Since I’m a fan of both Dark Angels and Orks I found Gav Thorpe’s The Purging of Kallidus to be a perfect book for me. Not only does it include a lot of small details on the functioning of a Space Marine force in the field, but includes the two biggest and baddest ork warlords in a combined effort; the mighty Ghazghkgull Thraka, and the wily Nazdreg Ug Urdgrub.
Ghasghkull was and is still the king of all orks to me; his semi-religious role, brutish persona, yet strangely high-intelligence seems to encompass the most frightening combination of ork traits. However it’s nice to have options, while looking over an older ork codex I found Nazdreg is a GREAT option for an ork warlord (if only we could get modern rules for him GW!)
Nazdreg is not only a cunning leader, but also a remarkably good shot for an ork (BS4! BS4! With a PLASMA weapon!) He also has fun painting options, as he is a Bad Moons warboss and can be done-up right in bright yellows and ostentatious decorations.
The old Nazdreg model is nothing like the current line and difficult to field. He’s SMALLER than most ork boyz, so that’s not an option. This one is mine. He came with his boss pole broken so I replaced it with a different one. Luckily I got an old metal Ghazghkull with the deal I mentioned in a previous post and decided I’d Nazdreg-him up.
There wasn’t an appropriately massive Bad Moon bosspole, so I made my own out of green stuff. I mounted it on the Lascannons from a Forgeworld Tauros Venator I turned into a warbuggy and stuck a deffdread face on the back. The skulls came from the Chaos Defiler kit, whose bitz have served me so well since I converted it to the Dredtrukk. It’s not perfect but I ended up really liking the look of the moon.
His armor, instead of black with flames, I wanted a bright, blazing yellow. Mostly to make his stand out even more from my Goff models. His custom power klaw is made of the lower-potion of Ghazghkull’s with two ork chain blades and a piece from the Skaven Hell-Pit Abomination kit as flexible spiked-knuckles.
The most difficult, but fun, part of the model was the Kustom-Blasta-X, Nazdreg’s supa-gun. It’s frequently described as being “multi-barreled” but because it has the “gets hot” profile and the same feel as a plasma gun I thought it would be good to make it LOOK like a plasma gun. I sheared off the twin-linked big shoota that came with the model (never cut off so much metal before) and used one of the plasma storm batteries from the Land Speeder Vengeance kit. The little piece underneath is actually a re-fashioned mace head and it has the power supply from a megablasta off of an extra Mek on top.
Basing is something that I’ve heard a lot of modelers complain about but it’s one of my favorite parts of finishing a model. I originally wanted to have him on a telly-porta but I couldn’t think of a good way to make that work on a terminator-size base. So I went with a scene from The Purging of Kadillus that is by far one of my favorites in the Black Library books I’ve read (along with Primarch Corax’s charge into the Iron Warriors in Raven’s Flight, also by Thorpe). If you haven’t read the book SPOILER ALERT!
In the novel, Chaplain Boreas leads a defense of a power plant against an ork attack. They initially succeed until Nazdreg himself arrives and dooms the space marine/imperial guard defenders. Boreas challenges Nazdreg to single combat, and, though he fights as best as he can, is ultimately smashed by the Bad Moons Boss. I like this narrative not only because the fight itself is rousing, but also because it’s a rare instance of orks portrayed in a Black Library book not as comic relief but as the martial menace that they are. Boreas and Nazdreg fight fairly, and Nazdreg beats Boreas through strength of arms, not blundering into luck. This is especially impactful in this book as future Deathwing Captain Belial took a similar beating from Ghazghkull in the novel’s background. I also have a strong memory of Nazdreg addressing the Dark Angel’s leadership through Boreas’ helmet comm with the typical Ork laconism, “Dey’s all dead…”
For my base I have Nazdreg stomping Boreas’ Crozius Arcanum. The Arcanum is made from the handle of a thunder hammer; the head is actually part of the angel wings off of the Icon of Old Caliban from a Land Speeder Darkshroud kit. For the Chaplain’s helmet I used a standard space marine helmet, sliced his face off, and glued on the face of a skull (again, those Chaos Defiler bits save the day!) I then added appropriate muddy texture and various pieces from the GW 40k basing kit.
Nazdreg’s my favorite model I’ve completed so far. I hope I can use him (WITH his profile) in games and I’m really hoping GW includes him back into 6th edition when we get our overdue ork upgrade next summer!
Check out my previous ork painting posts for more!