Sunday, 17 January 2016

A Tale of Four Oldhammer Gamers: Plague Cart

Hello all! I have had quite a prolific weekend and managed to get a large number of models near completion. Sadly, the light is diminishing rapidly so I must reluctantly clean off my brushes and pack away until next Saturday. But, blogging is possible in any weather, so he we go...

Last month the leaderboard looked a little like this:

Warlord Paul = 8 points
Steve Casey = 5 points
Chico = 5 points
Orlygg = 4 points

And yes, that is me languishing and the bottom of the table! Not wanting to remain there for any longer than I have to, I got to work building up my rank and file for my Nurgle army. Using the list in the Lost and the Damned gives you a great deal of options, and my eye immediately fell on the units of plague skeletons. I have a large number of undead models sitting in storage as well as an embryonic undead army, so why not kill two birds with one stone and paint up some skeletons!?

Nurgle's daemonic number is seven, so any units I build will need to be grouped by this amount, or a multiple of. I selected seven suitable skeletons and set to work prepping the models. It was then my eye fell on the section for plague carts, and it appears that any player who fields plague skeletons in the Nurgle army can have a cart for FREE! So my Nurgle warband would soon be seeing seven skeletons (lead by a skeletal champion) and a plague cart to boot!

Only I hit a snag. I ran out of decent light today before I could finish the skeletons. But the plague cart that goes with them is, at least, complete. The plague cart usually costs 100 points (and even though I technically don't have to pay them) can act as this month's commitment on its own. I hope to have the skeleton unit complete well before the end of the month, but this post can be my insurance policy just in case!

I must confess to being a big fan of this model. The plague cart is a truly iconic Warhammer model that sadly disappeared from the game some years ago. The beauty of the plague cart is that it can be used in ANY game, thus making it essential to any serious old school Warhammer player. If you are not au fait with the rules let me paraphrase. The plague cart can appear on any battle field and usually travels in a straight line across the table, passing through most obstacles. It causes fear and reanimates fighters slain nearby as it trundles its way wherever! A choice piece for any GM and a regular 'event' in my games of youth. 

Initially, I tried to paint the model entirely with drybrushing but the results were less than spectacular. So I returned to my tried and tested bone recipe - using the Foundry Boneyard triad, which is excellent. I completed the undead ox first but realised that I was in danger of producing a model that just looked like a cart made from bones. How would the eye differentiate between the ox, the wheels and the pile of bones in the back?

In the end, I used a red/chestnut ink wash over the corpses in the back of the cart, before highlighting in my usual way. This gave the bones here a bloodstained look that I really took too, and I used the same technique on my other (as yet unfinished) skeletons. 

The wooden cart was very simple to paint. Just a brown undercoat washed over with black ink. When dry, I drybrushed over with my brown basecoat and highlighted with the darkest shade of boneyard. Very simple. 

In the end, I decided to paint the grim reaper rider like a ghost. If you read the background of the Plague Cart it states that the vehicle is actually ethereal so I wanted to make reference to it on the model. Again, he was fairly easy to paint and I used a dark blue/green mix as a basecoat and added the lightest shade of boneyard gradually to create the highlights. 

To conclude, I am really pleased with how the model came out and it has become one of my favourite ever Citadel miniatures. I discovered a new way to approach the painting for bone that I am keen to try again too. With a point for this post and another point for delivering my 100 point entry for the month in the guise of the cart itself, I now have six points. 

Hopefully, I can earn a few more before the end of January and knock that Paul off the top of the table! 



  1. I've not seen that plague cart before, great painting...reminds me of the 70's Minifigs model
    based on The Triumph of Death by Bruegel.

    1. I haven't seen that model before just like you were not aware of the Plague cart! There is a close relationship between many early Warhammer pieces and Bruegel as John Blanche was a fan!

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  3. Excellent work! I love this model. I've been looking for one for my Nurgle army. The green of the rider is very nice, I could see it being used again if you do a unit of ghosts.

    1. I have used the technique before for my Vampire Counts army I have stashed away somewhere - though that is a 2009 attempt in the days before Oldhammer.

  4. Did you also sculpt yourself the rider's face ?

    I have my plage cart here and the rider is a faceless hooded figure: I don't remember that more than one variant of this model were ever produced.

    1. The rider's face is a freehand paint job and not a variant or sculpt at all. The model just didn't look right to me being so bright with such a dark cowl, so I quickly whipped up that face. I am very proud to hear you think it is a sculpt or variant though! (:

  5. Oh woaw, what a great model!
    That's what I want to see when it comes to Old Warhammer, thanks for that!