As I mentioned in the last couple of posts I’ve been working on adding my own “counts as” version of Typhus for a while. Originally I was going to add the torso and shoulder-pads from Forgeworld’s Nurgle Terminators to the legs and scythe of the Deathshroud and have done with it and I still think this could create quite a nice effect. However although I was able to get my hands on the Deathshroud components easily enough the other bitz proved elusive. Although my enthusiasm for the project remained high I was getting a little frustrated until I spotted the gas-masked head in the new Space Marines kit. Presumably it’s unintentional but there’s something about it that just screams “Nurgle”. The project was reborn – or at least brought shambling back into some kind of degenerate half-life.
Here’s the result at last; Ghisguth the Reaper finally finished in all his putrid glory.One of the things I like about the official Typhus miniatures, both from GW and Forgeworld’s Heresy-era Typhon, are their grim, unrelenting aspect; a powerful, almost medieval, death figure. Thus although I enjoy the carnival, celebratory element of Nurgle I wanted this model to be a little more stern, capturing Nurgle’s aspect as a god of despair and decay – Death the Reaper rather than Death from Diskworld.
To this end I posed him surveying the battlefield, as though selecting his next victim. Nurgle, after all, is never in a hurry. Khorne’s followers may rush forwards into battle, the slaves of Slaanesh must dash desperately from one high to the next, but Nurgle knows that someday they shall die, rot and inevitably come to him.
I confess I already struggle to understand how anyone managed to paint anything prior to the release of the new Special Effects paints (definitely the most important and exciting thing to come out of Game’s Workshop last year). Typhus Corrosion (of course) and Ryza Rust were used on the corroded metal work, Nurgle’s Rot helped produce a wonderfully slimy effect on the base and a liberal dose of Blood for the Blood God was added to the exposed guts. Perhaps the most useful paint though was Agrellan Earth which I used on all the corroded metalwork.I talked about this in the previous post but here’s a quick illustrated “step-by-step”. I started by painting the Agrellan Earth directly onto the bare plastic of the model. The paint is then left to dry and crack.
Once it had dried I sprayed everything black to seal it in and protect it.
A couple of layers of browns and some Boltgun Metal (or whatever you kids call it nowadays) are drybrushed over the top. Drybrushing is key to preserve the texture of the surface.
A quick layer of Ryza Rust (or any other grimy orange) finishes the job. Lovely.
Before starting work on my “counts as” reimagining of Typhus I decided to make another Plague Marine to act as a test model to try out a few of the techniques I wanted to use. It also provided me with an excuse to try to improve my use of greenstuff – creating a distended, plague-filled gut for the model, marked with the sign of Nurgle. Once again the Skaven Plague Monks were the go-to for a suitably nasty Plague Knife.
After reading this post over at the regularly inspiring Eternal Hunt I also wanted to experiment with using Agrellan Earth to create cracked, decaying armour. It took a little bit of experimenting to get it right but overall I’m impressed by how well it works.
My key tip here is to paint the Agrellan Earth on first, before you basecoat the model, then once its dry add the undercoat carefully (starting with black paint is probably a must here). At this stage the Agrellan Earth is delicate and prone to flaking off, so paint the undercoat on gently or, better still, spray it on. Once this has dried it will seal in the flaking effect and you can paint normally over the top.
An unflattering close up (perhaps a little too close for comfort) reveals the cracked, decayed effect created by the Agrellan Earth – and shows the crudeness of my painting style all in one fell swoop!
As I described in my previous post I like recreating Special Characters for my own collection, taking the initial idea and reshaping it into something personal. Currently on my painting desk is my own version of Typhus, Ghisguth the Reaper, the bullish and ghastly second in command of the Beasts and Nurgle’s Hand amongst my Chaos Marines. Whilst I get him finished I thought I’d show the other followers of Nurgle already in my collection.
This was where the squad began. In many ways Plague Marines are a great place to start learning greenstuff – even if your efforts look awful (and as it’s your first attempt they probably will) you’re fairly safe as Nurgle’s disciples are horribly distorted and unpleasant at the best of times.
Rather than a standard flamer I imagine this marine spraying a cocktail of boiling acidic foulness from the vat on his back.
Golothess the Befouled is the leader of my Plague Marines squad and equerry to Ghisguth. A disgusting and distrusted figure amongst the other Beasts he and his Acolytes often travels ahead of the army like heralds, spreading sickness as they go.
Looking at them I can’t help but wonder – why does Nurgle appeal? What is it about puss-filled wounds and shambling corpses that makes a significant number of otherwise normal people – myself included – think “Lovely, these are the models for me”. Somehow, in spite of the disgust we might reasonably expect to feel, the visceral horror of Papa Nurgle keeps us coming back. On a philosophical note I understand, of course, the difference between fantasy and reality, and “get” the appeal of the quirky circus jolliness, the “today we celebrate because tomorrow we rot” attitude. Clearly however there’s also something about putrefying flesh and guts that makes me want to paint them, otherwise I’d stick to cheerful little Nurglings, but why that is I can’t say I know.