Monday, October 20, 2008


Marauder and citadel have created a number of Nurgle plaguebearer miniatures over time and I'm fortunate enough to own a small number of the earlier sculpts of them. They make regular appearances in both Death Guard and pure daemon armies that I run. This particular piece has been to two Grand Tournaments (2007 Australian; 2008 Australian).

Aims & Model.
The old plaguebearer sculpts work just as well today as they did in their own hay day. Mixing them in with modern models makes for excellent variety without looking like they're out of place (unlike genestealers -- see my earlier posting on Space Hulk). The aim is for "classic" plaguebearers for the most part -- i.e. primarily green with weeping red wounds and necrotic features dotted about the skin. As with the majority of my plaguebearers and other miniatures, I'm keen to make them slightly different to what is considered to be the purely "classic" appearance. The difference here? Blue plagueswords. Most plaguebearers I see on the tabletop tend to be wielding rusted, dull, old blades that don't look like they'd cut open a can of tomatoes. I guess that's not the point: it's the fact that the sword is dripping with venom and every toxin imaginable that's important. Sure, rusty old blades can cause infected wounds; tetanus especially springs to mind. However, what self-respecting Space Marine battle-brother is going to look at that blade and not think "my super genetically-enhanced metabolism can handle it, on the highly unlikely off-chance it should cut through my ceramite power armour". Conversely, a blue blade speaks of something other-worldly. A toxin that Space Marines, Tau and others have not encountered. A blade that might be very sharp, deadly and give pause for thought. Something of the Warp.

After the black undercoat, a basecoat of mixed (sombre) green was applied, slightly mottled in places. An ink wash of green over the entire model was next and then left to dry. Being a plaguebearer, this model was then drybrushed with lighter greens and an unlikely dull cream colour on some parts (the belly primarily, and some taut looking skin on the back). I think this approach is better than a purely green drybrushing approach.

The exposed flesh and sores were tackled next by applying a pink basecoat and following up with red or chestnut inks to create variation. When dry, the sores were variously highlighted in pinks and reds. The plaguesword was basecoated in an electric blue colour and inked dark blue. No further drybrushing was necessary here for the appearance. But given the raised surface of the blade on this particular miniature (not present on non-Marauder versions), the blade was highlighted with pure white.

Details were added as the last step. Pure white was used for the teeth, claws, nails, eye and parts of the horns (the pure white was blended to a cream colour on the horns). Various infected pustules and skin areas around open sores were picked out in shades of sickly yellow and orange. Some sores and wounds were made to look weeping with the addition of a blood red run painted over the green, necrotic looking flesh.

A coating of glossy varnish was applied to the entire miniature as the last step. This has a double purpose. Not only does it protect the paint job, but it also gives the miniature a slightly slimy and translucent appearance that looks perfectly in place on many Nurgle models.

Positives: I love this miniature and the way it has turned out. At Grand Tournament 2008, a good number of people stopped by and took a picture of it. I was well pleased! I intend to post images of whole plaguebearer squads in the near future.
Negatives: Not many. If I were being very critical, I'd worry that the spine is not looking quite right, but it appears okay realistically. Some of the sickly yellow looks out of place around the open sores; must be a weird contagion. A more sparing use of vanish would also have helped accentuate the slime aspect. Finally, I'm also tempted to re-base it, but that's about it.

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