Back in the Day there weren't any plastic Plaguemarines, nor were Nurgle's finest even called Plaguemarines. All the models were made of lead and were referred to as Chaos Renegades or Nurgle Chaos Renegades. You weren't forced to use knifes and bolters, there were even Nurgle heavy weapon models. I really like these models. They were a bit smaller and with a lot less spikes and exaggerated proportions than today's models. There were just so many different models, I don't have them all, nor have I even seen them all. GW wasn't the corporate juggernaught it is today, so getting ahold of models required drastic measures, loyalists were easier to find so most of my original army was converted loyalists.
At some point, prior to the release of second edition if I had to guess, Jes Goodwin sculpted one model for each of the four major Chaos Chapters. (Possibly doing an extra model or two later for some powers.) These models established the new look for Chaos Space Marines and visually set apart the four powers. Previously the Renegades were so warped and demented it could be difficult to quickly determined which power a model followed.
I've dubbed the fifth model down, part of the forgotten Plaguemarine series of models. I believe there were at least two different models that were released after the Deathguard look had been established but before the Chaos Codex for the second edition was released. This dark time is best forgotten, Chaos players had next to no models in print nor any special rules with which to use them, I don't mind the Nurgle models that were released from this period.
With the release of the first Chaos Codex, came the first plastic chaos marines and they were Plaguemarines. It was around this time, that Plaguemarines became restricted to using primarily: knifes, bolters, and grenades. This along with the staticly posed plastic models lead to some visually uninspiring Nurgle forces. I was lucky in that I only used a few of these models to add bulk to my forces, not as the basis of my whole army.
The modern Plaguemarines came in a variety of poses, including three champions, two special weapons troopers, and an Icon Bearer. I own all of these models, some of them I have two or three painted examples in my collection. After the plastic Plaguemarines went out of print, which was sometime around when the newest (and third for those keeping score) chaos codex was released, these were the only Plaguemarine models you could buy. I went to two Grand Tournaments with the Diseased Sons when you had to scrounge to find Plaguemarines. I converted even more loyalists. I've become particularly fond of the armless models, as now Nurgle's finest can use bolt pistols and other close combat weapons. This allows for a more visually varied force. However I'd previously converted numerous models to be armed with a Plague Knife. In the third Chaos Codex, the Plague Knife has been phased out.
The latest codex, supposedly showed preproduction plastic Plaguemarine models. It turns out that the new models are not plastic and not poseable, instead they are armless and metal. All the other major powers now had multipart, poseable plastic models except Nurgle. Unaligned Chaos Space Marines, have had several different sets of poseable plastics, not to mention all the loyalists that can be quickly converted. This is all supposed to sort itself out during "The Summer of Chaos". Examples of these models as painted by me can be seen to the right, the 11th, 12th, and 13th models down from the top.
I bought a box of these when they came out. I don't really need more plaguemarines, but I thought I'd find a use for them eventually. The first one I assembled was the champion, I planed to use it as cheap HQ choice now that 4th edition is out. Epilepsius has a plasma pistol which I think is an extravagance considering a lord takes about one shot a game. This model isn't in the Gallery of Plaguemarines.
I keep painting and converting Nurgle Renegade models. Forgeworld released upgrade kits for Plaguemarines and Nurgle Terminators, of course I weakened and bought them. I plan on converting some Nurgle Raptors and bike troopers eventually. Don't know when or if I'll get around to updating this page, but I did repaint a bunch of my old OOP models in the last few years, I put up photos of them.
I've since painted a half dozen more purple models that use bits from the Havoc box set. Here are some pictures. I've almost used up all the bitz that came in that boxset, which means despite the cost of the Plaguemarine Havoc box it was worth buying. I have lots of unpainted GW models, but unlike most I have no unpainted armies, I just have large never finished armies, the Diseased Sons being the most famous.
Reflecting the love Nurgle has for his followers and the love sculpters and painters have for Nurgle, Forgeworld released Death Guard upgrade bitz, both for power armor and terminator armor. Even though I didn't need more models, I bought these. I have too much stuff. I finally painted one as a champion for the 2009 Astronomi-con Vancouver. It looks quite good but I never got he face the skintone I wanted. I'm slowly painting a model here or there for Nurgle as much for attractiveness on the table as effectiveness. I've been working on some non-Nurgle chaos stuff, but I decided to update this page and direct people to Flickr or my miniature painting blog, this post in particular will be of interest to people who are nostalgic for a look at old Nurgle models.