So this is the state of the army now, two months into 2018. Four packs of Plaguebearers, two Beasts of Nurgle, 1 Daemon Prince of Nurgle (represented by the original GUO), 1 Great Unclean One and Mamon the Transfigured. I’m not even going to worry about “proper” points at this stage, but it comes to a Power Level of 54 for 8th edition 40k, so we’re getting towards a decent sized force – though a ton of those points come from the Great Unclean One.
If you’re sick of Plaguebearer posts, you’re not alone. I’m sick of them myself. The good news then is that this post represents the last of all my metal Plaguebearers painted and completed. Sure, I’ve got a ton of plastics to paint up at some stage, but since I ain’t touching my plastic kits until ALL of the older metal is done, we have a reprieve.
I’m sure they’ll still feature in some other posts. I should do an “Nurgle Daemon Army-so-far” post sometime soon and I’ll do a personal Squaduary wrap-up in the next few days, though I still need to put the final, finishing touches on the Wolfpack first. I’ll do the same for Fembruary, though that will be closer to the end of the month, or even the first weekend in March, since the month ends on a Wednesday and then I’ll need a few days to photograph and then write up a blog post. And of course, there will be my final February wrap-up post encompassing everything I got finished this month, but after that I can only see them turning up in batreps or subsequent “Nurgle Daemon Army-so-far” posts as the force continues to build up.
Here they are, united with the original batches of “green” Plaguebearers.
Okay. We’ve had the Green Plaguebearers and the Tan Plaguebearers, it’s time for the Brown Plaguebearers. As with the last Plaguebearer post last week, the batch is made up of a mixture of the 3rd wave metals, with a couple of 2nd wave metals, and the shitty 2007 3.5 wave command trio.
I already shared my opinion on these in the last Plaguebearer post. Suffice to say, if you think these look okay, then I’ve managed to successfully slightly polish a trio of turds. That and we’re looking at them from their most favourable angles here. The pointing finger was missing from the Champion/Plagueridden, so I used a “bone axe” hand from a Shieldwolf Mountain Orc as a replacement.
Since posting up the previous batch of Plaguebearers, I’ve found that not only did Aly Morrison sculpt these 3rd Wave models (which are a mixed bag – my favourite three are above) and those embarrassingly awful abominations of a command group, but he also sculpted the original Great Unclean One, which stands as a timeless classic (to me, anyway). Talk about an uneven resume.
Here’s a pair of 2nd Wave Plaguebearers. I never liked these compared to the originals, or even the 3rd wave models. They always struck me as a series of unnecessary resculpts. In that they looked quite close to the originals, while still being noticeably inferior. I always assumed their main reason for existence was because Kev Adams had moved on (or been moved on?) from GW. Not sure if that’s true or not, but this range still seems to me to be one of the more redundant series of models ever released. Sculpts are by either Aly Morrison, Colin Dixon, or both, depending on where you look, as I’ve found them both individually credited for this range as well as “and-credited” for this range.
I ended up with an awful lot of that hunched-over Plaguebearer, so here’s a pair in brown along with a friend. The overall palette and techniques for these guys was pretty much identical to the tan and the green, just with a different base colour, hightlight and shade for the core flesh. The discolourations, tentacles, horns, bone, wounds, etc were all done in the exact same way, which will unify them nicely with their fellows I think.
As with the last set of Plaguebearers I painted, I’ll call this another completed submission for Alex’ Fembruary Painting Challenge 2018 as well as the Squaduary Painting Challenge. I’ve still got a few more Plaguebearers to show (I finished them concurrently with these ones), so now I can shift painting gears a little and try to finish some other models before the month ticks out. I’ve still got that pack of 9 wolves that I’d like to complete for Squaduary, as well as the Dark Elf Sorceress and the Escher to complete for a more traditional set of models for Fembruary.
And then there’s the two Ork Nobs that are all I need to complete their two Mobs.
Of course, the “to paint” list is endless, but it’s good to have the next few targets decided on…
Here’s the next batch of 12 completed Plaguebearers, fresh(!) from the paint queue. This bunch has been painted with a washed-out, pale fleshy base with ruddy-flesh accents and the odd bit of purplish tentacle-worminess.
