Tuesday, 18 June 2013

How I Paint: Daemons of Nurgle

A Great Unclean One
And a really cool daemon model!

This is me with my Great Unclean One (Greater Daemon of Nurgle). I first saw this model when I was about 8 years old. It was in White Dwarf; this hugely awesome, disgusting lump of metal miniature, and I wanted it. Of course, being a kid, I was never going to get a £30 model - every time I reached £10 savings, I'd blow it on whatever that would buy me, but that never stopped me wanting a Great Unclean One.

Here, nearly 17 years later, I finally have gotten my hands on one. Not only that, but it's in beautiful Citadel Finecast, not metal, and I got to have fun with the awesome plastic nurglings to add some extra flavour; two pulling at his guts, one chewing them, and one dancing on his head. This is why I love Nurgle.

As far as the Chaos Gods go, Nurgle has always appealed to me. Naturally, Chaos is referred to as evil, and I'm not going to go into philosophical crap here about the great grey areas of Good, Evil etc, but I was always endeared to Nurgle. Jovial, friendly, caring... not traits you necessarily think about when someone mentions Daemons, but these guys are. Grandfather Nurgle genuinely cares about his offspring and sees his gifts as literally that. This guy gets involved with his followers, and what a crazy bunch they are!

At one end, you have the Greater Daemons, lumbering masses of rot and bile that command the lesser daemons. Plaguebearers, Nurgle's tallymen. Nurglings, vile little pranksters. Even the description of the Beasts of Nurgle as essentially energetic and overly friendly puppies that are sadly inimical to all life.

Plaguebearers in scenic movement tray - With two 'Heralds'

At any rate, I've put off doing a Nurgle army for years, and I honestly don't know why. Then came our Invasion! An Invasion is where several Games Workshop stores band together to have a friendly tournament-like event at Warhammer World. They're great fun, and I'm leading the charge on a Fantasy one at the end of July, against six other stores. As such, I wanted a new army. The Daemons of Chaos book had just been released, and I loved the Blight Drone models. Of course, I already had a load of Plaguebearers assembled (I'd painted the command group only) back in November last year. It seemed perfect.

There was only one flaw. I love my Skaven, and part of me wanted to take my hilarious Skaven army (no unit larger than 10 models, entirely Clan Skryre weapons of war, lots of Artillery Dice and big explosions, usually blowing myself up fantastically), whilst another part wanted to do something new.

Then it hit me, and the story behind my army was complete. A Clan Pestilens breakaway faction (I always like the breakaways) has successfully (or unwittingly) managed to summon a host of Nurgle Daemons into the Old World. The premise was simple, as was painting them. Here's how it works.

Herald of Nurgle

All models in the army follow a very similar painting regime. It's very quick, very easy. All of them start with the following sequence:

The Nurgle Basecoat:

Undercoat Skull White
Basecoat - Ushabti Bone - Citadel Spray Gun
Wash - Seraphim Sepia - Wash Brush

Plaguebearer Command

Plaguebearer Flesh:

*Start with Nurgle Basecoat
Drybrush - Underhive Ash - Medium Drybrush
Wash - Athonian Camoshade - Wash Brush
Drybrush - Tyrant Skull - Medium Drybrush


Wash - Agrax Earthshade - Wash Brush
Wash a couple of times to get the darker colouration.


Basecoat - Mephiston Red - Standard Brush
Highlight - Evil Suns Scarlet - Detail Brush
On larger eyes I go up with Wild Rider Red, Trollslayer Orange and Yriel Yellow.

Plague Toads of Nurgle (I use them as Beasts of Nurgle in most games)

Wounds and Tongues:

*Start with Nurgle Basecoat
Basecoat - Bugmans Glow - Basecoat Brush
Wash - Carroburg Crimson - Wash Brush
Highlight - Cadian Fleshtone - Detail Brush
Wash - Druchii Violet - Wash Brush
I then paint the area with Citadel Water Effects for a sickeningly wet gloss.


*Start with Nurgle Basecoat
Layer - Karak Stone - Standard Brush
Wash - Agrax Earthshade - Wash Brush

Plague Drone

Rot Fly:

All of the Rot Fly is done using the "How To Paint: Daemons of Chaos" Guide.
Plaguebearers are as above.


*Start with Nurgle Basecoat
Drybrush - Underhive Ash - Medium Drybrush
Drybrush - Tyrant Skull - Medium Drybrush

Herald of Nurgle


*Note that my Nurglings do not start with the Nurgle Basecoat!
Basecoat - Ratskin Flesh - Basecoat Brush
Wash - Agrax Earthshade - Wash Brush
Layer - Bestigor Flesh - Fine Detail Brush
Layer - Ungor Flesh - Fine Detail Brush
Pick out the teeth and eyes as above.


Basecoat - XV88 - Basecoat Brush
Drybrush - Tau Light Ochre - Medium Drybrush
Wash - Athonian Camoshade - Wash Brush
Drybrush - Necron Compound - Medium Drybrush
Wash - Agrax Earthshade - Wash Brush

Great Unclean One


Texture with Sand or Astrogranite
Basecoat - Skavenblight Dinge - Large Brush
Wash - Agrax Earthshade - Wash Brush
Drybrush - Stormvermin Fur - Medium Drybrush
Drybrush - Longbeard Grey - Medium Drybrush
Basecoat (Base Edge) - Stormvermin Fur - Large Brush
Add Mordheim Turf as scatter detail.


  1. Is the GUC painted in the same way like the plaguebearers? He looks so different and i really like it! would love to try it on my own guo so you can tell me maybe how you painted these guy

    1. Hey, thanks for the comment!

      Yes, he was painted in the exact same way as the Plaguebearers, just he has more detail and larger surface areas, so the effect comes out slightly different.

      All the best! Maybe show me some pictures when you're done?

    2. Thank you very much!

  2. Really love the work you did on daemons of nurgle, definitely using it on some of mine!

  3. Lovely stuff! Even the toads and the great unclean one looks fabulous! Do you own the newer head of the great unclean one in your bitz box? Would love to get but no one sells it :(.

  4. Really like your work! got some toads coming my way soon i hope :)

  5. What's the base size of the plague toads?