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N1SB Labs: Infecting Different Subjects with Nurgle's Taint

Nurgle Renegades & Heretics R&H Chaos Eldar Isha N1SB Labs

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I experiment with my miniatures.  Every model is just a new test subject to me now.  Some are successful.  Many are not.  All provide useful data (even if it's just never do THIS again).  Having incurred the costs in money & time, sweat & gears, I share my findings with you freely now.
+++ Overview +++

Ongoing experiment: so...what else can I infect with Nurgle's taint? 
This project, codenamed: Patient Zero, was a particularly useful in terms of learning.  Not only was it an Armies on Parade 2017 category winner, but it also has many SHORTCOMINGS that were particularly useful lessons.  You can review the long march to glory in its WIP thread: http://www.bolterand...artillery-army/


The army's narrative theme...which was really just there as an excuse for me to experiment with all sorts of things, is this:
A lone soldier, the soul survivor of an army destroyed by disease, wanders from base to base warning of the impending epidemic.  Little does he know that he IS the plague's primary carrier, because...like all humans...he can see corruption everywhere except within.
The idea started with a Regimental Standard article where Guardsmen saw Nurglings as giggling cherubs.  The novel Dark Imperium reinforced the story, but it was thanks to Bolter & Chainsword's own Lost and Damned sub-forum that helped me plan this army.
Mechanics-wise it is an Renegades & Heretics army (from the Forgeworld rules) for tanks, but the core is actually Chaos Daemons.  That includes the 2 pre-Fall Eldar figures, recent additions, representing Daemonic Princesses of the caged Goddess, Isha.
+++ Subject: Patient Zero +++
The military aspects of this army meant I had to paint the big stuff...tanks, artillery, et cetera...in camouflage greens.  Thus, I wanted to avoid the Nurgle elements being another shade of green, to avoid them blending into the background.  This became obvious as I worked on my 1st model, the Guardsman disease carrier known as Patient Zero, with his Nurgling "advisor":


I had this Guardsman wear a darker tone of the typical Cadian uniform.  A friend strongly advocated adding a Nurgling on his base to show he is being manipulated by Nurgle (I have since given this Nurgling consiglieri an appropriate portmanteu, Nurglieri).
The challenge was, if it was just a paler green, the traditional Nurgle colour, I felt it would blend TOO well with the miniature.  So I paired him up with a pus-like yellow...which looked really good.  It worked so well I continued with that combo of green and yellow.
That yellow Nurgling was painted as follows: spraypaint basecoat white, washed with yellow ink (NOT paint), then washed with a brown ink for shading, drybrushed up a lot with white.  That excessive drybrushing up to white at the end gives it that pus-like quality.
Conclusion: pus-like yellow for small Nurgle elements, like Nurglings, work really well.
+++ Subject: Nurgling Tank Rider +++


As with Subject: Patient Zero, here we represent Nurgle elements with yellow instead of green to contrast with the military tanks.
This Nurgling tank rider was done in parallel with Patient Zero's Nurgling advisor and it's how I landed with this combination in the 1st place.  I actually did the usual speed-spray-paint the tank, drybrushing the edges up a shade, then I literally put pots of paints and inks ON TOP of the tank to imagine what colour went with it best.  Those pots of pigment sat on it like the Nurgling is doing here, "test-droving" colour combinations.  Once this yellow was the clear winner, I made this Nurgling tank rider and Patient Zero's Nurglieri advisor at the same time.
From experimentation, I felt yellow really worked the best.  It was interesting because I thought red/pinks would've instead, like a bloody sore infecting the tank.  Something about yellow, though, with its pus-like quality, consistently gave the best results.
(Other experimental notes - the smoke launcher the Nurgling is straddling, is actually magnetised.  The "stem" is actually a magnet painted green.  This is so that I can take him off so I can re-use that same vehicle on a Loyalist army.)
Then, for fun...I simply added a Cadian helmet on the Nurgling.  Simple job, had to file off a horn and the inside of the helmet a bit.
Sometimes the best discoveries are made accidentally and here was the one here - more than anything else, people love Nurglings in helmets.  They're either hilarious or just cute.  Just convert Nurglings with headwear and you're golden.
Conclusion: helmets or hats on Nurglings are instant win.
+++ Subjects: Nurgling Operators +++


