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Chaos through the Ages (now with pics!) - clearing six editions' worth of backlog


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Twentysomethingth time's a charm...

I'm now in my third decade in this hobby, and as far back as I can remember my New Year's resolution has always been "paint what you've got before you buy any more!" Nevertheless, like the mound of skulls at the foot of Khorne's throne, my plastic mountain of shame continued to grow.

The point of this blog is to keep me honest and make 2018 the year I break the back of my backlog. I'm focusing on one faction a month, starting with Nurgle in January. I'll be setting mini goals each week and doing my best to keep things updated.

As it stands my plan is:

January: Nurgle

February: Bloodbound

March: Tzeentch

April: Slaanesh

May: Slaves to Darkness

June: Seraphon

July: Stormcast and  Free Peoples

August: Aelves

September: Brayherds

October: Destruction

November: 40K (shh!)

December: Inevitable impulse purchases.


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First up is my lord of plagues, who has undergone minor surgery so that he can double as an extra herald.






Next up are my blight kings. These guys are the test models for various warrior unit schemes and also to have a go at various Nurgley painting techniques like bruised flesh and corroded weapons. Still undecided on a basing scheme,

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Warriors next. I had debated putting up some of my older Nurgle warriors from the hunchback era, but I can't get them to photograph well and besides, they're enjoying their well earned retirement these days.

When the Blood Warriors came out, I wanted something with similar aesthetic ties to the other gods. As someone who loved the old Realm of Chaos books, it's long bothered me that Chaos Warriors look so regimented these days. Help was at hand from Avatars of War, whose corruptors of the apocalypse make great warriors of Nurgle. I have to admit they're a pain in the neck to put together, especially in the days of square bases and ranking up which limits the pose somewhat. That and I had to deal with AoW's awful customer service. All that said I'm very happy with the end result. 

I'd really appreciate some thoughts on the base for this guy before I jump in and do the whole army like this. The idea is for the rim and the rocks to tie into the rest of my chaos forces whilst giving a distinct Nurgly element.


Putting these guys together gave me a bunch of spares, so I've done a tad of kitbashing to emphasise the allegiance of my GW store friendly warriors. This guy is a test mini and still a little WIP, but you get the idea:



I'm pretty pleased with how this guy came out, but I still think I can go further with the Nurglification. I'm currently working on bashing together some easy to build Blood Warriors and leftover bits from the Blight Kings set as a proof of concept for a new unit. Thoughts? Feedback? All much appreciated! :D

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They look great! The green armor is perfect, and the base is really cool. I love the nurgle shield on the second one, and the armor too, hard to decide which color looks better. I'm not sure the second one needs more nurglification though, I kinda like the look of what a blightking would be like before he becomes very blessed, and if you do to much nurglifying they might look too similar, just smaller blightkings. 

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@mumperpa thanks for the feedback!

I take your point on not overdoing it. I may just stick to heads, weapons and shields and removing the distinctly Khorne elements. Colour wise I want to mix it up a bit between units as I don't want a chaos army to look too cohesive. I've always seen them as a loose coalition of warbands brought together by a powerful warlord.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Cheers @Kramer!

Small update today. I'm making good progress on the Glottkin and just have to finish the basing on my Exalted Great Unclean One. Now that I've settled on the toxic swamp look for my Nurgle minis I've started finishing up the bases for my completed units.

I've been playing this army for a *very* long time now, and there's quite a few old lead figures kicking about. One of the great things about Chaos is that scale creep and changes in style don't make your armies feel obsolete in quite the same way as some other armies. After all, Chaos is all about mutation and variety! With that in mind I thought I'd post some images of my plague bearers from each generation. I've given some of the older models the odd touch up rather than a complete repaint since I really don't have time to go back through my entire collection, but the addition of some Nurgle's Rot, BFTBG and Typhus corrosion really helps to tie them in with the newer units. I've also done a similar picture for my daemonettes, and hopefully I'll do something similar for other units once I dig out more old Realm of Chaos era minis. I've got my eye on the new Great Unclean One!