First up for “showcasing” are the command group. While they do look okay once fully painted, the actual figures are (forgive the pun) disgustingly bad, lazy, pathetic sculpts. I did a musician before I found the bunch of 27 figures that this dozen came from, and was dubious about the way the details like the bell are joined to the body, but having now painted the trio of them, I can honestly say that they’re really shit figures that were clearly rushed into production and rushed out the door to release alongside the 40k 4th Edition Chaos Daemons Codex and WHFB 5th Edition Warhammer Armies Daemons of Chaos.
I’m not sure who sculpted these, I’m not even sure if it was the same sculptor that did the others from the 2001 release, if a trainee just went over the top of some masters, but they should definitely feel bad about such shoddy work. EDIT – Turns out it was Aly Morrison all along. For both the originals and the Command Group. Credit to Krautscientist and his old collection of German WDs for checking it.
Pretty much just smushing greenstuff between bits of sculpted detail to join things together “because Nurgle” is lazy and pathetic. Sure, much of that is hidden between and under other details, but having large areas of basically no detail bit lines poked into the sculpt is not up to scratch, especially for the prices that GW was charging even in 2009. Seriously, look at the “drips” of muck. That’s childish toy cartoon levels of detail, not expertly crafted miniature detail.
Here’s two pairs of duplicate figures. While the aesthetic could easily be questioned on these, the sculpting in the finer details is miles ahead of that found on the command models. I’ve used Citadel’s Blood for the Blood God (a dark, glossy clear red) in their open wounds, though you can’t really tell in the photos. As with the Spartan Shield on the Minotaur Captain, it ends up looking quite flat when photographed.
When I was painting these, and drawing closer to getting them finished, I was also thinking about Alex’s theme for February: Fembruary. Which is to paint some female miniatures during the month. I got to thinking – and I’m entirely serious here – this 3rd wave of Plaguebearer sculpts – this particular lot – could just as easily be “female” as “male” in pretty much any breakdown of figures.
Let’s look at the facts. Plaguebearers are created from the victims of Nurgle’s Rot in the lore. Nurgle’s Rot effects civilians and whole populations just as much as it does military, so there’s no real weighting there, even if you go with the idea that military forces in the Imperium are overwhelmingly male (until they update things like the Imperial Guard figure ranges, hopefully!). To quote GW: “These loathsome Lesser Daemons are crafted from the blighted soul-stuff of mortals who have been slain by Nurgle’s Rot.” So there’s that.
Beyond that, we’ve got physical appearance. Let’s go with sexual organs first. They clearly all have uncovered secondary sexual organs (bare breasts/pectorals). They’re not sculpted in any kind of way to engage the prurient interest, but that’s not what we’re looking at. Scroll up and look at those chests. Do they look more male or more female? Some each way? All a bit asexual? Primary sexual organs? Well, these aren’t sculpts by Mierce or Brother Vinni, so there’s no Tab A or Slot B on any model in the range. But then, what did you expect?
Of course, they’re all ugly as fuck. And we’re conditioned at this point to expect our female figures – by and large – to be beautiful, with maybe a Troll Hag or Female Ogre or a haggard witch being the exceptions. Check any Imperial Sister, or Eldar model, or any sorceress or female Warrior or Bard or almost anything from Reaper or Avatars of War or Privateer Press or… We’re talking overwhelmingly beautiful and/or explicitly “sexy”. Male figures, on the other hand can be as ugly as you like, and I think that’s a big part of why we (myself included until a couple of days ago) consider models like this to all be male, when they’re actually not really defined one way or another.
With 100% seriousness, I’m calling several members (at least) of this daemon pack a successful submission for Alex’ Fembruary Painting Challenge 2018. I still intend to complete some more “traditional” female models as well.
I’m also calling this dozen models, all started this month a successful submission for the Squaduary Painting Challenge, for all the reasons stated above. It’ll probably continue to go under Stepping Between Games‘ radar, because I ain’t signing up for either Disqus or Twitter for a single paint challenge, unless Ann or Westrider wants to give them the heads-up.
I’m entirely sure I’ll get the other 15 Plaguebearers done this month as well, though maybe not this weekend, because Pandemic Legacy and NJPW. I’m also sure that IRO will appreciate the ridiculously long post title that including it in all of these categories has entailed. Funnily enough, these haven’t been neglected (started but unfinished) miniatures, so they don’t count for my own challenge… 😉
I thought this picture might be a nice way to wrap up this post. All of my painted Plaguebearers. If I need to, I can segregate them by skin tone, but I prefer to have them all mixed together in a messy horde of Nurgle’s children, even if they’re in packs of 10. Roll on completion of the next dozen in the next skin tone!