I know there are a ton of cool, new Death Guard models out there, but I’m still hopelessly in love with the old-school metal Plague Marines that I ogled as a kid, before I’d ever bought my first miniature.
I’ve been scooping up these guys on eBay and elsewhere over the last few years. I knocked out my first squad last year, and just this week I finished my second squad. For this group, I sourced some fun new resin accessory pieces from Spellcrow, a great little boutique model shop based out of Poland. I snagged a couple sets of their awesome Plague Legions backpacks and arms — just the thing to add some detail and interest to the already awesome Plague Marines.
I went with my typical fast-and-dirty paint job for the armor, but I slowed things down and took my time applying different color washes and shades — purple, sepia, brown and even blue — to the models to create interesting effects. This was my first time using shades in this manner, and I learned a lot.
The Spellcrow upgrades were replete with swollen growths, boils, maggots, slime and other fantastic details to paint. Even though they had a distinct style, the Spellcrow bits seem to mesh well with the other plastic pieces I used on these figures (particularly after they were painted). Sidenote: Spellcrow is well known for tossing in bags of freebies and samples with each order. On at least one of my orders, my freebie bag included almost as much stuff as I actually paid for through my order! If you want some of their stuff, it’s definitely worth it to order directly from their eBay store.
In this case I didn’t finish the models off with the magic dip, as I wanted to keep the colors bright.
Compared to the new Death Guard models that came out last year, these guys are tiny. But I love them and want to use them, so I found an excuse for the size differential in the Chaos Space Marine lore. As Paul pointed out during a recent discussion, time moves differently in the warp. Plague Marines that have spent centuries fighting the Long War are understandably bloated and swollen with power, their armor mutated and savage. Newly recruited renegades, like these guys, have a more reasonable stature compared to the hideous, hulking veterans in my army. So there you go! (Thanks, Paul, for the fluff-driven logic.)
I’ve also included a couple photos of the backpacks, as they were all really cool and unique, with lots of nifty details to paint. I could have spent twice as much time on the backpacks alone! But of course, my mantra is “more toys on the table,” so I stopped myself before I went too far down that rabbit hole.
I’ve got one last batch of these old-school metal Plague Marines sitting in a paint stripper bath, so I’ll probably have one more project like this ahead of me this year. Then I’ll move on to a few remaining Death Guard vehicles and characters, and after that my army will be done!