Our nearly completed summer campaign (Caluphel Awakenings) has proven to be a motivating factor for me to complete the last few units for my Death Guard vectorium: the Maggot Magnates. For October, I selected a unit I’ve had on my painting table for many, many months: a 5-man unit of the truly awesome Blightlord Terminators.
I had acquired these guys quite a while ago — fully assembled and magnetized, actually — and had been intending to paint them up as one of the centerpiece units for the Maggot Magnates. By completing the unit in October, I was also able to count them towards Azazel’s Unit-ed Community Painting Challenge, which is just icing on the cake!
This kit is a stunning example of the new toys that Games Workshop is producing these days. The kit includes five totally unique, armor-clad behemoths — not terribly poseable, I’ll admit, but the level of detail more than makes up for that shortfall.
In my head, these guys will be known collectively as the Hideous Bloom — a cadre of battle-hardened veterans, each one a brutal warrior in his own right, who have served dozens of Nurgle-blessed chaos lords over the long centuries. The Hideous Bloom is based in the Tower of Rust, a forbidding redoubt located in the trackless forests of Hundvolst (a doomed planet within Warzone Endymion). When not on the battlefield, the Hideous Bloom can be found cloistered away in their foul tower, engaging in unspeakable acts of devotion to Nurgle.
For the basing, I wanted to do something other than my typical sci-fi urban rubble scheme. Nurgle is all about life, death, and decay, so I went for a somewhat verdant basing approach, with lots of green turf flock and some tufts of grass. After all, not every 40k battle takes place in a blasted cityscape…these guys would look perfectly at home marching out of the gloom on a pastoral agri-world, or teleporting into battle on the slopes of a boreal mountain forest.
Each figure includes a set of details and features that are unique to that particular sculpt. I’ll go through each one and point out the nifty parts.
This guy has maggots spilling out of cracks in his armor — dozens, hundreds of slimy white grubs, as though his armor is jam-packed with foulness. Here’s a close-up of his ruptured ankle joint.
Up next we have a corrupted warrior who is slowly turning into an insect. Check this out!
Insectile iconography is one of the original hallmarks of Nurgle, dating way back to the glory days of Rogue Trader, so it’s nice to see it represented in the Blightlords.
Here’s my heavy weapon guy, sporting a magnetized plague spewer. I have all the other weapon options, too, but I haven’t painted them up yet. The plague spewer will have to suffice for now!
And on his back, he has a gnarly fuel tank comprised of three interlinked corpse heads! Presumably they’re supplying the bile and sputum that comes spraying out of the plague spewer’s nozzle.
This next guy is a favorite of mine. He has a fairly standard outfit when viewed from the front — basic armor, unadorned helmet, sweet chainmail, etc…
But from behind, you can see that he’s got mounds of gray, flabby elephant man flesh spilling out of his cracked armor! It’s unbelievably gross and I had a lot of fun painting it with successive layers of washes.
And finally we have the real centerpiece of this unit: the champion armed with a massive flail of corruption! I’ll admit that I was totally intimidated to paint this sucker when I first looked at the figure. I ended up snipping the flail off the handle and painting it separately, then re-attaching it with a pin to the handle after both sections were complete.
I particularly love the mass of guts and tubing that’s hanging out of his ruptured tummy, leaking green pus. What a mess.
I took my time on the smoke coming out of the plague censers and I’m really pleased with the result. Could I have spent even more time on this particular detail? Yes I could have. But I’m very focused on output (rather than perfection) and we’ve got an apocalypse game coming up in early December, so it made sense to stop at “good enough” on this guy.
I’m coming perilously close to actually being finished with my Death Guard army. For me at least, no army is truly finished — there’s always another character conversion or special unit to paint up, and my bits box is full to the brim with potential projects. But with the Maggot Magnates, I’ve completed basically everything that got me excited about playing Death Guard in the first place: vintage metal Plague Marines, exciting new special characters, and wacky daemon engines.
I’ll be pivoting to fantasy over the next few months, as I work on my all-metal Skaven army for Dragon Rampant. I may paint up a few undead figures, too, just to remind myself how awesome they are. And I’ve got a fun little goblin warband on my kan ban board getting lonely. Stay tuned!