The Last Purple Plague Marines

Much reviled by some on the InterWebs and not one of my better decisions of all time, I’ve none the less continued to paint my Plague Marines/followers of Nurgle a variety of colours. Originally it was green for assault, purple for devastators, and brown for tactical squads.   also had one grey squad but that has given me the most problems as Ghoul Grey is long out of print.

For over a decade followers of Nurgle or at least Mortarian couldn’t use weapons that shot over 24 inches. This was deemed tactically prudent by someone at GW HQ. Furthermore it was decided Plaguemarines would forsake all weapons but the almighty knife. So some of us had to dutifully convert or paint new models armed with bolters and plague knifes. Then it was deemed that the bolt pistol was A-OK and once again a bunch more plague marines were converted and painted to have bolt pistols.

During this time there was either no Plague Marines in-print or an extremely limited amount. All these people out there that complain that they only have one or two poses of a fig, or just a plastic kit, or just a metal kit, or whatever. For a while there was nothing for Chaos Space Marines all you could get was the backpacks and even those were a special order and you pretty much converted loyalists. Eventually Chaos got their first ever Codex after battling it out for a long time with the infamous “Black Codex”.

The Diseased Sons started at the dawn of 2nd Edition and were formed around the Black Codex. So lots of five man squads, devoted to Nurgle with either a single special weapon or a single heavy weapon. It was even legal to give an entire squad power fists and jump packs I believe. I used to have a squad like that. In fact over the years I’ve made most every Plague Marine squad possible, 20 models strong, three plasma pistols, whatever.

As time marched on I did inventories of my models. I got tired of painting another model to make some army list, that is why the Nefarious Fire are all black with purple flames, no matter what their battlefield role. This makes forming squads so much easier. I even deemed it OK to re-paint knee pads to change models from squad to squad, after refusing to even do that for years. This worked pretty good for the green guys but all my heavy weapon models were useless for over a decade. Eventually I divided my army into three groups. The good looking group, largely painted more recently and for 3rd Edition onward. The updateable group, this included some pretty old models, and required a bit of converting to make certain models legal again, but though it took years, I updated them all. The final group were the oldest Diseased Sons, 2nd and 1st Edition plastic loyalists and a few old lead Nurgle Renegades. These were stripped. This batch included almost every heavy weapon I’d ever painted for my Chaos Space Marine army.

Now the world is a smaller place. You can, with a credit card, buy models off people in other countries, even at 2AM PST, allowing you to collect old Out Of Print figures. GW even used to let you order these directly, first from the UK, then even from the colonies. I was a university student for much of the last 15 years and a high school student before that. I’ve also spent too long unemployed. I’ve never been Mr. Money Bags. I worked hard to pay for most of my undergrad degree. We won’t get into my beloved MBA…

Anyway after updating a third of the army. Stripping and then repainting almost all the classic models. Buying most every Nurgle model put out by GW for the last 15 years and dutifully painting it, converting all manner of differently armed soldiers, I decided to re-purpose my squads. As far back as GT Calgary I’ve had seven squads of Plaguemarines, Nurgle’s sacred number. I’ve never really needed to field more troops than that for a single game. My miniature collection is based on swapping out models to play 1500 point games with a variety of army lists. I don’t even know how many points I have painted. But a decade later I still have seven squads devoted to Nurgle.

In 5th Edition Nurgle’s followers could once again have heavy weapons. They still couldn’t use grenade launchers, multi-meltas, or conversion beamers even though those figs were released once upon a time. I actually acquire more renegades over the years so I could swap in the appropriate weapons and or convert them to carry the correct ones. I decided to make each of the seven squads unique, though the two green squads I use the most basically have enough special weapons painted for them to be twins, as for a while I thought one flamer and one melta was optimal.  Now I’m a two melta man, I roll too many inopportune ones.