Speaking of gigantic mounds of rotten daemonic flesh, there's also a WIP of my current GUO.




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It's another small update today with two of my favourite old school minis re-based and ready for the age of Sigmar. The first is a limited edition Sorcerer Lord from the Storm of Chaos campaign. No repaint on this guy even though he's not really up to my current standard. I may go back and add some OSL around the eyes and paint the gloop on his hands to match the base if I have time at the end of the month. 

The second guy is one of the oldest minis in my collection and received a quick repaint as a break from the Glottkin, who are driving me spare at the moment with the sheer number of details to paint in. The model itself is an old Nurgle Champion from Realm of Chaos: The Lost and the Damned. I'll be using him as a Rotbringers Sorcerer. For once I did very few brush highlights for a character model and relied a lot on washes, which I've been doing more and more lately (mostly thanks to @Mengel Miniatures awesome tutorials!) It's really helping me to crank out minis I'm reasonably happy with at a decent rate, and I'm finding the satisfaction of fully painted units taking the table outweighs spending hours with an artificer layer  brush labouring over each rank and file mini.


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So hopefully I'll get all my stuff for the Painting Contract done by Thursday, but in the meantime I wanted to share these guys. The Glottkin are an awesome (if frustrating) kit to paint, but you really don't get to field them all that often. To get more use out of the kit and make transporting them easier, I magnetised the two smaller brothers to Ghurk, then made a couple of special bases which they click on to if I want to field them as a sorcerer and a lord of plagues.

This was really easy to do with six 3x2mm rare earth magnets and a dremmel. I simply drilled holes 2mm deep in the feet, superglued in the first magnet in place then put a dollop of paint on the magnet and placed the mini back onto Ghurk whilst the paint was still wet. This left a mark I could use to guide the drill for the second magnet. Make sure you get the polarities the right way round when gluing the magnets in place! The third magnet was even easier. I simply attached it to the first magnet, put a splodge of miniput on the base and then pressed the model in. This helped me to get each mini standing at the right angle, since they don't have two feet flat on the ground. Lastly I built up the rest of the base with cork to disguise the putty, then painted it to match the rest of my Maggotkin.




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Cheers @Kramer!

@Twitch of Izalith couldn't agree more on the old sculpts, although I think some of the modern Nurgle models certainly have a lot of character too, it's something that felt a bit lacking from 5th edition onwards IMO. To be fair, it's certainly a lot easier to introduce a lot of variation when you're putting out small batch pewter and lead casts for warbands rather than massive hordes of plastic.

Next post then. In another thread I was trying to convince @Killax about the merits of the Forsaken kit, so I figured I'd better put my paintbrush where my mouth is so to speak. This guy is the champion of my Nurgle Warriors unit. Other than a shield borrowed from the Chaos Knights kit he's 100% forsaken. To me he feels a lot more dynamic and chaosy than the current kit. One thing I'm aware of is that a lot of the weathering I did on him isn't showing up in the photo, so my mini photography skills are going to need some work.


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Great paintjobs man! Yeah what can I say, I'm still not convinced by the look of the Forsaken at all, even with a really cool shield on top of it :) For example I think that the Avatars of War Nurgle Warrior looks better. I have to say I even like the coverted Nurgle Chaos Warrior much more.

Keep up the great job though! I'll have my eyes pealed for this project.


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No worries mate, if we were all excited by the same minis this hobby would get dull very quickly!

Anyway, I've got another super speedy progress update for you. First up is the group shot I posted in the Painting Contract of everything I've done in 2018 so far:


Ghurk Glott has a way to go still, and I need some new bases for the warriors, but I'm making serious progress. The only unit left in my Nurgle army left completely unpainted is my unit of 5 knights, who are still waiting on some conversion bits. Overall I'm delighted with the progress I've made in the first month of this challenge.