Here are 2 Nurglings, working together to "man" the guns at the back of the tank.  You'll notice here I used blue and red-violet instead.
And yes, the monitor in the back is displaying a GUI like Space Invader, because of how that turret shoots up at aliens.  Since making this miniature I found a U.S. submarine actually has Xbox controllers for one of its weapons (because they're cheap, easy to replace, and most soldiers already know how to use them from playing Call of Duty or Battlefield, I'm not making this up).
Conclusion: further proof supporting that yellow is a better alternative colour for Nurgle's usual green than, say, red or blue.
+++ Subjects: Nurgling Artillery Crew +++


What's interesting here is that I realised something obvious during this project, that even machines can decay...it's called rust.
This is something I really should've further played UP for a Nurgle-themed army.  As a Mechanicus player, I put plenty of rust effects on my metallic-looking works.  I should've just gone all out, just to add rust effects everywhere, giving that sense of rot.
The evidence is that the category I won in Armies on Parade was Monsters & Machines...which was apropos in retrospect, but I had aimed for theme initially.  That thought lingered in my mind, as I really should've dialed up the rusting machine element more.
My technique involved a (usually lighter) gunmetal spray, heavily washed with Tamiya X-19 "Smoke" ink to give it a dirty, oily feel, then drybrushed with browns and a bit of orange (as seen on the gun barrel especially here).
And yes, that Nurgling artillery officer in the back is wearing a military hat, just to have more Nurglings with headwear.
Conclusion - for Nurgle armies with mechanical elements, available with all those new Death Guard vehicles, consider more rust.
+++ Subject: Nurgling Swarms +++
I initially chose 3 colours, yellow, blue and red (ended up with more red-violet), just to try something different with Nurglings.  Those colours were based on the viruses in the video game Dr. Mario as well as popular boardgames like Pandemic.


There IS a practical reason...it's to identify them as different units in-game.  Notice each "pile" of Nurglings has 1 on top of a specific colour, and that pile has the most Nurglings of that particular pigment.  That denotes their "squad".  From basically left to right, they're the Red(-Violet) Squad, Yellow Squad, Blue Squad.  Thus, we can tell them apart during gameplay without seeming contrived.
All were painted with inks rather than paints, then drybrushed up to white, with some Agrax Earthshade on the horns then details picked out.  This was a speed-painting project, actually, really pleased with the results considering how little time I spent on them.
The only problem is I think the yellow ones, again, look really good here, while blue and red(-violet) are pretty "meh".
However, if I were to do it all over again, I would use the typical Nurgle green, coupled with this pus-like yellow, then maybe go with a fecal brown perhaps.  Purple would be GREAT, to contrast against the green, but unfortunately it is identified with Slaanesh.
Conclusion - Having tried different colour combinations against Nurgle's normal green colour, a pus-like yellow worked best thus far.
+++ Subjects: The Handmaidens of Isha +++
I read the Gathering Storm trilogy.  To my surprise, the 2nd book, The Fracture of Biel-Tan, was my favourite...because I don't even like Eldar.  In particular, it was one over-riding element of that Eldar-centric book that I loved: it was the lost pieces of Aeldari culture.


Early in the book, they described a priestess of the dead crone goddess, Morei Heg.  I really wanted to do something along those lines and, as always, Nurgle provides.  In his lore, he loves/imprisons a lost Eldar goddess, Isha, the mother of life.


So I tried to imagine handmaidens of Isha, corrupted by Nurgle in some way, as Daemon Princes(ses).




