empire lay at the centre of the Old World, with the other races scattered around the edge of the map. Elves lived on the outskirts, sailing their craftworlds through the depths of wilderness space or living on far flung, exotic continents like Ulthuan or Naggarond. AoS however has pushed the elves to the centre of the setting whilst humanity barely gets a look in. With the release of the Lumineth Realm-lords we now have four full elven races in AoS, joining the sea-dwelling Idoneth Deepkin, the never-knowingly-fully-dressed Daughters of Khaine and those most wooden of actors the Sylvaneth. Between them these races have sprung from just three of the Elven pantheon, Teclis, Alarielle and that old snake Morathi. That still leaves us with Tyrion and Malerion who are surely bound to usher in elven races of their own sooner or later, not to mention of the off-cuts of the old High, Dark and Wood Elves still knocking around the Realms. Rather than Age of Sigmar this could very easily have been called Age of Elves and one almost wonders why GW didn’t bite the bullet and do just that. Humans have been shoved into the margins of the setting, with most of those still living in the Realms being flesh-eating degenerates or Chaos worshipping thugs. In the purging of their old lines that followed the death of WHFB the Empire was spared the destruction that swallowed their brothers across the mountains in Bretonnia but sometimes you’re left wondering just what GW saved them for. The human perspective is a great narrative tool (most, if not all, of GW’s customers being human) but the old Empire range now look like people out of time, a race of proxies standing in for the fantastical city states described in the background. It’s easy to imagine the kind of strange and extraordinary cultures which might exist in the Realms, until you discover that everyone still dresses exactly like they did thousands of years ago in Reikland. I often dreamed of starting an Empire army myself and I certainly have nothing against them as a faction but they look out of place now, and GW seem to have little interest in developing new human cultures with which to populate their developing setting. Perhaps, with retrospect, they should have been bolder, packing the Empire range off to join the Bretonnias and Tomb Kings in the history books and reducing the human race to tribal savages, scraping by in the Age of Sigmar, with a few chosen champions elevated to join the Stormcast hosts, whilst the light of civilisation belongs exclusively to the Elves. In a decade or two they could have revived a few Empire concepts to the delight of old grognards who would rave to bemused youngsters about the era when bases were square. After all if you wait long enough everything comes round again, even zoats…

Nurgle

Of course, as soon as Teclis showed up with Celennar – who is at least in part a giant cat – Nurgle had to get in on the action with a cat of his own and a crazy cat lady to keep it company. Enter the Wurmspat, a new warband for Warhammer Underworlds. Underworlds hasn’t really grabbed me as a game, I’m not really interested in card games and the focus on the competitive side leaves me cold, but there’s no denying it’s brought us some outstanding models. With the Wurmspat we see not only two more Blightkings, each of which is a chip off the manky old block and a fine looking decedent of the original Nurgle Lord, but we also get Fecula Flyblown, our first Nurgle lady (and her cat). Of course I’m not about to look a gift horse in the mouth but for traditions sake I will repeat the same mutterings that I make every time there’s a new Nurgle release – that this was a fine chance to bring us a pestigor and they missed it again.

Fecula Flyblown

Last but very definitely not least we have a real blast from the past, the first Zoat to grace the worlds of Warhammer since the ’80s (by my memory at least). When I first heard that a Zoat was part of the reveals I assumed, wrongly as it turned out, that this would be Zolcath, the Blood Bowl star player. Who would have thought a second Zoat might be waiting in the wings after all these years?

Zoat

In many ways Blackstone Fortress has stepped into the same niche as the Specialist Games studio, allowing GW to produce those things which fans still love but which don’t quite fit in to the established armies of the main games. So far we’ve seen Rogue Traders, Imperial Navigators, a Man of Iron, Traitor Guard, Dark Mechanicum, even a stonking great Ambull. Of course nostalgia is all very well but the strength of all of these has been that they stand on their own two (or in this case four) feet as excellent models, more than deserving of attention and admiration in their own right. One wonders what else might emerge from 40k’s shadowy corners to walk the halls of the fortress; Squats, Hrud, Eldar Corsairs or Exodites, perhaps even a Slaan? Of course the question now is, will the Zoat be an adventurer or an adversary? I suspect it’ll be the latter of course but the former would be wonderful. Who wouldn’t feel more comfortable tackling the maddening halls and unravelling corridors of the xenos star-fort with a Zoat at their side?

Finally, in the midst of all this excitement, it would be remiss of me not to mention the appearance of the Eightfold Harvest Lord, a Khorne worshipping maniac now stalking the surface of Necromunda. Having sworn to bring cannibalistic madness down upon my favourite Imperial planet I was already contemplating making my own version but to be honest this beats what I’d come up with hands down. Of course, like all the Forge World bounty hunters he’s a little pricey but I reckon he’s one to save up for (not that this will be easy with all these other lovely looking miniatures crowding the release schedule over the next few months!)

Eightfold Harvest Lord

Needless to say I’ll be watching all of these miniatures emerge with great interest, although exactly what I end up adding to the collection and what I allow to pass by remains to be seen. After all there’s clearly plenty more waiting in the wings – and any fellow Ork fans out there will know I’m extremely curious to get a proper look at Makari’s boss. Can the greenskin to rival Abaddon get a model to match? We’ll know soon enough…


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.

Poxwalkers 40k Wudugast Nurgle (5)

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.

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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.

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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.