The final three Purple Plaguemarines


  • Jaundice Squad was dusted off and it was discovered despite relatively mismatched power armor they had the most painted special weapons, so they became my veterans and have at least one of each special weapon. I gave them a missile launcher too, as Chosen, the new veterans, can have four special weapons and a heavy weapon.
  • Green III, Gangrene became my melta squad. This is the squad I use the most, Bob has been transferred to it pretty much full time, I even converted a new Bob with a combi-flamer, but lately I never seem to have the ten points for it.
  • Green II, was the former all Power Glove squad, they were used as my Lord’s retinue for a while as they had all sorts of odd armaments like hand flamers and dual chainswords. Things that used to be legal. They also had plasma pistols so they became the Plaguemarine squad with plasma pistols for special weapons. They also got named after an obscure disease AZOOR. Now I want to rename them and with the latest Death Guard Codex they will become the AXE Gang because everyone loves Kung Fu fighting.
  • Green I, the Burning Sores have always been a personal favourite. They were always flamer based and although they can field some melta guns, they can lay down three flame templates in one turn too if I want to field them that way.
  • Brown I, Diarrhea, still had heavy weapons as I deemed them painted too well to strip. There used to be a Brown II squad Gonorrhea, but after all the rules changes I just folded them together so I could actually field a squad though they rarely got used. With the more recent codex I set about to make a true Devastator squad and looking at the bits and models I had stripped I thought 4 Heavy Bolters was the way to go. That squad was 200 points and didn’t work so well at Astronomi-con. What I really wanted to do was Autocannons but I couldn’t find enough of them…
  • Purple II, Syphilis, basically got all the old OOP Nurgle models, the new metal Plague Marines (and Havocs), plus a few conversions. I got the idea to do a 14 model squad for GT Vancouver, but by the time the tournament rolled around the squad had been downsized to 9, the last model removed the morning of the first game… They had two plasma gunners. Eventually while in Japan I painted up enough models to field a 20 man squad, then I converted and painted up another champ and two more plasma gunners. I also painted them an Autocannon as I was keen on them for a while.
  • Purple I, The Scarlet Fevers, this squad is actually the cause of this entire post and my current painting efforts. Having already painted a pile of Purple Plague Marines and putting them almost all in a single squad and then made Diarrhea my ‘Havoc’ squad these guys need something to make them useful and unique. I ended up giving them two different heavy weapon models and decided to paint up the other two, available to Chaos Space Marines, to make them a versatile Nurgle worshiping tactical squad. They also got a champ or two, an icon, that’s another thing I converted and painted over the years for each squad was a different looking icon bearer. Finally after all this time I’m painting the final three members of this squad.

This won’t finish off the Diseased Sons, I’ve always had plans for Nurgle Raptors and Bikers, that was what I was going to use the Forgeworld Conversion bits for. I also bought the terminator Death Guard conversion bits though I didn’t need more Nurgle terminators, but those are the other three converted and primed models keeping me from working on what I really want to work on which is my Astronomi-con 2011 army, my trench table, my Servants of Decay, and of course Waaagh Musk. I even have more Daemons to paint most of which will end up on square bases…

So there you have it an abbreviated history of the troops that make up the Diseased Sons. I’ve spent a lot of time updating old webpages and hopefully in 2020 will update the Diseased Sons to work under the new Death Guard Codex which will mean swapping some models, painting a lot of new special weapons and tramps. I’m not sure I need all seven squads, maybe just 3-4 will be modernized. Painting is time consuming for me and I only have so much I can devote to this hobby.

Post-Astronomi-con Vancouver 2010

So tradition dictates that I make a new army list and paint campaign badges on all the models that perticipated in the tournament. That is finished much earlier than usual. I uploaded a bunch more pictures to Flickr, I painted all the red diamonds and brass letters in one sitting. I had a couple beers and my advise is use non-metallic paint for the text and paint your most important models first if you’re drinking.

My future army lists are top secret, I don’t want the riff raff and rivals to have an unfair advantage. After all it is now a proven fact that the road to Best Overall at Astronomi-con Vancouver goes over my dead body.

Old metal Khorne Bezerkers
Old metal Khorne Bezerkers

Maybe next year I’ll field a more competitive army and be in contention on day two. You never know I used to be a contender. In my first GT I got quite a few battle points, I think three wins, a draw, and a loss. But that was long ago, probably two editions of the game and maybe three of the Chaos Codex. I’ll be finishing off all the unfinished models on my painting desk and then more Bezerkers so I can use my Blood Slaughterer. I even sorted through my old metal Berzerker models late last night and chose the four I would do up next.

