Yeah, I know that the Iron Warriors aren’t considered especially hardcore, or even enthusiastic when it comes to worshipping the Chaos Powers, though we do have strong precedent for cult troops within the Iron Wariors’ ranks in Graham McNeill’s Storm of Iron, which features Iron Warriors Khorne Berserkers. I’ve also had these plague marines painted for some time, though I’d never gotten around to doing more than the single group of five of them.
With the release of 40k 8th edition, I’ve been building up forces to play with, and the Iron Warriors have actually seen the table several times, so I recently started picking parts to create a squad of the aforementioned Berserkers. At the same time, the Death Guard release has been happening, with new figures released on a weekly basis. They’re lovely looking models, but quite different in both size and aesthetics to these Older-School Plague Marines from the early 90’s. (These two models date from 40k Second Edition.) What’s more was the fact that I liked the models I had painted, but was not so keen on doing an entire Death Guard army in the beaten copper that I painted these guys in.
Sometime after that point, I had a bit of an epiphany while browsing the new CSM codex in bed. I’d just use the Plague Marines in my Iron Warriors force. All they’d need would be a rebasing, and they’d be golden. After all, Storm of Iron is all the only fluff justification I need. Pair that with Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s rather excellent piece on what’s it like to be a Chaos Space Marine Lord and I have no problem going with it. I know you can do whatever, obviously, but I do like to create forces that fit in well with the game’s background, and when I was looking around for examples of Iron Warriors Plague Marines I found some rather vociferous arguments again them having any kind of cult troops. I figure that these guys are either Iron Warriors who turned to Nurgle at some stage, or they might even be Renegades from another Legion or Chapter – or even a squad that splintered from the Death Guard at some point in the past.
Naturally, the conversion from their older state was more work than anticipated. Not simply swapping over their bases. I repainted the wooden bolter stocks on these two from red to a worn-wood brown, like my old desk. Pouches went from the original green to a dark red, to match those on my painted IW. I’d have gone with black, but they already have a fair amount of black armour panels and I didn’t want them to disappear completely. Hose-looking cables were changed from pale green to pale tan wile others went from red to brass on their backpacks. Armour remained the same with the exception of the shoulders that once bore chaos star decals. I replaced those with 3d printed, glue-down “Iron Legion” insignia from Pop Goes the Monkey on Shapeways to proclaim their new allegiance.
Of course, these guys aren’t the only Plague Marines being updated. They’re just the first pair I managed to finish. I should have some more finished and posted in the next week or so, hopefully even the entire squad over the next few posts. I need to do some more varnishing when I get home from work tomorrow…