Top 5 Plague Marines of All Time

My picks for the top five Nurgle Chaos Space Marines sculpts of all time. As well as a few also-rans from my collection.

Other people keep doing it and who is more qualified than me, I’ve painted just about every Plague Marine or Nurgle Renegade sculpted by GW and some I’ve painted many times. Other people when they do this seem to use photos from GW, what gives with that?  What is the point of having a miniature painting blog and putting up pictures of models you didn’t even paint. How can you be so sure if it is an awesome sculpt if you’ve never had the model in your hands, let alone had the model in your hands for hours while you paint it.

Best Nurgle Chaos Space Marine Sculpts

1) Original Pointing Plague Marine

I believe this model is called “Nurgle Renegade with Plaguebearer Head”. I own exactly one of these models. I stripped it and repainted it. The second paint job was done in Japan with a very limited palette. Folks these days don’t realize how good they have it with their websites, their mail order, their 100s of different colors to choose from, their specialty bits manufacturers. This model was one of the first Chaos Space Marines I bought and one of the few I could scrounge up while in high school, I converted the beginnings of my army from RBT01s and 2nd Edition box set loyalists.

2) Plaguemarine with Nurgling on shoulder

Classic Nurgle Renegades
This model probably came in the same blister as the one above.  These two models probably along with the +1 Toughness encouraged me to go with Nurgle at the dawn of 2nd Edition.  This model was also stripped and repainted in Japan. This is the only copy of the model I have. Looking at this page in Stuff of Legends, (someone borrowed my old catalogs and never gave them back) it appears I do have every Nurgle Renegade. I almost have every Tzeentch one shown too.

3) Nurgle Renegade with Horns aka Nurgle heavy weapon guy

Nurgle Renegade with Heavy Weapon
This model I really liked and was able to find copies of online. I think I may own three. Two are currently painted and in my display cabinet. Dylan was unsuccessful at turning one up, but he’s found lots of old OOP models. I’m unemployed and used to live on an Island in the colonies. The fact I have several is a testament to my passion as a Nurgle collector.

4) Plaguebearer Head #2

This model I did not strip and repaint. He must have come in a blister with one of the other Nurgle Renegades as I’ve had the model since say 1994. It wasn’t unheard of to have blisters with three or more models in them back in the day. Small models like goblins used to come several to a blister. All GW models used to be smaller and even dreadnoughts and bikes came in blisters.

5) Plague Marine Champion

Picking the final model was tough. Every model I picked was basically released before I started playing the game almost. Models were just more desirable and harder to come by back then. You had to save and make a pilgrimage to GW Gastown, then you had to hope they had what you wanted in stock. I backfilled my collection in the mid to late 90s as I traveled across Canada doing co-op work terms. I’d always hunt through old blisters and I ordered a bunch of stuff as it went out of print or traded for it after it was OOP. That said all my favourite models I acquired new when the Diseased Sons were starting out, way before nurgle.muschamp.ca.

Plaguemarine Champ with Plasma Pistol

There have been a number of Plague Marine Champion miniatures. There were two released for 2nd Edition. I used one as a general and the second as a special weapons trooper. There was a special champion that came with the metal Plaguemarine havoc box set, which I converted to be an icon bearer and there is even a champion or at least helmetless model that comes with the Forgeworld Death Guard upgrade kits. I like a lot of these armless models, but I think from a miniature sculpting point of view, the models that have the most personality generally come in one piece and historically are made of metal. So I chose the Plaguemarine Champion with Plasma pistol, the one sighting along his weapon with his breather hanging loose.  I like the guy with the blue face best. I’m big on blue faces for Chaos Space Marines. I’ve tried other colors and blue looks best with green, purple, black, even red power armor.

Converted Plaguemarine Champions

I’m a fan of some of my many converted and kit bashed champion models as are others, but it’s getting so I don’t even remember where I got the bits and pieces from nowadays. My collection is pretty big and I have a lot of unpainted models and bits, that I need to devote time to if my life ever turns around. I also need to buy a real camera, there is a dust mote in my iPhone now, I noticed it the other day, unable to wipe it away. I put up a gallery of Plague Marines before, after I came back from Japan so 2004ish, I’ve painted a few more since then.  ;-)

Three Converted Champions

Syphillis Champions

Nurgle HQ Conversions

A lot of the best Nurgle sculpts were actually Warhammer Fantasy Battle ones which can be incorporated into a 40K army through conversion or daemonic allies.  One model I still have to repaint is my original Chaos Magus, Cancerous the Extremely Naughty.

