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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Typhus, Herald of Nurgle

Hey there my fellow demented followers of Chaos! Welcome to another edition of Chaos Corner. Has it been cold in your neck of the woods? I certainly know its been cold here in the Eye of Terror (USA) that's for sure. To keep warm, I have been busy painting and taking pics of some "older" models for display on my blog. I have to, in order to keep up with Games Workshop's insane weekly White Dwarf publication schedule.

A word about that. I have seen nothing of either the weekly White Dwarf of the big magazine, aside from partial cover shots on Bell of Lost Souls and some descriptions on Faeit 212. I do not know what the overall quality of these will be. However, I am optimistic. For the weekly WD, my mantra will be simple- don't buy it the first day. Wait for word to get out about what's in it. If you like what you hear, then by all means buy it. If it has nothing that interests you or is relevant to your army, then just skip it. I think this is certainly doable. As for the monthly- I have the ipad subscription, which I renewed in January- so according to GW I will be getting the new mag, no problem. If it is going to be more "hobby-centric"- sounds like what I'd like to see. If it fails to impress or I prefer the weekly more- I can just not subscribe after it runs out again next January.We shall see on Feb 1.

In the meantime, I have been working on lots of stuff. I'm not ready to show any of it yet- I have painter's ADD right now, with lots of projects at various stages of completion. As they get done, I will be posting. Some are solid, others are fantastic (in my opinion) conversions, and a few- well, they will surprise you. But you won't see them till I'm done with them! Meanwhile, let's bring you an oldie, but a goodie- Typhus...

Ah. Typhus. The Herald of Nurgle. The Traveler. For a while, all the other cults got special characters, but not so Nurgle. Bile. Kharn. Ahriman. Doomrider (hehe). The other gods got a special character to call their own, but not the Lord of Decay. This must have chafed poor Papa Nurgle- after all, when the plague is at its height, Nurgle is more powerful than the other gods combined. So, one day, Nurgle convinced the GW guys to do right and give him his special character- thus, Typhus was born.

The model is simply incredible, even now. The plague-infested bulk of the model. The spike/horn on his helm; indeed, the hem itself, with that awesome visor. The destroyer hive on his back. The pitted and corroded grieves. The nurgling clutching at him (for the record, I never cared for the one licking the horn). The fly shoulder pad. And, of course- the scythe. Wow. This is perfect- he is truly an incredible vision of what a Plague Marine Lord should be.

I remember that I ordered him directly from GW. When it arrived in the mail, I said "I've got Typhus!"- I bet that's the first time anyone ever said that in such a positive way (see, now you know why I follow Nurgle). At any rate, I could not wait to paint him- though I didn't right away. I wanted to make sure I would do him right. I planned it very slowly and meticulously. I took my time, knowing he'd be a centerpiece for the army.

At the time, my Death Guard were a slightly brighter hue- the use of bleached bone and rotting flesh with a 'ardcoat varnish made them look decayed but also slimy- they were generally brighter. At this point, I decided that I wanted to set Typhus apart- his armor would be slightly darker- still my nurgle colors, but darker. I didn't go so heavy on the rotting flesh, sticking to the layers of dark angels and camo green.

The armor ridges and the scythe was a (then) new painting technique for me. I had always done the Death Guard weapons in boltgun with brown ink to make them dirty. However, thanks to my friend Pete and a White Dwarf article, I used scorched brown, with orange stippling (my first ever), and some metal highlights. The result is a real-looking rust effect. These youngin's today with their Typhus Corrosion and all that jazz. In my day we had to work to make the rust effect! Haha.

 The Pipes/Hives were also unique for me. Many people had used purple for Nurgle, but I never really did (some purple ink for diseased wounds was all). This time, I decided to put on some purple, but not straight up purple. The destroyer hive partsI painted with a grey-purple mix that Pete made for me. I have never painted ANYTHING else with that mix. That paint is unique to Typhus alone.

Since I didn't want that stupid nurgling licking the bone/horn on the base, I decided to do something different. I didn't want to go crazy with the base, lest it distract from the model. So- I just simply put three skulls in front of him. It looks like the 3 part Nurgle symbol. Now- did he just kill these three? Or perhaps the bugs of the destroyer hive? Or were the 3 skulls an offering to Nurgle?Thus, was Typhus completed.

In 2005, my friend Pete and I decided that we would go to Games Day in Baltimore. I was so damn excited- I knew I wanted to enter their model contest- but how? I decided I would go with Typhus and... a newly purchased Forgeworld Dreadclaw. I used the same techniques for the rust on the Dreadclaw, but brightened up the hull ever so slightly. I also did a new squad of Death Guard, with colors much closer to Typhus. I would tend to paint newer Plague Marines in this way, though I sometimes go brighter- as it is Nurgle and Chaos- why the heck not? At any rate, I worked so hard to get all of that done, with me basically working down to the wire to get it done. I even had Pete help with making a display base. So, very carefully, I carted those models to Games Day. I had a great time there, and though I didn't win any awards, I still had a blast and was glad to be a part of the proceedings. And let me tell you, Pete and I got so many ideas from that one Games Day it isn't funny. Urban table perhaps? Haha.

So, several years later, where is my Typhus now? Though I don't always use him, he is certainly one of Chaos' best special characters, and his ability to make cultists into zombies is fantastic, especially since I have like 75 plague zombies that I made for Eye of Terror. In bigger games, he is my go to HQ- since I can spend the points on him and mobs of zombies and then still have points for Plague Marines. He is a bit more limited on smaller games, but hey- can't use special characters all the time, or else they aren't special, are they? Typhus has had his ups and downs in my army- sometimes being gunned down like a bitch, other times totally destroying all who stand against him- a few recent games against my brother's Grey Knights were especially amusing for Typhus, actually.

What I am hoping for is that GW does more with the character (as they have with Ahriman, Kharn, and Bile and Lucius) in their fiction. After all, what is his full story? Why don't the Death Guard get the Horus Heresy treatment? Fulgrim,  Lorgar,  Magnus and Angron (and their "children") have all gotten some great stories from the Horus Heresy- so why not Mortarion and Typhon? I would also like to see some 41st Millennium Typhus stories. His appearance in Cadian Blood was fun. The short story with him and the singing virus in The Carrion Anthem wasn't bad, though a "singing virus" isn't quite what I have in mind when I think of Typhus. Come on Black Library- give me books worthy of the Death Guard!

Hope you enjoy the pics. Until next time...


  1. I like your take on Typhus!!! Thumbs up! ^_^ You make me want to start painting my Nurgle stuff. One of the first few miniatures I ever bought was the Nurgle Daemon Prince and I also have Typhus in storage. Both remain unpainted as I never had the confidence to paint them well. I so wanna try now.

  2. Thanks for the compliments. I hope that you will pick up Typhus and give him a go. I know you'd do a great job.

    I often wonder if I should do another Typhus... My painting technique has evolved so much since when I did this model. And, with the new technical paints, I could make him look extra slimy and rusty!

    1. I believe you should. There are some models that I was so proud of when I painted them two years ago but when I look at them now I feel I could have done so much better. If you do, then you could do a side by side comparison. That would be cool ... though gaming-wise there isn't much you can do with two Typhuses (if that even a word), is there?

    2. My problem is that I have a ton of other 40K stuff that I'm working on that I really don't want to use the time to go back and do a model I already did and that I can only ever use one of in my army.

      If I didn't have so many things on my paining desk, I would be tempted. I just don't have the time. But I hope that we can see your Typhus at some point in the future!