[currently untitled nurglers]: A Handmade Handgun


Two possibilities exist:

  • I have been at a bit of hobby loose end since finishing my drukhari kill team. Do I plough on with more Thracians, finally finish my Neferata, or make a few more Iron Tusks? Or do I do something different entirely? One can never have too many kill teams…
  • I am a terribly shallow creature, easily swayed by the cheap & easy gratification of social media, and when a random chaos renegade from the Dark Vengeance box that I painted up years ago started getting a bunch of likes on instagram I immediately started rummaging through my hobby drawers for the rest of his mates.

(these possibilties are not mutually exclusive)

Long story short, I’m nurgling now.

That guy was the prototype that I painted years ago. The Dark Vengeance set contained 2 of these sculpts, and while he’s quietly my favourite model GW have ever put out (no joke), I wasn’t about to have two identical marines in a kill team. So I decided to start cutting.

Let’s call that the “oh shit, might’ve bitten off more than I can chew” stage. My man here lost a horn somewhere in storage, so that part wasn’t deliberate, but I did go and hack off his bolter, leaving just the hands to work with. The objective here was to give him a fancy nurgle flamer that could count as a plague spewer or belcher, depending on what points I had spare.

A plague belcher.

First task: the core of the gun and its weird muzzle. Because it’s a distinctive part that does a lot to differentiate the weapon from other flamers and if I can’t get that right, I might have to revise this entire model. I also wanted to add a little bit of warp-cursed mutation to the weapon to tie it in with the rest of the model’s armour.

The basis for the main part of the gun was a small piece of flat plasticard to fill the gap between the two hands and a bit of 1.5 mm dia plastruct rod for the gun barrel. So far, so simple. For the muzzle, I started by nicking a handy horn from a different chaos kit (probably), chopping its point off and repurposing it as the basis for that flared muzzle. Easier to sculpt over an existing shape. The bulbous bit before the muzzle proper got sculpted first (adding some reinforcement to the join between barrel & muzzle), before I went in and added ribs to each side of the muzzle and finally a little spine to bring the whole thing together. I’m very proud of myself that I actually had the good sense & patience to leave each little stage of green stuff for a good 8 hours before working on the next bit. I am not normally that sensible and typically cause myself a lot of unnecessary grief!

Second stage: worky bitz. Let’s try and make it a semi-convincing sci-fi gun. There’s not actually that much to be done here – I knew I didn’t want to make the back end of the weapon look anywhere near as heavy as the GW version, preferring the simple tube format of WW2 flame throwers (yes, those ones that werf flammen). Nevertheless the weapons of the Warhammer 40,000 universe have certain standards and we expect to see at least one unnecessary canister and some cool hoses on any gun worth worrying about and I do not like to disappoint.

This one was a pretty simple case of taking the fuel canister off another flamer I had laying around, carving a little slot out of it so it could attach to the side of the gun and then drilling a hole in the top of it. Once that was well secured, I drilled a similar size hole near the crook of his elbow and threaded one of Jeff Wilhelm’s handy dandy metal hoses through the gap and into the canister. The last step was to take some thin sections of 3mm plastruct tubing and cut them into little hoops to secure the hose and also reinforce the area around the left hand.

Finishing touches: obviously I needed to find a replacement horn. It’s bigger than the original, but it’s a chaos model, so we like asymmetry. The backpack is monstrously large, but in a way I can totally enjoy. If it’s not obvious, the big turbine is half of a raptor’s jump pack. I added a plaguebearer skull on one end to help receive a much bigger hose (again, shout outs to Jeff Wilhelm at Dragon Forge) and drilled a correspondingly larger hole under his trigger hand, as if that hose feeds directly into the grip of the gun. Finally, I did an incredibly delicate bit of work to make the little chimney bit that sits behind the muzzle, drilling a 1mm hole into some 1.5mm plastruct rod, and then drilling .3mm holes in the side of that. I am frankly amazed that I didn’t mangle the whole thing beyond use.

