Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Typhus Epic Post

Typhus the Traveller, Herald of Nurgle, Host of the Destroyer Hive is a Chaos Space Marine of the Death Guard legion.


After the Heresy, The Space Marines of chaos wore a lot of spikes and carries some pretty strange weapons. Before the Heresy, most of them wore plane armor save a few. Calas Typhon, the future Typhus, was one of those few. Really, you've got to wonder a little about your buddies when they start carrying giant scythes and wearing spikes on their face.

Heresy-era Typhon
This is actually rather telling. According to Lexicanium and the novel The Flight of the Eisenstein, Typhon willingly turned to Chaos before his Primarch Mortarion or even before the fall of Horus. He was converted to Chaos by Erebus, First Chaplain of the Word Bearers and used those powers to climb the ranks of the Death Guard legion to the dizzying heights of Captain of the 1st Company, the highest rank second only to that of the Primarch himself. By virtue of his rank, he was given undisputed command of the battleship Terminus Est a massive and powerful battleship.

His original name is also rather telling of his personality. "Calas" is a homonym of callus and callous. A callus is "... toughened area of skin which has become relatively thick and hard in response to repeated friction, pressure, or other irritation." This is certainly a good characterization of Typhus both before and after his fall.From what I remember of him from The Flight of the Eisenstein, he was constantly irritated by everyone including his Primarch. He hated Battle-Captain Nathaniel Garro and would have killed him in an instant if he had the opportunity to get away with it. If he had only known the troubles that Garro would cause (the escape and resultant humiliation, warning the Emperor and founding the Grey Knights), Typhon would have slain him regardless of the consequences.

Typhus was also callous by definition as in "insensitive; indifferent; unsympathetic" I can only remember vaguely, but Typhon had the cold detachment of a serial killer. He was utterly unsympathetic towards the humans he was supposed to, nay was designed to, be protecting. He views them as lesser creatures that are unworthy of his attention. He reminds a little of Lamont Cranston when he was a warlord in Asia in the movie The Shadow. (I wish I could find this clip) His friend and adviser is taken hostage he orders his men to shoot both of them.

Deathshroud - Mortarion's_Bodyguards


Typhus made his first appearance on the 40k tabletop in the second Chaos Space Marine codex in 3rd edition and he was brutal. The fluff in this codex conflicts with the Horus Heresy novels and The Flight of the Eisenstein novel. The 3rd edition codex says that due the blood of the warlords of Barbarus, Typhus has potent psychic powers and was a high ranking Librarian. In the novels, he displays no psychic potential. This over site is easily ignored as the blessing of the Chaos gods mimics psychic powers. 

His stat line remains unchanged through the editions. He is comparable to a Chaos Lord with the bonus that the Mark of Nurgle and Terminator armor grants. His weapon, Manreaper, has changed a little in terms of how it is expressed in the rules but in the end remains a power weapon that grants +d6 attacks.

by Metal Poison
Where Typhus really shines is in his special rules. In 3rd, Typhus had a power called Nurgle's Rot. It forced any model within 6" of Typhus to make an armor or invulnerability save at the end of the CSM shooting phase on a 5+. This was to represent the Destroyer Hive on his back blowing out a cloud of blighted flies and infectious particles. This was not a shooting attack but an always activated area of effect field. With his high Toughness and Armor Save, Typhus is built for a protracted battle of attrition. He is hard to wound and hard to kill but the longer you stay in combat with him, the more likely it is that you fall to his cloud of miasma.

That power has changed quite a bit in 4th edition by changing it to a Strength 3 hit but he still has Wind of Chaos which has remained unchanged. It is essentially a flamer that always wounds on a 4+ with no armor saves. That is brutal and massively effective for thinning out a group of high Toughness or heavily armored enemy.

The Future?

by Grave Dave
To wishlist for a bit I would like to see some changes to Typhus in 6th. His strength is his ability to wear down an opponent and I would like to see this reflected in his rules. For starters, changing the rules for Nurgle's Rot back to the way it was before. If you move within 6" of Typhus, get ready to start taking armor saves every turn regardless of your Toughness. I really likes the "wound on a 4+" and think that in the hard hitting days of 5th (not to mention the Matt Ward's flying circus days of 6th yet to come), the "Strength 3 hits" thing really neuters it. Also, making the power take effect at the end of each shooting phase would rock but that might push it over the edge.