Thanks again to Jim Bell for getting most of these models for me.

Nick Daniels and Jason Dyer have typed up post-Astronomi-con blog posts and hopefully a few more accounts will appear, maybe from the Americans or Kelownaites or whatever you call people from Kelowna. I know James Chen took a pile of notes as did Devon when I played him, so perhaps some more battle reports will be forthcoming. In the mean time you can go re-read mine or just explore Flickr which will hopefully get more pictures from the event. There was even a videographer present so look for some YouTube videos perhaps.

Favourite Rhino

Renegade With Nurgling For Brain

Bob The Necessary Evil

Favourite Plaguemarine

Blister Packmate

Chaos Renegade Of Tzeentch

Long Hair Leader

Slaneesh Renegade

A lot of Purple Flames

I procrastinated away the morning. I just lay in bed for hours. It is too bad you can’t just visualize the model being finished then it will finish itself.

I’ve spent the last three plus hours painting purple flames. So I decided to celebrate and take a picture of the models, especially the base of the Terminator Lord. I used a different camera position so hopefully all the work I’ve done on the resin base is visible. Before anyone asks it was made by Scibor. Gotta find the link now.

The purple flames are my new dark purple recipe with slight variations for where on the model the flames are. The 3D flames are highlighted where as the free hand flames are painted with the lighter colours in the centre. You can have it both ways as far as I’m concerned. I mean they are demonic purple flames, the laws of physics don’t apply.

A lot of Purple Flames
A lot of Purple Flames

I still have to paint:

  1. Silver metallic bits
  2. Green tubing
  3. Brass Trim
  4. Bones and Skulls
  5. Belts and leathers bits
  6. Terminator Lord’s Loin Cloth
  7. The Sorcerer’s Force Weapon

Then it is final details like eyeballs and touch up work. The grey stone on the bases needs a little touch up, but I’m waiting until after I do the Brass Trim. The Sorcerer’s base actually has a lot more detail behind him, bricks, skulls, shell casings etc. It is going to be a long night, but I think I will soon leave the house and get some fresh air and a bite to eat.

My right knee is really bothering me. Too much time spent hunched over the painting table this week…

Back to Painting Power Armour

I’m actually quite worried I won’t get my 2010 Astronomi-con Vancouver army painted in time. I’ve decided I’m only 5 mini’s away from being done, but besides these three rank and file models I have to paint both my HQ choices. I was going to paint a Greater Daemon too, but now I’ve realized I’ll never get it done. If you want to see what it will eventually look like, just go back in time and see the purple Bloodletter I’ve been painting…

Models painted Black and Tin Bitz
Models painted Black and Tin Bitz

As for the three models I’ve been working on tonight, I haven’t made much progress. After finishing the Chaos Sorcerer for the Mighty Empires Campaign at Strategies, I ran some errands and applied to a few jobs. It also got a lot hotter. I slept in and had to delay painting until later into the evening. I even bought some beer to try and fight the heat. I really should get a fan. I just sit in my apartment and sweat.

All these models are ‘kit bashed’. They are made of various plastic, metal, and resin bits that I’ve acquired over the years. I’m actually running out of in-print backpacks and I think chaos space marine legs. I have extra torsos because I use metal and resin ones, but legs I’ve mostly used up. I’ll have to buy another box of rank and file CSM someday.

Highlighted Black Power Armour
Highlighted Black Power Armour

I’ve actually decided to change things up. Even after painting well over 100 Chaos Space Marines I’m still trying to get it down. By getting it down, I mean paint more efficiently. Give me 60 hours and I’ll paint you a really nice model. But if your goal is to paint an entire 1500 point army, especially to a high standard you have to be smart about it. I’ve moved to the cult of the black primer, but I’m trying to give grey a shot for some models. I seem to spend a lot of time painting black into recesses after spraying my models with Chaos Black. I think I may give Army Painter Primer or Testors a try.

I swear the models are never perfectly cleaned and primed no matter how much effort I put into them.