And there he is finished! Fiddliest conversion I’ve done in some time, but very satisfying all the same. I have three more guys to make (and one of those is going to need a scratch-built blight launcher) so it’ll be a little while before this one sees paint, but for now he’s enjoyable to stare at while making whooshy fire extinguisher noises. Happy hobbying, folks.


Having reached a point with the rowdy goatherds where I felt like it was time for a break, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks finishing up the last few drukhari for my kill team, hereby officially named The Murmaiderers. These flooded chemical forest dwellers have only taken the best part of 6 months to get done, which for me is practically speed painting! Away thee from the Shelf of Shame, and unto the Cabinet of Completion you go.

Gethys Ancarryn, called The Last; Skaithe, Spite-sayer of Anhar Sump, Aenurh Mistdancer

Feiverh “Dream” Vaxal; Ievann Skol, thrice-dead; Yseult Trestyn, The Red Rain
Keryth Malhadris; Xorel Noosewinder; Brythene the Unmaker
Senua Xanthris, Bladewife of Bathor Arena

Thracians: armoured/corps


I am and have always been terrible at doing hobby projects for any sort of deadline, whether it be a painting competition, a tournament, or some sort of community challenge. But if that challenge involves something I was going to do anyway? Different fuckin story!

The thing that I was going to do anyway involves a conversion of one of Victrix’ plastic hoplites, which I did a little preparatory work for a couple months back in expectation of the Mortal Gods core box arriving chez moi. Mortal Gods, of course, is a skirmish game set in ancient Greece whose name should always be pronounced a bit like:

Anyhow, I Did The Thing and put together an entry for Azazel’s Armoured / Army AprilAnathaetes,a heavy hero for my Thracians.

This is one of those rare conversions that happened more or less exactly how I planned it out. All the prototypey stuff I did previously made it into the final product as intended – his cloak sits on him quite comfortably and looks pretty comparable to the Foundry peltasts. His rhomphaia is probably still a little bit long, but the proportions are right and you get a good sense of this weird, spindly blade in comparison to some other swords from the period.

Wear it like you stole it, I guess.

His armour maybe bears talking about a little bit – the Thracians were overwhelmingly known for using much less armour than most people in their part of the world, preferring to fight as highly mobile skirmishers. Greaves & helmets started to see wider use from the 4th century BC, but big old breastplates like this one were almost unheard of, with the notable exception of the royal household cavalry. So this dude is pretty much dressed up as one of them, minus a horse and spear, plus a rhomphaia and a healthy respect for the Rule of Cool. Anyway, with his bronze helmet, cuirass and greaves he is easily the most heavily armoured Thracian I own, so he’s my Armoured April entry.

The other half of the monthly challenge is Army April, which is a simple case of putting together some nice group shots of your long-term labours and a great opportunity for me to admit: I probably own more of these dudes than I’m ever likely to need.

That right there is easily 450pts worth of Thracians for Mortal Kombat Gods. You probably need about 250 to get started with? 350 is a pretty big game. 450 might be… Unwieldy.

But they do look nice. A bonus element of the challenge was to add some new stuff to said army, which of course I did with the big man up top, as well as this dude:

Diethenaerys is a converted Aventine miniature, with a shield from the Victrix sprues and another custom rhomphaia. He’s actually intended to be a slightly more historically-accurate substitute for this guy:

And I think he’s come out rather well. The other additions this month were a set of Footsore’s brand new Thracian peltasts!

These models are actually so new, they’re not even really out yet. Footsore made a few of them in advance of the full release to sell at Salute, and I was lucky enough to be able to snag a few of the leftovers from that show. They’re expensive and, having more folds in their cloaks, they’re quite a bit more difficult to paint than some of the other models in my collection, but I think they’re really gorgeous models. Lovely sculpts, great faces – and extremely well cast to boot. I am a happy bunny. And I have so, so many Thracians.

Happy hobbying, everybody.

Drukhari: The Bladewife of Bathor Arena (and friends)

Nothing quite finished to show off just yet (because if it ain’t based, then it’s not finished, is it?) but I did manage to get most of the way there on another three Wyches this week. 3 left and I’m done!

It must be said that pictured here they look like an incredibly disjointed bunch! I always add a few variant colour schemes into my armies & kill teams – it just so happens these are all three of those at once.

