Friday, November 19, 2010

My Pal Ku'Gath: Painting a Forge World Nurgle Daemon Prince

"The Man" would have you believe that all of Nurgle's followers are green or brown.  As you can see, my own avatars of un-death are typically of a more crimson hue.  Recipe incoming!
As I finished the Nurgle quarter of my Chaos Daemons army, I wanted to be sure I had represented all of the unit choices the codex had to offer.  While I have only used him in one actual game, this Forgeworld Daemon Prince model became a perfect stand-in for Ku'Gath, the special character Great Unclean One.  While it is true that the model itself is marketed as a mere Daemon Prince, I find the stature, pose and equipment to be more than suitable to represent Ku'Gath.

Let's talk about height.  This model, stands almost twice as tall as the standard Games Workshop Greater Daemon of Nurgle.  After mounting him on a custom base, I think the overall size of the finished product is more than tall enough to represent a truly unique Daemon.  As far as armament goes, Ku'Gath is capable of firing a large blast template of poison sludge, and I think the triple-barreled arm cannon this figure has is more than believable for such a purpose.

I especially like the detail on the vat of plague-slime that the he is carrying on his back:
I am fond of both the "hot tub" nurgling, relaxing on the right, as well as the pus-drinking nurgling that is hanging out under the bilge pipe.  Honestly, I can't say enough about the quality of Forgeworld products; I don't think it would be possible to paint one poorly.

Speaking of paint, I thought that in today's post, I would share the color recipe I used for my Nurgle daemons.  After priming the models white, I gave them all a sturdy coat of blood red.  For a larger model, like this Ku'Gath, I even applied a sloppy layer of red gore in the shadows and crevices of the model, wherever light would not fall.  Once dry, I gave the entire model a healthy wash of leviathan purple ink.  This purple serves as a glaze, and when mixed with the red base-coat, creates a rich tone of life-like viscera.  I let this dry for a day or two.

Once totally dry, I carefully went in and wetbrushed blood red onto the raised portions of the model, that would catch light from an overhead source.  After this, I gave these areas an extremely frugal line-painted highlight of blood red mixed with a bit of blazing orange, more to break up the monotony of color, than to emphasize lighting.

I then filled each open sore and gaping wound with a mix of brown, green, and black inks.  Applied in layers, these colors mixed to create a murky, rotten depth.  By keeping both the green and greenish-brown inks the most prominent, I was able to maintain a subtle contrast of complementary red and green colors, without making the model look like Santa Claus.  It is worth noting here, that filling the sores with layers of ink could have been problematic, had I carelessly turned the model and allowed the ink to run out of each depression.

The metal rings and pipes were all given my standard treatment of soiled metal, which is a basecoat of black, a wetbrushing of boltgun metal, a wash of devlan mud, a drybrushing of boltgun metal, and a thin-line painted highlight of chainmail.  I also made sure to apply a thin line of thraka green ink to the connecting pieces of the pipes and weapon arm, to imply a seeping patina of pestilence.

The horns were painted with a basecoat of foundation brown, followed by a wetbrushing of bleached bone, then multiple thin coats of devlan mud ink, and black ink.

The green slime in this model's back-tank consists of several layers of scorpion green and thraka green ink.  It is quite easy to represent a liquid surface, so long as you keep turning the model as the ink dries, to control it's pooling.

The final and most important step, concerned texture.  Naturally, a freshly-skinned pile of meat such as Ku'Gath would have a very wet and sticky consistency.  By applying two thin coats of Pledge, a clear acrylic floor polish, I could give the model a truly slick look without compromising the colors I had achieved with a more opaque varnish.

I used this basic treatment for the flesh of all of my Nurgle forces, and I was very happy with the result.  I hope you keep these layers in mind the next time you have to paint gore.  And as for the Pledge clear acrylic floor polish, I find new uses for the product on a regular basis.  Glossing black tubes, giving lenses a glassy shine, implying the razor-sharp edge of a claw... the possibilities are limitless.

And just think!  If you spill any, your studio has a lovely new floor finish!


  1. I like how your Nurgle models turned out, it gives them a grizzly corrupted flesh look. The mix of green and red just works wonders for them.

    On a more serious note, what happened to Mighty Titans? I showed up one day and it was just gone. The website has this cool slide show of the new place but doesn't actually give the location or when it will open.

    Just when I was finally able to go on a Thursday this happens -_-.

  2. Grim, the Mighty titans website has the new address. Look on the lower left side of the screen.

    Glad you like my rotten meat piles. Maybe I will see you at MT, and you can get an up-close and personal look as they eat your wolves!

  3. As usual, a fantastic job painting these models. I love your work!

  4. Thank you, Independent Characters! And grats on being the official podcast of Adepticon 40k!