The first thing I did was paint the armour trim Tin Bitz. All three of these models will have different coloured power armour as they are in three different squads. Two of them are Plaguemarines and one is a Chosen of Chaos. I decided to paint the trim first as it defines the model. It is something I’ve been experimenting with while painting test Bezerkers. The trim outlines the model which helps in painting the rest and in photographing.

Innis and Gunn Beer
Innis and Gunn Beer

I painted the Chosen first as it has Black Power Armour which is actually easy to highlight if you follow my system. I spent a lot of time working on an efficient method of highlighting black. I also leave room for the Purple Flames which are the signature feature of the Nefarious Fire Chaos Space Marine Warband. To highlight black after much experimentation I use Foundry Triad #34 Charcoal Black. I apply the paint in the following order Shade, Charcoal Black, Highlight, Shade. I use the second layer of Shade to shape the highlights. Then I give them a little Badaab Black wash to darken and blend the highlights. Then I use the Highlight (34C) again and if I really want the model to pop, I use a lighter grey. This time I used the new light grey I bought which is Vallejo Sky Grey. It is actually a bit too light, but any lighter grey will serve.

I’ve gotten more selective in what I highlight. You have to do this if you’re trying to paint entire armies and squads, especially for the square based game. The most important parts of a model are the face, hands, and the weapon. I left the weapons black as they will mostly be a silver metallic colour, not Tin Bitz or Brass. The hands I did highlight up to Sky Grey but this model has no helmet, he’ll get a blue tinged flesh like most of my CSM.

It is almost midnight and I’m on to my third beer. So this is the end for the evening. Tomorrow I have to get up earlier walk to Strategies and try to win my first game of Warhammer 8th Edition. I don’t fancy my chances. I will be trying to get these three models done quickly to maximize the time I have for my HQ choices.

Whenever non-hobby people see my models they always ask what size brush I used so since I’ve had to buy some new brushes and although I’m not super picky, all brushes are not created equal, here are the brushes I’m using lately.  Most of them were bought at Deserres.

Tools of the Trade
Tools of the Trade

I’m such an idiot sometimes

Astronomi-con Vancouver is August 21st and 22nd.  Some how it had disappeared from iCal, but now it is back. Since I switched back to iCal and my iPhone away from Entourage and my old job’s Blackberry it seems appointments I enter magically don’t appear and other oddness. I’m in Horseshoe Bay going to Nanaimo and Vancouver Island for a cousin’s wedding so no painting for the week. That leaves me about two weeks to paint 5 models, plus I might do a sixth special bonus model. It doesn’t sound like much to some, considering I painted five Night Goblins in one day and I’m still unemployed…

However these aren’t Night Goblins, they are bigger, more elaborate, and I had planned to do a bang up job on them. All of them are converted of kit-bashed. Some of them use Forgeworld bitz and bobs. They are not one pose plastic rank and file models. Now I’ve gone and put the pressure on myself again, by leaving them so late.

The two weeks I busted my ass painting Warhammer Fantasy Battle models, or the weeks I spent doing test models for my post-tournament projects, or even the terrain tiles I jumped the gun and started making. All that might come and bite me in the ass. Last Astronomi-con I stayed up all night working on the paint jobs and bases for my Nefarious Fire models. I never did finish 15 bases or the Chosen exactly. All those models are done and more, but I need to do one new Chosen, one Plaguemarine Champion, and one Plagumarine with melta gun and my HQ. Some of these models aren’t strictly necessary but hopefully will improve my painting score a smidgon.

Astronomi-con Vancouver attracts some good painters so it is a tough prize to win. I think I’ve come a couple points away the last two years and if I really tried hard maybe I could win. Alas this year doesn’t seem to be my year either. Oh well next year the Servants of Decay will have to give it a go.

When I get back from Vancouver Island expect to see a return to my flurry of updates, hopefully painting all the rank and file models hasn’t sapped my fine motor skills too much.

I posted a picture of my army as is, here is a picture of most of the Chosen that didn’t get done last year, but are completed now. Flickr has gone and changed their UI, not sure if I like it, though you can do some fancy zooming or pseudo zooming…

Chosen Chaos Space Marine

Chosen Chaos Space Marine

Chosen Chaos Space Marine

Chosen Chaos Space Marine

Yes they all have comb-meltas. The photos are blurry because my camera was dying. I really should take some more photos of my minis. One day I’ll buy a good camera again.