I imagine them wearing gear from the pre-Fall era, thus closer to Dark Eldar than Craftworld Eldar.  Using the Scourges' miniatures, I converted them with Plague Drone wings.  That required some surgery, basically creating a ball & socket joint on the Scourges' backs.
The colour scheme was something I imagined as sickly Wraithbone.  It was base spraycoated white, thoroughly washed with Athonian Camoshade, then extensively drybrushed up towards white.  It felt like some kind of locust or mutated bone.
One interesting thing is they really seem to glow with an (un)holy energy.  Looking at the initial full army photo at the top, they're so bright that they appear to be a bad Photoshop.  That was a happy accident because otherwise, it's just like "what's this regular-looking Eldar doing in a Nurgle army?"  That glow makes them look a little more ethereal than someone just in bone armour.
But I'm still not satisfied with them, mainly the colours.  I experimented with many things on some cheap miniatures 1st, from greens to purples to yellows to browns even, before painting these.  Of those this combination looked best, but I don't think I'm quite there yet.
Maybe I should've been less ambitious and used this Isha's last servants as Heralds of Nurgle/Poxbringers, or perhaps there are more possibilities there.  I really don't know, and this was my best attempt thus far.  The idea, I believe, is still good though.
Conclusion - the Isha aspect warrior/priestess, IMHO is still a solid concept, but I hadn't nailed it, would really invite other experiments.
+++ Reviewing Our Thesis +++
The original thought was that Nurgle's garden has many elements.  From the colours for their Daemons to their vehicles to perhaps Isha-themed figures, what I found is NOT the best methods yet...but clearly some better options than others, which I have collected here.
For an alternative colour to green for Nurgle, it turns out a pus-like yellow is a great option.  I was working on these even before the most recent (Christmas 2017/early 2018) Nurgle releases where you had the new Great Unclean One painted yellow.  It's like Games Workshop's internal painters studio and I were doing the same testing in parallel and reached similar conclusions.  But in my opinion, that yellow may be best served painting small things, like Nurglings, to better represent small poxes of pus like in real life.
So if you're working on a Nurgle army and want something to bring up the green, or want to differentiate your units, consider using yellow as a secondary colour, especially for small elements to make them more appear like oozing poxes.
But as always, the greatest discoveries are often found by accident, in the case of adding mechanical and Eldar elements.  I do think bringing Nurgle's gifts to machines, in the form of heavy rust, is very effective.  Keeping in mind the new Death Guard Codex introduced a lot more Nurgle-themed mini-vehicles, there's a lot of possibility.  I already know how to do that, I've done it with my Mechanicum, and I should've done more with it.  Meanwhile, the loose lore thread of Isha being trapped in Nurgle's garden is still there, and there may be lots more we can do with that...but that I haven't quite figured out yet.
Thus, to take a Nurgle army even further, considering very rusty mechanical or yet-to-be-found Eldar look to go with it.  Death Guard vehicles, corrupted Eldar Isha followers, or even crazier things.  Example - I recall that even Necrons can become Poxwalkers with the Y40k computer virus, which is such a great concept I want to do some conversions with them.
Nurgle is generous.  All are welcome in his garden, for our flesh IS the soil from which his gifts can grow.  Experiments will continue.

Edited by N1SB, 15 May 2018 - 05:03 AM.

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This new thread made my day! Keep up the excellent and funny work :)
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Very interesting post, i enjoyed how in-depth the write-up about your process was. Great work!
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Race Bannon

Race Bannon


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Welp, now I am forced to look at heresy and enjoy it too.

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"Fully dressed in the ancestral Terminator Armour of their Chapter they rise to a new level of battlefield supremacy, a level where monstrous tanks are but playthings of a child, and where Terminators, Daemons and gods stalk as equals." -Thunder and Lightning, White Dwarf 116 (UK)
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Ferum Caelum - A Raven Guard One-shot




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Welp, now I am forced to look at heresy and enjoy it too.


Old friend, I've learned some people choose Chaos.  Other times, Chaos chooses them.  It's like Thug Life.  Even if we don't believe in Chaos, Chaos still believes in us.

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Gorgeous looking army.  Thank you for sharing.  :)

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Cleanse! Burn! Purify!




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That handmaiden of Isha is fantastic! :tu:
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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Nurgle, Renegades & Heretics, R&H, Chaos, Eldar, Isha, N1SB Labs

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