I couldn't resist showing my FW Great Unclean One, who until I started on the Glotts was comfortably the biggest mini I'd ever attempted.



The big fella also has a much smaller cousin, another Avatars of War mini which I'll be using as a Poxbringer:



Last but not least, a quick WIP of the Nurgle warriors to hopefully show where I'm taking the unit. Every mini has at least one bit of conversion on them, but otherwise they're reasonably stock. I'm quite happy with them but compared to the Blood Warriors kit they still don't feel 'Nurgly' enough to me...



...which is why I knocked up these guys! They're only prototypes built from the E2B Blood Warriors, but the idea is that when I get round to expanding the army I'll use the Blood Warriors box combined with leftovers from the Blightkings, Forsaken and Pusgoyles to make a full unit of 10. I'm still not set on a colour scheme for these guys, but I'm keen to make every unit in the army different to create a feeling of a loose coalition of warbands led by a powerful warlord. Any thoughts or inspiration?


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Out with the old Gods, in with the new. In the end the last days of January only gave me time to finish a few more Nurgle warriors. As for Ghurk and the Knights, I'll pick them up if I finish another month's pledge early.

I managed to get a minimum sized unit of warriors down, whilst the other ten are awaiting basing.


My very first Chaos models were followers of Khorne, so I was really excited about the with how much attention the Bloodbound have got in AOS. First up this month are five wrathmongers. These were very quick to paint - retributor gold spray, pick out the flesh with bugman's glow, the weapons with leadbelcher, the skulls with zandri dust and the leather with rhinox hide. Everything except the skin got a good coat of agrax earthshade, then I went over the red panels with 2-3 thin coats of Blood for the Blood God. This gave them a nice metalic red shine. The flesh was washed Reikland fleshshade then highlighted with cadian fleshtone. I picked out one or two details like the glowing eyes and horns but otherwise this was an express paint job. Their bases need something, similar to the toxic slime that ties together my Nurgle models. I'm thinking a few skulls from the new box. Thoughts on similar basing ideas for Slaanesh and Tzeentch on a postcard please!

One of the hardest things about this project is deciding when to lower my standards a bit and get stuff ready for the tabletop. I could happily have slaved over this unit for days picking out every detail and doing 3-4 layers of highlights, but then other stuff would have stayed as grey plastic for the foreseeable. "Pick your battles" applies to every aspect of the hobby!





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  • 4 weeks later...

Update time. This month actually had much less time for painting than I'd hoped, what with finishing a dissertation, visiting family and back in the UK and a trip to Italy with my wife I had only a few days to work on my Khornate stuff. I'm probably going to need to add a catch up month on my schedule at this rate.

Part of the problem with visiting the UK is that with the weak pound and GW's mark ups in mainland Europe, Warhammer is a lot cheaper than it is in France, which makes me prone to impulse buys. This was made worse by the fact I came via London, where I could get a 25% discount at Dark Sphere and collect it without paying postage, and that @Ahistorian took me to visit Warhammer World when I visited him in Notts. I hadn't been since they renovated the place and it is definitely worth the trip if you get the chance. With my wallet significantly lighter and my suitcase loaded with minis I finally got back last week and managed to put a dent in my to do list.

First up are a bunch of the starter set minis. The blood warriors are some of my favourite minis and I built these guys right out of the box. I tried to stay away from the all red colour scheme of Khorne and added some fiery OSL around the eyes to tie them to my Khorne Daemons.



Next up are my reavers. I'm not a fan of replica minis in this age of plastic, so I did some minor conversion work to half the set, removing top knots, swapping heads and a couple of weapons, nothing drastic. I'm going to get another starter set and the plastic box set at some point and see what else I can do to add some variety.