Finishing Up Old Models

So having finished off two terrain tiles, I cleaned up my painting area pretty good, put away most of the materials and bits that were littering the floor and set about getting some models finished an off my painting table. The first batch I decided to finished were mostly already painted. The batch consisted of some new Nurgle demons that I’d been painting on the side and experimenting on, also added to the queue was an old plastic goblin spearman. This model had a bent spear and hadn’t been seen for years having gotten stuck to some foam. I fixed the spear and gave the model an average actually better than average paintjob, plus affixed a shield to him. Touching up and finishing miniatures

The two models I finished first were too old mid 90s Diseased Sons character models. Both were converted to have jump packs, one an old Ork jump pack and the other a converted metal loyalist jump pack. Back in the day during 1st and 2nd edition jump pack characters were all the rage.  hey usually had conversion or possibly even displacer fields which made them tough to kill. Now-a-days models seem to go about in rhinos and land raiders as it is safer and the models are cheaper and readily available.

Old plastic Goblin SpearmanThe one with no helmet is Oderous the Unclean he was the lord/leader in the early days of the Diseased Sons. The other model which is in Crusader Armor was usually used as a lieutenant, sometimes both would be in an army list. He only has a chainsword whereas Oderous usually used a Plague Sword or sometimes a Deamon Weapon when I went a bit over the top.

These models were considered pretty damn well painted back in 96 or 97. I learned that once sealed you can’t use washes much on old minis so when I update one, I generally just add highlights or paint in lowlights. These models got the tiny line treatment and because they have sentimental value and I wasn’t in a hurry I touched up and improved a lot of things about the models, from Oderous’s face to the leather bits. This is the best these models have ever looked. Old Diseased Sons HQ

I still don’t think they’ll see the tabletop much, I may make another lord with wings someday, but generally I try to keep costs down on my HQ and like everyone else stick them with a squad in a vehicle for safety. I was going to make some Nurgle Raptors and I’ll probably still do it someday, but first I think I’ll do Khorne Raptors it makes more sense tactically.  I’m also trying not to buy stuff, but to complete a squad of 8 Khorne Raptors I may need another jump pack or two plus possibly legs…

WIP PlaguebearersThe models that I put a lot of work into, especially relative to their importance are the Nurgle daemons. I don’t need more painted Nurgle daemons, I can’t even use them in a Chaos Space Marine army currently. However I bought some both for fun and because I had a plan for hordes of Nurglings… After buying and assembling them they sat primed in a box for years so slowly I’m working through them. I think I have six more stands to go. I use Nurglines and Plaguebearers to try out new techniques and color combinations, sometimes I just use up paint on them left on my palette.

These models were mostly finished prior to the terrain building period, but I still had enough bits undone to try some more stuff out. The blue grey skin may become a fixture of my Servants of Decay force. The Zombie on the Nurgling base was painted similar to how I did the sandbags with GW greens: Gretchin, Camo, and Rotting Flesh. Camo isn’t so important now that I have Gretchin green, it is probably better for zombies anyway. I used washes mostly Badaab Black and Devlan Mud but also probably Gryphonne Sepia. Most of my plague daemons will look similar to this one, but I’ll try to streamline the technique some. Three dark reds made by Reaper

Plaguebearers with dark red gutsThe other thing I wanted to test was the new Reaper brand dark reds I bought. The plaguebearers especially the pale one had lots of exposed guts these got covered in Terracotta Clay, Bloodstain Red, and Clotted Red. Clotted Red is the big winner it covers well and is a nice dark red. The others are more brown, still useful but when trying to get say a squad done I’ll be keeping my red recipe as simple as possible. I will be painting some Khorne worshiping models and I don’t want them wearing no sissy red. GW reds especially the new ones tend towards orange. I don’t want that.

I’m going to Vancouver Island for a few days, see the family, watch the World Cup Final with my cousin from Austria. So I’m trying to get these models done before I go. I tried finishing them last night but it is getting hot in Vancouver even late into the night. The reds are drying right now, soon I’ll give them some washes and some highlights with GW reds, I have plenty of those then finish off their weapons and the rags on the one model and they’ll be done.

