This lot are Plague Drones, which as you probably have guessed from the ‘Plague’ in the name are part of the Nurgle contingent of my Chaos Daemon army for Warhammer 40,000. Like the rest of the Nurgle forces their main draw is being inefficient to kill with almost any weapon in the game, but this unit is slightly unusual in being quite mobile to boot. I’ve had a bit of success throwing them down the other army’s throat as soon as possible to buy a bit of time while the Plaguebearers slog across the board and clog up objectives. One almost downside to the Plague Drones is that they have several wounds. This might not seem like a problem but in an army that gets such a benefit from resilience, it seems like a waste to give the big guns on the other side of the board something to shoot at. Or, to put it another way, I love it when the giant death cannon facing me is forced to ‘waste’ it’s shot by doing nothing more than vapourising a single Plaguebearer (and sometimes not even that considering the invulnerable save and Disgustingly Resilient rule).
I’ve mixed up the two skin colours from the other Nurgle Daemons here, with the mounts in green and the riders in brown. I agonised for a while about how to do the carapace and wings and eventually decided to keep them a bit duller to better contrast with the green of the flies’ bodies. I’m still not completely happy with that look but the rest of them are pretty much right where I was aiming so I’ll consider that a good outcome. Transporting these is proving to be a bit tricky as they’re covered in spiky, sticky-out bits; luckily half the games they’ve played in have been at my house.
Next on the painting table: Swamp Horror.
These glorious, cute little piles of goo are Nurglings, part of my ongoing Chaos Daemons project. As befits tiny creatures on a battlefield filled with tanks, superhumans and wizards, Nurglings are quite easy to kill and don’t do much damage. However they are quite cheap, very un-threatening, fairly inefficient to kill and can sit on objectives like champions while the rest of my army goes about the business of fighting.
Despite how amusing I find Nurglings, I decided to keep it as simple as possible when painting them. So it was a simple green wash over white undercoat, then pick out the mankiest bits in pink. I did consider giving a couple of the individual Nurglings a different colour just to liven them up a bit but getting into their backs with the paintbrush looked to be a bit awkward. Overall I’m pleased with how they look considering the effort needed to complete them.
Next on the painting table: Plague Drones
Here are the first ten Plaguebearers for my Chaos Daemon army. They fulfil my troops choice and appear to be fairly effective so I guess I’ll eventually end up with quite a few of them. In particular, the main benefit that Plaguebearers bring is being really inefficient to kill so I want to maximise that by taking the full-size unit of 30 so that they can maintain the benefit of their -1 to hit ability for as long as possible. When it comes to actually killing stuff, Plaguebearers are not my first choice. But they excel at sitting on objectives and not dying very fast, so usually I punt them onto an objective and / or ram them down the throat of something that specialises in massive single target damage and just let them grind it out over a few turns.
In contrast to the Poxbringer, I wanted this (first, perhaps of several) unit of Plaguebearers to sport green skin. As with the Poxbringer, I did this by applying two layers of Biel-Tan Green wash over a white undercoat. I deliberately kept to a minimal approach for detailing the miniatures since I expect to end up with 30, 60 or even more of these in my army, so most of the smaller spots / boils / etc on their bodies were not specifically picked out. I like the way that the green skin and bone weapons work together.
Next on the painting table: Nurglings.
This is a Poxbringer, the first miniature in a fledgling Chaos Daemon army for Warhammer 40,000 (and Age of Sigmar, at least in theory). In the time since I last played the game, all the Heralds have been renamed into something more silly and copyright-able; in this case the Poxbringer would previously have been a Herald of Nurgle. It’s a pretty cheap HQ choice and mainly benefits me by increasing the strength of other nearby Nurgle units and occasionally contributing some damage or similar with a psychic power. The few times I’ve been desperate enough to commit the Poxbringer to close combat have gone pretty poorly so I generally aim to keep it behind a big blob of Plaguebearers.
Furycat and I got the itch to play GW games again after a rather long break so we’ve been dipping in with 500 and 1000 point games between combination of my Daemons, his Space Marines and Gary’s Space Wolves. You can read a bit about his initial thoughts here: link. So far 8th edition has been quite entertaining, being fairly smooth on rules interactions and at least tolerably balanced (by GW standards). The missions are the main let down as we’re playing with the scenarios from the main rule book but I understand that there are alternative options available for us to research.
