Thursday, 31 March 2016

A Tale of Four Oldhammerers: March's Magician of Nurgle

Oh, what a month it has been. It all started out with this great plan for getting my bigger units finished for this project. After limping along in the race during the Tale of Four Oldhammer Gamers, I wanted to make more of a mad dash to the finish (this year's Oldhammer Weekend in August) and get so BIG units completed. Sadly, life as always intervened. So, a few days ago I finally admitted to myself that I was not going to get the two units of Nurgle I had wanted finished by the end of the month. 

But this left me a problem!

What could I submit if I only had a few days? 

Thankfully chaos is very forgiving in a project like this and the necessary 100 points can easily be found by painting up a single champion model. But what model should I pick? I have a stack of the classic champions that Jes Goodwin designed in the late '80s and I even went as far as fishing their bag out of the Welsh Dresser. In the end though, I decided to paint something really, really special and I chose the model you can see here. 

Being close to the beating heart of Oldhammer, I have been lucky enough to meet a few collectors with some really nice pieces, and I have even managed to pick up a few of them too! Miniatures that were produced, but for many different reasons were never actually released. And this model is one of them. Perhaps you have seen it before on one of the CCM pages?

It has been referenced under 'Empire' and someone has suggested it represents a magician or druid. After painting it, I think that this assessment is not quite right. Judging by it's cadaverous visage (the face resembles a fleshy skull) I suspect that this model was once destined for a 'baddie' range. Having worked on it for a few hours, I feel that the model was never actually completed before casting. Parts of the figure seem unfinished and strangely empty. The 'robe' seems very, very smooth when compared to similar models from the 'era', almost as if additional detail were to be added later, but weren't. 

One thing that did strike me when I was preparing the model for painting were the three 'ball' shape pieces on the back. You can see them here in the image above. I have painted them a rusty silver. They don't appear to be grenades or pouches (you can see a pouch painted red below them) and are really rather inexplicable unless you look at the model from a chaos perspective. 

I feel that they are a Nurgle symbol, such as you see on many shields and models across the Citadel Range. Have a look here to see what I mean in more detail. The red shield clearly displays the classic symbol for the Plague God, doesn't it?

So this begs the question - could this be an unreleased Nurgle Magician instead? I believe so and it is for this reason I chose to paint him up for my (very slowly) growing old school Nurgle army. 

He was great fun to paint. The unfinished areas were suitably challenging and resulted in me having to be more creative with my painting. I had a little serendipity along the way too. As I was sticking the model to it's base, I managed to drip some superglue onto the figure's robe. In attempting to wipe it away I ended up sticking my fingers together and making a right old mess. However, the dried glue gave the robe a little irregular detail and instead of stripping it in the Nitro-Mors overnight (remember, I was on a time limit) I decided to just paint on over the dried glue. 

Can you notice? 

Recently, I unearthed a pot of Bilious Green in my storage area and decided to put the paint to one side to do something with. I haven't actually painted a model with the stuff for over twenty years and the challenge of doing so was a welcome one. You will have seen that I used this green to build up the skin tones with the final highlight being pure Bilious Green - a classic '80s clolour you just don't see any more. Bright red made up the eyes, a purple tongue and brown rotting teeth. The hair was also straightforwards - just grey, light grey and white painted in streaks. 

The robe was harder (not just because it had a crusty layer of superglue on it, either) as it was just so bland. It looked too smooth to be the fetid rags of a Nurgle follower. To solve this, I used a stippling effect with the paint while highlighting and created a rather wormy, irregular finish. A good glaze with a chestnut ink made the material look oily and damp. Nice and offensive like all good Nurgle follower's like to look! 

The staff was a throwback to an old undead army I painted in 2010. I used gold as a basecoat. Then washed over in a dark black ink. Once this was dry, I made a verdigris green wash out of blue and green and seeped this over the staff. Once this dried, the gold looked filthy and aged. I used the original base colour once again to highlight the edges of the metal. 

Bags, feathers and belts were painted quite simply with browns and blacks, as were the shoes. I used my prized Foundry Boneyard triad for the animal skull on the end of the staff. This really is a set of paints you NEED to own as they are absolutely excellent for painting bone. Finally, I used red and blue as spot colours for the pouch and dangling hair tuft below the animal skull - what are these called? 

All in all, I just scraped in with the time limit. Phew! I have been so busy I haven't even had a look at what the other boys in my Oldhammer gang have been up to this month, so I better go remedy that immediately! 



  1. Nice work on a great mini.

    Your super glue incident reminded me of my rubbish attempts at adding PVA "slime" to the Nurglings carrying my (sadly sold) Nurgle Palanquin. I think all I succeeded in doing was making a mess and obscuring the detail on the lovable little pukes!

    1. Thanks Steve!

      Your tale about 'selling' the palanquin is a familiar one! Too many of us shifted that classic model for far too little and now regret it. I am intrigued about your slime, though. Did you add it before or after the paint? I am imagining some kind of varnish attempt?

    2. It was after or perhaps even during as I seem to remember some of the bilious green paint seeping into it and making even more of a mess, or maybe I mixed paint into the glue before hand? Also it was added in a big dollops to try and get that viscous dripping effect - bit like the sculpting on the back banners if I remember correctly. Suffice it to say it looked like someone had sneezed on it and not in a good way!