Tag Archives: Warhammer 40k

The Lodge of the Flayed King – Part 2

I’ve been trying to work out a colour scheme for my Corpse Grinder Cultists and at last I think I’ve got something I’m happy with. Here’s initiate He Who Cuts modelling his new work wear. Before we look at the final piece here he is prior to being liberally splattered with gore. As you can see the paint job isn’t perfect but I didn’t see the point in breaking my neck over it if I was just going to cover it up with Blood For The Blood God technical paint!

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And here he is suitably blood splattered after a hard day of unrelenting violence.

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Overall I’m pleased with the way this colour scheme works on the initiates but I’m curious about how it’ll look on the more heavily armoured butchers, cutters and skinners so I’ll test it out on one of them next before rolling it out to the rest of the gang.


The Irondogs – Part 15

A couple of weeks ago I showed a group of work-in-progress Goliath gangers and, eschewing my usual habit of sitting on them like Smaug for months, I then battered on and got one of the forge-born painted up in short order. Here’s Varski, the first of the Irondog’s next generation.

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I do have a bunch of other models on the go that I’d like to keep my focus on and get finished, but I’m quite excited about all things Goliath at the moment so expect to see a few more recruits making their way into the ranks sooner or later. After all, given some of the threats currently moving in on their turf Korak and the boys are going to need all the help they can get!


It Takes A Village – Part 2

The problem with the Underhive is some people seem to think it’s a place to go for a nice day out. You’ve got gangs running around shooting the place up, Inquisitors strutting about like they own the place, xenos lurking in the shadows and don’t get me started on the Chaos cults! And what none of them seem to get is that some people are here to do a day’s work. They seem to think the corroded pipes, pools of toxic gunk and ominous piles of skulls just happen by magic…

You may recall that long, long ago (back in July of last year) I started working on a project to assemble some hard-done-by civilians to populate the grim depths of the Necromundan underhive – not to mention any Inq28 goings on. Necromunda is now blessed with several scenarios that feature hapless hive inhabitants and yet my population of civilians still remained rather paltry, I’ve had plenty of ideas but none of them have made it to completion. However with the lockdown ongoing I found myself looking for things to paint and my eye fell on these three workmen who’ve been waiting for attention for quite some time. Once again I’ll be counting these towards the “Paint The Crap You Already Own!” challenge being run by Ann’s Immaterium, as all three have been knocking around for quite some time and getting them finished makes it feel as though this project has finally started to achieve something.

The other reason I decided to tackle them was to explore what I hoped would be a new and easier way to paint orange. I really like the look of my genestealer cultists in their orange overalls but there’s no avoiding the fact that it’s been a lot of hard work to paint and that keeps putting me off from tackling any more. These however came together in no time flat using the recipe of an undercoat of Jokaero Orange, a coat of Gryph-Hound Orange Contrast Paint, a quick highlight with Jokaero Orange and a final highlight with Fire Dragon Bright.

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The models originate from the mechanics in the CP Miniatures range, a real goldmine for a project like this, with the addition of heads from Anvil Industry and various Games Workshop gubbins. Here’s a picture of the unconverted models courtesy of the CP Miniatures website.

CP Mechanics

Whilst I was working on them I spotted this little servo-drone which has been waiting for attention for even longer – I assembled him back in 2017 when I was working on the Chapel project and he’s sat unloved ever since. I’ve never been entirely sure what to do with him, he’s kitbashed entirely out of odds and ends and he never felt quite finished to me, as though something was missing that, if I could only identify it, would make the model complete. Whatever it might be I still can’t quite put my finger on it and I was about to dump him back into the box of shame when it occurred to me that he might work well as a robotic assistant to my underhive work crew.

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Here’s the whole crew ready for an honest day’s toil (no working from home for them unfortunately!). Hopefully they’ll make it through their shift without being shot by accident in a turf war or the ongoing battle for the Emperor’s soul…

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The Lodge of the Flayed King – Part 1

Very much in the spirit of the Goliath WIPsI posted last week here’s a look at some more unpainted Necromundan plastic, this time in the form of my favourite underhive cannibals the Corpse Grinder Cultists.