Next a couple of character minis. I have a spare bloodsecrator I picked up as an ebay bargain and I wanted to use the banner for another conversion.  I've used the spare torso to make a bloodstoker that to my mind fits better with the general aesthetic of the Bloodbound. I've also done a little conversion work on the slaughter priest, giving him the bare head from the Skarr Bloodwrath mini. He now towers over most mortal minis. 




Last but not least, I thought I'd show some of the Nurgle stuff I picked up in the UK. Most of it has only just been built, but I wanted to see what I could do skin tone wise for the plaguebearers using just washes over a white or flesh toned base coat. Getting all these models to this stage took less than an hour, and will give a nice variety to the unit. There's also a couple of conversions using bits from the plague drone set.


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Continuing on the horror theme, the brimstones were done almost as quickly as the blue horrors: spray white, two coats of lamenters yellow, highlight fire dragon bright, wild rider red then finish with doombull brown. Pick out the eyes with lothern blue et voila.


I also dug out a few of my older horrors and gave them some shiny new round bases. I've got another twelve of these unpainted which came with an ebay win but they're missing about half the arms. I'm thinking of trying to makes some tentacles out of greenstuff to replace them. Any suggestions?


I haven't managed to get my hands on any of the Realms of Chaos era pink or blue horrors, but I did manage to find this old musician from 4th ed WFB kicking around in my bits box and gave him a lick of paint along with a couple of test minis for the pink horrors. I've still got about ten of these guys to do. Here's an interim "through the ages" pic until I can get my hands on the older minis.


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  • 2 weeks later...

A while since my last post on this thread. I've got a fair bit of work done though. First up my Tzaangors. Back in the realm of chaos days, no two of these were supposed to look the same, with crazy colours and a whole host of mutations. Since mutants are actually a choice for the unit now I didn't want to make them all look crazy, but I could at least pay tribute to TL&TD with my paint scheme.



I've also made some decent progress on my flamers, but can't quite bring myself to pick out all those tiny teeth.


Mortals wise I've finished the silver tower acolytes, the thaumaturge and a couple of old metal magisters.

Last but not least I finished the bodyguard to my changeling, 40 blue horrors made out of some old moonclan grots.



Still plenty of March to go so I'm reasonably optimistic about hitting my monthly goal for once.

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  • 10 months later...


So it's been a long time since I updated this, but none the less I did just about stick to my resolution last year and made a real dent in my backlog. In fact over the last two years I painted almost 1000 more minis than I bought. Nevertheless there's still a lot to get through if I want to be 100% on top of my collection, so I've decided to use a similar plan as last year with the following schedule:

January = Tzaanuary

February: Cold and flu season (Nurgle)

March: Khorne, specifically Bloodthirsters - I've got seven of these from various editions in different states of completion and/or disrepair.

April: Slaanesh (hoping for news of a new release by then)

May: S2D and Darkoath (see above)

June: Catch up.

July-Dec: TBD.

This year's big resolution is that for every model I buy I'm going to finish five. It's a step up from last year's plan but I think it's doable. The other resolution is to aim to have 2,000pt legal armies for each of the GA: Chaos factions and subfactions I have in my collection, and ideally 5,000pts for each God. I find goals like this really help me to decide which projects to pick up next when staring at the mountain of grey plastic.

I'm gonna write up my backlog clearing strategy in more detail later. I'll also hopefully get some pictures of this month's work so far uploaded, but for now to kick off Tzaanuary, here's my Gaunt Summoner:



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Cheers Krammer! In fairness not all of them are painted well! There's 200+ clanrats in there that were no more than basecoat, drybrush and wash. That said they look great as a full horde, certainly much better than grey plastic at any rate.

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2 hours ago, AGPO said:

Cheers Krammer! In fairness not all of them are painted well! There's 200+ clanrats in there that were no more than basecoat, drybrush and wash. That said they look great as a full horde, certainly much better than grey plastic at any rate.

Haha no worries that’s the Skaven way! And if your clearing backlog you can’t go for presentation level on every model. That’s where I fall short, I try to get everything at my personal highest level. 

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