Painting the way to battle

Death Guard Showcase

Heresy Era White Colour Of War style

I have always been drawn towards the rot of Nurgle when it comes to Games Workshop wargaming. The combination of plague colours and tentacle goodness coming out of the models it allows for a varied and interesting painting mix as well as being forgiving on the brush work as many mishaps can be converted into corrosion or bile etc.

Colour Selection

I have detailed the Colour Of War Death Guard white painting process below which relies heavily on washes to add depth to the off white armour.

The colour scheme is an off white/dirty bone white which really screamed Nurgle to me

All colours for my Death Guard are Vallejo unless otherwise stated. The main benefit of Vallejo over games workshop is the dropper bottles which is also why I like Scale 75 and Army Painter amongst others (I use paints from a number of ranges)

  • Undercoat: Grey
  • White Armour:
  • Basecoat: Plague Brown (72.039)
  • Intermediate shade 50% plague brown 50% Bone White (72.034)
  • Highlight: Bone White 100%

    Ideally now apply a gloss varnish across the whole model to seal what has been completed and reduce the surface tension in readiness for applying the magic wash combination.

    Use army painter washes mixed in a 1:1 ratio (Dark Tone/Mid Brown/Flesh Wash) Add 2-3 drops of mixing medium.

    Make sure to keep moving the brush whilst applying the wash and ensure there is no pooling - if this happens just mop with a clean brush.

    Once the washes have dried carefully apply Bone White to raised areas ensuring to leave shaded areas in shade - you want the paint to be really thin for this glaze, almost like dirty water. This will likely take several layers to look right.

  • Upper Highlight: Bone White 50% Dead White (72.001)

    The iconic off white Death Guard armour has now been completed. If you prefer a more white finish, simply move one step further with the highlights.

    Great Unclean One

    One of the key models that dragged me into the new Nurgle Deathguard model range was the release of the new Great Unclean One. The Great Unclean One was always a model I wanted to tackle but somehow never managed to get one to the paint table. With the release of the new plastic model in 2018 which is simply gorgeous, the wait for me was over and "Mr Smiles" was born.

    Overall the project took a month and a half of juggling evening painting with work and busy family life but the overall result is something that will shine in the centre of my Nurgle soup army. You can recreate the toxic wasteland base seen here in the following guide.

    Plagueburst Crawler

    The Deathguard armoured machines such as the Plagueburst Crawler allow for some fun painting and modelling; the key areas of interest on this model are the rust/weathering which was applied with a sponge in various layers, corrosion on the dozer blade and verdigris to finnish the bronzed areas. It was fun experimenting with moving into the browns from the bonewhite base I chose to use.

    Plague Marines

    The foot soldiers of Mortarion - the detail on these models is simply stunning which made painting them a joy.


    I set myself a challenge to speed paint 40 poxwalkers in a single weekend and came mightily close by running into the monday evening. It was a quick case of laying down the flesh colour with airbrush and then creatively using inks and washes to maximise the colour output and time input. I find with hordes of low point troops its always best to just blitz them out and enjoy them as a whole (of course unless you are working for a diorama or display piece!)

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