From the Warhammer 40K Wiki:
Blight Drones, also known as Bilecysts, are a Daemon Engine dedicated to the Chaos God of pestilence and disease, Nurgle. The Blight Drone is a seemingly weird conglomeration of insect larva, flying machine, and daemonic entity. The maddening, incessant droning buzz of their rotor disks echoing across the battlefield has become recognised as an omen of death by soldiers of the Imperium of Man. Stories from the maimed and rotting survivors of Blight Drone attacks are quick to spread through the ranks of Imperial Guard regiments that engage them in battle, each story having negative effects on morale and spreading fear and panic amongst the soldiers has become a great concern for Commissars. The threat to the morale and overall stability of a regiment has been deemed so serious that any Guardsmen caught retelling these tales faces immediate arrest and transportation to a penal unit.
- "All things must wither and die. Let root rot and bower blight, to feed the pestilence of abandoned hope."
- — Aghalor, the Bringer of Poxes
Siege of Vraks, where the Blight Drones were encountered in large swarms fighting alongside the Vraksian Traitor Militia and their Chaos Space Marine allies. The first sightings of Blight Drones, often recorded from the tales of badly maimed survivors, led to their initial misidentification, with some of them being labelled a conventional aircraft of some kind or as massive Warp-mutated insects. Eventually, the savants of the Inquisition were able to piece together various pieces of evidence, and the truth that they were facing a new form of Daemon Engine became abundantly clear. The creatures themselves were usually encountered in large clusters or swarms, acting much in the manner of carrion flies and ambush predators. The drones seemed to appear on the battlefield where there were large concentrations of the dead as much as they appeared to be ordered into combat by some unseen force. Whereever the Daemon Engines passed the air grew thick with poisonous fumes and the soil itself blistered and rotted.
There exist unconfirmed reports of Blight Drones coming down to rest upon piles of corpses seemingly to feed, liquifying the carcasses of the dead and the dying, and sucking up the decaying sludge, perhaps to fuel themselves or maintain their presence in the physical universe. There exists no evidence of Blight Drones landing anywhere or needing any form of maintenance, nor did they ever return to any base of operations.
Although the Blight Drone's first confirmed encounter with the Imperium was during the Siege of Vraks, and their true origins remain unknown, it was far from the last. Since the Siege of Vraks, Blight Drones have been encountered in several other battles, notably fighting alongside Chaos Space Marine warbands such as the Purge and other Death Guard splinter factions. Additionally, unconfirmed reports have placed these obscene weapons as part of daemonic incursions in both the ongoing conflicts in the Charadis Rifts war zone and the Auralis war zone, and they were also sighted during the fall of Hive World Mitra, the invasion of Forge World Graia, and during the 13th Black Crusade.
ArmamentThe Blight Drone's macabre and deadly reputation was more than matched in dreadful fact by their effectiveness on the battlefield. The drone is armed with a Reaper Autocannon, and a Mawcannon. The Mawcannon is a smaller version of the weapon found on the mighty Soul Grinder Daemon Engines, and fires out gouts of corrosive toxic bile that is powerful enough to eat through metal and liquify flesh in seconds as opposed to the Soul Grinder's preferred Warpfire. The bile from the drone's Mawcannon was extremely effective against the entrenched infantry and vehicles on Vraks, while troops out in the open had little cover from the drone's Reaper Autocannon. The creature's Mawcannon is also capable of spiting out large roiling masses of mutating phlegm at a distance, destroying entire enemy squads in one great blast. The Blight Drone's seemingly squat and bloated form is also unusually resilient against attacks, especially for a skimmer of their size. This quality is attributed to the living flesh and rusted armour plating of the drone, as well as the will of whatever dark intelligence is guiding them. If a Blight Drone is destroyed in combat it invariably detonates in a shower of bile and pus, and is capable of causing extreme damage to everything caught within the blast.
Fun little critters, right?
To get it straight, I will not be making 1:1 copies of Blight Drones. I'll be making baby Blight Drones with standard armament and converted Plague Drones in the spirit of a Blight Drone with Blight Drone armament. They will look related :) As I'm no longer allowed to spend money, I should be able to spend all my time, energy and effort into these critters for some time to come.
While surfing the web, I found several fan made ones very inspirational, like these ones:
The last one is highly inspirational for the colourscheme, dirty white and rust.
I've also made the decision not to add surface detailing to the Baby Drones. It would take a ton of effort and I can do the same, in a lot less time, painting wise. The bigger Drones however will get the surface detailing.
Since I can't spend any money, my mate Mo has been happy to provide me with additional Rippers to base them on. For the Baby Drones, my inspiration comes from this artwork:
I will try to make each variant shown there, just because it will be fun, gives me more Baby Blight Drones and will look good on the table. And it will take time, time spent doing things that prevent me from spending money :) I already have it printed out next to me so I can leave off the PC and just get on with it!
I can do this !
And on a side note, I found a perfectly nice sketch for a possible Tau construction drone, jay me!