My first proper kitbash! It’s nothing fancy, but it’s the first time I’ve tried merging kits like this to make something new. I was inspired by the brand new Icon Bearer Plague Marine kit that was released last week. I like the new kit, and I’m planning to get one sooner or later, but I’ll need more Icons than that. There’s also an Icon in the new multi-part Plague Marine kit, but it’s a hand-held Icon rather than on a pole, and I don’t think it looks as impressive. Besides, there are now 22 different Plague Marine models that have been released. (7 Dark Imperium, 3 First Strike, 7 multi-part Marines, 3 Plague Brethren, 1 Icon Bearer, and the Plague Champion with the sassy helmet wearing Nurgling on his base.) That’s enough for 3 squads of 7, but only includes 2 Icon Bearers, so this kitbash will be my third.
Obviously the Plague Marine I used is one of the starter squad in Dark Imperium, except I chopped off the smoking censer thing that was sticking out the top of his backpack. I really don’t like the aesthetic of the billowing smoke. I don’t think it translates well into sculpted form. It’s impossible to make a gaseous shape look gaseous when it’s painted onto solid plastic. I’ve seen some nice colourful attempts that really look quite pretty, but none that actually make it look like gas. I wish they’d made it so that the gas was an optional add-on so that I could keep the censer ball, but such is life.
The Icon of Despair comes from the Putrid Blightkings kit for Age of Sigmar. The much lauded Blightkings are crowd favourites among kitbashers, but just in case you’re new to the Nurgle conversion scene, go check out the kit, because it’s amazing for hobbyists. It has so many awesome extra optional bits. I bought it specially for kitbashing my Death Guard army, but even if you play Age of Sigmar and build the Blightkings themselves you’ll still have plenty of cool bitz left over for converting other models. I used the Icon pretty much as it comes in the box; I just had to snip a small piece off the bottom of the pole to make it fit between the base and the Plague Marine’s hand position.
The paintjob is obviously not too different from the Plague Marines I’ve painted so far. I tried to mix it up a little with the green helmet, to show that the Icon Bearer has a position of honour within the unit. Overall I’m just continuing the theme of using a uniform colour pallette but without uniform pattern / placement. I like how this Icon Bearer both fits in with and stands out from his squad. I am exploring some different painting techniques here, with mixed results, but I’ll go into that more once I’ve nailed down my methods.
As far as kitbashes go, this wasn’t a very difficult or complicated one. I just cut off the Marine’s Plague Knife at the wrist, then slightly filed down the wrist-stumps until the angles matched. I drilled little holes into each side of the connection point and super-glued in a metal pin to make the connection stronger, then bonded the wrist-stumps together with plastic glue. I put a little extra glue for structural support at the points where the Icon touched other parts of the model, like the shoulder tentacle and the base. If you want to try it for the first time, I recommend searching YouTube for kitbash tutorials, there’s plenty of useful stuff there.
Kitbashing a Plague Marine Icon Bearer is also a great option for budget conscious Death Guard players. The Icon Bearer kit GW sells is a bit pricy for just a single model. The beauty of Papa Nurgle is that you could make your own Icon of Despair with any random collection of bits and a little creativity, so go to town on it. And even though the Blightkings set isn’t the cheapest option, the amount of value you get from it is well worthwhile if you’re planning to do other Nurgle conversions in the future.
Nurgle, Plague Marines, Icon of Despair, Putrid Blightkings, Warhammer, Age of Sigmar, etc etc etc are the property of Games Workshop.