I’m splitting the skin tone of the Nurgle units between green and brown; as can clearly be seen the Poxbringer got brown. I’ve been trying a new approach of working mainly with washes for the bulk of the miniature, so in this case I started from a white undercoat and went straight in with two washes of Seraphim Sepia. Everything else is done in the ‘normal’ way; i.e. with paint first. I like the way that the purple guts contrast with the skin, but the bone of the weapon and tree / antler (?) thing sticking out of the Poxbringer’s back is probably a bit too close in tone. I couldn’t think of a clever way to fix that since I want to keep those bony colours consistent even for when I get to the units with green skin and so it needs to be something both slightly naturalistic and contrasting with green. Even with that, I like the result and feel that the Poxbringer will be a good start to my Chaos Daemons. One down, potentially hundreds still to go!
Next on the painting table: Plaguebearers.
Here are a unit of Blood Stalkers for my nascent Daughters of Khaine force in Age of Sigmar. In game I’ve found them a little disappointing as they’re quite expensive for a very low number of not-very-exciting bow shots, and their melee presence has never been able to make up for this. My experience so far can be summarised that they move up, shoot a couple of arrows into something, then immediately get overrun. As usual, I think that this is likely to be player error; notably Blood Stalkers have great movement speed so probably I should make more of that.
I really love the miniatures though, so I can forgive their performance on the tabletop. They call out to the Ray Harryhausen fan in me, who has not really grown up since watching Jason and the Argonauts etc in the mid 80s. I had all sorts of ideas for varying the skin tone of the snake part, but realised that if I wanted them to look like a unit then I’d need to have something more to visually link them together than just the hair (and fairly skimpy armour). So in the end I painted a nice bright green and cream combination for the snake part and tried to match the general approach of the Witch Aelves for the rest of the miniature. I’m very pleased with the final results.
I dedicate this post to Alex from Leadballoony‘s Fembruary Challenge.
Next on the painting table: Druze Shock Team with Chain Colt.
These are Blue Horrors, part of the Chaos Daemons faction I’m gradually working on for Warhammer 40K. I’m kind of doing these in the wrong order since one would normally start with Pink Horrors (which I don’t even own yet) then they split into two smaller, weaker Blue Horrors instead of dying. The Blues then split themselves into a pair of Brimstone Horrors upon their deaths. They can all be bought and fielded separately too so there is no need to always put Pink Horrors in the army list. I’m not really sure how best to use the Blue Horrors though. If I just want cheap body blockers and tarpits then Brimstones seem to be way to go, whereas Pink Horrors are the option if I actually want them to achieve anything.
Anyway, the Blue Horrors were pleasingly fast and simple to paint up to my satisfaction. The whole lot got painted blue all over (the clue is in the name, after all) then I picked out the weapons and jewellery in silver. I chose silver since it provided a nicer contrast to the skin than bronze. Finally I picked out the flames, tongues and teeth to brighten the lot of them up. I’m quite happy with the results, especially considering the amount of time expended on them.
Next on the painting table: Troll Axer.
My good friend Gareth had a bit of a hankering to get back into Warhammer 40K, and so I agreed to join him. I do have some Harlequins to use but I realised that since I already have pretty much one of each kit that exists for that force, it would be hard to expand much. We might not go to big games anyway, but I took the opportunity for a new project anyway. After some discussion, I have ended up with Chaos Daemons, and my recent birthday present included a box of Blue Horrors and Brimstone Horrors.
I don’t even think that Brimstone Horrors were in the game or the story the last time I touched Warhammer 40K, but they seem like quite cute little chaps. They are dirt cheap (the ten pictured barely cost more than a single Space Marine) and have stats to match. I guess that their main purpose is to get in the way and hopefully soak up some bullets intended for bigger and more dangerous part of my army.
As befits a unit of probably the cheapest models in the game, I didn’t spend too long on this lot. A yellow coat was followed by orange on most of the raised parts and then red on the highest sections and the tips of the flames that the Brimstone Horrors are made up of. I then picked out the eyes and teeth, mainly because otherwise they looked a little too much like they were only fire (i.e. and not little imps) at a distance.
Next on the painting table: Troll Impaler.
