Creatures of the ruinous powers, daemons of the ruinstorm. They go by many names but during the heresy Dorn and Malcador often referred to them as the ‘neverborn’ in the siege of terra series of novels. They were part of my Word Bearer plans from the outset and I had a very specific palette in mind which was less saturated than what I tend to think of as ‘Chaos Daemons’ in 40K. Something closer to corrupted and warped flesh, waxy and unnatural. Basically how the Astartes describe them from their earliest encounters.

Although I have started with what would be considered plaguebearers of Nurgle, in the context of heresy these are simply lesser daemons of the ruinstorm and not really understood to be associated with a specific power by Imperium forces, they simply don’t have the knowledge or experience yet to recognise the difference. That was another reason to choose a neutral base palette; to draw on many different miniature designs yet blend them together into a unifying force that defies classification. Patron powers, factions, these are all unclear to the loyalist forces, only size and terrifying abilities.

The same can be said for the beast of nurgle. I can use it exactly as designed in games of 40K, or as a daemon of the ruinstorm in heresy. Technically I could have also made the base generic so I could use it in a Nurgle army in Age of Sigmar, but where would be the fun in that!

Playing with brass

Not strictly past of the daemon allies, but the new kits 8th edition introduced like the plague burst crawler and plague drone also gave me a good excuse to play around with tarnished metallic brass tones and verdigris. Colours that work just as well in the heresy era as they do in 40K.

Base neverborn palette

The base for my interpretation of neverborn flesh is the combination of scale indian fleshtone and games workshop rakarth flesh. To this I airbrush patches of overlapping carroburg crimson, druchii violet and drakenhof nightshade into areas of shadow or open wounds. These were then blended together and texture introduced through a very subtle dry-brush of pallid wych flesh. Yep, you read that right, dry-brush. Without the very light dusty application of wych flesh the effect looks too smooth and less convincing. A few select glazes of both the red and blue washes help refine the finished appearance. Like good seasoning add to taste.

Painted Warhammer Nurgle plague starter set

This isn’t intended to be a fixed look for all my daemons in heresy, but it will serve as a baseline that gives me the freedom to take it in some interesting directions, especially with other miniatures and not feel I have to conform to the normal studio style. It also opens up the possibility of adding contemporary or non-GW miniatures. I’ve never really assembled a ‘chaos’ army before in the classic sense, but the combination of the new nurgle aesthetic of and the different palette I find I really like it. I will almost certainly build on this initial manifestation to either create a ‘Daemons of the Ruinstorm’ force in full, a wider selection of allies for the Word Bearers or possibly even a Age of Sigmar army in its own right. Knowing me, I will probably try to fill all three missions at once.

Until next time, happy hobbying.