Realm of Chaos – Nurgle’s Children 2018 #1: Kev Adams Plaguebearers (1991)

Realm of Chaos Lost and the Damned Original Oldhammer Plaguebearers Kev Adams

These Plaguebearer models were released as part of the initial “proper” waves of Nurgle models back in 1991, alongside the seminal Warhammer rulebook – Realm of Chaos: The Lost and the Damned. If you’re at all interested in the background and artwork that got us to where we are today in terms of Chaos and how it fits in with Warhammer Fantasy, Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000, I strongly suggest getting hold of both Slaves to Darkness and The Lost and the Damned. Obviously the books are hard to get hold of – especially on eBay, but they’re worth it. I believe that Forge World is reprinting them for some special events this year, and of course, with this being the internet, .pdf files of them exist. Though of course, I’m sure that if you picked up a copy in this manner, you’d be careful to ensure that you already owned them in book form first.

Anyway, these five are all I have of the initial release. There are 11 sculpts, counting variations and not counting the “Combat Card” Plaguebearer that was never officially released. I’d love to pick up the others, but with Oldhammer being the cool, trendy-retro thing that it’s become, it has gotten much harder to pick up older models in the last few years. I always especially wanted Woundlicker, Snotsprayer and Wormrot, so we’ll see if I manage to get hold of them one day…

Realm of Chaos Lost and the Damned Original Oldhammer Plaguebearers Kev Adams

Many aspects of Nurgle that remain to this day can be seen on these figures, from the Nurglings capering around their bigger cousins’ legs to the overall appearance. The “joy” that followers of Nurgle hold so strongly is evident in several of their faces, though the dour expressions that have come to typify Plaguebearers specifically can be seen on Vomitrot, who just looks like a miserable bastard.

Of course, the faces of these old Plaguebearers have a striking similarity to those of the Orcs (and Orks) of the day, in that they’re very clearly Kev Adams sculpts, and he seems to have simply given them pretty standard Kev Adams Ork faces and maws, albeit with a cyclopean eye, mono-horn and a more human-ish nose. The similarity also extends across to the work he did for Heartbreaker on a good amount of WarZone’s range, including the Necromutants that will also be (re)drafted into one of my 8th edition 40k forces. Poxwalkers, perhaps?

These figures will be paired with other Plaguebearers from later range refreshes and have a lot of potential use across a number of games. In 40k they fit into the Nurgle Daemons or more general Daemonic army, they’re used as troops in the Death Guard Legion force, they can be used in Age of Sigmar and even in Kings of War in an Abyssal force. And those are just the obvious used for wargames