First up I turned my attention to the cult’s initiates (that’s Juves in any other gang). I’ve already built a couple of these, pretty much exactly by the book, so now I wanted to go off-piste a little and see what I could come up with. Particularly I wanted to explore some of the weapon options available to the gang which aren’t available on the “stock” models – that is to say weapons which are described in the rules but aren’t available as part of the standard plastic kit. Unlike the majority of the gang, which can only be equipped with close-combat weapons the initiates have not fallen so far into Khorne’s favour that they’re reduced to running screaming across the battlefield with no heed for the niceties of tactics. Indeed these newcomers to the gang, still digesting their first few meals of still-warm person, can chose from a selection of ranged weapons – and even remember that they can be fired from a distance rather than just used to bludgeon the nearest foe. As well as the likes of stub guns and autopistols a particularly attractive sounding option is the harpoon launcher. For one thing it makes me think of the Ursus Claws, the massive harpoons used by those ultimate Khornate warriors the World Eaters. For those not in the know the Ursus Claws are basically huge harpoons that were mounted on the titans of the World Eater’s allies – the Legio Audax – and, if even that isn’t big and over-the-top enough for you, on their flagship The Conqueror. If titans impaling other titans and dragging helpless tanks around wasn’t cool enough imagine if you will a massive spaceship harpooning other spaceships so that they can be rammed and boarded by thousands of Khorne berserkers. The World Eaters do nothing by halves (and really ought to have a range of miniatures – just saying, GW, just saying…). Anyway, I reckoned a smaller version might be just the thing for the Corpse Grinders to have in their armoury, partly for the nod to their larger Khornate cousins and partly because I like the idea of the initiates retaining the common sense and forward planning to impale some poor sod and take them home for supper whilst the more corrupted members of the gang are busy hacking people up today with no thought for tomorrow.

Making the harpoon launcher was pretty straightforward, it’s lifted straight from the Orlocks kit, with a trophy skull popped on top to add that Khornate vibe. It fitted pretty well although there was a slight gap left (which would normally be covered by the Orlock shoulderpad) but a suitably spiky jawbone soon covered that up. The other shoulder needs a little greenstuff to tidy it up but otherwise he’s good to go.

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The other trick up the sleeve of the initiates, as well as their ability to use ranged weapons, is being a lot sneakier than the rest of the gang. Whilst their lodge brothers let everyone within a hundred miles know that they’re on their way by revving chainblades and running screaming at their nearest victim, the initiates tiptoe through the underhive ready to spring on some hapless meal that just happens to be walking by. In game terms this means they have the Infiltrate skill which allows them to pop up uncomfortably close to the enemy and start making mayhem. The Corpse Grinders have a reputation for being quite a nasty, over-powered gang to face and although I’m quite sure this isn’t something that will last forever as new models are released and new tricks discovered, I’d also like to emphasise that I’m not trying to create a gang with which to smash all comers and win at all costs; that isn’t something that appeals to me at all and it certainly doesn’t fit with the spirit of Necromunda. Mainly I’m interesting in modelling opportunities but I also like the idea of interesting tactical tricks for as and when I do get the occasional game in, and having a juvenile delinquent with a rocksaw pop up practically on the toes of the enemy gang sounded like a chance for the kind of mayhem that Khorne would undoubtedly approve of. Again he’s mostly based around the standard initiate model, this time with the arms and weapon from the new Goliath prospects.

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Lastly the gang needed a leader and as ever I wanted someone who looked uniquely mine (so heavily kitbashed and converted from the studio version) and suitably imposing, someone who could look across the table at any of my other converted leader models and have them know that they meant business. Much as I love the studio versions of the Corpse Grinder Cult there’s nothing to really make the leader stand out from his barbaric followers. I began by building the model as per the studio instructions but added on every extra spiky, skull-covered extra I could find, rather than diluting the effect by spreading them around the whole gang. Then it was just a case of finding a suitable head and this mask, borrowed from the trophy rack of an AoS Orc (sorry – Orruk!) fit the bill nicely.

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With these three done, plus the other cultists I’d put together previously, I’m well on the way to getting a starting gang built. Now I just need to pick a colour scheme – something that shows the blood will do nicely!