I think that Typhus should be T 6. A regular Plague Marine is T 5 and Typhus is supposed to be the biggest and baddest cat in the sandbox. With Mephiston and Chaplain Cassius both being T 6 loyalist Space Marines, I can see no reason that Typhus should not be given parity. Still on the lines of resilience, I think that all Chaos Lords and Sorcerers should have a 4+ invul save. I think this 5+ save thing is silly but that is a rant for another day.

I like synergy and I would love to see a CSM force that gets stronger the more of a particular type of cult troop you take. Much like the days of late 3rd edition, you should be rewarded for taking a dedicated Nurgle force as you are handicapping yourself in terms of unit type and flexibility. For instance, when you take Typhus, Plague Marines get +1 to their Feel no Pain or their Nurgle's Rot becomes more potent.

by Skeenoman
I started by priming Typhus black. I could have started with green as I have some Krylon green paint that I have had good success in priming and painting my green Cygnar that I have yet to detail here. I then did a through painting of Loren Forest (formerly Knarloc Green) leaving no black showing. I followed that by Warpstone Glow (formerly Snot Green). You don't have to be really careful to get green in the recesses with that step as it all comes out in the wash.

Letting the green dry, I took a break and painted all the areas that I wanted to be metal in Ironbreaker (formerly Chainmail). No need to undercoat as two coats of Ironbreaker are enough to cover over green. If you really want to to it the right way, you would undercoat the areas in black. The recessed areas in the joints, I painted Leadbelcher (formerly Boltgun Metal). I do thin because I want those joints nice and dark as to not draw attention away from the other areas.

With those two thing finished, I painted all the areas that I wanted bone, puss, flesh or cloth with a lite coat of Rakarth Flesh (formerly Deneb Stone). All you have to do is make sure you get the outline perfect. This is just to protect these areas from the wash. I think that you could skip it but I like to pick out my base colors so I know what areas to skip with the touch ups.

Then wash it Dev Mud, dry brush it Bleached Bone and you're done.


The next step (and no where near the last) is to wash the whole model Nuln Oil (formerly Badab Black). When I wash a whole model, it is rarely dipped. I paint it on. This ensures that I get the wash where I want it and can watch it carefully to make sure that it does not pool. I avoid hitting the large flat areas with too much wash as that makes the touch up step much harder. I concentrate on getting the wash on the recessed and underside of the wrinkles and creases.

Then walk away. Let that wash dry completely. If you think you are ready to start painting, wait another hour. After that hour, you'll touch up all the green areas. Anything raised or large and flat gets special attention. You could proceed on to highlighting the green areas but there is a wash step coming up next that will ruin your efforts. You could highlight the metal areas, but I wait to do that until the very last. Handling an mini tends to wipe off metal paints. Best to just wait.

For the rust, I mixed up a special wash. Taking a leaf out of Dianne's book (a wonderful Black Shirt that left the local GW store recently), I took Doombull Brown (formerly Dark Flesh) and watered it down about 1:1. This made a wash that settles readily so requires a lot of mixing before use. I only mixed up a small amount, as Plague Marines are the only thing that get this treatment thus far. I painted on the rust wash in random areas that I think would accumulate corruption. As these are Nurgle Marines, no area is really exempt from consideration. I tried to use it smartly to add contrast between green areas, shading recessed areas that were not properly shaded with the wash and highlighting detail by outlining it with this contrasting color. Don't forget the metal areas too! Really go crazy with this step. I have found no upper limit to applying rust.

Once that step is complete, take another little walk while it dries. You care going to touch up all the areas that you just washed with green. That means that you are going to be painting very close if not on top of the washed areas. Those areas need to be completely dry to start this. Touch up all the areas where you got too crazy with the rust wash. You can create some really neat effects by playing with this.

When you're satisfied, it is time to highlight the green areas. I used Warboss Green (formerly Goblin Green) for this. Rather than doing hard edge highlighting that is straight and consistent, the more broken and varied that you can make the hard edge highlighting the more worn the armor will look. This is much easier to do on metals, but you can use it on colored areas as well.