Almost finished Khorne Bezerkers

Today was a lazy day. I slept in. It rained hard. I stayed in bed. Eventually I got out of bed and surfed the net and painted the power weapon on the Bezerker Champion. I left that until today, after painting a little bit last night. I’d paint a bit, then watch an episode or two of Battlestar Galactica on DVD then paint some more.

I finished up the skulls and armor for the most point. I painted on the purple flames. I even did the pale blue skin, which didn’t go perfectly smooth, but came out well enough. I touched up  a bit and the last major thing to paint on the models was the Aspiring Champions power weapon.

I’d used up good power weapon colors of blue and purple already on these models, so I opted for a bit of mint/jady green. I used about a half dozen different paints all made by Vallejo or GW and blended and mixed them on a wet palette. Not my best work but good enough and unique enough to stand out on the battlefield or in the miniature display case.

Almost completely painted Khorne Bezerkers

Now the biggest problem facing me as far as completing these models, is the fancy resin bases. The two on the left will be easy, they just have some dirt and skulls, but the other three. That will require some highlighting and detail work all their own. Maybe I’ll be able to finish them tomorrow, but probably not after how little I accomplished today.

Rephotographed Miniatures

A while back I got a personal message over at the Bolter and Chainsword. I ignored it as I have much more important things on my mind than miniature soldiers. However I’m not an asshole so while trying to get to inbox zero, I read the message. It was a request for photographs of the Hakanor’s Reaver model I did as a tutorial when the last Chaos Codex came out. We were trying to do tutorials for all the new official renegade chapters. We never made it. People promised to do tutorials and then didn’t. I took on two difficult to paint chapters and completed both my tutorials. I personally think the second tutorial model is far better painted, I allowed myself to do more elaborate highlights on the trim for instance.

Anyway I asked the dude to send a real email detailing what he wanted. Turns out they are working on some sort of fan publication. They want photos of all the official GW Chaos Renegade factions and they also wanted action or staged shots. Now I live in a modest apartment in East Vancouver. I don’t have room for a gaming table. I don’t have the vast, vast, majority of my gaming terrain with me in the city. However loyal readers will remember I started a new large terrain project, but like most things in my life the last five or six years it got derailed…

I told the fellow I only had an iPhone he assured me those were pictures of sufficient enough quality. So I stopped rioting long enough to take a couple dozen pictures, even setting up my finished terrain tiles in my living room to take a bunch of staged photos. I put them up on Flickr but I’ll cross post a couple here.

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Test Game of 40K

Regular Vancouver tournament nemesis James Russo called me up the other day. He has been working on a scenario for Astro Vancouver based around the GW Battleboard and the hill I donated to last year’s Astronomi-con. He’s dubbed it the battle of Muskie Hill.

We played on Thursday, I had had two job interviews that day, and still ended up unemployed. So after ditching my suit and since my Nurgle terminators are queued up on the painting table, I decided to finally re-base my old ones on 40mm round bases. I thought I had enough, but turns out I was three short, the three I used to base the Forgeworld Deathguard Terminators, they should have been on resin bases I guess…  I can’t remember every detail of every modeling project I ever planned out, that’s why you write stuff down. Re-basing old Nurgle Terminators

I decided to use 2 part resin epoxy because gravity would hold the models to their new bigger bases. However the fancy syringe device I bought to apply the epoxy didn’t work. The yellow part was two viscous or solid to expel from the tube. So I ended up with a bit of a mess and sub-optimal mixtures of epoxy resin. I used a lot of toothpicks to get the other part of the resin mixture out of the syringe and though it took a while, all the bases held together for the trip to James’ house and the entire game. I also begged three more 40mm round bases off of James while there.

For an army list I decided to use at least one of the new Nurgle Havocs I’d just finished painting and went with my 10 man, Plasma Gun and Autocanon squad that I dreamed up years ago and finally finished painting twins of. Then I brought my “Longed Four” Havoc squad with four more autocanons and if you hadn’t guessed it, I fielded yet more autocanons with the Nurgle Terminators. Picking all these squads was easy, and I threw in another squad that I’d been dreaming of using since before the latest codex came out, Noisemarines. Ten man strong Nurgle terminator squad

James couldn’t grasp this squad, it is six men, with one single Blastmaster. It is cheap, fearless, has a heavy weapon, and can move and fire the heavy weapon. It is going to remain a staple of my army for the year leading up to 2011 Astronomi-con Vancouver.