The Chances Of Anything Coming From Mars… – Part 1

Before the outbreak of Coronavirus threw the world into turmoil Games Workshop announced that March would see the release of a range of new models for the Adeptus Mechanicus, those cybernetically enhanced sons and daughters of Mars (and other, inferior, forge worlds of course!). The spread of the virus has, naturally, knocked that release schedule back a bit but even before that happened I was suffering from mixed feelings about it. On the one hand I have a long standing love of the Adeptus Mechanicus, dating back to long before there was a range of models available for them, and more crazy-looking troops in service of the tech-priests can only be a good thing. On the other I’ve still never painted a single model from the range and it’s getting embarrassing!

Long ago I started to work on a test model for my first squad of Skitarii rangers, but about half-way through the painting process I stalled and somehow I never quite got back to it. I don’t quite understand what the issue is, I love the models, I love the background, I love the idea of painting them, but somehow the action of actually picking it up and moving the brush never seemed to happen. With the release of new models imminent I decided that this had gone on long enough, sat down and forced myself to finish it.

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Now let me say first of all that I still love these miniatures, they’re amongst the best things that GW has produced and if I ever build an army in service to the Imperium (rather than one looking to smash it down) then these are the guys for me. However, god damn this was fiddly to paint! Working on him seemed to take me hours and the whole exercise became bogged down by frustration and irritation, not something conducive to getting the rest of the collection painted up. On the other hand I was feeling really pleased with the end result and enthusiastic about finishing some more – even if I wasn’t particularly eager about the actual painting stage itself.  I did have a second ranger assembled and undercoated however so I set myself the challenge of getting him painted as well – and not taking weeks and weeks to do it. In the end I cracked through him in perhaps an hour and a half or so, quickly enough that my enthusiasm didn’t abandon me along the way.

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Side by side I think they look pretty good, certainly it’s not obvious which one was on the painting desk for several years and which one I rattled through in an afternoon.

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Oh and it goes without saying that these are perfect for the latest challenge being run by Ann’s Immaterium, the “Paint the Crap You Already Own” April Challenge. As a result of my longstanding love of the servants of Mars I bought myself a handful of models as soon as they were released, and continued to bolster their ranks every time I saw a good bargain in the years since. By now I’ve ended up with quite a backlog and between Ann’s challenge and GW pausing all new releases during the current pandemic the decision has been made for me – I need to paint the crap I already own rather than day-dreaming about the slew of potential new recruits which will sooner or later become available to the macroclades of the red planet.

Anyway, getting these done has fired me with enthusiasm and lifted aside a psychological block that’s been hanging over the project for quite some time. I don’t know when I’ll get back to working on this project but at last I can say I’ve painted something and hold my head high amongst the other tech-priests! Should the urge to paint more Skitarii strike me sooner rather than later I’ve even assembled a few more, ready for the brush as soon as a suitable opportunity arises.

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I’m not sure exactly when I’ll tackle them, I’ve got a few other big projects I’m wanting to crack on with (my Necromunda Cawdor gang, more Blackstone Fortress, the rest of the Warcry terrain and chaotic beasts) but right now I’m just enjoying picking up loose odds and ends and getting them finished. Next up is likely to be some more Necromunda WIPs and then something Orc-y (and yes you read that right, Orc-y rather than Ork-y…).


The Irondogs – Part 14

It’s been a while since I added anything to my Goliath gang but it’ll come as no surprise to anyone that, since I got my grubby paws on House of Chains I’ve been busy expanding the ranks of my angry musclemen. I read the new book (twice) over the last few weeks and I think it’s fantastic, another outstanding volume from the team behind Necromunda and one that’s taken pride of place on the shelf. I won’t delve too far into reviewing it as that’s been done far better elsewhere, but the degree to which this single book has enriched the Necromundan landscape is quite outstanding and I’m champing at the bit to see the rest of the series.

Having been fired with enthusiasm I turned my attention to the range of new models that were released alongside it – and naturally decided that this was a fine time for the Irondogs to indulge in a recruiting drive! First of all I put together one of the new Stimmers. Rather than mess around too much with a fiddly kit that I’m not all that familiar with I built it straight out of the box, just swapping in a head from the Forge World upgrade set (which suits him nicely I reckon).

