Denizens of the Garden of Nurgle: a Dark Age of Sigmar project

About two years back (probably at a similar time to when I actually bothered to write something for Corehammer, funnily enough), some friends and I were talking.  We’d just been playing a game of Inquisimunda (also known as INQ28). Bit of background for those that don’t know what it is: it’s a narrative style of skirmish gaming at 28mm scale with an element of RPG, and typically revolves around inquisitors and their retinues investigating nefarious happenings in the grim darkness of the far future, with special emphasis on the “grimdark” element. Depending how you want to play, you can utilise a GM, which our little group does on a rotating basis. The system is community created and is largely based on the classic Necromunda rule set (although some people use the 54mm scale Inquisitor rules and perform some really specific technical calculations that make it sound overly cumbersome and doubtless dry as fuck – I mean could they not just divide by 2 and sacrifice a single millimetre?  Some people like to take their chosen level of dunce-nerdery to ludicrous extremes, I suppose) with character stats ported over from Warhammer 40k, adapting where necessary in order to ensure characters and weapons are not over or underpowered, for like “balance” purposes and shit.  You’ve seen Blanchitsu in White Dwarf, right? Well that’s basically the visual vibe atmosphere we’re talking.

So, as I was saying, we’d just had a game and were talking (over a takeaway  – shout out to Chilli & Spice in Woodside Green) about Age of Sigmar.  I was complaining about how lame it was, and how I didn’t like the new model ranges that Games Workshop had been bringing out for this new system.  The other guys were weirdly fascinated by it. Relatively recently (at the time, at least) a blog had appeared which was (is?) run by some guys who were a big deal in the INQ28 scene. It was called The New Realms of Chaos and it was a project intended to bring the grimdark aesthetic to the Warhammer Fantasy setting, using the classic Realms of Chaos books (slaves to Darkness and The Lost & The Damned respectively) as a guide / for influence, the idea being to create chaos warbands and do a “path to glory” style campaign.  We were all stoked on this at the time, as it was fucking cool.  People were converting and painting some seriously messed up stuff with a really heavy vibe. Just as it seemed The New Realms of Chaos blog started gaining some traction, the whole “End Times” thing was in full swing and before anybody knew it Age of Sigmar was upon us, with a great rule set but fluff so thin it was absurd.

Jumping forward in time a bit, emerging from The New Realms of Chaos blog and the realisation that with lack of background for Age of Sigmar, there was virtually an entire blank canvas to play about with, a group emerged on Facebook, based around converting up skirmish size Age of Sigmar warbands with a “grimdark” Blanchian aesthetic. So long story short, my pals and I decided we would jump aboard that crazy train and see what we could come up with. As I’ve hinted at above, we already had some experience of doing this in the Inq28 setting…

In the time between now and then, I’ve been steadily chipping away at creating my warband. It’s taken me fucking ages, mate, but I’ve finished it.  I’ve been busy trying to rear a baby and being too knackered to do much of anything outside of work for almost a year now, but in those odd bits of time I did find to get my hobby on, I tried to make the most of it and I think the effort paid off.  Obviously, I am yet to play a single game of Age of Sigmar (dark or otherwise!).  The images you see here are the results.

Now, the theme of my warband is best described as loosely being “followers of Nurgle”, and I’ve tried to take the phrase The Lost & The Damned as literally as I could.  I am obviously a follower of Nurgle myself, having a Nurgle themed Daemons of Chaos army and a Death Guard army, so I’ve been steadily soaking up lore for years, as well as attempting to find inspiration from the real world (without trying to sound overly nobby).  The Forgeworld tome, Tamurkhan: The Throne of Chaos and Black Library’s Liber Chaotica proved invaluable in this undertaking, as did the morbid side of my nature, which in recent years has sat very close to the surface as I’ve been attempting to master some long-standing mental health issues. Newsflash: I’m not dead yet.

I’m still not sold on Age of Sigmar, though. In my head, I’ve produced a warband for either Mordheim (another game I never got around to playing) or the aforementioned Path to Glory campaign.  With this in mind, I tried to come up with a loose background for my warband…

Prior to the “End Times”, a group of questing knights set forth on an honour quest of some kind, seeking revenge upon raiders from the chaos wastes for unspecified wrong doings of nefarious and esoteric nature and to atone for their failure to protect the meek and defenceless (or some such honour bound claptrap).  After hunting down and exacting bloody revenge upon said raiders, our brave party of knights became hopelessly lost in the ever-changing and deceptive depths of the chaos wastes. Unbowed, and further seeking to atone for past failures (as the overly righteous are wont to do), they journeyed on, vowing to vanquish all enemies of the Faith they encountered.

Eventually, their journey, beset by various trials and tribulations led them to the very Garden of Nurgle itself. Wherein our heroes, battered and bloodied and dispirited by their travails finally succumbed to despair and thus fell into the thrice-blessed embrace of Grandfather Nurgle.  Grandfather Nurgle, of course being a generous deity with something of a sense of humour bestowed his “gifts” upon this auspiciously numbered (there’s 7 of them, naturally) fellowship, and along with the standard allocation of poxes and buboes and various ailments the once mighty and proud knights became fused with their (now changed) steeds. Thus, in their new forms were they damned to forever prowl within Nurgle’s fecund and foetid realm and so on…  Hence the ‘Denizens of the Garden of Nurgle’ came to be.

Should I at any point actually have a game, the four ‘Pestigors’ on foot, will I suppose use the war scroll for the Putrid Blight Kings.  The three, er, ‘slug-toad-things’ (which is about the best description I can manage), will probably use the Forgeworld Plague Ogres warscroll.

For those that are interested in the conversion work, the basis for the Pestigors is of course the amazing Putrid Blight Kings kit and one of those Lords of Plagues that features in every conversion ever. I’ve made some adjustments to the base models by swapping out arms and body parts that should attach to other models in the set, plus also spare riders from the Maggoth kit.  The bestial heads are variously taken from the Black Knights kit and the Coven Throne.

The ‘slug-toad-things’ again take the, er, more human elements from the Putrid Blight Kings, along with spares from the ‘people’ part of the Glottkin and Maggoth kits.  The lower parts of the bodies are converted from the previous incarnation of the Beasts of Nurgle (the new ones look shit, incidentally – who the fuck let them go into production?).  I used the more recent resin castings rather than the original metal ones, as I knew I would need to do plenty of cutting and drilling and pinning, and trying to work with metal is a real headache.

If you want to read more about these models and my other works, you can find out more on my personal blog, Miasma of Pestilence.

1 thought on “Denizens of the Garden of Nurgle: a Dark Age of Sigmar project

  1. Those are some sick miniatures in a very good sense! I like the way you’ve incorporated the various bits of kit together. The flesh tone is kind of raw and dirty but right for the models. And there’s something about horse skulls on humanoid models that’s just creepy. Very Wicker Man. Nice work.

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