I needed some HQ so since portability in addition to autocanons and just plain time spent sitting on a shelf were the attributes I picked this army around, I went with two Chaos Sorcerers. Most people don’t seem to dig on them, but they can be cheap HQs and if they get lucky can do damage with their Force Weapon. I never get lucky. My new gaming dice

The other thing I got to debut at James’ house were my new dice. I’m notoriously unlucky, and another regular tournament nemesis is color blind and my old nurgle dice were hard to read. So I got new ‘toxic green’ dice which I had to wait for them to restock at a store online.  I also got green Bolter and Chainsword dice which proved a lot easier to read than the toxic ones and will be my main gaming dice going forward. Finally I ordered some special red dice for plasma guns as the one is replaced by a skull signifying you burnt yourself. It shouldn’t change the odds, but if used consistently can speed up the game. Big B&C green dice for heavy weapons, little toxic dice for bolters, red dice for plasma guns. Shooting should be a snap for all.

As I pulled out my miniatures at James’ house, I realized Internet experts will hate this army. I also broke all my own little rules, that I’ve been following when building armies for tournaments.  I had:

  • No Powerfist
  • No Unit Champions
  • No Lascanon
  • No Vehicles
  • No mobility
  • No dedicated assault squad

My sub-optimal Chaos army

What I had was a bunch of autocanons, a bunch of bolters, a bunch of toughness 5 models and a few initiative 5 models. I also had a 400+ point squad that was just a collection of figures. I’d used ten terminators in a squad once before, because it used to be fairly portable, but with the new bigger bases I need to use my biggest miniature case to transport them. They did well against Rob’s Imperial Guard, but it seems likely they are unlikely to earn their points back, and that they’d ultimately end up under a pie plate or other wonder weapon.

They have one thing going for them, they are a total surprise, no one plans to kill ten toughness 5 terminators. It just isn’t on people’s radar or playtesting lists. I use little kid tactics with them, I walk forward and shoot. That is all they do until they have to fight in H2H which usually goes pretty well for them, but it is their mobile anti-Infantry firepower that is fun. They also kill Chimeras pretty well.

I quite liked this army and if the weather improves may take a variation of it to Strategies tomorrow for a little more gaming action. But right now it is pouring down rain. This is kinda the army I was thinking of taking to Trumpeters. I don’t want to have to paint anything special, but I think drop one Nurgle Renegade Squad and a sorcerer, add some Plaguemarines in a rhino and for even less optimal autocanon love, a dreadnought, the Beast Rabaan. Also based on how the game went, some melta bombs and another Chainfist would be nice. But I don’t want to paint another terminator, so I may just make the chainfist guy a champion for an extra attack.

Actual Battle Report

How I deployed my forces

James’ mission revolves around taking a flag at the top of a hill.  So it is basically a higher ground or king of the hill type mission. I’ve played those before but with no APCs and no dedicated assault squads I was in for a bit of a slog. I was expecting Tyranids so I planned to just blast them with autocanons and then use the termies to contest. The sorcerers didn’t end up doing much, neither did the Nurgle Renegades, the squads that saved the day were the Noise Marines and their Initiative 5, plus their sorcerer buddy, Lefty with his Initiative 6 and of course the steady diet of 8 autocanon shots the “Longed Four” kicked out every turn. Terminator armor and cover are all well and fine but I got off 48 shots with autocanons from that squad alone during the course of the game.

James’ army was Codex Marines, I think he called them the Emerald Guard or the Emerald Legion. They were green and I’d never seen them before. They were still WIP, but for the most part had a tactical squad, a devastator squad with 4 missile launchers, a terminator squad with a cyclone missile launcher, two scout squads, a Librarian in Terminator Armor, a twin-linked Lascanon dreadnought and three landspeeders in a squadron that I never shot at once.

The game went how I expected it. Both sides advanced most of their army up the hill. Difficult terrain rolls play a factor, but you can run, if you decide not to try and shoot. James got a lot of cover saves, me not so many. Since power armor gives you a 3+ save, often I set up to maximize what I can see and just suck up the incoming fire. The terminators drew a lot of incoming fire. James’ dread rolled a lot of ones. Eventually there was H2H between the surviving three terminators and the dread, plus the Nurgle Sorcerer McFly who was hanging around with them for safety. He couldn’t hurt the dread, only the Chainfist dude could. So despite penetrating every round I rolled a 4, then a 3, then a 2 as the game dragged on.