Speaking of metals, it is also time to slap some Runefang Steel (formerly Mithril Silver) to the metal areas. Use the same broken and varied technique detailed above on the metal areas and this is how I do most of my beaten and worn metals. The only divergence from this was on the large spherical objects on his knee and back. I applied a little liquid talent to them in blotchy patches then re-highlighted with Runefang Steel to create a beaten and worn effect.

A little note on choice of colors.

Looking around the internet, there are lots of examples of Typhi that are painted in flashy colors like golds for his metal bits and yellows and reds for contrasting colors. I chose to use silver metals only because of the Death Guards history of choosing muted tones for their armor and a predilection towards bare metal on their weapons and ships. I intentional kept the metals simple and basic, taking special care to avoid using golds or bright colors.

So why the green? There are models out there that do a splendid job of convening the idea of the original Death Guard colors only corrupted and twisted. I aspire to this in my Pre/Post Heresy project but chose to bypass that for the Death Guard Marines. I like green and Nurgle's color and know how to work with the basic green of the Citadel line. I have painted all my cult troops with a bright solid color in mind because I want them visually distinct on the table top.


I had great success in painting daemon flesh on the severed head of the plaguebearer on the bast of one of my Grey Knight Justicars. I painted it Rakarth Flesh (formerly Deneb Stone) and then put touches of Tau Lite Ocher (formerly Vomit Brown) in the recesses that looked they should be purulent. The horn areas got the Tau Lite Ocher treatment in the recesses but were layered up to bleached bone. The bone areas were washed Seraphim Sepia (formerly Gryphonne Sepia) and the areas to be green were washed Biel-Tan Green (formerly Thraka Green). I then touched up both the areas with Ushabti Bone (formerly Bleached Bone) and then washed in their respective colors again. I had to wash and touch up about 3 times until I got the tone I wanted.

I did similar things on the Typhus model on the areas of plague, bone and on the handle of his scythe. they started Rakarth Flesh  followed by Tau Lite Ocher and Ushabti Bone. There was a wash of Seraphim Sepia, rinse, repeat but I always made sure to end on a very think highlight of Ushabti Bone. After the model is clear coated to protect it, I'll come back all the spots that should be wet and apply a little water effects to them. That way to look all slimy and gross.

Painting the wood on the haft of the scythe was a new challenge. I started with Mournfang Brown (formerly Calathan Brown) and then Mournfang Brown (formerly Bestial Brown) (wait... how can one new paint replace both of those. Granted they were pretty similar but Bestial Brown was darker and richer than Calathan Brown. Also Calathan was a Foundation paint and had great coverage while Bestial did not.) It was then washed Nuln Oil with the rest of the metal areas. I then touched up the brown areas with Mournfang Brown being sure to move the brush along the grain and leave plenty of dark areas showing. To further show the grain of the wood, I painted thin lines of Balor Brown (formerly Snakebite Leather). Be careful with this step because if you make the lines too think or make too many of them, it ruins the effect. Less is more here.

I took special considerations with the face which is really little more than a slit in the helmet. I was careful not to let any washes get in there to keep the area bright. First I painted the recessed area Averland Sunset (formerly Iyanden Darksun) and brightened up with Yriel Yellow (formerly Golden Yellow). Then I touched up the edges with Warpstone Glow (formerly Snot Green) making sure to get some green just beyond the lip of the armor. I then used the one good brush that I keep in reserve for delicate painting jobs like this and painted just a little White Scar (formerly Skull White) where the eyes would be and a little in the middle on the vertical mouth slit just for effect. Make sure to paint the white in this area just in the center as anything else will ruin the glowy effect.

There you have it. The epic post is complete and the images are up on Cool Mini or Not. The ratings are not what I had hoped for but likely that is because the model is incomplete but that's my Typhus. He is the last of the Champions of Chaos Gods to be finished. I already have Ahriman and Kharn that were painted by my generous friend and Battle-Brother Gordon. I long ago finished Lucius the Eternal and Huron Blackheart. That only leaves Fabius and Abaddon left for CSM special characters. I plan to convert up my own Abaddon from the plastic CSM termie Lord and bits from the metal figurine much like this and this. Or perhaps I could use nothing but plastic bits like this. I would also kill for a heresy-era Horus/Abaddon like this.

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