L-R: Ievann Skol, the Thrice-dead; Senua Xanthris, Bladewife of Bathor Arena; Yseult Trestyn, called The Red Rain; Brythene the Unmaker; Aneurh Mistdancer; Feiverh “Dream” Vaxal; Xorel Noosecrafter.

Does that make any more sense? Will I ever manage to effectively photograph a model that’s leaning forward off her toe like that? Who can say.

Anyway, I might go back and make young Feiverh’s coral-pink hair a little more noticeably pink, but otherwise I’m pretty happy with them.

Drukhari: dynamite fishing

After an extended Thracian vacation (Holiday in Bulgaria?), I decided to return to my toxic forest friends.

Your standard impaler is kind of a two-pronged, giant toasting fork type of thing, which obviously is designed to evoke the trident of the retiarus gladiator. I decided I wanted something heavier & stabbier, so I nicked a different spear from the scourges and flipped it so that she uses it overhand.


This blaster warrior got a simple head swap (also from the scourges) and then a hair swap – the braid on the original head would have stuck out a mile and almost certainly broken off as soon as I transported this dude for a game, so I nicked a different haircut from the wyches and now the whole model fits a bit more comfortably on its base.

Anyway, enjoy some cool mermaid hair and be careful in your local haunted forest.

Thracians: in the name of the moon

Follow! BUT! Follow only if ye be men of valour!

Well, that took fuckin’ ages, didn’t it. In truth, this guy was a bit of a pain to paint -lots of fiddly little sculpted details. Not super fun and I still don’t really know if I’m happy with him or not. But I’ve never been one to let perfect get in the way of good and I’m sure as shit not going to let good get in the way of finished! So that’s Teres the Enchanter done and dusted; an itinerant priest of Bendis, who can stand in as a seer in Mortal Gods.

Thracians: seizing the means of production

After a long stretch of painting productivity, I struggled to get anything done with the old brushes this weekend. So I’ve been building stuff instead.

First up: the rhomphaia.

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time you might remember my dissatisfaction at some of the models available for this Thracian sword (TW: Rome 2 is, perhaps incredibly, one of the few places I’ve ever seen the weapon reproduced accurately), so I decided to apply some positivity and try to make one myself.

And there it is. It’s made of two pieces of plasticard (or plastruct, or whatever you call it) – the main shape of the weapon was cut from a piece of .75mm plasticard, and then another piece of .25mm plasticard was glued with poly cement to the back of the blade. This gives the blade kind of a T-section that serves to give it some rigidity (it basically creates an ad-hoc fuller on each side of the blade). Once all the glue had been given ample time to set, I used clippers and an x-acto knife to trim that back side of the blade down to size and bring it to a good sharp point. Once I was happy with the final size and shape I then applied yet more poly cement into those fullers in order to soften the shape of them a little bit.

Once all that was set, I used my knife to give this thing a little bit of a cutting edge and drilled those holes that appear on a lot of the archaeological examples.

Not sure about those holes, by the way. Are they actually for a carrying strap? Or just fittings for a knife handle-style grip? I might avoid them on future examples.

Anyway, the finished article is… Enormous?

Say hello to the notorious, completely ficticious, megarhomphaia!

So, some adjustment is probably needed for the future. But it’s a decent prototype.

Moving on, the other thing I’ve been wanting to figure out for a while is how to sculpt a cloak. So I did that.

After several abortive attempts I eventually hit upon a sausage-based method that owes a lot to my experiences building vampire horse barding some time ago. Some tidying up to do here but I’m pretty pleased with the end result and knowing that I can do this (along with fuckin Rhompzilla up there) opens up some interesting modelling possibilities in the not-too-distant future.

A section of Victrix’s mercenary hoplites sprue

Basically, the big idea is to take that second-left hoplite in the muscle cuirass, give him a cloak, swap his spear for a rhomphaia, give him a different shield and base him up to use as a heavy lochagos for my Mortal Gods force. But that’s going to have to wait ’til March. For now, I’m happy enough to have put together these little proof-of-concept pieces.