Here are some Witch Aelves, the start of a burgeoning force of Daughters of Khaine for GW’s Age of Sigmar game. Appetite for Age of Sigmar seems to wax and wane somewhat at Chateau Argentbadger and I’ve actually ended up giving away the Slaanesh Daemons I had painted to a friend. So when excitement started to build again I treated myself to a couple of boxes of Daughters as they have extremely nice miniatures. Regular readers, if there are any, will know that I’m a sucker for a dynamic sculpt so an army of dancers seems like an easy sell to me. In game these are the basic troops available to the faction. With no ranged weapons there’s not much choice but to throw them right down the other side’s throat at the first opportunity. This suits my preferences nicely and has been fairly effective in a couple of games. The Witch Aelves are all attack and no defense (fittingly, considering that their choice of armour is that fantasy staple: the chainmail bikini) and I’ve lost the whole unit a few times simply by allowing the other unit to attack them before I could get my swings in.
These first three are the command group. I have to admit that it’s not super-clear who is meant to be the champion but we finally worked out that it is the Witch Aelf shown here in the centre on the basis that she has the biggest hat and the fanciest knives. The lighting is showing the skin up as a bit shinier than it really is but I’ll put that down to bad photography rather than bad painting. The white hair is part of my ‘vision’ for the force – how I imagined them looking even when I was buying the kits.
The light blue brings a nice bit of colour to the unit along with the bright white hair. I thought about doing the gloves and leggings the same colour but decided it would be too bright. If this army lasts long enough in my attention to require a second unit I’ll probably go with red cloth to differentiate between them.
I feel that the bronze armour gives a bit more contrast with the skin than my other choice which would have been the steel colour of the knives.
Finally, the unit all together.
Next on the painting table: Troll Whelps (again).
Following from the Seekers I posted last time, here are the accompanying Daemonettes from Games Workshop’s Chaos Daemons range. Like the Seekers, the miniatures went together very easily and painted up nicely without too much effort.
I deliberately chose garish colours since that was part of the fluff for Slaaneshi units back when I last actually read any of it (i.e. in Slaves To Darkness) and found it a nice change from trying at least slightly naturalistic colour choices for some of the Malifaux I’ve worked on (though admittedly some of that stuff is also somewhat bright). In the end, despite how easily they painted up I did find it a bit of a chore completing ten almost identical miniatures; I guess that this means that I shouldn’t go too deeply into any horde armies for any systems. Indeed, this is one of many appeals of skirmish systems.
Next on the painting table: Philip and the Nanny.
These are Seekers from Games Workshop. As part of my ongoing attempts to either encourage my children to follow my geeky path, or possibly to tone down their enthusiasm to the point where we ever talk about something not related to toy soldiers, we each picked up a Start Collecting box for the (new to me) Age of Sigmar game. Interest in actually playing Age of Sigmar seems to have waned in favour of Warhammer 40,000 (magic space guns > just magic, at least as far as I can tell) but I have tremendously enjoyed the process of painting my way through the Daemons of Slaanesh box. I’m aware that I could notionally play them in Warhammer 40,000 as well, but I’m looking into more ‘space-y’ armies to fit my perception of the aesthetic better and in any case a friend seems to have a potential use for the Daemons.
I will admit to having some issues with Games Workshop over the last decade or so. In summary, I love their miniatures and consider them to be pretty much the best manufacturer still. But the balance of their games (except Blood Bowl, which seems to have been a community effort) is almost universally terrible and this leads to unsatisfying games when played between adults of comparable skill levels. So it was with some trepidation that I jumped back down that particular rabbit-hole. Still, I suppose that if I’m mainly playing against my own kids then the balance is not really important as I can just modify things myself as needed.
I painted the Seekers, or as I recall them, Daemonettes on Steeds of Slaanesh, in two parts. I had already decided on a bright pink and purple scheme for the riders so I felt that something more muted would be suitable for the riders and eventually went for black hide and white underbelly. The assembly and ease of painting is significantly better compared to Wyrd miniatures and it is probably this that is at least in part leading to the dominance of Games Workshop in the industry. I found this lot even harder to take decent photographs of than usual as they’re big enough that my lack of skill with the camera shows up the short focus compared to the depth of shot I would need.
Next on the painting table: Daemonettes.