James advances his forces

As alluded to, the Noisemarines without Sonic Blasters walked forward and fired their Blastmaster. Their sorcerer tried to cast his spell (Doombolt) but was nullified. Eventually James charged them with his ‘assault’ scouts. I thought this was a mistake and told him that at Initiative 5, I was going to enjoy going first. I think he charged in some tactical marines eventually too. The sorcerer and his Force Weapon which counts as a Power Weapon did his thing.

Hand to hand fighting on the hill top

The two Nurgle Renegade squads didn’t do so much. One was forced to take point on the assault up the hill and was reduced to one model fairly rapidly. That model then skulked around for a turn or two before dying. The other squad fired their autocanon and eventually their plasma gun more and advanced much more slowly. They eventually ran for it as the game came to a close.

If the game had ended on turn 5, James would have won, but it continued and my Slaneesh Sorcerer was able to defeat his foes and run to within 3 inches of the flag with his consolidation move. If the game had gone another turn, James had planned to fly the Speeders on top of the flag and there would have also been a Chaos Sorcerer VS Space Marine Librarian hoedown. I may have also gotten some more guys on top of the hill, or just blasted James off with another volley of Autocanon shots.

The game ends in a tie

There were secondary objectives that I largely ignored. Also my Havocs took a strength 5 hit from an earthquake or something for not getting on the hill. They were fine. It ended up a 7-7 tie as none of James’ carefully chosen secondary objectives and mission penalties applied.

Scoring seven points in an Astro game is pretty damn good. Maybe not good enough if you want to win best general, but seven is well above the average score I usually earn, and with a totally thrown together army too.

Finished Painting 3 Models

The first three models that I’ve finished in a long time. Soon they’ll go in the back of a miniature cabinet never to be seen again for a few years as they don’t figure into any current army lists. Maybe I’ll work them into whatever army I take to Trumpeter Salute, assuming I make it. I really need a job.My almost finished Nurgle Havocs

These three models are pretty spiffy for filler. They are kitbashed or converted from a number of different sources, loyalists, Imperial Guard, OOP Chaos, Forgeworld etc. etc.  They are painted purple, relying heavily on the Foundry Royal Purple triad. I also used Vallejo and maybe even Reaper Master Series paint in addition to various new and old GW/Citadel pots. I even used a bit of Winsor & Newton Ink.

Nurgle Lascanon Havoc

I added to my repertoire by painting the glow around the coils of the plasma gun. I used a larger than usual dry brush and roughly followed the technique of Ron over on FTW, though I use my own recipe for the coils. I never usually paint the glow as it can get a bit messy, it also can cover up carefully painted details. It’s a trick best left for the really good painters or those who want a ‘trick’. It looks best at arms length not under extremely close view.

Nurgle Havoc with Missile Launcher

I used my own rust techniques along with a fair amount of custom washes on these models. Most everything has been detailed in previous posts. I just had to finish up the bases and a few details last night, then today I just did some final touches before photography and ultimately sealing.

Nurgle Renegade with Plasma Gun

These models will get the Lonewolf Gore technique too before finally resting on the shelf. I broke the lascanon model unfortunantely

Next up is some more models that I assembled and even bought without really needing, just because other people were doing it and I have to preserve my reputation as the Nurgle guy. If you guessed Forgeworld Death Guard Terminators you’d be correct. I built these when I should have been studying for a CFA exam I believe. After that I will assemble some more models, at first I was going to just do four metal OOP Bezerkers but now I think I’ll do some plastic models to complete two squads for my proposed 2011 Astronomi-con Vancouver army.

My tentacle pink was almost solid so I reached into my stash for a new old potDamn it!  While putting on the last of the rust I dropped the lascanon guy. He had tipped  over numerous times, but the drop broke him. He has metal arms but a plastic and resin body so the lascanon is really heavy. My super glue had dried out but I’d recently bought some Zap-a-Gap but that didn’t take for some reason, I even busted his other arm.  Now I gotta run so this post may wait until later this evening or tomorrow. I think I finally got him back together but that was the best one and now it picked up some chips and scrapes I gotta touch up.

Unfortunately in addition to being late, this will be the last update for a while.  We’ve suffered a death in the family so I’m at my  mother’s pitching in. I’ll be back in Vancouver next week and hopefully will pick up where I left off on the hobby front.