Erratic Progress – Part 1

So all this talk of Warhammer lately has taken me back to my Skaven, if only in a fairly small way. Having painted my first clanrat in at least a couple of years I found myself facing something of a crisis. I’ve recently bought a bunch of Skaven from two different friends, adding up to an enormous heap of partly painted plastic and sprues. The trouble is I realised I’m not particularly enamoured with my chosen colour scheme. Partly it’s that red tends to blend in with brown, making for a homogenous mass when viewed from a distance. Partly it’s that I’ve already used red for my Space Marines, and intend to use it again when I get around to painting some Skitarii and Vampire Counts. Thirdly red is the colour of Clan Mors and as a result painting one’s own Skaven red and then claiming they’re part of a different clan is rather like painting your Space Marines blue and gold and saying they’re not Ultramarines (or red and saying they’re not Blood Angels…).IMG_4536That leaves me with three options.

  1. Accept the situation as it is. Red’s not such a bad colour after all. Obviously that requires far too much emotional maturity for me to even contemplate so we move on to…
  2. Think of them as Clan Mors. Now I’ve got no real beef with Mors any more than I dislike the Ultramarines. I even painted Queek Headtaker a few years ago (and if I ever work out where that model has ended up I’ll show you). However they’re still very much someone else’s creation and, like the aforementioned Ultramarines, not one I’ve ever found that gripping. They may be the largest and most powerful of the warlord clans but they’re also a little dull and my rats are no-one’s lackeys! Next!
  3. Change the colour scheme. As it stands I’ve only painted 14 rats*. Sitting in a cardboard box in the corner of the room however are roughly a hundred more, as yet clad in nothing but bare plastic. If I’m going to go through the work of changing the colour scheme now is the time to do it.

*ish – there’s a few, like Queek, that I can’t lay my hands on.IMG_4551
Faced with choosing a new colour scheme I weighed my options, looking for something that would stand out, whilst still looking suitably filthy and ragged, and hadn’t already been used extensively elsewhere. Cutting a long story short I started to become drawn to the yellow Skaven which appear throughout Age of Sigmar’s Pestilens Battletome.

Plague Censer 2

Fighting censorship – used without permission (naturally!)

A bit more research revealed that yellow is also the colour of Clans Krizzor (beast-trappers and –moulders of some repute) and Skurvy (pirates – naturally) which gives me a few ideas when it comes to thinking up a background for my own clan. The question was though – would it work? Time to paint up a couple of test rats. Here’s the first of them.

And here’s the second.Skaven 1

And shoulder to shoulder with one of the red originals.Skaven 2What do you think (beyond that I need to improve on painting yellow – this being my first real outing with the colour)? At the moment I’m pretty pleased with these results but it’s not too late to speak out if you wildly disagree (better now than in 100 rat’s time – especially if I find myself agreeing with you!)

Anyway, I also thought I’d take the opportunity to have a play with the new Waystone Green technical paint Games Workshop released a couple of weeks ago. So far I’ve mostly seen it used to paint Eldar spirit stones (and this is very much what GW has been pushing it for) but I wondered if it would make for suitable looking warpstone as well. Following the guide detailed on the GW blog here’s the part of the warpstone core from the warp-lightning canon. At this point I’d given it a single coat of Fulgurite Copper, followed by a single coat of Waystone Green.BeforePassable I reckon but not quite there yet. And with most of the work done in mere moments (probably about a minute of actual painting interspersed with twenty minutes or so drying) I reckoned I could afford a little more time on it. Here it is again following a quite highlight with Scorpion Green (still out of an old hexagonal pot I’m afraid – no idea what the kids call this stuff nowadays).After

I think it’s looking pretty good, especially when you consider that the surrounding area is still mostly black primer, but as usual if you have any thoughts let’s hear them.

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7 responses to “Erratic Progress – Part 1

  • imperialrebelork

    The yellow looks terrific and so much better than the red. I’m quite partial to red in general but to me the yellow used here offers some small semblance to nobility. I know that sounds laughable when used to describe the Skaven though! I can imagine they’d (all 100 odd of them) look mighty impressive on a battlefield scurrying towards the enemy line. Well done. I’m also pleased to see your signature spots of orange rust here and there. The red eyes are enough red for these horrible little rodents. The warp stone green is cool too.

    • Wudugast

      Perhaps not nobility but grandeur? It’s very much the Skaven aesthetic isn’t it? They have this vast empire – but they can never stop squabbling amongst themselves in the ruins. They’re disrespected or loathed by all the other races – even Chaos sees them as beneath contempt and not true children – but they still have the biggest plans and ambitions (who else would have thought to shoot down the moon during the End Times?). They see themselves as greater than they are ever given credit for and now you mention it I think a more noble colour helps to emphasise that.

      Cheers for the feedback, I wanted a second opinion before I launched myself into the horde and I’m feeling considerably more confident now 🙂

  • Alex

    What IRO said – the yellow looks great, and I love the warpstone! I can’t believe how quick and easy it was for you to get to that effect (a definite plus with a hoard army!)

    • Wudugast

      Cheers – I really needed confirmation that I was making the right decision before I took on any more of the horde!

      I was a little surprised how straightforward the warpstone effect was too – even knowing that GW have been moving towards quicker and easier painting techniques and products over recent years. I’m sure one could do a lot more with it though, as we all get our teeth into it people will discover all kinds of crazy tricks.

  • Argentbadger

    I also like the yellow a lot more than the red, but I have to admit that I find yellow quite awkward to paint, so the prospect of doing hundreds of Skaven in yellow would not appeal to me much.

    • Wudugast

      To be honest I’ve never used yellow that much but when I have it’s not been an easy colour to use, so in some ways I do feel like I’m setting myself for a hard time here – but let’s see how it goes, I enjoy a challenge!

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