I tried to use my Awesome Paint Drying Blood wash but despite shaking regularly it separates and then gums up its dispenser. I ended up mixing a bit of the thick stuff with water and using that. I bought three of these washes and the only one that has worked well. I used an excessive amount of Cool Gray again because it gummed up and came out in a big blurt. I’ve taken to poking a needle in the Reaper and these pots, Vallejo gives me less trouble but it separates too, it just mixes back together betterNext four models I will paint

I have various red washes, glazes, and inks mostly old GW stuff, but you can buy artist ink.  I’ve been buying some of that mostly orange, sepia, and flesh. I have this olive green one too, but I haven’t tried it. Oh well maybe on the next batch of Nurglings.

I’m using pigment mixed with water and my beloved old Rust Brown Ink to make the rust on the Plaguebearers blades. I’ll also probably mix in some orange paint as I often do two or three tones of rust to get an interest effect. My mom just called so I have to wrap up the miniatures and this post and make sure I don’t miss the 5 o’clock ferry. It is only 2:30 but I also have to pack and take out the garbage… I wish I would have done the laundry yesterday, but I guess it will just wait until I return.

I’m going to try the Krylon Matte sealant on these models. I used it on some of my scatter terrain, nothing bad happened, but we gotta wait and see how it wears, I don’t play much, but I do use my models in games occasionally. When I get back from Vancouver Island I’ll work on these four tester models and maybe yet more Nurgle demons.

Nurgling Stand

Plaguebearer of Nurgle

Plaguebearer of Nurgle

Contrary to what you may have read elsewhere online, I do know how to paint Nurgle models.

Freshly Assembled Miniatures

So despite today being a big sports day and despite it possibly being the best UFC card ever, I walked home and immediately started working on finishing up the models I started assembling today. These are the models I mentioned in my previous post. From right to left they are an all metal GW plaguebearer, a Foundry 25mm British/Canadian WW1 Rifleman, an old OOP plastic Khorne Bezerker, an almost as old plastic Necromunda Orlock, a hodgepodge of a Plaguemarine armed with a melta gun, and finally, another kit bash of a Chaos Space Marine armed with a heavy bolter.

Some of my old OOP GW figures

These models will be part of my Diseased Sons, Nefarious Fire, or Servants of Decay armies/warbands. The plaguebearer is mainly for fun and the WW1 model is to test a paint scheme for the Canadian Corps. The rifleman is noticeably smaller than more recent models, even the Orlock looks small but that is actually correctly scaled next to a Chaos Space Marine. The Necromunda fig is so old, it hasn’t seen the light of day since I lived in Yellowknife. That was during the second edition of Warhammer 40,000. I’m surprised I even remembered it was an Orlock. The Goliath gangers may look more chaotic, but I think the Orlock will allow me to test my brown, black, and purple paint scheme better. Models before UFC PPV

Some of the knifes got broken off the Goliaths but I repaired them. There are basically two poses per gang with a variety of guns. There were spare guns and lord knows I have bits, the problem is most of my bits are for space marines. My vaunted bit box is running out of Chaos Space Marine legs, even torsos. I was also out of backpacks of the non-Khorne variety. The only plastic chaos backpacks I could turn up were from second or first edition. I’ve converted so many loyalists to the dark side I’ve used up most of my backpacks and torsos. I gotta stop buying loyalists… Of course I’m trying not to buy any models, I have plenty of one piece metal chaos space marines, including a pile of Bezerkers.

Models after UFC PPV and more workI also am running out of suitably Nurgly heads.  One of the most recent, in fact the most recent chaos kits I’ve bought is the possessed so those bits are getting pressed into service. One thing I have plenty of is shoulder pads, if you like your shoulder pads fancy. I have piles of metal Deathguard ones, so I keep using about one a mini when I do a Nurgle guy. I used one of the new Space Wolf shoulder pads on the Heavy Bolter guy.  His legs and torso are pretty plane Jane, but I made sure to get his gun assembled well, though it too two tries.  His head is a loyalist head, from the Black Templars upgrade sprue I think, I like heads with targeters for my heavy weapons guys.