Nurgle themes are especially open to some wild and crazy fun. Here are some ideas using the new Warhammer End Times Blightkings models for examples. These ideas work equally well on larger Fantasy models and on 40K Nurgle themed models like Daemon Princes, possessed vehicles, Plague Marines and the like. Let’s get right to the corruption!
Several years ago I came up with a dirty yellow-brown scheme for my Nurgle models to avoid using the same mostly green palette nearly everyone else including the GW studio uses. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, I just wanted to do something a bit different. I still use green tones here and there for accents and they are even hinted at in some of my flesh tones.
In fact, I came up with what I think is an interesting skin base color for this project. Mixing Gorthor Brown with Nurgling Green yields a semi-naturalistic skin tone, albeit a quite unhealthy looking one. When we’re done shading and highlighting this color the green in the mix will not be obvious, but it will give an unhealthy pallor to the whole model.
However, I like to vary my skin tones on units, especially human ones or those that were supposedly once human. It not only adds an air of realism, it’s creatively fun and visually interesting. You can see from the picture below of eight finished Blightkings that I’ve used several different skin tones. Some are naturalistic, while others look so mutated by Chaos as to be completely creepy and supernatural in their appearance.
In this view of just four models you can see that the fellow on the left with the scythe has a sickly pale and unnaturally pink and purple skin tone while the others have more realistic, but nevertheless varied skin colors. The armor color is the unifying color scheme for the entire unit. The armor is painted first with Zandri Dust, followed by Balor Brown and then a wash of Agrax Earthshade.
The four models in this photo also show a wide variety of skin tones though they are all riddled with disease. The fellow on the far left is somewhat pale while the one to his immediate right has a medium brown skin color. The two models to the right of that have colors that fall somewhere in between the other two. I used Carroburg Crimson to create the bloody, raw look on many of the open wounds and boils on the fleshy areas. A little green glaze was also used sparingly here and there and there’s some yellowish brown on some of the boils to make them appear sebaceous.
This fellow has lost much of the flesh on his lower jaw as well as having unnaturally long teeth thanks to the “blessing” of Nurgle. Rust effects on the steel areas of these models were achieved with Citadel Technical Paints: Typhus Corrosion and Ryza Rust. Notice the reinforcements on the shield look like a stylized fly face! The Games Workshop sculptors really put some thought and effort into this kit. It comes with 17 different heads and many different bodies and arm options allowing for a large number of unique builds.
This Blightking looks like he’s seen better days, his flesh is totally corrupted and bears a huge purulent triad of Nurgle. I painted the pitted parts of his shield as rusted steel and the fresher looking decorative reinforcements on it as oxidized bronze. I used Karak Stone as the base color for all the horns on these models, it’s a nice alternative to the usual ivory type colors used by most painters.
This diseased looking fellow like some of his companions has an equipment strap disgustingly hooked right into his flesh! Check out the helmet top knot, I found a cool way to paint something a bit pinkish without being blatantly bright pink by washing Screamer Pink with Druchii Violet then highlighting it with Tuskgor Flesh.
Remember that Gorthor Brown and Nurgling Green mix from earlier? Well here it is after shading and some detailing work. It’s not quite done as there are still final highlights to add, but you can see how the skin now has just a hint of green without actually being green. It’s a subtle sickly effect.
In the following picture of my Chaos Space Marine Daemon Prince of Nurgle you can see how these techniques for the armor and skin colors are similarly effective for Warhammer 40,000. This guy is both mean and disgusting looking!
I had to construct fifteen Blightkings to do all of the different builds possible with the kit that I wanted to do. There are so many unique assemblies possible with this amazingly detailed and versatile kit. These models are just so fantastic, so much like the original Realm Of Chaos models that got me hooked on Warhammer models twenty-five years ago that I can hardly express how enjoyable they’ve been to assemble and paint. They really are fantastic fun.
I’m still painting the rest of my Blightkings. After that I hope to get my Glottkin and Maggoth Lords finished.