HAIL GRANDFATHER NURGLE! We are turning the clock ALL the way back to look at the shambling history of the Plague Marines.
Nurgle has been part of the Chaos Marine range since the earliest days of Warhammer 40,000 and there have been so many editions over the years, its easy to lose track. We will start with the current models and work out way back to the olden times.
2017’s Latest Death Guard
GW kicked off 8th edition with the latest Plague Marines and Codex Death Guard that features an updated design library for Nurgle. Note, not only the classics like obviously tattered armor but also new things like the asymmetrical horns, bells, Nurglings, chains & censers, medieval knight faceplate/grilles.
The fly symbols, oddly placed orifices, cables aplenty, bits of fleshy horror deep within broken recesses…
The triple skull motif, tentacles/maggots, emphasis on large two-handed scythes & executioner’s axes, Prussian Pickelhaubes, occasional cloven feet.
The Last Metals / Finecast
The previous Plague Marines are ancient, first appearing in the 3.5 Chaos Space Marine Codex from 2002. Nurgle does indeed endure… Here we see the twisted fleshy armor and damaged equipment motif, but not much else. GW has come a long way in 15 years.
Forge World got in on the Plague Marine action a few years back with an upgrade kit that works with the current plastic CSM kit. They went heavily with the triple skulls and pickelhaube motifs.
Back to 2nd Edition
Back in 2nd edition, we had 2 lines of Plague Marines. The default plastic kits of identical Death guard to bulk up your army, then a range of metal minis for special weapons and leaders.
1994. Yes, Plague Marines USED TO HAVE their own plastic “kit”, or at least a tiny sprue! These were the models that defined the “classic Plague Marine” Distended gut, cloven feet, pickelhaubes. Ahh, the days of bases on sprues with the minis.
Now we are headed way back to the origin of the Nurgle Marines. Back in this era, everything was still in flux and heavily affected by the Realms of Chaos books from the late 1980s that initially described Chaos. We got lots of marines that were dedicated to specific Chaos gods some that you had to figure out yourselves.
We’ve arrived in 1991 and these Chaos Renegades are specifically described as being Nurgle based. You can see a horn or tentacle here, cloven feet there as the elements that would later come together to form the “Classic Plague Marine”
Going back to the generic heavy weapons from 1989 you can see 022317 in the middle holding a multi-melta. That guy has Nurgle written all over him.
Finally let’s go back to a White Dwarf from 30 years back to see some of these early Rogue Trader minis painted up as Nurgle Marines.
~ OK, which generation of Plague Marines are your favorite and who still has some of these rocking on the tabletop?