27 March 2024

Herald of Plague on Palanquin

How to spend $25 on Etsy with no conscious thought whatsoever.

Seriously, when I saw this model I had to have it. It's just fantastic, a really well modeled and printed take on the classic Nurgle palanquin that's been around for probably 40 years.

The model comes in four pieces: the base of Nurglings holding the large square, the actual palanquin with more Nurglings holding it up, the Herald and the back. There was minimal cleanup to do, just a few support bits to remove, and after gluing it all together (but leaving off the Herald) I primed it with Neutral Grey and set about painting it. 

I kicked off with all the wooden bits, giving them a couple of coats of Wyldwood contrast paint. Yes, I've finally discovered the joys of contrast paints; after a few early attempts at using them and not being too impressed, I was finally converted after watching some YouTube videos on painting Nurgle daemons and was convinced to give them a go.

Anyway, after the Wyldwood was on the whole thing got drybrushes of Chocolate Brown, Burnt Umber, Mahogany Brown and a little bit of XV-88. I really wanted an old, rotting look, and hopefully I got that.

I used Iron Warriors to do the nails and the metal surrounds on the planks the Nurglings are carrying, and then washed them with Agrax Earthshade and dabbed on some Fresh Rust.

The shields were painted with a bit of a mix of metallics: I used more Iron Warriors on two, and Warplock Bronze and Hashut Copper on the others. The flayed skin was done with Rakarth Flesh, Pallid Wych Flesh and Reikland Fleshshade, and I filled in the Nurgle sigil on one with Moot Green.

The straps around the poles are Earth highlighted with Green Ochre, and the banners are painted the same way as the flayed skin.

Oh god, so many skulls. They were all basecoated with Green Ochre, washed with Agrax Earthshade and Seraphim Sepia, and then highlighted with Beige and Screaming Skull before getting another coat of Agrax. 

The horns sticking out of the corners were painted in much the same way, and then I hit the Nurglings. Or Little Lords, as they're called these days. 

I didn't want them all in the same Death Guard Green colour, which in hindsight wasn't the best idea, so I went for a combination of yucky colours. Some were painted with Plague Bearer Flesh contrast, some with Ork Flesh contrast (which is way too dark for such small figures) and some with Nazdreg Yellow contrast. 

To tie those colours together I washed them with Seraphim Sepia and drybrushed them with a light coat of Green Ochre, and then did their boils with dots of Dorn Yellow and their tongues with Flesh Tearers Red.

The Herald was still Neutral Grey, so I drybrushed him with Celestra Grey and then painted him with Nazdreg Yellow just to get away from the usual green look. After giving him a light drybrush with Tau Light Ochre I dabbed on some Seraphim Sepia here and there to vary the tones a bit and then used a combination of Vallejo Red Wash and Carroburg Crimson to do the sores all over his skin. Some more dots of Dorn Yellow and his boils were sorted.

His single horn is Mahogany Brown over Chocolate Brown, and the bell is Warplock Bronze, Agrax Earthshade and a light drybrush of Brass, with some Verdigris effect paint to add aging.

His sword was based with Iron Warriors and then given three coats of Agrax Earthshade to make it look old. I daubed on some Fresh Rust with a bit of sponge and presto, the perfect Nurgle weapon.

Oops, I almost forgot the Nurgling sitting on his shoulder. It just got a coat of Plaguebearer Flesh and highlights of Ogryn Camo, and a touch of Flesh Tearers Red on its tongue.

From there it was a case of touching up the paint where needed and doing the ropes and cords with Earth and Beige. The Herald was glued in place and then I attached the whole thing to the base, which I'd already made and painted.

He's on a 60mm base to which I glued a torn-up piece of cork tile. I painted the whole base with black Mod Podge and once dry I gave it a cheapskate zenithal prime by dry-brushing White from the edges towards the centre, leaving the middle of the base pure black.

After that I gave the whole thing a coat of Ork Flesh contrast, and putting it over the white gives a nice transition from lighter green at the edges to black-green in the centre. After that I did a heavy drybrush of Moot Green from the edges to the about halfway to the centre, and then two heavy drybrushes of Yellow Green from the edges to about a quarter of the way in. All this makes a superb transition from bright yellow-green to black-green, and now it's time for the resin. No it isn't, it's time for the maggots.

I bought some 3D-printed maggots a while back. I glued a few on in random spots, painted them Pallid Wych Flesh and then slapped a tone of Athonian Camoshade over them. Now it's time for the resin.

I added a couple of drops of Yellow Green to a small silicone pot of UV resin, thoroughly mixed it in and then scooped it up with a small metal sculpting tool. I dabbed/poured it over a small area and then put the UV light over it for a couple of minutes to cure it. It took about 20 minutes to do the whole base, which given the final result is time well spent.

I also glued a couple of maggots to the palanquin and added some yellow resin to them too, to give the impression that they leave a slimy trail wherever they go.

I'm really happy with how the palanquin turned out. It really is a great-looking model with bags of detail and was a ton of fun to paint. More Nurgle coming soon, I promise, as I really want to get back into the habit of posting and commenting on others' blogs. See you soon!


  1. Wow, another massive one. And this one is even crazier than the last!

  2. Oh dear Lord! That is impressive.

  3. Great work throughout Matt, a truly putrid looking piece (high praise in the land of Nurgle)

  4. This is a very impressive piece, Matt. I'm going to make a joke that if you laugh at, you'll never be allowed back into the UK again because it means you're a real American now. It looks like Nurgle meets Cracker Barrel! :D And what a putrid combination that is haha!

  5. Oh, wow, that's impressive! I love the towering monster this palanquin is! Pretty nice paintjob, there's much more than a mere couple of colours there, cool work!

  6. John@justneedsvarnishThursday, April 04, 2024

    That's excellent, in a very sickly way! :-) I like the double layer of Nurglings holding it up!