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I also put together a couple of the forge-born. For those unfamiliar with the ever expanding range of options available to a Necromunda gang these are the first of the “prospects” which will apparently be available to all but one of the House gangs – a prospect being essentially a juve who’s willing to put themselves in harm’s way in exchange for a fast-track into the gang proper. Again I didn’t try anything too radical here as really I was just exploring and familiarising myself with the kit.

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The forge-born are also perfect for making juves. I think like most people I was expecting that sooner or later we’d see miniatures for juvs, although I also assumed that GW would be cautious of putting them front and centre. I played around with making Goliath juves by combining the legs of genestealer neophytes with the torsos of kairic acolytes, something I’ve seen done with great success by others, but never really produced anything I was terribly happy with so I fell back on waiting to see what official miniatures would appear, or for further inspiration to strike. However the arrival of House of Chains firmly states that the former is off the cards.

Juves

In other words alternative models for juves (that’s Bullies in House Goliath) are out, if you want juves in your gang you should use the same models as ordinary gangers. Now I can see why Games Workshop have chosen to go down this route, child soldiers and juvenile delinquents  are never exactly a good look (especially when they’re being carved up by angry cannibal berserkers). Then again I’ve always seen juves as just that, youngsters who’ve just joined the gang rather than simply new recruits. Now I will acknowledge that the book describes the majority of Goliaths being born from vats, emerging fully adult and ready to get to work on the production lines, rather than enjoying the kind of childhood and teenage rebellion that we might have enjoyed ourselves. However I still want my juves to look younger than my standard gangers. Plus if the prospects are youngsters why not the juves? Readers may recall that I’ve already made two Escher juves that I’m quite pleased with and I wanted something similar for the Goliaths.

With that in mind I started kitbashing using one of the forge born and came up with an early proof-of-concept that I’m pretty happy with (very much inspired by the dozens of other people I’ve seen in various groups online doing exactly the same thing).

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My only real issue with him is what to do with his back. The forge-born have backpacks and webbing, which suits the weapons they carry, and I wanted to steer away from that in order to further differentiate the juves from the forge-born. I’ve not yet decided whether to greenstuff over it or try to cover it with something (probably the former as Goliaths tend to have all their armour to the front and juves should be no different) but if anyone has any suggestions I’m all ears.

Next to join the crew is the hulking great ‘zerker. I wasn’t entirely sure about him when I first saw the studio model, and my plan was to make quite a range of tweaks and adjustments. However I have to say that once I got my hands on it I discovered what an excellent miniature this really is. Everything went together perfectly, there were hardly any mould-lines and the level of detail is quite outstanding. Thus much like Ortruum 8-8I think this is another rather nice model let down by a less than stellar studio paint job. Here’s a quick reminder of the studio model.

Zerker Studio

And here’s my model, assembled and ready for paint. The one thing I didn’t include was the breathing mask that hangs around his neck, a rather fragile looking bit of resin that I decided wasn’t worth the effort of trying to attach.

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There are loads of cool little details on the model and I predict he’s going to be a lot of fun to paint. For instance check out these bone spikes bursting out of his mutated flesh – something I’d quite overlooked on the studio model.

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I did plan to swap out his head but again once I saw it in person I realised that I rather like it. This isn’t me panning the Forgeworld studio painter – they’re clearly very talented, I just don’t think that the style they’ve used has entirely shown the ‘zerker at its best.

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However I do wish they’d included an alternative head that matched the one shown in the original artwork. It’s also worth noting that the head of the ‘zerker is a little larger than those of the standard gangers so unlike the stimmers it’s not so easy to just swap in a head from the Forge World upgrade set, all the more reason why an alternative on the sprue would have been a nice touch.

Zerker Head

He’s a big lad, the real monster of the crew, as this line-up shows.

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He even looks imposing next to this (shamefully part-painted) Ambot. I must admit I thought the burrowing robot would be the bigger of the two by quite some margin so it was a surprise to see them side by side and realise just how large the ‘zerker is.

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All of this gives me plenty to paint and I’m keen to get my teeth into them as soon as possible, although I’ve also got my eye on a few other projects which may take precedence (including my often delayed but never forgotten Cawdor gang). I’ve also been kitbashing Corpse-Grinder Cultists so I’ll try to get something uploaded to showcase them soon too.


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

Poxwalkers ConvertOrDie Nurgle Wudugast (16)

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.